Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Off to See the Wizard

On Monday, I went back for more torture...cervical manipulation part two.  It was quite a different experience than what I had last week, unfortunately...the results were still similar.  I saw the female physician, who was much more conservative in her approach.  I explained to her the extreme discomfort I had after my last appointment, and the fact that the treatment threw me into a debilitating migraine attack.  She explained that soreness was probable...and that I will most likely feel worse before I felt better...but that the amount of pain I did experience was way too much.  She did some simple stretching of my neck and adjusted a couple places in my mid back.  However, she was also able to palpate multiple muscle spasms and decided to stop immediately.  Her opinion was simliar to her partner's about my hyper-flexibility.  She said my spine moves much too easily.  While it is helpful for the actual also means that it easily moves back to where it is not supposed to be.

Either way...yesterday sucked pain wise...and I may have even had quite the melt down....and/or temper tantrum.  But...I won't even go there.

Today I had my appointment with the Neurologist that Dr. Feelgood recommended to me a month ago.  Well, I do not want to get my hopes up...but I think I just might have found the right guy!  One bonus is that he & Dr. Feelgood are "buddy-buddy" and are actually in agreement with alot of things.  Whew!  That makes it so much easier for the patient! 

We went through the normal, lengthy medical history together.  I was smart enough to bring in a list I had compiled weeks ago of all my info, so as to not forget anything and to make it go quickly and smoothly.  He then did the expected neuro exam.  He was very thorough.  There were apparently quite a few deficits in my examination, according to him.  He is concerned about the significant difference in strength & sensation between my right & left side. 

So...for the time being, I am going to decrease the doasge of Prozac, until I can wean completely off of it, as for me it has been useless in pain control.  Continue Bystolic for the time being.  He gave me samples of Migranal for acute migraine in the hospital DHE was effective.  His opinion is that I may in fact be having some Basilar artery involvement and possibly something amiss with my he is scheduling for me to have an MRA, I am going to have another round of Botox for the chronic muscular aspect of my head pain, and he is obtaining all of my images of my brain and cervical spine to review himself.

And guess what else he said....AVOID cervical manipulation!  Uh-oh.  At least until I have the vascular studies done.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Art Fest on Anna Maria Island

Yesterday I finally got out of bed, my sister came to visit...and she kidnapped me.

There are two stores close to my house that Jen has been wanting to check out.  So she begged me to tag along just for a few minutes.  So in my pajamas...which was really grey yoga pants and a white tank top, no make-up, glasses on and my knotty hair pulled back...I went.

When we got to the places she wanted to go to...(they're right next door to each other)...they were both closed.  Which is so ridiculous.  These stores are located right before the causeway to the beach, and on a Sunday...they'd get tons of business.  We weren't the only ones that pulled into the parking lot and was disappointed.

Anyways...since I was already in the car...she didn't give me a choice but to go to a friend of our's store out on the Island instead. 

Once we arrived on Bridge Street...there was a huge art festival going on.  So my lovely sister made me get out of the car...looking like I just rolled out of bed...because I literally did...and off we went.

Not only did I look like a bum, but before she arrived at my house, I had just taken some I am pretty sure I was stumbling around like an intoxicated bum!

It was lovely out...and I am happy I was forced to join the land of the living for a little bit.  We got delicious ice cream cones and strolled from booth to booth.

Here are some of my new handmade finds...

The picture to the left is a thin peice of what feels like driftwood....the image is actually burned into it.  I forget what the guy actually called the technique...but I loved it.  Next to it is a blue pottery dish that I am going to put on my bathroom counter to catch the jewelry & hair ties I just toss to the side.  It has 3 little starfish etched in the bottom.  Both pieces are sitting on top of a great rug.  It's difficult to see but it has brown and blue threads.  This lady made fabulous hand woven rugs!  Again...for my bathroom.

                        Some yummy strawberries that I picked up for only a buck!

               A pirate treasure chest that I brought home for the boys.  They loved it! 

And this...this is actually something my sister bought for me at the Strawberry Festival a couple of weeks ago...but figured I had to show you all since she just gave it to me yesterday.  Of course, anything that is headache related...she has to get me!  I think it's great though!

All in all...I had a nice time...then came home and took a nice hot bath with some homeade lavender soap. another story.  I will fill you all in on the cervical manipulation saga part two later on!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cervical Manipulation

Now that I am feeling slightly better, I will give you all an update on what's been going on this past week.

I went to see yet another new doctor on Wednesday.  He is an Internist, as well as a Chiropractor.  His partner is a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

My father's girlfriend referred him to me as he has helped her tremendously with back pain.

He did the usual...took a thorough medical history and did an extensive neurological exam.  The findings of the neuro exam were basically the same as always...nystagmus and vertigo....blah, blah, blah.  I used to be so poised and had excellent so much.  I wobble and fall all over the place.  One finding he found to be interesting...I seemed to have delayed reflexes.  Not that I really even know what the significance of that is. 

I also had x-rays taken of my cervical spine.  Now, in the past I have had MRI's...but never x-rays.  I knew I had some abnormalities from my MRI's, such as Spondylosis....but according to the x-rays and from what this doctor said when he delivered my cervical spine is a mess!  His reponse...and I quote..."I don't even like to see this in someone in their 60's...especially someone that is only 33."  Great.  Fantastic.  Just what I wanted to hear.

One possibly good thing about this is...I might have an answer for my chronic head pain and occipital neuralgia.  Obviously, the migraine with aura is just an added bonus.

Anyways...from what he cervical spine is completely curved in the opposite direction of what it is supposed to be.  My c3 & c4 disc is completely degenerated, causing my vertebrae to basically be collapsed onto one another, with bone spurs sticking into my nerves...and my c5 & c6 have become fixated, as well as my c2 being tilted to the right, instead of straight up and down.  He also said my muscles have low tone and are not holding my cervical spine in place....causing what he called "Myofascial Pain Syndrome."

Another theory.  Yippee.  So which out of the bazillion is right?

Anyhow...went and had cervical manipulation done on Thursday, followed by ultrasound and electric stim with heat.

This cervical manipulation is like nothing I have had before...and it HURT!  It kind of was a "hurt so good" feeling while being done, but afterwards, I almost passed out and felt like he broke my neck.  I supposedly had a vagal response.

I have never had my neck pulled and popped in so many directions. 

I went home, iced and took some pain medicine and dragged myself to work yesterday morning.

I was doing ok until about 4pm.  While taking a phone call from a physician and scheduling an happened.  The dreaded loss of vision.  When I loose my's always a bad sign.  I lost my vision, my version of a migraine aura, almost immediately vomited up my lunch, became tingly and freezing cold, had loud, obnoxious ringing in my ears...and about 15 minutes later...came the debilitating pain. would appear that my so-called treatment & therapy...threw me into a severe migraine attack.


My co-workers called Jesse to come pick me up, and I have been hopped up on pain medication since, with ice attached to my head.  At one point I begged Jesse to take me to the ER...but he reminded me that until this week, I am between Neurologists...and the ER docs don't really know shit when it comes to treating migraine.  So I didn't go. I am..wasting more of my life in bed, in pain...abandoning my job, my children, Jesse...etc...all because I am in too much pain to move.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm a Poet

Had a bad day,
got so much to say.
My effing head,
is forcing me back to bed! =(

Monday, March 21, 2011

Vintage Love

Some new finds for my master bathroom:

Blue Ball mason jars from a local antique store

A large tin ice bucket to fill with toilet paper and my loofah sponges

Vintage shelf from a great boutique & antique store called "The Rusty Cricket"
Definately one of my fav places to shop!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It was St. Patrick's Day?!?

 I was reading a bunch of posts about St. Patrick's Day this morning, and came to the realization that this year...I missed it!  Basically ignored the fact that the day even existed.  Except for the few bars around town that had all day celebrations that I drove past, and being pinched by my friend at the nail salon for not wearing was like any other day.  I didn't even dress my boys in green for school!  And I am totally one of those parents that dress them in holiday gear.  Actually...that morning I just totally forgot, until I was in the car rider line dropping Zachary off at the elementary school & saw a sea of green.  I felt terrible...but in all honesty, he could have cared less. 

The thing is...I just do not have much of a life these days.  At least a social one.  I force myself to go to dinner with the girls every now and then, or the movies...but it is rarely.  My social interactions are when I get my hair & nails done.  Outside of working...I am mostly at home.  Babying my aching body and my pounding head and attempting to be a good mother.

Last night though...I took the plunge.  One of my best friends and her husband are visiting from Missouri, so Jesse & I went out to the bars.  Something I am SO glad we did...but am totally regretting it (headwise) today.  I am feeling quite shitty due to the one too many Stellas I drank.  But just has to be done...and visiting with my BFF's is a situation that is definately worth the pain.  It is now 330pm, I have yet to make it out of bed other than to take some pain medication, get an ice pack & make a cup of coffee.  However...for my "family" of close friends...I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pity Party for One Please

Reminds me of an aura!
I still haven't heard back from Dr. Feelgood's office regarding the nerve blocks...or more importantly, the stimulator.  So, I have basically been living minute to by day...trying to ease my symptoms and cope with the squezzing pain.  I use the word "squeezing" today, because it feels as if my muscles are tightening up in the back of my neck...squeezing the nerves that radiate up to my head.  When I turn my head, I get the feeling that my eyes are bugging out & my head pounds in rhythm with my heartbeat. 

Of course, when that happens, I get awful vertigo.  In addition to the non-stop sensation like I am falling backwards that I always have...when I lay down...the room spins and my ears ring.  It totally reminds me of back in the day when I would come home from a night of too much drinking in a too loud bar or concert.  Which...then leads to nausea & vomiting.

It's a terrible snowball effect.

As usual, Jesse has been wonderful.  He rubs my shoulders and neck when asked, and digs his thumbs into those spasming muscles directly under my skull to release the tension.  I have been alternating heat & ice, taking exorbitant amounts of medication (at least it seems that way to me), stretching & relaxing as much as I can.  All patiently waiting for the next step.

I am getting a little concerned with the fact that I am putting all my stock into this procedure working.  What if it doesn't?  Then what?  I will be greatly disappointed.

But I also know that the stimulator will not take away my other symptoms...none of which I truly have a diagnosis for.  Yes, I have been given plenty of theories...such as Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease...but, I am a science person.  I need definitive proof.  I want an answer for my fatigue, muscle & joint pain, severe dryness, positive rheumatoid factor, pleural & pericardial effusions & almost non existant iron levels.  Yet...after being shuffled from specialist to specialist...I have gotten no closer to a real answer.

I understand the medical profession.  I understand that it is called practicing medicine for a reason.  I understand that tests only go so far.  I understand that sometimes things are not black & white.  But my God is it frustrating.  And I know that I am preaching to the choir and that many, if not all, my readers can relate.

Speaking of readers...don't forget to click my "follow" link on the right! 


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Playin' in the Rain

I took these on Thursday, after a downpour of rain.  Of course the boys thought it was great that they were able to go barefoot and jump in the puddles.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. My biggest accomplishment in life thus far is raising two happy, healthy, handsome, smart, funny, well-rounded children!  Of course, I am a little biased...but they are good boys and I couldn't be more proud!

2.  My favorite place to sit in my house is my bed!  If I am reading, writing, watching tv or browsing the interet, I am on my bed under my down comforter.

3.  My fashion philosophy is comfort.  Jeans, tees & boots in the cooler weather...sundresses & flip flops in the summer. 

4.  Something every girl should have is a sexy pair of shoes for those special nights out.

5.  If you looked in my purse right now you'd find...wallet, small digital camera, day planner, pen, lotion, chapstick, hair tie & pain medicine.

6.  My favorite music right now is Adele.

7.  My favorite part of my body is probably my eyes...they are my feature most complimented on. can join in the fun by either filling in the blanks in the comments or link up over at the little things we do.

Have a happy Friday!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hurtin' For Certain

So I went to see Dr. Feelgood (pain guy) on Wednesday.  I had gotten a call from his medical assistant the previous Friday instructing me to come in to go over my MRI results.  While I had looked at my scans, and thought they appeared to be normal, I had never gotten an official result. predicted...normal.  Well at least in the structural way.  I wouldn't exactly classify this constant head pain as normal.

I learned that I should hopefully be getting the ok for the stimulator trial from all parties involved within the month.  Fingers crossed!

We decided that in the meantime, next week, I am going to have yet another series of nerve blocks done to tide me over.  While they are not 100% effective for me, they seem to diminish the pain somewhat, at least for a few days.  I am currently back in what I refer to as an "increased pain flare"!  The only treatment that seems to alleviate my pain in these "flares" is steroids.  Nothing better than injecting them right into the back of the skull!  Although IV Decadron does wonders...I can only get that in the hospital...and I am not going back there.  Well, as a patient anyways.

Speaking of hospital, as usual, I worked my 12 hr. back to back shifts on Friday & Saturday.  While Friday was a decent day, I was "baby nurse"...yesterday was BRUTAL!  In addition to my regular labor & delivery nursing duties, I am also trained as a scrub tech and assist for our surgeries.  Yesterday...I was scrub tech.  We had a total of 4 cesarean of which lasted over 2 hours because of bleeding!  For those of you that do not know...scrubbing 4 surgeries in a hell!  Today...I am totally not exaggerating when I say I can barely move.  Leaning over the OR table, digging in abdomens, pushing babies out small uterine incisions, pulling and tugging on internal organs, fascia and skin all day long has killed my head, neck & back. 

Last night when I got home, Jesse tried to rub my back & the pain was too intense, he couldn't even touch me.  Now...when I turn down a massage...I must be dying! 

This morning, I have my lovely shiatsu massage pillow with heat behind my back as I type, loads of medication on board, sipping a yummy hot cup of coffee from my Keurig in my cozy bed...where I intend to stay all day long!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thankful For Thursday

Thankful for the medication that will hopefully ease my pain this morning...

Thankful for my delicious Chai Tea Latte...

Thankful for these goofy little guys...