Sunday, July 31, 2011

34 And Fabulous

Wednesday, July 27th, I celebrated my 34th birthday with my sis.  I ended up having to go into work for 10 hours, so that wasn't such a happy birthday.  That night my mom, dad, grandmother, sister, our significant others and kids all had a pizza dinner followed by ice cream cake.  For 34 years now, Carvel ice cream cake is all we have ever had on our birthdays.  It's a tradition I never intend to break!  Yum! 

Here is hoping for a happy, healthy year!

As part of my birthday and every other holiday gift this year...Jesse and I booked a cruise to Alaska last night!  We will be sailing on May 18th!  So this gives me something very exciting to look forward to and gives me time to start saving some $!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Worst Night Ever

We drove home from Orlando on Saturday afternoon. I do not do well with car rides if I am not the driver...but I hate to drive, especially on the interstate, so I often find myself in a catch 22. I reclined my seat, propped my head up with a pillow, covered myself with a fuzzy blanket, sported some super dark sunglasses, turned down the radio, begged the boys to keep their voices to a whisper, took some pain and anti-nausea medication, and flipped open a magazine. I find it difficult to read in the car, but also wanted something to distract me. That's why I choose magazines for my car rides...I can just look at all the pretty little pictures and not really read the words. Well we were about 30 minutes into our trip home and the dreaded happened. My vision began getting distorted as if I were looking through a kaleidoscope. That's how it always begins. I tried not to panic, slammed close my magazine, rolled onto my side and tried to go to sleep. I did ok for awhile, then as we were getting closer to Jesse's parents house, to pick up Milo and symptoms worsened. Darkness started creeping into my peripheral vision. It slowly ascended from both sides. That was new for me. Usually my vision in my left eye gets dark from the top corner and decends. I panicked a bit...begging for everyone to keep silent and for Jesse to step on the gas. The rest of the way home was fairly uneventful. I came home, took more meds and jumped into my bed. I was quite pleased when I woke up from my nap that I felt pretty good. I thought I had managed to keep a full blown migraine away. So I got up, did some unpacking, threw some laundry in the washer and went about the rest of my evening. Before bed I noticed a slight throbbing in the top of my head with sharper stabbing pains in my right temporal area. I had Jesse rub my head a little, plopped on an ice pack, popped some meds to help me sleep and nodded off. For the first time in my life, I was awakened from horrific pain. A pounding in my head that was so great it was unbearable. In all of my years I have never experienced a migraine so bad. It truly was a 10 out of a 10 on the numerical pain scale. Now I KNOW what that means. Even after all of my procedures on my head and years of suffering...this was by far the worst. As Jesse was holding a bucket under my chin to catch the projectile vomit that kept spewing out of me...I begged him to take me to the ER. Apparently at one point I even told him I was going to the bathroom to hang myself. I do not remember. I desperately sprayed DHE up my nose several times. At some point, something worked because I fell asleep sitting up. The migraine continued for about 30 hours before any real relief came. I have been having residual head pain since and am contemplating calling my neurologist for a steroid dose pack. I can in all seriousness say I would rather die than go through what I went through Saturday night.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm Baaack

So here I am...back to reality. 

Jesse, Brendan, Zachary and I spent the last week in Orlando.  While it wasn't the spectacular, exotic location I was originally hoping to go was still a vacation.

A vacation away from work, house cleaning, bill paying, pain...(or so I hoped).

We started off last Saturday by going to my sister's new house in St. Pete Beach.  We had some drinks, ate too much food, mingled with friends and kayaked off the beach in her backyard. 

We made our way to Orlando that night around 8pm.  The next couple of days were spent by the resort pool, drinking cocktails, going out to eat and shopping.

Monday night we walked through City Walk and saw The Blue Man Group.  The acoustics were phenomenal, but parts of the show were a bit odd.  Even for me...and I have a very open mind.

The most shocking part of the show, however, was when they mentioned ME!  Me and "My Headache".

According to the folks at Blue Man Group...I need to use some guided imagery to cure my aching head.  Imagine my head as a field...and my headache as a cow...NOW KILL THE COW!

Yup...that's what they said.  I still have no clue how they knew any personal information about me.  Maybe this blog?  If so..."Hi guys from Blue Man Group"!

Anyways...I'd love to "kill the cow"!  But will someone please tell me how?

While we did plan on visiting some theme parks in Orlando...we opted not to.  We decided waiting in hot, long lines in the middle of July was not our idea of vacation. 

We walked through Downtown Disney, ate at Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex Cafe and went through all the touristy shops.  My favs being Basin, where I bought a massage bar and Almond Sugar Scrub and The Tea & Spice Exchange where I bought some loose tea and salt.  One can never have too much salt!  Or butter for that matter!

A new store at Downtown Disney is Little Miss Matched.  So sad I do not have a little girl!  But I did purchase some cute socks for myself that will go perfectly with my pastel scrubs!  Or maybe not so they are "mismatched".

Thursday we went to Seaworld's water park, Aquatica.  Jesse's parents, nephew, my sister and her family all came up and joined us.  It was a great day. We were all fried in every sense of the word later that night!  Burnt and utterly exhausted!  But it was a blast and well worth it.

So my vacation was overall relaxing.  I was thrilled to be able to spend uninterrupted time with my boys, eat lots of yummy food, indulge in one too many mixed drinks and haul in a ridiculous amount of new loot from my shopping binges.

Now it is back to reality.  Back to working 12+ hour days.  Back to paying bills and being broke.  Back to babying my throbbing head and searching for relief that I know will never come.

Does everyone else out there get the post-vacation blues?  Because I definately have them!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Off We Go

Getting ready to leave for our summer, family vacation! Be back in 9 days! Hope you all have a great week!

Love, Jess

Sunday, July 10, 2011

All Fired Up

I went to Dr. Feelgood's office on Wednesday for a routine follow up and a medication refill.  When I first arrived, the PA...whom I love...came in and assessed me.  Then, what came out of her mouth next had me bawling and having an instant panic attack.

She told me that after discussing my case with Dr. Feelgood, he felt that he had explored every treatment option and that this was basically the end of the road.  Then she said she wasn't sure if he even intended on following through with my medication refills.

I am on a number of medications currently, which I am not proud to announce, but one is an extended release opiate.  One that Dr. Feelgood prescribed to me back in Febuary because nothing else was effective.  This isn't really effective either as far as head pain, but it does help tremendously with my joint and muscle pain and stiffness.

So...I totally panicked for a couple of reasons.  #1...I was flabbergasted my doctor was giving up on me...and #2...if he did not refill my meds, I could and most likely would go through potentially dangerous withdrawal from going cold turkey. 

The PA went out and brought Dr. Feelgood in to see me immediately.  He instantly put my mind at ease.  He said he was not giving up on me as a patient, but that he was incredibly frustrated that the insurance companies override his medical recommendations.  Specifically the neurostimulator trial and the stay at the clinic in Michigan...and that he was out of any other options to give me.  He also stated, as any good doctor would, that he could not continue to prescribe me endless amounts of narcotics indefinately.  Which, obviously, I understood and completely agreed with.  So, that being said...he is bascially insistent upon me changing my insurance when open enrollment at my employer comes around in Novemeber.  I had thought about doing that when they refused my stay in Michigan, and now even more so that they refused the stimulator trial.  He agrees to continue seeing me every 6 weeks and refilling my medications until I switch insurance companies and go to Michigan. 

I am skeptical about going to the clinic as I have heard mixed reviews about their care.  But, I guess I will never know unless I go myself.

Either way...I need to make a change.  I cannot continue on this path of pill popping.

So far nothing else has worked.  Not Occipital Nerve Blocks, not Botox, not Medial Branch Blocks, not Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation, not medication, nothing.

While massage and chiropractics give me relief during the session, as soon as I am done with the treatment, I am back to where I started from...and alot of times in more pain.

So as of now...I plan on continuing with my medication and ice packs and occasional massages and praying that one day relief will come.