The $62,000.00+ Headache

I hate this title because it implies my headache is over, giving it a total dollar amount. I still have head pressure, that amount is JUST from the 4 days I spent in the hospital. 

Over $62,000.00

For a headache.

Yes, we do have insurance so that is not our amount, thank all the gods old and new, but how crazy is that. FOUR DAYS. No, I did not sleep on beds made of bald eagle feathers or eat lobster or caviar, or anything else that wasn't straight up hospital food. 

Which when your fighting nausea, "food" means pretty much just hot water run through various gross things. Mostly old coffee, or what was probably coffee beans at some point, who knows how long ago, and BROTH. Which is you guessed it, also dirty hot dog water run through what tasted like million year old bullion cubes and possibly old sweat socks. 

Don't get me wrong, I mostly slept for 4 days and people brought me food and I didn't have to do a dang thing except try to get comfortable, find something on regular TV and sit through commercials (UGH!) because they don't have DVR in the hospital, despite their insane Comcast-like pricing. You would think Comcast would be ALL UP in the evil hospital system, wouldn't you? 

It's a natural partnership.

Take it from someone who has waited for both an insane amount of time. One on hold on the phone, and the other for what felt like HOURS to come turn off the alarm just so I can go to the bathroom.

What I didn't get into in my last post about my month-long headache, was the fact that after the Spinal Tap they considered me a Fall Risk. Which is ironically always true, but in this case the only RISK from me standing up was me getting sick. I never even came close to falling. However, to protect themselves from potential law suits, whenever anyone is the slightest bit dizzy they put you in this "Fall Risk" lock-down situation. It's a nightmare.

You have to call a nurse BEFORE you can get up to go to the bathroom. If, sorry WHEN, the nurses are busy and take forever, if you happen to take matters into your own hands and stand up? A HUGE, LOUD ALARM SOUNDS. Right by your migraine-addled head. Awesome.

I don't know if you've been in a hospital lately, but you see a doctor for a total of 15 seconds a day, and nurses seem to only come into your room when they know you're asleep to put a needle in your arm and then immediately disappear again. 
When I explained how painful the whole situation is to someone being rehydrated by IV and told to drink large amounts of caffeine to ease the migraine, this was their solution:
The nurses gave me their mobile numbers. 

This way, instead of just pushing an easy little button on my bed's remote control, I could now have to turn on a light, look and see who was my nurse at this hour, look up their number, get the phone and CALL THEM just to have them tell me, 
"Um, I'll be there as soon as I can."

Instead of just pushing the dang button right by my head.
That's so much better since sitting up makes me sick.

Other than that, and them not noticing my IV got all jenky in the MRI and formed that painful golf ball of liquid, the nurses were great. I'm not even going to talk about the Bedpan Incident. TOO SOON.

Whatever nurses make, it is not enough.

Anyway, I wish I could wrap this up like an episode of House with a sarcastic line and an amazing diagnosis but I'm no Hugh Laurie (is that House's name?) and this isn't TV, so I'm sure this will end like pretty much ALL of my medical mysteries: Unanswered.
And with tons of crazy prescriptions because: America.

One such beauty is Nasal Spray, which is one of the most disgusting ways you can start your day. Unless you make the mistake of saying that out loud around my husband, who will then proceed to talk about things that are in fact more disgusting. The only one I can mention is,
"It's better than swallowing OTHER PEOPLE's boogers."

We have no idea what's going on, or what caused it at this point. My doctor seems to think the migraine was triggered by a combination of whatever viral infection my kids brought home from school like the class pet to infect us all, sinus pressure from that and allergies, and stress hormones which my body is currently not handling well. 

I'm trying to get back into yoga, and walk for exercise. That is supposed to be effective treatment for stress hormones and all that jazz: Exercise. Just what you feel like doing when you've had a headache for a MONTH, but the only other thing she suggested were some medicines and seeing a neurologist.

We have HMO so the soonest they can see me is October 13, one MONTH from when I called them. Awesome. Thanks, United Health Care. I'm just glad I have not had a migraine this whole time. Just a headache. 

That is also getting better. I don't reach for pain meds the second I wake up anymore. I've been waiting until the pressure gets really bad, currently around 10:00a.m. which is an entire DOSE of medicine later than last week. Hopefully my poor liver is still alive to hear this news. I've been at the MAXIMUM number of both Tylenol and Motrin every single day for 3 weeks, so I can't even drink. 

At least things are going in the right direction. I'm sure everything will be golden now that we've had our magical eclipse of the Super Blood Moon last night. Right? I don't even know if it happened because I live in the Midwest where it's always cloudy. And Branchy. 

Have you seen that commercial about satellite? 
If not, here it is and it's actually pretty funny:

That's all I have time for, as I'm now weeks behind in every single thing in life: Work, laundry, you name it.

Happy New Moon on Monday all.


The Latest Thing That's Trying To Kill Me

Want to feel better about your life?
I assume that's why you're here so I'll get right down to it.

I've had a migraine for ELEVEN DAYS now.
Today is Day Eleven of some crazy thing that at this point is trying to either teach me a lesson, or maybe just kill me. And right now, either way, let's just GET ON WITH IT already.
I wish he would just SHOW HIMSELF already.
I've forgotten what it's like not to have a headache. It's been that long. 

I woke up last week Thursday with a regular old headache that comes along with having a family, and by Friday noon-time I was ready for the ER.

My sister drove me there thankfully, I can't imagine an ambulance ride with 2 small kids and I really don't want to think about how that would work. At the ER they did some tests, CAT scan and a Spinal Tap, which it turns out is a real thing and not just a parody rock group that goes to Eleven. Though it did send my migraine to an Eleven, and beyond.

Apparently when they take fluid from your spine, fluid that acts as a cushion for your brain, there is a risk that you could cause yourself phenomenal pain and lose the ability to be upright for a number of days, maybe even weeks. This risk was downplayed by the ER doc for reasons unknown. 

The actual risk(s) of this and everything are still unclear to me thanks to so much information being available in our phones, that it has become an insurmountable task to even know which information is even close to what you might call truth.

I spent four days in the hospital with various people and things trying to kill me, including a compromised IV that formed a golf ball of IV fluid (and pain) to form in my arm and is still there. It's now down to a painful little grape-sized ball that no, you cannot touch and see how hard it is because it HURTS when you touch it. 

Got that nurses? When something hurts, DO NOT PRESS ON IT AND WATCH MY FACE FOR A REACTION. I realize you have to take your entertainment where you can get it in life, but pushing on that which hurts is exactly why karma delivered me to you hurling stomach bile for days right in your face. 

I have to give nurses credit for that. I don't know how a person steels themselves against other people's bodily fluids, but every nurse I threw up on did not even flinch. They stood there, ON PURPOSE, holding those ridiculous little plastic boxes that look way to small to be for vomit, yet there they are in 2015. 

When my own children, that came out of my body, get sick anywhere near me, I still have to shut my eyes tight and go to my happy place. But these angels just stood there, looked right at me, moved my hair out of the way and asked if I needed anything. That's some superhero sh|t right there. Arm grape ball of pain forgiven, all things considered I suppose.

So enough about bodily fluids. That part of my nightmare is getting better. Since then I've been able to spend a little longer and longer each day upright. If I force myself to stay upright longer than my brain can handle, I feel like I will vomit. So I've stopped fighting it and when the pressure gets bad I will lay down. I don't know what else to do frankly.

I did see my doctor, who thinks the original trigger was a combination of a viral infection (though she did say they use that a LOT as a culprit because there is no treatment for it and no way to discredit it as a culprit. Convenient ey?) Also sinus pressure and stress/anxiety. Also hard to discredit. Whether you have kids or not, you have stress. Woke up alive? Then you probably have some amount of stress in your life. 

My next step is a neurologist. I called and they're hoping to see me mid-October. That is  ONE MONTH from now. So yeah, I'll just have a headache for another month. NBD.

She did prescribe some low-dose prescriptions in an effort to look like she did something. It should be fun to see how all of those interact with someone in pain and always on the border of nausea.

I will write a follow-up when any other information is available, and/or I have any advice to give you on migraines, and/or I am able to write any jokes about the situation. You can see how well that's going so far. 

Not well.

The only advice I can offer is:
Try everything.
For me, almost nothing works. 

Laying down takes the pressure off, so I don't feel as much pain that leads to nausea, that leads to more pain.....
So now I just need to figure out how to live a full, satisying life laying down. Piece of cake. Blanche Deveraux's dream life, am I right? Sign me up.

Being a mom this way? Hmmmm....

Driving? That may be an issue.
Yes! I just need a side car! From fromtuoitrenews.vn

The major narcotic medicine they give you at the hospital took my pain away, but they didn't want to give me a prescription for that at home. All things considered I agree. Anything that your body can become addicted to, you would have to have withdrawal from. That could include headache. No thanks. I've become almost comfortable with the level of pain of my unwanted visitor.

The other things they recommend for migraine?
A joke.
My brain laughs at all essential oils, steeped ginger, soothing music, ear plugs and eye mask. Slightly help, but not much. I have to use the ear plugs to chop vegetables, and learned the hard way that you do NOT chew raw carrots with ear plugs in. Never do that.

I've taken to eating very quiet foods:
Soft fruit, like bananas.
That seems weird, but it's what I'm craving.
I wonder what cotton balls taste like?
Still better than kale I'm sure.
This is the only time in my life I do not want a taco. It feels weird to even type that. I mean, if you brought me one, I would take one for the team.

I stopped fighting the pain days ago, and just kind of roll with it. I'm down to one OTC Tylenol or Motrin every few hours. That means I almost always have some degree of head pain, so I move slowly (yes even moreso) and when the pressure gets really bad I lay down. This is my life now. With 2 small children. If it doesn't get better you'll see me researching euthanasia or something. 

The nice thing is when people find out you've had a headache for that long, they do ask how they can help you. I'm not even sure what would help me, it's just nice to see humans humaning. Even the neighbor, the one I did not murder, sent a text asking how she can help. I love that. 

My sister helped immensely at the beginning. I mostly just need someone to take my little noise-makers away for awhile. That helps. So. Much. They can't help they are headache-makers, they're kids. 

My 3 yr old should hire herself out as a professional Noise Maker. For parades and New Year's Eve? Who wouldn't want that. 

Anyway I'm just wondering if this is what my life will always be like. Will I just have a headache forever? Am I to be the mom who always has a headache? And my poor Stanley Roper-esque husband will be mad because I'll still find a way to demand husbandly duties.
"It promotes good blood flow! Relieves pressure! Other SCIENCE words I can't think of right now!"

Speaking of that, the pressure is building right now, must be the stress of mentioning Stanley Roper so down I lay my head. Peace out for now.

Be glad you have your health today, you never know man.