(Actually written last week)
Okay, You know how I go on and on about my long term hoo-ha with migraines.
Well, I've pretty much had a headache since New Year's Eve morning. Not necessarily a migraine, and there were one or two days in there where it was barely noticeable. Some days I was convinced it was "just" sinus. Although, I have to be careful, because ANY kind of headache can be a "trigger" for a M. But many of those days I have woken up in full blown "my head has exploded and I can't find all the pieces" mode. Dizzy, nauseous, weak, pain that goes all the way out my left arm to my fingers, my whole left side tingles, I can't concentrate, light hurts, noise hurts, lifting my head from the pillow is almost impossible. And yes, I tried all the obvious, including heat, ice, stretching, lying still, ignoring it (definitely NOT a good call), Maxalt, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, aspirin, acetaminophen, caffeine, Sudafed, guaifenesin, chocolate, wine, and tequila. Not all at the same time of course, but separately and in various combinations. I’ve had good luck with treating migraines with red wine and chocolate. Yes, I know those are both classic triggers, but once you’ve already got the headache, what’s to trigger? Turns out it helps, often. But nothing is touching this stuff. In fact, three shots of tequila, and I was not only still in quite a bit of pain, I was still distressingly sober, which I should not have been after that much alcohol.
I finally decided to go to the doctor. If it is just really bad sinus, maybe some bacteria I got in Mexico that I'm not fighting off well, etc, maybe they can help. So I go in, tell my sad tale of woe, request a sinus X-ray, etc. Well, the Nurse Practitioner that I'm seeing thinks maybe an MRI wouldn't be completely out of the question, either. Can't we spot sinus infection on an X-ray? yes, but, migraine, blah blah something. Have I mentioned that I haven't been thinking clearly or remembering well? So the X-ray looks like yeah, a little infection, sorta looks like it's just starting though (or just getting over it? It HAS been two weeks), but she's going to write me a 10 day script for Augmentin or something, and give me a steroid shot in the butt. And schedule the MRI for Friday.
While I’m sitting there, I have an epiphany about, “What if the headache isn’t the defining symptom? What if my headache is coincidental or along with? And my neck hurts. What if that NECK thing, which connects the two body parts (head and arm) where the two major pains are, is important?
So my chiropractor is in and can see me. After finding out that I’d been in Mexico, he was very interested in the fact that we DROVE for 35 hours to get home. Seems being in a car that long is not good for backs, necks, etc. And yes, that could be a sinus headache I’m having, but it’s also a common area for neck pain to be “referred” to. He puts a heating pad behind me hooks me up to the electric buzzer torture thing (which is actually quite a pleasant sensation) to stimulate the muscles and get them to loosen up. Then after that he “broke” me. I was a little afraid to move, the crack in my neck sounded like I’d been seriously broken. Apparently it was broken free, though. I felt somewhat better.
By Thursday morning, with more heating pad and stretching stuff on my own, I felt fairly decent. Just sort of congested, with pressure on my head, and achy.
We drove to Laurel MS for my Aunt Katherine’s funeral on Friday. A sad but not traumatic affair. She was 76, and had been wheelchair bound for some time after a stroke. But with the going back and forth from and to the church, the cemetery, the church, the hotel, the house, and back home, we ended up spending most of Friday in the car.
Saturday I woke up in agony. One of the top three worst of the last three weeks. Saturday was a loss, I don’t even remember that much of it. Sunday was less bad.
Monday I got to see Kyle (my chiropractor) in the morning, before I went to get my MRI in the afternoon. I also was there Thursday. He puts me on the electrical stimulation machine, along with heat pads, and does some loosen and “cracking” stuff, and it seems to help. Plus I’m doing heat and stretching at home.
I just can’t seem to get things right though.
Last night I had a terrible headache despite seeing Kyle in the morning, and being on day 8 of the antibiotics, and being loaded up on the decongestants. I was really feeling sorry for myself, when the tornado sirens went off. AH HA! I said! It’s not me! My very pressure-sensitive sinuses are just doing what they do when we get bad-weather sudden pressure changes. I immediately felt better, at least mentally. Oh, and the tornado wasn’t in my part of town, although there were a couple of touchdowns, some damage, and power outages.
So, anyway, which is it, the headache? Migraine, brain cysts, sinus, neck pinch, storms? Seems like the answer may depend on what you're looking for, what your paradigm filter is.