Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Quick Update

Hmmm...blogged a week ago. What in the world did I do all week? I worked, I know that. Nothing is standing out at the moment. Until last Thursday, that is.

In my lifetime, I thought I had experienced migraines. I have had headaches in the past that were excruciating. I would have to put things over my eyes to block out all light. Sound drove me nuts. I thought that was what people called a migraine.

Here's the confessional part (and bare with me because I will apologize in the end):

Because my "migraines" had been totally survivable, albeit annoying, I assumed all these people that talked about how migraines put them in a completely non-functional state where slow torture seemed preferable - I assumed they were all just wusses and mellow dramatic. I was like, yah, that headache sucked and I really don't want to have them often. But come ON. I could still function! It wasn't as bad as some of the surgeries I've had. I've taken way worse pain than that in my lifetime.

I was stupid. I was ignorant and arrogant all wrapped up in one self righteous snotty package. And I beg the forgiveness of anyone who has ever experienced a real migraine. And for all the people that I judged incorrectly in the past? I got mine. Oh did I get mine.

Last Thursday, I woke up with a sort of nagging sinus headache. Usually when I have one of these, I let it go and it often goes away with the passing of the day. But it got worse. So I popped a decongestant which usually makes the more tenacious sinus headaches go away. But it got worse. So I popped a couple of ibuprofen which usually does the trick. But it got worse.

By the time Pokemon Boy got home from school (around 3pm), I was in agony. But still about like the worst of the previous "migraines" I had experienced. I could take it but I was going to be whiny. At one point, I stopped working, rubbed my head and said, "Man...it feels like my head is going to explode." At which point, Pokemon Boy became very concerned with whether that could really happen or not. And I mean REALLY concerned. It took some effort to convince him that it's just a saying and not really possible.

However, within about 30 minutes, I was starting to wonder, Could it be possible? Because let me tell you, it really felt like it. The pain had escalated to a level I have never experienced. Even the worst one I had experienced to that point back in January (at the start of some weird bug I had for a week) hadn't gotten this bad.

I couldn't talk. Just the effort of talking in a normal tone made me feel like I'd pass out. Movement of any kind sent me reeling. Laying down hurt because ANY touch on my face, neck or scalp felt like agony. I couldn't stand or sit up straight because I felt like I might pass out any minute. But couldn't lay down either. Finally, I looked at the clock and realized I had to drive to pick up Lil' Bro at preschool soon. That wasn't going to happen. I could barely open my eyes from the pain. I knew I wouldn't be able to drive, walk into the school, get Lil' Bro, drive back, etc. I just kept thinking, "I feel like I'm going to black out or die or something!"

I called my mom and just barely made myself audible. "Mom...I need help!" I can't imagine what she thought. I don't call like that. I don't ask for help like that. Because I'm usually asking for something like babysitting or can you pick up some milk for me. I told her what was going on and that it felt like I had poison in my stomach and Lil' Bro was still at school. She was on her way in a flash.

When mom walked in, I had been kneeling in front of the porcelain throne, willing my stomach to empty whatever poison was in there. Nothing. At one point, the pulsating pressure in my head and neck made me seriously consider the possibility that I'd be blowing some major artery any second. I was wondering if the violence of throwing up might not make me pass out from the force and pain. Getting up and calling "I'm up here" made me feel like passing out.

Mom walked into my room to find me pacing, frantically rubbing my head or stomach or I'm not sure what I was doing. I just knew I felt like I was going to explode. Fortunately, I made it back to the porcelain throne before said explosion began. Poor mom kept bringing me cool wet cloth after cool wet cloth to wipe down my face and neck as my body purged anything it could find - and then some. Later, my mom told Pokemon Boy that I had thrown up so hard, my toenails came out. [We have to remember that these figures of speech are taken quite literally by him. It took a bit of explaining.]

The violence and force of that very prolonged event really did make me think my head would explode. Finally, I was just in so much pain, I got in bed and just didn't care that putting my head on a pillow was agony. My body couldn't stay upright any more. I kind of passed out into a fitful half sleep. Eventually, I think my body just shut down and I actually slept. Mom went and got Lil' Bro from school. Pokemon Boy suggested they go to her house. But she was too concerned I might need her. Man, no matter how old your baby gets, you still kick into mom mode when you need to.

Two and a half hours later, I awoke. No headache and rather hungry. But very fragile. I ate half a bowl of chicken noodle soup (mom fixed it). I drank ginger ale (mom brought it with her). I went to bed when the boys did. Mom pretty much took care of everything. Have I mentioned that I adore my parents? I have? Ok.

The next day, I felt the same pseudo-sinus-headache thing. So I went to the doctor. He said it sounded like classic migraine. "Really? Migraines are THAT bad????" Yes, he said. And in that simple yes, I heard "Yes you judgemental idiot. What do you think all of those people you know and love have been talking about all these years?!" He gave me literature on migraines, some samples of some migraine meds, a referral for a just-in-case MRI brain scan, and sent me home with instructions to get enough sleep.

I took the sample because the "sinus headache" was already progressing. I knew I wouldn't survive a replay. It seemed to work - I didn't feel like it went away - like with other headaches. It really felt like the medicine squashed it. It was still there but squashed underneath some giant something or other.

All weekend, I felt rather punky and tentative. Except Sunday. So I thought I was fine. But Monday, I felt the lurking symptoms. I didn't take meds just to see if it was sinus or not. I hate to risk the migraine but I do kind of need to learn the difference between the signs of a looming sinus and migraine.

I went for my MRI on Monday afternoon. It wasn't at all as scary as some morbid doom and gloomers would have liked me to believe. The "tunnel" they put you in isn't all that long. If you're not claustrophobic, it's no big deal. The MRI machine is INCREDIBLY loud (you can hear a sample here). The earplugs didn't really block out enough of the din. And I had to make sure I took out all my piercings and left all my jewelry at home. I was in the actual machine for 20 minutes. My old boss told me it went so quick because they probably couldn't find a brain. HA!

I doubt they'll find anything abnormal. I was freaked before the test - amazing how all the fear and what-if scenarios attack right before something like that. But I put it all in God's hands. I asked him not to let anything happen to me for my boys' sakes. They need one stable parent.

Anyway, that was my last few days. I still feel a bit funky. But I haven't taken any meds today and haven't had any issues.

Oh I do love a good bunch of mellow drama!!!


Sarakastic said...

I always thought the exact same thing about migraines until I got like half of a migraine, good gravy. See? It makes me say silly incoherent things like good gravy just talking about it.

Kristen said...

Goodness!!! I'm so sorry this happened to you. I'll be praying that the MRI results - and you! - are fine. Thank God that he sent your mom and dad to Texas!

Mary Ann said...

I'm glad you're feeling better now and hope your results are clear. Blessings on your mom!

j said...

I never believed migraines could be so bad until I had a friend frequently got them. I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone. I hope you are feeling better and that everything works out. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Barrie said...

That sounds just horrible. I hope you don't go through this again.