I Can Kick The Migraine - I Am Strong!
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
I had a radio frequency ablation on the back of my head, on August 16th, that went awry for some reason. So for those of you who know me, you may have wondered where I've been for the last three months. I've tried to sign on to SP, visit my various Spark team pages and sign on and comment on my friends' blogs as often as possible. That is about it for my time spent Sparking.
I have gone back to the doctor, who did the procedure, several times since August 16th due to large amounts of pain and numbness. I was told to be patient and I feel that I've been more patient than the situation warrants. I've never had this happen before and I've had the procedure many times over the last nine years. I know that the doctor felt bad about my situation but he still doesn't understand what it's like to walk around with your scalp burning, a pounding non stop headache, electric shocks going up into your skull and throbbing pain when the wind blows your hair around. He wanted to redo the procedure as soon as the numbness stops and the pain is reduced. My response was NO WAY! Never again. He asked me to reconsider - all I could do was laugh at him and I left the office.
Flash forward to last week....
I have been continuing to do Silver Sneakers twice a week but about three weeks ago, I started to have brain numbing fatigue. It was scary! My mother had at least three autoimmune diseases and I was terrified that I might have developed one of her's as well as my current thyroid disease. Thankfully, my primary care physician continuously checks me for autoimmune issues. Knowing that, still didn't dispel my fear. I saw my primary last Wednesday. He told my that all of my blood work was great and normal. When he was going over my blood work, he didn't see a B-12 test in the results. I expressed concern about the fatigue and body aches. I admitted that I've been lax in taking my B-12 supplements. He did a thorough exam and said that I needed a B-12 shot. So I got one. Boy was he right! About two hours after the shot, the body aches disappeared! It was very weird! (It was like a switch flicked off in my body and the muscle aches stopped) I now have a pill organizer that lets me know if I have taken my daily B-12 and D3 pills. My primary was also concerned about my messed up radio frequency ablation. He examined my head (yes I needed to have my head examined! LOL) pressing here and there until I couldn't stand it anymore. We came up with a possible plan for treating my issue that I took with me to my migraine doctor's visit the next day. That was very helpful.
The next day, I went to my migraine neurologist. She usually has other neurologists or pain management doctors, who do fellowships with her. The "fellows" study migraines, how she treats them and then they look at some of her ongoing research on the subject of migraines. The fellowship is a full year long. Since I have three different kinds of migraines, they love to study me. I've been going to this practice for nine years. Both the "fellow" and the doctor do a thorough exam - including my past history and present issues. On this particular day, they were both concerned about my post radio frequency ablation state. Both fired off quite a number of questions about the procedure, for me to answer. They shook their heads and compared notes. I told them I don't want any more ablations. They both nodded their heads.
They asked me what I'd like to do for treatment. I love that I'm an integral part of my own treatment. I laid out the plan that I had come up with, with my primary care doctor, the day before. Migraine shots were at the top of my list followed by an IV infusion like the one I had last June. The two doctors agreed that the shots were a good viable plan but my current issue is way too far out of control for the IV infusion. Rats! I wanted so badly to have something that would end my pain quickly but that was not going to be the case. My doctor did prescribe two medications that had some carefully crafted instructions for use. One I could start immediately, and one had to be ordered by the pharmacy. I was told to try to stay away from taking Tylenol and other pain medications and continue with my exercise classes at the Y. I'm not sure why the doctor nixed taking Tylenol but I'm following her instructions.(I don't normally take it anyway but I guess I'm just supposed to feel the pain if it increases. Ugh!)
By the time I picked up my first prescription, I was feeling horrible. (Pain, nausea and awful fatigue.). I ended up just going to bed at 6pm. The following day and the day after that, I spent running up and down the road trying to get the prescription that the pharmacy had ordered. Keeping active does initially help the pain level. Keeping oneself distracted is even better. However, there is a huge crash into pain when you rest. Oh well - it is all part of the process.
Saturday came and I finally got the injectable prescription. I had to wait for my hubby to come home in order to take the shot. I was told many years ago to never inject a new medication while you are alone since you don't know how your body is going to react.
I wasn't sure exactly how quickly the shot was going to work. I was surprised that initially nothing happened. I can't tell you how badly I wanted something to work to stop the pain. It didn't happen. The first two nights after the shot, I had trouble sleeping. The pain was bad but not enough to go to the emergency room. It was about an 8 on a scale of 10. When I woke up on Monday morning a lot of the numbness was gone, except for an area about the size of a quarter. In its place was the itching, burning pain that it had masked. It was so much worse! I had a choice to make. Either take the Tylenol or go for additional treatment. I took two extra strength Tylenol and prayed that it would take the edge off. It did. Whew! I was even able to go to our local Spark team dinner but felt nauseous and didn't eat much.
Tuesday, I woke up and my head still hurt. I remembered what the doctor said about making an effort to go to Silver Sneakers (I have been going the whole time so I continued) and I hauled my body out of bed and went. Slenderella61 was my support system. Thank goodness for her and my other friends who offered distractions during the class! The most miraculous thing happened after the class was over. My pain level was the same as it was before the workout! It didn't get worse for the first time since August 16th! I am so thankful!
Today, Wednesday, there is pain but it is nothing like last week. It is manageable today. No Tylenol and no trips to the ER for me today. What a relief. I am so grateful and thankful. I am hopeful for the first time since my botched procedure. After all of the issues I've had over the last 3-4 years, I really didn't need anything else to go wrong. But...it did. It was beyond my control. I am working on recovering once again. But......I know I can do it because I am strong.