Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bad Headache #21 2009

No Pet Scan

My day yesterday started off just fine, got to the PET scan facility, and waited and waited and waited. I had noticed the note "need pre-approval" on my paperwork I signed at the door. Apparently my doctors office forgot to get insurance pre-approval for the PET scan. Getting the pre-approval took so long the PET scan got canceled, and then found that Anthem Blue Cross Blue Sheild denied the the PET scan after going to my oncologists office. The Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield doctor in his infinite wisdom told my onocologist that I couldn't be allergic to all contrasts and I needed to see an immunologist/allergist. Since he had not bothered to look at my extensive Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield medical record before he refused the service, he didn't notice that I have been to an immunologist/allergist and that I have a "mast cell disorder" that became evident as I started having anaphylactic or anaphylactiod reactions to various medications and all CT, MRI, ERCP, IVP contrast materials that use mast cell reactions for contrast (pre-medicated or not) and the documented recommendation by the last radaiologist who had to deal with one of these saying "only on the threat of end of life" should I have contrast. So now I wait. I told the oncology group I didn't care if I had a PET scan or not, I needed to find out - but now they are going to appeal (another at least two weeks). They must have bought interest in the PET machine so they have to use it! :) I hate insurance company folderol, I used to be a manager for a BCBS so I know its all folderol. Anthem has a especially bad reputation for refusal of services but they bought out the local BCBS so there we are.

I then went to work, and the boss had decided to "shake things up a bit" by rearranging our decidedly unworkable work areas. Yeah for me I get a private office area!!! Boo because everyone else gets moved to communal work areas, including the guy who had my new office. I know it is because we are ramping up to a new platform, and I am supporting the old platform. Life moves on - but since I won't be here for moving day, I packed up my desk so someone else would not have to.

Maybe that's what set The Headache off. In spite of the goof with Anthem (bless their stingy hearts while they outsource American jobs to the Phillipines) I was in a pretty good mood yesterday, but I know that physical activity can set me off, and boy did it!

I left work at around 4:00 pm because The Headache was pounding, but I thought I could make it home. Nuh uh - I was halfway through town when The Headache pounced, ramping up to full glory in four quick throbs. I drove myself to the ermergency room, and I'm not quite sure how I got there. The pain was so severe, I debated pulling over and call 911 but remembering where I live I thought it would be quicker to drive to the ER, which was 30 minutes crosstown. I was at the "Oh God Oh God Oh God" level of pain and threw up all over the interior of the car just a block from the ER. I was in bad enough pain and unfortunately looked bad enough that the other ER patients waiting in line to sign up parted like the Red Sea for Moses. One sweet lady actually told the ER clerk that I needed to be seen first. At this point I was in such pain that my arms were shaking and my legs were starting to go and tears were dripping down from my bad headache eye.

Generally at this point I am at home where I am not under the observation of others. I have trouble talking and thinking when The Headache is at full pain. I have been hoping that The Headache had lightened up, but no deal. This was The Headache telling me I was a fool! Bless the emergency room people they got me back to triage and then to a room, but it was another 30 minutes (at least it seemed like it) until they got medication to me. They tried oxygen through a cannula because they thought it might help the pain, but it was too little too late. Then I had a headache cocktail of phenergan, Benedryl, torradol, and fentanyl. This allowed me to lay still, but the pain kept pounding on, just a little under the maximum. I think that is when the doctor came in and asked me what else they could do (this aggravates me somewhat - I know they don't see a lot of people with hemicrania continua - probably none - but I am in such pain when The Headache peaks out I can't think). I beleive we decided in consensus for some solu-medrol and more fentanyl. This brought The Headache down below a nine on my personal pain scale, and dropped my blood pressure a little. At least I could think! And I had some self countrol - not rolling around in pain for all to see!

My brother got a friend (thank you Bean!) to drive him to Springfield to pick me up, and drive me back home in the vomit car. I was discharged from the ER at 7:00pm and I slept off and on most of last night and have gotten up this morning early because The Headache is at the bruised brain stage. It hurts to look out of my left eye, it hurts to move my head, and it hurts to think. I have a meeting this morning at 10:00 that I need to attend and I am hoping I can make it.

I am thinking of getting a MD visit with my personal physician this afternoon and seeing if I can get a couple of extremely strong pain pills to carry with me. With the nausea issues, I'm not sure if I would be able to keep them down, but I fear being in places I can't get to medical care in (such as airplanes) when I am get in such pain so quickly.

Sigh. I think The Headache is up to its old tricks, two bad headaches in a few days, one off the scale. Guess I am glad I passed the psych eval.
Oh, and by the way, artwork that I use that is derived from someone else I generally (if The Headache is cooperating) put a link on the artwork to where I found it. So just click on the artwork if you want to see in original context.

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