Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bad Headache Days 35 & 36 2009

Travel Travails

Made my way back from Cleveland Thursday, delays delays delays with an hour on the tarmac in Chicago coming back. The smells of airplane fuel and hot tarmac compounded with hot humidity and airflight turbulence shook my brain into a state of pain.

I arrived at the airport late, and was only able to drive about an hour before I had to get a hotel room and spend the night. The Headache was already starting its run Thursday night and its still going today (Saturday). I'm pretty well not doing anything, trying to make it behave. I tried to work yesterday but called it quits very early. I hope to work from home tomorrow if The Headache behaves itself.

I did take the RTA system in Cleveland (public transport), and I have to say they have a pretty good system there. My study coordinator Lilly walked with me to show me a shortcut to a rail station that cut almost a half hour off my trip back to the airport. Thank you Lilly!

My incisions are healed, and a nice doctor (my specialist had a family emergency and couldn't be there) prescribed some lidocaine dermal patches for the nerve pain I am having under my right shoulder blade. Used one last night and it worked. Will see what happens tonight, but I am afraid it may have aggravated The Headache, so if The Headache gets worse I won't be using these. These were designed for post-shingles nerve pain, so it seems to soak right into the nerves near the surface of the skin.

I can now swim - no hot tubs - so maybe I can swim a little before the summer ends. I don't think I will be going into any lake water, but maybe some swimming pool water would be nice. I have healed very well, especially since I am diabetic and that makes me a little riskier for post surgery infections.

The St. Jude Medical/ANS representative took a lot of time working with the programming of my stimulator. I did complain about the travel, but everytime I go I get a different rep so I am sure my complaining did no good. Fortunately I think I am near the end of the travel portion of the study. I have one appointment in two months, and then one at six months (December?) after implantation. The ANS representative said that at the next appointment they will turn on all the programming and will be able to customize it to my needs. I also got a new "paddle" the radio frequency connection between the controller and my battery pack/lead. I thought I just wasn't able to find my butt where it is implanted (although it is a good sized target) but I guess it was a defective part!

I drank orange juice yesterday morning before I remembered my headache specialists warning about high potassium levels and increased levels of pain. Yes, it did ramp up The Headache worse. I tried drowning it out with water, but too little too late. She said when possible drink lots of water when the pain starts ramping up to wash out the potassium. A nurse told me once that potassium also increases nausea, so it makes it hard to drink more when you want to throw up more.

I wish there was a lidocaine patch I could slap on my brain! The Headache is winning today. I'm going to crank up my new stimulator program I see if it helps when nothing else has. I'm extremely tired and my thinker has quit thunking so if this post is a little disjointed I'm blaming The Headache!

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