Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bad Headache No. 1 2010

Ambulance Ride to The ER

Haven't been blogging much the last few weeks as I have been traveling for work and have been very tired.  It's going to be a year for travel if I manage to stay employed.  After last weekend, I'm not sure what I should be doing.

I had a very tiring and stressful week - not bad stress, just stress of trying to accomplish my mission for work in an environment where the client's decisions impact my ability to succeed.  I am very goal oriented, and last week fell back to my old habit of doing "what it takes" to get the job done, regardless of the consequences to my health.  I did it again this week too, am going to have to give myself a pep talk about self care to bring myself back to practical goals that don't send me to the hospital.

Friday The Headache was trying to make a comeback.  I had worked long long days for the last 10 days before, and The Headache had had enough!  I drove the two hours home that night just hoping I could make it there without having to pull over at a nearby hospital.  I was difinitely bumming.  I got home, and Saturday cleaned house, did my grocery shopping, cooked dinner after not sleeping at all Friday night.  The Headache seemed to go back to a simmer, but Sunday it was blazing back to full blast.  Worst headache I had had in months.  I had forgotten how bad it can get.

I had been having pain like this every three to four days last year, so I guess one day so far this year is a big big improvement (thank you occipital stimulator!!).  I had not realized how bad The Headache was getting and by the time I knew I was in deep doo doo, I was in the shape where I could not drive.  I called an ambulance, and once I got to the nearest emergency room I was in so much pain from The Headache that all I could do was shake from the pain.  I was basically incoherent, so it was a good thing I had not tried to drive.

The emergency room PA (physician's assistant) was so nice, he asked what I normally took and I managed to stammer out the list of meds - fentanyl or dilaudid (my preference fentanyl because I'm not knocked out for hours) benedryl, solumedrol, and phenergan.  Apparently phenergan is not supposed to be administered IV anymore (I never had an issue with it but I guess it's not to be given that way just IM injections) so I got compazine instead, which makes me twitchy but does stop the nausea.  Instead of solumedrol, I got decadron (dexamethasone) which is a much harsher steroid but lasts much longer, and I got benedryl and fentanyl.  It took a couple of hours but I got better, with The Headache going from a 9.9 to a 7 on my pain scale.   My sister was able to come and pick me up so I was able to get back home.

I was still working at the client's site so the next morning I struggled to get ready and pack and head out.  The decadron took my voice away - steroids do that to me.  I go from a tinny Minnie Mouse voice to a baritone Miley Cyrus voice.  Not sure why, just another example of why steroids are not a very good thing to have to take!!  I stayed at the clients until yesterady evening, and have worked a little from home today and will go back to work tomorrow.

It may be the steroids, or maybe just the shock of the intense pain, but I am very shakey today.  My legs are wobbly, and I am having a lot of trouble concentrating.  The Belly is acting up, but I know from past experience steroids mess with my pancreas so I'm guessing that is why.

I am supposed to go to the client's again next week.  Sigh.  Not sure if I am physically up to it.  You know, I found this job seven years ago and it has been a dream job for me.  Love the work, love the people, love the clients.  I'm not ready to let it go, but I'm not sure if I can figure out a way to accomplish what I need to do.   The new trainer that was hired has already left the company.  I can honestly say I didn't scare her off, as I have been at the client's all this week, but I am very discouraged because I wanted to have someone I could hand responsibilities off to so if I needed to fade off the job I wouldn't feel I left my bosses in the lurch. (Wow, was that a run on sentence or what??  I'm blaming the steroids!)

The Headache is being contrary this evening probably because I have not rested it this week either.  I am going to take a pain pill for The Belly (I haven't been taking any because they seem to aggravate The Headache) and go to sleep.  Hoping you, my friends, have a pain free night!


  1. SO sorry your head reared up on you like that! I get really shaky, too, when it gets bad. Sleep well, and take care of yourself. Even if that means not diving headfirst into the work. Sometimes you have to say no. I really miss working, though, so I know where you are coming from. :/

  2. Thanks Stephanie. I am always saddened by how many young women like yourself are afflicted with disabling headpain, and count myself lucky it didn't get me totally down until my late 40's!

    The saying NO is a hard thing for me to do when I go into "overdrive" mode. At the heart of me I am a die hard workaholic.

    I'm taking a step back this week and trying to rest, but the nagging thoughts of what needs to be done and won't get done are hard to get rid of...

  3. It's so tough when the medication for one issue aggravates another. I hope you can find something soon that will help your belly and head start feeling like yourself again soon. I know how hard it is to slow down and struggle with that as well. I hope you can keep enjoying your dream job until you want to give it up.

  4. Thanks MP. I feel like I'm on a merry go round that won't stop and really isn't so merry. I've forgotten what it feels like to be normal, so I guess I just need to get used to the new normal, eh??