Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bad Headache No. 3 2010

No More NuBain EVER

Ended up in the emergency room last night.  I knew it was coming yesterday morning, but hoped I might be wrong.  Stubbornly I worked the whole day & drove home, but barely made it there with the last 15 minutes of the hour long communte being pure agony.  I thought about driving straight to the ER from work, but that is a big hospital and I would have waited forever to be seen and someone would have had to drive in to get me.  Instead I decided to chance the drive home.

It's bad when you end up at every traffic light praying for it to turn green as the pain mounts and you're not sure you can safely continue to drive, and you're not sure you can even make it home.  By the time I was home I was at the "Oh God Oh God Oh God" stage of pain.  My dear mother made me some ice packs and I packed my head and neck in ice trying to bring the pain under control.  Past the point where I could keep medication down, I slathered on some of the skin cream with phenergan and benedryl, but it was already too late. 

My head pain is sorta like a teeter totter - the pain kicks over center and there is no bringing it back down however hard I try.  Finally at nine o'clock I am way past where I can drive, so I call my sister to see if she can pick me up from the local emergency room if I call an ambulance.  She says she will just take me, which I hate for her to do because her husband is disabled from a stroke and her being away very long is hard on both of them.  She comes and gets me and we drive through the rain the 15 miles to the ER.

I have been dry heaving for the last two hours by the time we get there, and starting to shake all over from the pain - a sign for me that soon I won't be able to walk or talk from the pain @ a 10 on my pain scale.  I'm way past the "Kill me now" stage by this point.  The Headache at these stages surges forward with pain then lets off then surges forward with pain again, each time the pain increases a little more.  Every time I try to throw up the pain surges, so towards  the high end of the pain spectrum it gets pretty bad.  My blood pressure was high enough when the nurse triaged me it set the silly beeping alarm off which is like a drum beat in my head - BEEP pain BEEP pain BEEP pain...Augggh! 

Luckily or unluckily I looked so bad coming in, they triaged me within a couple of minutes and was so bad in triage they took me directly back to a bed.  Within 15 minutes I was evaluated by a doctor and in 20 minutes I was given a big shot of NuBain and phenergan.  I was so much in pain I was desparately thinking "There's something about NuBain I can't remember what it is" but I couldn't remember so I got the shot.  I was out of there in approximately an hour after I went in, which is quick for an ER.

The NuBain definitely made me floaty and sleepy but didn't do a thing for the pain.  Ooops, that was what I couldn't remember.  NuBain makes me throw up a lot, and doesn't help the pain at all - it "suspends" the pain at the level it is - the pain doesn't get worse, but it doesn't get better.  Hours later after I got home, slept and then woke up, the pain is still there.  Now almost 24 hours later the pain is still there, just still sleeping waiting for the meds to wear out and then go again.  I'm trying all my tricks to get it under control, because I don't want to end up in the ER again. Definitely for me, no more NuBain.  Sigh. 

I'm so grateful to my sister for her help.  Too many of my family have had to end up in ER with me in order for me to receive pain medication, because they won't give it to you if you don't have a ride home.  Sometimes I wish I just had a shot I could administer to myself without having to pay the $150 copay just to get pain relief.

All of my weekend chores like grocery shopping are on hold.  Hoping tomorrow will be a better day.


  1. I hope tomorrow will be MUCH better for you. Sounds absolutely miserable. I know whereof you speak. :(

    Wish I could help. You'll be in my thoughts and I'll be hoping for quick improvements.

  2. So sorry it's gotten so bad. Take a bath or a hot shower, if you can. Mint iced tea? Hot soup? I'm like a machine gun of rapid fire headache treatments.

    Take it easy. The chores aren't going anywhere. Unfortunately.

    And bring up the injectables with your doc, I think that's somewhat common for chronic pain patients. Can't hurt to ask. (Well, it can, I guess. They can always label you drug seeking. Yeah, haha. I really need to get copies of my records.)

    May tomorrow be better. :)

  3. Thanks Emily, hoping tomorrow will be better, as today is not so hot nor was yesterday. I tend to have pain in 3-4 day cycles so tomorrow should be on the downside of the cycle, in spite of the non-working NuBain.

    Steph: Thanks! I did take your suggestion of a hot shower. It helped a little! Too nauseated for the tea although it seems like it would very good.

    My PCP is pretty good about not labeling me a drug seeker, as he sees how hard I struggle not to take any.

    Tomorrow is another day. There's always tomorrow. And Steph you are right the chores aren't going anywhere, but if I don't buy pet food you are going to read in the papers about some woman in the MidWest who got killed and eaten by her ravenous dachshund.

  4. Oh Honey!! That's no good at all!!! I also know that the hospital (esp the ER) is no place for a woman in pain to be. But 1 hour is record time!! So that's good.

    Definitely, bring up the possibility of injections to the doc. My neuro and I have not found any daily medication to help prevent my headaches. So I have an abortive medication (Axert along with 3 Aleve) if that doesn't work I have a rescue medication (Toradol intramuscular injection). Since we have started this 2+ years ago I have not seen the inside on an ER for migraines, at least. I also have Vicodin on hand since I can't take aspirin and motrin due to rebound headache.

    Hopefully, you can find something to keep you out of those evil ERs. Sending warm fuzzies!!

  5. I definitely needs some rescue medication. I had some dilaudid, but only had 3 or 4 pills, and over a year have used them up....mostly when traveling and stuck without access to a local ER, especially before the stimulator started helping. Was hoping I wouldn't have to take it again.

  6. Hmmm.... that hot shower idea sounds pretty good. Dear one I am so very sorry for your pain. You are such an encourager despite it all, and gives me strength to continue. Thank you for being real. Blessings.

  7. Thanks JBR!!! And Steph's idea about the shower really was a good one!

    Hope your head is feeling better today too!!! I'm down to just ice pick headpain that comes and goes..very painful when it happens but it doesn't seem to be escalating!!