bronwynrh: (Default)
Blech. I should have known when I woke up this morning. I was feeling a little gross, and over the past hour, the stabbies and nausea and vision whackiness have begun.

Look out the window. . . Rain! Well, that explains everything!

Fucking brain barometer.

Time to pull out the sunglasses. Time to make all the coworkers stare at me. Yay.
bronwynrh: (me boat)
Hello, LJland. Not a whole lot going on in my world; at least, nothing out of the ordinary. I spent last Saturday and this Saturday at Panera with Jeff. I think I can handle it and enjoy it for 8 hours, but yesterday it stretched nearly to 10. I think 8:05 was too much :)

But hey, I get free food, all the coffee I can handle, a comfy chair, and the people-watching is pretty damn good. I know I enjoy the time more than Jeff does, poor guy. They got killed yesterday and the Jeffster got stuck playing barista for 4 hours straight. Stupid understaffitude. Stupid GM who nods and says, "yes we're understaffed, we need to hire lots of people. . . " and then does NOTHING. Jackass.

It's kind of hard to run and manage a store when you're quite literally swamped behind the milk steamer for 4 hours. Ya think?

I also wound up with a migraine yesterday, that started shortly after we got to the store at 6 am. (Yes, you read that properly.) I drank a couple of cups of coffee, then dropped a Phenergan in hopes of knocking the migraine out. Well, I knocked myself out, that's sure! I tried to read, but found myself reading the same couple of lines over and over again because I was so drowsy. It got better after a while, though. Last night the migraine came roaring back quite suddenly. Within about an hour, I went from "oo, ouchie" to "o fuck me this HURTS!". So I dosed up with phenergan and toradol and went to bed early.

On the bright side, that's the first real migraine I've had in about 10 days, so I guess it's good. On the downside, I think the Cymbalta is attacking my tummy. I read somewhere that our digestive systems have their own "brain", so to speak, driven by seratonin just like our brain-brains are. So taking this SSNRI (which affects two neurochemicals, not just one) can screw with the brain and help with depression and headaches, but it also can screw with the gut-brain.

All this to say, I can't eat much anymore without feeling nauseous. Stupid me, I'm a slow learner. My mouth says, "Yum! Feed me more!" so I eat the yummies and then my stomach totally revolts. Blarg. I've only puked once, but I've wanted to plenty more often. I'll learn to work on eating less and more frequently or something to control the nausea, I guess. I can deal with the discomfort to a point, so I'm going to try my best to work with it - if it turns into the constant dagger-in-the-gut that was Topamax, I'll quit, but not until then.

I think this stuff is working, and I'd hate to have to give up again.

In other news, life in the lab is going swimmingly. I still don't have a project to call my own, but I'm making progress with the things I'm working on, and I'm much more comfortable with the system. I have to give a presentation in the first week of November. . . that'll be the real test :-/

I'm still having fun over at Distributed Proofreaders, watching myself climb through the rankings. 59/2618! *dork* I've been reading about the woman suffrage movement, a couple of historical novels, a 1631 publication on orchards and gardens, the poetry of Omar Khayyam. . . so much fun!

In my spare time :) I've picked up my cross-stitch project again, and have re-read Robert Graves novels I, Claudius and Claudius the God, and have just started another read of King Jesus. If you've never read any Robert Graves and you like ancient history, READ THESE! Since I can't really afford another trip to the bookstore right now, I'm going back to my own library for reading material. I've got the list of your recommendations in my purse, though.

So that's it. I'm at the lab now, and Jeff's at work. When I'm done here, I'll take a leisurely stroll home - about 2.5 miles. Yes, I remembered to wear my sneakers!

OW!

Oct. 3rd, 2005 01:10 pm
bronwynrh: (wet)
Alright, dammit. Which one you uncrossed your fingers/failed to toss salt over your shoulder? Huh? 'Fess up, you non-friend, you!

Saturday night, I got hit with a bitch of a migraine, and in spite of my pounding away at it, it won't go away. ARGH! I hopehopehope that it's only a matter of the botox wearing off. If that two weeks of relief were just a fluke. . . I may have to kill somebody. This is awful.

Let's see, drugs taken in the past 48 hours:
Saturday nite - 1 phenergan, 1 toradol
Sunday a.m. - 1 phenergan, 1 toradol
Sunday noonish - 1 migranal
Sunday 3 p.m. - 1 phenergan, 1 toradol
Sunday 9 p.m. - 1 phenergan, 1 toradol
Monday 7 a.m. - 600 mg ibuprofen (just for a change)
And now, 1:20 p.m., I'm taking another dose of migranal because I'm still in pain.

Tomorrow is botox day, thank Harold! This is driving me batty.
bronwynrh: (Default)
Botox for sufferers of Chronic Daily Headache (that's me) is going to go into Phase III clinical trials for FDA approval. Happy joy.

My insurance co. has already approved me for botox, so I'm just waiting for the neuro clinic to call me in for my first round. I can't tell you how much hope I'm pinning on this. Hopehopehopehopehope

Ever since I left the hospital I've had a headache. I had two pain-free days this weekend, and on those days I felt weird. Like I was missing something.

That's so wrong.

So here's to more hope for Redefining Normal.

I'm back

Jun. 12th, 2005 07:38 pm
bronwynrh: (Default)
I left the hospital on Friday evening, thoroughly fed up and still in pain. Hell, I'm STILL in pain now. All that for nothing.

What follows is a letter I wrote to Radley Balko over at The Agitator. He's been chronicling the effects the War on Drugs is having on pain patients and the DEA's out-of-control war on pain doctors. It's absolutely tragic and the recent Raich decision makes the situation even more frightening. Radley received a letter from a pain patient, which you can read here. Another reader suggested that the Raich decision is something like a order for government-sanctioned torture. Certainly something to think about.

Read more... )
bronwynrh: (Default)
I don't want this stuff in my body ever again.

Page 5: Deep sleep, from which patients can be aroused, and coma have been reported, usually with overdosage. That would explain the 14 hours of Sleep of the Dead.

Page 6: Motor Restlessness: Symptoms may include agitation or jitteriness ... These symptoms often disappear spontaneously. Indeed. No wonder they gave me the Benadryl. I wondered but was too miserable at the time to ask.

Page 7: Pseudo-parkinsonism: Symptoms may include: mask-like facies; drooling; tremors; pillrolling motion; cogwheel rigidity; and shuffling gait. Reassurance and sedation are important. I had my face buried in the pillow when the restlessness disappeared, so the drooling was absorbed. I remember hoping no one noticed it. Yikes. Just plain yikes to the rest of that shit.

(side note: NIN "Closer" just came on my player. Sweet. Purchase pending.)
bronwynrh: (grrr)
One dose of Frovatriptan, one dose of phenergan, one IV dose of Depakote, plus IV doses of Compazine and Benadryl (given to me at the neurology clinic), plus two doses of Toradol at home and 14 hours of sleep later. . .

I still have the little fucker tapping on my right temple every once in a while. I'd like to know what I did to anger my trigeminal nerve so goddam much? Huh? Really. What did I do?

I walked over, ok shuffled over, to the neurology clinic yesterday at around noon when I realized this was going to be a doozy. Jeff came an hour after the depakote had been in, and I felt as though nothing had changed. I was nicely hydrated, thankyouverymuch, but otherwise still in agony. Dr. Recober then ordered the benadryl and compazine. Holy cow. I turned into a squirmy wormy thing.

When I have a migraine, it's like there's an invader in my body. I want the invader evicted. With this stuff, it was like there were millions of invaders in my body, and I wanted out! GACK!

Jeff said, not without a note of amusement in his voice, "you're stoned". That shut me up, mostly because I was thinking to myself, "damn if this is being stoned, why in the hell would anyone ask for this?!? This is hell!" I felt like I was going crazy. Finally, the pain started to subside, although it never really went away. I just wanted to go home. We finally did go home, and I went to bed and to sleep for about 14 hours, interrupted only for a break to eat a grilled cheese sammich and to take a shower. Oh. And to take those two Toradol and my other medicines because the stoopid headache was still there.

Whattanight.

But hey! I'm back at work, and I'm currently running a gel. My First as a PostDoc. Awwwww.

Also, I'm STARVING. I think 10:30 is not too early for a lunch prelude, do you?
bronwynrh: (birdie)
I'm floating on a sea of phenergan and frovatriptan. Whoa, dudes.

I woke up with a pokey stabby pain in my neck that has turned into the tell-tale pokey stabby pain through my neck and right eyebrow.

Jeebus, it took 8 tries to type that correctly.

I think the super dopey feeling means that the pain relief is soon to come. I hope that's what it means. I'm sipping lab coffee in the meantime to counteract the D'UH sensation. Seriously. Whoa, dudes.

Alok is going to take me to the enzyme core for a little shopping. Maybe I'll have him take me to biochem stores, too while we're at it. It's nice to have a chaperone at times like these.

I actually have big ambitions for today in lab. PCR, a little cloning, a transformation and plating. Kid's stuff really, but more mol bio than I've done in about an eon and half. That's what it feels like, anyway.

We'll see how that goes.

Yes, yes yes. I think the pain is subsiding. Thank HAROLD for GOOD DRUGS. And LJ just witnessed it. Wow.

Holy hell, I hate these fucking migraines.

By the way, we are on Day 3 of 50mg/day of Topamax. We've had three migraines in the last week. The first one was slain with a dose of Zomig. The second (on Sunday) with a dose of phenergan and Toradol and a three-hour nap.

Today's dragon still lives, but it does seem to be whimpering somewhat. Let's hope it doesn't get a second wind.

. . . And my primers just arrived, which means I can make a stab at that mol bio now. Let's see if I'm any good at designing primers in Pseudomonas. It wasn't easy.
bronwynrh: (Default)
25mg/day, week one completed.

Observations:
1. I'm sleeping better, I think.
2. I may be a wee tad more clumsy than usual, which is hard to believe. One of my nicknames is "Shakes". I only notice it when I feel particularly hungry or tired, though.
3. Speaking of hungry, I could feel as though I'm about to fall over dead from hunger, but already I can't clean my plate. Hello, appetite suppression. Welcome back to my life.

I'll have to sit down and have a thinky session. Meals will probably not work for me anymore, since I can't eat enough in three sittings and I wind up too hungry in between. I'll probably have to switch to mini-meals. Totally doable, but it requires better planning and shopping skills.

Most important: no migraines.

Granted, the timing is such that I wasn't expecting one this past week.

The plan is to stay at 25 for at least a month. So much of the literature says that Topamax doesn't work at less than 200 mg/day, but I would like to test that for myself, thank you. My new neuro appreciates my expertise :-) and is letting me take charge, pretty much.
bronwynrh: (Default)
I posted this tonight. In my cynicism, I've always thought that group therapy and group stuff was all bs stupid. I still joined the migraines community because migraines are such an isolating condition and I really wanted to see what others were discovering/dealing with/fighting whatever.

What a great group.
bronwynrh: (US)
Jeff and I just watched that Something-After-Tomorrow disaster flick on pay per view. CHEESE! Never mind all the bad science. It was entertaining though, and we had a few laughs at the expense of the Northern Hemisphere.

Our Turkey Day was a pretty good one. I missed my folks, but not as much as I will at Christmas. I've spent many Thanksgivings with extended family and school friends and boyfriends (current and past) so although I always miss my parents, I'm accustomed to not being with them on at least this particular holiday. Had a nice chat with mom on IM and then on the phone, though, so we did touch base.

Around noon, we headed up the road to Jeff's parents' house where we spent the next 8 hours nibbling all sorts of goodies and sipping eggnog and wine. I think it was [livejournal.com profile] platofish who once mentioned Fat Bastard wine. Well, we had a bottle of Fat Bastard Chardonnay yesterday, as well as a bottle of Pighri (I think that's the name) Pinot Grigio, plus another couple of chardonnays. I was eating and drinking little bits constantly, so I never really felt much of either the food or the wine. Never felt stuffed, never felt tipsy.

None of that prevented us from suffering hangovers this morning.

The man had to be at work at 8 today. Why? I don't know. I don't think he saw a customer or received a call until 10. What a waste of time. I stayed in bed, but for the few minutes I was up to get water and a second Triptan and my last Phenergan tablet. Stupid migraine/hangover combo. I lay in bed and tried to ignore the whipping blades and shadows of the ceiling fan as I finished reading Watership Down, pausing only to do the anti-nausea breathing exercises. Somewhere between 9 and 10, I tottered out to the kitchen to make tea and toast, and then stationed myself on the couch to wait out the wooziness.

Tonight, Jeff and I are both feeling a bit off-balance. We've been fighting a little nagging something for several days, and I think the cigarette smoke and wine and activity from last night pushed us that much closer to whatever bug is pursuing us. We're trooping on though, sipping some cider. [livejournal.com profile] sinnie's recipe certainly looks better than my simple concoction, but I'll copy her next time and do much better. For tonight, it's just plain ol' cider steeped with mulling spices. Smells SO good.

I can't believe how quickly the days are slipping by.

Nerdslut

Jan. 29th, 2003 10:33 am
bronwynrh: (Default)
"You attract your partners with your wallflower charms, intelligence, and thirst for knowledge. Chances are you look cute in glasses. You know when to cut loose and this can be exciting and fun for those who manage to meet your high standards."

nerdslut
What's your sexual appeal?

brought to you by Quizilla

Heeheeheeee Is this me, or is this me? HA!

*sigh*

------

On another note. . . I seem to have exchanged the migraines for these strange sinus pains. I even had a bit of an earache this morning and just now, as I was typing this up, I got a jab in my right sinus (same side as the earache). Fantastic.

Hrm. I'm not congested or anything, at least, I don't feel stuffy-headed. But boy-howdy, have I had the sinus headaches going lately.

It still beats the migraines, so I suppose I should be grateful. Ok. I'll be grateful. Grateful with reservations.

---------

Nerdslut. Har.

Nerdslut returns to her petri dishes now, and then will get back to her soon-to-be publication and the presentation she is working on for tomorrow and next week.

Perhaps she will stop referring to herself in the third person as well?

Maybe.
bronwynrh: (Default)
We leave for Houston tomorrow morning, early early early. I would say bright and early, but at this time of year, such things are mutually exclusive.

If any of you are following the Migraine Saga. . . started with a headache Saturday morning and the tenacious little bugger is still hanging around. It gets better for a little bit, after I bang at with a Frova, but then it comes back 12 or so hours later. Erg. Right now, I'm walking the fine line of relief thanks to a couple of Midrin (Trying the 50-cent solution instead of the $20 one).

The stress level - or was it just absolute frustration? - this week was not helpful, to say the least.

But the good news:
I will be restarting the Topamax tonight, so maybe long-term relief is on its way.

The class that has been giving Dave and me fits of, "My GOD will this never END?!?" and other comments I won't offend your eyes with now has, finally, ended. We've been sent our scores, but I must say that for one thing, they made no sense to me whatsoever and for another, I couldn't care less.

I'm outta here, bay-bee!
bronwynrh: (Default)
Well dammit. Dammit all to heck.

So I told you all on Monday that I'd begun taking Topamax, the putative wonder drug that was going to banish my migraines forevermore. I had a lot of hope. A whole lot of hope.

I also had an annoying little side effect called menorrhagia. Follow the link if you really want to know what it is. The definition sounds severe, but it really isn't that bad right now. Granted my dose hadn't increased yet, so the menorrhagia may have gotten worse. I don't know.

Anyway, I called my neurologist this morning, told him it was annoying, but not that bad, what should I do? He said stop taking it.

But it's not that bad, really, and I'm not active right now, so pregnancy isn't an issue, can't we just wait?

No. Stop taking it now, try the frovatriptan if you get a migraine and we'll try to come up with something at your next appointment.

Fuck. I am so disappointed right now, I'm almost sick about it. And I'm getting a headache. Goddamit.

Maybe I'll wind up back on the elavil, at a higher dose. Which means I'll be dead tired in the evenings and I'll probably gain weight. Fantastic.
bronwynrh: (Default)
Nothing like starting out an important Monday morning by oversleeping an hour. Geez.

6:50, I sleepily roll over and look at the alarm clock. It's set, but hasn't gone off. Why? Because I didn't reset it to 6 like I should have. Dammit! Mooooom! I screwed up! Help!

After I help massage out a charlie horse I probably induced in her leg, I run to jump into the shower while my poor wonderful mother makes a lunch for me. She starts my car to warm it up while I get dressed and chug down a Carnation Instant Breakfast.

I do take the time to note down the numbers of IUPD and Parking OPs, just in case I have any sorostitutes to deal with this morning in the parking lot, an issue I'm almost looking forward to dealing with.

I drive to work, almost get hit by a blue-hair who runs a stop sign (it's not just the kiddies who don't know how to drive around here), and pull into a HALF-EMPTY parking lot. Yes, it seems there was a parking lot pogrom of sorts last night, as there was not a single non-permitted vehicle to be seen. A beautiful sight, let me tell you, but a little disappointing, as I was also geared up for a fight.

So I made it into the lab on-time, in spite of my oversleeping, and checked on my cultures, to find that I should have grown cultures of a larger size. So I spent about half an hour crunching numbers, trying to rescue my experiment. Hoping it will work. Praying it will still work. Please, bacterial gods, let this still work. An hour and a half and a case of carpal tunnel syndrome later, the experiment is begun and incubating (happily, I hope) on my bench.

Let's see, 16 plates times 12 wells each . . . that's 192 individual squeezes of my pipet bulb (out) and 64 long squeezes of the bulb for fill-ups. Yeah. My wrist hurts. And my cultures are about 10 times more dilute than I wanted them to be (my fault for not starting larger cultures), but oh well. This is a 3 day experiment, after all. I'm sure it'll all work out in the end.

Not that any of this makes sense to any of you. Sorry.

A while back I was griping and complaining about my headaches and migraines. I won't bother to link you guys back to the posts of gripes and complaints, just suffice it to say that it's been about a year-long trial of weight-gain and headaches and migraines as I tried several different migraine prophylaxis medications, none of which seemed to work.

I tried a beta-blocker, which essentially turned me into a slug with a resting pulse of about 50. I was tired all the time, I could barely motivate myself to get out of bed, much less work or move, and I still got migraines.

Then I tried elavil, an old antidepressant. Killed my night-life, as it knocked me flat in the evenings and I still got migraines.

Then I tried verapamil, a calcium channel blocker. I was on it for about 3 weeks and stopped because, although it lowered my blood pressure, I had a headache every single day and I had two very severe migraines, one of which drove me to the emergency room. Very not good.

That last one convinced my PCP to refer me to a neurologist, with whom I had an appointment last week. He gave me a prescription for Topamax (Topiramate) - the wildly popular anti-epileptic drug that's also prescribed for manic-depressive patients and migraine sufferers.

Its most common side effects?

Weight loss and increased libido.

Wow.

Its cost for me per month (working up to 200mg/day)?

$305

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

This better work.

Of course, for the first time in, oh, six months, I haven't had a migraine in about 2 weeks. So I felt badly about starting to take the medication two nights ago. What's up with that? I HAVEN'T had a migraine and I'm feeling GUILTY? *sigh*

I don't know what to think. These darned things are so sporadic. I can go two weeks without one, then go two weeks having one every other day. I just don't get it.

One word of advice though - stay away from over-the-counter meds for headaches. If you regularly take tylenol or ibuprofen or excedrin or some other analgesic-of-choice, beware. They can cause you to get into serious rebound loops where you actually become dependent on the medications. If you think you may be in such a loop, try to avoid taking all OTC analgesics for about a month. It may be rough at first, but I bet you'll find in the end that you'll have fewer headaches.

Well, that's about it for now. My Carnation Instant Breakfast has worn off. I think I'll give my poor wrist a rest and eat a Nutri-Grain bar.

*groan*

Sep. 14th, 2002 09:48 pm
bronwynrh: (Default)
Two words: Migraines Suck

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