Sunday, August 26, 2007
Lady Chloe of Migraine
I have migraines.
I have migraines so bad that my co-workers have called 911.
I have migraines so bad that sometimes I actually think I have been shot in the head and am surprised to find no bullet hole.
This week was the week of three trips to the hospital and 4 trips to the doctor.
Every darn day.
In fact, in one of the ER rooms, I was next to a guy who had broken his back. Guess who was getting the morphine?
So on Friday, I get a bunch of new medications.....a nice change, since one of the ones I used to use cost $42 per pill and I needed to take at least three in 30 minutes to see if maybe it would work. It did., Once. But oh, sweet Jesus, that one time relief was the best feeling in the world.
So back to this week.
I think I have spent in this one week twice what I make in a year...and yes, I do have some really good insurance.
My daughter was with me at the onset of this one (and I think it was just one really big headache, not a series of them). I always, always start out by rubbing my temple, because it sort of hurts, in a way that childbirth sort of hurts.
Then my eyes get black, just like somebody socked me one. Then they get all bloodshot and teary....very attractive. This all happens in about five minutes, which is longer than it takes to get your keys and get into the car. While all of this is going on, my blood pressure (which is a tidy 112/72 because I take care of myself) spikes to numbers like 199/150.
So I spent most of the week hooked up to IV's. The scale used for migraines goes from 1-10; 10 being the worst pain you can remember. I think they need to rework that scale because I go from zero to sixty in about 5 minutes.
Like a Californian can feel and hear an earthquake coming and can gauge how bad it's going to be, I can gauge a migraine. I don't need my vitals taken. I can tell any doctor what it is that I need and how much. I know what the particular drug cocktail will possibly work for me. I even know how long this one is going to take to get under control.
I've learned which three of my veins will always work-the crook in my left elbow is a garden hose, unless it gets blown. Then there is a good one in my little finger and one in my ankle and even though the nurse winces when she runs a line in it, I don't even feel it.
I have learned a whole new vocabulary; words like Demerol and Phenergan and Dilaudid and morphine (which is highly over rated). I know that Valium works better for me if I take it by mouth. I know how to stand on one leg so it doesn't hurt so much and that I've gotten so many injections that my hip feels like Styrofoam.
I've had migraines since October, 1976. Sometimes, I go years without one. This year (and it is only August), I've gone as long as 11 whole days without one. I carry a little pillbox with me, with all my medications, just like a little old lady, because I only have a five minute window.
The doctor's always ask me to compare the pain to something else. Childbirth? No. I had a47 hour labor and it pales in comparison. I've fallen down the stairs and broken my ankle AND driven 45 miles to the hospital...and would gladly do so again in a red hot minute. Step on g;ass and sliced my foot open. No comparison. In short, there IS no comparison.
The thing I miss the most is knitting. And spelling. Well, there is always spell-check, but knitting , which used to be my refuge, has now become like an impossible language to discern. The patterns might as well be written in Croatian. I can't read a measuring tape, so knitting a gauge swatch is just plain silly.
The pleasure I have of making something, stitch by stitch, has become such a chore. I am sure I'll get it back. I'm sure that I'll re-master DPN's. I take a look at my stash and I'm just not ready to ebay it. Maybe next year. I hope not, because I LOVE knitting. I love my bamboo needles. I love the ebony ones and I love the rosewood ones. I like the feel of fiber, slipping through my fingers. I love the clickety clickety sound as the needles work what can only be called magic.
I've given up quilting. I've almost given up sewing. But I think I'll hang onto my needles and yarn for a bit longer.
Maybe these new red pills will work.