‘There’s a lot of us out there that just can’t even get out of bed’: Living with crippling migraines

https://www.9news.com.au/national/migraine-pain-exclusive-symptoms-new-drugs-australia-mother-forced-to-give-up-job/2a86822d-4c9f-4970-8cc2-0fa505a169f4

Personally, the CGRP drugs I’ve taken have been a nightmare. One of my doctors said, “Your body isn’t a big fan of medication.” Not those that don’t fucking work!

The Mind and Mental Health: How Stress Affects the Brain

https://www.tuw.edu/health/how-stress-affects-the-brain/

Recently, a friend reminded me how much stress is affecting me. For the umpteenth time, I will have to talk to my doctor about a full neurological workup because I am not myself at all. Dizzy, anxious, burnt out, exhausted to the point where I can barely keep my eyes open, yet I am not getting the right amount of sleep. Last night, I broke down and took the prescription I had previously mentioned. I slept under seven hours, but was mentally awake for most of that time (which means I was not hitting a real REM cycle); I just couldn’t move, and when I did, I would drink some iced hibiscus tea, which I keep in a big Starbucks cold cup, and go right back into finding a comfortable spot, especially since I woke up a little before midnight with a cat firmly attached to my feet. She doesn’t usually spend her nights with me, so I knew she was worried about me. That’s when she becomes maternal. I then woke up from a headache and an anxiety attack which piggy-banked into a full blown panic attack. At 1:30 in the morning. For no obvious reason, and by then, she had wandered off.

Stress can break you down. I should be calm and a little more laid back as certain things in my life are going really well, but for some reason, my mind is not on board. I hope there’s a way to find out what’s wrong and get the help I need before I am hospitalized and having to relearn how to do things. It is scary, but this has happened in my family, so I am well within my rights to be concerned.

I am trying to take it easy, limit stress, and hopefully I can manage this without lashing out at my doctor later this month. I feel he has been hesitant and irresponsible when I’ve presented all the lead up symptoms to what I m currently experiencing. If he blows me off again, I will schedule an appointment with someone new, and fire him by year’s end. Unfortunately, I feel this is is something I need to do if he refuses to take it seriously. I can’t exactly go to Urgent Care with something I’m deeply unsure of. Yet, I know my body and I know something is wrong. I’m praying it is something that lifestyle adjustments will fix, but part of me feels it’s worse.

Praying for less stress and better days.

Where Did This Month Go?

I blinked and it is January 31st. Another mindfuck.

I’ve had a lot to say, a lot to think about, and a lot I didn’t write this month. I’d start to say something and it would irk me, so I’d draft it and move on. In the meantime, I did manage to read over sixty books this month, so it’s not all bad. That’s a damn good achievement. Most of what I read was for research purposes and it will carry into February. The goal is to educate myself on specific topics, and get the information I am looking for while I read. I don’t do a lot of leisure reading these days. There’s a method to my madness.

I had an in-office medical procedure performed last Monday. I’m mostly used to it at this point, but man did it hit me hard. I was in so much pain after the fact, I actually fell asleep (In fairness, I nearly fell asleep multiple times in the waiting room before my doctor came out to see me. The medication I take should have had me wide awake and a little off-center, but instead, I was ready to nap.), whereas after this particular procedure, I often have trouble sleeping. I am still recovering from it (Recovery is approximately two full weeks, give or take. If I didn’t have an autoimmune disease, my body would respond differently.), and also dealing with some new (to me) aspects of Fibromyalgia pain. I get rib pain on my left side a few days before any type of storm hits (rain/snow). It feels like I’ve been stabbed in the back, but if cold air hits my lungs, it makes it so much worse. When I brought this up with my doctor, he blew it off completely and told me my lung x-ray was clear. That was many months ago, and I’m still in pain and still being ignored. I have also since had a really awful sinus infection which required two different antibiotics, so when I talk to him about coughing and associated pain, I hear him not taking my concerns seriously. As per usual.

One of the positive signs, once the state of emergency is lifted (And I have no idea when that will be, as Massachusetts cases are still quite high on the North Shore.), will be when I am able to safely make an appointment with someone new, and fire my current doctor. Believe me when I say my review of him will be honest, but fair, and it might come off a bit harsh, but since becoming my doctor a little over a year ago, he has been predominantly useless on every level. I don’t need any more useless physicians; and no one deserved to feel this way when they turn to a physician for help. More than once I’ve nearly suggested he go back to medical school. I have a Telehealth appointment scheduled with him for February. Since he’s gone back and forth with me, first saying, “We will find the source of your pain.” at my first appointment (and continuing to reassure me over time that this would be achieved.), to suddenly saying, “We may never find the source of your pain.”, I feel justified that he isn’t capable of handling my case. It isn’t my fault that I suffer from something he isn’t trained to handle; but it IS a failing of his medical education. The fact that he has other patients with almost the same medical history as mine is scary. I wonder if they’re content with his treatment or if they are being treated better, worse, or about the same. This is probably the first time I’ve questioned if we’re all getting the same treatment. I’ve noticed some people are being treated better based solely on their insurance. Mine covers damn near everything, so as a physician, if you’re changing up treatment methods based on insurance, you are failing your patients. I see so much lazy medicine, it drives me insane. I shouldn’t be doing work for a doctor. That isn’t right, or fair. I work hard enough without having to do extra work.

I will be making a small list of goals for the month of February. I will choose three, to keep it reasonable.

For starters, I will be supporting the American Heart Association for American Heart Month. You’ll notice the colors change monthly for whatever I am choosing to bring awareness to. Sometimes this will mean weekly color changes. Links are included in case the charity (or charities) I choose is something you would like to give a small donation to.

I chose AHA because genetic heart disease and heart attacks have affected more than 50% of my family members, starting with my paternal Grandfather, who died at age forty of a massive heart attack. My maternal Grandfather also passed away from a heart attack. 😦 I lost my mother the same way, and nearly lost my brother a few years ago to the same genetic disorder. I’ve been mildly assured I am not carrying the gene, but I am wary about it, and worry about passing it down. For all the good genes I have, heart issues are not at the top of the list. 😦 I am doing my level best to be healthier to avoid potential issues. I am determined to be my version of healthy, as opposed to an unhealthy mental version of what health should look like.

If there are any diseases you’d like to see me feature this month (or in general), please leave me a message here, or on any of my social media platforms. I will reply.

For now, I say goodbye to January and hope February will be kinder to us all.

Bright Blessings,

copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Checking In Post-Procedure

Hello, everyone. Nothing major to report. I should be okay-ish in about 2-4 weeks. I had a minor in-office procedure done this afternoon and practically ran out of the building screaming because, sick people. If you’re sick, please stay home. Running to a hospital attached medical building might not be the smartest decision. I was there for continuity of care, or I would not have been there at all. I was as careful as humanly possible, but I’m sick of having to be. I am sure you feel this way, too. It’s a LOT.

This week, Peace Talks by Jim Butcher is on my reading list. I included a link in case you want to check out his books (Start with Storm Front, link included). I can’t believe how long I’ve been reading Jim’s books. Fun fact: He and I share the same birthday. The first time I read his work, I immediately knew he was a Scorpio. Jim is a brilliant story teller. If a friend hadn’t recommended his books to me, I never would have found 5-6 other authors, some of whom are friends all these years later. Everything happens for a reason.

I’ll get some writing done, too. After all, it IS my job. 😉

Anyone have interesting plans this week or a book they want to share?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I usually try to post about this during the month of October. This year, I may be late in doing so, but I still wanted to mention it.

I don’t know a lot of breast cancer survivors. Maybe three, in total, and each of them chose different options regarding how to treat it. I know more people who have been tested for the BRCA1 gene. One friend was shocked she didn’t have it, mainly because her mother had survived breast cancer (And is alive and well to this day, THANK G-D!), so she was expecting the gene to be present.

I have an 18-24 month wait to be seen in order to be tested for this gene, unless I can convince my primary care physician to order cancer screening. He is hesitant. If we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, I would have already moved on to another doctor.

Self-check yourself monthly. I do it twice a month because I’m a lunatic. If anything feels or seems off, make an appointment with your doctor and don’t be afraid to pursue a mammogram at ANY age. My cousin died very young from breast cancer, and at the time, her birth control pill was found to be the root cause of something they didn’t detect until just prior to her death. Medicine is more advanced now, so do whatever you have to do in order to have peace of mind. And men, there has been a vast increase in male breast cancer, so if you don’t feel right, talk to your doctor about it.

Even during a pandemic, we all deserve quality health care. I know many of us aren’t getting it, myself included. I will discuss it another day, but for today, schedule that mammogram as a precautionary measure. It might very well save your life.

NarxCheck Score

https://apprisshealth.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/02/NARxCHECK-Score-as-a-Predictor.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1_sjXVb9mEp8jPvk0UC_oA7-O2wRD22-YPt7l7fEcyI1s2HldZXbx9bvU

This is an important piece of information for pain patients, as well as sufferers of any chronic illness in the United States. I’ve asked one of my doctors at least once a year if I was red-flagged for any of these reasons, but now I share this information with everyone so that they can determine for themselves if they would have a high score or a lower one. I fall into the low category, which I can assume is the only reason I’ve received small prescriptions for pain medication twice this year and once in 2017.

You all have a right to know about this and be an educated patient. If you have any questions, I will try to help.