Teechur Posted August 4, 2013 Share Posted August 4, 2013 Now are there 3 and 4 or 4 and 5? Finally got a referral to the UW (University of Washington) Headache Clinic and was SO blessed that after five weeks of processing the referral, I got in relatively quickly. The first opening was in November, BUT if I was okay seeing a Resident and then the doctor (so the Resident would do all the intake) I could get in the next week. Yahoo! It was like I'd won a date with George Clooney! (Husband says no, I cannot date GC because he is responsible for my SAH as I had it when we went to see one of his movies. I say it was the reservoir-sized diet soda that I was holding.) Anyhow...This is the third and fourth neurologists, if you don't count the neurosurgeon (my original, "It'll be fine in 4-6 weeks, you can go back to work Monday" doctor). I actually truly felt listened to. I mean like the first time, really truly listened to. It did not feel like they decided as soon as I walked in just what was wrong and how they would cure it. They truly listened. I first had an extensive written questionnaire that asked questions I'd never been asked before like what makes the pain worse/better, what is the quality of pain, what type of pain, etc. Then a long interview that lasted quite a long time, again with questions that I felt should always have been pertinent like "Does the pain get better or worse throughout the day on a bad day?" The main neuro went over how pain neurons work and told me that she felt that even after 18 months my brain is still healing (even though another neuro told me that the scans show it had healed) and that the pain neurons were firing on all pistons. That can happen sometimes after a brain injury. Apparently if you have a family history of migraines (I do not) your brain can "turn them on" after a brain injury as well but since I hadn't responded to any migraine treatments, nor had the family history, that was ruled out. They encouraged me to buy a book called "Stahl's Illustrated Reference for Pain and Fibromylagia" which is a medical textbook, so I don't have enough knowledge to understand all of it. However, we went over some of the illustrations and she showed me the mechanisms that are at play with the medication I was currently on (Amitryptline) and told me she would never have put a woman on that high of a dose because of the weight gain. I gained 9 pounds the first week I was on it and have had to restrict calories to keep that full gain at 11 pounds.* Then she showed the next medication she was going to put me on, Gabapentin and discussed how that worked, and eventually she wants to try Cymbalta, but the nerves need to settle down first. So she reduced the Ami to 25mg per night, added 300 mg Gaba, a B vitamin complex (has already helped with my dizziness upon standing), and a supplement called SAMe. So far no love. I had bad bad BAD headaches the first four days after, I suspect partially the change in weather, and partially the change in meds. But then I had four good days of light headaches and periods of no pain. I knew the first test would be this last week when thunderstorms were headed our way. They came early and unfortunately brought headaches (close to going to the ER pain) with them. So I am hopeful. I didn't expect anything to work immediately. She did say that no, they would not be forever. She was also surprised that my original doctor even put any kind of a time on the headaches, because she says that we simply don't know because each person is different. (She had told me they would last only 6-8 weeks.) She also poked holes in the concern that after one year I was about as good as I'm going to get. Plus she, well they LISTENED! They heard me when I said who I was, and encouraged me to keep running and add strength training (I already do). They also encouraged daily sun, outside, soak it in during the morning hours and a SAD light for Winter because that can help the body with natural pain killers. They also did NOT act like there was one road that we are all getting on and even if it is evident that it's not necessarily going to get us to our goal, we are not getting OFF by-God! That's how I felt being treated with migraine medications because I don't have migraines. I will admit to being down today. It has been over 18 months and I truly feel that nothing in the headache arena has changed in the last year. School is back in session in less than a month and I am still dealing with 1-2 really bad days a week; days that will keep me in bed some weeks. I foresee another school year of trying to make it through the end of the day, and not being the teacher I used to be. That is very important to me. I will now be two years (school years) out so none of the kids will have been here when I had my SAH so won't understand the issues I have. I will have to educate them about it, without sounding like a whiner. I'll have to do it carefully as I get to know them because if I happen to have anyone who decides he doesn't like me, that can provide ammunition for causing problems. (This is not something that has happened to me very often in my 18 years of teaching, where a kid has disliked me for some reason and has tried to really intentionally hurt me emotionally or physically, but it does happen. That's why we have to be so careful about what we disclose. I had a colleague with serious chemical sensitivities and all the parents knew, all the kids knew, so one day three boys decided they were mad at her and literally doused themselves in cologne, which sent her the hospital. The parents, rather than discipline them, went to the media when the school suspended them, and she eventually was forced out of her job and had to take medical retirement all because some insensitive jerks wanted to "get" her.) So I am tentatively hopeful with the new doctors (and the new Doctor 'cause I am a Whovian). I sure hope this is a better school year. At least, so far, my administration understands. I am so fortunate because it happened when both of my administrators were new here! They could very well assume that I'm just a hypochondriacal nut job just as easy as take me at my word that I used to be a really good teacher. (No. Really.) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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