10 January 2009

Got some sleep!

Well, after only getting a couple hours sleep yesterday (including a 1 hour nap in the morning), I decided not to try to force specific hours on my sleep at this point. So, I stayed up until I was really tired (12:30 a.m.) and went to bed after taking my meds. I was awake again at 3:00 a.m. but fell back asleep in an hour or so. I then woke up every hour or so, but was able to go back to sleep pretty quickly each time. However, I kept this up until 1:00 p.m.! I finally woke up for good then, but stayed in bed another hour petting PandeMonium and Diablo.

So, I really just got up and took a shower a short time ago. The headache today is pretty intense and localized (probably why I kept waking up), and I just feel kind of washed out today. At least I don't feel punch-drunk from lack of sleep!

I never did hear back from any of the doctors. I'm back in the waiting mode. Bobby and I are planning on going to St. Louis next weekend (Thursday - Sunday), so I'll be calling the neurologist office on Monday to tell them to schedule the CTA scan early in the week or I'll have to wait until the following week.

Meanwhile, I'm still drinking water rather than soda 99% of the time. I do still have one occasionally, mainly because I'm just tired of no flavor. (All of those flavored waters and diet sodas??....almost all have aspartame, which gives me hives if I have very much). So, since I don't drink tea or coffee, I'm pretty much stuck with water.

We don't have specific plans this weekend as it's difficult to plan since we don't know how bad my head will hurt from day to day. I'd love to go to a movie, but I know the noise level would be well above my tolerance level. I got some new books (thanks, Jean!), but can't read them right now as concentrating for long enough to read more than a page or two is almost impossible. Even writing this is pushing it; I've had to stop a couple times just to let my mind rest. I start having lots of typos if I try this for too long. Therefore, I'm stopping now. Time for another mind break.

09 January 2009

Can't Sleep

As you can tell from the time of this posting, I'm awake before 2:00 a.m. I've gone to bed at 10:00 p.m. for each of the last 3 nights (trying to set a regular sleep schedule) and I've awakened frequently throughout the night. However, Thursday it was almost 11:00 before I fell into a sound sleep, and I was awake shortly after midnight. I tried to fall back asleep, but after 1 1/2 hours of tossing and turning, I gave up. I got up, put on my fuzzy robe (thanks, Mom!) and came out to the living room. The headache's worse now than it was when I went to bed, so maybe that's why I couldn't sleep. I think that tonight I'll take my medicine at the same time, but just wait and go to bed when I feel tired. I figure that pushing for a regular sleep schedule is less important than just getting sound sleep.

No, I never heard anything from the doctors, except for the nurse calling to find out if I had a day/time preference for the CTA. I guess they're at least working on that!

08 January 2009

Still Waiting

Nothing has changed since yesterday. I'll be calling doctors' offices again today and waiting for answers. So far, the Nortriptyline does not seem to be making a difference against the headache. I'm also not sleeping well (though it supposedly has some type of sedative affect). Since I'll be adjusting the dose after a week, I'll wait and see if I just need a different dose. Of course, it could take 4 - 5 weeks to find the dose.

It's amazing I can feel the least bit depressed with both the Sertraline and Nortriptyline in my system, but I think I've pretty much reached the end of my patience. If I could just start getting some answers about anything, it'd help a lot.

I'll update if/when there's a change.

07 January 2009

First try of new drug

Well, I started the nortriptyline last night. No change in headache today, but I really didn't expect an immediate difference. However, doing some research I discovered that the nortriptyline is a type of anti-depressant. I've been on Setraline (Zoloft) for years now and it's a different type of anti-depressant. There is a potential of bad interactions between the two, so I'll be calling the doctor and asking about the dangers before I continue on.

I'm still waiting on blood test results and the CTA.

Meanwhile, I've started working on the lifestyle changes the neurologist recommended so I can try to avoid getting diabetes. I'm now drinking water (got some lemons so I'll drink more) and I'm trying to set a schedule for sleeping. I'm sure I'll still have an occasional Fitz's Root Beer or Mountain Dew, but it will be water the vast majority of the time. I had a real tough time falling asleep last night as it was several hours before I normally go to bed. We'll see how that change works.

One of my friends has offered to sell me an elliptical machine she does not use! Awesome! Sometimes it pays to ask, doesn't it? Hopefully, I'll have it within the next week or so and I can begin getting more exercise. I don't think that half block walk to get my mail really qualifies.

As I get more information/updates, I'll pass it on. Thank you all for your prayers and support.

06 January 2009

Neurologist visit

Well, I just got home from the appointment with the neurologist. He did all kinds of neurological tests (go figure!), and looked at my CT films and MRI test. He really needed some blood test results from my regular doctor, which he had not yet received. At this point, he said the spots on my brain are "very non-specific" and he saw nothing else abnormal on the MRI. However, he is going to schedule me for a CTA, which is a type of CT scan done rapidly after injecting a dye. This will allow them to see blood vessels and that type of thing so he can see if any of the vessels are enlarged (vasculitis). They'll call me once that is scheduled.

He said that headaches can be caused by some type of infection and may eventually go away. However, I hadn't had any type of recent infection prior to the start of the headaches in November. So, since regular types of painkillers didn't do anything for the headache, he gave me a prescription for something else to try. I start out with a small dose and increase it each week until I reach the max or find a level that stops the headache.

He also told me to make some lifestyle changes, including going to bed and getting up at the same time each day! Hmmmm, do I go for that 2:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. sleep schedule my body prefers or an earlier schedule that I can stay on when I go back to work? At any rate, that will probably be a difficult change for me.

He also wants me to lose weight and watch my sugar intake to avoid getting diabetes. He said I'm certain to get it without making changes. He wants me to start with 3 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day and work up to 20 - 30 minutes a day. Well, I knew I really needed to be exercising, anyway. I just need to figure out some good cardio exercises that don't require gym equipment. If I have to go somewhere else to exercise, it won't happen. He recommended an elliptical machine, which I don't have. Anyone around KC have one they're not using? The sugar will be slightly more difficult to eliminate. I don't drink coffee or tea and I'm allergic to common artificial sweeteners, so my usual drinks (soda & Kool-Aid) are out. I guess I better start liking water more, eh? I have to get some lemons...I'll drink water if there's lemon in it. All this may not have a direct bearing on the headaches, but the healthier I am the better, right?

Odd thing about my weight though - - - I would swear that my last visit to my regular doctor (3 weeks or so ago) my weight was 20 pounds more than what it was today! I'm going to have the nurse look at my records and find out. I don't feel any thinner, but you'd think 20 pounds would be noticeable!

So, I'll start the new drugs tonight, wait for the CTA to be scheduled and pray the headaches go away. I'll also keep pestering my doctor to get those blood test results to the neurologist. I'll also start working on those lifestyle changes.

Off to see the doctor...

I'll be leaving in a few minutes to go see the neurologist.  I'll update this blog later today.

See my blog at http://jaxkid.blogspot.com

05 January 2009


I now have an appointment tomorrow morning with the neurologist! Woo-hoo!

Good morning!

14 hours of sleep later, I feel almost human. Between the pill (may cause drowsiness) and lack of sleep, I fell asleep last night. Aside from short periods of wakefulness, I slept for about 14 hours, starting at about 7:30 last night! My head still hurts intensely, but at least I'm not dragging from lack of sleep.

For excitement today, I'll be contacting my doctors and the HR person at work (need updated forms). Doesn't that sound thrilling? If/when I get information about an appointment, I'll let y'all know. Until then, assume the pain and waiting simply continue.

Hope to tell you more soon!

04 January 2009

I want some sleep!

The headache is now so bad I couldn't even sleep. I went to bed about 1:30 a.m. or so (fairly usual time for me), fell asleep sometime after 2:00, and was awake again shortly before 4:00 a.m. I stayed in bed, finally dozed off a while later, only to be awake before 6:00 a.m. at which point I decided to just get out of bed.

The pain now generally covers a larger area and seems to be getting a little worse each day. It's hard to maintain patience as the pain intensifies, but there's not much else I can do. I tried taking some Percocet the other day, but it still did no good against the pain.

I sure hope I get a neurologist appointment soon. If the pain keeps increasing, I'll end up having to go the ER route, and I'd rather avoid that episode if I can.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!