-- In His Strength: Headaches www.superfluousbanter.org

In His Strength

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength --- Philippians 4:13

Friday, July 09, 2010


Why post about this? I don't know exactly. Writing tends to help me sort through thoughts in my head; whether they be thoughts I wanna remember, such as a great experience I just had, or sorting through emotions of a difficult situation. I guess this is the latter.

God, WHY?

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!

I have struggled with headaches/nausea/vomiting for, oh it's gotta be at least off and on twenty years now. It started around the time of Jr. High, give or take a few years. I believe it was just the vomiting at first, and so we saw doctors about my stomach. We then tried countless medications, some working for only a short time before doing nothing, others doing absolutely nothing, still others making me ten times worse. Yikes! The problem just kept getting worse. I believe at one point a doc said something about too much stomach acid. After a swallow test another doc noticed a vein in my neck near my esophagus making swallowing difficult.

I've gone through so many doctors giving one diagnosis after another. One that had me laughing....false pregnancy. ME: "HAHAHAHAHAA! Yeah Right! For NINE YEARS?!"
One doctor suggested it was stress (duh, hello? Did I not mention school (Jr. High, HS, College....disability on top of that?) I went in for a sleep study because it sounded like sleep apnea to one doctor. They first tried a medication that was supposed to put more oxygen through the bloodstream. That one left me with a severe tingly feeling in the left hand, face and lips. Scratch that! (that was rather spooky) I was pulled off of that medication. Enter the evil CPAP machine. Now I know what an elephant feels like! You ever tried one of those awful things? A small mask over the nose that forces air into your sinuses, and if you happen to open your mouth you feel like you are gasping for air! Well, I couldn't keep it on my face for the life of me. Seems after a few weeks, months....I would take it off in the middle of the night and I would not even remember doing it. (Yes, I sleep that hard, just TRY and wake me up! If you suceed.....DUCK and RUN for COVER! lol!!! Just kidding, but it is still not pretty. Just ask my mother)

I have had numerous surgeries to try and aleviate the problem headaches;
Hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and shunt placements, removals, revisions, a repair of a chiari malformation (portion of skull pressing on the brain), clearing of impacted sinuses (impacted with fluid to the point of near rupture), removal of a dermoid tumor (mass of hair, skin and fat from previous surgeries).

The headaches always came back...and with a vengeance!

Muscle relaxers - worked for a short time, as did everything else. I switched medications a few times, finally finding Amitriptylene, a God-send. Or so I thought up until a few weeks ago. Now I am not so sure. Maybe it is working some still, but definately NOT enough! Because of another medication I was taking for a short time, I was cut back to half a tablet becasue the two meds were in the same family and could react. I was nervous about cutting back. But a whole tablet was making me too drowsy, to a point I did not want to wake up in the morning and was tired alllll day.

I was recently switched from Tylenol, which was said to be horrible for my liver, to Ibuprofen. I was taking three Tylenol at a time, sometimes three times a day as two were doing nothing for me (Extra-strength for crying out loud). But doc switched me to Ibuprofen, and that was a bit weird. The first time I took two... I felt good, almost TOO good, lol! It sort of made me nervous. I thought it might have been too much (I just seemed TOO happy, LOL!). Now even two Ibuprofen are not cutting it, and the last time I took them three doses in one day did not help.

One of my doctors in Montana (who is a believer in Christ) said something to me that was a bit settling "it could be a combination of things causing them, therefore it could be a combination of things we try that get rid of them". Still, we have yet to find that combination!

Memory-foam pillow - not the fix I was hoping/praying for but I never sleep without it now!

Some time ago we bought me a bed that allows me to elevate the head and the legs.. Although still not the solution, it seemed to help a little. Though today no matter how high I get my head it makes no difference.

One doctor who operated on me for this problem joked he was going to buy a one-way ticket out of town if he couldnt figure out what was going on with me (he never did either one to my knowledge...but he has since retired).

It's crazy, but the pain is primarily on the right side, though its been known to fluctuate; from temple down back side of head and neck, occasionally entire back side of head, rarely is it both sides of head, but it has happened. Like somebeody kicked me in the head or stabbed me with a knife.

Could it be something up with my stomach that is causing headaches?
Eating? What I eat, when I eat? Time in between dinner and breakfast too far apart? I asked the doctor about my stomach causing headaches and all he said was that it could be possible, nothing more. Hmph!

I have had countless CT scans and MRI's done. Why, the most recent MRI came back negative and I was emotional on the way home. I was frustrated! I just want to be DONE with them! My favoreite phrase "I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!" About this time I remembered RA's song "None Compare' and the line "Can You see me in the valley?" Okay, the first time I heard this song it was right before my move back to California, and it fit a little better.

Is this the thorn in the flesh Paul was talking about? I wonder.
Why do I feel He is being so silent to my pleas for relief?!
I want to work. But who is going to hire someone who cannot get up beore 8am and is feeling miserable every morning? So I search for afternoon programs working with children, or volunteer in classrooms only a few days a week, setting my own time schedule.

Lord, I am done!

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