Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mother of All Headaches, meet the Mother of All Mothers

I hate Web MD. I think people are made more paranoid with the modern age ability to self diagnose. I am constantly on Gina's case because she's the worst at this, and if you don't know medicine (which we don't) a simple sty can become eye cancer and an an ingrown hair is one of those "tree man" tumors. That being said, I have "cluster headaches". Apparently it's a form of migraine that manifests behind the left eye and only affects the left side of the face and neck. The symptom descriptions match mine to the "t" and I'm not a fan of doctors offices, so I'm going with this self diagnosis until my head falls off and proves it otherwise. When I get these flair ups there's not much that can be done. Pain killers never seem to do the trick; the only thing that makes them go away is sleep. I had the latest round start up on Tuesday morning and it died back down by Tuesday evening. It flared up again really bad yesterday, though, so much so that I left work a little early and by the time I got home all I could do was fall in to bed. Gina was a little surprised (nearly had a heart attack) when she came home and saw a 6'3" shirtless man standing in her hallway coming to greet her(when I get these I can't even pick up the phone and have a conversation - just driving home took every ounce of energy). She sent me back to bed and allowed me to rest a little longer. Unfortunately, she had to leave by 5:00 to teach a class. As she was getting ready I even asked her to call in sick, I offered to pay her fee if she'd just stay and let me sleep. She eventually conceded, but by that time I had determined that the 60 people waiting for her shouldn't be disappointed just because I have a headache. People operate under much greater trauma, so I practically pushed her out the door and I took a deep breath, put on my happy face and played with the girls. I literally just wanted to stick a hot poker in my eye, but I limped along through the next 30 minutes until dinner time. I got them in their seats and started handing out pasta noodles. As I was cutting up some bananas, focusing everything I had on not cutting off a finger on accident, I noticed a woman in white outside my window (sounds like a fairy tale, or the beginnings of a Christmas song) waving at us. I was in no mood to deal with people, but I trudged over to the door to figure out what she needed. When I opened it I realized it was my mother in law. "I was called for reinforcements" she said. My instinct is to not impose on people so I assured her I could manage, but she told me she had already driven all that way and I wasn't getting rid of her that easy. Thank god. She asked what she could do and I word vomited "everything" so she gladly took over. I then crawled back in to bed and fell asleep. I woke up nearly an hour and a half later, headache gone and the girls just heading off to bed. I hate the fact that I missed those few hours with them. The whole point of my 9 hours at the office is to make it home for those 3 at home, but I needed it. Better yet, my wife KNEW I needed it and she made the call with out consulting me (because I would have refused the help). Thank god for these amazing women in my life who take care of me: the world's greatest wife and mother and the woman she learned it all from. With out them I would be a mess. And a very cranky mess at that.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes oxygen therapy can help with cluster headaches. If you do decided to go to a doctor you may see a neurologist. (they usually know more about these headaches than a primary physician). Insurance may cover you having a small oxygen tank at your home for those times you get a headache. If your physician doesn't know the protocol he/she can contact Robert Cowan MD neurologist. He's a miracle worker!
    Hope this helps.
    Janice at