Monday, January 14, 2013

Life As I Know It - For Now

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“What if this round doesn’t work?”  I asked my neurologist.  I watched as he prepared the 400 units of Botox and the electrode machine he used to detect the muscles in my scalp, neck and shoulders.

“Then it’s time to take a break for six, maybe eight months.  If this many units won’t work, then you need to give your body a break.  Most likely, it’s creating anti-bodies that are fighting off the Botox.  The last several rounds haven’t worked and you need to give your body time to get the Botox out of your system and we’ll try again.”

“Six months?”  I said.  I felt deflated.  I experienced the break Botox provided, the freedom, from severe Migraines over a year and a half ago and I wanted that freedom back again.  I wanted to return to work, I wanted to return to life.

“Don’t worry, Elsie, I’m confident this dosage will work, it’s fifty cc’s higher than your last treatment.  You should see a difference in two or three weeks.”  He said and set to work injecting the Botox into my scalp.  I used guided imagery to remove myself from the pain of the injections and soon the procedure was completed.

He was right, I was seeing a difference but it wasn’t positive, it was negative. Again. My Migraines were at a level they hadn’t been at since I had to end my career in 2007. 

In 2007 my Migraines were every three or four days and lasted two or three days each.  The pain varied from manageable; where I could sit up, talk, write and maybe cook dinner for the family or unmanageable; where I could only hold the television remote in my hand, use the wall for support to get to the bathroom, make myself a bowl of cereal, or snack on junk food and wait for someone to get home to help take care of me.  These unmanageable cycles ranged from a few hours to a day or two.

2007 has come back and my Hooligans, it’s been back longer than I’ve let on to most of you.  It’s been almost a year that the Migraines have been escalating to every three or four days.

It’s quite frustrating but I have been through this before and I know eventually with the help of my neuro, and perhaps an additional doctor, I will find relief again.  I will find the right preventative treatment and things will calm back down once more.

I hesitated sharing this with you today because I don’t want people to feel sorry for me when I don’t feel sorry for me.  I can honestly look around and see other people suffering everyday with diseases and every day life far worse than my own.  I have a family that loves me and I have a roof over my head.  I am grateful for that.  Things could be so much worse.  Things have been so much worse.

Why am I choosing to share it now?  As a way of explaining my semi-absence on Blogger these last few months.  I used to check on blogs every morning or every evening, even when I didn’t post a blog myself. I haven’t been able to do that because the Migraines have kept me behind at home leaving me less time to blog, less time to write and things have had to be prioritized.

We all say it to one another – real life has to come first and for me that’s what happened.  I felt I owed you guys an explanation why I'm not around as often and why I don't always answer my comments the same day.

Don’t you dare tell me to feel better or any other sappy shit!! This is purely informational - not whiney Pat or Dan

56 comments:

  1. Bloody hell I am sorry to hear it didn't work and your migraines are so bad again...........

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    1. Dammit, Jo-Anne! You broke the rule at the end! LOL Thank you, I'm certain things will get better soon.

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  2. I don't have time to do replies right now either because of the Hubby and doctor visits. I feel guilty about it, but that's the way it has to be for a while. I understand why you feel the need to explain.

    I'm sorry to hear that you've gotten no relief, Would going to a pain management clinic help you in any way?

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    1. It sucks, doesn't it? Wanting to be able to come back and answer the replies but not being able to because of personal reasons. You and I share the same passion for blogging, the same desire to be here for others and right now it's just not possible for either of us. I wanted to let people know why. I didn't want them to think I was just blowing them off, it's not my way.

      I've been looking into the pain management clinic route for several months but I still haven't taken the leap because of the uncertainty of how they feel about triptans. I may have to do a medicine holiday but that's a scary thing.

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    2. I felt so guilty last week about not replying, but I had no choice. Then I thought "Most people don't reply to comments" but that didn't help as I still felt guilty.

      I'm guessing each pain management clinic is different. The idea should be to use medication and alternative methods to alleviate or increase tolerance to pain. It really helped me out a lot to go to one as I learned to meditate. Took me 7 months to get the hang of it, but it got me off all medications and made me more functional. But different types of pain respond differently to the same methods.

      Take care of yourself!

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    3. Isn't it funny - it's true, many people don't comment back on comments, yet I feel like I should - it's only polite LOL

      For me, I have to have a triptan to stop the Migraine process or go to the ER or I could have a stroke. It's not so much the pain but the dilated blood vessels and the inflammation of tissue and nerves around those blood vessels. So, I guess I get scared they won't leave me any options. I won't know unless I try though. A consultation won't kill me, right?

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    4. hell, it seems evil is hitting our fellowship these days, Elsie and Annzie, we need a white witch to take the curse off us....

      Do any painkillers help at least for a while if taken when the pain starts, Elsie? Or do you grow resistant to them after a while?

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    5. We DO need a white witch!! One that can cast a good spell over each and every one of us and bring us all good health and peace. Wouldn't that be lovely?

      I am unable to take certain painkillers because of my addiction. I will allow myself to take them under certain circumstances, like after my surgery, but with the frequency of my Migraines, I'd rather not tempt fate.

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  3. Even though you said not to say it, I'm still going to say I hope you get better soon. I'm just sappy, plus I hate to hear that people are suffering, no matter how much you may think you aren't. If you're impeded from doing what you want to do, then you're suffering. Anyway, I hope the botox works, plus you have a proper medical need for it so I don't have to lecture you about using it!

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    1. Another rebel! Dammit Mark! LOL True, I suffer on the days the Migraines are bad but on the days they are tolerable or I'm not in pain at all, I live it up like a rock star - okay, maybe not a rock star, but like a mom W00t W00t!! Yeah, gotta love that botchalism running through my muscles!!!

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  4. Hmmm..I sent you an article a couple of months ago about a new procedure that stops them, don't know if you read it or not, I'm not even sure what the procedure was now.

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    1. I want to say that was back over the summer, around when I had my hysterectomy. Things were a bit hectic between the surgery, getting my son off to college again and the Migraines. I don't think it was so much a procedure but a device wasn't it? The one with the electrodes? Similar to a TENS device? I apologize for not responding, things have been a bit hectic.

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    2. THAT'S IT!! Ha, now I remember, that is it. No need to apoligize, I understand. My sister gets migrains and it can be quite scary to see. The people around you are virtually helpless to help. It's awful to see. I'm sure even moreso to have. xo

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    3. I wondered how you knew about the unit - it's coming out, or should be out now. I'm so sorry your sister goes through them too, that just sucks!

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  5. Migraines are awful and so many of my friends suffer from them. I think any pain from the neck up has to be among the most debilitating ever - sore throats, earaches, headaches, toothaches... Have they reviewed your diet? Could there be something that you ingest every day or frequently that could be causing the migraines to start? Food dyes? Gluten?

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    1. I agree - Migraines suck! LOL

      I've done an elimination diet, my latest was with my Migraine Specialist back in 2008. I even had to stop drinking my beloved Coke - Elsie was not a happy girl. But, nope, all was good there.

      My triggers are poor sleep, changes in the barometric pressure, strong smells, neck pain, not eating, and maybe harmones.

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    2. Neck pain does it indeed, been there too, thankfully the headaches from it have faded, still neck pain though.

      Still say get rid of that gluten crap!

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    3. Hang on, I'm going to go cook some wheat pasta...okay, done! ha ha ha!! I joke - I know you've done well eliminating gluten.

      I have to be careful with my neck now. This is a new thing within the last year or so and I wonder if it has to do with the Botox. Time will tell. I used Icy Hot or Ben Gay gel, smells terrible but works well.

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  6. I don't feel sorry for you. I DO hurt for you. I hope they find something that works soon!

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    1. Thank you, Cindy. I'm confident they will find something soon. I'm also confident that I will find someone who help me find a solution soon too.

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  7. Hmph, pre-empting my whiny remark haha how rude. But yeah not fun at all, as said won't make fun of pain too much, as it sucks. But the best we can do is just keep on trying to find something that works and let us function. I though about staying away from blogland with all my crap for a few months, but decided to push on, took much determination some days.

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    1. ha ha ha!! In your face!! Yeah, pain sucks ass. I've been doing this for over 25 years so I've learned the best approach is to really enjoy the days that are pain free or enjoy the moments that aren't as painful. I toyed with staying away too but, it's truly something I enjoy doing. I just have to realize I need to keep it as something I enjoy, not as a chore.

      That's what makes me certain you'll keep on keepin' on, Pat - you're just as determined too!!! You keep on pushing and I will too, deal?

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    2. Sounds like a plan, be nice to get to days again with no pain what so ever, that is my goal that and to be able to walk around without shoes on and to be able to lie on the couch haha walking in shoes 24/7 sucks!

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  8. Hang in there! I hope that's not sappy shit, LOL!

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    1. That was perfect, Debra! No sappy shit at all - I love it! ha ha ha

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  9. No sappy shit here, so here's an amusing comment. I almost forgot that Botox was used for migraines too. I'm reading the first of this post thinking, wait, I'm one of the few people who's seen the REAL Elsie... you don't need Botox! Your forehead looks great! What are you doing!...

    Oh, right, migraines.

    Carry on. :)

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    1. LMAO! You are the ONLY person who has seen the real live Elsie, (well, okay, not live) now how do you feel? I bet pretty freakin' special!! And still, my eyes are bugging out of my skull, WTH?? Stupid G-force! ha ha ha! At least you were kind enough to give me two eyes, unlike some other bloggers I know but won't name *ahem, Dan, ahem, Pat*

      Carrying on!

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  10. I feel for you on the migraine front - the ones I get are minor in terms of head pain etc. but when they lead to the vertigo attacks, trust me when I say I truly wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. I've read blogs/stories of people who have had to suffer daily attacks for months on end like that... Absolutely horrible - I hope you can find some respite some how.

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    1. As crazy as it sounds, I'm grateful to have the pain and not the nausea, vertigo and aura that so many other Migraineurs have to endure. I used to get nausea, light sensitivity and aura but never vertigo - I can't even imagine - my heart goes out to you when you do get them, it must be terrible. My Migraine Specialist treats people who get daily Migraines, and there is a forum of people who suffer like I do, it's sad but it's also good to know I'm not alone.

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  11. Aww, you poor thing! I feel so sorry for you! I wish you could get better and that there was something I could do! <---only because you said not to! lol

    Just think, if it weren't for people like me your migraines would be less severe! We are here to be a pain in your ass...or head in this case!

    I in a foul mood today, perhaps I should go before I say something really offensive. Not that I have bad things to say about you.... nevermind me! I'm a very #Angrydan

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    1. Wait, you mean you're not in a foul mood every day? Huh. I thought you were always foul. I'll bet you're just pissy because Denver lost. I don't blame you.

      It's people like you that make my Migraines more tolerable, Dan. You make me laugh, just like my hubby and my kids.

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    2. Breaking your own rules with your sappy BS? Shame on you Elsie! Literally!
      Shameful promotions will cover you with shame and you won't be able to clean it off!

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    3. I saw the pictures on your blog of what you roll around in...eeww!! I don't want to be covered by anything over there. Frankie!!

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  12. I'm sorry to hear that the botox thing didn't work Elsie, sigh. I'm going through mouth pain as you know and I would probably do whatever I could to stop it so this is heart breaking. It's a shame that you can't get any relief, hopefully your body will allow it in quicker rather than it taking ages, this a setback but not a defeat.

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    1. I'm kinda bummed, okay, a lot bummed but I know there is something else out there that works and if not, then in six or eight months, I will do it all over again. I cannot believe you are still battling this toothpain of yours, it's been far to long, Matthew. I hope you find relief too.

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  13. My oldest son has issues with migraines, but they aren't as bad as they were when he was younger. They were generally accompanied by puking. So much fun.

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    1. I hated that part when I still had issues with nausea. Ugh, it made the pain so much worse. Now it's rare that I barf with a Migraine but if I do, I know it's gonna be a hell of ride!

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  14. Botox is used to treat migraines? I thought it was the facelifting stuff? Guess we learn something new every day!
    But eh, sounds like it sucks real bad. I'd say I feel sorry for you, but I won't since you told us not to. You shouldn't be afraid to embrace the sympathy of other though, even if you sometimes feel like you don't need/deserve it or whatever. And yeah, some people may have it far much worse, but relatively speaking you sometimes do pretty bad as well, so cut yourself some slack. It's okay to be a tad egoistic/egocentric/whatever the word is sometimes. ;D

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    1. Yepper, Botox is used to treat all sorts of stuff these days - profuse sweating, incontinence, muscle stiffness, severe neck pain from another disease called dystonia I think. It's pretty cool stuff. I'm not afraid to embrace the sympathy of others so much as I am afraid of people thinking, "Dear Lord, I feel sorry for this woman" when I try my best not to feel sorry for myself - although don't get me wrong, I have my days when I throw myself a pity party. LOL

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  15. Real life trumps blogger Elsie, I'll punch Ray for you instead!

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    1. Kind of like paying it forward, I like the concept although I'm not sure how Ray would feel about all this?

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  16. Any kind of chronic condition like that that keeps you in pain is going to affect every aspect of your life. And, yes, real life comes first. Commenting on my blog comes second, though. :P

    And feel better!! Ha!

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    1. I had you as third but you have been officially bumped up to second =P

      And, damn, looks like we have yet another rebel among us, being all "feel better" and stuff. What is it with this kind community of ours? It's like we care about one another, geez! Thanks!

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  17. It's good to know why, but I don't think it was necessary or -owed-. Show of good faith maybe. I understand not wanting pity, it feels bad. I don't feel pity though, I feel empathy. I understand, and if I put it that way I'm TOTALLY ALLOWED to say I hope things get better soon.

    You can't f***ing stop me C:

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    1. I absolutely love how you phrased your comment, D4. Empathy. Hmm, put me right the hell in my place, didn't ya? Take that, Elsie!

      "You can't f***ing stop me" - Reminds me of some song! What is it?? All I can think of is, "Don't hold back" but that's not it...ugh, it's going to drive me nuts. Thanks for that! LOL

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  18. Oh do I know that pain. No one should have to deal with that....so FRUSTRATING! Hang in there!

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    1. It is frustrating, Mel but I'm going to push past this bullshit Migraine crap and carry on! (Just had another yesterday so I'm a bit pissy right now LOL)

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  19. I've got my very own migraine, I get it every 4 days and it lasts for 4 days as well. It drags me down to the lowest of the lows, it makes me feel sick I can't stand it anymore. Its so bad I've even given it a name.......Francis!

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    1. How can a fun loving guy that wears a Burger King crown everyday (at least to me) make you feel sick? He should make you feel happy and jolly each and every one of those four days!

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  20. oh dear Im really sorry you have migraines again:( I hate migraines, sometimes I have too!

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  21. OMY Elsie! what happened with my comment??
    Ok here I go again, Dear Elsie really hope you feel better of your migraines dear:)

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    1. Don't worry, Gloria! My blog is set to roll over to moderation after three days, I think. It's just to keep those silly spammers away from my blog - not that I've had a problem lately =)

      I'll get these Migraines taken care of, I just know it!! I hate knowing you get them too, ugh.

      Have a beautiful weekend xoxo

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  22. I hope you are feeling better Elsie ~ I hate having migraines, the few times I have it ~

    And don't worry about responding back...just do it when you are able to, I think we are all adults here and have real lives outside of blogger world ~

    Have a good weekend ~

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    1. Thank you, Heaven, that means a lot to me. I hate knowing you go through the pain of Migraine too, regardless of how often you have them.

      Enjoy your weekend - it's almost here!! =)

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Your respectful comments are greatly appreciated