Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Healing Service

I attended a "healing service" at my church (Methodist) Sunday evening. I was really looking forward to it and didn't know what to expect. It was definitely a positive experience. The sermon was on medical miracles Jesus performed (stopping a woman's bleeding for example). Then we had communion, and then anyone who wanted to could go to one of four people at the front of the church to get annointed with oil.

For me, all my emotions from struggling with headaches overwhelmed me, and I cried the whole time. It was embarrassing because I don't like crying in public, but many other people were crying as well. The service was inspiring, and yet I found it hard not to doubt God. I know that God still performs miracles, but could I really have headaches for eight or so years and then they just stop? The preacher made certain to mention that a change would happen in God's time, which I am willing to accept.

I've had a bad headache already since the service, but I'm not blaming God. Some things happen on Earth that we'll never be able to understand (some so bad that I am at times thankful that I "just" have headaches). At least I know that miracles are possible. And for now, my preachers are praying for me. Bring on the healing!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Physical Therapy

I started seeing a physical therapist for headaches and so far I've had two sessions. The place is connected to a neurology practice, so they have a lot of headache patients - in fact, one came in while I was there today. What's funny, or really sad, is that I called one PT place before finding this one and the receptionist, after asking the reason I needed to see a physical therapist, said I should see a neurologist for headaches. Ya think?

They've been doing some neat things so far for me:

-Trigger point massage
-Heat treatment
-A machine, sorry I can't remember the name, but it has two wires that clip on my earlobes and a current runs through the wires. It does something to the alpha waves in my brain. I couldn't feel anything but I think they're going to turn it higher next time.
-Another machine that I don't know the name of, sorry, but the therapist stuck four squares with wires on my upper back and it shot a current so strong it made my muscles jerk. It didn't hurt though; it felt like little jolts through my back
-Neck traction (a machine pulled at my neck at 15 second intervals while I was lying down) - this gave me a headache because it pulled right behind my earlobes where my headaches often start; however, the headache went away soon afterward.
-Stretches - I learned neck and shoulder stretches that I can do at home.

They also suggested I use a heating pad on my neck every day after work because I sit at a desk in front of a laptop all day, and my headaches usually start in the afternoon and get worse and worse from there. It feels great to go home and relax my neck for a few minutes.

So, I don't want to get my hopes up, BUT, I'm doing SOMETHING besides trying medication after medication, and that makes me feel good.

Speaking of which, I still have stomach issues - I don't know if it's from stopping Lyrica or starting Zoloft, but it's getting old. I'm going to keep taking it (and I'm also still on Bystolic), because I pretty much need it to get through my job right now. (I'm on it for headache prevention, if the headaches are from stress and the Zoloft helps the stress, it makes sense to keep taking it.)

In an ideal world, physical therapy would work and I'd get to drop the drugs.

Have a wonderful and headache-free weekend!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lastest Neuro Visit

Why am I typing this Wednesday morning when I should be at work? Let me explain.

I saw my neurologist Monday, and we had a good talk. Note to anyone searching for a neuro or not happy with theirs - keep looking until you find one who cares about YOU and not just your condition, because your body/mind are connected and likely affect your condition. Also, mine doesn't scoff at alternative medicine. Don't get me wrong - he puts me on plenty of drugs, but that's part of his job. Here are the highlights:

- Physical Therapy - I asked him if I should try this since I get lots of tension headaches that seem to come from the neck, and he said that was a good idea and wrote me a referral. It looks like my insurance will cover 20 visits a year, so I'm going to make an appointment. I've had physical therapy twice for my hip, and it helped, so I'm going into this with a positive mindset.

- Acupuncture - My neuro said I should give it a try. He said it helps a lot of people with headaches and is very relaxing. I may try PT first though, since it's cheaper.

- Biofeedback - My dad has tried this for his fibromyalgia. He said you listen to tapes and go through visualization and positive thinking exercises. More on that here. I think my neuro said he can do this, so I'm going to ask him about it next time (I had thought he wrote a note for the office worker to take care of it but it was actually the PT referral).

- Life Coach - Not a typical treatment for headaches, but I told him how stressed I was with work, and he said I should see someone on career counseling. He also said I could set up an appointment with my preacher, so I think I'm going to do that. Once I "figure things out" I'm certain my stress levels will drop. And he did suggest prayer, which I've been doing, but prayer is a conversation with God (two-sided) and I have trouble with the listening part. What's interesting is at Bible study last night we talked about Christian meditation and how you should take time each day in silence and let God speak to you. I'm going to start doing this.

- Meds - Lyrica wasn't working, so I'm going off it. I'm still on Bystolic (5 mg each night), since my neuro is convinced that it's almost eliminated my migraines (not headaches). Could be true, and since I don't have noticeable side effects, I'm fine with staying on it. And now my latest medication to help my tension headaches is, drumroll please...Zoloft.

Which brings me back to why I'm home sick today. Warning: TMI up ahead in three, two...Zoloft gives me awful diarrhea. I take 25 mg each night and after a week I'll increase to 50 mg at night, then 75 mg if I want to (yeah right). I started it Mon. night and was sick Tues. morning. I went to work but only ate oatmeal and pretzels. Of course, because I didn't eat much, I got an awful headache. I took it again last night, and this morning I still had the headache and upset stomach, so I called in sick. I'm going to work from home this afternoon though because I took Butalbital (Fioricet) and feel better (except for the stomach).

Zoloft scares me because I know how hard it was to get off the Lexapro, but I need to keep trying things if I'm going to get better, and plus I could use the serotonin boost. I've had so much anxiety lately.

I have some appointments to schedule (and a war to win)!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy 4th

Sorry for the inactivity lately. Work's still pretty stressful, and I'm tring to relax as much as possible. Also, I don't have much to say because I haven't seen my neurologist in two months (usually I go once a month). He wanted to give the medicine time to work (ha! does it ever work?), but well at least I'm $40 richer (my specialist copay).

I see him again July 7, so expect more activity soon after that.

Hope everyone has a happy holiday...Go America.