Monday, June 21, 2010

Adventures in Headaches

Well, let’s just get the medical stuff out of the way, shall we? The hospital stay was… interesting. I learned there is nothing wrong with my gallbladder. The pain I was feeling could very well have been my gallbladder readjusting itself after coming off months of narcotics used to numb my headaches. All I know is that no doctor or prescription pamphlet ever said anything about Percocet and Vicodin affecting my gallbladder strangely!

So, for the headache, let’s just say I may now be the one and only patient that Dr. Williams has ever had where the “miracle” drug DHE did not break the migraine. I caught a cold a day or two before entering the hospital, so it was in full swing once I was admitted. When they would ask if my headache was gone I always had to answer no because I was always congested. They hoped that once the cold went away there would be no headache there. That was not the case.

But, don’t worry, the Lord always provides! While Dr. Williams is my personal neurologist and would check in on me each day, I was technically assigned to which ever Hospitalist was on duty from my practice. The first day we met Dr. Workman. He is technically a Doctor of Osteopathic medicine and not an MD. He was the first Doc that said… “If” this med does not work, I want you to go see my friend, Dr. Alex (actually his name is MUCH longer but no one can pronounce it so they call him Dr. Alex). Dr. Workman then felt around my neck and jaw area which is one of the trigger points of the headache. He immediately touched areas that made me cringe a little bit, but could follow the tight muscles that were causing the pain. Will told me later that while he was doing all this with his eyes closed like he was imagining what he would be seeing inside my neck. The Doc’s next comment was that no matter if the medicine broke the headache or not, I would have reoccurring headaches unless I got those muscled in my neck taken care of.

I was discharged from the hospital on Sunday after 4 long days of IV drugs. I headed home with a headache and a cold. Monday morning I called and made an appointment with Dr. Alex. I also had to make an appointment to see my dentist to have some paperwork signed for a medical clearance for our upcoming move.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Dr. Alex. He is a family practitioner, but DO’s (Doctor of osteopathic medicine) have a different philosophy of care. It is much more holistic. Anyway, I explained my headaches in detail, especially the neck part. He got me up on the table and did some neck manipulations to loosen everything up (commenting that he could feel exactly what I described) . Then he got deep into my neck and placed pressure on a few different areas that would help release the headache. It has been all twisted up for almost 5 months now, so it will take more than one adjustment to get untwisted! But I was hopeful walking out of there! I go back on Tuesday for another adjustment.

The next day was my dentist appointment. Dr. Camerino had to sign-off on paper work saying I had no major dental problems. This of course required x-rays since June is my regular month for cleanings. I mentioned the headache to her and how it spreads in my neck and up my right side through my jaw. When she did the big x-ray (u know the one that moves around your head and gives you a full picture of your mouth) we could see that my jaw on the right side looked different than the left. As she began to examine the area around there she could feel all the muscle pulling much tighter and could follow them back around into my neck (exactly as Dr. Alex could feel). She decided to forward my x-ray to a specialist for a consult just to be safe. In addition she made me a bite guard to wear at night and prescribed some muscle relaxers to take at night to see if it will allow my headache to break if there are no neck/jaw muscle tugging at my head. I ran it past my other Doctors first and they all said it was worth a try! Who knew The Dentist is the place to go for Migraine help?

So for the last few days I have still had headaches, but they have been lighter than before. I have been trying to take better care of my neck by using a heating pad, and paying attention to relaxing my shoulder muscles and jaw muscle.

And there we have it. The journey continues!

No comments: