If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another 😫

Since Friday, I have had a burning pain on the right side of the back of my head. The pain is accompanied by periods of intense shooting pain. It does not appear to be one of my typical migraines, though I’ve had an accompanying migraine on the right side of my face since this pain began. First thing Monday morning, I called to get an appointment with my doctor. Sadly, my doctor was out on Monday, so I had his nurse give me a call. I was also having some issues with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), so I needed to see someone on Monday and not wait for my doctor to be back in the office. I describe my issues to the nurse, and she thought I should come in and see one of the nurse practitioners. She also suggested their PA, but I find that woman to be an idiot and refuse to ever see her again. So, I made an appointment with the nurse practitioner.

I told the nurse practitioner my issues, and she suggested that the head pain could be shingles, temporal arteritis (though unlikely), occipital neuralgia, or nothing more than an atypical migraine. She looked closely at my scalp and examined my shoulders, neck, and head. She didn’t see a rash to indicate shingles but told me that a rash from shingles could take up to five days to appear after the onset of the pain. She drew blood to run some tests and check for inflammation caused by temporal arteritis or occipital neuralgia and told me to check the area in 24 hours to see if a rash appeared. She also tested my A1C to see if my diabetes medications need to be changed because of the hypoglycemia.

Yesterday, I had my downstairs neighbor check my head for a rash. She did see a single bump, but we could not decide if it constituted the beginnings of a rash. Since she checked yesterday morning, a few more spots have appeared that I can feel but not see, and the pain continues. My neighbor will check for a rash again this morning. The nurse practitioner I saw was supposed to call me yesterday to discuss my lab results, but she never called. I’m not sure why she didn’t call, but I guess it could have been because of the snowstorm. However, we only got 3.5″ of snow the night before and only an additional 1-2″ during the day yesterday. I called the clinic towards the end of the day, but I never got an answer and had to leave a message, which she did not return before the end of the day. I’ll try calling back first thing this morning.

Whatever this pain in the back of my head is, I hope it ends soon. It is affecting my ability to work, and if the pain doesn’t improve, I’m going to have to take some sick leave. If I knew what it was, I’d feel a little better, even if it was shingles. At least shingles can be treated. I hate having medical mysteries. I seem to always have mysteries when it comes to health issues, and the tests they have to run can get expensive. I just want to be healthy or, at the very least, have some answers.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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