Category Archives: Health

The Eyes Have It

Yesterday, I saw my new eye doctor. She said my eyes look great. There are no problems except that I needed a new brand of contacts that would allow my eyes to breath better and get more oxygen. I have been wearing Acuvue 2 disposable contacts, and she gave me a pair of Acuvue Oasys to try out. I’ll let them know in a few days how I like the new contacts. The good thing is my prescription did not change for my contacts, and the change in the prescription for my glasses is so slight that I don’t need a new pair, especially since I rarely wear them. So all checked out great.

By the way, the man in the picture above and below is Dr. Andrew Neighbors, who was born in Arkansas and is an Optometrist. After growing up in Arkansas, he later moved to Colorado and then to Los Angeles. He is also known as Andrew Goes Places. He began his YouTube channel on August 9, 2015, and has gained popularity there for his gay lifestyle vlog entries, including dating stories, personal updates, as well as challenge completions.


Sleeping In

I get to sleep in a bit today. I have a eye doctor’s appointment this morning. I may end up taking the whole day off. As a general rule, they dilate my eyes, which more often than not give me a bad headache. It also sometimes take a while for the dilation to wear off. I am not going to go to work if my eyes are dilated or if I have a headache. I’ve actually put off an eye exam for longer than I should have, so it’s definitely needed. We’ll see if my eyes have gotten worse; I’ve never been to an eye doctor and my prescription hasn’t changed. We’ll see.


Free of Pain

I woke up yesterday completely devoid of pain. There was no headache or even the usual pain in my neck, which has been bothering me for weeks as well. In other words, I felt good yesterday. I don’t know what today will hold, but for one day I was pain free. It was a very busy day, but that’s a good thing. I barely had time to slow down all day. I like days like that. Unless you’ve ever suffered from chronic pain, you may not be able to understand the overwhelming relief when said pain subsides even if for just a day.


Migraine

I really thought the new monthly migraine medicine was working. For most of December, I did not have a headache. Then they started up again. I’m having them almost daily again now. Last night’s was particularly bad. It’s the worst I’ve had since I filled the Migranal prescription. So I tried the Migranal for the first time last night. It had absolutely no effect. In fact, no other medicine I took had any effect. Does anybody who’s used Migranal have any advice? Did it work for you?


Lower Back Pain

On Wednesday, I went back to work. Shortly after I got to work, I bent over to fix something and before I knew it my lower back muscles began to spasm. I could feel the muscles twitching as the pain worsened. It got increasingly difficult to sit or stand. After lunch, my boss sent me home. I had a terrible time getting in my vehicle. I took some muscle relaxers and laid on a heating pad, but it didn’t seem to help a lot. I was in agony each time I tried to move. I finally fell asleep. When I woke yesterday morning, I couldn’t get out of bed without a lot of pain, so I had to call in sick. I’d planned to see my doctor but when I woke up again the pain had lessened so I didn’t call. I did pretty good most of the day. I tried mainly just to rest. Last night, the pain seemed to get worse again, so I just went to bed early. I’m hoping it will be better this morning.


TGIF

So far, the injection I took for my headaches is not working very well. I’ve had a headache almost every day this month. I had one yesterday and had to come home from work. I’m going to assess how I feel this morning and if I still have a headache, I’m calling in sick. I’m not discouraged yet. The doctor said it could take a month or two before it kicks in. The good news is that the insurance finally agreed to pay for my Migranal. Instead of costing $1900, it will only cost $10.


Headache Clinic, Aftermath

As I told you on Monday, I went to the headache clinic at Dartmouth-Hitchcock to be assessed for my headaches. I loved my neurologist down there. She was very nice and very thorough, unlike the neurologist I saw here who was just an arrogant ass. This doctor is also a professor at Dartmouth Medical School. Anyway, after a full assessment, she diagnosed me with chronic migraines. She said though I had some of the symptoms of cluster headaches before, I didn’t meet the most critical of the criteria for cluster headaches and had been misdiagnosed. She also said that besides the occasional seasonal sinus headaches, all of my other headaches were actually migraines, some just acting in atypical ways. However, they were migraines nonetheless.
She stopped all previous headache treatments because they were helping but not completely doing away with the headaches. From here on out, I am not even allowed to take any over the counter medications for pain relief. She first prescribed me Emgality, a monthly injection for my migraines. For milder and moderate headaches she prescribed Anaprox and Vistaral. For major headaches, she prescribed me Migranal. This is where it became tricky. First my pharmacist was worried about interactions with my other health issues (diabetes and hypertension) and my other medications. I did discuss with the pharmacist that we had talked about all my medications, but the pharmacist still would not give me the medication without speaking to the doctor. Furthermore, they did not keep Migranal in stock and would have to order it. That’s all well and good, but the other pharmacist called me yesterday and told me that with the coupon that said it “could reduce the cost to as little as $5” it was still going to cost $1900 dollars a month. My insurance had denied the medication. So they are working with the doctor to try and get pre-authorization for the medication. Incidentally, I looked up the cost of one months supply without the discount card or insurance, and it was $16,000 dollars a month. So it is still up in the air about whether or not I will get the Migranal, because even with the coupon, I cannot afford $1900 a month. Now if one of y’all is a benevolent millionaire with money to spare, there is a donate button over there and if you’re willing to pay $1900 a month for my Migranal, I’d greatly appreciate it. Since I doubt that will happen, I will wait and see if the insurance company authorizes this new medication.
My new doctors goal is not to just make me feel better but to totally eliminate the migraines. Oh and one other little side story about Monday. I had seen the doctor which took about an hour and a half, then I saw a research assistant to be enrolled in the National migraine study which took another hour, and then I headed to the pharmacy at the main hospital to pick of my Emgality. The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Pharmacy is able to cut through the red tape of insurance companies a lot easier than my local pharmacy for this particular medication. So after another hour of paperwork, I got my first dose of Emgality which I was supposed to take when I got home. By this time, it is lunchtime and I went and had lunch then headed home, which is about an hour away from Dartmouth-Hitchcock. I get about 20 miles from home and the pharmacy calls. They had given me the wrong dosage. I was supposed to take two injections the first month and one each month after that. They had only given me one injection pen. So I had to go to the nearest exit, which was about five miles away and turn around and head back to the hospital. By the time I’d gotten the second dose and back home, I then went to my regular pharmacy to pick up my new prescriptions. By the time this was over, it was after 4 pm. I’d left the house at 7:15 am for my 8:30 appointment. It had been a long day. Add to that, I did have a massive migraines on Monday.

Headache Clinic

At long last, I am finally going for my appointment at the headache clinic. I’m not sure what to expect other than a lot of questions about my history of headaches. I know I have often mentioned having a headache on this blog, but I don’t always say when o have a headache. That’s because I have some type of headache 5-7 days per week. It is not as bad as when I had chronic cluster headaches. During those couple of years, I didn’t go a moment without a headache. Now sometimes they last a few hours, sometimes a few days. Sometimes they are debilitating and I can’t even work, at other times they are tolerable. I have learned to work through the pain. So I hope to get some answers and maybe some relief from the doctors at this special clinic.


CPAP

I went and got my CPAP yesterday. The salesman, or whatever you’d call him, told me I should have no problem getting used to the machine because I had the worst sleep apnea he had ever seen. Sigh! Just what I’d wanted to hear. Anyway, I’m writing this before I put it on and go to sleep. I’ll try to update this post in the morning after I’ve slept in this CPAP mask.

The Verdict:

I can’t say that last night was the best sleep of my life. The CPAP mask is going to take some getting used to. It woke me up several times in the middle of the night. I don’t know why, but it did. It was mostly a fitful night of sleep. I hope as I get used to wearing it, it will become more comfortable and I will sleep better. The end result, the verdict is still out.


Health Update

I just got off the phone with my doctor with the CT scan results. This is what I have:
This is what happened:
It will go away on its own in a few weeks. No surgery will be needed.

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