Category Archives: Health

Early to Bed

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” is one of the many sayings by Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanack. Last night was a night in which I went to bed early. I was not feeling well. I’d had a migraine all day and something I ate apparently didn’t agree with me and was giving me stomach cramps. So, I went to bed early, and I knew Isabella would have me up before the crack of dawn today. I am usually early-ish to bed (around 10 pm), and Isabella has me up around 5 am every morning. However, I am not sure it has made me “healthy, wealthy, and wise.” It has definitely not made me wealthy. I think it has made me somewhat healthier, but wiser, I am not sure about.

Anyway, I hope all of my American readers have a wonderful Independence Day Weekend. While I don’t have any plans for the weekend, I’d love to hear if you have plans. What are you up to this holiday weekend?


Tech Trip

We made our trip down to Boston yesterday. The new technology that we are getting for the museum is truly remarkable. It’s going to be very nice, and I really think people will be impressed when they see it. That was really the only good part. My day started off with a mild migraine, but it got exponentially worse as the day went on. As I said yesterday, the plan was for me to do the driving. About halfway back, I had my boss take over the driving. I was having a really hard time of it, and I was very nauseated. I sat in the back seat for the rest of the trip back to the museum dozing off and on. Once we got back, we all went our separate ways, and I returned the car to the car rental place. By the time I got home, I felt like crap. I was tired, nauseated, and in pain. I crashed on my couch and barely moved until I moved to my bed and went to sleep.


Rainy Days

I love the rain, and one of the few things I miss about the South are the great big thunderstorms. Don’t bet me wrong, I do not miss the hurricanes and tornadoes, but I miss a good thunderstorm. It rarely rains very hard in Vermont, and when it does, it’s rare that I hear thunder r see lightning. As much as I love the rain, I have grown to dread it over the past year or so since I’ve had this problem with my trigeminal nerve. Weather changes, especially rain wreak havoc on my migraines. Yesterday was a rainy day in Vermont, and I woke with a headache. I went to work, but as the morning dragged on, my headache just got worse. So, I headed home. I told my student shadow not to come since I would not be there. I had several things I needed to do yesterday, but none of them were going to get done because of my headache. Also, the longer I was at the museum, the worse my headache became.

I went home and went to bed. The new blinds kept the light out nicely. Eventually, I got up and made a simple dinner. I stayed up to watch the first of the televised January 6th hearings. Did anyone else watch it? If so, what did you think? Watching the hearing did not help my headache, so I went to bed as soon as it ended. If I wake up this morning still with a headache, I won’t be going into work. We’ll see.


Mental Health Day

Sometimes, you just need a mental health break. A day to rest and recharge. So, that’s what I did yesterday. I took a mental health day. Technically, I took a sick day for a migraine, which was true. I had a migraine all day yesterday, but I also just need a day to myself with nothing to do. I went to my happy place, i.e., I lay on the couch and watched Star Trek all day. Normally, that means watching Deep Space Nine, but I decided instead to watch Discovery. I know a lot of Star Trek fans don’t like Discovery, and I usually watch episodes only once when it is released on Paramount+, but I decided to rewatch the last two seasons. I should have started from the beginning or at least watched season two, but I decided to start with after they traveled to the future.

I also watched Obi Wan Kenobi on Disney+. It’s a pretty good show. Actually, I think all three of the Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and now Obi Wan Kenobi, have all been very entertaining. I am not as big of a Star Wars geek as I am a Trekkie, but I’ve always enjoyed the original trilogy. The Han Solo movie was also pretty good. However, while Star Wars is just a story of good vs. evil, Star Trek is about hope for the future. That’s why I like to watch Star Trek when I just need to zone out, because even though it’s science fiction, I still find it very hopeful. I doubt we will make first contact by 2063, and I hope we don’t have WWIII before then either, but I find the ideals of the United Federation of Planets inspirational. Someday, maybe all of humanity really will believe in equality and forgo greed and hatred.


Some Days

Anyone who suffers from depression and/or chronic pain, you know that there are good days and bad days. Yesterday was a bad day. The headache pain seems never ending, or at least somedays it does. Lately, it seems that my headache medication is just not as effective anymore. Part of it may be the weather in Vermont has been fluctuating wildly. One day, it will be very warm; the next day, it may be 30 or more degrees cooler; and other days, it’s raining. All of these things affect my headaches. Atmospheric changes wreak havoc on my trigeminal neuralgia. I try not to let the pain get the better of me, but there are times that all I can do is surrender.

Then, there is the depression. Most days, my medication helps. Somedays, it also gets the better of me. Whether it’s worrying about my health or worrying about money, I have days when I feel hopeless and really depressed. Writing about my state of physical and mental health is much easier than telling a friend my problems out loud. It’s never been easy to talk to anyone, even very close friends, about what is bothering me.

I’m hoping today will be a better day. As I went to bed last night, I was seriously considering that I needed to take a mental health day today. Some days, you just can’t push through the pain, whether it’s mental or physical.


TGIF

Yesterday was one of my bad headache days. I woke with a headache, and none of my medicine helped. I wanted to call in sick and stay home in the dark, but that wasn’t possible. First, I had way too much work to do at the museum. There were deadlines to make, and I’ll have to finish them up today and get things submitted. 

Then, I had to leave early for my post-endoscopy appointment with the ENT doctor, which turned out to basically be a waste of time. She basically told me there wasn’t much that could be done. They could preform a surgery to remove my uvula and my tonsils (a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or UPPP

), which would open up my throat more. I seem to have an abnormally small throat. (No wonder I can’t deep throat. LOL) She told me that if they did the surgery, which would be an incredibly painful procedure, that it might change the anatomy of my throat enough to make me a better candidate for the Inspire implant, but she needed to confer with her colleagues to see what the probability of success might be. The Inspire surgery is supposed to be a fairly simple procedure, but a UPPP is a much more invasive and involved procedure with a longer recovery time. I’m not sure it would be worth it. My better option is probably to continue to lose weight and hope the sleep apnea improves enough to stop needing the CPAP. 

It’s been a week. I’m glad it’s Friday and that I have a three day weekend. I need some rest and relaxation. Too much had been happening the last two weeks, and I’m tired. I want to go to the grocery store after work today and get some things for a nice BBQ meal on Monday. Cooking almost always relaxes me.


Moody

Do you ever just wake upon the “wrong side of the bed”? I feel like I did Tuesday morning and I haven’t been able to wake up on the right side since. I woke up Tuesday in an inexplicably bad mood, and I can’t seem to shake it. I hope I wake up in a better mood today. It’s frustrating not being able to find a happy place. I tried cooking, which usually helps, but it didn’t really. I even put together a menu for Memorial Day, finding recipes I’d like to try. That often helps too, but again, it did not. I don’t exactly feel depressed; I just feel pissed off. 

I have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon for a follow-up of the laryngoscopy I had several weeks ago. Maybe that’s why I’m in a bad mood because I don’t expect any good news to come out of this appointment. I already know I was not a good candidate for the Inspire device for my sleep apnea. There aren’t many other solutions left. I’ll just have to see what my doctor says. 🤞


Sorry

I am being so lame this week. I had another headache last night because there was a rainstorm that came through yesterday, and rain always aggravates my trigeminal neuralgia. So, once again, I remember that I was thinking about writing a post, then I got distracted and went to bed before I actually wrote one. Susan notified me that I had not posted this morning. I had woken up feeling much better had not even thought about not having a post scheduled. 

For the rest of the week, my posts might be a bit short. I am going to a conference in Boston tomorrow and will be gone through Sunday. Thankfully, because I am technically “working” Saturday and Sunday attending the conference, I will be off Monday and Tuesday of next week.


The Day Has Come

The day has finally come; I have my laryngoscopy today. I’ve been waiting since January 10 for them to schedule this procedure, and it will determine if I can get the Inspire implant as a replacement for my CPAP to treat my sleep apnea. I have to be at Dartmouth by 7 am, so we need to leave my apartment no later than 5:45 am. My friend driving me will have to leave her place around 5:10 am. I feel bad about the imposition I am putting her in, but I don’t have a lot of options. My boss was supposed to take me, and I would not feel bad about him having to leave so early, but his daughters came down with COVID, so he’s quarantined with them and can’t take me.

On a different note: While Isabella seems to enjoy my new apartment (as do I), she has been doing this odd thing lately. She will sit in front of the glass of my entertainment center and stare at her reflection. I had this entertainment center at my old place, but she never took note of it. She will sit there for the longest time just staring at her reflection, though I don’t think she realizes that it is her. Occasionally, she walks around the entertainment center to see if she can find that other cat. Of course, she never does, but it’s always back right where it was when she looks again. She doesn’t do anything but stare into the glass. She has done this with the front windows a few times, but never in a mirror and never for as long as she sits looking at the glass in the entertainment center. She doesn’t seem upset but seems more curious than anything else. So, I have a question for those with cats: have any of your cats ever exhibited this type of behavior? 

She’s usually pretty smart, and things like this don’t fool her. Although she still occasionally chases her tail, she will get tired of it after a little while. Also, she sometimes accidentally sits on one of her mice when playing with them and gets very perplexed about where it has gone. Eventually, she moves and reveals the mouse and seems surprised when the mouse suddenly reappears. Occasionally, she gets lost under the quilt on my bed but usually finds her way out unaided. Sometimes, I have to assist her. Cats are infinitely entertaining, especially Isabella. With all of these strange behaviors, she eventually gets tired and curls up on a nice comfy blanket and goes to sleep, which she seems to do, like most cats, for about 18 hours a day.

PROCEDURE UPDATE: The laryngoscopy went fine, but I am not an good candidate for the Inspire therapy, so I’m not sure what the next step is.


Headache Update

I woke up yesterday still having a headache. It was mostly centered on the base of my skull, but that was pretty painful. I decided I needed to call in sick to work and keep my appointment with the nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office. I’d seen her last Thursday for my pre-op physical and liked her, so when I couldn’t see my regular doctor, I opted for her. After discussing my headache, she said that for headaches like this, they often will give a shot of Toradol to “break up” the headache. Sometimes, they give a strong pain killer to sort of reboot the body and provide some relief, often it’s enough to end the problem, sort of like hitting CTRL + ALT + DELETE on your computer. 

The only problem is that Toradol is an NSAID which I’m supposed to refrain from taking for seven days before my procedure tomorrow. Since the laryngoscopy is not an very invasive procedure, she thought it would be OK to do, but she called my doctor for Friday’s procedure to get her recommendation. While they would have preferred that I only take Tylenol, they did give the NP permission to give a minimal dose of Toradol. So, next thing I know, the nurse has a syringe and told me to lower my pants. She said they could give the shot in the arm, but it works better in the butt, and she said it was up to me. Quite honestly, I wanted whatever was most likely to be successful, so down my pants went. I don’t know if any of you have had a shot of Toradol before (I have), but that shot stings quite a bit.

The good news is that it improved my migraine considerably. Within an hour, the pain was mostly gone. It still hurts a little and I bought some Tylenol as a supplement, and that too helped. I went to bed last night with a minimal headache. I’m hoping I wake up in the morning feeling just as good and can go to work. I’ll learn sometime today when I need to be at Dartmouth for my laryngoscopy tomorrow. All I know at this point is that it is supposed to be sometime tomorrow morning. The past week has been a rough, but I’m hoping this week will end on a good note.