I’ve honed my willpower over nearly seven years of sobriety, but even now, I feel that is slowly chipping away. My adventures with the American Healthcare System seems like a needless war of attrition to get these headaches under control. I get better temporarily through some medication or another then I get worse than I ever have. How do I fight the good fight? I can describe that by describing my allure toward “The Story.”
I’m the sickest I’ve ever felt for the longest I’ve ever felt and I know of one relief for all this pain. I’m nearly seven years sober yet the closest I’ve come to being tempted back to insobriety has been over the past few days. There is no pressure release valve for my head pains. I can’t exercise to relieve the stress. Nothing seems to work or last. I have to keep my head straight.
While I’ve found that the only times I get writer’s block is when I’m fatigued, where the best cure is rest, there are times when it’s better to get out in the world. For times like that, I like to drive and get lost to find myself. I like to explore new areas, find other routes, or even just have a pleasant meandry through a new environment, whether for location scouting or just mental decompression.
During my consultation visit with Neurologist-Number-Two/Doctor-Number-Eight, we talked about all the medications I was prescribed. He was surprised over my gut-punch reaction to the depression-causing anti-depressant Amitriptyline and we agreed to a high blood pressure beta-blocker medication. I’m fifteen days into taking Propranolol. Although I don’t like the notion of taking medications frequently, if I’m going to survive Corporate America, I’ll need something to moderate my blood pressure, and I don’t feel any side effects.
When we set out in earnest toward our life plans, what happens when we get sidetracked? Vicissitudinous health events can ruin everything. When we stare death down, it may graciously whisper back to us, ‘not yet…,’ before releasing its icy grip, we might simultaneously realize that we still have a lifetime to achieve everything we want, and remember that we can’t achieve everything we want. What’s most important? Adapt to your adversities then overcome them.
Between the pharmacy arguing and the uncharacteristic hale, arriving at my first dose of this blood pressure medication sure was more stressful than it needed to be, but that could be said for this entire “Tripping On [The American Healthcare System]” series as a whole. I just took my first dose about ten minutes ago. I have the extended-release variety, so why don’t I cover the pharmacy and hale, then we’ll check on my status…
Four years ago, the doctor that diagnosed me with cluster headaches might have just guessed, because Neurologist-Number-Two/Doctor-Number-Eight was perplexed by this diagnosis, based on my symptoms. If I can implore one thing to you to reclaim your health through headaches, it’s this: keep a headache diary. Bad doctors don’t care about this information because they will just want to prescribe you something. Good doctors, like -Eight, will ask to photocopy this diary for later review.
“It’s not going well.”
“Can you try to go into your safe space?”
“Yeah, that place isn’t helping.”
“Did it turn into a vat of acid?”
My colleague and I both laughed, but somewhere between leaving my apartment-mansion and getting into work, my health had declined to such a degree that I was seeing psychedelic migraine auras. I had to leave about a half-hour later. I hate feeling so sick I can’t even think clearly.
I’m still learning the basics of selling online. During this month of selling computer hardware, I’d find something I wouldn’t mind selling, photograph it from multiple angles, put it in my selling staging area, then forget about the details, and would need to retrieve the item to write the ad. Now, it stays on the photography table until it’s posted. Or at least, until I do the research and write the ad. Then “stage” it.
Doctor-Number-Eight/Neurologist-Number-Two was perplexed by my headache symptoms but we have treatment options, including magnesium. It feels nice to finally have some progress going. For a while there, it seemed like it was going to be an incurable nightmare I would have to live with forever. Sometimes, you’ve got to have bad experiences to appreciate the good. If this fixes my headaches, short-term and long-term, I’ll put in this work now and share my headache results.