[Sober Living] Tripping On Prednisone

The headaches got so bad I felt like a junkie by the time I stood in line waiting for the anti-inflammatory medication that had cured my headaches for years before. I had to wait for the right headache, one severe enough that drove me to feel like requesting a lobotomy would be a good idea and still being able to drive before I could see a doctor that would listen to me. Here’s that story.

The headaches started at around November 11th, 2019.

I’ve had headaches off and on for the four years since I was last prescribed Prednisone concerning being diagnosed with cluster headaches, after a journey that took me through four different ineffective medications and a trip to the Emergency Department over what some thought was a stroke, but nothing serious. I’ve had a few awful ones since August in particular and I’ve written about my mindbender headaches enough to have two “mindbender headache[s]” tags about them over the years, but those were child’s play compared to the headaches I would have in November.

Doctor-Number-One treated me like garbage.

Doctor-Number-One acted like I was an undisciplined child that was acting out of turn speaking while the doctor was present rather than letting an adult speak. I only exaggerate slightly. I don’t feel like writing a word more, other than this arrogant doctor was almost disgusted for writing me a prescription for some over-the-counter pain medication.

Doctor-Number-Two was convinced I am depressed.

Doctor-Number-Two thought I was ridiculous for not wanting to be put on an antidepressant, even after I explained that the last one I was on gave me severely negative side effects. This doctor prescribed me Amitriptyline and Cyclobenzaprine and asked me “was there anything else besides Prednisone that helped?” I mean, if it did, I would have mentioned it on the first visit, let alone the second follow-up visit. But who am I, but just someone looking for some pain relief medicine? Although the slug of this essay is titled “sl-triponsones” or “Trip on ‘Sones,” there’s no street value for this.

Prednisone won’t get ya high, dude.

‘Sone won’t get ya in the zone, bro.

If, however, you’re in such pain for such a long period of time, where you feel like you’re crawling through life like a zombie that is unable and unwilling to continue functioning as a responsible human being, that becomes increasingly more tempted by lifestyles outside of polite society, where you wonder whether you’ll ever feel human again… it’s amazing. Fuck, dude, man, it’s probably like shooting Heroin. The first time I took one 10 milligram [mg] pill of Prednisone, I felt all the pressure that had been building up in my body release instantaneously.

If that’s how Heroin’s like, well, I’m not interested.

Doctor-Number-Three/Neurologist-Number-One instantly diagnosed me with migraines.

Doctor-Number-Three/Neurologist-Number-One had the bedside manners of Dr. House without the intellect or skill to listen to the patient describe symptoms. As soon as I said that I had headache pains behind my eyes, that was it. Nothing more. The neurologist often spoke quietly, not even a whisper, and wouldn’t even wait for me to put my shoes back on after doing a neurological assessment before basically telling me to scoot off with a prescription for Sumatriptan with such little confidence that I didn’t even pick up the prescription for nearly two weeks.

Doctor-Number-Four just thought I was generally ill.

Doctor-Number-Four was shocked that a human being could be healthy living night shift, instantly wrote me a doctor’s note for my next shift off, and did little more than belittle my diet and water intake without even asking me what my diet was or listen to me when I said how much water I drank on average per day. No prescription and no concern about my long-term well-being. Waste of time.

Doctor-Number-Five actually listened to me.

Let me theorize something wildly inappropriate: If a doctor reads over the patient history on a computer while the patient is present, they probably don’t know what they’re doing. This research is important, but why not read over this information before seeing the patient? This was something I only noticed with Doctor-Number-Five because there was no computer in the urgent care patient room. The patient room for Doctor-Number-Four inspired a scene late into “A Story About Self Confidence: What’s In A Name?” and that’s where I started to notice the layouts of patient rooms, so revisiting Doctor-Number-Two solidified that notion when looking over some of the finer details of my history.

Doctor-Number-Five, arguably, didn’t need a computer.

The only two things a computer might have been helpful for Doctor-Number-Five during our actual conversation – the first in months to feel like a conversation between patient and doctor – was printing out some notes there in the patient room, which I received after waiting for a few minutes in the urgent care waiting room, or showing where I could look on MEDLINE to read more specific information about medications. Otherwise, I might almost think that computers in patient rooms are distractions or cover-ups for lacking knowledge.

These accolades aren’t just because Doctor-Number-Five prescribed Prednisone.

It was a relief just to tell the nurse and doctor what was going on without judgment. I wasn’t like the dude smelling like cannabis taking a drug test that lined up before me. I stated what did help me, but shit, by that point I was open to any functional alternatives and had already researched about how beta-blockers can help with headaches or as much research as my headache-addled, fatigued mind could handle.

That was my journey to 30 milligrams of Prednisone.

I was going to write all of that [50 minutes of writing so far] before taking the three humble 10 milligram pills of Prednisone, but after going to bed early without much motivation to do anything and waking up with the same headache that the Sumatriptan briefly numbed, I didn’t have the patience to get into the right mindspace to write, which amounts to opening up a word processor and typing, with little more ado than that.

Here’s how taking those three were like for me.

I felt numb for a few hours, a little dizzy, but unlike what a supervisor had told me when I asked him about his experience with Prednisone, the divulgence of which was technically a HIPAA violation but when your health is failing after week after week of headaches you tend not to care about reporting yourself to the government, I didn’t get “roid rage.” I didn’t feel like yelling at people like he had. The medication took a few hours this time to kick in, which probably tells you the degree of severity worse it was this time around, but I’m feeling normal now. I can write. I’ve been editing some other essays for publication that you may have already read, which is not something I could have done yesterday.

I have a six-day taper of Prednisone.

That means I took the 30mg today, will take 30mg tomorrow, then 20mg on day three, 20mg on day four, 10mg on day five, then the final 10mg on day six. This is to prevent any withdrawal sensations. At the time, I thought that this was going to be excessive, but, since the headache isn’t quite gone, probably because it’s just like sobriety where the temptations of our former lifestyles will always loom in the distance, this will be the short-term fix that like four years ago or whatever implies I should work on a long-term fix.

What’s the long-term fix?

First, I’ll keep an obscenely detailed headache log.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:
– What did I eat in the past 24 hours?:
– How much sleep did I get?:
– How much of that was solid, restful sleep?
– What stress factors were involved?
– Without lying, what stress factors were involved?

After a break, I added some environmental factors:

  1. What part of the head is the ache occurring?: []
  2. How does the ache feel (throbbing, sharp, dull)? []
  3. When did the headache occur? []
  4. On a scale of 1 to mindbender-10, how bad is it? []
  5. What stress factors were involved?: []
  6. Without lying, what stress factors were involved?: []
  7. What did I eat in the past 24 hours?: []
  8. How much sleep did I get?: [] Was it restful sleep?: []
  9. Any noticeable environmental factors? Odors?: []
  10. How’s the weather? Drier than normal? Pollen?: []

Along with these answers, I’ll write about my experience with each headache.

Writing this list, with contributions from my doctor’s note from Doctor-Number-Four, reminded me of something Doctor-Number-Two told me: “I’ll put in a referral to another neurologist for you, and I’ll mark it as urgent. They’ll call you. Normally, they’ll send you a letter to schedule an appointment.” I’m still waiting for that phone call or letter, weeks later.

Doctor-Number-Four recommended magnesium up to 400mg daily.

This recommendation to take more magnesium certainly would indirectly imply a value of the magnesium sulfate in float tanks, however Doctor-Number-Four was uncertain whether “external topical application” would give similar results.  But still, adding more magnesium wouldn’t hurt as a short-term addition to my diet.

I’ll go to two more doctors soon.

Rather than potentially wait for that neurologist’s office to call me, I’ll talk to my insurance, explain the situation in brief “I’ve seen five doctors and have been prescribed a bunch of bullshit, can I see a doctor that believes that headaches are real to come up with a long-term care plan for me?,” and keep rolling the dice until I get a doctor that gives half a shit about me as a patient. Doctor-Number-Five is an urgent care doctor, rather than the primary care physicians I saw as -One and -Two. -Four was a walk-in doctor at the same clinic as -Two. I won’t be going back to the locations of -One/-Three and -Two/-Four based on my experiences so far.

That might seem spoiled, but it’s my health, damn it.

Let’s say I’ve found that Doctor-Number-Six, or possibly Doctor-Number-Seven, as the good primary care physician. I’ve met good doctors, both as a patient and as my time in technical support, so when I meet that good doctor, we’ll come up with specific plans around my diet and headache factors. I’ll ask that doctor for a neurologist referral. Even if these headaches won’t reappear for another four years, ummm, I don’t want them to if I don’t have to have them back, so even if it takes me six months of searching and firing doctors, I’ll keep doing that until I find someone worth half a shit.

That’s my long-term plan.

I’ll keep writing in this essay until I’ve completed my Prednisone taper, so how did the next five days go? You’ll find out after this sentence, whereas for me, I’ll find out over the next five days…

It’s now a few [seven] hours later.

I stopped writing at around 7am and set out to decide whether I wanted to get groceries [including magnesium and posterboard for the “days since last headache” but I started to notice the insidious feeling of dull pressure in the back of my head. It’s lasted since then. I tried to sleep. I tried to bore myself back to sleep at 1pm with social media. I gave up at 2pm. I took three more Prednisone, 30mg, since the dull pressure was becoming overwhelming even after giving up on sleeping. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to sleep next, because the thing about this medication in larger doses like this is that is like a steroid.

I’m tired and not simultaneously.

I’m tired enough to not be able to fully concentrate on anything, let alone type correctly [I fixed three typos since this parenthetical sidenote], so I’m not sure how much use I’ll be right now for doing any sort of serious work, but I figure it’s worth documenting this sort of trip experience for later. I thought about writing other essays perhaps as addendum thoughts, like the Rowing Machine column for the 11th, but my rower has collected dust for weeks now.

I last rowed two weeks ago tomorrow.

The dull pressure around my head won’t go away. I’ve watched some videos and drank over a liter of water. I have my 1.5-liter water bottle here. 1350 milliliters to about 875 milliliters before my throat started to hurt. My lips aren’t as chapped as they were earlier, even after vigorously applying multiple coats of lip balm. That usually means the weather is dry or I’m dehydrated.

My mind is blank.

I’ve been awake for around 20 hours now, but it feels like it’s been days since I’ve got any sleep, and months since I’ve felt normal. That two-week period should be the biggest indicator that something went wrong. I haven’t even felt well enough to row for two weeks. I wanted to row this morning but right, when that dull pang started to settle in the back of my head at around 8, am or so, I knew that I was in for a more complicated trip than the last time I took Prednisone or dealt with cluster headaches. I can feel the frustration settle in. Grammarly is giving shitty advice for comma placement. This might be that “roid rage” that I was told about. I’m feeling impatient that these headaches aren’t going away, which is probably causing anxiety, which is probably why I’m where I am right now, instead of sleeping.

The laundry is going in the background.

I don’t think the whole novel-writing thing was the cause. There was an event at work that was so stressful and so poorly handled that even after talking with two supervisors for over one hour, I wasn’t sure what exactly I had done “wrong,” and whoever the anonymous complainer was about something I did, all they’ve done is create an atmosphere I don’t like being in any more. I don’t like being at work. I don’t like being around someone that hatred my upbeat, cheerful attitude enough that they would rather see me in misery. I am furious over that.

Was the suppression of that emotion the cause of this whole neurological sensation?

As I’m starting to lean into that rage, I think, maybe, yes. I’ve switched over to listening to grindcore to explore this anger. So the thing that’s really upsetting to me is how petty of an act that whole thing was. After about one hour of talking with two different supervisors, all I found out was that I was “hovering” around people too much. What the fuck does that even mean? I give people space. I’ve been in broad and professional training related to general harassment and sexual harassment. I told this to both supervisors. So as I dissected this information, and I found out who ratted me out enough to have vague references to this written in my annual review, I realized that this person was so petty that they would rather professionally ruin me than even tell me in a meeting with two supervisors present his perspective.

The reveal of the “he” pronoun was telling.

With that information, I was able to figure out who it was, especially after I asked, “was it X?” “no,” leaving one of only a slim handful of people, but the use of the word “hovering” was also telling. The other suspects wouldn’t use such a fanciful word. They would use more direct language. I was subverted by being told “it’s not someone near you” but no one else would have been as offended to anonymously complain about me. I work the night shift. Who the fuck even sees me besides a handful of people.

Now that that’s that, what’s next?

I don’t like my job all that much. I picked night shift because the day shift is too fucking difficult. I picked the line of work I did because of the ease of which I can slack off at work. I’m not there for some kind of professionally awarded promotion. I’m there only because I want to get enough money to get my writing off the ground. Let’s say I figure out a way to make my business and sell the first novel. I’m out. If I need additional money, I can pick up contracts. I’d need to figure out the whole insurance thing, but when I was seeing Doctor-Number-Two, the pharmacist technician didn’t ask about my medication insurance “because we don’t unless they complain about the price,” and it was affordable enough compared to with insurance. Visits to doctors would be more expensive, but with a life lived significantly less stressful at its front with people yelling at me for things I didn’t do, as but one example, I wouldn’t need to worry about going to so many different doctors.

I hate how insidious this work has been for me.

I don’t want the work to follow me home and reside in my mind. It has. I will blame work on the headaches and my only solution to that is to work harder in two directions: first, figuring out effective unwinding routes, second, working toward the lifestyle I want to live. If I have a shitty day at work, I have to figure out how to leave that shit at work. I have to figure out how to make money in a way where I can live more autonomously. I am chained to the confines of the corporate system. If someone comments on my novel about how they don’t like something anonymously, then if it’s a stupid comment I can delete it, if it’s a worthless comment like the above “floating” comment, then I can delete it, and if it’s worthwhile I can explore it.

I can’t delete that fucker’s anonymity out of my permanent record.

I don’t know what other kinds of work I can do that have more manageable stress. It seems like everything about life is fucked up and terrible. There will be horrible aspects of everything positive. In order to work a shift that is quiet enough for me to work toward advancing my own lifestyle, I have to fuck up my body and mind by sleeping during the day and sleeping at night, which is probably causing my eyes to hurt from all the bright lights, my body from hurting since no matter how hard I try I can only sleep for maybe 6 hours if that, and probably causing all these headaches.

I hate this.

What other avenues are there? There are pain and suffering for every job. The people that I talk to for work are suffering or slacking. All I wanna do is write. It was the most fantastic feeling I’ve had writing that novel. It was a challenge, sure, but it was exciting trying to figure out the next step or letting the next step unfurl in front of my eyes. It went in weird and wonderful directions I never anticipated and concluded roughly where I thought it would. I think I might start needing to look around for other work. This job isn’t the one for me. It won’t be the long-term career solution I need to keep my head above water while I come up with my long-term get-paid-to-write solution.

I won’t be able to move out of the apartment before the end of the lease.

So I need to renew the lease another year. This area is expensive to live in and jobs are stressful. The area is nice but I can’t keep living here. It doesn’t feel good knowing that I have to work as hard as I can for days and years at a time just to wash up on the shores of mindbender headaches with nothing at all to show for it. I recently found out there is a writer’s place around here, and next week actually there’s an event going on that should be cool. My shift would normally prevent me from going, but I can go to this one. That might be my deciding factor on whether I plan to stick around in the area. Say it’s the community I’ve been looking for, then I can justify sticking around. Otherwise, I need to figure out a way to find a lower-stress job in a lower-stress area. I have all the stories in me. I just need to write them. I don’t need the pay from companies in this area. What would I buy? I occasionally do like to buy new items, but other than groceries, there’s nothing I need that I don’t already have. They’re all just luxuries that I buy to distract myself from this deep ennui and hatred I have toward this career system I’m trapped in for however fucking long.

Laundry’s done. Voices is done, too.

It’s 4:54am on Friday now and I’m feeling more back to normal. I’ve written my essay for the day, am thinking of writing another, and have the energy to do all of that with enough left over to try out some random free game on Steam, Portal Knights, read Journey to the West / Monkey and a writing book, and maybe even shave up before going to bed at a reasonable hour. Other than occasionally mild pressure that I can easily ignore, my headaches have been clear. After I finished listening to Voices and writing about my frustrations above, I think I tried to go to bed, then eventually did… for maybe one or two hours? If I can continue this trend through the end of my Prednisone taper, then I might be in the clear. I won’t know until I experience it then write about it below.

Wish me luck.

Ugh. It’s worse now. I went to sleep at around 11am and woke up at 1pm feeling like my head was a deflated balloon and any surface it touched on a pillow or even a sleeping coat I’d been using so my head wasn’t propped up as high felt like I was- it hurt. I tried a self-heating night mask. I ate some food since I noticed I was anxious almost the entire time I had night mask on. It lasts 10 minutes. I took two 10mg of Prednisone and it hasn’t cut into the pain yet. I got maybe one hour of sleep from 5pm to 6pm, then from 6pm to 7pm. Now it feels like pressure all over my brain. I have a beanie on to compress my head a bit. I sent out an email and had about two minutes of being unable to do anything but press my head with both my arms. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to drive into work now but I don’t have any sick leave to use without being written up.

That is all the energy I have.

It’s 8:19am- now 8:20am- on Saturday. I feel exhausted yet the main headache passed at around 1am. I passed two large bowel movements and two smaller bowel movements. The headache log has much more information, so I’ll just quote there:

2019/12/07 December 7th
My headache was mostly gone by 1am. I’m still feeling it at 8:22am, but now it’s just more fatigue. It should go away after I go to sleep…

2019/12/06 December 6th
Went to bed at 11am. Woke up at 1:30pm feeling like my head was sleeping on a rock. Or like a fully-inflated balloon. Had major anxiety. Ate some crackers and tofu. Self-warming eye mask didn’t help. Took 20mg Prednisone. This didn’t help either. Eventually was able to sleep from, roughly, 5pm to 7pm. After I woke up, I couldn’t focus well on writing and had two minutes where I held my arms on my head to force pressure on my head. After watching videos and drinking coffee, my headache became manageable. I am at work now and it is manageable enough. I feel pressure along my neck when I’m thinking through something, but I can still think without much impairment, so I should be fine.

  1. What part of the head is the ache occurring?: Mainly, back of head; pressure all over.
  2. How does the ache feel (throbbing, sharp, dull)?: Pressure entirety around my head.
  3. When did the headache occur? Started at 1:30pm and persists past 11:30pm.
  4. On a scale of 1/10 to mindbender/10, how bad is/was it?: 1:30pm-5~pm: 6/10 to 7/10. 7pm-8pm: 3/10 to 10/10. 8pm-11:30pm: 3/10. 
  5. What stress factors were involved?: Other than the anxiety of waking up too early?
  6. Without lying, what stress factors were involved?: I rowed before bed. I felt a minor pull in the first minute but after that readjusted my form. M+.
  7. What did I eat in the past 24 hours?: Crackers, tofu, nuts.
  8. How much sleep did I get?: 5 hours total Was it restful sleep?: Mostly.
  9. Any noticeable environmental factors? Odors?: None
  10. How’s the weather? Drier than normal? Pollen?: Left the door open so it wasn’t as dry as it could have been. It was warm in the apartment but I turned the temperature down.

I’ll publish some essays and then call it an early wrap, before, 10:30am. This is just a quick check-in then.

I did, mostly, and was in bed before 11am and woke at 6pm without a headache. It was weird. Feeling normal after returning to that headached mindset is a weird feeling. After you adjust to feeling sick for so long, it’s like you’re waiting for someone to cheat you out of health once again. I took my day four Prednisone of 20mg a little while ago. I’m feeling alright, but if I were to summarize how I feel in one word, it’s exhausted. I wrote this in the headache log and will paste it here because I like the phrasing: “If a migraine is the worst of my troubles, I’m in good shape.”

I found out some information about my insurance.

I can actually put in a complaint against Doctor-Number-One through my insurance. I’ll do that in a few hours, certainly, and possibly Doctor-Number-Three/Neurologist-Number-One. I wanted to use the insurance’s website to find my next primary care physician, but after seeing outdated information for two physicians, one doesn’t practice in my area anymore and the other’s map entry wasn’t even a medical facility, so I think it will be easier to find a time to call them after I put in the complaint.

How many more doctors will I need to see before these headaches are under control?

It’s been officially one hour and 42 minutes since my last headache. It’s like my brain is a bomb with an unknown detonator, timer, and fuse. The more I can learn about headaches, the easier I can navigate through life. I’ve received headaches from stressed individuals. These gifts are things that I’ve learned to decline, but even still, it’s difficult. There’s a notion that we want to carry everyone’s burdens. If you’re reading this far, sorry, I’ve been gifting you my burdens as well, however, my intentions aren’t the same as the pathologist that was mad enough to give me a tension headache. In my own way, I’m helping to expand the boundaries of medicine. I can’t find the essay I wrote, but I wrote something about this years ago, where I’m sharing my addiction and sobriety experiences as subjective information on objectivity, where I’m subjectively experiencing these headaches but headaches are an objective thing that actually exist.

Some doctors may not believe in headaches.

These doctors can continue practicing medicine, but I won’t be their patient. I don’t have major health problems other than headaches. I am overall physically healthy and my mental health is overall stable enough. There can be improvements on both and I’m sure that as I exit my 30s, I’ll encounter more health problems, so this is the time to work with a doctor that doesn’t treat me like a disobedient child, doesn’t force me into antidepressants that I have stated outright to be harmful for me, and all that business we’ve been through thousands of words ago.

Let’s pick up again later.

Things were fine when I woke up and proceeded to decline until around 11pm. I noticed the slightest hints of tension and migraines when I left for work and by 11:30pm, the bright lights at work were too much for my eyes. It’s just after 10am now and I’ve felt spaced out, but mentally cognizant. The migraine is primarily behind my left eye and probably because of the pressure of my ears, since my right eye would normally be the source, and that ear can expel air along with my right eye, but my left eye and ear are plugged. I’m excited about things, though, so it’s a marked improvement. I give a shit about things, so the headaches are on the decline.

I told a coworker about headaches.

“There are three main factors you want to look for with headaches. First, where is it hurting. If it’s around your eyes, it might be a migraine, if it’s around here [nose and eyes], it might be your sinuses, and if it’s around your forehead and around, it might be a tension headache. Triptans work really well for migraines but don’t work well for tension headaches. Second, how does it hurt? Is it sharp or dull? Third, environmental factors, like what ya ate or whether the weather went from dry to wet or something.”

I’ll be studying headaches once these headaches start dying down.

I’ve sent in a complaint form [case number 2019120800001] and message to my insurance about the absurdity of this situation. I didn’t send them this essay because it’s like only halfway done [no, just kidding, it’s nearly… oh shit, it is only halfway done and we’re at 5,208 words] and I didn’t have access to it, but I summarized the point well enough that I regret not saving a copy of either message. Ah well, if you’re here, you could summarize it well enough, too.

I think I’ll go to bed now.

That was an awful time between the conclusion of that sentence and this point in this sentence, where to summarize outside the headache log, I got less than two hours of sleep and thought I’d need to go to the ER, had a difficult work shift where everyone calling in was pissed in comical ways to myself and my crew, but at least I’m well-rested enough. I woke up before my alarm from a nightmare where I had drilled into a particular scenario where I just realized ‘yeah, that’s not my business,’ and woke up dehydrated. I should fix that as a potential instigator of my headaches, which is now just a mild pain behind my left eye, but manageable enough where I can focus on my writing or anything else without having it become a distraction. I’ll conclude here for now since I have to go into work. I need to take my last prednisone to cross it off the list and so I can begin to conclude this essay’s wild tale. Before I do, I should present one additional update. The insurance company replied to my message stating that the complaint went to the proper department, so hopefully, I’ll get forward momentum on finding two new doctors.

That’s outside the scope of this essay about taking prednisone.

I took the last of the prednisone a few minutes after writing that sentence and other than briefly feeling horny and aggressive at work, this is the second day that I feel normal. It is quite a sensation to where your normal is so disturbed that when you return to feeling not much pain at all that it all feels weird. It’s like being in the middle of a hangover that won’t end. It’s like when I saw Motörhead for the first time. I went into the bathroom and my ears were still ringing. Only it’s closer to when I saw Sleep. I’ll sometimes have those sorts of ear ringings after shows. If the ringing hadn’t cleared up by the third day, I would have gone into a doctor.

Appreciate your life as it is right now.

I had my health taken away from me for enough time that I felt like a junkie. I’m still exploring how this all happened. “But I wonder what caused the inflammation, if it wasn’t food such as peanut butter or cheese which contains the same stuff as bananas?” “When this happened before, I was getting the headaches and all that at that one job due to stress. Since I can tolerate stress much more than four years ago, the amount of inflammation probably increased to such a degree that even with the amount of anti-inflammatory medication I took, it still is mostly there.”

This essay, these writings, are about seeking truths through subjectivity.

What is the nature of a headache? How come doctors don’t have better treatment plans for them? How come some people never experience headaches? I still knock on wood wondering when this clarity will end and my headaches will return. This has only been, what, the second day since I’ve had a debilitating headache? I still feel it looming in the background. It’s scary. Let’s stop thinking about it for now.

I think I’ll wrap this essay up soon.

Compared to the start of this essay, the time throughout which I wrote this essay and throughout all this medication, my headaches have gone away enough to the point where any little minor amount of head aching is minor by comparison. I’m not sure how it all happened, still. That’s probably for the diagnosis of a doctor or more likely an empathetic neurologist. Whether it was inflammation around my brain due to some kind of medical issue, extreme intolerance toward stress, or something else is not really my job currently to diagnose, rather, I will do whatever I can to avoid it from happening again. Just like last time, though, I was whiplashed by the headaches.

Is there any way to prevent headaches?

I’m not sure, because for me, I would rather just live, work, and roll with the punches as they come up, but this almost seems like something deeper than my current understanding. Over the past two months, I learned more about headaches, the types, and ways to treat or not treat them. I will be concluding this essay, but I won’t be concluding my exploration of treatments present and future. The last time I took prednisone, after whatever caused the issue sorted itself out, I went back to business as usual – mostly. After returning to reality, I started my plans to build a business. Its failure turned into Better Zombie, since I wanted to write about other things than just technical support things. I had been planning to build a business from as far back as March, but now is the time, with a product to sell, and the inclination to avoid having these sorts of issues again.

I’ll just need to make sure to iron out everything in life that could use the benefits I have right now before I jump into another phase in my life where I might need to buy other benefits, and since this is currently a huge unknown, my insurance premiums might be too much to pay out of pocket. I feel confident that I’ll be able to learn all of these things and make the transition into something more suitable for my lifestyle and interests. If I spent my days off just playing videogames and watching anime, that’d be one thing, but even the best of those can bore me easily, so I have the feeling that I can put the effort into learning about ensuring my health is stable along with learning about ensuring my finances are stable.

Prednisone Rating: ★★★★★ [5/5]
“I’d take prednisone to save my life from utter dispair!” – Me

Quotes: Cited in-line.
Sources: My personal experiences speaking to five doctors and having enough mindbender headaches for a few months.
Inspirations: This whole Tripping On series – see Amitriptyline, Sumatriptan, and Cyclobenzaprine – is useful for subjective experiences that have put me at the edge of my tolerance for sobriety.
Related: Other Sober Living essays.
Photo: Accidentally showing the remaining five-day-taper of Prednisone.
Written On:
all in WordPress, unless otherwise noted, or whatever]
December 5th, 2019 – 30mg
[81 minutes. From 4:25am to [long-term fix section] at 5:30am, while listening to D.R.U.G.S. by Flatbush Zombies. From 6:18am to 6:55am at “next five days” while listening to Vacation in Hell.  From 2:45pm to “Voices is done, too” at 3:29pm while listening to Wormrot.]
December 6th, 2019 – 30mg
[8 minutes. From 4:54am to “wish me luck” at 4:58am while listening to “Drug Parade” on repeat. 7:26pm to “all the energy I have” at 7:30pm while also listening to the above.]
December 7th, 2019 – 20mg
[22 minutes. From 8:19am to “check-in then” at 8:23am while listening to more Flatbush Zombies. I’ll probably just listen to them throughout the rest of these updates. From 7:35pm to “Let’s pick up again later” at 7:53pm while listening to “Monica.”]
December 8th, 2019 – 20mg
[8 minutes. From 10am to “I think I’ll go to bed now” at 10:08am while listening to “Drug Parade” on repeat.]
December 9th, 2019 – 10mg
[7 minutes. From 8:40pm to “taking prednisone” at 8:47pm while listening to “Palm Trees.”]
December 10th, 2019 – 10mg
[9 minutes. From 9:29am to “Let’s stop thinking about it for now” at 9:38am while listening to “Drug Parade” on repeat.]
December 12th, 2019 – 0mg
[12 minutes. From 5:10am to outro at 5:21am with an addendum at 6:35am while listening to a live performance.]
Last Edited: I’m not editing this beautiful mess.
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.