Among the myriad triggers that can potentially cause headaches as outlined in Heal Your Headache by David Buchholz, M.D., the one dietary trigger I am not willing to give up yet is caffeine. My addiction to caffeine is complicated. I can live without caffeine in the short-term, it’s just not a life where I can do all I want to do. I could adapt if forced; I’d rather reduce any other headache triggers first.
It was coincidental that I started this Tripping On The American Healthcare System essay-series-turned-book as an offshoot of the Sober Living essays I’ve been writing for years now. That’s my complaining space. As I’m reading more of Heal Your Headache by David Buchholz, M.D., I’m seeing some of the medications I was prescribed. Sumatriptan and Ondansetron weren’t just random medications. They’re actually commonly prescribed for headache-sufferers, so writing my “trip reports” can actually be useful.
I was feeling good up until I woke up, hours early, with a sore back. Realigning the three spinal problems, all mild, will take time. It should help to get things back into order. At least now I know that when I feel the pangs or pops, that it’s normal, but just not to overdo it, because then the muscles won’t have time to develop. I’m in that intermediary stage where things are still healing.
All I want to do is sleep. Somewhere between the headaches and back pains, most of my motivation has gone, but I know it’s only rest from the rancid feelings of pressure around my head, behind either eye, and along my neck that I seek, rather than the actual sensation of sleep. Maybe it’s my negative thoughts toward Doctor-Number-Eleven, a sleep doctor, but I don’t care for sleep much more than as a biological necessity.
I don’t know how much time I have to downsize and sell everything nonessential. That’s a fair statement for anyone. We don’t know how much time we have, existentially, but if we assume we’ll be alive tomorrow, then there’s probably a number of years. I don’t know if I’m going to wake up with a headache tomorrow that impairs my goals. When I’m not experiencing a mindbender headache, of course, the inclination is to double-step.
I’m not fixed up entirely, yet this vampire samurai medication is helping. Why do anti-inflammatories help so much for my headaches? We’re still not sure. I’m still waiting for the brain MRI, physical therapy, sleep study, and whatever the American Healthcare System can throw my way. Meanwhile, today, I’m writing this during the second day where I could hold coherent thoughts, concentrate for long stretches of time, and even clean house. Thanks, vampire samurai medication.
I’m not looking forward to my next weigh-in. I’ve been splurging on excessive calories for so long, I feel so bloated, and yet, up until recently, eating has been my only relief from these overwhelming mindbender headaches. It’s terrible, I know, and yet all I can do is just keep on snacking. Whenever the mildest pang of hunger strikes me, I didn’t have the willpower. Today was my first day without a headache in… well…
I’m not sure why I didn’t get a stronger reaction when I told the nurse and doctor that I couldn’t exercise because of my headaches. The most plausible reasons are that the nurse was going too fast and Doctor-Number-Nine didn’t know me. Even Neurologist-Number-Two/Doctor-Number-Eight was perplexed. I imagine once the headaches decrease from constantly and daily to mere memories, then I’ll be more likely to be able to exercise without getting any sort of headache.
“We don’t know much about headaches,” was what the first doctor to talk to me about headaches, over four years, told me before describing pain sensors and blood vessels. As I’m reading Heal Your Headache by David Buchholz, M.D., that still holds true, but we do know enough to work with. I’m on page 30 of 231 and there’s already enough to fill my brain with insights as to what these things are from a biological perspective.
If we play the shoulda-woulda-coulda game, what factors – if changed – shoulda changed, which woulda made things better, which coulda prevented me from landing in the emergency department with a bill for $726.41? I know one guilty party: my insurance company dragged their feet in finding me the help I needed. I went through their web system so I could save the documentation. I was out of options. Desperate. Alone. I tripped on the American Healthcare System.