Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My brain is all clear

The MRI results came back today. My brain is fine. No anything wrong (the report even said my sinuses look perfect too).

Exactly what we expected. In fact, if they told me something did show up on it, I would have thought they were pulling my leg.

This is good news. Except, I still have a headache. And it is near-constant. It swings though - sometimes it's a dull ache - there, annoying, but not too terrible - other times it is excruciating pain. It's like a switch is flipped, it comes on so strong, so quickly, then after time, the flip switches again and it goes back to dull ache. The meds I am taking (just over the counter) is not helping at all.

I talked to my primary care doctor today. She is approaching it from a stress point of view (since the mri was clean, and she checked me for ear ache, sore throat, anything that she could "see" that might cause the headache). So we're upping the magnesium supplement I'm taking. I'm okay with this as it might help with my digestive issues too. Actually, I think it is already helping a little bit so upping it might just do the trick. We also talked about meditation, relaxing, and getting enough sleep - which I definitely don't do, so melatonin was added as well. We talked about exercise - I'm already doing what she suggested, and she said that was definitely good and to keep it up, even on the days when I'm feeling too tired.

The possibility of going gluten-free came up, but it wasn't a strong suggestion for her, so I'm ignoring it for now. However, I'm tucking it in the back of my head. I'm not against trying it, but I'm also not eager to. Plus, my head is pretty much always pounding and the thought of radically changing our diet makes me want to curl up in a ball and whimper. (I know, someone somewhere is thinking but doing this could make you feel better! And it could, but I also know my limits and I'm there. So we are shelving the idea for now).

I love my primary care doctor because she's not all "let's throw 55 prescriptions at you and see where it goes." Not, mind you, that there is a problem with doing that, except, I've had a lot of really bad reactions to a variety of prescription medications, so I'm leery to take them personally. I did, though, get a few trial pills of a sleep prescription medicine to take when I'm so exhausted but can't sleep and just need something - or to help me with the headaches, which are definitely currently making sleep difficult. I'm not opposed to trying them, but I worry about side effects because I tend to get them.

Also, she listened to me. There was a chance I'd get sent for more scans - similarly to the MRI, not that we thought anything was wrong but maybe we should double check. I don't think we need to do this - though I would if they wanted me too. So I told her that it was my opinion that there wasn't anything REALLY wrong, or one BIG problem, but more every system in my body was off by a little bit - and because they were all off at the same exact time, it felt bigger. She said at this point, she agreed with me, she saw nothing pointing to anything different. And that since I have lived in my body for my whole life, she felt that my thoughts on the matter were probably pretty spot on. {side note: If she saw anything that contradicted what I said, I also know she would say, that may be, but this needs to be checked}.

It's nice to feel like you are part of your health care team. It's nice to feel listened too, to feel trusted to know your own body, and to have a doctor that understands you and how you work. It's so good. I wish everyone had this kind of doctor.

After I left her, the oncologist called. He was calling to tell me the MRI was clear (not knowing I met with the other doctor already). We also talked a bit about the headaches. He is prescribing a medicine for migraines. No pharmacy has it today, but I will be able to get it tomorrow. Hopefully, if this headache lingers, this will help without causing some horrible side effects that make me feel worse. He also told me my iron levels are still low (though they are higher than last time). My white and red blood cell counts dropped a bit too, but nothing too terrible. Though I should still expect to feel exhausted (though as we've talked about before, he suggested last month that might just be my new normal).

Since things seem to be stable, he doesn't need to see my back for 3 months. I'll take it. I've got fabulous doctors, but for real, I am doctored out.

I know. More talk about doctors and headaches and tests. This isn't what I had pictures for the month of November, but my head apparently had other ideas. Also, my head has been hurting so much, I haven't been knitting or sewing or anything like that (p.s. this is how you know I'm really not feeling well because I love doing those things so much!). I've been kind of anti-social too, just hunkering down, doing what needs to be done and then trying to lay low with the hopes the headache will pass.

I realize this is all pretty darn boring to read, and I'm sorry. But, I can't wait to come here and say "No more headaches!" and hopefully that will be the last we have to talk about headaches for a while! ;-)


  1. I'm glad everything was clear on the MRI. I know it's frustrating when there is no clear answer. Hope you get some relief soon.

  2. It's not boring to read at all. I'm glad the scan came back clear, and I really hope you find an answer to help alleviate the headaches. ~Catherine


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