Thursday, July 31, 2008

Meningitis Sucks :(

First, I would like to apologize to Amy who has been keeping track of the blog to see my progress. She emailed me to ask if I was OK because I hadn't written in a week. Really sweet to check on me so thank you Amy for your concern.

Well, my misery has progressed. Monday night, my headache hit an all time excruciating high. My hubby was so worried because I actually cried from the piercing pain shooting in between my eyes. I had already taken Motrin, Percocet, and a muscle relaxer. Nothing was touching it. Finally, JD (hubby) gave me a Vicodin and I passed out at around 2am.

When I got up I called CC (was supposed to actually go there, had an appt but had to cancel because I didn't want to drag the kids on a minimum 5 hour car ride) to tell them about my pain and ask for suggestions as to what I should do. Obviously, I no longer believed it was a sinus thing. This felt like a Chiari headache only different and I just felt so bad. Chopping my head off became a real option for consideration. Well, CC must have been busy because they didn't call back right away and my PCP closes at noon on Wednesdays so I got in to see him. He is usually pretty cool and he helped me right after the surgery with pain control, unlike my neurologist who won't even see me for anything to do with the surgery because he did not perform it and that is not his job. PCP was great, he gave me a shot of Stadol (?) and a 12 day course of steroids for the ongoing chronic inflammation he believed to be the culprit.

Later on that day, CC called. It was my favorite nurse who has been there 30 years and knows what the heck she is talking about, always helpful. Anyway, she agreed that it sounds like the meningitis never fully cleared. She said that some patients who develop this complication just need a little more time on the steroids and it is completely normal. She told me to elevate the head of my bed for 6 weeks and use alternating hot and cold packs on the back of my head. (Just a note to let you know that my wound looks and feels fabulous, no pain or swelling, but the nurse said that just because you can't physically see or feel it doesn't mean it is not there.) Then she called in some Valium (which everyone else got post op from surgery except me because my regular room nurse and care sucked so bad) to use as my muscle relaxer 3x per day. She also called in prescription strength Motrin (helps with the old stomach lining). I am to take 600mg 4x per day for 3 weeks, then 3x per day for 2 weeks, then 2x per day for 1 week and once per day for one week. Stepping down the dose saves you a rebound headache which can be its own demonic torture.

So, I have a full drug load and a good 6 weeks before I am done (on my knees in prayer!) and hopefully back to feeling the high that I felt the first couple of weeks after surgery. I'll let ya'll know how it goes. As of this morning, the headache is still there but I no longer feel like someone is trying to gouge my eyes out with a knife through the bridge of my nose. I guess that is progress.

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