I get that my blog has become more of a random place to throw even more random thoughts out there. It’s been on my to-do list for a while now to start regularly updating and even update my cover photo, considering my child is now 4 years old, not 4 months old. But alas, every.single.time, life happens and sure enough, life has been happening a lot in these parts.
First, I should probably let you know that I don’t have ovarian cancer. They didn’t even remove my ovaries (not that I would have complained if they did). I did have two, read that two, epithelial tumors (one superficial, one internal) bi-laterally on my ovaries. I still get to go in for routine ultrasounds because I still have my ovaries and while I am BRCA negative, that only accounts for about 4% of ovarian cancers. But, I am cancer free and assumed this would be my last “token” hospital visit of the year.
I was wrong. So, very wrong.
Friday, April 17th, A and I took sweet E to the drive-in for the very first time. She was SO excited as we had been pumping her up all week about getting to watch a movie in our car (and might I add, a Prius is a super awesome car to take to the drive-in!). I was excited that we got to see a double feature for $15 total and that E got to watch Home and I’d finally get to see Cinderella. The plan was perfect and flawless, so I thought.
When we arrived at the drive-in, I had a dull headache, but I’m a nursing student not to mention a mom, I get headaches, I brushed it off and enjoyed the first movie (super cute by the way) and loved watching E take in the drive-in experience at the same drive-in I frequented as a child.
After Home finished, we got E tucked into her car seat, pulled the headrest off the seat in front of her (she’s still rear-facing) so she could see the screen to “watch” Cinderella (she was out before the previews were over) and I laid back next to her as my head started to ache quite a bit more. I made it through Cinderella, just barely, and told Aaron we needed to high-tail it home (with good reason, it was now after midnight).
The entire drive home I had a severe, stabbing, throbbing pain about the size of a quarter above my left temple that penetrated about 2″. My vision became extremely blurry and I began seeing double which made me nauseous the entire drive home. I doped up on Ibuprofen, left over Percocet from my surgery, an ice pack, and still could find no relief. Finally my incredible husband gave me a pressure point massage until I passed out Friday night, thinking I’d sleep it off.
I was wrong.
I woke up Saturday with the same pain, but more severe, now causing severe left eye pain. I called my doctor, who is amazing, and his concern was for Temporal Arteritis which if not treated immediately can cause blindness. My Mother-in-Law met us at the Emergency Room/Tiny Hospital and took E back to her house while A and I sat in the ER. Thankfully, when you have head pain accompanied with other Neurological symptoms they get you back quick. This trip resulted in lots of drugs, a CT Scan with Contrast, lots of lab work, and finally, an okay to go home with the promise of seeing my doctor first thing Monday morning or coming back if it got worse.
It got worse. I didn’t sleep Saturday night. So, Sunday I returned to the ER after speaking with my doctor who told me to prepare to be admitted overnight. I packed a bag, called my Mother-in-Law, my mom, and my best friend who sat with me so I wouldn’t be alone and headed back to the hospital. The ER doctor tried to do a Lumbar puncture, but was unsuccessful.
Let me stop here. Being an adoptive parent I have obviously never gone through childbirth. How in the heck you stay perfectly still through the pain of someone sticking a needle in your spine AND contractions is beyond me. I could barely do it with no contractions, so to women everywhere who have made it through an epidural, you’re my hero.
At this point, nothing would touch the pain, in fact I even asked the nurse if she was giving me saline or medication. The ER doctor, who thankfully was the same doctor I’d had the night before, came in and said I needed to be transferred to the main hospital, a world-renowned Neurological Institute that shall remain nameless, and he wanted me transferred by ambulance. Can I just say thank goodness they gave me nausea meds because riding backwards in an ambulance almost made me throw up.
I could write probably 15 entries about my hospital experience. But I won’t. I will simply say there is a reason I am leaving the “World Renowned Neurological Institute” nameless because it was not pleasant.
After 26 hours in the second ER (even though I was admitted to the hospital from the first ER- they’re the same hospital) and 7, count that 7, chair/room/bed moves in the ER I finally found myself on the Neuro ICU floor, where I got to stay for about 12 hours. I was not responding to any of the medications they threw at me, and they threw a ton of them at me, so they put me on the “last resort migraine medication” otherwise known as DHE.
Now, I want to say that at 31 years old, I have never had a migraine, ever. I’ve barely had headaches, certainly never a headache Ibuprofen didn’t mend. I’m not well versed on migraines, but in the entire time I was in the hospital the pain I had never changed. Quarter size section on the left temple, about two inches deep, throbbing, stabbing pain, not light, sound, or smell sensitive. To me, that’s not a migraine, but I’m not a Neurologist.
I experienced my 8th move to the Neuro/Telemetry floor as my new medication required round the clock heart monitoring. I then seeped into the black hole of the hospital and looked like this until Thursday morning only coming in and out of consciousness.
I was never alone in the hospital. A, my mom, my Mother-in-Law, my incredible family, and my amazing friends always made sure someone was by my side. E’s Hulk Build-a-Bear and my YoungLife Snuggie were saving graces (hospitals are cold y’all, and their pillows stink). E came to see me each night for about an hour, always before my DHE dose, so she didn’t see me in that horrible state. We had chocolate ice cream and watched Frozen together each night, but after 4 nights away, on Wednesday evening, she was very upset that I wasn’t going home.
I was too.
My Wednesday night dosage of DHE was my last. I suffered some terrible side effects that made the doctors decide it was time to come off (let’s just say there was an EKG and an echocardiogram involved and I have never had cardio problems). Thursday afternoon I was discharged as a “migraine” and given 3 prescriptions of high dose medications with instructions to come back in a month for Botox injections. I didn’t fight it, I wanted out. The first place we went after we left the hospital was to pick up E.
Sunlight, upright, holding my baby, no IV’s. This was happiness. When she saw me waiting in the parking lot (I’ll be honest in saying I hadn’t showered since Sunday, so I didn’t go into the pre-school) she ran to me and gave me the biggest hug in the world. In the deepest concern a 4-year-old could have, she asked me if the hospitals were over. Thank God, they were.
So, here I am, a week after discharge, still with the same pain. I stopped the meds, they made me numb and comatose. I’m a mom, and a nursing student, and a 31-year-old woman, I can’t live my life like that, I’d rather be in pain. I’m seeing my PCP and we’re trying to figure this out. I had an MRI today, and it was normal, which is great, but at the same time, defeating.
So, here we are, back to square one. Tomorrow we’re trying a lidocaine injection and I’m on my 4th day of steroid therapy, along with some amazing essential oils a dear friend gave me last night. I’ll be seeking out an Ophthalmologist and a new Neurologist this week as well, but I’m happily seeking any sort of suggestions you may have, please don’t be shy.
So, that’s how life has happened recently. I’d like to think I’ll be back to blog about happier things considering my last few entries have been health related, putting my cat to sleep, and the state of my horrible state, but I make no promises.
I certainly hope life is happening much less eventful for you!