Off to the local ER with a plus 10 headache. The kind that makes you scratch yourself until you bleed and then scrcat holes in yourself. I hate getting that way.
Quiet time in the ER and I’m thinking MAYBE if I get a real medical professional, they will look up cluster headaches, realize it is a real thing, drug me and send me home.
Like my Da always said, even medical schools have people who graduate at the bottom of the class.
Intake nurse–has seen me before and we talk about any new information about clusters. There is none.
Then I talk to a NP. She thinks I’m a little old to be having headaches like this, Do I still have periods? No, those parts are GONE and clusters aren’t “headaches” any more than being hit by an Amtrack is a fender bender.
So I am lying on my little bed, gnawing on my hand (moving the pain to another site helps sometimes. Sometimes it just gives me two places to hurt). Banged my head on the wall for a while.
Nurse comes in. have I seen a doctor? No? What usually helps me? Then zip! Off she goes.
Meanwhile, a 5150 has been brought in and she is crying and screaming and bleating that they are really hurting her. I’d like to get out of MY bed, beat her into submission and shut her up. They aren’t hurting her, She is handcuffed to the gurney and this wasn’t the picture of threatening suicide she had in her mind.
Doctor comes in to discuss drug use. I have the list of all my drugs and what they are for. The abortives have just accidentally be found to work sometimes on clusters. They don’t work on me but they might. The trick is to take them at the very first sign of a headache. Since my very first sign is a bat smacked across my head, I have precious little time to think a headache might be on the way. It’s there as soon as my eyes wake up.
Well, he is a little worried about the amount of narcotic I’m taking. ME TOO. In fact, it’s about all I talk about to the many medical professionals who know anything about clusters. This guy doesn’t. I mention my neuros, whom he has never heard of and he tells me he has never even heard of cluster headaches. Dude, go back to your desktop and look this stuff up before you come talk to me. He is thinking maybe I have a fucking stress headache.
Then he goes off to look up clusters but I think he really went to the snack bar. He comes back and tells me that they will gives me the drugs the neuro at UCSF gave me, just in case I ever ran into this problem. But my case is going to be seriously looked at because I’m coming in too often. Just for the record, so far in 2012, I’ve been in five times. Five.
I go to my clinic almost every day and get oxygen and IV’s and saline and hot blankets and a quiet room. They are in contact with my neuro who says since there is no cure, the only thing they can do is make me comfortable. Not comatose. Comfortable.
Thursday I get steroid shots into my skull and Botox in my temples. That sounds like a lot of fun.