My dear friends,
Many of you guys have wondered why my blog has fell silent… and for the past three years I have not been able to speak of what has went on in my life due to a lawsuit. My lawsuit has been settled and now I am trying to pick up the pieces of my shattered life and put things back together. December 20, 2011 was a very happy day, I was going to dinner (at about 9:30pm) and I thought nothing of it. I usually left the building and picked up chinese takeout or ran to McDonalds in the parking lot. But this day I did not get any dinner, when I stepped out of the elevator on the first floor there was a sloppy mess of floor cleaner, stripper that was laid out thick on the floor. I took one step out and that’s when things got fuzzy and hard to recall.
It appears that I had a concussive injury that has caused some modicum of brain damage. It’s the same mechanics as a football player who has an injury even when having a helmet on. I believe based upon the bruising that I had days afterward that I did hit my forehead against something… and that’s just the beginning. I have two distinct types of headaches, the first one being what can be described as icepick headaches. They only last about 20-40 seconds, seldom more than a minute but the pain is intense and unholy. They come at the most inopportune times, while I am talking to someone I freeze up… or walking in the aisle shopping… I’m usually able to keep my balance or car on course when I’m driving as it does not last long. Fortunately I take a medicine called Indocin which is pretty cheap and it controls the headaches… long as I have it no icepick.
But therein lies a problem… Indocin is a powerful NSAID which effects the heart, and has some other nasty effects on the body. It has torn up my stomach to the point I’m nauseated all the time and have to take a strong acid preventer like Nexium to counter it’s side effects. I also take Zofram (Onadesteron) or Phenegrin (Promethazine) to counter the nausea it makes… that’s three prescriptions to counter the side effect of the medicine that keeps me from having headaches.
Then there’s the second type of migraine I get that can only be described as the OH MY GOD THE WORLD IS ENDING type of headaches. These are the big boys that seem to come in a cycle that I can not shake. Nothing and I mean absolutely NOTHING seems to help these headaches but cold dark places, rest and strong medicines. I take an anti seizure medicine called Depakote that is supposed to help prevent the headaches, I can’t really tell if it’s doing anything as I have to stair step down to stop it and I’m too afraid to do it because what if it is helping it would only open the door for the demon to come in with more headaches. Depakote has caused me to have nausea and I believe it’s very hard on my liver as well. Not to mention that the #1 side effect of Depakote is weight gain and I’ve worked up to 255 pounds (I had lost down to 205) damn! But at least it’s not my heaviest at 367 which was in 2009.
Then there’s the Pamelor (Nortrypteline) which is a mild antidepressant that helps to control the pain of the migraines… it’s been determined that’s not helping me so I’m in the middle of a detox to come off of it to go on Cymbalta which is a mainstream antidepressant that has worked wonders with chronic pain and fibromyalgia. I have great hopes for this medicine.
The headaches have become so severe that I have had multiple Emergency room trips to the hospital where they bomb my body with Toridol (a pain med that’s very hard on the kidneys), Solumedrol (a powerful steroid), Reglan (a powerful anti=nausea med) and Benadryl (beats me but the histamine response causes pain and using an anti histamine seems to help) it usually breaks the headache or lessens it to tolerable levels but at a severe cost. The Toridol is destroying my kidneys, the Solumedrol is messing with my endocrine system to the point it’s causing me mass fatigue and adrenal, thyroid, and diabetic problems. It is the reason why I am so tired all the time and my face puffs like I have Cushings Disease, thankfully the Reglan and Benadryl just makes me sleep no bad sides that I know of.
I have been so tired, and fought so hard to keep my job. I barely was able to make it one week before another migraine blew up in my face… I tried and tried but never seemed to be able to catch up at work. I felt like a failure because I simply could not perform at the high standard and level that I knew that I could perform. It saddened me terribly that I have to say that my employer terminated me this Friday on November 21st. Fortunately the whole time I was employed I paid for short term and long term disability insurance, I have filed my claim for Short Term disability and I will have a small income coming in. I will have to COBRA my insurance through December and I will have to find out if Obamacare will work for me starting in January.
In the meantime I have found the one doctor that has helped me more than any other… an Endocrinologist named Dr. Lara Fakunle, she is helping me to get a new insulin pump, and get my life back together with my other medical problems. Due to the surgery I had back in 2006 I no longer am able to produce testosterone and have had to take it as an injection for the past 8 years. I have had to suspend my shots of testosterone so we can test just how bad my system is messed up and it is quite messed up. The steroids have caused me to lose control of my diabetes… my A1C is 9.7 which is poor diabetic control. My kidneys are showing signs of damage, my liver is enlarged, my triglycerides are off the chart. I’m in bad shape.
To add insult to injury my last trip to the hospital on October 21st uncovered a very abnormal heart rhythm. I have been able to get it under control with a plethora of more new pills I have to take. Even with the new meds my resting heart rate averages 110+ which is a very high pulse… it should not be that high. Could it be because I am in so much pain??? That’s the theory at least. I’ve had a complete work-up by a cardiologist.
My Neurologist is one of the best in the world and I do appreciate Dr. Frank’s kindness and advice through this all. He has put me off for the next 3 months on Short Term Disability. I should be cleared for work in February… in the mean time the ONLY job I have now is simply getting better. I will be ok… if I am short and don’t answer your e-mails or Facebook this is why. I have been quiet for a long time because I couldn’t discuss what was going on. Well here it is… I have been struggling with this mess with only a few key friends who knew about the lawsuit and my dear mother’s support. I’m going to start writing about migraines because there are other people who are suffering this hell and if I can somehow be able to sympathize or give comfort to someone out there then it is all worth it.
My employer, Charter Communications, who terminated me I hold them absolutely no ill will. They have been there beyond been there, they simply have strict policies and I exhausted FMLA and all leave options. I’ve never worked for a company that cared so deeply for their employees and I have to say they treated me with dignity, support, and respect throughout all of my problems. The door is open for me to go back when I get through this and I know that I will get through it one way or another.
I am a person of deep spirituality and faith… I believe my God will carry me through this and I pray daily. I ask my family, my friends, and those who have a sympathetic ear to please pray for my healing, that I will make it financially as it would destroy me to lose my home, and I pray that my Mom can remain strong as I know that this takes it toll on her as well. I can’t even begin to describe how much she has been there with me and suffered every headache, and doctors appointment with me. She’s taken me to the emergency room… she’s been there… she’s been my biggest blessing from God and continues to be my biggest blessing.
And most of all anyone else who is suffering from migraines… please hang in there… I have had headaches in the past that I called sinus migraines but there’s nothing in comparison to the monsters I am getting now. Excedrin Migraine would not even begin to touch one. I pray no one ever has to experience one but if you do know that you are not alone. I hope writing about them will help me get through them. Here’s to new journeys… I have much work to do now. == Allen