Saturday, March 12, 2016

"M" is for ...

I realize it has been many months since I wrote anything here.

There are many reasons ... or excuses, but I just have not been able to separate my thoughts into coherent sentences.  A lot has happened ... nothing horribly interesting ... not profoundly wonderful nor terribly bad ... just a lot of things.

I won't try to explain everything that has happened in the last 6 months.  Most of it you have heard in previous posts ... work being hectic, little annoying injuries, money issues ... just the same old stuff.

I did have something a little interesting in December.

For many years I have had a lipoma on the back of my neck.  It has never caused much of an issue other than being an ugly lump and making me feel self-conscious.  My doctor had looked at it before and said it is just a fatty mass (a lipoma).  I never saw the need to do anything about it since it did pose an immediate threat.

I started having tension headaches in October.  It is not unusual for me to get stress headaches, but this one became continuous, and it seemed to radiate from the lipoma.  This is when I needed to have it checked out.  My mind tends to wander into the dark and scary places and I could imagine hearing that this innocent mass had spread or grown into my brain or ... ...

My doctor did not believe the headaches were caused by the mass, but he did agree that we needed to look at it and get it removed.  I was referred to a surgeon who had a CT scan done.  After a couple days the surgeon calls and said, "The radiologist looked at the scan and he sees what may be a cancerous spot in the lipoma ... ..."  I really did not hear much after the word cancer.  The conversation ended with him saying, "I want to get this surgery done as soon as possible."

It freaked me out ... a lot.

The surgery went fine ... After a few days the pathology report said there was no cancer in the mass.

I will just add this to the collection of scars on my body.

About a week ago I started having a horrible headache.  The pain focused on the right side of my head, any form of light felt like a laser drilling into my brain, certain sounds felt like my skin was being pealed off, I had no energy ... the list goes on, but needless to say I was miserable.

I did not go to work on Friday when the pain first hit.  I could barely walk straight, I could not imagine trying to drive.  This all lasted through the weekend with no real relief.  Monday I tried to go to work and managed to survive until the end of the day.

Tuesday I was not as lucky.  I was lightheaded and still had all the symptoms.  I had to give in and go to the doctor.

This is not the first time I have felt these symptoms.  This is not even the first time I have seen a doctor with these symptoms.

For many years I have suffered from these issues.  In general they last 2 or 3 days, then I have a few day reprieve before I feel the pain again.  This pattern would repeat 3 or 4 times, then go away for usually many months.

I have talked to 3 different doctors about the headaches.  I gave them detailed descriptions of everything that was going on.  Each time I went to the doctor I was told, "Well, it's not migraine.  It sounds like a stress headache ..."

I did not want to talk to my doctor and have him tell me "Take Advil ... It's stress."

Advil doesn't help.

I get called back into the room and go over my symptoms.  My doctor looks at me and says, "Has anyone ever told you that you have migraines?"

What I wanted to say was, "I've wanted to hear that for 30 or more years now.  Nobody seems to believe mee!"  And actually this is a part of the issue ... I have started to believe that maybe I wasn't really having these issues.  Maybe all this suffering was some form of psychosomatic response and the doctors were right.  Maybe it's just stress.

What I actually said, "No."

He gave me a shot to help ease the pain and relieve the other migraine symptoms.  He also wants me to have an MRI of my head.  The thought of being shoved into a tube head first sort of terrifies me.

I am wondering if the issues earlier in my life had to do with statistics.  Depending on where you read, women suffer migraines 3 to 5 times more often than men ... and they often present differently in men.  Maybe this is why there was no hesitation to say I have a migraine.

To me this is good news ... not suffering the pain, but being diagnosed with something I knew I had for a very long time.

There is much more good news going on in 2016, but I do not want to get into any of it right now.