Almost there...

Wednesday, April 11, 2001

So yesterday I experienced my first classic migraine. Well, actually, it started Monday night around 8:00. Sitting on the sofa, polishing off my Gardenburger, Rick got a call from his dad. During the course of their conversation, my field of vision started changing. All around the periphery was watery zig zag lines. I rubbed my eyes, but it didn't get better. I closed one eye and then the other to see which eye it was in only to find out it was both. I kept rubbing and pressing on my eyes trying to get them to stop doing it, but to no avail. I looked around the room and decided it was better to just close my eyes for a while. Then my left hand started getting numb. That's when I started to panic a little. I thought, "Am I having a heart attack? Or a stroke?" Then I thought, "Stay calm, it's probably nothing." Then the little voice on the other shoulder said, "Probably nothing, right. Then why is your hand numb! Oh! And now we're getting a headache in the same place that we've had a headache brewing consistently for the last few months!" It was somewhere around this time that things started getting better. About ten minutes later, Rick got off the phone with his dad and I told him what was going on. I'm not quite sure what he thought of it all. I called the "Advice Nurse" at Kaiser.

Now the advice nurse system is basically just a way to see if you are worthy of getting an appointment. At no point in the call did I get any advice. I called and talked to a receptionist type. This person got my basic information - name, card number, address, etc. - and they got me to tell them the first version of my story. I told them what happened and they said I should talk to the nurse. You're not the advice nurse? No. Oh. So then I waited for the nurse. The nurse had me tell the whole story over again. Then she asked several questions. Then she said, "Well, I don't have any more appointments available tonight. How about 1:30 tomorrow." Uh, sure? Okay. Bye. Did she give me any hint as to what it could be? No. Did she suggest any remedies? No. Did she even directly calm my fears about this being life threatening? No. Grumble Grumble Grumble. So with my appointment written down, I headed upstairs to take a shower and go to bed early. I told Rick in the shower that if I die in my sleep tonight, that he should sue Kaiser for malpractice.

It was about this time that the tiny little headache that had started had turned into a raging screaming pounding animal clawing the insides of my head. I crawled into bed, stuffed my head under a pillow, and went promptly to sleep. The next morning I headed to work after snacking on a breakfast of Advil. I was nauseous and still had a whopping headache. When I got to my desk, I started browsing WebMD. I looked up migraines. In ten minutes, all of my fears were assuaged as I read the description of a "classic migraine." Sure enough, it described my symptoms perfectly. Now why couldn't the advice nurse have suggested that last night? I have no idea. Then at least I would've taken some Advil sooner and possibly headed off some of the headache. Grr.

I love the internet. Six or eight years ago I would've had to wait all day to see the doctor and then would've doubted him because I had no real way of confirming his diagnosis without heading to the library. Now when I went to the doctor, I gave him the run down of what happened. He said it sounds like a classic migraine. I agreed. He prescribed Midrin, which worked wonders. I went home and slept off the rest of it knowing that I wasn't dying of a heart attack (which also has the classic symptom of left arm tingling). I think I like the internet best because it allows me to find my own answers rather than having to rely on what others tell me. Sure, it's just others telling me by writing it down, but when two or more people agree on something, I always feel a bit safer than when it's just one voice. I'm kind of kooky that way.

So back on track. Time to build a PowerPoint demo. Bleh!


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