writer's note: This has all been documented in another blog, I just thought it would be appropriate to be here as well since it's health related. If you have already read this before then please skip it, there's no need to do that to yourself again. Also, I still haven't proofread it...so...sorry? i guess
P.S. I know that this makes me look like a crazy person. I guess I am a crazy person. proceed
Eric and the Hypochondria
It's my third day and I already seriously considered quitting. I had a topic in mind that I've wanted to write about for about six months now, but just didn't think I could give it my best shot today. So I came up with some others and didn't feel them either then decided I didn't want to do this anymore. No offense to everyone out there reading this but I'm starting to feel some pressure to write something good and I don't how to do that. I know you're expecting some God talk and I should really learn some more before I start going there.
I've been scared for about 3 months(or maybe even longer) that I'm going to die. I know there's something wrong with me I just don't know how serious it is or what to do about it. I know the first thing I need to do is lose weight( that's the topic I planned for today, maybe tomorrow). I went to the Dr. in november and he put me on blood pressure medicine and prozac, and sent me to a sleep clinic to get a breathing machine. That all worked pretty well until mid december when I started kidney pain and weird tingling warmth would wash over my body. So I went back and he said it wasn't my kidney is was just my back. Okay fine I'm a hypochondriac with an iPhone. 2 weeks later my chest starts hurting so I go back and he does a ekg(or whatever they do when they make you take your shirt off and stick probes on you). He said that was fine but sent me to a cardiologist(Awesome). I went to that guy and I was the youngest person in the whole building I'm sure. He says I'm probably alright, but he wants a stress test and an echo(great more taking my shirt off, I don't even take my shirt off to shower...just kidding, but it does suck). This whole process is about a month long, during which the weird tingly warmth was still affecting me while I was trying to sleep, but it turns out my hearts fine and they don't want to see me again for 30 years. That whole month I was on google every day and diagnosed myself with GERD or acid reflux. I called the Dr. and he prescribed some stuff. Everything was good again...for about a week.
I started getting headaches or really just a strange pressure in my head that seemed to be affecting my speech but I was the only one who could hear the difference. I mostly ignored this until last friday when it started getting really bad. It comes and goes and google says it could be anything from anxiety to a tumor and a whole mess of crap in the middle. Did I mention that I wake up and both arms will be numb even though I'm sleeping on my back. I woke up at 4 am this morning and I felt the pressure in the center of my skull pushing down and tingling all over my body. I get up and it's fine. I barely notice the pressure most of the days now but if I sit down it'll usually start to get to me. I know it's weird.
I know I should call the Dr. but I'm sure he's pretty sick of me and all the money I've thrown at him since early november. I know hypochondriacs and they are sooooo annoying, I just don't want to be that person, but I know that there is something wrong with me and if I could just figure it out I would be happier. It's really all I can think about which is why this is the post you're getting today instead of my battle with food addiction, although they may be related, who knows?
Eric and the Hypochondria II
I’m not crazy, I swear, although I guess that might be something a crazy person would say. Last time I brought up this subject I was waiting on a doctor’s appointment, so about 4 ½ weeks ago. I went to see the doctor that Monday and explained the whole headache/head pain situation. He said that it can’t be sinuses because there are no sinuses in that part of your skull. He didn’t think it was a tumor but just to be sure he scheduled me for an MRI on Thursday (Thursday!?! Really, Doc?! I could be dead by Thursday, my head hurts now!). So I carried on for four days and worried and prayed (sort of, prayer is not my strongest point). Thinking what if I can’t fit in the MRI machine, what if it is a tumor, what if it isn’t, what else could it be, what if it’s worse, what does Google have to say about all of this?
Thursday comes and the headache is still there so I go to the hospital and wait…and wait…and wait…I hear people talking in the hall about calling a repairman and something’s wrong and this has never happened before and frantic whispering that I can’t understand and I wait…2 hours later the tech comes out and apologizes to me and the other people waiting with me. He explained the machine broke down and they had to call the fix it guy and blah blah blah it’ll be 15 more minutes. Awesome, it’s not like I have a job to be at or anything. I know it’s not his fault but someone could have at least let us know what was going on. So I get in the room and I have to remove all metal from my person (glasses, wedding ring [which was really hard to get off], etc…). As I had suspected it was somewhat difficult to jam my fat ass into the tiny little tube but there’s little I can do about that right now. If you’ve never been inside an MRI machine you should know that it’s very loud and, for me anyway, very cramped. I get out after 20 minutes or what felt like 3 days and try my best to interpret what the pictures mean while I put my shoes, glasses, and coat back on. The tech looks at me and says “are you alright?” to which I respond “not really”. Then he tells me I should call the dr. and ask him to call the hospital and examine the results, but today is dr. jones’ day off so I know that I have to wait.
The next day was donate blood day at work, something that I’ve never done before but I don’t have a problem with needles and I’ve always been under the assumption that getting rid of some old blood is good for you(who knows). When you donate blood you have to fill out quite a bit of paperwork and answer a bunch of questions about your history, medical and otherwise. The first question they ask is “do you feel healthy?” wow, is that a good question? No but it’s just my brain so it should be alright, right? The dr.’s office called me about noon and Lane told me that the results came out clean. No tumor, no signs of MS (what I wasn’t even worried about that, now I am), everything’s good. Great, awesome, that’s the best news I’ve heard all…wait, what the hell is wrong with me? The dr. said a little bit of sinusitis showed up so I should take antibiotics and come back in week or so. I thought he said my sinuses weren’t in that part of the skull. They’re not, but just take the medicine. Fine, so I took the antibiotics for ten days and on the tenth day I went back to the doctor.
I told him that I thought the headache was 75% better at that point but I could still feel the irritation if I thought about it. Here’s an idea, don’t think about it. Easier said than done, doc. He decided to change my blood pressure medicine and see what happens in a month. I was skeptical to say the least, but he’s the doctor. Also, he said that it can’t be a pinched nerve because they don’t affect your brain. Fine, just shoot down all my theories (and the theories of all the “doctors” I work with). Four days and 3000 Google searches later I decide that the Prilosec has to be the problem. I call the dr. and let him know what I’ve discovered and he tell me “fine, stop taking it”. So I stopped taking it, and it’s been about a week and ½ and the headache/ head pain thing is all but gone( I can still kind of feel something but I’m just hoping it’s going to go away eventually). Yesterday I woke up and it was back and worse than it ever was before. I’ll give you my theories on that later.
Eric and the Hypochondria III
I’m writing this post immediately after finishing the last one so you should definitely read it first(and probably part one as well if you even care a little about this craziness making any sense, and even then it probably won’t).
So yesterday I wake up and my head hurts in the same spot it did before only worse and I’m freaking out. Could it be my teeth, or even my jaw, could it be an ear infection(my ears did hurt a little bit, and my balance has been off for a while). I’ve got all these questions and I’m growing more concerned by the second(all of this thinking and worrying is happening in the shower by the way, quiet time is the enemy). I get out of the shower and go into the living room where I sit down to check to see what the almighty Google knows about my problem. Then the right side of my face gets really hot like I’m close to a fire or heater. This does not help the freaking out. What the hell is wrong with me? My right eye also seems a little blurry while the left one is working fine. Also the head pain is on the right side so maybe that’s affecting my vision. I don’t know.
I get to work and start googling some more(only on my breaks, of course[my boss reads this]). I knew a guy who recently died of a very rare disease call Creutzfeld-Jakob disease(CJD, pronounced KROITS-felt YA-kob). He’s actually one of the founders of the company I work for and he was an awesome dude, the smartest person I’ve ever known. The disease is not known to be contagious but it’s so rare how can they know for sure, right. So I look up the symptoms and, as is usually the case with the diseases I look up, I have at least 5 of the symptoms. Depression. Check. Memory loss. Check. Personality changes. Check. Speech impairement. Sort of. Balance and coordination dysfunction. Check. So I don’t have dementia, seizures, or hallucination…yet. Obviously, I don’t want this disease(because it’s fatal in like 6 months or something) and I know I’m being paranoid because I know someone who had it. I’ve tried to think about what I did Monday that’s different than any other day but is the same as what I was doing 3 weeks ago. This morning in the shower something came to me
This is just a theory and it will sound crazy but here goes. I was eating quinoa for breakfast every day for like 2 weeks( all during the time when the head pain was the worst). Then I quit and started eating oatmeal because I was worried about my cholesterol(200). That’s when the head pain went down to a 1 from a 4 or 5. Monday night we ate quinoa for dinner(the first time I’ve had it since I quit eating it for breakfast). So as best I can figure the only thing I did differently was eat something everyone says is the greatest, most healthy food ever made. What? Ok, maybe it’s like pomegranate juice, that stuff makes me feel nauseous every time I drink it but I keep doing it because it is awesome and allegedly awesome for me. My theory on the pomegranate juice has always been, maybe the juice is killing something bad in my and it doesn’t like it so it makes me sick. If I apply this same theory to the ever-present head pain then I can assume that the head pain is being irritated by whatever is in the quinoa and it doesn’t like it. Now I realize that the head pain is just a symptom and not the actual problem so it doesn’t make sense that everyone keeps telling me just to stop eating quinoa if I want the pain to go away. I don’t want the pain to go away, I want the cause of the pain to go away.
Today my head is back to the 1 again and I still don’t know what else to do. I quit the Prilosec so the heartburn is back and worse than before. I’m going to try eating garlic cloves and drinking apple cider vinegar and baking soda(read it on the internet). Have a nice day
Eric and the Hypochondria IV
I’m only writing this because I love roman numerals. I know it’s been a while, over a month actually, but I’ve got an excuse, I’m lazy and my head still hurts but much less because I solved the problem. Me, all by myself and the doctors think I’m crazy, which may well be true but it works so screw ‘um. If you’ve been following this thing then you know that I over analyze everything I do and how it affects me and what it all means. So I have to apologize to quinoa because I unjustly accused it of causing this thing and it was not true at all. I’ve narrowed down this headache thing to grinding/clenching teeth I hope, but that’s not the best news. I accidentally figured out that either B12 or B3 (niacin) will make my headache go away (for the most part anyway).
Every day, I evaluate how I feel and what may or may not be causing the good or bad feelings of that particular moment. I would watch my diet, environment, and stress levels to see what could be helping or hurting me and I noticed that when I took this B12 complex my headaches would go away longer than usual. I examined B12 deficiencies and didn’t think that was possible since my blood had been checked several different times this year. I looked at the ingredients and noticed that niacin was one of them and remembered the people at work noticing that my face was red and thinking I had a fever when it was just the natural reaction of niacin to the blood. I immediately googled niacin + migraines and discovered that there is considerable evidence to suggest that niacin may help migraine sufferers but there have been no actual tests to prove this to be fact.
I told my doctor, neurologist, dentist, friends, coworkers, family, and anyone else that would pay any attention to me. Pretty much everyone thinks I’m nuts and there’s no way that this should be working, but I promise that it make the headaches about 85% better. My doctor told me to quit taking the migraine medicine that he prescribed just to prove that I was wrong and he was right but 4 days without the medicine and the niacin still seems to be awesome. Anyway, I just wanted to let anyone who cared about these posts know what has been happening for the last month. Later
Eric and The Hypochondria V
Okay, I might have been a tiny bit overly cocky in my last post (Eric and The Hypochondria IV 5/14/11) about having “solved” the problem with my skull pain. That was a little bit of an exaggeration but it is still 85% better than it was in February and March. In the last four months I’ve mostly stuck with the niacin solution I accidentally discovered and it’s been okay. I tested it a few times by not taking it for a day or two and the pain came back strong. The headache is still only on the right side on the top of my head with the occasional shooting pain in various other spots of my skull. I finally decided to go back to the doctor in mid-august just to see if there was anything else he could offer. He’s kind of stumped and I’m still kind of scared.
He decided to put me on muscle relaxers, because he’s always believed that this is probably a stress headache and he wants me to chill. He also took another x-ray to see if the original sinusitis was gone and I haven’t been getting enough radiation in my day to day life. I started taking the muscle relaxers at night before I went to bed and they did a really good job of making me even less functional at my job than before. After a few days of that the doctor called and said I do still have some sinusitis and he wants me to take antibiotics twice a day for a month. The headaches were getting better so I continued with the muscle relaxers and took the whole month’s supply of antibiotics. For that whole month the headaches were 99% gone with the occasional fleeting achiness in my head.
Now I’m out of antibiotics, but I’m still taking the muscle relaxers that make me feel awful all day every day. If it’s the antibiotics that were making me feel better then I should be able to stop the muscle relaxers. I tried that for one day and the headaches came back. So now I’ve been without the antibiotics for about a week and I feel the headache today, but maybe it’s just paranoia. Either it’s stress or sinusitis or a brain tumor or any of the million different things that Google has taught me about this year. I don’t know, maybe I need surgery on my skull.