Worst. Headache. Ever.

Each word in that title deserves to stand alone as its on sentence. When you read it, you need to pause appropriately to give each word the respect it deserves.

I'd had a headache for almost a week (since last Monday) when I woke up on Saturday morning it was as bad as ever.  I got up, brushed my teeth, took a sumatriptin pill (the prescription that I have for migraines, that is a generic of Imitrex), and went back to bed.  I knew that there was no way I was going to be productive with such an intense headache and was hoping to sleep it off.  A half hour later I took another pill (I can take up to 200mg - 8 pills) but nothing was changing.  In fact, it felt like it was only getting worse.

This was around 10 a.m.

I tossed in turn in bed for the next 2 hours.  I was in too much pain to sleep.  It hurt to have my eyes open, it hurt to have my eyes closed - there was nothing that I could do to make it any better. 

Around noon I got out of bed to use the bathroom, and in that instant, a wave of pain more intense than I had ever experience washed over me.  I grabbed my head, tears welling up in my eyes, and ran into our office room.   DH was on the phone with Comcast, but immediately hung up when he saw the look on my face.  By this point I was sobbing and shaking, and he decided that we needed to seek medical attention immediately.  I have suffered from migraines for many years, but never EVER before was I in so much pain or so distressed.  I have never cried over a migraine before, and this time I could even catch my breath, I was crying so hard. 

I managed to get dressed and put my glasses on - having a goal helped me to focus.  I got into the car and the motion intensified the pain even more.  I was squeezing a pillow for dear life and trying to breathe.  I kept grabbing the sides of my head with both hands and running my hands through my hair- even now, I'm not sure why I kept doing that.  It didn't really help me feel any better.

Anyway, even while experiencing the worst headache of my entire life, I was being fiscally responsible and decided that I did not want to go to the hospital because an ER visit would cost us $50.  Instead, I wanted to go to a MedExpress clinic near our house that I knew accepted our insurance would only cost $5 for the co-pay.  About 8 minutes away from MedExpress, we passed a different urgent care center that had just recently opened. 

"Let's just stop here, we can see if they take our insurance," I said to DH.  The motion of the care was so painful that I wanted nothing more than to get out of it.  At this point, I was willing to pay $1000 if necessary to the first place that could take me out of my misery.  My hands and arms were going numb, and I was feeling pins and needles in my back, stomach and on my face.  I seriously thought my brain was bleeding and I was losing circulation to my extremities (yes, I know that my back isn't an extremity - but at the time, I wasn't thinking logically.)  The pain was coming in waves, and it was hard to get through one while doing anything other than concentrating exclusively on staying alive.

Fortunately, the place that we stopped at did accept our insurance, and being that they were relatively new, had zero patients in the waiting room. Thank god. DH filled out my paperwork and within minutes we were in an exam room. 

I was still hysterical and could barely form words to even explain what was going on.  It was clear that I was in agony, so the nurse quickly took my temperature and blood pressure (the bp cuff did NOT help the numbness in my left arm) and left. 

The doctor came in, and after sputtering out a few more words to describe what was going on, he said, "I have a great fix for migraine headaches that we're going to try, that usually works every time."  The only catch?  I had to get 3 shots in the butt.

But did I care? No way.  I was beyond any sense of modesty and was more than happy to pull down my pants for three of the most painful, stinging shots I have ever gotten.  I was sobbing so hard that I'm pretty sure I made the nurse feel bad.  When I stood up, I couldn't catch my breath at all, and thought that maybe I was having an allergic reaction to the drugs.  It took a solid minute for me to be able take a breath and lay down on the exam table.  I closed my eyes and tried to will the radio music to stop playing ( it didn't work.)  

But within 15 minutes I was able to relax - the "edge" of the migraine was going away and my circulation was returning to my arms. The drugs worked, for the most part, although the headache was not totally gone.  I was able to leave a short while later, but spent the rest of the day in a drug induced state.  Every time I stood up for more than 60 seconds I got incredibly dizzy and sick to my stomach, so I spent most of the afternoon in bed.

Around 5 p.m. I needed to get ready for my sister's 40th birthday celebration, which was going to be a martini party... that was interesting since I could only stand for 60 seconds at a time.  Needless to say, it took me longer than normal to get ready for the party.  But I was just impressed that I was making it out at all after the horrendous day that I had.

To be continued....


Laura said...

Just reading that made my head hurt.

Mieya Young said...

I think that for some people sumatriptin is just horrible for migranes. I took one today and my headache hurt like head. It was the worst headache I've had so far. I grabbed my head and was laying on the classroom floor. I was in so much pain. and the side effects kept going until i got home and i just got really tired and fell asleep for a while. When I woke up Iwas numb in the mouth and my hand kept twitching and was really tingly. I went to see what my mom was doing and she described how i was acting like drunk. At the moment I cant talk right and everything is going very slow. I'm taking a while to do things...too....

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