Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Medical Mysteries

I began having unexplained headaches about one month ago, and as of today, my neurologist and I can't isolate the reason or reasons for the pain that starts at the base of my neck, and floats throughout my head and temple during the course of the day. This pain, more like a persistent humming doesn't bother me while I'm sleeping, only when I'm awake.

I originally thought it was an extreme case of caffeine withdrawal after I went cold turkey and stopped drinking Café Bustelo, but that apparently isn't (wasn't the case). I'm on my second prescription, and still no relief in sight. The last draw would be a spinal tap, which I'm not rushing to do.

It seems every few years my body breaks down only to build itself up again. People have joked recently that I'm getting old, family members have chimed in that there's this, that, and the other in the family tree (which I don't care to hear, but alert doctors of all the same). At the end of the day or break of dawn, I want the strength I had when was eighteen or nineteen, and not feel like I'm older mentally and physically than my eighty-nine year-old grandmother.

I've never thought I was invincible. Expressionless people in white labcoats can bring the most optimistic person down to earth. I have met and been prodded by so many doctors and technicians in recent weeks, that someone should pay me!

Faith, religion, and God comes to mind during these visits and exams. I was raised to believe that God does not want His children to suffer sickness and pain . . . that the devil is behind all mental, emotional, and physical attacks. I wish the devil would pull up stakes and leave me alone. I'm sick and tired of being sick, tired, irritable, and restless. The battleground is in the mind, and I must admit sometimes I lose small battles along the way when I've curled up in the fetal position in bed rather than leave the apartment for a walk around the neighorhood.

My current roommate has blind faith. Before every test I've taken recently, he's said: You'll be fine. God will take care of you. I've had an MRI and an MRA on my head/brain, both came back negative. There are no signs of aneurism, or other ominous, multi-syllable conditions or diseases that are causing the headache-like symptoms. I have a genetic history of migraines which I outgrew. The neurologist thinks it might be a low-grade chronic migraine. My question: Why does it only bother me while I'm awake? Next question: Why do I feel sporadic tingling in my hands and legs?

I feel as if I've fallen off the wall next to Humpty Dumpty and no one's around to put me back together.

Through it all, I'm doing my best to keep my chin and spirits up -- it's a challenge keeping the boogey man (devil) at bay while in transit to doctor's appointments. It doesn't help that the primary care physician shows no interest in my medical care, but thankfully the referred specialists have better bedside manner.

I need answers to the question of what ails me. Is it all in my head, or is there something really the matter? Is it time I start thinking about moving out of Manhattan to a place with a babbling brook and wild deer because the people, pace, and stress of city living have become too much for the southerner?

Decisions to make, but at least now I've a new pair a glasses to help me see clearly down the road ahead.

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