Sunday, February 22, 2009

Me, Me, Me....and a few other things

I couldn't be a bit happier than I am today. Well, actually I could now that I wrote that so that just goes to show you...don't go looking gift horses in the mouth.

So what's up with all this joy? Well, I'll tell ya. Last night I took possession of some seriously awesome photographs of my handcrafted jewelry. Regina Brown, of RMB Photography here in Germantown (and also the mother of a Mini-Maniac and Knitting Club devotee) agreed to trade services with me so she took some great shots of my jewelry to post in my Etsy shop and now I'll get to work designing a lovely custom piece for her to wear... bartering services is such an excellent thing: we both end up with something we would like to have that ends up translating to greater exposure for the craftsman/artist...fantastic. I came to appreciate Regina's work over the years as she photographed our daughters' soccer matches and if you've been a reader, you've definitely seen her work here---she's amazing and indeed, most parents have stopped bringing their cameras; waiting instead for Gina's near-weekly distributions. You can look at her stuff (don't miss the category labelled "Artistic") here . I'd love for you to browse my shop (you don't have to be a customer...) but here's a quick slideshow of the photos Gina did for me...if you saw what I had up previously, you'll see the difference an experienced photographer makes immediately.

I'm looking forward to inviting Gina to do some family portraits for us in the Spring.

Oh My Aching Head
Well, I'm not making light of this at all. I was first diagnosed with migraines in 1986; a quick little math tells me that was about 23 years ago (oh, how that Master's degree in Biostatistics comes in handy...). Horrible, aching behind the eye, nausea, aversions to light and sound, I have lived some periods very much like a vampire. I need not say that migraines are largely inconsistent with parenting or even, sometimes, marriage. Still...when a migraine strikes, the victim is just...stricken...its not your world any longer, you are merely the owner of the head, the receiving end of the nerve signals from hell. I have often said were it not for the fact I'm so attached to my head, I'd cut the damn thing off---such is the pain. Were I able to take a canula (a metal straw-like thingie) and insert it through my eyeball into the specific loci of pain, I'd have done it years ago and be done with it. Seriously. I've very often found that I've bruised myself by applying pressure to the orbit of my eye where the pain is focussed. That's not good.

In all of these 23 years, I've never really had any reliable help for them. Initially doctors would give prescriptions for narcotics but then they'd begin to worry that maybe too many narcotics were being taken and they'd be less available...never mind that they don't get rid of the headaches, they just make me less unhappy about them---in the end its just a trade of an unhappy disability for a stoned disability...if that's my only choice I'll take it, but its not good. We tried to prevent getting them with all kinds of meds that made me sleepy, made my blood pressure bottom out, made me nauseous and none of them got rid of the we don't do that. And recently, the class of drugs called the triptans have come along. These actually work. Some of the time. Perhaps about 50% of the time they will stop a headache dead in its tracks in about 30 minutes. Better than a sharp stick in the eye, right? (Did you read the paragraph up there? I'm so funny) I'm not so sure. Over the last year, I've found that when the triptans DON'T work, the headaches go on for daaaaaayyyys---they've always been 48 - 72 hour affairs but I'm talking about weeks. I mean, end up in the Emergency Room in hysterics---that's happened *3* times in the last year. It happened last Tuesday after, oh, about 18 consecutive days of debilitating headache with no reprieve. After calling my physician ("you need to see a neurologist"), after going to an urgent care place ("your doctor didn't do anything for you?").

So on Thursday see a Neurologist I did. Please hope for me that her plan works. She thinks that she can prevent about 90% of my headaches by taking daily Topamax and that we can abort the other 10% with a potent cocktail of a triptan, phenergan and xanax. Boys and girls, since Thursday, I've taken three such cocktails. Yep, they make the headache go away. Yep, they make me unconscious. And yes, the headache comes right back within 12 hours or so. Lord help me.

Thanks to all of you who have been so sympathetic, those of you who have understood my abrupt cancellations, those of you who just keep being my friends even though I have this totally messed up condition that interferes with normal life. Its a good thing I'm so damn charming when I feel well, ain't it????


dag said...

kath, i'm so sorry! i do so wish you that you are on the right track with the new doc. i have hardly ever suffered from migraines, but had them enough to really get the idea! please get better!!
ps. great photos for the shop!

Anonymous said...

I can't even imagine what you are going through. As George was the only one in our family that ever even did regular headaches. Of course we all have other major health issues but none as painful as what you are going through. I hope you can medically master the migraines with the help of the neurologist. Good Luck to you.

LYFE Cousin Nonna

KHM said...

Ya know, its impressive to me how many people NEVER get any headaches at all...I can't imagine it. On the other hand, I NEVER get a headache that can be shooed away with a couple of tylenol in between meetings...

Anonymous said...

Katty Jean...........sooo sorry. Wish I could help.

Love you, Caddy Jean