Monday, April 18, 2011

Upside Down

I have spent my life dealing with different health issues; kidney stones, TMJ surgery, fibromyalgia, migraines, etc….  As far back as I can remember I have been sick.  However, what I learned throughout the years was to never give up.  No matter what I faced I knew that if I could just push forward I would be fine. 

In July 2009 I was at a high point in my life.  I graduated with my Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling and got married, creating a family with my new husband and stepdaughter.  My bliss was interrupted in November 2009 when I experienced a headache that stopped me in my tracks.  The pain was so intense that my initial reaction was to put my hand through a window; instead I called my sister to talk me through the situation.  In January 2010 I was diagnosed with Cluster Headaches.  While it was a relief to know what was going on, it has been nothing but a tough road since. 

I spent my days taking many pills, which would be changed on a weekly basis by my neurologist at the time.  I would pull myself out of bed to make it to work, only to spend the day suffering.  Finally in November 2010, my supervisor suggested that I take a leave from work (Family Medical Leave Act) and apply for short-term disability.  That leads me to present day… I have been out of work since November 2010 and do not see being able to return any time soon. 

The pain that I have experienced on a daily basis since November 2009 has been so intense that I have taken to banging my head against a wall at times to feel some other pain.  For the first time in my life I am unable to just push forward.  Everything in my life has stopped.  I am not working, I can’t drive, I am rarely able to leave my house, I do not get to spend time with my parents, I do not have the relationship I want with my stepchild, my husband has become my caretaker and I have no to social life.  I spend my days either in pain or in fear for the next headache

I have seen 5 neurologists since November 2009; four of whom diagnosed me with Cluster Headaches (the initial Neurologist would not listen when I told him my headaches had changed).  The doctors that I met with say that I need a headache specialist, but that is easier said than done.  The earliest appointment I was able to get is for Oct 2011.  So until then, I just keep breathing.....