Monday, April 26, 2010

Brain Tumor

Anybody who knows me well in real life knows that I am pretty sure I am going to die of one of three things:

1. Breast Cancer
2. Aneurysm
3. Brain Tumor

Breast cancer is rampant through my family as is kidney issues (which are SUPER fun when you get kidney stones when you are 6 months pregnant and those fuckers REFUSE to come out and then disappear. It's weird and they are probably hiding right now somewhere just waiting for me to think oh-I-beat-you-kidney-stones and they will all be like BAM! "We're back bitch!" Just you wait) and even though I keep requesting a mammogram there is no hospital around here that will do a baseline for me. It's not like I really want my boobies to be squished, but dang. I'd like to know what I'm working with here. (And as an aside- go HERE to learn about the "Feel Your Boobies" campaign, get a free bumper sticker. I'm ordering a shirt.)

But the other two are probably more likely. Since I was little- like way little, before Kindergarten even, I remember having headaches. Horrible, awful headaches that made it almost impossible to do anything. They seem pretty benign until I was 13 or so when I told my mom it felt like my head was being hit with a sludge hammer repeatedly. She took me to countless doctors who all told me yeah- you have migraines, no big deal. I was tested for all kinds of triggers and allergies, MRI's, and CAT-scans. I've seen more neurologists in my life then most people do when they actually get brain cancer or something.

They all told me that "You know, some people eventually develop brain tumors". Oh- that's EXACTLY what you say to a 19 year old girl who already had the worst of the worst happening to her because she apparently is the red headed step child to the creator/allah/god/whoever is running this shit because girl can't catch a damn break.

They wanted me to stop my birth control and since I was like super sexually active that just wasn't an option. Plus, the boyfriend at the time wasn't father material what with his compulsive lying and no job. And living with his parents. And no discernible skills and issues with authority which includes but not limited to....any boss he'd ever have. So stopping birth control was non-optional.

The next best thing was to get me on a daily medication because at this point I was dealing with a migraine 4 out of the 7 days a week. Every week. Try holding down multiple jobs and school with that. Every drug they offered me had some really fucked up side effects. Basically, I could and most likely become schizophrenic, develop multiple personality disorder, or a myriad of mental health disorders. Oh goodie. Because somehow, and I'm not mental health expert, becoming a schizophrenic seems like a mother fucking downgrade from a migraine.

I opted to not take a daily medicine for fear I'd be a social outcast with 50 cats holed up under the bridge with a shopping cart with two wheels before I could even legally drink.

I mean, if that isn't the shit, I'm not sure what would be.

They DID offer me Imitrex which was supposed to either get rid of a migraine or bring it down so I could at least function without sounding under the influence all the time. My symptoms of a migraine are pretty classic: Intense pain, only on my left side (fun fact: I have never had a headache on my right side...always the left), reduced and/or loss of vision on left side, intense fatigue (to the point where if it's coming fast- I am not safe to drive and need to sleep ASAP), throwing up, even if my vision is reduced/gone I see light swirls and blinking dots. Basically it's what I would assume a really bad acid trip would be.

So one night, I took an Imitrex. It was like 4 in the afternoon on a weekend and Matt & I had just gotten home from something. He knew something was up because I kept running into the same wall near our bedroom and I poured water all over the floor for no reason. So I take an Imitrex, get my ice pack (heat makes it worse), and lay down. Within 2 minutes of taking it, I'm pretty sure I'm going to die. Matt's in the other room watching TV and I realize I feel like I'm suffocating, but falling asleep. I, for whatever reason, can't talk or anything. So the last thing I remembered was having a hard time breathing and falling asleep.

Fast forward 16 hours and I'm awake again, puking like I've never puked before. It was then that I decided that I would never take Imitrex ever again. No way in hell. That was scary. A few months later we were going on vacation with Matt's family. The night before, I get a migraine. I ended up in the ER because I had to have SOMETHING so I could board a 3 am flight without looking drunk. They gave me Demerol which is such a fucking joke anyways, so it didn't do anything. So without telling me, and without reading my chart about the Imitrex, they give me...Imitrex. And again...I feel like I'm going to die. Of course a nurse never checks on me, so I fell asleep and somehow Matt woke me up 5 hours later when they were ushering me out of there. I have no recollection of my flight to Florida.

I had to go to the last neurologist that I've seen, some old guy who kept holding and rubbing my hand. He was weird and likely a pedophile. He gave me some kind of mental health screening which took an hour. Afterwards he told me he suspects I'm suicidal and depressed. Um, I'm always depressed but I wasn't suicidal. I just a migraine. He sent me for more MRI's and Cat-scans.

It was then that I asked the guy reading it to just call my mom and tell her I had a brain tumor. Apparently, it's against the law for him to do that even if I give permission to blatantly lie to my mother. Whatever.

And this weekend I had a horrible migraine- one that knocked me on my ass. This is the second month in a row where I have had a migraine lasting two full days that was painful to the extreme. I haven't been on birth control for almost a year (not trying to get preggers, folks) and so far- I don't get them as often but the pain is worse. And now Bret Michaels had migraines and he's all up in ICU with a brain bleed. Fucking great.

That's probably going to be me. I'm just saying. I am like 99% sure I've got a brain tumor all undercover brother up in here. Every time anything related to death comes up, I'm all "I'm growing a brain tumor. And probably dying right now". I mean, it may not even be related, but I avoid my cell phone. I mean, you hear of people saying cell phones cause brain tumors and I don't know, but I don't think I need to add another peg on the probability of a brain tumor chart. So just text me.

And don't freak out if I start wearing tin foil on my head or something.


Chicken said...

Only you can find a super f'ed up subject like dying and make it funny. I used to work for a neurologist who specialized in migraines. I know your pain without experiencing it myself. Poor thing!

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Yikes... and I thought my migraines were bad! I had them ever since I was little. The older I got the less I got them but when I did they were HORRIBLE. I was prescribed Midrin but I hated it - it would knock me out but then I'd wake up 4 hours later with cotton mouth, feeling really out of it (but unable to fall back asleep) and everything tasted gross.

Around the time I started becoming sexually active they stopped. I have no idea if it's BECAUSE of that or what but I honestly can't remember the last time I had one. And thank goodness, because I would not wish those things on my worst enemy (actually, I scratch that, I have 2 people in mind that I would wish them on).

Anyway... it amazes me how you can turn something like this into something funny. But that's what I love about you lady!

And hey... I'm convinced a tornado is going to kill me. So there ya go.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I too suffer from the dreadful migraine, but fortunately I only have them once or twice a year!!

Glad you are feeling better....

____j said...

This is intense. I used to have migraines really bad when I was in middle school, but we didn't have insurance, so I just came home pretty much every day after lunch. I never suspected I had a brain tumor though, and I am probably the biggest hypochondriac ever...except for you, maybe??

Progressive Momma said...

You have a great sense of humor, re talking about possible death by brain tumor, but still have such a light hearted take on it!

I truly hope that you are ok, and that you don't end up wearing foil on your head...or with a brain tumor...

Miranda said...

Ok I just decided that it might not be such a good idea for us to hang out. I truly think we could end up fueling each others assumption of death by terrible circumstances and might end up forming a cult where we drink poison just to avoid our inevitable brain malfunctions.

Shit... I was so looking forward to hanging...

But for real - I feel your pain (pun definitely intended) - those are the kind of migraines I get and I think natural childbirth of elephants might just be more desirable.

Here's my elixir - once the nausea sets in (and good God help you if you have to endure the immense force on your brain when you actually puke ughhhh), its cold rag, at least one vicodin, complete silence and darkness and sleep.

And if the vicodin kicks in and takes the edge off before I drift off to sleep I wind up with this crazy out-of-body feeling where I just start talking like an idiot for about ten minutes out of pure relief that the daggers are being pulled out of my skull... Then I sleep.

P.S. - I have faith that you'll be ok because who would ever run the land of lambs and goats? Is their a Vice President of such a land?

Julie H said...

I only get really really bad headaches from the heat. If I come in when it first starts, shower and lay down I'm usually ok but of course I always have to push it!

Blue Disastrous said...

My mum and I get them, but not too often (anymore), though they are nearly as bad as that. As someone else had mentioned, Vicodin is really.. your best friend! :)
No, you can't have anything evil growing in your head. You see, you have to come here and entertain us all every day. And make us think. So get some tumor-repellent and relax.

Also, dissociative identity disorder is much more fun than schizophrenia. Be aware that my doors are locked for a reason, and just trust me.

Danielle said...

Ugh this is just awful!!!!! Migraines are the worst! I can't believe the experience you had with Imitrex - I swear by the stuff! Although (knock on wood) I haven't had one in a while ... I get ocular migraines a lot though ... so I have to lay down and can't see anything, or look at the light - it's just awful! Not gonna lie, the thought of tumors have crossed my mind! But I pray that it isn't for you! Hang in there girly! xoxo

Sarah said...

You poor little thing! I feel so bad for you. I guess that's one thing I never worry about, brain tumors. I hope you find a super drug that kicks those headaches into submission.

Gini said...

Holy CHIT dude, that is frightening! Did you ever try Amerge for migraines? I took that for awhile and it knocked those suckers out. :( I wish I could recommend a doctor for you who would actually do you some good.

Sam said...

Holy crap, if you start wearing foil on your head ill personally fly up there to record you running through a store screaming "THEY'RE ALL COMING FOR US!!" while grabbing your aluminum hat. The crazy people in the world is what makes it a better place. :)
I really hope you don't have a hidden brain tumor, migraines suck, Ive only ever had one and one is enough for me thanks.

Veronica M. D. said...

I get me some wicked migraines too, but -- get this -- almost always on the RIGHT side! I must be your other half.

Anyway, I think if you had something bad in your brain it would have killed you by now. So you are probably safe and just cursed to live a painful life. Sorry.


when i was a kid i was diagnosed with vascular constriction disorder and was (like my father) prescribed heavy duty narcotics that left me jacked and wasted for days.... to this day i can't stand taking pills or pain meds, but the imetrex worked wonders for me. the first time i had to take it was an injection, i had to stay at the hospital for the day while they "observed me". apparently it's really bad for your liver and one should avoid alcohol any time near taking it. anyways... i had good luck with it...

***looks around saras chaos for a potted plant***


***swears he posted an effing comment here a second ago... looks around totally confused***

Karls said...

Dude! That sucks arse bigtime! I too am a migraine sufferer - loss of vision and nausea so not as bad as you.

My Doc said it was likely stress related - I was working in a pretty stressful situation and getting one at least once a week. He put me on a blood thinning agent - I can't recall what it was but it was generally prescribed for hypertension. Worked a treat.

When I left the job, I went off the meds and the only time I get a migraine these days is a couple of times in the year when I'm getting a bad period - or I've been sitting under fluro's for a full day.

deannaburasco said...

I can't recall how I found your blog, but I just love it! This post especially reminds me of ME! I don't get migraines as bad you, but I get them regularly every month. Luckily I can take Maxalt, which works well for me. Prior to that I don't know how I made it through them. I can relate to the fears of cancer...I have a lot of breast cancer on my dad's side, (didn't even realize until like a year ago that YES, the genetics on my dad's side DO have an impact - duh) I have to remind myself to take life one day at a time! Oh, I am totally with you on the cell phone. I hardly use mine any more :)

MrsDixon said...

I have the same history of migraines as you....I went off BC and they are not as often, but worse pain with they do! I also feel like I am dying when I take Immitrex! Very Werid. Hope you get better soon!

Anna @ the owl and the phoenix said...

I am also terrified of getting a brain tumor. When I was 12, my 8-year-old neighbor died from brain cancer. Add that to the migraines I inherited from my mom...yeah, not good for a pre-teen. And of course I can't shake the feeling even now. And now you've given me MORE to worry about (I somehow managed to push it out of my mind) with the migraines = tumor thing. Blah. That shit with Bret Michaels scared the crap out of me because my migraines frequently come on very quickly =/ Ice packs are my best friend. It helps even more if you put heat on your feet (draws the blood down there and the cold constricts the vessels in your head, I guess).