Monday, May 12, 2008

My Cat Ate My Blog

I read somewhere that a sure-fire way to kill a blog is to write about your cat. Well, here goes.

My cat, Spooks, eats anything and everything. A few months back when I was not sleeping well, I would get up in the early morning, put on my iPod with my Bose noise-canceling headphones (absolutely great for airplane travel) and write. Well, Spooks ate the cord to the headphones and I had to order a new one.

Now he ate the power cord to my laptop. It actually shorted out the cord. I can see where it is burned. Good thing he did not get killed, fry the laptop, or burn the house down. That was my spare cord, too. Now I have no way to power the laptop. I ordered a few cords on eBay but for now I am stuck without my clipart collection and my editor of choice, Ecto. Oh well, at least I am writing.

The good news is that I am very, very tired and I hurt all over. Why? Because I have been walking quite a bit and have been weightlifting, again, back in the gym. I am out of shape compared to where I was but it is good to be back on the trail, again.


May Headache Blog Carnival - Migraines & Exercise: How do you stay active?

Welcome to the May 12, 2008, edition of Headache & Migraine Disease Blog Carnival. The theme of this month's carnival is Migraines & Exercise: How do you stay active?

Ellen Schnakenberg presents Moving and exercising and migraine - WEGO Health posted at Ellen Schnakenberg's Posts - WEGO Health, saying, "Think you can't exercise with Migraine, headache or pain? Written by a 30 yr Migraineur and ex-personal trainer, this article helps you get started with 'baby bites', and by changing how you think about exercise and moving."

James Cottrill presents Exercise and Migraine: 5 top tips for staying active posted at Headache and Migraine News Blog.

Diana Lee presents Exercise: Double-Edged Sword for Migraineurs posted at Somebody Heal Me by Diana Lee.

Kerrie Smyres presents Mindfulness & Meditation: An Introduction | The Daily Headache posted at Daily Headache, saying, "It's mental exercise at least. That's all my head allows these days."

Pat E presents Keeping Active When Your Body Says No posted at The MAV Experience

Teri Robert presents 10 Ways for Migraineurs To Sneak In Some Exercise> posted at Teri Robert's Share Posts: My Migraine Connection, saying, "Here, you'll find some ways to sneak in a bit of exercise... some simple exercises that we'll be able to manage even on some of the days we're in pain. They may not seem like much, but the effects of them will build up."

Rena Sherwood presents Walking Dog Helps Ease My Head Pain.

Megan Oltman presents Calming down the migraine brain posted at Free my Brain from Migraine Pain, saying, "Although I didn't write directly about exercise, walking is my biggest form of exercise, and one of the relaxation techniques I wrote about involves walking."

MaxJerz presents coming out of the (migraine) closet: a borrowed subject posted at rhymes with migraine, saying, "A post about trying to live openly with migraine disease."

Rosalind Joffe presents Conserving Your Energy: Making It Sexy to be Green

Rain Gem presents Migraine News Network | RainGem |: I can has "I is Legend", srsly posted at RainGem - Migraine News. Threatments, Research and Opinions.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the June 2008 edition of the Headache & Migraine Disease Blog Carnival using our carnival submission form or by sending entries directly to Diana by e-mail.

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page

Subscribe to the Somebody Heal Me feed: Subscribe in a reader or subscribe by e-mail.

On a personal note, I wanted to thank Dianna for letting this edition of the Headache and Migraine Blog Carnival to be hosted by Atomic City. This is a great way to digest a lot of information in one place.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fiasco With Doctor at University of New Mexico Hospital

The noise, noise, noise, NOISE!

Ah, the joys of living in a small state with a limited number of doctors for the population.

I have been having almost daily attacks. The constant trigger in my life that I can see is my hypoglycemia. My food diary shows no other clear-cut triggers. It was my almost daily cycle that had one asshat neurologist tell me that I was a hypochondriac and that I was not having any migraine events at all.

For a while the Depokote seemed to be working. Along with that I do take Magnesium and Feverfew. Voltarin is my rescue drug.

This past few weeks, however, have been really, really bad. I collapsed once at work. Another day, I went home to sleep. My wife took me to the physical therapist. When I got in I collapsed in the lobby. After I recovered some, I found that my PT (whom I adore) had called my neurologist in the Cleveland Clinic. He was on the phone with me in minutes. He suggested a possible infusion to help break the cycle. He also suggested altering my medications a bit. He asked if I could come on in and see him in the next week. Cleveland is on the other end of the country from the Atomic City. Yet here he was scheduling me ASAP.

I told him I would prefer to see my local neurologist at the University of New Mexico Hospital which is only 90 miles away. I gave him the name of my local doctor (who seemed competent but I have only seen her once). He said he would call her. He did. Several times over the next week. He emailed me and said he never did reach her.

I called UNM the next day for an appointment. The earliest they could get me in was July. I booked it. After a few days of feeling like crap I called back in. The scheduled me for August. I whined and protested. I told them (begged them) that I would be at UNM to see my endocrinologist in 2 weeks, could I see my neuro on that date. They scheduled me for a date very early, even earlier than with my endocrinologist.

That was a double-edged sword, both good and bad. UNM did bend over backwards to get me in (after asking what I should do since passing out was getting old). The good news was I was actually getting in within a week.

The bad news is that they picked the worst possible day to do it. I accepted anyway.

This last week I have been a single father. My wife, Li, has been in Louisiana working with a mission's group putting together aid packets for natural disasters. I was watching the girls. On Friday, the day of my UNM appointment, I had to leave very early to get to Albuquerque by 9am for my appointment. I would not be able to get my kids off to school. They were on their own (they did fine...I have good girls).

On top of that, I would now miss my daughter's orchestra concert. She ended up performing with neither parent there to applaud her hard work. And she did work hard.

I got to UNM on time for my 9am appointment. The receptionist, a pleasant young lady, informed me that my appointment was moved to 10am. No one notified me. I could have gotten the girls off to school.

I wandered around a bit and was back at 10. Workers were in redesigning the modular furniture of the reception area. Here I was in full blow basilar migraine attack (Full Bobblehead Engines!) and there was the hammering, drilling, banging, movement, yelling, noise. I felt like the Grinch. Finally, I got up and went in and asked to sit in an exam room. Again, the receptionists and the nursing staff were great. They quickly triaged me and had me wait.

After an hour I was still waiting. My doctor was no where to be found. They paged her. No reply. After a while they told me they found here. She was home with a sick child. I waited for another doctor. Finally at 11:55 (I got there by 9am) he came in. The first thing out of his mouth was, "I did not have time to look at your chart. Also I need to be somewhere at noon. You got 5 minutes. Go."

I was not a happy camper.

He recommended I increase my Depakote, get a kidney test (which I had already done) and bye-bye! I went to rebook with my original neurologist. UNM had gracefully canceled my July appointment (again without calling me) and now had an opening in September.

No good.

I went back in, sat down with the nurse, and slowly in my slurred speech explained I was passing out, having almost daily attacks, was up since 5am, drove 100 miles alone to get here, could not get my kids off to school, missed my daughter's concert, sat in the construction zone, had a 5 minute drive-by consult by a doctor who wanted to brush me off and get to lunch, had numerous appointments moved or canceled with no one calling me, and now was on a priority list to see my doctor (whom I desperately want to get some sort of professional relationship going with) 4 months later!

The nurse was speechless. I was polite, quiet, reasonable, and professional. I was angry at no one. Crap happens. My doctor's kids get sick. That happens. I am okay with that. I just want to get in. And I want my doctor to speak to my neurologist in Cleveland so they can agree on a treatment.

I go back in to UNM in 2 weeks.

LESSON OF THE DAY Keep pushing. Be polite but firm. You guide your own treatment. Do not accept the brush-off. Murphey's Law sometimes comes into play, and doctor's offices are organized chaos. Everyone feels bad. Everyone is cranky. You can often force the issue but remain calm and professional. Go to the nurses. Do not give up.

The good news is that I felt great yesterday and am now off to the gym today. Happy Mother's Day all!


Can A Hacked Web Site Cause A Person Physical Harm?

Yes, if it can trigger migraines and seizures.

A few days ago, someone hacked into the web site of the Epilepsy Foundation. There they posted lots of nice blinking and flashing images, perfect for causing seizures. Of course, us migrainers were not left out of the picture. Flashing lights can trigger migraines as well (as Bobblehead is all too aware of).

The full story is at CNET.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

How to kill a blog...stop posting

No, Atomic City is not dead. Bobblehead has just felt like death. I ran into a number of people I know who all were concerned. "Hey, you stopped posting? How do you feel? Uh, you look TERRIBLE." The good news is that at least I know that SOMEONE is reading this blog. The bad news is that I have been really feeling poorly.

My hypoglycemia is driving me nuts. Ironically, just when I thought it could not get worse out of the blue my sugar has stabilized. Beats me why. I also gained 10 pounds (not wanted). Maybe the two are related. I am up to 186, the highest I have been in years. My wife would be thrilled. I am pissed. I want to get back down to 175.

My head is also spinning. I have collapsed twice in the past month. Once at work and once at physical therapy.

I am convinced a trigger for me is low blood glucose. And since I go low almost every day, I get an attack every day. In the evenings I have been dragging myself home and have just been too tired to write.

To top it off, the power cord on my laptop went out. No way to work the machine for now. Am ordering new cords. But for now I am stuck in the corner with my wife's iMac. A good machine, just not set up in a way that promotes writing for me.

This is truly the whining hour!

The good news is that on Monday Atomic City will host the May Migraine BlogCarnival. Okay, off to some decent writing!