Category Archives: Doctor

Aphasia at the Neurologist

One of my fears has been that I would experience aphasia during a neurology  appointment. It is the most frustrating thing that can happen in the doctor’s office. Here I am staring at my doctor unable to communicate. All I could do was cry. My mind completely blank. What was going on around me didn’t even feel real. After long pauses I could usually come up with a short response. But it may have been gibberish. My Mom said I looked awful and decided to come into the exam room with me, after a few questions the doctor asked if he could talk to Mom instead.

He ordered pain shots. To receive them the nurse needed my birthday. Yeah, I could only stare at her and cry. After an awkward pause Mom inquired if she is allowed answer for me. She is. Thankfully, I got my shots.

The doctor and nurses were all very supportive. The nurse caught on to what was happening pretty quickly and informed the doctor. The nurse told me to cry as much as I wanted. The doctor was patient with me, asked if we understood aphasia, and ordered the shots before we talked so they would be ready asap.

After I woke from a long sleep I felt awful about how the whole morning went down. I cried to my sister about how I didn’t go to the doctor for shots and I missed out on being able to really talk to the doctor. It made me feel like a drug seeker although no one treated me like one. I’ve never sought out drugs. That stigma stopped me from being able to seek treatment for years and now it makes me feel awful about myself every time I take or am given a pain medicine.

Aphasia is always frustrating. Getting attacked by it in the exam room was just as awful as I imagined it would be.

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Filed under Doctor, migraine/headache, pain

Pain Meds, still learning.

Today I had to take a pain pill. What I failed to remember was I took my last prescription nausea med. Why would he prescribe more pain pills then nausea pills? I was staring at my options in dismay. Mom to the rescue with over the counter stuff. It works alright, but the prescription ones work a bit better. Now, I feel like I might be the weirdest patient ever. I am going to have to ask he prescribe more nausea medicine. Not begging for more pain pills like some think I should be doing. Nope. Just give me more of those stomach pills.

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Filed under Doctor, migraine/headache, Pain managment, Treatments

#Suicide Prevention Month: Mental Healthcare Professionals

In honor of Suicide Prevention month I would like to encourage you to try seeing a mental healthcare professional. Counseling is a good thing if you can find a good fit. Try it.

If the counselor is not talking at all or if the counselor is not listening it is not going to work. If you don’t talk or don’t listen it’s not going to help. I did not go wine for an hour every week, that is a stereotype. Some people need that, that’s okay. But I think that misconception is why we hesitate to go. Try it out, you and your caregivers might benefit.

My experience.

I no longer go but I saw a counselor for four years when I first got sick. The neurologist said I was a crazy tart. I figured crazy people should see a psychologist…I went to see the college councilor. First day he says “your mentally and emotionally healthy, are you sure you want to keep meeting?” And he said it at least once a month. Neurologist was an idiot. Regardless, I am very thankful to the counselor and value the time we shared. Going to him gave me someone I could say “it hurts” to and he would say “yes it does hurt, but…” He was always positive and encouraging. He would find small things I could do to help me feel like I was doing something for the pain. Sometimes feeling like your being pro-active is enough to help with the pain.  And he helped me stay on track with my studies. He helped me deal with side-effects that were hard for me to talk about. Off meds my migraines give me awful nightmares and I couldn’t understand my auras-thought I was tripping. Try explaining to your roommate, I am slightly terrified right now because I had an awful nightmare about shadow men and when I woke up I thought it was still happening because those auras look like humans made of shadow and light. Sometimes I thought I was hearing voices because suddenly my hearing would go into overdrive and I could hear everything going on upstairs and on both sides of us and loud ringing is awful. The councilor was a God send. I would recommend finding a good councilor.

I would not recommend blindly going on psyche drugs. I also went to a psychologist, was not pleasant. He put me on two psyche drugs on top of my seizure meds. It changed my personality. I did things I would never do, my friends even called the shrink (I am insulting this particular doctor not all psychologists), and he would not take me off. Because the first thing a migraine patient needs is powerful bi-polar meds and anti-depressants with Gabapentin before a diagnosis. He belittled my pain and only listened to the neurologist (the neurologist even told him why I was crazy, shrink didn’t ask me what I thought). You have to find the right fit. Someone who will listen to you and talk to you sincerely.

I would like to emphasize seeing a mental healthcare provider can be a good thing. A few reasons you should talk to your doctor about finding one:

  1. You think you might benefit
  2. You find yourself not talking about being sick
  3. You are showing signs of depression
  4. the side-effects are freaking you out
  5. You need help staying on track
  6. Your caregivers are worn out or having trouble staying positive
  7. your disinterested in your favorite activities, or everything
  8. You feel isolated
  9. Feel you cannot communicate/articulate the pain
  10. your scared

There are people who have way less to deal with who are seeing mental healthcare professionals. He/she could help in more ways then you imagined.

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Filed under awareness, Doctor, migraine/headache, Pain managment

I get Botox.

I get Botox on Thursday. Last week I knew to check my calendar because I remembered, “ah, this is why we get the Botox.”

If you are thinking about Botox. Do not get advise from someone who quit after the first round. Like all medicine it takes a while to work, if the doctor sees no improvement after the third round they stop. It is expensive, but I know at least some insurances cover it and there is financial aid available through the Botox company.

The most important thing about Botox is the doctor. The angle that the doctor holds the needle will impact your side-effects and amount of pain, I know this from experience. I go to a teaching hospital and one appointment a recent graduate did my injections, he wanted more guidance on the angle of the injections. There was a big difference. If you are thinking about Botox, find a doctor who specializes in Botox and is known to be good at it.

The Botox did not take away my migraine pain or my headaches. It did not reduce my daily pain, it reduced my migraine pain by a smidgen and reduced my daily side effects of migraine by a significant amount. It is the only thing that has put a dent in my migraine/head pain. I remember the first time in nine years that I stepped outside and didn’t feel like I my head was going to beat itself out of my skull. That is why I am on Botox.

I got my first Botox injection in March of 2014. It is thirty-one shots around the head with a needle that reminds me of inline needles, there are about 5 of those filled with medicine diluted with saline. The doctor scrubs your forehead with the alcohol pads and then does the first set. Repeat. Repeat. Move on to the side of your head and behind of your ear (open and close your jaw please). Now across the back of your head right above the hair line. Finally, down one side of your neck and then the other. My doctor has done two different patterns of injections, experiences of injection sites do very. The severity of my side-effects were also different. The day he chose the different pattern I had a severe migraine and said the alternative pattern was better during migraine.

It hurts. The first time hurts tons more then the following appointments. The first appointment had me off my feet for a few days and hurting a few weeks. I could barely turn my neck and had issues moving my right arm because it hurt so much. But there was humor, I couldn’t move my eyebrows and on up. But after that it got better. The day of the shots and the day after the appointment I am sick. A few days to a few weeks my arm will hurt. My forehead will still get a little stiff, but not paralyzed. I get worn out easily, more so then before I started the injections.

Botox and pregnancy do not mix. If you are sexually active your doctor will do a pregnancy test before hand. I would just let them do it. Botox causes instant miscarriage.

My thoughts are a mess. Any questions from a patients point of view, leave them in the comments.

Note: I do not have any medical training.

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Filed under Doctor, pain