October 24th, 2014

hide, headache

(no subject)

My codeine withdrawal symptoms are mostly gone now, just slight gastrointestinal problems every couple days. Mostly, I'm just living one long, terrible headache. Well, that isn't fair: sometimes it lets up for a few hours at a time, though I usually realize afterward that it's because I was doing something very distracting & therefore just didn't notice my head.

Mindfulness is not my friend right now.

It feels like my skull is too small for my frontal lobe, like my brain is trying to expand out through my temples but being squeezed forcibly in place. I also get a bit of aching in my neck and at the base of my head, but I think that's just tension from being in pain so much of the time.

I've gone to support groups at CWC a few times this past week or so, and they've been helpful—just getting to talk about how frustrated I am & how I worry that the headaches will just be here forever because the doctors can't do anything about them without endangering my kidneys—but sometimes the headaches are bad enough that I don't feel safe galivanting around town alone, because I really can't think straight. So I don't venture off to the wilds of South Berkeley—and CWC—when I'm in that state.

I haven't been able to work on the tiles project, because I just can't focus on it. And I discovered that the CWC art room really doesn't work for me right now, because there is so much chaos in there that it makes it even harder for me to think. With my thinking process disrupted the way it is right now, the noise and bustle of the art room just confuses me further and nearly paralyzes me. I fled after only a few minutes when I tried it.

Sara (my CWC intern) has gotten me interested in more spontaneous watercolor painting, though. In a quiet environment, it can be soothing and distracting.

I phoned the nearby acupuncture school & left a message about wanting an appointment to see if it will help with my pain, but they never got back to me. Perhaps I need to phone them again & try to talk to a live person instead of a voicemail recording.

I see the neurologist on Tuesday. Perhaps he will have some useful thoughts. The pain doc has been talking about Botox injections along my temples and down the back of my head, and he's also been talking about referring me to a colleague of his who is doing groundbreaking headache work at Stanford. Pain Doc says my case is very complicated, especially because of the kidney disease, and so he's worried that he won't be able to help me.

Yeah, I worry about that, too.

The afghan is growing & is about half done, but I realized a few days ago that it has been growing into an approximation of an isosceles trapezoid. That is to say, the afghan was 47" wide when I started on row 1, and it is now about 57" wide on the current row. Oops! I can now see that I started out crocheting comparatively tight stitches, and they have grown looser and looser as I've gone along, resulting in this lack of rectangularity.

I've spent a lot of time taking measurements and drawing diagrams and trying to figure out how to solve the Incredible Expanding Trapezoid problem so I still end up with a rectangular afghan at the end, but my brain doesn't work so well, so it's been difficult. I think I have a plan, though, I can't really describe it in words. I could sketch it, but my head is hurting too badly right now & I just want to go make myself a Poor Man's Mocha (instant coffee with instant hot chocolate, all from the dollar store) & hope that the caffeine maybe makes a difference in the headache situation.

Edited to Add: Wow. The image I chose for the mood "crushed" when I created this mood theme works REALLY well with my current headache. I chose "crushed" as my mood because I'm feeling beaten down by pain, but the image was even more appropriate than I'd expected.