I have been having headaches 4 or 5 times a week for the last 6 weeks. Also, I’ve had a decrease in cognitive function. The headaches at least, did not seem to be related to my pills. I decided (with much nudging from my psychiatrist) to see the doctor about this. In the process, I learned the following:
- The nurse who draws blood at the student care center knows me on sight. I found this a tad disconcerting but then I realized that I have been going there for umpteen billion years now.
- Also, I’m “the one with good veins.” See above.
- Climbing into a ginormous magnet that seemingly has an interior diameter of about 1 foot is no problem at all if you have taken 2 ativan 30 minutes beforehand.
- If you’re going to climb into a ginormous magnet, it is a good idea to take your ID out of your back pocket. Otherwise, when you go back to your lab building to get your backpack, you will find the card reader does not open the door for you anymore.
- If I take 2 ativan, I will sleep for 8 hours straight. Furthermore, I can then wake up for 1 hour and then sleep another 6 hours.
- I have abnormally strong reflexes, particularly in my knees.
- Looking at pictures of my brain is super cool! Everyone should get to see a picture of their own brain.
- I don’t have MS (it never occurred to me to be worried about MS until every doctor I encountered mentioned it–then I was scared to death!).
- There is nothing structurally wrong with my brain. (Whew!)
Verdict: I have migraines. I would put this in the list of things I learned but I knew that I had migraines prior to going through all of these tests. True, I had never had them so frequently before, but still, it felt a little anticlimactic. I had the urge to say, “No shit, Sherlock. Tell me something I don’t know,” but I refrained. I know it’s important to rule out anything serious, but I was really hoping I would get a little more out of it than, “You have migraines. Here’s a prescription.”* It feels a lot like when I went to get a sleep study done because I wake up so frequently during the night. I spent the night in the sleep clinic with 20-odd electrodes stuck to my head and face, my head and face wrapped up in yards and yards of gauze to keep the electrodes on, electrodes on my legs, a strap around my chest, and–my personal favorite–tiny copper electrodes up my nose. And they woke me up at 5AM to send me home. Their big conclusion? “You wake up a lot while you sleep.” NO! You don’t say!
Anyhoo, I now have another pill to add to my medicine cabinet. But, because this drug is known to make people drowsy, I’m no longer taking my sleeping med so there’s no net gain or loss of pills.
P.S. I realize the headaches are probably mostly due to stress.
*I know, I know, they don’t know much about what causes migraines and it’s not the doctor’s fault, yadda, yadda, yadda. That doesn’t mean I can’t be frustrated about spending all that time and energy and money on tests and doctors’ visits only to essentially be back at square one. Although I did get to see pictures of my brain so I guess that counts for something.