I wondered out loud why I still felt as if I was surrounded by a fog.
Joyce scoffed. “After what you've been through, I'm surprised your eyes are still in their sockets.”
Through the haze in my mind, I tried to think back to the last day and a half. I only remembered things in snatches. The pain was horrific. On a scale of one to ten, it was a... forty two? Much much worse than any headache I'd had in several years. I managed to scare Joyce and Daniel--they kept a vigil over me through the day and into the night, as I dozed in and out of indescribable agony.
I vaguely remembered a discussion of whether I should go to the ER for the pain.
As excruciating as it was, I wasn't all that concerned. Yes, it was worse than any headaches I'd had in years, but I also ran myself into the ground as I hadn't in a long time.
The worst of the headache lasted well into the next day, leaving me fragile, on the verge of another bad one for the following few days. In fact, I didn't have full relief since then. But that was nothing really new. Occasionally, really bad headaches took days to fade to nothing.
But a niggling little voice kept bugging me, telling me that this one was different.
I tried to convince myself that the ensuing exhaustion was not really a big deal. Except that a couple of weeks later I still needed one to two naps a day, despite sleeping a good eight to ten hours at night.
Could it be another bleed?
I tried to scoff, I'd been through this level of fatigue before. After the acute brain bleeds that led to the surgeries, I needed two to three naps a day. I tried to tell myself—this was only one to two. Except that I hadn't felt this tired in a long long time, in years--the last time I dealt with this level of exhaustion was... two, maybe three years into my recovery.
Judy suggested that I make appointments with my psychiatrist and neurologist to look into tweaking my meds. There was plenty of evidence to suggest that my anti-seizure meds, Lamictal, had a hand in exacerbating my headaches. Perhaps the dosage of Lamictal needed to be adjusted. And given that it also acts as a mood stabilizer, it made sense to adjust my dose of antidepressants at the same time.
Thinking about it, I realized that I'd been really fragile emotionally, really fragile. Depression? Exhaustion? Perhaps it was time to adjust my meds.
Perhaps it really was time. I made an appointment with my psychiatrist for next week. The best I could do with my neurologist was for November, six weeks away. I felt a tad uneasy--it seemed an awfully long time to wait. I tried to shrug it off. There really was no reason to worry--the psychiatrist would take care of the dosage. But that niggling little voice kept at me, increasing the unease.
Then a couple of nights ago, on Thursday, I slept for ten hours and woke up groggy. And less than three hours later, I zonked out for a good two hours. Later, musing about the various symptoms, I wondered about the emotional fragility—could that also be a symptom? Didn't I feel that way when— But that was probably due to untreated depression. Still...
I phoned the neurologist's office. “Is there anyway Dr. Silverman can see me sooner? I'm showing possible symptoms of another bleed.”
I have an appointment for Tuesday. “But if you show any other symptoms, go straight to the ER.”
Yesterday morning, after ten hours of sleep, I was still groggy, and I noticed that my hearing was muffled. I told Cindy about it over the phone. “It always scares me when my hearing gets muffled.” But I couldn't remember why. “Oh yes, it always means I've got a bad brain day ahead of me.”
As I was talking to her, I remembered that my hearing had been muffled for a while. As if I was underwater, or had a bad cold. I sniffed experimentally. Nope, no cold, nor allergies.
Suddenly it hit me—muffled hearing was the first of the several puzzling symptoms I experienced that led to the diagnosis of acute brain bleeds.
I'm seeing the neurologist tomorrow morning.