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Roller Coaster Weeks of May

Week of May 9th: I was still on prednisone until Wednesday.  But I was exhausted every day.  Gideon ended up staying home with a fever Tuesday through Thursday and we pretty much laid around during that time.  My head pain may have been low, but my body was completely out of energy.  So we sat, watching TV, playing on our electronics, napping a lot, even Gideon.  Head pain actually remained low until Saturday, but finally on Wednesday, I got some energy back and so did Gideon, but was still running a low grade fever so I kept him home one more day.  We had a fun day of going to lunch, Walmart, lots of garage sales and then to Miss Tammy’s (his daycare before I lost my job).  Man was I whipped when I got home though.  Friday started my day with a sore throat and pain into the chest.  I was thinking it was a yeast infection from the prednisone especially because I had it down there and on a place on my stomach…so not fun.  I just felt crappy all day.  I tried to go into town, but only lasted an hour and then back to bed for me.  I woke Saturday with a migraine starting but didn’t let that get me down…at least with the help of Imitrex it didn’t get me down.  So we packed in the car and went to a few garage sales and had lunch out.  By Sunday I was completely exhausted and slept almost all day.  Migraine most of the day when I woke in spurts.  I did rally in the evening to get the kitchen cleaned, the boys to clean their bedrooms and bathrooms and organized the laundry to fold and hang…it was really beginning to pile up.

Week of May 16th: Monday in bed all day with a horrible migraine for which I finally had to take a Toradol shot just to take the edge off.  Tuesday I woke with the migraine, but took Amerge ( a Noratriptan that takes quite a while to take effect but works for a long time) and went back to bed until 1:30pm.  I got up showered and felt like I had some energy back again.  I was supposed to meet a friend for a late lunch/ice cream but that fell through, so I13265911_10154115930606897_534315005628657821_n went and ate at Taco Bell for a late lunch by myself.  I ran a few errands and hit Goodwill for a few amazing finds…Body Glove surf suit for Gideon $8 and it fits perfect, white leather Keds for $4 for me which is what I was looking for and a pair of garden shoes for $4 and I love them, they are bright green and make me happy 🙂 And then went crazy and folded all the laundry, hung up hanging clothes put it all away..and if that wasn’t enough I emptied out my entire closet to make room for all of  my clothes that not only fit but were some amazing garage sale finds and to make room for my new addiction: LulaRoe.

The rest of this week is a mystery to me really.  I woke up on Wednesday with a great deal of energy and very little head pain (1/2).  So I called my friend Mindy and we went to lunch and hung out all afternoon and chatted all day.  Then in the evening the family went to Josiah’s school for a walk-a-thon type thing and I walked 1 1/2 miles.  I was so scared…I knew I would end up with a migraine that night or the next morning, but the mystery is…I didn’t.

So Thursday I woke up feeling ready for the day and spent the entire afternoon with my friend Carrie, hitting garage sales and Meijer towards the end of the day.  Friday I went to Josiah’s field day at school for 3 hours which was so much fun and I am so glad I was able to go and participate in something this year with the schools.

Then went to ready care because a pain in my neck, possibly lymph nodes had been bothering me, he put me on antibiotics and sent me on my way. I slept until 3:30, visited with my parents and then we all headed in to Gideon’s school for his school Carnival. And again I was so pleased and excited that I got to participate in something with the kids for their school.

Little to no head pain all day and into the evening.  I did do a Toradol shot, but that is because my body was aching 🙂  Then my parents took the kids and Dan and I just hung out all weekend, hitting a few garage sales.  Saturday night we hung out with our friends Stephanie and Jared until 1:30 in the morning.  Still no head pain.  I was even wearing my regular glasses without the tint.

Same for Sunday…I did have a bad reaction to food, but other than that another great day.  It’s a mystery!  I was actually having feelings of guilt because I had gone so long without a migraine.  How weird is that?  I was also very confused…was this going to last, was the medicine working, I just didn’t know.

Week of May 23rd: Monday was another great day.  I spent most of the day relaxing at home though just in case.  But it was nice and quiet and had no responsibilities that day and that felt good..no where to go!  Then as I was on FB a notification came up from one of the virtual garage sale sites and I just happened to click on it.  It was a piece of property.  10 acres of land, with great hunting potential.  I contacted the owner and asked if we could take a look at the property.  So after we had all eaten, we headed out 14.5 miles from our house was this beautiful piece of land.  Oh my goodness, we were instantly in love.  Rolling hills, woods, the view, the potential to maybe build some day, photography potential.  So we walked all the way to the back of the property which was quite long.  When we got to the wooded area it was tough to walk because of all the prickers, so Josiah and I chose a different path and we ended up in the swamp.  It took all of my energy to get to the back of the property and then I was digging for extra energy to get back.  We saw 4 deer and a rabbit in our short time there.  The sun was setting and we were in love.  We didn’t really think about how we would pay for the land, just how beautiful it was and the potential it had.

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And then I had no more guilt, I knew the answer to the questions I was asking myself…the13241196_10154132262611897_3871821648081814738_n head pain returned and with a vengeance.  Ugh.  I went to bed with the pain rising and woke with the head pain at a 5.  I took an Imitrex and went back to bed because I had a hair apt later that day and of course I had to make it 🙂  By the time I 13233015_468205046703984_2698938692415491479_ngot home the meds were worn off and I was back to bed and in bed all day Wed and Thursday.  Friday, I woke with the migraine still, but took Amerge because I was done with the pain.  Luckily by 1:30 when I woke up the meds had done their job.  So I went in to town to see the back about financing the property (after chatting with Jennifer our realtor, she told us that there was a possibility of financing and I made some calls and found out that was indeed true).  I got all the information about getting pre approved for the loan and what it would take to get the loan.  20% down…ugh.  If we got the property for $32,000 with realtor fees we would need $7000 to put down.  No idea really how that could happen.  So I put that aside and started driving until I found a garage sale sign which lead me over towards the property.  I decided to go look at it again.  When I got out of the car, I felt this amazing peace.  So I decided to pray about this property and if it was to be in our future or not and to please make it clear 😉  One can always ask!  And wouldn’t you know it, when I left the property, 2 houses down there was a garage sale.  If you know me, or have at the very least read this thread, I love to garage sale.  It must be a sign, right?  🙂  hehe j/k  I won’t disregard it, but I won’t put an offer in based upon that “sign” 🙂  I picked up the kids from school (a treat since they have to ride the bus and walk home) and then picked up pizza.  My parents met us at the house and took the kids off for the weekend.  After they left, Dan and I sat out front and just enjoyed the peace and quiet and listened to the birds and talked about our day without interruption.  And then the guy next door started mowing…inside I go.  Allergies are kicking my butt this year.  So now to spend Memorial Day weekend however it takes us.  But I will gather all the necessary documents needed for the pre approval for sure.

 

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Prednisone–>I always over due it!

Thursday May 6th: First day of prednisone 20mg!  I should have taken my friend Jennifer’s advice today when I felt so good. On the one hand it was a wonderful day. Started my day being able to fold some laundry and get some phone calls made. I went to a garage sale, had a good Dr apt, back to garage sale to get some amazing clothes that almost all fit. That’s always a big win. Then I texted Dawn to see what she was up too and we both ended up with beautiful pedicures. I had a thumb drive to drop off to Meaghan  (hopefully you got it) and realized I was 2 miles from where she lived to drop it off. One more thing crossed off of my list. I had heard back from my friend Carrie that she was nearby too so I stopped and chatted with her and her mom Ruthanne for an hour or so. On my way home I stopped at our old day care family and all the little babies just called me in. And I was off to pick up the boys just in time to get them off the bus, but talked on the phone to my mom  for the entire drive. Did I tell you that talking is a major migraine trigger. Dan had a water loss and it was beautiful outside so the boys got the burn pile done and then got out water balloons and the launcher. We had a fun time just hanging out. And if that wasn’t enough for the night we met up with Dan in Potterville for dinner at Charlie’s Bar and Grill.  Then home to put the boys to bed and crash. My head had started to hurt already but I was able to fall asleep.

Friday May 7th: Now here is when I should have listened to Jennifer, I should not have done so much on the first day of prednisone…it’s a trick, all the energy was from the pill. So I would pay for all the fun and activity and talking.  I woke with the most excrutiating pain I have felt in a long time. The pain was coming from all directions in my head. I felt like I was under attack. I tried my IceKap but it made this one worse. Finally after taking my meds including prednisone and putting warm heat on my head, I fell asleep. When I woke the pain was down but not very functional. So today I rest! And Mindy I am so sorry I can’t come for a visit today. Hopefully next week.

My neighbor also stopped by to drop off an ottoman that I bought at her garage sale and forgot to take. We got talking about migraines (imagine that) but she suffers too 😓. So I had to show her my icekap but that meant showing our house and talking for a half an hour, plus the house is a disaster but she understood. Sad to hear of another friend whose migraines are getting more frequent and more difficult to treat. Selfishly glad to have a neighbor to talk to about migraine stuff but it sucks for both of us at the same time.

13133092_10154089587201897_5739522844633282669_n (1)I did realize something today. Well not really today, but something new about one of my migraines; the one that hit this morning. Laying down isn’t the answer for this one. As soon as I stood up the pain lessened. So I made myself a Mac and cheese cup and am sitting on the porch enjoying this beautiful day. Migraines are so complex especially when you have varying types but I am so glad I decided to stand up and go outside. But now the birds beautiful songs are starting to get to me. 😕. It was still lovely getting outside but still relaxing.

 

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Mayo Clinic: The rest of the stay

Saturday:  The highlight of our trip. We met up with a college friend Chris Gottschalk and Niko. They picked us up and took us to a great restaurant called Whistle Binkies. It was so much fun and so nice out that we got to sit outside. 80 degrees and breezy…perfect! And I got my favorite dish…pan seared ahi tuna. YUM! Then on the way back, Niko gave us a mini tour of downtown Rochester.  We arrived back at the hotel just in time to our comfy clothes on to watch the new Hallmark movie 😀

Sunday: My mom and I laid low for most of the day, but we did go to Olive Garden….YUM!  I was pretty nervous about the upcoming Lumbar Puncture the following morning.  I have had bad experiences with the puncture itself and have also had spinal headaches that resulted from both punctures that I have had. 13062527_10154047653281897_1477015710969330656_n

Monday: Migraine is pretty bad so hopefully it will yield the best results.  The pressure was actually high and when they removed the fluid my head pain decreased. I am prone to the leaking spinal fluid and resulting spinal headache. It is just a wait and see now.

13055418_10154047658096897_8464084912672851094_nProcedure is completed. Fluid pressure was really up and when they removed the fluid my migraine did get better. Now we wait for results from testing and I go back to the hotel and rest.  And rest I did for the rest of the day, icing my back between sleeping.  12994542_10154051269991897_644240225602523312_n

Tuesday: I rested all day yesterday and most of the day today. I did make the journey to the hot tub this afternoon (Love love love my new Turbie twist. I have a hard time getting my hair up in a towel because bending over and standing up quickly both throws me off balance and increases head pain. Thanks to Mindy Richmond I have always wanted one because I saw it at her house. And now I have one and love it!!). I either have a migraine on the top of my head or there is still that off chance of a spinal headache but not nearly as severe as the 2 before so that is good news. My mom Sherry Dunne Weaver has been taking walks along the nice river walk. This hotel has turned out to be such a great choice. Hopefully I will have test results back tomorrow and know something more.

Wednesday: I woke with no spinal headache or migraine! Now we are off to have lunch with another college friend Mary Francis.  While we were waiting at the Gonda Building at Mayo Clinic for Mary, my mom and I finally had a chance to look around and see some awesome art work.

And then we were off to eat at a Dutch restaurant called Pannekoeken.  I love eating at new places that are not chain restaurants.  We all ordered Pannekoeken and the waitress came out singing Pannekoeken.  So much fun!

I still hadn’t heard anything towards the end of the day on Wednesday from the doctor,  so I sent a message and they said I could go home and wait for the results of the tests from there.  The initial test results came back all normal which is good but the autoimmunity and paraneoplastic results hadn’t come in yet.

Thursday: Our trip home was very uneventful.  I slept most of the way…stomach hurting and getting more and more congested.  So I only drove for 2 hours…luckily my mom was up for driving.  First person who came to greet me was Gideon with a big smile and a huge hug and he asked me if my migraines were all gone.  Buddy I so wish they were but I told him that the doctors are working hard to  make them go away.  When I walked into the house, I instantly smelled really weird in the house and it made my head pain increase…I finally figured it out and it was epoxy from Dan’s RC planes 😉  But I was really just feeling blah and my head was in a fog.  So I went to bed pretty early.  I took the first 300mg pill of Neurontin that Dr. Cutrer prescribed.  When I finally tried to go to sleep I couldn’t breath through my nose at all, and I was a little worried that I was having a reaction to the new med, so instead of getting to sleep in my own comfy bed, I ended up having to sleep in the recliner so I could breath.  Benedryl cleared up my sinuses finally but I didn’t wake up until 6:30am.  So thankful that my mom was still here and was able to take the kids to the bus.  I never heard anything this morning, so mom if you read this, thank you so much for everything.

Friday: I slept most of the day and felt really blah and foggy again.  I did send another note to Mayo and found out that the Dr. just received the autoimmunity and paraneoplastic results today but did not have time to review them properly yet.  Hopefully I will hear from them early next week.  It is good to be home.

I will be returning to Mayo for sure in August after I do the 2 month step down of Prednisone and have been on Neurontin some time.  I decided to wait on the prednisone (with doctor approval) until June so that I will be able to hang out with the kids instead of being stuck in my bedroom all day everyday.  So I won’t start prednisone until June 15th (which will also give me a break from migraine for our trip to Florida at the end of June).

 

 

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Mayo Clinic Day #1

Update from my first visit with my Mayo Clinic doctor: Dr. Michael Cutrer.
First of all he read through my summary before he met with me and had ideas of a plan before he met with me and all of my spreadsheets made things go so smoothly today. So my effort was not wasted.
The Plan: On Monday bright and early I go in for my third and hopefully final 😉 (wishful thinking) Lumbar puncture (spinal tap). BUT this time they plan on doing so much more with the fluid than before. They plan on running several assays to determine if I have any immune deficiencies or any other illnesses that might come in up on the testing. If everything from that testing and the pressure testing from the lumbar puncture itself comes back normal we will just have to wait 48 hrs and then we can come home on the other part of the plan…if something turns up I will go back in to see the doctor to discuss whatever they find further.
The medication part of the plan: someone finally listened to me that Prednisone works. That my headaches/migraines have an inflammatory response that seems to be helped by prednisone. So he is going to start me at a very high dose and step down every week over the course of 8 weeks. If anything to finally get some relief a little more long term than 1 week. And at the same time he is going to be titrating me up on Neurontin, a medication I was given at the same time that I was given Keppra (a drug I knew to cause anxiety), and we were never able to determine if it would really help. In fact I was only on a dose of 100 mg/day…and this doctor wants to titrate up to 2400 mg/day over the course of the 8 weeks that I am on Prednisone, so that when I stop the prednisone I am at the highest dose of Neurontin which will hopefully take over the pain prevention. These are hopes, not guarantees. But at least their is hope.
So now my mom Sherry Dunne Weaver and I get to enjoy the weekend and hopefully meet up with friends. So what are you guys up to this weekend: Chris Gottschalk and Karen Connell. I am pretty sure that we are going to head up to Minneapolis one day to see Jeremiah Carpenter and Kelly Carpenter if it works out for them. And Mary Francis we will have to try and meet for lunch if you can get away one day. I believe I won’t be at the clinic long on Monday and will want to rest…but maybe we can take the shuttle to where you work on Tues or Wednesday for lunch. So many folks in this area 🙂
Now that my anxieties are calmed, I know the plan and it makes sense…I feel a load of relief lifted off of me. Thank you for all of you who are praying (and that list is so long to tag everyone and I wouldn’t want to miss any, so just know that know that you are praying).
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Spring Break 2016

Spring Break 2016 was a roller coaster for sure!  The first day was a great day with my boys.  and for that I am so thankful.  12924526_10154006279196897_6370616670055768135_n

First stop: Hangin out at Walmart and having Subway for lunch.  The boys were so excited that they got to get new silly putty and got a new back pack for my trip to Mayo Clinic…feeling pretty good today.  Lunch was really good too…we just sat chatting and enjoying each others company.

Then we made a quick stop at Hayes Green Beach Hospital to pick up my records for the last 14 months.  Then to CVS to pick up my prescriptions and then we were off to Lansing.

12919878_10154006577856897_8309008874565947101_nWe made a quick stop to drop off paperwork to get my records from my allergist for Mayo.  and then we headed over to Sparrow hospital to get my records from them for hospitalizations and ER visits.  This visit took a little longer since they were going to copy my records r12920471_10154006779886897_3690398605269991810_night then for me.  So the boys and I went to the deli counter and ordered smoothies and cookies.

On our way home, to our surprise, we spotted a Garage Sale sign, so of course we had to stop 😉  First Sale of the year and it was a beautiful day and I felt great.  Gideon got a Gideon Bible for free, so he was excited and both boys got to watch a little boy fly a kite and then let go accidentally where the handle got caught in the tree.  The kite was flying beautifully!  As soon as one of the guys climbed the tree to get the kite, they cut the line and it flew across the road.  Quite exciting garage sale!  I got a bingo seat in case I decide to pick up Bingo in the near future 😉 Two blankets and two doilies in case I decide to pick up photography in the near future.  A suet holder for the birds and a men’s travel bag for a friend’s friend 🙂  All for $5 And this was all in the first day.  Good thing we got a lot in because the days to come were not going to be much fun.

By that night the migraine began and I was in bed Sat through Tues morning.  Gideon went to Grandma’s for a couple of days and Josiah got to hang out here for the night Sunday night and just vedge.

Josiah got to invite his friend James over on Monday to spend the night…so they kept each other entertained during the day Monday while I nursed my migraine.  Pretty sure they played Minecraft all day!  But I never really did hear much from them most of the day.  So nice that Josiah and his friends are getting older and are able to keep entertained without parent involvement (someday I will regret this statement I am sure).

Tuesday night was Dan’s Birthday celebration.  We met my parents and Gideon at one of our new favorite buffets: Hibachi Grill and Sushi Buffet.  Awesome food for the price.  I finally surprised Dan with a birthday present.  I had planned on getting them for him last year for the big 40, but I was in the hospital, so I made up for it this year with a pair of Heely’s for adults…yep they really make them…and yep they are really hard to ride.  I also got him a plant stand…kind of boring, but he has really come to love his plants 🙂  We had a great night though.  My parents then joined us back at the house for a couple of days.

12936479_10154017295921897_144023479701555891_nBig deal for Gideon tonight: he lost his first tooth…actually I pulled it, but it finally came out.  He was so excited!  The tooth is in the empty prescription bottle that is so proudly holds.

Wednesday: I woke up feeling pretty good, thank goodness.  It was the only day that I had made plans that I could truly keep them.  We met up with Gideon’s friend Douglas and his brother and mom at McDonalds for lunch and then we went to the free movie at Eaton Theatres “Rise of the Guardians”.

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After the movie we came home and did some house cleaning.  In the meantime I got a hold of my friend Dawn and she and her boys came over for the evening for dinner and to have birthday cake to celebrate both her son Brady’s birthday and Dan’s birthday (we were too stuffed the night before to eat ice cream cake).  And then I proceeded to help Dawn with her taxes which finally scrambled my brain.  A long, fun and exhausting day.  But I guess it was good that we got it all in because the next three days I was pretty much down for the count.

My mom and dad stayed through Thursday morning and got all of our laundry done, dishes, and vacuuming done as well as got both of the boys rooms cleaned up.  And the most fun for the boys was getting the burn pile burned.  They used the fire pit which was apparently much more fun 🙂 After they got all the cleaning done they sat down with the boys for a fun game of Blockus.  I finally woke up at the same time they were getting ready to hit the road.  So glad they were here to spend the morning with them because I was back in bed for the rest of the day.  From 2-5pm and again from 6:30-8:30pm.

Friday: my sleep schedule was pretty much the same, meaning almost all day.  The boys played downstairs, watched YouTube, played Minecraft together and made the day pass.  Luckily dad brought pizza for dinner which was when I finally decided to take Imitrex…and then I was awake until 4 am working on my paper work for Mayo Clinic.

Saturday: We all just hung out and slept until about 2:00 pm.  We had gotten a couple of inches of snow but the kids didn’t want anything to do with it…they are so over winter and so am I.  Then Josiah got invited for a sleep over which he was super excited about.  Dan, Gideon and I went to Meijer for groceries for the next few weeks since I could be gone as long as 2 weeks.  Then off to Applebee’s because it is still Dan’s birthday week and that was his choice 🙂  Much easier to go shopping and to dinner with one child!  Then we hit the Dollar Tree and Goodwill.  I finally hit a wall of fatigue where I could no longer move really.  I found a seat and could barely get back up to go to the car.  On the bright side, the reason I was so fatigued was because I had walked all three stores and normally I take carts.  It felt good but so terrible at the same time.

Once we got Gideon in bed I finally finished all of my records (duplicating and organizing records from HGB, Sparrow, MHNI and Allergist) for both Mayo clinic and myself.  I wanted to have the same exact copy.  I then wrapped up the last of my timeline info, medication changes and headache journal updates and I am completely done with any and all paperwork I need for Mayo Clinic…phew!  That was a big project!

I would imagine that tomorrow, Sunday, will be a low key day.  I think we made the best of Spring Break this year.  I didn’t know if I would even be able to do anything, so everything that we got to do was a bonus.  Plus the boys were just glad to have late bed times and the freedom of electronics all week!

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MHNI #14

March 31st, 2016: I remained at baseline NDPH all day which was a great relief compared to the days leading up to this visit.  I took an Amerge just to make sure that a migraine didn’t decide to join or that the NDPH didn’t increase.

I had such a great day.  My friend Dawn rode down with me and we talked all the way.  I drove and I talked and my head pain did not increase…it was wonderful.  I even drove home and talked on the phone for a good majority of the trip home since Dawn had food coma and I was trying to prevent going into food coma 😉

I was really worried about my appointments today because I had to tell them about Mayo Clinic, but it turns out they already knew because they all had to sign off on the records to go to Mayo.  They were very supportive and were anxious to hear any findings from Mayo.  What a relief!  And anxiety for no reason.  Oh well, I just didn’t want them to think I was going behind their back…I really just wanted to have someone look further into what might be causing the constant head pain.  Almost 15 months now!  Never how I imagined it would be, but have done my best to take it in stride.  So glad that my Dr’s at MHNI had my back about going to Mayo Clinic.  I leave in 5 days.

In between Dr. apts Dawn and I went shopping to 5 Below….great store, but you really have to limit yourself or you could spend way to much money without even knowing it.  And then we were going to meet up with my high school friends Kristen and Steve and their son Eli.  Unfortunately they were delayed and we only got to give hugs, say Hi and good-bye.  But the food at Olive Garden was awesome.  I hadn’t been there in so long.

Oh and I stayed awake all day!!!  Big deal for me really!  Thanks for making the trip with me Dawn…it was much needed girl time!

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2nd Opinion

So I have decided to see if I can get further answers about my migraines.  Right now and for as long as I have been going to my current head pain clinic, they have only been trying to treat it.  But no one has ever tried to get to the bottom of the cause and looked at it from that angle.  So I am on the phone right now with Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis.  Jeremiah and​ Kelly​ and Karen,​ who knows you might be seeing me on your front steps.

I finished giving them all the information that they asked for and confirmed with my insurance that Mayo is in-network.  So now I wait until the neurologists review my case and call for more information.  They said it would a couple of weeks for anyone to get back with me and then I will know more about what their suggestion is from that point.

Until then I have an apt with MHNI on March 31st to see what they have to say again and which medications they will change.  What other ideas they might have and then hopefully I will have a better idea about when they might see me at Mayo Clinic.