(Lesson just learnt: pushing the "return" key in the the title box publishes your entry. It may have been more amusing to read a blank post following that title than what's to follow..maybe I should have left it that way.)
Alrighty. Fun stuff first: we have a contest winner! Thank you to everyone who posted a comment. I have vowed not to become a total hit-whore, but...well...let's just say I'll probably have another contest like this one of these days. But anyway, imagine yourself a nice crisp drum roll.....
Jessica K.! Send me your snail mail and your new Falk shall be sent to you posthaste.
An update to the payment mixup on Tuesday: Mom had come into the shop earlier in the day and left a check for me. The guy at the counter forgot that she did so, and that led to forgetting to give it to me until the next day. (After she called and asked why her ex-husband called her, asking why she hadn't made arrangements to pay me, when she had in fact made said arrangements. Remember what i said about not wanting to be in the middle? I'm glad she wants to pay me monthly.)
Topamax update: not this time. My appointment was interesting, as I have been feeling pretty good (other than the usual cranky about going to work). As a bit of background, I've been taking Lamictal for about three months now. Google it if you really want to read about it, but the long and short of it for me is that I use it for anxiety and migraine prevention. Except I haven't been taking enough to prevent migraines. I didn't know that, so I asked about Topamax. In the end, we decided to try upping the Lamictal first, as we at least know how I react to a higher dose (even though I take very little right now). Topamax has its own weird set of side effects, so we'll hold off on that for now.
OK, that part's not so interesting, but hopefully my following thoughts are. The week before Christmas, as faithful readers will remember, was hard. Very hard. A mix of grief and anxiety and lack of sunshine and all that. I woke up on Boxing Day, and felt like something else had let go. Literally, just like that. Whoosh. And whereas I had seriously considered calling the office to ask if I should up the dose immediately when I was most anxious, I felt as normal and together as I have in almost a year. Kind of weird, but a welcome relief.
So I went to my appointment and as we talked about the migraines, I felt that anxiety rising harder and faster than it has in a while as well. I didn't have a problem trying Topamax, and I didn't have a problem upping the Lamictal instead. When my CNP suggested NOT taking the medication(s) I do to stop a migraine, it sent me into nearly a full-blown anxiety attack. Crying, tight chest, feeling like running away, feeling like yelling at her, the whole bit. And it came on like a Mack truck. I finally was able to tell her that I am AFRAID to not take them. I have found, over many unfortunate years of trial and error, that if I don't stop a migraine as soon as I can, it spirals down into a day of moaning and nausea and pain. Pure pain. And since I'm already getting them at least twice a week, and there is that little "job" thing to consider, I am terrified to let a headache begin to run its course to "find out" if it's a migraine or muscle tension.
Is it possible that some of the headaches are truly muscular instead? Sure. I can agree with that. But unless I can take a month or two off in the name of science, I don't feel like I have a choice but to take what I know works. My CNP suggested that instead of immediately taking an Axert or Imitrex, that first I take two Aleves and lie down with a hot corn bag under my neck, and a cold pack on my forehead. I had to restrain myself from snorting. The only days when I could actually do that (Saturday and Sunday) are the two days that I am not likely to get a migraine. When I get one after lunch as the kindergarteners walk in the door? Right.
OK then, so is it possible that being in a job that I'm not so sure I want to do anymore is bringing on these headaches? Well, yeah. I had a similar reaction when I knew my marriage was in its death throes. But right now, there isn't another option. Do I need to consider other options? Of course. Fling myself out of my job Right Now? I don't see how. No one in their right mind is giving up a good-paying job with health insurance (hush, we just negotiated a contract that ups our contributions by 40%, it ain't free) right now. I don't have another income source to rely on. I don't have enough savings. I have a couple of sources I could borrow from. But even that is something I'd rather save for a bit longer. So what is bringing home the bacon may also have a poison pill wrapped in it. I feel like I have to keep swallowing it, even if it hurts me every time. And until I can rectify this situation and the poverty thinking that goes with it, I will continue to turn to artificial means to keep me going. Hopefully it won't be for much longer.