Being Woken Up by Pain

At some point in their lives, most people will wake up and realize, “Wow, I hurt”. They hurt because they exercised too hard, they injured themselves or they have an illness. I’ve done this plenty of times myself (usually after yard work).

But being woken up BY pain is a completely different animal. You’re laying there, sleeping comfortably when suddenly you realize you’re not asleep anymore. You’re not quite awake, but there’s one thing you’re sure of: you’re in pain. For me, it’s the all-too-familiar pain of a migraine.

In the past, I was only woken up by a migraine a few times a year. The past week and a half it’s happened half a dozen times. I take sumatriptan, so back to bed and hope the pain goes away. It usually does but then you have migraine hangover all day. (For the layman: migraine hangover is a feeling of being tired, achy, lethargic, and worst of all; on the verge of the migraine coming back at any time).

But you’re not actually in pain at that time. Except I unfortunately am in pain because I have developed a horrible neck issue over the past 2 weeks as well. I basically keep a heat wrap around my neck 24/7. My muscle relaxers don’t work and I can’t take narcotics when I have a toddler to watch.

It’s frustrating. I’m trying to be positive, but it’s difficult when the day starts this way.

Doc T may get some of my blood work back today and if the neck pain persists, we’re going to do an MRI. But still no answers and no relief.

And I have a job interview tomorrow. My head says we NEED the money, but my heart starts breaking at the thought of being away from Bella. We’ll see how the interview goes. I unfortunately think my reluctance to be away from Bella comes through somehow.

I hope everyone else has a wonderful day. I’m going to try to myself. I have Good Donor picking up a donation today, so that’s a good thing.

Well that sure stunk…

We headed out to Central PA for a bridal shower for one of R’s cousins on Friday. My neck has been a disaster, even with the maximum dose of muscle relaxers, so I wrapped a heat wrap around my neck on the way out (I always do the driving).

We tried to time things so Bella would nap for the 3 hour drive, but she only slept for 45 minutes. We were afraid this would make her a cranky mess, but she had so much fun seeing everyone that she stayed in good spirits. Upon arrival I took my next round of muscle relaxers and kept wearing the heat thing around my neck.

We just hung around my in-laws until my SIL got off work and came over, then we went to the Amish barbecue. Because the barbecue had started around 4pm and we didn’t get there until around 7pm, R and I got the VERY last 3 pieces of chicken. They had already prepared out plates by the time we realized this, so we just took the food with us and found a barbecue restaurant where all of us could eat. The food was definitely not impressive, nor were the portions.

We went back to my in-laws for a little while so the kids could play some more and then headed to my SILs place where we were staying for the night. (Next batch of muscle relaxers here) I was dreading the evening. Last time we stayed with my SIL, Bella lasted maybe 3 hours in her playpen and then she had to get into bed with R and me and no one got sleep after that.

Now that she’s been sleeping in a bed, I knew sleeping in the playpen was going to be even more of a challenge. But I brought her comforter, blankets, 2 pillows, mini Pooh and mini Eyore and she had her binkie and larger Pooh she always sleep with. Because we played so much at both my in-laws and my SIL’s place, when we put Bella down at 9:30, there was no struggle at all. Phew.

We stayed up chatting and watching TV and went to bed around 11pm. Then 12:30am hit and I could hear Bella crying in the room next to us. I walked into the room and she said “Up” and held out her arms. So I brought her back to bed with R and Me. Bella was able to fall asleep and R and I got some sleep intermittently, but it wasn’t what I would call restful.

The next morning my SIL made some eggs and coffee and we got enough food in our bellies to start on our days (muscle relaxers taken here).  R and my SIL’s girlfriend were going to the Amish sale. (It’s a sale/auction of Amish made items, livestock and donated things to raise money for the Amish Hospital Fund). I had wanted to go and take Bella, but I knew that after a bad night, I was going to need to just take it easy (which my SIL had planned to do anyway). So my SIL, Bella and Me hung out at home for a while and then ran to Ollie’s to get a few items (including yet more books for Bella ;-P).

When we got back from Ollie’s, Bella and I took a shower together. She screamed the entire time. The water pressure at my SIL’s place is fairly strong and it scared/overwhelmed Bella. But in the end we were both clean and I was able to put her down for a nap and then veg a bit until it was time to get dressed for the Bridal Shower. I’m not used to wearing anything other than jeans, sweats and shorts, so it felt weird getting dressed up even a little bit.

We let Bella sleep as long as we could (about 90 minutes) and then got her up and dressed and into the car to head to my in-laws before we went to the church where the celebration was being held in the basement.

The Bridal Shower was very nice, but I don’t know the bride all that well and since I’ve been married twice, it doesn’t hold as much significance for me. But the bride-to-be’s friends and family did a lovely job decorating and making food. Unfortunately, this basement party area is fairly warm and even though there were fans scattered throughout the room, I felt myself getting overheated. I got Bella to eat very little food (she had a banana for breakfast and scrambled eggs, so it wasn’t a huge deal).

After a while, Bella’s cousin Veru took her to the playroom area and they were back there for quite a while. Eventually, I went back there to hang out/supervise/cool off until the party was over. The girls had fun playing and I enjoyed the cooler air.

When we left, we went back to my in-laws and I immediately changed into something more comfortable. I was in pain but only had 1 muscle relaxer left. So I took that, a klonopin and a mystery pill I found in my pill case (vicodin?). After a little while I noticed I wasn’t in any pain at all for the first time in a long time.

We left my in-laws later than we planned with me driving at first. But when we’d gone about 30 miles and hit our usual gas station to fill up, we decided it was best for Rod to drive the rest of the way. Bella woke up when we were at the station and took a long time to fall back to sleep. I rested my eyes which I had problems focusing with whatever particular mixture of medication I had taken. R listened to the Phillies game and we were homeward bound.

About 40 minutes from home, Bella got really upset and we couldn’t calm her down. We happened to be near a PATP rest stop, so we got off and R went inside while I tried to calm her down. Whatever was bothering her passed and we drove the rest of the way home. We finally reached our house around 11pm. (Side note: during the multiple diaper changes during these 2 days, it appears that Bella is recovering from her yeast diaper rash…. it’s just taking a while longer than I had hoped.)

A valiant effort, but the skunk “lost” the battle with Chloe

Our dogs are always insane when we come home, wether we’ve been gone 10 minutes or 36 hours, so entering the house is a coordinated effort. I have to go in first because they will follow me out the back door into the yard, where as with R, they keep waiting for me for some reason. So I got the dogs out (I had brought Bella’s bedding in) and Rod brough Bella in a few minutes later. She was kinda awake, so he placed her on the recliner in her room, fixed her bed and put her down for the night.

Meanwhile I’m  outside when I smell something that isn’t right. It almost smelled like burning rubber and I was afraid the pool pump had destroyed itself while we were gone. Then I realized “Oh crap, I think that might be a skunk, I need to get the dogs inside”, but I had to wait until I knew R had Bella in bed and her door is shut.

Nemo came near me and I gave him a sniff and he smelled like normal, dirty dog. Chloe then came near me, I took a sniff and I thought “Oh Shit!”. So I got R’s attention on one of his trips carrying bags inside, he came outside, immediately recognized the smell and said “Who was it?” and I said “Who do you think?”. Around this time I ran inside, Nemo slipped in with me, Lou the cat slipped out and I grabbed a flash light. I looked around the yard and quickly found the corpse.

So, to recap, we drive 3 hours, get home around 11pm, let the dogs out into the yard (I was with them the entire time) and in the space of 5 minutes Chloe both pees and gets sprayed by a skunk before she kills it. Awesome.

One time when we were picked Nemo up from the groomers, they were late with him because they had an emergency skunked dog to treat. The owner of the shop said the best thing to use to remove the skunk smell is actually dishwashing liquid (because they were sprayed by an oil). So we close off doors, I get changed into clothes that I don’t care if I throw out, I start putting warm water in the tub and lots of dish soap. We had some towels we were planning to donate that we decided to use for this debacle.

R went and put Chloe’s collar on her (we don’t make them wear them) and dragged her into the bathroom and we both shoved her into the tub with me and closed the sliding doors. I washed her with soap for quite a long time and then we let the soap sit for about 5 minutes. After that I washed the dish soap off and then lathered her up with some Oatmeal dog shampoo. After I washed that off, we got her out of the tub and R tried to dry her off as well as possible (Chloe is a long-haired dog, but it’s very fine and there’s not much of it). While he dried Chloe, I started washing myself down with the liquid soap. Then I waited a few minutes myself, washed it off and then cleaned myself with my regular shampoo and some soap.

Chloe is the dog we adopted that decided she was going to sleep on our bed the very first night we brought her home. So, R spread some blankets on top of our comforter. We let Chloe dry off a little on her own and then decided she smelled OK enough to be let into our room. I took a chance and poked my head out the backdoor and was able to get the cat back inside for the night.  We got ready for bed and when we finally turned out the lights, the clock read 12:45am. Ugh.

Bella was up at 6:30 and demanding to be let out of her room, so no chance to sleep in. My neck is killing me (I’ve already taken my muscle relaxers), I have the heat wrap on again and R and I are both exhausted.

So from the standpoint of my pain, Bella’s sleeping and Chloe’s skunk encounter… this weekend really stunk!

Migraine = 1 : Me = 1

Last night sucked. I woke up at 4am with a migraine. There is nothing quite like being woken up by intense pain. I went and took a sumatriptan and sat up in bed and tried to go back to sleep. By 5am I realized the medicine wasn’t working, so I went and took another dose.

I crawled out of bed around 6:30am, bleary-eyed and with that “I’m the migraine you had and I could come back at any moment” feeling. Bella was supposed to have a rare play date and I didn’t want to cancel.

I checked my email and C3 said her son had the sniffles (probably from allergies), but we could reschedule if I wanted. I sent back an email basically saying that was probably a good idea. 5 minutes later I sent her another email saying “You know what. Come on down. I can’t cancel yet another thing because of these headaches”. (She didn’t see either of these emails and was coming anyway, so it worked out for the best).

I did have to take muscle relaxers before she arrived and I admit she interacted with the kids a lot more than I did. But Bella had time with another kid her age, I got to spend time speaking with another adult (one I’m trying to help with her business), and the meltdowns were kept to a minimum.

I will definitely need to nap when Bella does, the neck pain is bad and I can’t take any more sumatriptan or muscle relaxers and I don’t want to take narcotics when I am Bella’s primary caregiver. So the migraine did affect some of my enjoyment with the visit, but I didn’t let it rule my life.

My migraine tried to thwart me, but it failed. I just wish the pain wasn’t still lingering.