Headaches And Drugs And Bears, Oh My!

Regular bears, sadly not of the Hannah variety.

Hello dear reader(s)!

You have made it to Thursday!!!!  (Or whatever day it is when and where you are reading this.)  Congratulations!  Give yourselves a pat on the pat on the back.  Do it!  Now!  Or else the puppy dies.  Pat it!  Nice and slow.  Yeah….mmm…pat that back.  Pat…  yasssss.

For the last two weeks or so, (going on three), I have had massive headaches.  Today is no exception.  I am not certain as to why.  I am typically not the headache kind of person.  It isn’t as though am anti-headache…wait, yes it is.  I am decidedly anti-headache.

So, because I recently moved, am in need of referrals to specialists, and my head is fucking killing me, I decided to visit my brand spanking new (only without the spanking) primary care physician (henceforth known as PCP (not the drug)).  PCP was in a hurry, as most PCP’s usually are.  As a result, PCP did not really listen to my history.  Either that, or PCP decided that she didn’t need to listen to my history because the specialists would be handling the majority of my care.  (They will.)

However, because it will be a couple of weeks before the specialists can see me, I was hoping that PCP could help with my headaches.  Looking for the cause, not much of anything else.

PCP decided to order labs.  I understand why the PCP chose to do this, and went to the lab at the office of PCP so they could suck blood from my arm as my veins attempted to roll away from the needle of the phlebotomist (henceforth still known as phlebotomist).  Phlebotomist did a pretty good job of taking the three tubes of blood from my arm, and I was on my way to lunch and home.  Because the lab was in-house (not my actual house, but the office of PCP), I figured I might hear back on my results that day.  I did not.  I did not hear most of the next day either.  Until 8:15 pm, (15 minutes after the close of the office of PCP) I missed a call from the staff of PCP (not the PCP Staff, which is an ancient weapon that gives its user super-human strength, similar to someone on PCP).  The staff of PCP informed me that the doctor would like me to go to the ER.

Now, being who I am , I actually sort of assumed that the doctor was likely overreacting to what is my normal numbers.  I attempted to call back the staff of PCP to get my numbers.

I failed in my quest (to the dismay of the hobbits) and reached what was most likely an answering service, given how this person could not read labs.

I asked the questions important to me.  What was my creatinine?  (Not great, but not too far from my baseline, okay.)  What was my neutrophil count?  (And this is where the problem was.)  She answered in a percentage.


Okay, what was the white count?  (If I had my white count, I could figure out my neutrophils by multiplying the percentage against it.)

She answered with the same percentage.

Now I’m not even trusting the creatinine number she gave me.

So off to the ER I went.  I chose the hospital that my doctor practices at.  It is actually a very nice hospital, with some competent people working there.  It is small, but the staff seemed pretty on top of things.

I was hoping (since my doctor was a part of that group), that they could just print me a copy of my labs without actually being admitted to the ER unless necessary.  But to the dismay of the hobbits, my hopes were dashed.  The doctor could access the hospital records, but not vice versa, apparently.

So in I go.  Which I guess is okay, because my head was pounding by this point, and they wanted to do more tests than just what the office did.  They put in an IV (which they got on the first try, something that hasn’t happened since 2012).  And that’s a good thing because when they did the next tests, my creatinine had climbed above my normal range.  Uh oh.

In addition, after taking the blood, my headache with annoying pain had become unbearable.  So in the ER room, they decided to stick some freaking fentanyl into my IV to help.  Not morphine.  Not dilaudid.  Fentanyl.  The big daddy.  King of the narcotics.

Holy shit.  These guys don’t fuck around.  The hobbits would have been grateful, but they were too busy trying to breathe and peel themselves from the inside of the thin ER bed mattress they had melted into.

So with my headache down a couple of pain scale points, they started me on IV fluids.  All the rest of my blood work, (while horrible), was MY horrible, and therefore okay.  I wasn’t even neutropenic (though I was right there).  They re-ran the creatinine and it had dropped back down into my baseline range.

The problem is that it didn’t drop that far.  I am not sure why it was so high, as I really didn’t think I was dehydrated.  My kidney disease wasn’t supposed to be progressive, and so I am very concerned.

They wrote me a prescription for what they said was something for pain.  I didn’t want it to be a narcotic, but knew it probably would be since I can’t take any kind of NSAID, and there is no sense in prescribing Tylenol (which is shit for headaches anyway).  I got this pill I never head of before, and figured it was more narcotics.  I took a couple, and was out like a light when I finally got home at 3 am.

Then I looked it up.  Fucking barbiturates.  They don’t kill the pain, but they sure as hell knock me out so I don’t feel it.  I spent most of yesterday asleep.  The hobbits are not amused.

I hope they figure out what is wrong soon.  It is getting hard to bear.  (See, told you there would be bears.)


Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

45 thoughts on “Headaches And Drugs And Bears, Oh My!”

  1. I’m so sorry you are having such troubles. Joshuah went to his specialist a couple of weeks ago and said, “I’ve been on treatments for over a year when will we start to see any results?” The specialist laughed, “as long as you live in this area of the country you will always be on this treatment, and never be able to be well enough for the pacemaker due to the high allergen count here. Your body/immunity is under constant attack.” If we weren’t sure we were moving before, we definitely are now. Hoping they get to the root of the problem sooner rather than later. What if we had never asked?!


  2. Damn, Josh, you can’t just get a headache, take some Tylenol and a hot tea and lie down, can ya? Noo, you have to have special scary headaches that last too long. :/
    When I was toward the end of my migraine range (It’s a whole thing) one of the pills that worked was a three-in-one, Tylenol, caffeine, and somethin — they were controlled substance, but I didn’t get high and I wasn’t in pain. Those were awesome for me then. I have trouble with NSAIDs too, so I’m a Tylenol-3 sorta girl.
    Just get better. This was a funny read, but also horrible.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic have discovered a new medical condition called a Trumpache. Since Trump’s election, people all over the country have been flooding their doctor’s offices with general complaints of pain, from backaches to migraines. Many of these patients say that these pains are new, coincidentally appearing after November 8th. Doctors recommend lots of fluids and rest, and if that doesn’t work, chocolate, pizza, or french fries.

    Feel better soon 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. *Internet hugs!!!* Headaches are awful! I’ve been having a lot of them lately too. They’re not my thing either, but they’ve been there almost every day. It sounds like yours are way worse though… I can’t even imagine!!! 😥

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Funny enough, I think I found out the cause of my headaches today too.

        Did radiology call to make an appointment for some scans or to give you some results? I’m not asking you to send me your medical records or anything (you could, but I wouldn’t recommend it!), just curious.

        (Always feel free to tell me my questions are invasive/nosy/annoying – or just tell me to buzz off. 🙂 )

        Liked by 1 person

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