Just got back from a successful trip to my local GP. Headaches are one of the symptoms of living with a brain injury and since my injury over four years ago I get them every other day. They don’t affect me and I can live with them but the past couple of weeks I’ve been suffering with a variety of immensely painful headaches that I wake up with and that last all day. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen don’t help.
The headaches stop me doing the littlest of things and get worse if I’m around the littlest of noise (keys clinking, carrier bags rustling etc) They actually make me want to do this…
Illustration by the amazing Fran Krause of Deep Dark Fears
Given my circumstances I could have been given a same day appointment when I first noticed the headaches were a problem (about a week and half ago) but I wanted to wait so I could see my favourite GP, Dr. Todd. He’s my favourite because when I moved out of Newcastle to Northumberland I was still going through my brain injury recovery and he was the only GP who understood what that meant. I remember going to one appointment before seeing him and telling another GP about my injury and she was confused… I had to get my paperwork and go through step by step what had happened, what my brain surgery was and what help I needed. Then another appointment a couple of weeks or possibly days later (I can’t really remember) I told Dr.Todd that I had had brain surgery and he understood straight away.
Anyway back to today, typical nervous me fiddling with my t-shirt as I explained what was going on. He took my blood pressure, checked my ears, checked my eyes, checked my nerves, and asked me to close my eyes and touch my nose, squeeze his fingers as tight as I could, push him while my hands were on his shoulders and he also pushed me side to side while my feet were firmly on the floor. All of these things brought back a lot of memories, you know what I mean fellow brain injury survivors! He also asked if I had thrown up or felt nauseous, one of the main symptoms of having a brain injury.
I’ve been booked in for blood tests and given my history a CT scan, prescribed some medication that lasts a month too see how I get on with it. I think I’m in the experimental stage in terms of medication? Because the painkillers Paracetamol and Ibuprofen don’t help a stronger painkiller won’t help so I’ve been given Amitriptyline Tablets. They’re a quite unique and very old drug that were originally used as antidepressants but are now used as a painkiller, the main side effect may be dry mouth and I have to take everyday before bedtime as they can make me drowsy. Hopefully I’ll wake up without a headache and not get any throughout the day… Like I said I’m in the experimental stage of medication.