Monday, October 25, 2010

What is Wrong With Me?!

Soooooooooooo.... I've been chonicling my issues with headaches on Facebook and Twitter for over a month now, so I figure this is the easiest place to update everyone on what was found. About a month and a half ago I had a really bad sinus infection. It was treated with steroids and antibiotics, but after about a week, I started noticing I was having daily headaches above my eyes. Because of the location, I thought it was still the sinus infection so, I went back to the doctor. Another round of steroids and antibiotics, and I still was having headaches, and now pressure in my cheeks and dizziness.

I went back to her on Friday, and she sent me for a sinus CT. Today I got the results of the CT. Aside from a deviated septum and some sort of cells in my sinuses (neither of which are causing a blockage), nothing showed as wrong.

She's recommended that I go see an ENT, and she gave me a prescription for migraine meds, an anti-dizzy med, and a light narcotic. I'm highly uncomfortable with medicating for something we don't know. She also mentioned that she thinks I'm stressed. No crap. Yeah, I'm more stressed at work than ever before (which I won't go into detail about on the internet). She also recommended a week's vacation... yeah... I can see that going down well. More stress to take one than to stay at work.

I'm hesitant to go straight to the ENT because of the tests they'll run, so I've scheduled an appointment at the chiropractor. I'm going to see her tomorrow and see what she says.

Right now I feel pretty hopeless. I feel like I need to cut anything extra from my responsibilities to see if that relieves stress. I've always taken on leadership roles and headed commities and such, and I've felt that was a God-granted talent, but now I see myself having to put that on the side. I know I'm internalizing stress, but what else do I do with it? Shove it down or.... I don't even have some sarcastic remark or joke to put there.

So here's what I need:
1. Prayers. Lots of them. For things to get easier. For the pain to stop.
2. To continue to find the ability to smile and laugh despite all this. Today I've been crying for about an hour now because I'm so frustrated. I like smiling and don't want to lose that. I joke when I'm stressed. I like people around me laughing. :D
3. Friends who love me when I whine and watch my non-verbal signals. I don't have the ability to joke at my expense right now. Usually I do, but right now I can't. Read the signs people.
4. Support me when I say "no".
5. To figure out how to decrease my stress without stopping my life. I do internalize a lot, but the biggest part of the issue is that I care A LOT. I put my heart and soul into my work. I love deeply. I work hard. I share too much. ;-) I'm passionate, and I think that passion has become a zeal that has put too much stress on my plate.

That's all. What's wrong with me? According to my CT: nothing that should cause these symptoms. According to my head: everything and nothing all at once.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your results with us, Joanna. I have been in prayer on and off all afternoon that you would not have your worst fears realized today. So, at least you have that. But that probably doesn't help much right now, and I am certain I don't have words that will help right now. But I do TOTALLY recognize your passions, and your perfectionism in those passions, as something that I too have struggled with in the not too recent past. About 4 years ago I was asked to speak at the VRCC women's retreat on the topic of trying to live faithfully during the Supermom phase of life. Imagine how flattered (and just a little superior) I felt to get that request. Of course I was stressed beyond belief at the time, having started back to full time work, and taking care of a husband and two very active youngsters. I had been working on my talk for about 2 weeks, brainstorming, making speech outlines, making a note packet and so on, when I had the BIGGEST back spasm attack of my life. I literally was immobilized and sentenced to my bed for 3 weeks. Yep, I could no longer deliver my talk, impart my wisdom, or share my faith. What I learned from it is that despite WANTING desperately to actually be the Supermom, with perfect homemade dinners, creative Halloween costumes, and fun birthday party planning, the harder I tried to be that, the farther from ideal I was getting. I had over-scheduled, over-committed, and over-valued myself into a worn-out, unfulfilled (at times) mom and wife. I think God used this time to teach me that I was trying to cram too many good intentions into too small a timeframe and that I needed a rest. Besides, I also needed a little ego-deflating! He accomplished both lessons with a big ole back spasm.

    I wouldn't dare to try to compare what you are going through with what I went through, but I do remember learning the very hard lesson of balance in my life through medical problems that came up as a result of stress. I am still learning lessons through medical struggles, and I'll save those for another time, but I just hope that in your frustration today, you will feel a little less alone and feel a big virtual hug from me!


  2. Tracy, I can't begin to tell you how much your comments mean to me. Thank you for the prayers and reaching out to me. Obviously I'm not Super"Mom", but I try to be Superteacher, Superaunt, Supersister, Superfriend... well you get it. :) (SuperSprinklesMom LOL) Anyways, I'm stepping back and trying to breath again. If I could take a week of starting tomorrow without a HUGE amount of work when I got back, I'd totally do it. :-/ Thank you again. Your sweet words brought tears to my eyes.

  3. Update:
    Headaches are decreasing in intensity (apparently due to going to the chiropractor 2 - 3 times a week). They are not gone, but I have moments that are painfree. The goal is for these moments to turn into days, but that hasn't happened yet. Today was particularily bad, but it's the first high intensity headache in 2.5 weeks, so that's positive. :) Small victories... Rapid Release Tylenol seems to help some as well.

    Re-evaluating at first of year. Neurologist might be in my future because I don't think it's too much to ask to go through life painfree (on a typical daily basis).