Medical Medical Medical

September 19, 2019

Since my last post, I have been to seven doctors’ appointments, and that’s not counting the ones I took my daughter to before she left for Japan. I am exhausted, and it turns out that I’m not just exhausted because it’s a thing I like to say but probably because of medical reasons.

Here’s what I’ve learned from all my doctor’s appointments:

  • I probably have sleep apnea. I’m going to have to do a sleep test because, apparently, the fact that I keep waking up before my alarm goes off and never quite making it past six and a half hours of sleep is neither good nor normal–especially because I am NOT well rested and spend every moment after that wishing I could just go back to sleep. It is, in fact, a form of insomnia.
  • The sleep apnea/lack of sleep is probably contributing to my chronic daily headaches.
  • My chronic daily headaches have been upgraded to migraines, which means instead of taking blood pressure meds (which do less than nothing to help apparently), I am now taking Topomax as a preventative and have been given something else to take in case I get what I consider an actual headache, which is probably in actuality a migraine. Surprising no one, I have a high threshold for headache pain, so if I think it’s worth taking something for, it’s probably a migraine and not just a regular old headache since I have those all the time. Go figure. 🤷🏾‍♀️
  • IBUPROFEN DOES NOT CAUSE REBOUND HEADACHES. I mean, it’s still good I came off of it for other reasons, but it was NOT the problem. I just am a very headache-y person, basically.
  • Oh, I saw a headache specialist, by the way. I switched doctors, finally, and am now in the UCLA network of doctors and, oh my God, I love teaching hospitals! I don’t know why I forgot that I did, but I do. So anyway, I also love my new primary care doctor, which is all I ever wanted in this world, and the other doctors I’ve seen have also been great.
  • Almost all of my doctors have been good looking. The LA effect, possibly?
  • MRI machines are extremely loud, and I can still fall sleep in them. (I knew this because I’ve had an MRI before, but I forgot just how loud they are. The knocking kept waking me up.)
  • I hate traffic so, so, so, so much. I had to drive across town to UCLA during rush hour more than once, and I was just so over it before it even began. For my last appointment, I left before traffic, got there early enough to sleep in my car for an hour, and was SO MUCH happier. I think I’m pretty much done with the across town visits for a while, but I definitely need to keep that filed away.
  • Braces still suck.

I am also following medical advice, which means hydrating aggressively (2 liters of water per day aka peeing constantly) (when my Freudian slip is showing, I call it “hydrating excessively”) and taking a 30-minute walk every day I don’t go to water aerobics. I have also started finally sitting with a heating pad on my shoulders for a few minutes every day that I remember because that’s also supposed to help with all the tension I carry in my neck and shoulders that probably contributes to my headaches.

Now, I just need to find a massage therapist that my insurance covers. Fingers crossed!

clueless massage

And even Fabian, my masseuse, said I have a lot of tension in my lower back.

So, one day soon, I may have a day where I don’t have a headache! And won’t that be lovely?

I’ve also read some books, all related to the crime/mystery fiction class I’m teaching this semester:

Dying for Devil's Food (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #11)Dying for Devil’s Food by Jenn McKinlay

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was fine, but I didn’t find the characters particularly memorable or even that distinctive. Plus, it really didn’t feel like the main character did any actual sleuthing–just that people told her stuff. So that was less than engaging. I also figured out the killer about a quarter of the way through, so that definitely took away from some of the excitement of the big reveal.

View all my reviews

A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1)A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Don’t tell my students, but I totally skipped over that weird wandering through the wilds of America bit.

Other than that, a solid read and a great introduction to Holmes and Watson.

View all my reviews

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Caroline remains the real MVP. I assigned this in my crime/mystery fiction class, and we had an interesting discussion about gender, what having a Caroline character brings to the narrative, and how Sheppard declares he’s the Watson to Poirot’s Sherlock, but we decided CAROLINE is really the Watson here because, as previously noted, she is the actual best.

3.5 stars, rounding up

The audiobook was better (hence the slightly lower rating), but the story is obviously still compelling.

View all my reviews

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  1. The Widow Badass

    Here’s hoping for a headache-free day for you as soon as possible!


  2. nikkihb

    Ooof. From one headachey person to another, I wish you well with your medical problems! I also fell asleep in the MRI machine last time I got one. They’re just so snuggly and because they have to keep the room cold they give you these really heavy heated blankets and it’s just so comfy. And with the ear plugs the noise wasn’t deafening. Good luck with Topamax. I was on the that for awhile but the side effect of aphasia was extremely bad for me-to the point where I was having trouble at my job as a receptionist. I hope it works for you, I know a lot of people for whom it worked and I’m jealous.

    • Akilah

      Oh no! So sorry to hear about the aphasia! She has a second choice med in case the Topomax doesn’t work out, so I have options. Maybe there’s another option for you, too?

      • nikkihb

        Oh yeah. I take a beta blocker now, which doesn’t work perfectly but works well enough that it’s a noticable improvement.

  3. Katy K.

    Headache solidarity from me, too, and hoping for solutions for you! And have you read any of the Wells and Wong mysteries? They are middle grade, as you might expect from me, but I really enjoy them!

    • Akilah

      I think I tried the first one but was in A Mood so didn’t finish. I may have to give it another try, though.

      • Katy K.

        Let me know what you think if you do! I love them, but they sadly don’t go out much at the library. I’m currently reading the Agency series by Y.S. Lee, but it has so much swoony romance I don’t think it would work for you.

  4. Katherine Nabity

    Crossing my fingers for headache-free days!
    And nobody needs the weird wandering through the wilds of America bit…


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