Thursday, 27 March 2014


This is my third morning with a headache, the same headache, in the same place in my head. It began on Tuesday and remains with me still. This headache is a result of a hard "sit down" into my wheelchair. When I get up in the mornings I continue to try to get myself vertical, using that verticality to pull up my pants rather than trying to wiggle into them while sitting on my bed. It is both good exercise for my now shrinking leg muscles, a kind of therapy for them, as well as a kind of victory over ALS.

On Tuesday morning, while vertical after pulling up my pants, I went to sit back into my wheelchair. This effort requires that my arms slowly settle my weight backwards, carefully placing myself into my chair. As my arms are weakening, this settling effort has become more of a controlled crash versus a soft landing. On Tuesday the landing became a full on collapse. At the point of impact my head compressed downwards onto my spine, generating one of those passing compression headaches, or at least I thought it would be passing.

On Tuesday there was simply a dull ache over my right ear, inside my skull. For much of the day it simply sat there, not causing tremendous trouble, reminding me that the downward path to my wheelchair is not something to be taken lightly. I went to bed Tuesday night thinking it would be gone by morning. Wednesday morning arrived and my head still hurt.

I moved through the day Wednesday with this dull ache, not thinking much about it. Then, at around 4:00 PM, I noticed two separate things which caused me some worry. First, I noticed that when I bet over to pick things up from the floor, the pain in my skull escalated from simply a nuisance to downright nasty, to the point where I would express the pain verbally with words that one cannot use in front of small children. The second thing I noticed was nausea, the feeling in my stomach that all was not well within me.

These two things combined made me think that perhaps my hard sit-down had caused a small bleeder in my brain. I say this because I am on all kinds of blood thinners, four different kinds to be exact, as a result of my heart attack last summer and my DVT in September. As the doctor said, I am a recipe for disaster when it comes to bleeding. The anti-coagulation clinic warned me that any "unusual" headache should precipitate an immediate visit to ER for a CT scan.

All of this meant that I spent yesterday evening in the ER of Foothills Medical Centre here in Calgary. The weird part is that I was in the same bed in ER where they initially diagnosed my ALS. It was a strange return and left me thinking of the strange hands of fate. As it turns out there is not bleeder, I just have a really persistent headache. They gave me two Tylenol and said it if lasts for a couple more days I should check in with them again.

So today I sit with the same situation. On the plus side, I am fairly confident that I am not going to have a stroke. Thank goodness for good old Canadian health care.

1 comment:

  1. I hope that headache goes away soon Honey. Take it easy.