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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/871605-Knocked-For-a-Loop
by NYPen
Rated: E · Book · Educational · #1942316
Contemplative thoughts that infiltrate the mind.
#871605 added January 24, 2016 at 9:07am
Restrictions: None
Knocked For a Loop
         The pain was intense grabbing every vein, neuron, and synapse in my head.  Every part was being overloaded trying to control the throbbing pulses.  The intensity grew through the night with no relief.  The activity going on inside my head incapacitated me during my twelve hour shift.  Hours upon hours moved slowly with the pain increasing telling me this was no ordinary headache. 
         The headache started out in the center of my forehead like any normal pain.  The pain moved to the top center of my head where the pain became more intense. I felt my head was being squeezed into a contortionist's pose.  The pounding travelled into my Carotid arteries taking me to a point where I have never felt pain like this before.  I knew this was serious, but had no idea what I was in for. 
         My shift was almost coming to a close, but the pain had not subsided. I wanted to go home and sleep, but a trip to the hospital was next.  The shift seemed to drag on for the last hour, but it finally ended.  I drove to the hospital after letting my wife know I was headed that way.  My balance and vision were impaired, but I made it to the hospital. 
         I immediately was taken into the nurses station where they did their inquiries. The nurse was unable to understand what I was saying.  My speech had started to slur and she noticed that the right side of my mouth was drooping.  She wanted to know what was wrong with me, but I didn't know.  I was calm, but definitely concerned. 
         They admitted me for a few hours to observe the situation.  I was given two Ibuprofens to ease the pain and whatever else in order to make me rest.  The irony of being in the hospital is that you don't get a chance to rest.  The staff checked on me every hour, but there was no improvement.  They sent me on my way home after a few hours with an explanation that I had some sort of a migraine.
         I did go home with prescriptions for pain, but I'm not a fan of medicine.  I realized that a Tylenol wasn't going to take care of the pain so I did go to the pharmacy and put the prescriptions in.  I got my  prescriptions and went home to go to bed after being up for about sixteen hours.  Sleep never really happened due to the severe discomfort I was in.  I tossed and turned laying in bed for quite some time. 
         I contacted my doctor the next day to set up a visit.  He told me to come in immediately when I described my symptoms.  I was feeling extremely nauseous and carried a bucket with me.  My head was still in excruciating pain, and I looked terrible.  When I walked into the doctor's office I'm sure those waiting took a second look. 
         I was finally called into the room where my doctor could look me over.  He poked, prodded, and asked a lot of questions. When he poked and prodded I would yell out because every place hurt.  He asked if I had taken any illegal drugs or alcohol thinking I was having adverse reactions. I had never touched any drugs or alcohol in my life so that was out of the question. 
         During the examination he must've asked at least a hundred questions.  He was definitely stumped as to what was wrong with me.  His next step was to put me back in the hospital.  I was admitted to the hospital within the next half hour.  My stay was going to be indefinite. 
         The staff did all sorts of tests taking blood, urine samples and the other sample.  I felt like a cushion being stuck with intravenous lines and needles.  They put me through a spinal tap, but they were unable to come to any conclusions.  They were all befuddled by the symptoms.  My doctor decided the next option was to set me up with a Neurologist. 
         The symptoms had not subsided at any time waiting for my appointment with the Neurologist.  I had been in the hospital for three weeks waiting for time to go by.  My appointment opened up and we went down to him.  His demeanor was cordial, but he believed that headaches were a symptom of constipation.  I knew for a fact I wasn't constipated.
         The next few weeks didn't resolve anything.  His bedside manner was comparable to sour milk.  My wife and I would go to his office for follow up appointments, but he would come in late from golf practice.  We were getting frustrated and he could see that.  He didn't really want to deal with us so his answer was to put me in the hospital. 
         I spent another week in the hospital in a pitch, black room which he said would subside any headaches.  Needless to say that didn't resolve anything.  My personal physician checked in on me to observe my prognosis.  He definitely didn't like what he was seeing.  There should've been some positive change in my situation. 
         He decided that I needed more specialized care.  We started an intensive experience by travelling to MUSC, Medical University of South Carolina.to visit another Neurologist.  This Neurologist was an amazing doctor, Aljoeson Walker.  He did his preliminary questions, but he wanted to do some tests.  We did a lot of running back and forth to MUSC due to scheduling conflicts. 
         I was put through a battery of tests like MRI's, EKG's, artery highlighting, brain scans, and more spinal taps.  They inserted my system with a blue dye to highlight any blockages within my body and brain, but to no avail.  They did notice on the MRI this time that there was a nodule at the bottom of my brain stem.  They weren't sure at the time what it was. They were concerned. 
         The doctors consulted with each other over the nodule wondering whether it had cancerous properties.  They discussed with me that if they had to do surgery it was definitely risky as to where the nodule was.  They did further tests and concluded that the nodule wasn't cancerous which was a burden lifted for everyone.  The nodule was just a calcified deposit. 
         Doctors were still concerned about my headaches.  Dr. Walker did major research during my travels back and forth. He consulted with my personal physician to which they concluded that I had contracted Guillain-Barre Syndrome and Bilateral Bells Palsy.  Guillain-Barre is contracted via bacterially or virally which is why my headaches were so severe.  Bilateral Bells Palsy occurs due to an edema in the facial nerve. 
         This caused my mouth to droop, my speech to be slurred, my balance to be off, my vision to be impaired, and the right side of my body to have some paralysis. I endured months of facial therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy.  Facial therapy consisted of manual exercises to massage the muscles and nerves.  I also had to have electrodes placed on strategic spots to wake up the nerves.  The physical therapy consisted of strength exercises and balancing exercises to regain momentum. 
         Speech therapy consisted of trying to close my lips tight enough to pronounce my letters.  I had problems with the letter B, M, and P.  Presently I still have issues with side effects.  I still have headaches, still lose my balance at times, and the letter B sounds like a P.  When I eat food my eyes will water looking like I'm crying over my food. 
         My personal physician at the time said  I would recover, but possibly not one hundred percent.  My mouth isn't drooping which I'm grateful for.  A lot of people would never know I had this issue.  I don't have any signs that are blatantly obvious.  The most part I've made a full recovery. 
         The recovery has taken time since this happened twenty-two years ago.  I would love to have my personal physician see my recovery.  Unfortunately he passed away a year after my diagnosis due to a heart attack.  I was able to recover very well due to I was very young.  If I had been older then the results may have been different. 
         I'm glad the headaches aren't as intense.  I can put up with the effects that stick around.  I found being positive has been the power behind the recovery. The road to recovery has been long, and there is still more to come.  I know Guillain-Barre and Bells Palsy knocked me for a loop, but I have come full circle. 

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