I’m writing this post after undergoing a procedure at the Prince of Wales hospital on Tuesday morning. It’s been two days now and to be honest I still feel awful… my whole body is sore and I still feel quite dizzy and nauseous. I’m writing this post as I want to write down a record of what happened while it’s still fresh in my mind and to help collect my thoughts.
I don’t talk about my health that often but many of you probably know or have guessed that I have a few health issues. I don’t like to talk about them much as I’m a private person but essentially I have had chronic head and neck pain since I was a child, the most frequent of which are severe migraines which have worsened over the years. They’re extremely painful and the main reason why I don’t update my blog as frequently anymore and why my writing has slowed, as it’s become much more difficult to concentrate. I treat them with medication which helped for a while but over the years it’s stopped being as effective.
I’ve tried a number of different treatments over the last few years but they either haven’t worked or I’ve had very severe reactions to them. Many have actually made me much, much worse and have taken weeks or months to recover from. The doctor I have been seeing at the PoW suggested trying a lidocaine infusion instead as it works in a different way to the other treatments I’ve tried and he thought it might have more success.
To be honest I wasn’t that comfortable with the idea. Lidocaine works by blocking pain signals before they reach the brain and it’s increasingly being used to treat neuropathic pain and refractory migraines. The thing I didn’t like about it was that it requires up to a week’s stay in hospital while they monitor the effects; given how I’m extremely sensitive to light and noise, I didn’t see how that was going to be practical – spending more than a day outside of a controlled environment for me is like torture. I was also wary of subjecting myself to yet another treatment given some of the severe reactions I’d already experienced over the last year and I dreaded the idea of going through all that again. But I agreed to a short day trial to at least see how it went, particularly given that the side effects seemed fairly routine.
I had about a six week wait and I still felt rather anxious about it, so I tried to keep busy and get as much done before the procedure as I could. I got stuck into my writing, saw a couple of films I’d been waiting to see, read a few books, started going through my possessions for when we move in a few months, and I also started getting back into my photography and exercising more as well as I knew I probably wouldn’t feel up to it for a while after the procedure.
Unfortunately when the day finally arrived, from the beginning everything just seemed to go wrong.