Jacob arrived in my room and was pulling the afternoon, 3-11 shift. As the headache grew stronger he wasn't quite sure what to do. We talked about pain medicine I could have and told him no, it would only make me sick and I really didn't think it would help the head. We both agreed that sometimes heat helps a headache along with caffeine. So Jacob went and prepared a super hot towel for me to place behind my head, more or less at the base of my brain and on the back of my neck. A good cup of coffee was in the making also. Jacob hot packed my neck during his shift and then the night nurse took over. By that time my head was so bad I couldn't even focus on who was in the room or when they were coming in.
Monday morning Dr. Brooks once again appeared, in between surgical procedures, to check on me. As I lay in bed, curled in a very small ball with my head almost totally covered, he made a comment to me that put a smile on my face. Dr. Brooks has an incredible since of humor and our bantering back and forth was a bright spot while discussing another blood patch. He told me it was very unusual for anyone to have a second blood patch but he thought another should be given. At that point I just wanted the pounding to leave my head, a decapitation would have been a possibility but I knew no one would win if we went that route.
This time Dr. Tamaskar suggest I go straight down to anesthesiology to receive the patch. By 10 a.m. I was on my way to anesthesiology and began the prep for one more patch. I have always felt, no matter how bad you feel, there is always someone feeling worse than you. I try to keep a sense of humor about me, it just makes things a little more pleasant.
As I lay there in the bed being prepped, the anesthesiologist stood at the end of my bed giving the nurses a few instructions. At that time I noticed he was eating something. I wondered if he was chewing gum behind his surgical mask. He then came around and sat down by the side of my bed to go over may activities the past few days and what surgery I had done. He dropped his mask and said to me, "I have a few questions to ask you before I start." My reply, "I've got only one for you. Was that a Lindt Hazelnut Chocolate I smell on your breath?" He laughed and said, "No. Actually, it was a Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt, and if you're really good, I'll give you one when you come around."
This is the exact reason why I love the doctors in Cleveland. They comment on how cool your shoes are, they compliment you when they ask if you're tired of being a crabby bitch, they share their candy with you, along with photos of their family on their ipads, and we have in depth conversations where I tell them not to apologize to anyone for the nice cars they have or the houses they live in. They have paid their dues over and over again and they deserve all they have for all they do for others!
Needless to say, when I woke I had a piece of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt sitting on my chest waiting for me! Thanks Alan.
I remember nothing about this blood patch. The drugs they put in my IV knocked me out and when I woke, the headache once again was gone. A pleasant transition from a few hours ago. Dr. Tamaskar paid me a visit later that evening and he could tell by the smile on my face how good I was feeling. He told me to lay low and I'd be discharged sometime tomorrow. He wanted to observe me through Tuesday afternoon just to make sure I was able to make the 8 hour drive home on Wednesday.
When Tuesday morning arrived I felt wonderful. My bags were packed and ready to go. My husband and I agreed we'd go back to the hotel, order some room service, get packed up and head out first thing in the morning. I had a wonderful lunch in our room around 2 o'clock and decided to take a little nap on the couch. When I woke I was starving but this time I didn't want food, I was craving sweets. So my dinner consisted of a big bowl of chocolate and vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce! I figured I deserved it, with all I had been through.
As I sat eating my ice cream, Mike looked at me and said, "Maybe I'll just pack up my gym stuff and pack the rest in the morning." We've been married for 27 years now and he definitely know me. He new we weren't heading for home on Wednesday.
With another headache approaching I decided to call it an early night and went to bed around 7 o'clock. I lay there, praying and hoping I would not get another spinal headache and what I was feeling were after affects from a late afternoon nap. I thought maybe the ice cream and chocolate gave me a headache. All I knew was this. I had 2 epidural blood patches so I couldn't be leaking spinal fluid still.
I went to bed in the hopes of waking up fresh and new. When Wednesday mornings alarm went off, I laid there and immediately realized my head was not aching. It was when I sat up, at the edge of the bed, that my head started pounding and there was a pain that traveled from the middle of my head down to the middle of my back. I made it to the bathroom but couldn't wait to get back in the bed taking the supine position.
I thought to myself... you've got to be joking, this can't be happening again.
(to be continued)