Done.

So that’s it. Or so it seems.

I’ve had my echo and although I haven’t heard from my doctor the guy said there was nothing to worry about with it so I’m taking that for the win. I just need to know how long they expect me to keep taking these pills. Not that I’m desperate to stop because it’s the thing that stopped the headaches so i actually have the fear that i stop them and the headaches come back.

It’s not an unfounded fear either. I always take the pill when I brush my teeth in the morning. They sit next to my toothbrush so I don’t forget. I’ve no idea what happened on friday last week but I was going to bed and realised I hadn’t taken the pill. I took it there and then but that was probably 12-14 hrs later than I normally do. Saturday morning I woke up groggy, headachey and feeling really sorry for myself. Could just be a coincidence but I’ve convinced myself so I’m happy to keep taking these pills just now.

Anyway just thought I’d let you all know the final conclusion of this whole debacle. Thankfully its turned out to be nothing much.

If I could give anyone some advice when it comes to unexplained or chronic pain, it would be this- don’t give up! Keep pushing for answers and don’t let others opinion of you stop you getting to the bottom of it. The first doctor I spoke to on the phone way back when put it down to me taking too many painkillers and made me feel like I was an addict. One of those yummy mummies who cany cope with their day to day lives.

Instead it was actually something that if I hadn’t got sorted could have led to stroke, seizure or even death.

Scary thought that.

Story continues…

So I start to take tablets. Ramipril.

It’s the same ones my father-in-law takes. I take them for 2 weeks then get my bloods and pressure checked. I ho to the doctor and she says ‘if you were an 80 year old woman I wouldn’t give you pills. That’s what I’d expect but you’re only 34 so you need to take them’

All good. I do what I’m told.

The silent killer. That’s what my dad calls it. No symptoms.

I stop doing exercise. I get the fear when I eat. I know I need to eat cause it’s the only thing that kept the headaches at bay.

The doctor sends me for an ECG. I have to take my little one with me. He sings paw patrol songs at the top of his lungs in his buggy. The guy says he can see a couple of concerns but if I’m on tablets it should correct itself and go back to normal.

Nothing to worry about. Thickening of the ventricle. It’s all good. I do what I’m told.

I go back to the doctor. She wants to make sure it’s nothing sinister so decides I should have an echo.

I have an echo booked on 4th November.

I know that it’ll be fine. It’s just damage done from the high blood pressure. The pills are probably already doing there job to fix it.

I’ll have to take them for the rest of my life.

It’s all good. I do what I’m told.

Theres a lot of what ifs going through my head at the moment though.

Hello Stranger!

I know, I know, it’s been far too long! How are you? What have you been up to?

I have got myself a new phone which is brilliant cause on my last one the whole right hand side stopped working. Everytime I needed to use the letters p or l or m I would have to turn my screen then turn it back when needing the space bar! To say it put me off writing lots is an understatement!

There have been quite a few developments here, in all areas of my life really.

We had a loss in the family not long after my last post. It put a lot of things into perspective and took my focus away from my headaches, this blog and my own problems. It was a tough time but we’re doing ok.

I started a new job so that’s me got two now. 17 and a half hours at one and 8 and a half at the other. My week is pretty full now. I enjoy both jobs but it is definitely a challenge to my very, very basic organisational skills. Childcare is an interesting issue!

I ended up back at the doctors. I didn’t ever manage a full month without painkillers. I tried but I needed to be able to drive and carry my little one down stairs. I was in for something else. I cant remember now, but I mentioned the headaches again. It was a different doctor and cause I was in person and not over the phone she took my blood pressure there and then.

It was high. I had high blood pressure at the end of both my pregnancies but it had all settled. Or so I thought.

I took home a blood pressure monitor for a week and got reminders three times a day and just text my results back to the number. Very easy. It seemed high. My highest would be around 9pm after the kids were in bed and I was just sitting, watching TV. Odd.

It took most of the summer because we kept missing each other but eventually the doctor told me, on speakerphone, while I was sitting in a car park waiting on lovely husband, with the boys in the back, that I needed to go on tablets for my blood pressure.

‘We are doing this so you don’t have a stroke in the next 15 to 20 years.’

Now that’s a scary thing to hear.

The story continues and I’ve not got all the answers yet but its 3.24 in the morning so I better try to sleep.

I’ll leave it on a cliffhanger and tell you more another day.

Second month

Today is Wednesday.

On Monday I started getting a headache in the morning. I was reading my book on a train journey and my neck got sore. All day it got worse and worse. I definitely took painkillers at some point.

Through the night it was horrible. The pain was so bad it woke me up. I took painkillers about 5am when I couldn’t cope any longer. I stood up to get the pills and my whole neck and shoulders were stiff, tense and so painful.

All of Tuesday I was fighting the pain. Couldn’t move my head well and if I bent down the pain was so sore as I came back up. I fell asleep on the sofa for about 10 mins. I had no energy and just felt so miserable.

It started to fade into the evening and I was starting to feel better but still exhausted when I went to bed. Really drained.

Through the night last night I had pain again. It was only in the right side of my neck from my shoulder to the bottom of my skull behind my ear. I couldn’t find a comfy position to lie my head. The only way it wasn’t sore was on my back. I didn’t take any painkillers in the night and haven’t all day. I’ve been tender in my neck all day.

I’m starting to think it’s tension headaches. Maybe also muscular in my neck. I’ve also realised I’m so desperate for answers I’ll come up with a new theory everyday!

On a happy note I dyed my hair today and I really like it!

One month

That’s it. I’ve done it. One full month since I started this blog.

Definitely not a full month of no painkillers though. Failed completely on that. I have avoided it more often and suffered through some awful pain without them. Just could not function without the help. Everything I say makes me sound like I’m addicted though! I really hope you know I’m not.

I have even stopped writing here whether I had pain or not. So any chance I had of trying to figure any of this out has gone out the window cause I’ve not got any evidence of how I’ve been and when. I was really bad with pain at the beginning of the week but I’m feeling really down about it again, like when I first spoke to my doctor, so on days like that I have no will power and no ability to write anything.

Due to this I’ve decided to try again. I’m going to try for another month. I’m going to try to write something most days and especially when I’m unwell. Even if it’s just a sentence so I can look back at the end of the month and see when the pain has come.

It’s not the best. I’m not feeling any better and can’t even say I feel closer to figuring it out. I’m probably going to go to the doctor before the month is up cause I need a solution. If I can do what she asked me to then I can say it made no difference and her theory is rubbish. Until I’ve done it she’ll just send me away again.

Feeling crap and I’ve not even had any pain today! Just sick of waiting for pain!

4.12am

I’ve just been up with my oldest cause he needed his inhaler, a drink, the toilet, piriton and a story. You know, the usual requests at 4.12am.

Now he’s back to sleep and I’m wide awake. I’m thinking about all the times in the past that I’ve been up at 4.12am.

When I was a kid it was probably through sickness or if I had a bad dream. I used to be terrified of death and think about it too much. I remember being so worried about someone I know dying. Someone like my gran. That has since happened and I was right. It is horrible and so sad. I’m just glad I got my whole childhood without going through that pain.

As a teenager being awake at 4.12am would be at parties. House parties where trusting parents would leave their responsible teenager in the house on their own. Where a crowd of other 17 year olds would descend and create havoc. I often wonder if those parents knew and just figured it’s safer than being out on the streets. Then again, as a parent now, I can’t see them agreeing to what we got up to. They probably believed that a couple of friends came round for a gaming night. One thing I would say about that crowd of kids. We never left a mess. I don’t know any of them anymore but they were a good bunch of kids. Some folk might say they were irresponsible to have parties, but to all pitch-in the next morning and make sure no one got in trouble makes me quite proud of that wee group of friends. I’m just so pleased my parents lived out of town and I didn’t ever host one. I was never that good a liar, especially to my parents.

At uni 4.12am meant writing. I studied playwriting and being a true procrastinator my best and most inspirational time was at night–no distractions. I would start writing around 9pm and keep going until a draft was done. 7 or 8 hours of uninterrupted creativity. Absolute bliss. I’ve never been able to figure out a new way of writing since I had kids. There’s no way I can do that now but short bursts of creative time just don’t do it for me. It takes me a while to warm up and get going and I lose my train of thought if I have to stop-start. Maybe I could figure out a day a week where I just stay up late and do it. Sacrifice some sleep to get things done. Maybe.

As a fully grown married adult. 4.12am was probably mostly sleeping. There would have been the occasional box-set marathons though. We got really into 24 when we first lived together. We got Love-Film deliveries. A package of DVDs to the door that you sent back two days later. Ahh the good old days when rental was dying a death.

With a newborn 4.12am became my regular friend. My oldest didn’t sleep through till 9months, my youngest was 11 months. I breastfed them both so it was me, everytime. Lovely husband did his part. Especially when they got bigger and we knew it wasn’t milk they wanted. He was always better at settling them. I would just whip the boob out at the first sign of trouble so never really learnt how to put them down without it. I remember watching out the window of my bedroom and seeing an older guy taking his old dog out for a walk. I think it would’ve been around 4 in the morning. I saw him a few times. Maybe he worked shifts or maybe he couldn’t sleep. I wonder if he still goes out at that time, over 4 years later.

Now the boys are older 4.12am is toilet break. Unless I’m up with oldest son for the reasons listed above. I usually can’t go a full night without needing to pee now. I’m glad if it’s earlier cause I can go back to bed and know I still have hours before it’s time to get up. It’s when my alarm is about to go off that I get disappointed with my body! This body has done incredible things over the years but not being able to tell that it’s nearly morning is a major flaw. Don’t wake me up when I only have half an hours sleep left! That’s just torture.

More recently 4.12am has been something I dread again, like when I was young and thinking tough thoughts. Now it’s a fear of the pain when I wake up in the night. My first instinct these days is to search for the pain. That’s not a great way to greet 4.12am. I wish I didn’t have to.

So I guess I’ve seen my fair share of 4.12am in my 34 years. Some good, some bad, some happy, some sad. I’m sure there will be many more cause the middle of the night isn’t that bad a place to visit every now and again. If the headaches stop I might even enjoy a wee bit peace in the madness that is my life!

Can’t sleep

Isn’t it the worst? Wishing you could be asleep, dreaming about lots of lovely things– unicorns or food or beach walks or star gazing or life under the sea or a game of tennis or cuddles from a dead relative or anything at all. Instead I’m lying awake in a hotel room with three sleeping, dreaming angels around me.

We all had to go to bed at the same time and since I’m a night owl I’m probably awake cause I’ve had the equivalent amount of sleep that I usually have but it’s still far too early!

Oh well. At least I’m not up cause little one is. It could’ve been a disaster doing this. Like most things with us- we got away with it! We muddle through and make it work, somehow.

That should be our parenting motto!

I suppose I should try to sleep. See what dreams may come. I think I’d like one about unicorns…