Friday, September 22, 2006

Returning to Normal

My cluster headache cycle has pretty much run its course. I go through a headache cycle about once every 15 months and it used to be that they pretty much owned me. The last two cycles have been different, though, and I'm encouraged by my new approach to them—that being heavy doses of Prednisone. If you've ever had a Mr. Misty or an ice cream headache you have a good idea what a cluster headache is. It's a sharp pain behind one eye which causes you to cease functioning until the pain goes away. In the case of an ice cream headache that pain usually only lasts a few moments. In the case of a cluster headache, the pain can last for hours. These are worse than migraines. They're called cluster headaches because they come in clusters and then they're gone until the next cycle begins. It used to be that during a headache phase, I'd get one or two headaches a day. I pretty much just suffered through them without using any meds for years. Prednisone has been around forever so I'm not sure why I wasn't treated with it as a prophylactic years ago but I wasn't. I started using Imitrex about 8 years ago for breakthrough headaches which get past the Prednisone.

The FAA won't allow me to work traffic while I'm in a headache cycle and on my meds. This time around they've allowed me to use my accrued sick time to stay out of work until I'm off the meds and I get my medical back. It's been nice. I've been getting in huge amounts of riding and taking care of stuff around the house. My motivation does suffer some though and there are days when I really have to push myself to get moving. Once I'm on my bike I'm usually fine; it's just getting there which is the hard part. Each of the last two weeks I've averaged over 415 miles. This week won't be so good as I'll be rained out today and tomorrow. I hope to get out Sunday for a long ride.

I was out on my bike yesterday and I got a phone call from Tammy. She told me that my supervisor at work called to see how I was doing. I phoned him back while cruising south on Cedar Ave to tell him that I was doing well; hey, I'm on sick leave and I'm riding—how good is that? I told him I should be back around the end of the month and he was fine with that.

Tammy's been working lots of hours so I'm trying to lighten her load around our home. I spent 4 hours cleaning the house today so she wouldn't have to do it. We'd planned to do it together tomorrow but I wanted to surprise her and have it done so she can have some free time to do with whatever she wants. I got lots of thank-you's for it when she got home so yeah, it was worth it.

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