Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Seven Month Headache


So I have had this one single headache for seven straight months.  That's right!  Every single day since August, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, I've had a headache on the left side of my head with the exception of two-four day stretches (thanks to two prednisone dose packs).  Needless to say, I've been a wee bit bitchy the last 7 months.  But Scott and the kids have been so kind.  I will most definitely nominate them for sainthood.  

But, thankfully, the headache has FINALLY broken.  I have been virtually headache free for  two weeks.  The cocktail of medicines is finally working.  And it is quite a cocktail.  I'm taking more meds than many of the patients I treated in the hospital.  Some good, some less so, but all are very expensive.  First, there is Topamax.  It is the most important in the mix.  It has the lovely side effect of forgetfulness.  The half full is I forget to eat, I like most people on this med have lost a few pounds.  The half empty, I forgot my phone number last week.  Next, there is Lyrica.  It is that new "miracle" drug they advertise on TV for just about everything.  Well, I'm on the bandwagon.  Then, there is the whole hormone regimen.  Remember when Suzanne Somers was touting the whole hormone replacement thing on Oprah, well that is me these days.  It turns out those little bitty almond size ovaries make a whole lot more than eggs. 

But really, the meds are just trying to break the headache.  It was like a forest fire that had gotten way out of control.  A perfect storm of sorts that all crashed together back in August.

First and foremost, this is a continuation of the whole pelvic pain saga that started 5 years ago.  Apparently my body didn't like being thrown into sudden surgical menopause.  My hormones were way out of whack and no one was checking them closely.  It wasn't initially obvious, because of the other problems.

Second, I got a raging left sided sinus infection that wouldn't clear despite several rounds of antibiotics and prednisone.   After two-months of trying everything, I finally had sinus surgery in November.  The doctor broke open the sinus bones to help prevent future infections.  It did wonders for my sinus and thankfully no more infection.

Third, I guess I was grinding my teeth at night.  The dentist got that fixed with a night guard.

Fourth, some old injuries in my neck weren't helping things.  I probably fell on my head too many times as a kid in gymnastics.

It took many, many doctors, including regular doctor, a Neurologist, a GYN, an ENT, and even an Acupuncturist.  Today, that perfect storm is just a little rain.  The hope is that most of the meds will only be for a few months and, if I'm lucky the headaches will be gone for good.  If not, at least I know the secret recipe to cure them. Of course, I better write it down, since I forget everything when I'm taking Topamax.

That is the headache free life in the stroller lane. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Now That's A Month!!!!

It is amazing how much can change in just 30 short days.  On Jan 18th, Scott was in his 30's and working in North Carolina. I was employed full-time, Sarah was 8.  We were planning to live in NC until the cows came home and the only scheduled trip of 2013 was a snow tubing trip in the Mountains.  Fast forward 30 short days.

Scott accepted his new job and started working two days later.  He started commuting to CA 100% one week after that.  Meanwhile, I gave notice at my job and even managed to work most of my remaining shifts; I finished up on February 10th, starting my new job as a full-time stay-at-home mom.  

Plus, Sarah's had her big 9 year-old birthday.  The family enjoyed a trip to Beech Mountain.  Scott had his giant 40th birthday complete with many festivities, including:  a weekend of golf and gambling in Biloxi: poker at the house; a family celebration; a Daddy-Daughter dance; a date night with me; and 600 black balloons in his office at work.  And, Mimi had a birthday this month, we are celebrating Nana's birthday next week, and there are now many trips on the agenda as we try to find a home and say good-bye to family and friends. 

In between, I have been trying to get this house ready to sell.  A feat that at times seems impossible large with three young kids running wild inside.  We absolutely, positively have to sell this house before we even think about buying house in CA.  That's because very little houses in the Bay Area have very big price tags. 

An avalanche is forming in our garage in preparation for the world's biggest moving sale on March 9-10.  Come on down.  I promise the stuff will be priced to sell!!!!

That is life in the stroller lane. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'm Not Pregnant, but the News is Almost that Big...

Like all good Americans, Scott and I broke our New Year's Resolution not long after the confetti fell.  On December 31st, we resolved to have a boring year.  In 2013, we were just going to "stay the course."  I am almost settled into my new nursing career, Scott's job is very good, the girls are at a great public school, family is nearby, and our neighbors and friends are terrific. 

Our resolution lasted about 48 hours, when opportunity came knocking.  The kind of opportunity that pounds really loud on the door in the middle of the night.  And in a big leap of faith, we opened that door.   

After almost 14 years in North Carolina, the Harrells are moving to California.  Cali-Freakin-Fornia!!!! 

I can't even believe it.  We are moving to the Bay Area, just south of San Francisco.  While it won't be swimming pools and movie stars, it sure is an adventure.

Scott has accepted a new position at Cisco.  He is back to marketing after spending the last year in engineering.  He is leading a Security group;  working on lots of very cool technology to keep all the bad guys from getting into computers, networks, and devices big and small.  After over 12 years working in Access Routing, Scott is very excited to be learning about new technology.  It is a great opportunity for Scott.  The kids and I are so proud of him.  Scott started at Cisco in 2001 as an Intern, it is the modern day equivalent of starting in the mail room and working your way up. 

Scott has already started on his new career adventure and is commuting between Cary and San Jose every week.  Thank God, they finally opened up a direct flight just 4 months ago.  The kids and I are manning the fort here.  We are going to ride out the school year and get our home in Cary ready for a new family to enjoy as much as we have.

And since, running a family of five is a full-time job in and of itself, I have decided to take a sabatical from nursing.  While I'm sad to leave my brand new career, I'm so excited to be a stay-at-home mom.  In my 9-years of motherhood, I have never been a stay-at-home mom unless I was on a doctor- ordered bedrest.  This is going to be fun!  I am really looking forward to focusing on the kids and the house in the coming months as we embark on our new adventure.

Plus, I have to prepare myself for the California lifestyle.  I must learn important things such as:  Is wheat grass a grain or a vegetable? Are boob jobs required by law?  Where I can find cheap gas at only five dollars a gallon?

That is life in the stroller lane.