Since I was about 12 years old I’d suffered from intermittent headaches in my right temple, however after the hell that was a year-long bout with Interferon, my recovery from the Interferon, or Post Interferon seemed to be even fucking worse. I suffered heavy headaches in my temple that felt like a golf ball lodged right into my temple and varying in intensity but ALWAYS present for no kidding the first 3-4 years. I went to a Neurologist and was then diagnosed with Hemicrania Continua , which basically means a chronic headache in your temple. I was prescribed Indomethacin or Indocet and let me tell you, it works, however makes you groggy and slow, as well as ruins your stomach in turn. And I mean if you don’t eat a ton in the morning you’re going to shit blood, hurt your stomach, which was terrible. Even when you ate a ton of food you may still end up just nauseous as hell and just plain miserable. A case of the cure being worse than the disease.
In the last year, my 5th year Post Interferon, I was back at a corporate gig selling software, and deftly afraid the headaches would make me incapable of really giving it 100% so I got back on Interferon after getting off a few years before due to losing insurance and of course the awful side effects. However the headaches persisted, and I’d been unemployed so I just dealt with them. Going back to work in 2012 I decided I would get back on the meds, and then also flirt with and attempt to take multiple different meds to see what might balance out the side effects of the interferon. Well, at first we tried Celexa. Outside of gaining 20 lbs I’m still trying to get rid of it worked great… for about 5 months or so. And then the temple headaches returned as well as a general heavy brain fog headaches that had persisted on and off on top of the temple headache, since Post Interferon. The brain fog headache had never existed until after Interferon and is intense, prevents clear thinking and hurts even worse than the pressure type headache of the temple pain. So I quit Celexa. Moving forward from that point thru 2012 and into early 2013 I tried every single combination of Anti Depressant / Anti Anxiety on Earth and they all sucked. And my headaches persisted. And then something happened. My Neurologist, Dr. Leslie Kelman, retired. At first I panicked, but since I was getting such lousy results to begin with, I went ahead and just got off of all the meds again.
And lo and behold I was scared. I googled and found someone with the same type of headaches Hemicrania Continua | Cure and sure enough I tried the method he talked about. The Valsalva method actually fucking worked and while not curing it entirely as it had done for him, definitely relieved a lot of the pain and pressure.
And let me just tell you, I as a sober man in recovery, coming up on 7 years, feel so much better without the meds. I wish I could have the year back I was on them, except I wouldn’t have the extensive knowledge of how much better I feel without them. I still feel some pressure, and occasionally have a brain fog headache, but nothing like before, and hell, who knows maybe all the psych meds actually did remap or rework some of the synapses up there, and rewire shit to work a bit better, I really don’t know and I can promise you the Doctors don’t. I’m convinced, that since the Valsalva method, or in effect, blowing hard with your mouth closed to make your ears pop, works so well, that it must be something to do with pressure. I remember too, when the barometric pressure does change I seem to be more susceptible to headaches as well, but again, mostly guess work.
I’m just truly grateful I began to get some relief. I am successful at work again, for the first time since Interferon, 5 years out, and while I’m still not back to 100% of my previous mind, I do feel like it has started to come back and recover, and perhaps that’s all it is with the headaches. That maybe Interferon is so powerfully devastating that it just takes time to heal. I don’t know. But I feel better, and therefore I feel hopeful, and I’m grateful I’m not having to take any meds for it as well. Perhaps there is life after Interferon afterall.
I’m on track to have my best year financially in my adult life and I was a baller before Interferon so things are looking good. I’m able to work 60 hours a week and teach Sunday school every Sunday at my church, I’m back to hitting the gym 4 times a week and starting to cut the weight I’d gained after Celexa. I’ll, God willing, be buying my first place since I was 18 in a month or two and I just pray the headaches stay at bay. I don’t know the exact cure, but I know I’m grateful they’ve retreated.
Perhaps after I get in the new place, and get a new car, I’ll go back to the drawing board on the book Hippopotamus Sea, My Viral Sobriety, and get it edited out, maybe clean out the f bombs and make it more commercially viable, and perhaps give Books4free.com another facelift and make an attempt to get more recovery books on there… or maybe just go for what I love in Sci-Fi Fantasy books. I used to claim not to like fantasy but my sisters have definitely dragged me into the Game of Thrones series and I’ve spent the entire summer on those books. hell I may even go digital and get an e reader… but I doubt it.
Jared Bryan Smith
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Jan, 04, 2017
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