Trying not to freak out

Ever since GK for my AVM in June & craniotomy for the aneurysms in July, I’ve been asked (over and over) if my headaches are gone.

Over the summer, I said, “School hasn’t started yet.”

Well, I went back to work almost 2 months ago. Our district did better than many with the budget cuts, but they did have to cut office clerk & para positions, adding to my paperwork load.

And the state and district have changed how we do some of our Special Education paperwork.

And the state has changed state testing & we’re still don’t know what all will be on the new English-Language Arts EOC/STAAR test. We now more about the “regular” test than the modified. My students will take the modified test.

Half of my SpEd caseload students have their ARDs this month, and I’m responsible for the paperwork.

I’m not surprised to have headaches-stress has always been a headache/migraine trigger for me.

But the headaches are “different.” I’ve been getting aura and milder headaches. I’ve been irritable & sound sensitive with the headaches, too. But they have “moved.” Instead of my “typical” migraine–behind my right eye/top right side of my head, they are sometimes lower, back right on my head.

With the AVM diagnosis (and because my family doc had fussed at me right before my AVM diagnosis), I no longer take Excedrin, which had been my over-the-counter drug of choice. Tylenol + Maxalt weren’t quite taking care of things, and I’m not going to take Vicodin at work.

So, one day last week, I e-mailed my husband (he works at home) & asked him to contact either my famiy doc or my neurosurgeon to ask about these “different” headaches. Just to make sure.

Neurosurgeon’s office called today & the change in headaches is a concern, and he wants me to have an MRI just to be safe–but as soon as I can.

So, I am scheduled for an MRI tomorrow & Dr. Kim will take a look at the scans on Friday when he is in the office.

I have 3 ARDs next week & have to get the paperwork done, so that is a bit stressful in addition to worrying about my brain. I’ll work on some of the paperwork tomorrow when I’m not at the imaging lab. I talked to my department head today, and she said that if I run out of time or end up not back at school, she will call my kids in to do their transition interviews & transition goals for me.

I found out about needing the new MRI today about 1/2 hour before heading to an ARD & was trying to keep my mind focused on my student & not what my brain is doing.

BTW–ARD = Annual Review & Dismissal meeting–the meeting we are reuqired by law to hold annually for our SpEd students to discuss their progress, their annual goals, classroom accommodations, and curriculum modifications.

Maybe I’m slow, or maybe I’m just extra careful, but it takes me 3-4 hours to do the paperwork for one ARD. (the less input I get from the student’s other teachers, the longer it takes me to sort through state test data & decide on what I think might be strengths/needs for subject areas I don’t teach.) The new way to do things, the non-user friendly technology, and the two different software programs that don’t talk to each other don’t help the process, either.

Sounds like you have a lot of added stress right now. That could be triggering the different headaches. My stress levels trigger the most random crap. I get different types of headaches with varying levels of stress. If I have allergy issues on top of stress it gets really crazy. I have experienced headaches similar to what you described when I’m stressed and Maxalt won’t touch the damn thing. I usually grab some form of caffeine (I prefer dark chocolate and a soda), then take a 5 minute break to suck down the caffeine and stare into space. It doesn’t always get rid of the headache, but it makes it more manageable.

Not sure if this helps but my sister (who I’m very close to) is a certified kindergarden teacher for the Leander ISD. She got her degree when I got my masters and was in Special ed too when she started out as a teacher. Yes the budget cuts are nothing but stressful and what they are doing to our teachers is a huge travesty, but we all know that. No she does not have an AVM and can’t relate to that but has some experience dealing with it (through me, go figure) and worked in a pharmacy for many years before she became a teacher. Point is maybe as teachers you can relate to the workplace. Granted it sounds like both parties are busy and each state has its own requirements but perhaps you can still relate. No need to freak out, just find out what’s going on and be true to your feelings, however you do that. :slight_smile: Good luck on the MRI and keep us posted.

Oh Dear…you certainly are under alot of stress. Good luck with your MRI…and please keep us informed. You will be in my thoughts and prayers!

Thanks, y’all! The surgeon’s office called at %:00 Friday evening so I wouldn’t have to wait over the weekend.

The MRI shows remodeling in the brain, which is good.

He wants me to see a neurologis about the migraines. There is one in his office (but I don’t have to see her–he’ll work with anyone I choose.) Benefit to seeing the one in his office is that they meet weekly to discuss patients. She also works out of other clinics, so I may not have to go into downtown Houston to see her.

I wasn’t home yet when Dr. Kim’s assistant called, so she gave all of the info to my husband. She told him that Dr. Kim couldn’t believe I had never seen a neurologies. Thing is–I DID see a neurologis in California 5 years ago. He decided that my increase in frequency in migraines was just due to stress and that there was no sense in doing any scans since there wouldn’t be a good baseline. He prescribed some anti-depressants (which did help me sleep better) and sent me on my way, with one checkup visit a month or so later. That was the school year that I went from having a “bad” migraine every 2 or 3 months to having them 2 or 3 times a month. That was also when I had my first e.r. visit for a migraine–several Excedrin, 2 Maxalt, and a couple of Fioricet, ice packs, and several hours later no relief whatsoever. E.R. gave me some shots & knocked me out–sleep is what got rid of the migraine that night.