02.19.2016 - The Day That Changed My Life Forever

2.19.2016

This is the day, that I feel, changed my life forever. The last year of my twenties that will haunt the rest of my life. I went to work like normal. During work, I was speaking to a co-worker at her desk, and I remember a very painful tension headache that made my vision just not right. I decided to head home from here. I went and took a bath and then feel asleep for the rest of the day/night. I woke up the next morning with severe anxiety and double vision. I had to call a friend to come take me to a doctor. Unfortunately, I did not have a primary physician at this time. I remember with the anxiety, it was extremely hard to search my insurance webpage for one. I just picked the best sounding one and made the call. The took me in at 11am and it was the biggest, worthless trip of my life. The doctor simply told me to rest up and I will be fine. His name was Matt Liebentritt. It’s simply anxiety. Luckily it was the weekend, and I could do just that.

2.22.2016

After suffering for the entire weekend, I needed some help. I could barley function in any capacity. I sat on the couch, getting more headaches from sleeping too much. The anxiety took over my body and my mind. The nervous system had thoughts of it’s own and I was helpless. That morning, I woke up and asked my wife to take me to the eye doctor before she went to work. It’s worth a shot that maybe, just maybe, my eye’s has something going on which caused the anxiety and headaches. We found an eye doctor and set an appointment up for that morning. We discussed with them what was going on, and they took a look. Come to find out I had white blood cells in my left eye and they stated I had iritis. Which was inflammation of the iris. They gave me some steroid drops and told me to take these for two weeks. 

2.27.2016

It is my 29th birthday. This last week has been a joke. The most excitement I have had has been to walk outside, slowly, in my sweatpants for 10 minutes at a time. That is all my body can handle. This is all my mind can handle. My body aches in pain, my head is a cloudy, foggy mess, my vision is doubled, I am dizzy and do not know which way was is up. I wake up in the morning and my heart is already at 100 BPM. I can’t get it to settle down. All I want to do is live, to do simple things, but that is not an option for me. Instead, I must sit here and be owned by my body. 

11.24.2017 Note:

During the next year, my diary of events are noted below. I spent thousands and am still currently paying on Physical Therapy, MRI’s, Stress Tests, Blood Tests, Holiter monitors, EKG’s, chiropractic visits, Acupuncture, eastern medicine, headache specialists, neurologists, ENT's and primary doctor visits. I was on multiple drugs, even ones that gave me “blackout twitches”. My neurologist stated that I have “lingering migraines”. Finally my primary care doctor simply set me up on Lexapro to help with the anxiety to rid of that, so we could find the root cause. To this day, no one knows specifically what happened and if there is actually something that is wrong with me. It’s scary. All too scary. 

4/18/2016

I woke up at 6:30AM, went to bed at 9. 9.5 hours of sleep. It was cloudy and cold (33F) outside and I still felt extremely exhausted. I drove to Fort Collins first. At 7:38 I reordered that my memory was slow and not quick to react or aware. I had water, a banana, and a blueberry muffin for breakfast at 7:50am. At 8am my eyes started getting very tired, tension still low, middle and lower back is achey, left knee hurts and the right side of my jaw was sore. At about 8:03am the cloudiness seems to lift, but then I feel dizzy at 8:45. 9:15 Rolls around and the overwhelming tension decides to take over. I am very scared and worried about my current condition. I am freaking out. I only want to live. My left and right thumbs are numb and tingly as well as the tip of my nose. Tension starts to take over my body again as I drive. I check my pulse, I am at 88 BPM. My right temple is sore as I turn my eyes. I figure my sugar level is low so i decide to grab some peanut wraps and a mint tea to calm me at 11:20am. At this point I am still anxious and tense. Very light sensitive and the lower back is still painful. My thought process the rest of the day was stale. I had to think long periods of times to speak the right works. Eyes were red and painful behind them. 

4/19/2016

The current state - my definition- inability to multitask at the high rate that I was before. I start getting confused and overwhelmed quickly - today could be defined as tense, slow processing, hard to concentrate 

4/20/2016  

I do not feel here all morning but I am not tense today. Still slow processing and hard to concentrate. I had trouble and was repeating stories to  multiple people that day. I told the same story twice in one day, am I getting Alztimers already? I was on edge all day, loud noises and sudden movements made my heart race and myself jump.

4/21/2016  

I went to the Chiropractor for the first time in a few years today. About 30 minutes after I left I had a perching headache. Maybe this is good, at least something is chaging, or is this bad? Am I going downhil? All day I was not tense, but still, slow processing, light sensitive, and it washard to concentrate. Vision still a problem. Double vision still happening. When I changed the position of my eyes, it takes longer to process what I am reading. German has been a nightmare to practice as I am not fluent in the language and it takes me so much time to process. 

4/22/2016

I feel like double vision is the cause of all of this. What is causing my double vision? I felt here all weekend, no glasses were worn and that helped. Woke up Saturday with a sore throat. And a bit achey. My right temple and right back of my neck was sore right under the skull. Spitting phlegm from lungs. Left finger shakes, right one doesn't, more light sensitive, overwhelmed processing words during reading or multitasking more. Mornings still seem worse than nights. Lost keys, get overwhelmed trying to find them and confused. Sleeping problem? Nutrition problem? M-wed so far same stuff. Heart racing, left brain in a sleep state? 

06/29/2016 

Sitting for long periods, upper back hurts and start getting dizzy

08/01/2016  

I feel the doctors think this is an off and on problem. It is not, this is a constant problem. It just doesn’t go away. Still easily overwhelmed, can't focus reading 

Brain Fog has been a problem this entire time too:

Research: 

            The brain is the crowning organ of the human being.  Therefore, dysfunctions involving it are always important.  Brain fog is one of the most important symptoms today, even though I have not seen it listed as a diagnosis or recognized health condition in most medical or psychological texts.

 

A clinical definition of brain fog.  Brain fog may be described as feelings of mental confusion or lack of mental clarity.  It is called brain fog because it can feel like a cloud that reduces your ability to think clearly.  It can cause a person to become forgetful, detached and often discouraged and depressed.  It usually is present most of the time, meaning it does not come and go, although it may become better or worse depending on what a person eats, or one’s state of rest and hydration.

Brain fog is not recognized as a clinical diagnosis because it is not easy to test for it.  It is quite subjective, in other words.  The person just knows that they do not function well, and the mind often seems foggy or cloudy.  This is not the same as dementia, mental retardation, anxiety, depression or other common mental symptoms.  I hope that medical doctors will soon expand their diagnostic ability to assess brain fog, but for now it is a subjective condition, though it is very real.

01.29.17 - Lingering Migraines

Post to facebook: I don't normally post things like this, but I woke up today feeling the need to share my story and hope it helps other people. One year ago I came home from work with a tension headache and went to sleep. I thought nothing of it. I woke up the next day with dizziness, a migraine, a mental fog, vertigo, ridiculous anxiety and vision problems. My buddy took me to the doctor, and the doctor told me to rest it off. So I went home and rested over the weekend. Nothing improved and I was struggling each moment of the day. Nothing helped me feel better. My next six months were filled with MRI's, Holter monitors, stress tests, ekgs, blood work, physical therapy, pills, and neulogical tests. I could barely work. The most joy in my day was the ability to take a short walk outside, not easily I may add. After six months or so and a new prescription, I started feeling better and the depression slowly went away. I am feeling much better today, but still not 100%. This time has taught me to enjoy every moment of life, don't be afraid to take chances, live for yourself and nobody else. I think about it this way, use traffic for example: you're stuck in traffic, which is frustrating, you can ether get mad and create road rage, or you turn the tunes up and simply enjoy the moment. Each moment doesn't have to be the most exciting and exhilarating, but it's the simple things. When those simple things are taken away, you realize how much you really should appreciate them. 

08.30.17 - Wednesday

Woke up with migraine pain, no aura, right side, temple and top of eye lid Day before: worked, lunch - chicken enchiladas morelia at tequilas for lunch, chicken Chile rellenos for diner with Moscow mule, grey goose. And a Carmel macchiato from bittersweet. Went to bed at 10-11, woke up at 630 with the migraine.

 

Thoughts on triggers: stress from work, was off work due to sister being there. Just changed from north area manager to central and felt no rhythm and unorganized. Also trying to balance work and my sister there. I remember through the night waking up or thinking in the middle of sleep that I need to get payment from a builder, who we did their countertops and a few other things through the night, work running through my mind.

09.02.2017  

I had a migraine within a few minutes of waking up, aura and everything. Woke up about 7, starting cleaning, got a glimpse of light through kitchen window and aura started. Instantly took Ibuprofen, iced head and laid down. Ate homemade tacos at home. 85% lean local beef with chili powder and cumin, cheese, sour cream, ranch, avocado, organic wheat soft shells. Bed at 11. Listened to german to sleep and had sleep mask on. 

Thoughts on triggers: heavy hours staring at a computer, no sunglasses at work all day, Mexican style food? Lack of sleep, too much learning german, not enough rest? 

10.17.2017

It's been over a month without caffeine. Seems to be helping me. I did wake up today with slight light sensitivity for the first time. Not anymore stress than days before. 

10.21.2017

Tried out having a 2 beers last night. Woke up this morning with light sensitivity and floaty's in my eye. Alcohol does seem to have an effect on me. Sleep was really tense, muscles are sore. 

11.24.17 - No Caffeine, Less Beer

I have been free from Caffeine for 2 months and 19 days. So far, zero full on migraines. I have had light sensitivities a day or two after having slight alcohol. Vodka seems to be the worst, Grey Goose in particular. One beer is usually decent, but anymore than that, it turns out to be bad. I hope I can continue down this path. Over two months without an attack, life is starting to come back into the picture again. 

 

 

 

References:

Wilson, Dr. Lawrence. “Brain Fog.” Brain Fog, Jan. 2016, www.drlwilson.com/articles/brain_fog.htm.

Brandon Nicklaus