A Headache (And Hospital Visit) With A Positive Outcome

Things got a little exciting with an unexpected hospital visit today. Since I was tweeting and posting on Facebook from the bed, I figured I better put up a quick post to alleviate any worries.

First of all, BLESS all my pals who were on Twitter and Facebook during my wild afternoon yesterday. You helped keep me sane and entertained with your kind words and wishes.

There’s not a whole lot to do in the ER, especially when your head hurts. I found that my small forays into social media kept me focused on something else besides the pain.

My favorite tweet exchange was with Marcy Kennedy:

@jhansenwrites:  OK, #MyWANA peeps, I’m about to get my very first brain scan. Maybe they’ll find treasure in there! Wish me luck.🙂

@MarcyKennedy: @jhansenwrites Good luck. If they find candy hanging out in there, remember to share with your friends😉

I’m sad to say, there was no candy. (But I’d have shared it if there was!)

Here’s how all this brain scan business got started:

I’ve had a migraine since last Friday night. During Hubby’s and my Crossfit training, I got what is called a thunderclap headache. I was doing pull-ups and this headache literally exploded in every part of my head. It was dreadful.

At the time, I just thought it was a regular migraine or muscle strain and went to the chiropractor. I stretched, I took migraine drugs like a maniac. Nothing I threw at it worked.

When I finally went to the doctor yesterday, she chastised me because apparently that kind of headache is often caused by a subarachnoid hemorrhage so I needed scans. I kind of felt like an idiot for trying to tough it out for a week instead of just going to the ER in the first place. What can I say…I’m a “suck it up to the point of stupidity” kind of gal.

Note to my peeps: Even if you’re a chronic headache sufferer, don’t put up with a NEW kind of headache, especially one with a quick onset.

I had two CAT scans – one with contrast dye and one without. All results were negative for any sort of neurological or vascular issues. No bleeding, no tears…my blood is pumping in and out of my brain just fine.

I still have the stupid headache but at least I know it’s not going to actually kill me.

I took the time to put this post up so no one had to worry any more than they already have. As one of my girlfriends said today: “You are my MOST exciting friend!” (She didn’t mean that in a sweet and easy kind of way.) I truly didn’t mean to be so exciting today!

Thanks for all the kind words and prayers, y’all. I’ll get an MRI this week and keep you posted.

Have you had any unusual “exciting” ER visits? What were they for? What did you do to keep yourself entertained in the hospital bed? Enquiring minds LOVE to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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80 Responses to A Headache (And Hospital Visit) With A Positive Outcome

  1. Wow! I must have missed that tweet. Glad you’re ok, though. Fortunately for me, I’ve been healthy as a horse. My hubby, on the other hand, has managed to have 3 surgeries (kicked off on Feb 15th with an emergency appendectomy that was diagnosed at 3am) between the months of Feb-May only to break his hand in July. He kept distracted while waiting for his surgeries by posting on Facebook and text messaging. I spent my time waiting for him to get out of surgery by reading on my tablet/smart phone and playing on Facebook and Twitter.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Nothing diagnosed at 3 am is EVER good. That sounds like a scary Spring y’all had! But yes, there’s nothing like a Smartphone to keep you entertained in the hospital.🙂

      Like

  2. kimterry says:

    Well, I thought I’d been hauled in to the E.R. for just about everything — quasi-pneumonia, asthma, even sunburn. The prize goes to a trip caused by respiratory distress. While the doctors and nurses were trying to help me breathe, they became concerned about my shaking hands, stumbling feet, and wobbly head. Diagnosis two days later: brain tumor. Yep, that one wins the prize. Thank God it was benign, encapsulated, and, after surgery, OUT-TA THERE!!!

    Like

    • Hey, congrats on the removal, Kimterry! I had a benign acoustic neuroma that had me wobbly for months before we could schedule surgery. It’s out and everything went fine. But because of it’s location, and the fact that I lost the hearing in one ear, I still wobble. But no more tumor!

      Like

      • kimterry says:

        Glad you’re okay, too, Christine. My hands still shake some, but usually for the reasons that other people’s hands shake: fear, nervousness, excitement, caffeine, etc. What part of the brain was your tumor in? Mine was bi-frontal (3.5 in. in diameter, in fact.)

        Like

      • Jenny Hansen says:

        Holy crap, ladies!! Brain tumors??! That’s a big deal. I’m delighted y’all got out of that with just some leftover wobbles.

        I get the near-death thing…yesterday’s trip didn’t fall into that category for me. After going through Medical Crazy Town, a few scans is just not that exciting. But the headache sucks BAD.

        Like

  3. kimterry says:

    Glad you know what you’re dealing with and, as you said, it won’t kill you.

    http://kimwriter.wordpress.com/

    Like

  4. Exciting ER visits? Hm…this one goes a way back. I was in a show, doing Li’l Abner. In the very beginning I played an old woman who used her cane to shoot at some hooligans. In rehearsal, they told me I’d have a shotgun with blanks in it type thing, so when “shooting” with the cane, I used two hands. When dress rehearsal came around, it was a small blanks pistol taped to the handle of the cane – and I didn’t get a practice shoot with it.

    So fast forward – the music is playing, we’re on stage, I go to shoot the hooligans – and I hold it the way I had been when I shot the gun – and took off the skin on my left hand, from pinkie tip to wrist. Bright red splotches surrounded with black gunpowder. I went straight off stage and held out my hand to the nearest crew member, who happened to be the only one trained in first aid.

    Two hours in the emergency room later, I finally got a shot of demerol – so they could take a surgical scrub brush to get the gunpowder out of my wounds.

    Like

  5. LauraDrake says:

    Just so everyone knows, I offered to go sit with Jenny, but I think she was so busy on her phone, Tweeting, she didn’t want company!

    Christine, mine wasn’t that bad, but I had a gunpowder incident too – we went to Cedar Point in Ohio (think Six Flags) when I was 7. We were on the Jungle Cruise, and the Bwana used a blank pistol to shoot at ‘rioting natives’ (hey, it was the 60’s) and got me, sitting in the front row, instead.

    The park was so worried my parents would sue, they compensated us for the cost of the day!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You did offer to sit with me, but why would I want someone to sit and watch me be drugged and go in and out of scans? I’d rather hold my visits for when I can enjoy them.🙂

      Like

  6. Emma says:

    At least you know now the headache wasn’t something very serious, Jenny.
    I remember getting a terrible pain in my stomach as a teenager and I started to hyperventilate. Freaked out, my parents took me to the A & E and a grumpy looking doctor came over to me. She told me to ‘cut the drama’ and I got such a fright from the look on her face and tone of voice that I hiccuped and my breathing went back to normal. So she had no beside manner but still managed to help me. Of course I will always think of her as a bitch, I’m afraid to say. I think I’d watched too much ER and expected doctors to be lovely.

    Like

  7. MarinaSofia says:

    So sorry to hear about your scare. Good to have had it checked out and to know that it’s not serious, although part of me feels like yelling: ‘Not serious? Not serious? It is serious to me!’ if you still have the headache.

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  8. I’ve been off the radar for two days and missed your emergency entirely! So glad to hear the tests are eliminating the scary stuff. So here’s one of the good sides of social media, right? You were surrounded by your friends and their virtual hugs through the entire episode. That’s good medicine! I hope your headache leaves soon with a good resolution to all this. *more hugs*

    Like

  9. S. J. Maylee says:

    OMG, how did I miss all this yesterday. I was all evil day job yesterday that’s how. Well, glad it’s not actually going to kill you!! What a statement. And I sure hope they find the magic to help you. Radiologists have a special talent for findings things, hmmm, I wonder what they could find. I sense a scavenger hunt, now that could be fun, especially a more cow bell scavenger hunt. Everything’s more fun with more cow bell.
    My then 5-yr-old spent 2-nights in the hospital last Aug with infected spider bites. It was movies and special treats that kept him happy.
    Here’s a big soft easy kind of a hug. I’ll be looking for updates and I hope you’re spoiling yourself a little or a lot🙂

    Like

  10. K.B. Owen says:

    Oh, my poor Jenny! I cannot imagine going through over a week of such agony. (And I thought watching two hours of a Presidential Debate was excruciating, LOL). If you want company, let us know; we can all Skype you and make funny faces at you.😀

    In terms of headaches, the absolute worst episode I had was when I was 8 and 1/2 months pregnant with our youngest. It was the first and I hope last time I ever have a migraine. How do you folks manage to live your lives with these things? I had it for 3 days, and it was agony. I couldn’t sleep; it felt as if my shoulders were wrapped around my ears, I was so scrunched up in pain. And of course, the pregnant part made everything sooo complicated. What meds could I take? (Turns out: narcotics. Yeah, ibuprofen isn’t allowed, but Codeine is? Crazy stuff). Imagine having spinal taps, MRIs, and CT scans while 8 and a half months pregnant. OMG. They never figured it out, but ruled out the serious stuff. Then it just…went away.

    But my worst pain EVER? Appendix. More painful than a migraine, or labor. Seriously. Felt like I was gonna die.

    It’s frustrating when modern medicine can’t explain something, but I’m sure as heck grateful for what it IS able to do! Hope you find your answers, sweetie. And hang in there!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Eight and a half months preggers with a migraine sounds like complete suckitude! But there’s actually a lot they can give you at that point that doesn’t cross the placenta. But spinal taps? *shudder* I drew the line at that yesterday myself.

      I’ve never had the appendix issue but I heard it’s like the worst feeling EVER.

      Like

  11. No candy? That’s a bummer. Here I was hoping for at least one of those mini candy bars😉
    I’m so glad you’re okay. I was sending up prayers for you. I agree with your doctor. Next time you have a sudden onset headache that’s not normal, go get checked out. That was one of the first symptoms my husband had when his stroke hit. There would be a lot of people mourning if anything happened to you.

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I know, right??! They didn’t even OFFER me any candy! And I had to sneak a protein bar since they didn’t offer any food either. Dang…it’s not like I had a surgery planned. Hubby went and got food on the way from the hospital so I was a MUCH happier gal after that.

      And holy cowbell…your hubby is way too young to have had a stroke! How old was he at the time?

      Like

  12. ACK! Poor and still-suffering-pain Jenny. I had no clue any of this was going on. I am a Twitter flake. Tweety Bird may die before I find an effective way to stay active w/out letting The Time Suck Putty Tat get me.

    Had you posted about your headaches, I would have YELLED AT YOU IN SHOUTY CAPS TO GO THE TO ER!

    Severe, sudden onset headaches signaled brain aneurisms for two friends of mine — and both died as result of delay. One, a college roommate, when she was 27 and 8 months pregnant. More recently, a 56-year-old while on vacation in Mazatlan.

    SO glad your brain scan was clear. What would I do without my More Cowbell fixes? *shudder*

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I know, Gloria, I know…just because I didn’t have any motor or speech issues was no reason not to go. The doctor put the fear o’ God into me over it, don’t you worry about me ever ignoring it again.🙂

      Like

  13. Jane Sadek says:

    glad you’re good, I hate to think about the blogpshere without cowbell

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Sweet, Jane! Y’all aren’t going to get rid of me easily. Trust me, if I wasn’t supposed to be here, I wouldn’t be.

      When I told my admitting nurse that my gene pool looked more like a cess pool, she said (and this is a direct quote): “Looking at this chart, I’d be kind of pissed off at my parents if I were you.” ROFL…

      Like

  14. Wow, what a scare! But I’m very glad you’re okay!❤

    Like

  15. Hubby had the SAME thing you describe here while swinging a golf club. I’d hoped that would be the end of the game.😉

    Alas, he’s out there now.

    So glad to know you are out there.

    And I can’t believe you are writing through a migraine! I need darkness, silence & a bucket! Feel better soon!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Did hubby go to the ER? Cause he was supposed to… Just sayin. And that was the thing about this headache – I’m not noise and light sensitive like I would be with a normal migraine.

      Like

  16. John Holton says:

    Next time you have a thunderclap headache, RUN, do not walk, to the ER. It could be a stroke. Trust me on that. I’m glad you’re out of the hospital and on the road to recovery. Take care of yourself.

    Like

  17. amyskennedy says:

    I want to say that I’m happy you’re okay, but if you still have the damn headache…well, that’s just not good. I will visualize happy nerve endings and synapses and all those other brain foll-der-all.

    In my twenties, I’d been having pain in my stomache and chest, but with no health insurance, I touched it out, until my roommate came home to find me sitting up in bed (because, I couldn’t straighten out) crying. She made me get up and drove me to the ER.

    The Dr. treated me like I was either a drug addict or a drunk, because he couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, he really was mean. Then, when he finally had my stomach x-rayed, he came into the room, and told me he was sorry, that I must be in a lot of pain.

    I asked him what I had, he said (I am not kidding) “You are F.O.S.”
    Me: “what’s that?” Horrified and worried.

    “You are Full of Shit. Literally.”

    I was so constipated I ended up in the ER. Yup. I will say, he much nicer to me after that.

    Like

  18. Jim Hansen says:

    Cousin Jenny,
    I hope you get over your terrible headache very soon. I did not see your Facebook posts because I deactivated my account. Maybe after the election is over I will reactivate my account. I miss keeping up to date with family and friends but do not care to read some of the political posts. Keep your cowbell ringing and don”t be a stranger to your doctor.
    Cousin Jim

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      See, I ignore all that wild election business. People get too combative over it, and it’s just not helpful. Will love to see you on Facebook when you’re back. Thanks for stopping in to say hi.🙂

      Like

  19. Aw… Feel better soon, Jenny! So sorry you’re battling head throb, but happy to hear that isn’t a more severe situation.

    My last ER trip was for my hubby’s kidney stone. We had no idea what it was, and that’s SCARY. So I can only imagine what you and yours were enduring. *HUGS* I’ll be cheering for your recovery non-stop till you get there.

    Like

  20. Catie Rhodes says:

    What a hot, stinky mess. I am a sufferer of headaches, too, so I feel your pain and commiserate. Headaches suck. And they are scary. This year has been hell on my allergies, and I’ve had a sinus headache more often than not. Misery. And I don’t make sense a lot of the time even though I think I do. 😀

    Like

  21. angelapeart says:

    On no! I didn’t spend much time on social media yesterday, so good thing that I read your blog (even if I rarely leave a comment).
    Glad to hear your brain is functioning fine, and there is no reason to worry. I hope the nasty migraine is gone by now.

    I wonder if you have developed a new food allergy, and that’s what causing the headaches😦

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I hadn’t thought of it, Angela since this seems to be an actual muscle strain, but I have thought of cutting dairy for a few months. We’re still undecided on that front…

      Like

  22. Karen McFarland says:

    I hope as I read this that you are at home Jenny. What a hell of a week you’ve had. Well you, hubby and baby girl. What a nightmare.

    Okay, so here is how my mind works. Now that the docs have ruled the dangerous stuff, what do you think about going to see Dr. Shu? Or did you already see him? Cause, he’ll look at your tongue and feel your pulse. If it is physical, something could be aggrevating your liver. As the chinese say, “liver heat rising…” With the many, and I do mean many years of experience with chinese medicine, liver heat is the cause of most headaches. Oh wait. The docs feel that you over exerted yourself. I wonder if the toxins in your muscles released too much at one time and slammed too much into your liver at once. (Just a theory. I’m wacked, but not that wacked! LOL!)

    Or, could you have a pinched nerve in your neck? Is your atlas out?

    I do not wish to put my nose where it does not belong. It is just my nature to try to help.🙂

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Dr. Shu is on my list this week. The atlas was out, but it’s back in so that’s not what’s causing this pain. You are always welcome to give advice. A look at the tongue? Huh. Chinese medicine is amazing.

      Like

      • Karen McFarland says:

        Hasn’t Dr. Shu looked at your tongue before? The tongue can tell him so much. He’ll look for ridges, redness, crackes, bumps, etc. Each a sign that will tell him exactly what organ is under stress. And then you have four pulse points on your wrist. They too will give him the information he’ll need to make his diagnoses. Chinese medicine is truly amazing. It’s what has helped me to keep on my feet over the years. Let me know what he says.🙂

        Like

        • Jenny Hansen says:

          Dr. Shu has looked at my tongue either never or like one time. Hmmmm…. You’re saying this tongue business is standard in Chinese medicine? Huh. The things I learn.

          Like

  23. zkullis says:

    Damn…. SO glad you are okay!

    ER visits huh….
    I’ve had a few. The oddest involved my thumb and a chainsaw.

    Like

  24. glad you’re okay sweetie. how are you tonight?

    Like

  25. emaginette says:

    I hope you get better soon.

    Like

  26. Julie Glover says:

    I missed the “excitement”! Glad to know you’re not going to die. The world still needs you!!! Hope all is okay with the MRI results.

    My most interesting ER visit was at 30 weeks of my pregnancy. With my OB-Gyn’s permission, I was at a nearby restaurant attending a birthday party for a friend. I felt something weird, headed to the bathroom, and when I returned, I barked out orders–“Hubby, get the car.” “Friend, call our gynecologist’s office and tell my doc to meet me at the hospital.” “Happy birthday, other friend!” I was hemorrhaging like a town square fountain. My hubby got us to the ER lickety-split, and I explained the situation to the staff with details like a paramedic. In less than 5 minutes, I think I had a hospital bed, an ugly gown, an IV, a couple of nurses, and a doctor on his way. All good, of course. The kid’s in junior high now, totally healthy.🙂

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Dang, girl! What are you, a nurse’s kid? Cause you sound like a nurse’s kid (that would be me). Scary stuff, Julie…I’m glad he’s in junior high and rockin’ the good health.🙂

      Like

      • Julie Glover says:

        So I was thinking about how my ER visit ended really well…new baby and all. So how about you? Can they pull a diamond or something out of that headache? ‘Cause you should so get a reward for your trouble.

        Like

        • Jenny Hansen says:

          Wouldn’t that be fantastic?? Hopefully, I’ll get a stronger neck to head area out of it and future workouts will be easy-peasy!! For right now, I’m just healing a muscle strain in a very odd location. (And there’s no IYKWIM involved in that last sentence…LOL.)

          Like

  27. Thanks for keeping us posted. Hubby and I saw the Facebook post and were worried sick. As a chronic migraine sufferer, my heart broke for you. There is nothing worse than migraine pain you can’t get relief from…glad the CAT scan showed that there were no “serious-about-to-kill-you” stuff going on. Keep us posted on the MRI.
    You want to talk about weird test experiences. Lord. About 12-15 years ago, I was having these odd dizzy spells and the docs were convinced I had a brain tumour. I had a CAT scan that showed I was clear but was told that they figured it was soooo small, that I needed an MRI to find it. GREAT. Talk about a nerve wracking 3 months waiting to get in for an MRI. At the time, our local city hospital shared the MRI unit with 2 other city hospitals. It was located in the bed of an 18-wheeler transport truck and it toured each hospital a week at a time. I know…LOL!!
    So when it finally came time for my test, off I went into the unit (you seriously couldn’t tell it was in a truck…). I stepped into the room, was slide into the unit, and they started the scan. All went great. They came in and yanked me out to shoot me up with the dye and fired me back into the little canister thing and started the machine again. That’s when ALL THE POWER IN THE HOSPITAL went OUT! And guess what…since the MRI unit was in the 18-wheeler, it wasn’t hooked up to the back-up generator so it just went PITCH black….no lights…no emergency lights…no nice person talking to me over the microphone. And I was stuck IN the contraption. God help me.
    It took them about 10 minutes to get flash lights and what have you so they could find their way into the room and manually pull me out….
    Thankfully the power came on it time they didn’t have to re-shoot me with the dye and we were able to get the test done.
    And no brain tumour…YEAHHHH!!!
    But talk about exciting…
    Here’s hoping you find RELIEF soon my friend…we are all sending you good vibes! MUAH!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Are you freaking kidding me?? What are the chances of that being the power outage moment? That’s the writing gods giving you great stories is what that is. And when I think of 3 months to wait for an MRI, I shudder to think of socialized medicine coming to America.

      Plus, I’m so glad there was no brain tumor to keep my Nat from me.🙂

      The meds are helping me stay out of the upper range of pain – they just make me tired if I take them all at once. I’ve been taking them one at a time so I get the relief without the dopiness. I’m still working on it. Plus, it turns out an MRI might not do anything for me so I’ll keep you posted on that.

      Give Scott a big hug – thanks for worrying about me!!

      Like

  28. I am so, so glad you’re okay! And the doc was right–those sort of headaches can indicate a brain bleed. I’m so relieved that it was “just” a migraine (I suffer from those often, so I use “just” with a lot of irony). Hoping you feel better soon!

    I’ve had lots of visits to the ER for seizures. What I take away from those is fear, and the overwhelming comfort received via the doctors and nurses who took care of me. Ah, and my husband is always awesome during those visits.

    Anyway, feel better!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      El, you and your hubby are rockstars! The gentleman in the room next to me was new to seizures and had his second one while we were there – his wife came flying out of there, screaming for the nurse. I felt so bad for her.

      Hugs, and I’m starting to see the pain level go down today.(YAY!)

      Like

  29. I am SO glad you’re doing better! Marcy’s response is classic. I love it! Definitely keep us updated ~ until then I’m sending you wave after wave of positive vibes and wishes for speedy healing. Huge hugs, big kisses, gentle head massages, whatever it takes to get you well again.

    Um, do you think they’ll give you the x-rays of your brain? That would be so fun to see!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Wouldn’t that be a blast to see our brains on TV, so to speak. I always wonder if it’s a tiny raisin of a thing or what. LOL…

      I appreciate all the hugs, kisses and any and all massages. We’re working on it… I’ll keep you posted.

      Like

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  31. What a relief the murderous headache wasn’t anything serious. I hope you’re feeling better already. *hugs* Caring friends are a blessing🙂

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  32. Eeeep! That sounds horrible😦 I’m sorry you had to go to the ER. I hope they let you look at the pictures of your brain at least – that would be so cool. I got to see my heart last week, which was kind of exciting😛

    Like

  33. Hope you are starting to feel better! We had some minor drama, too and I totally missed this! Big hugs!!!!

    Like

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