Health Round-up From The Pharmboy

There’s been some quite lively blogging recently over at Abel Pharmboy’s pad. Of particular note was the live-blogged vasectomy:

Anyway, as a medical blogger, I will try to liveblog the process from my Palm Treo 700p at the Hospital-That-Tobacco-Built. While I hope it will distract me and relieve some of my anxiety, I’d like to post it on blog as a public service to other men who want to be selfish and make their wives have tubal ligation after the mother of their children suffered through birth(s). (I’ve blogged on PharmGirl’s complicated C-section experience and having my scrotum hacked into pales in comparison to the pain she experienced.)

I gotta say, Abel rocks.

doc comes in. 3 questions:

are you allergic to any meds? PCN

do you get faint giving blood or seeing blood? hell yeah

do you want a vasectomy today? Yes

Yes, you’ll want to read all of it. And you won’t want to miss the follow-up posts compiling everyone else’s commentary and where all the increase in blog traffic came from. (What’s up with those Swedes, anyway?!?)
As fab as the live-blogged vasectomy was, I have to say a big thanks to Abel for another post in which he introduced me to the new Migraine: Perspectives On A Headache blog. This fascinating blog has a number of contributors including Oliver Sacks. (Zuska luvs Oliver Sacks. If you haven’t read Uncle Tungsten yet, you need to get started.) From the migraine blog site I found the Migraine Aura Foundation site. If you, fortunate soul, have never suffered from a migraine, yet wonder what a migraine aura is like, then click on this link and watch the aura develop. Warning: if you do suffer from migraine, watching the aura develop could possibly trigger a migraine for you.
My aura was always pretty much like that except not in color, only a flashing white zig-zag. Try driving when one of those hits you. Not possible. Now that I have the blind spot (from the stroke) and the botox treatments, I don’t get aura development very often. However, the edge of my blind spot shimmers constantly like the aura depicted at the link above. It’s like always being at about 10 minutes into a 20-30 minute developing aura.
If you suffer from migraine, or live with someone who does, I think you will want to read the Migraine: Perspectives On A Headache blog. Here’s Paula Kamen writing on a migraineur:

Hazel, who is African American, also personifies the fact that not all sufferers of chronic daily headache (and other inherently “invisible” pain problems) are from one stereotyped group: basically, complaining middle-class white ladies (such as yours truly) with too much time on their hands to think about their problems. This issue of race and class is one of the first questions I get about chronic daily headache, from people who doubt its legitimacy.
Actually, established population studies show that about 3 to 4 percent of people suffer this problem across nationality, race, and income level.

And again, on the “worst thing” about having chronic pain:

The worst thing, to me, about having a non-stop multi-year headache isn’t necessarily the pain. Or the way it tends to disrupt intimate relationships, empty all financial reserves, and sabotage the best-laid career plans. It’s not even the endless barrage of (albeit well-meaning) suggestions for “cures” from everyone you meet, most of which you’ve already tried anyway (except for the colon cleansing and the Jews for Jesus conversion).
No, it’s the emotional suffering – from all the guilt and the shame, of patients like me thinking it’s our entire fault, and maybe all in our heads.

Amen, sister. And double amen regarding everybody and his Aunt Tillie giving you those well-meaning suggestions for cures (“it worked for my sister’s boyfriend’s aunt”). I haven’t yet figured out how to explain exactly why this is so annoying, but it is. What’s also maddening is how every-freakin’-body has to make the same damn joke when they hear I get botox treatments for my migraines: “hey, you’ll always look young!” For me, a botox treatment makes a pincushion of my entire head, neck, and shoulders, and it has nothing in common with a beauty treatment. It does not keep me wrinkle free. Getting botox treatments means there is nothing else that works for me; it’s not like a cool extra perk for having migraines.
Okay, enough grumbling. Thanks again Abel for the migraine blog tip and for doing your part to encourage men to get vasectomies instead of pushing their partners to get tubal ligations. You really do rock!

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