My Head Hurts

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My head hurts.

Actually, it’s been hurting for nearly two months now.

At first I blamed the kids in the summer camp I was teaching.  Screaming children, in a hot room, for 7 hours a day could definitely do that to a person.  But once camp ended, and my headaches became worse, I knew something more was up.

Maybe it was allergies?  I was getting that whole light-headed, dizzy feeling that I often get in the spring because of allergies, but I’ve never had that happen in the middle of the summer before.  But I had a lot of sinus pressure as well, so yeah, it must be allergies.  Started taking Benadryl (which is recommended for treating vertigo, too) but all that did was make me sleep.  A lot.

So, I called my doctor to make an appointment – he’s of course on holidays and I’ve yet to see him.  I tried eating better, and drinking more water in the meantime to see if that helped.  It did not.

I actually discovered that NOT eating was the only thing that stopped the headaches.  (But lead to a whole other slew of issues.) Suspecting it was something I was eating that was causing the pain, I decided to try a new naturopath.  (My old one stopped practicing in the new year.)  My sisters seem to have a lot of luck with theirs, and I really hate taking pills, so why not?  Her advice?  See a chiropractor.

Now, I’ve been to a chiropractor before, back in University, when I pulled my back lifting a suitcase into a train.  It worked then.  This time, though, I was much more hesitant about it, because my medic boyfriend has strong opinions against chiropractors, and well, he knows a lot more about this stuff then me.

But, the pain has been/still is really interfering with my life.  Focusing has become such a chore.  As is sitting at a desk.  My attempts to go to the gym have been a horrible, room-spinning-around-me mess.  I usually get home from work, lay in front of my laptop for a couple hours until the light becomes too painful, and am in bed by 10pm.  I’ve also become really stupid – like, not only leaving-the-keys-in-my-car stupid, but leaving-the-car-still-running stupid.  I’ve jumped in the shower with my glasses on several times (which I never have before), and keep putting the milk in the cupboard.  I’m sure I’ve also become really annoying.  Now, I’ve never been good at making decisions, but “Are you hungry?” never took 5 minutes of intense thought to answer before.

So, yesterday I saw a chiropractor.  Why not – my health insurance will cover it (up to a certain amount). Although I got a major used-cars-salesman vibe from the doctor (are they doctors?), he impressed me by telling me about all the other health issues I have just by checking out my spine – things I didn’t mention at all.  So I’ll give him that.  He sent me for Xrays right away, and booked me back that afternoon.  (He seemed very urgent about it all which was not the least bit comforting – am I that fucked or are you rushing me so that I don’t have time to say no?)  Anyways, I could see on the Xrays that yes, my back is indeed fucked.

See this picture of the neck bones? I’m worse than the 12 month guy.

In fact, he compared my Xrays to that of a 40 year old woman.  Guess who’s were worse? I have more than a dozen pinched nerves, compressed discs galore, and major misalignments everywhere.  Awesome.

Alright, so the Xrays are pretty solid proof that things aren’t great.  But now what?  I’m supposed to go to the chiropractor 20 TIMES in the next 9 weeks for neck and spinal adjustments?!?  That’s scary.  And time consuming.  And expensive (I’ve already used more than half of my coverage).  But mostly scary.  And what happens after then 20th visit?  Will I be all better or will I have to continue seeing a chiropractor regularly until the end of time? I mean, if it works, then fabulous. I don’t mind spending the time and money on it.  But if not…

I’m supposed to go in for a special appointment in 2 weeks that goes over the life-style side of things – things I need to change to prevent injury, identifying what may have led to this mess, etc.   I really wish that would happen sooner, like before there’s any spinal manipulation going on… but at this point, I’m getting pretty desperate for some relief that doesn’t require taking a pill every 4-6 hours.


Update – August 29th:

I finally got to see my family doctor yesterday.  It was largely pointless.  He literally scoffed at me for attempting to get “natural” health care, and questioned why the chiropractor hadn’t cured me after 4 appointments if what they claim they can do is true.  He then took my blood pressure, made me follow the light with my eyes without moving my head, and handed me a prescription for anti-inflammatory pain killers to take as needed (which would be daily).  He didn’t question my diet, fitness level, habits, or lifestyle or in anyway begin to even look for a possible cause.  He didn’t offer any other suggestions of how to prevent or cope with the pain.  He just handed me a prescription and sent me on my way.

Now I know that chiropractors and naturalpaths don’t have nearly the same amount of training or regulations that doctors have, but in this case, the doctor definitely comes in last.  The naturalpath asked me tons of questions, and suggested several treatment options.  The chiropractor had me do lots of little physical tests (to test strength, balance, posture, etc.), sent me for x-rays, and then sat down with me and went over his suggested treatment plan with me.  He even called me at home after my first adjustment to see how I was doing.  He actually offered a solution (hopefully) to my problem, and not just a “band aid” to help me cope with it.  And neither of these two laughed at me for visiting the others.  Remind me again who the “professional” here is?  

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Amanda is the owner and creator of My Life, I Guess... a personal finance and lifestyle blog that started back in 2013. She strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes and making the most of it.


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