Saturday, February 20, 2010


I don't know if it has something to do with all the medicine that I'm on, or the fact asthma causes some degree of stress, or the fact that I'm forced to be "unique" because of asthma, or due to anxiety, or sinus problems, or allergies, or wimpiness or what. But, I sometimes get these terrible headaches, and I have one right now.

Actually I have dulled it with an Ultram, but it's still there. I woke up at 2 a.m. with this headache so bad there was no way I was going to go back to sleep, so I got up and took two 500 mg Tylenol. I have to take that much, because one never quite cuts it.

I knew this was not a Tylenol headache, though. Yet I had to try it. I had to try something before I took an Ultram. I had to because once I take an Ultram, once it kicks in, I have to write. Doesn't that sound weird. Yep! Ultram relaxes me to the point, puts all these ideas in my head, and I have to put them on paper. I've written some good stuff while on Ultram.

Ultram dulls or gets rid of my headaches no matter how bad, it's the first drug I have ever taken that gives me at least some degree of relief. However, even though it is not an opiate, and my doctor says it's safe to use it and work, it gives me the feeling that about three cups of coffee gives me, although without the side effects such as shakiness and such. It just makes me feel euphoric, and happy.

So, Ultram is a good medicine. Like I wrote above, I always take something else first, and if that works I don't take the Ultram. However, the neat thing about Ultram is that I don't have to worry so much when I get a headache. It used to be that I would get headaches so bad that I'd have to almost take something for it prophylactically. Seriously.

In fact, I would take ibuprophen for a while, and when that quit working, I'd switch to Tylenol, and when that quit working, I'd switch to ibuprofen, and so forth. I even tried extra strength medicines such as Exedrin, although after a while, that quit working too. Then I went on an aspirin kick.

In December of 2008 I woke up one morning throwing up blood, and yes, it was coming out the other side too. Sorry to gross you out there, but that's what happens when you get a GI bleed. My wife and doctor were convinced I had an ulcer, and that it was exacerbated by the fact I was thinning my blood with Asprin at the time.

So, that was when my doctor prescribed Ultram.

Now I put myself on the spot, and I feel I have to back up a bit and explain something. When I was a kid I was the anxious, often depressed type of kid. Again, I don't' know if that had something to do with asthma or not. I don't know if that had something to do with the fact I was slowly realizing I was unique, not much of a socializer, had to do things different, couldn't hang out with the guys so much in the woods, in the baseball fields, and such. You know, that causes stress for a kid. And, worse of all, I was severely bullied as a kid in school.

So, needless to say, those things caused me stress. And, sometimes I wonder if that caused me to get these severe headaches when I was a kid. I remember my doctor prescribing one medicine after another for me to take for the headaches, and none ever worked.

This brings me to the asthma hospital in 1985. While there, yet again, I had bad anxiety. One of the major problems of the asthma hospital was severe homesickness that often had to be dealt with among the kids. I was no exception. So home sickness anxiety, coupled with the anxiety that already existed, coupled with the fact that I'm not much of a socializer and was among socializers, and away from my family, and away from my mother of whom I was attached (you hear that a lot about asthmatics, that they get attached to their mothers).

So, needless to say, I got severe headaches there too. And, since I was in a hospital, and the doctors wanted to make as much money off me as they could (a little humor there), they tested me for head problems. They had me see a psychologist, had me run through a series of tests such as an EEG, and the end result was that I was normal.

At one point while I was at the asthma hospital I participated with other kids and a specialized trained nurse on how to relax. I do plan on writing about this in more detail later on this blog. The psychologist, counselor, and the relaxation classes changed me quite a bit. I actually turned into an equanimitous asthmatic (equaniminous is not a real work, but I like it). I am cool, calm and such even during the worse attacks, and I'm better capable of dealing with life in general. When my asthma attacks, I do what I was taught in these classes, and I'm telling you, it works.

However, I digress. I quit getting headaches for a while. Yet, now that I'm an adult, I get those things terribly at times. I never said anything to my doctor. I didn't mean not to say anything, it's just that I never related it to anything other than just normalcy.

Yet, when I ended up in the hospital with a GI bleed, my secret was out. Well, it really wasn't a secret because I didn't intend on not telling my doctor, it's just that I never thought of it unless I had a headache. You know how that is I'm sure. The last thing I wanted to do was take yet another pill.

So, here I am, up at 6:00 in the morning, writing. I'm writing with a dull headache, numbed by the powers of the Ultram. Is it an asthma related headache? I may never know. And, quite frankly, you can thank the Ultram for this post.

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