What a Headache!
You may have noticed an absence of posts from October 31 to November 6. Just where was I? Well, I’ll tell you. During the last three or four weeks I’ve experienced a great deal or stressful personal and professional situations. I fought a constant dull headache right between my eyes the whole time chalking it up to stress. Once this turbulent period passed, I decided to be good to myself, get back to the gym and started working out with Jim, a dear friend and ex-boyfriend who also happens to be a personal trainer.
Last Thursday I woke up with the same dull headache so I figured I’d work it out at the gym. But following our session I ended up with the worst headache of my life. The WORST. I could barely walk down the street. So I hailed a cab and headed to my doctor’s office. Once inside , the doctor took my blood pressure: 185 over 120. "Okay Michael, I’m going to call 911." said the good doctor in his characteristically calm bedside manner. He stepped into the hallway for a minute then in ran his two on staff nurses who hooked me up to an IV in record time. I barely felt the stick of the needle. I called Scott who hurried to the doctor’s office and soon we were off in the back of an ambulance headed to the ER.
At the hospital they ran a battery of tests including a CT scan of my head which showed nothing extraordinary except sinusitis–probably the cause of my headache all those weeks. But still no explanation for the elevated blood pressure. They gave me some medication to lower it and while we waited for that to kick in, my temperature spiked to 102.4. They decided to admit me–to a private room in case it was meningitis. They took blood cultures, took care of the pain in my head and hooked me up to a heart monitor and high doses of mega-antibiotics. Within 24 hours I felt perfectly normal and healthy again, but they were not about to let me go anywhere.
Cutting to the chase, the blood cultures revealed bacteremia, a pneumococcal blood infection. Apparently this is some serious sh*t and can come out of nowhere. It’s the same infection that cut Muppets’ creator Jim Henson down in the prime of his life. So, I remained on high level IV antibiotics while in the hospital for a full 6 days and must continue to do so at home for another week.
The irony is that high blood-pressure is not normally associated with pneumococcal infection, but it’s what got me to the hospital. Endocarditis was ruled out as the source of the problem so it’s possible the sinusitis spread to my bloodstream causing the infection. My doctor says it’s one of those things we’ll never know for sure. Luckily it seems they were able to catch the bacteremia just as it was attacking therefore leaving me with virtually no ill affects. I felt pretty much fine and dandy the whole time I was hospitalized and still do.
So it seems I dodged a bullet. And I’m counting my blessings.