I have finished with the second week of I-Match and am now back at Michael’s. I report the following items of interest:
- The girl from Alaska (who graduated yesterday) and I have become friends and she says she will email me.
- During the biofeedback/guided imagery session, I was able to raise the temperature of my finger by twelve degrees. Even the psychologist who was working with me was astonished.
- Shya, Dad’s colleague whom we’re staying with, is quite a character. Four and a half feet tall and perhaps seventy pounds soaking wet, she’s convinced I’m too thin and need fattening up. She wants me to do yoga every day and demonstrated for me. At one point she lay flat on her back and, all the time maintaining this horizontal position, lifted her legs up and back and placed her feet on the ground behind her head. It was like she was made of rubber or something. I gaped at her, but she said she’d been yoga-ing every day for the past 81 years so it wasn’t really that impressive.
- Friday was the “family meeting.” Dad was there of course and Michael drove 3 1/2 hours to be there. Basically the family members all talked about what it was like to have to deal with our suffering, and were advised on how best to help us.
- Most importantly, they finally found for me an abortive drug that actually works and isn’t an opiate or anything like that. It’s dihydroergotamine mesylate, or DHE. DHE usually doesn’t work for New Daily Persistant headache, but it does for me, so I got lucky for once.
- DHE is an injectable drug. The nurse taught me how to inject into my thigh and I practiced with saline, doing pretty well. However there is a big difference between extracting saline from a bottle sealed with a thin rubber cover you poke the needle through, and extracting DHE from a teeny tiny glass ampule that you have to break open. When I tried it last night, I wound up spilling half of it — twice. Not only do I of course want the full dose for effectiveness, but also DHE costs $35 a dose, so this unacceptable. On the third try I was finally able to extract most of it without spilling, but I needed Michael’s help. I suppose I’ll get better, but I only have ten doses (seven now) and don’t want to waste them.
- DHE got rid of last night’s severe headache (Level 8 on the pain scale) entirely. (I would have accepted a Level 2 or even a 3.) But I’m not allowed to use it for more than two days a week. To prevent myself from being in agony five days out of every seven, I’m supposed to exercise regularly and do the relaxation stuff they taught me to do.
Yeah. So things are working out really well so far.