Monday, April 18, 2005

So, you're saying this is NOT my fault?

I blitzed a lot of my old friends with emails today, alerting them to the presence of this place. Start posting comments, folks. Many of you guys know each other. Jake had his neurology appointment today with Dr. Ali in Ashland. (This is the boonies. We have to drive three hours to find a pediatric neurologist. In exchange for this isolation, we get a beautiful coastline, drop dead gorgeous countryside, a real estate market that is booming like you would not believe, and . . . drumroll . . . no HMOs.) Dr. Ali called me after seeing Jake and told me he has 'chronic tension-type headache'. I confess ignorance on this one. For me, headaches are divided into categories: sinus headache, nasal headache (yes, there is such a thing), cluster, migraine, atypical migraine, MPD (myofascial pain disorder, a close relative of TMJ), and oh-my-God let's get your head scanned YESTERDAY -- rule out tumor, in other words. I'd heard of tension headache, naturally, but I didn't know you could have a tension headache that lasts, in Jake's case, six weeks. Good doctor that I am, I consulted a reliable resource to learn more about chronic tension-type headache: the web. Here's a link to a MAGNUM article on chronic tension-type headache. MAGNUM = Migraine Awareness Group: A National Understanding for Migraineurs. They got their information from a neurology textbook, so it must be true. Honestly, though, Dr. Ali explained everything very well to me, but I needed to see it elsewhere, in writing, simply to feel reassured that it wasn't my fault. What's in a name? Turns out 'tension headache' is a misnomer. It has nothing to do with tension. The fact that I'm making this fifty pound nine-year-old read from an 11th grade literature textbook, that I'm expecting him to kick ass in algebra and learn physics, French, and typing besides, might be making him miserable, but isn't the cause of his headache. (We're home-schooling.) To quote from that MAGNUM site, "Tension-type headache is multifactorial and poorly understood." On the other hand, tension-type headache "may be triggered by physical or psychological stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, and depression." Oops. Bottom line, the kid is all right. Focus on the positive. By the way, Karen tells me Jake entertained Dr. Ali with his comic stylings, cribbed largely from the collected works of Monty Python and Steve Oederkerk's Kung Pow: Enter the Fist., wherein the bad guy announces, From now on, you will refer to me as Betty . . . (one of Jake's favorite lines). Trust me, this gets old after a while.
Coming soon: And Then, All Will Bow Down Before Me.


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