Tuesday, June 3, 2014


In general, pressure is not good for our health. Our bodies sense different kinds of pressure in different ways. Sometimes we recognize it right away and do something to relieve it, and sometimes we don't. Either we don't recognize the signs or we ignore them until ...

I need my head examined (??)

About a month ago my head started hurting. When I shook my head it hurt. Like there was a steel ball in there and it was banging around. I could take a Tylenol and it would go away so I wasn't too worried about it - at first. Then a friend died of brain cancer. And another one had a tumor removed from behind her eyes. And my head still hurt after a couple weeks. And it seemed to be getting worse - not better.

So I visited my doctor. After a full neurological exam he said it was stress - or arthritis in my neck. He could take X-ray's of my neck and send me for PT if I wanted.  I passed. He said a couple Tylenol are okay. I have been fearful of pain medicines because of my kidneys but he assured me that Tylenol is hard on the livers of drinkers - but I don't drink so I should be fine.

A couple weeks later my headaches seemed worse. Another visit to my doctor and slightly different symptoms; pressure on my ears. He again assured me that it wasn't a tumor and suggested a decongestant. I took a Xirtec and felt immediate relief in places I didn't know I had pressure. This was nice but by morning my head was really hurting (I get this from antihistamines.)

Once my sinuses recovered I was feeling pretty good and resolved that this was, indeed, a stress headache.  I only had a couple days of work remaining before I re-retired and even thought I didn't think my work was the least bit stressful, perhaps leaving it was. In the nine months that I'd worked there I'd come to know all the folks in this small department, and they all seemed to be very appreciative of my work and the help that I provided. Yes, it's very hard walk away from that. 

Too full (another kind of pressure)

My wife won tickets to a pre-screening of the movie "A million ways to die in the west." I had a softball double header scheduled ( I umpire) but it rained out so we went to dinner and a movie. As I waited for the movie to start, I thought I should go to the bathroom. I felt a little 'full', you know. With a Neo-bladder this sensation is very faint and easy to ignore. I ignored it. The movie was good so I was effectively distracted. Walking out I realized that all the cups of coffee and glasses of water at dinner had built into something that felt like a cramp. But unlike normal 'gas' cramps this didn't go away after relieving the pressure. I'm sure I stretched something that shouldn't have been stretched and it left a 'bruise' in my bladder - for want of a better word. For a couple days it was very painful to even walk ( thankfully they re-scheduled the double header three days later instead of one.)

 I have had this feeling before - since the surgery - and it doesn't do much good to complain about it because nobody understands. But I was very careful to keep my bladder empty and it seemed to fix itself just fine - in time.

Oh, did I mention that I re-retired. It's been a week and it feels great! Yes, my headaches are pretty much gone. I don't know - I'm just sayin'.