I’ve been off of Topamax for about 11 days now and all I can say is, my world is back to normal. In the past, I found that Topamax was a good solution for my cluster headaches but not so much recently. I’ve been chronic since summer of 2010 having at least one major headache every day, totaling over 300 since I’ve been keeping better track in November of 2010. I did have the “Dopamax” effect where I couldn’t find words for everything immediately, but it was such a gradual process that I forgot what it was like to be normal.
My neurologist and I have decided to stop Topamax because I have been having vision issues, like the last time I was on it. Waking up in the morning I would get ghosting of images and my eyes in general would hurt all day long. This probably is related to the possible side effect of closed angle glaucoma that Topamax can induce. I had my eye pressures checked a while back and they were fine – but I didn’t again after increasing to 200mg/day.
The other thing I hadn’t realized is that Topamax seems to have been affecting my ability to develop software. You’re reading that right – it prevented me from finding the right CODE TO TYPE. I thought it was concentration issues or just the headaches in general but I think it has to do more with word association and the ability to think ahead of the code before programming it. Even a few days after being off of the Topamax I could tell something had changed and I was back to my previous performance levels of slinging out code and finding solutions to problems. I’d almost say that I’d rather deal with the cluster headaches than not have the ability to be a software engineer.
Anyone else have this type of experience?
I’m usually not overly sensitive to scents/sprays. However, I have found automated air fresheners in bathrooms contains some of the most potent, eye-burning scents known to man. A particular bathroom at the school I go to has four of these babies in the room all firing every 15 minutes or so. Walking in that bathroom is like walking into a French whore house. Horrible.
Today I was in the restroom at work washing my hands and I looked up. What did I see? One of those evil machines staring at me with its single eye of death spray. I thought to myself, you need to leave now before it sprays. As I was drying my hands with my back to machine, it lets out the puff of air.
Not more than two seconds later I felt the mist hit my neck and then into my sinuses. You’d think the floral scent would be relaxing, but it’s not. I’m very lucky I didn’t get a migraine out of this experience. But now I know, the machines can read your thoughts and are as devious as those squirrels that run out in front of cars to make you swerve to miss them.
Eek, four weeks since I’ve posted something. Unfortunately, the blog has been taking the back seat to life lately…
The client I’m at didn’t renew our contract through the end of the month, so I’m heading back in the office after April 24th. I may already have another client booked but that hasn’t been finalized yet. To be a consultant on the bench isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I’m not bringing in money and it isn’t cheap to sit around doing nothing. I’m not too worried as I’m continually adding to my skills to be more of a selling point to potential clients. Enough about work.
School has been crazy, as usual. I’m looking forward to finishing at the end of this month because Tazz and I are heading to New Mexico for five days and then to San Antonio for four days. We’re going to see Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico along with the VLA (Very Large Array) near Socorro which was featured in the film Contact. San Antonio will be four days of unplanned activities, mostly sitting around relaxing with my Aunt and Grandfather. Tazz has never been to SA so he’s looking forward to it!
The household work has been a blast this spring, already. Finally got the garage door replaced and entry door removed. The chimney was falling apart and just dropped $2200 on a new liner and repair. Next up, our driveway is getting ripped out and replaced because of water issues we were having in the basement. It’s the year of repairs and I’m doing my part to stimulate the local economy. (read: sarcasm)
Starting this fall, maybe even this summer, I will be starting initial work on my iPhone application for a migraine diary. If you have interest in being part of my focus group and potentially a beta tester, let me know via a comment or send me an e-mail through my blog.
At work and at home, I frequently get distracted by noises. At work, it’s the cackling hens I’ve talked about and at home it would be the TV from another room for example. I dropped $100 on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones from audio-technica and I’m in love with them. They reduce probably half of the ambient noise around you and add a little music on top of that and you can hardly hear those distractions. When I need to really concentrate, these guys have been my saving grace. I’ve considered using them when I get a bad migraine too since you don’t have to be connected to a music source – you can just wear them.
If you don’t already know, I’m a software engineer consultant. I typically am placed at a clients’ office for three or more months at a time and typically feel like a regular employee. Being a consultant, I must accept the environment and working conditions as they are given unless of course, they are hazardous to my well-being. I’m beginning to wonder about the hazard level at my current client.
My client built out some pretty nice offices in a foundry that went out of business many years back. The building has some strange space configurations given this history and not every desk has the best view or alignment with bathroom facilities, break rooms, etc. My desk happens to be located right on a main walkway between two of the buildings this office covers. A fairly wide hallway/breezeway is about 20 feet from my desk and has a number of break room tables located in that walkway. During lunch, there is a group of ladies who get together and have a jolly old time.
They cackle like hens and it’s maddening.
I’m all for a stress-relieving lunch, but do they realize they’re smack in the middle of a business? The tall ceilings lend themselves to horrendous echoes and when all five of them get wound up in their air-raid siren guffaw, I nearly lose it. Being a consultant, I have to maintain a level of acceptance of the client, even if I don’t work with them. However, I think I will print a small sign up saying “Please be mindful – voices carry!” or something neutral of the sort. They have plastic sign holders for announcements and it would look professional enough. But a part of me wants to throw my desk chair at them. It doesn’t help when I have a migraine and music hurts my ears. I should record them sometime so you can get the full effect.
Seems like I’m on a three week schedule for updating my blog. The blog has taken somewhat of a back seat since other things have been taking my attention.
Camping this past weekend at KOA in Wisconsin Dells was great. The cabin was cozy, the people very friendly, and the weather beyond awesome. It put a nice end to the summer season! This is actually my favorite time of the year, with the trees turning colors and the air a bit chilly at night. The trees just started to turn in our area and soon we’ll be left with the grey skeletons of branches. Of course, not soon after those grey skeletons turn white in winter with all of the snow. That’s fun too!
School has turned out to be manageable this semester. My Monday night class is a lot of work and the four person team only has myself and one other person doing any work. It sucks how inexperienced the other two guys are and I wouldn’t complain if this were an undergrad degree. Master’s degree implies a level of knowledge on the applied level. I shouldn’t have to teach people concepts that I learned during my Associate’s Degree schooling.
The new client at work has been good so far. I am busy all day long and have very little time to goof off. I’m learning a lot as well and finally applying my schooling to my job. My previous jobs and clients were technical in nature but in reality all revolving around non-software engineering positions. I’m finally designing applications and also implementing those designs. Fun, yes, but exhausting.
My Grandather is coming up from Texas this coming weekend to visit mainly my parents, but also my brother and I. He’s in the dark about me being gas, but he’s a smart guy and probably knows. He knows Tazz is a friend at least and he’ll be with me when we go up this weekend. I think it’s good that Tazz get to know my Grandfather a little bit since it explains a lot about my father. 😉
I’m hosting a carnival next month – topic is art inspired by migraines. I’ll post more on it later.