We’re wrapping up our visit to Sierra Vista today. We’ll be checking out a couple small outlying areas as well.
Tomorrow we’re off to Tuscon.
We’re 4000 ft. higher in elevation here than we are back home. Some residence mentioned the change really affected them. One lady said she felt like she was having a heart attack for the first two years she lived here. Perhaps the change in altitude becomes more significant the longer you’re here, but so far neither Scott nor I have had any problems. We both occasionally feel the need to take a deeper breath, but I put that down to all the walking we’re doing. All in all, we both adjusted very well to this area.
We’re keeping a log on my health and the affects the change in climate are having on my headaches. To be honest, I haven’t noticed a significant change yet. I’m hovering around a 3 most days, with worsening to a 5 occasionally. Scott says he can tell a huge difference. Mostly in my behavior.
Scott says I am often quick to ask to leave somewhere because the headaches worsen when I’m not able to do my usual stuff (like my go-to: distraction by making something). He mentioned in both Bisbee and Tombstone, I was okay while we were there. I was able to walk all day, I was polite and courteous to everyone (sometimes I am abrupt when the pain is bad), I asked questions and retained the answers. (Which is a significant problem. When the headaches are bad I lose my short-term memory. When they’re really bad, I lose days.) Scott says he hasn’t noticed me rubbing my head and face, which I guess I do when the headaches worsen. I wasn’t aware of that. He also said my eyes are clear and bright. He noticed my eyes are more focused and I’m able to follow things, rather than turning my whole head to see something. And I am turning my neck much easier too. (I have significant arthritis in my neck and spine.) All in all, he’s very pleased with the signs he’s seeing.
That’s wonderful. I hope we have a clear indication the symptoms are greatly improved. They will never go away completely. That’s not even a goal for me and my doctors. We’re just hoping to lessen them and improve my quality of life.
My neurologist says he’s only seen one other person like me in all his years in practice. For people like me, with unremitting headaches (there’s a name for this type of problem, but I forget what it is right now) which are resistant to all forms of treatment, the goal is incremental improvement. For example, if this medication gives me 3% relief, and this one gives me 4% relief, and this treatment gives me 15% relief, and this other one gives me 10% relief-it adds up to 32% which is a significant amount of pain relief. We’re not there yet, obviously, but we are hopeful there will be great improvement. My personal goal is 40% improvement. My neurologist thinks he can do better than that. But since I’ve been living with this for 35 years, I won’t hold my breath.
So far, Arizona is a good thing.