Friday, July 20, 2012

NDPH--a question and an update

I received a question through the blog the other day regarding my NDPH. I realized that I had not written about my affliction since October last year after being diagnosed with the syndrome during September last year.

I was afraid to write about it.

NDPH is new daily persistent headache. It is a headache which is always there and varies in intensity from annoying to incapacitating.

I was blessed with the more annoying part of the spectrum of NDPH. Most days I could function at near 95 percent capacity. I was learning to live with it and trying not to let it affect my life. I chose not to make my blog a litany of things that NDPH prevented me from doing or ways my life and relationships were impacted by the affliction.

I did a lot of research on the web and read about many of the sufferers of NDPH who were incapacitated by the affliction--and I thanked God for being one of the luckier ones.

When I received the "official" diagnosis from the neurologist, he believed that my symptoms would likely go away at some point. Whether they would return was an unanswerable question.

I began watching my diet to determine what aggravated the headaches--chocolate seemed to help and wine deadened the pain.  I began getting regular massages--which I still continue. But I never found a magical direct link.

And then--one day during December, I woke up and noticed that my headaches were gone and had been gone for a couple of days. While I clearly remember when the headache came upon me it is funny that it took a day or two for me to realize it was gone.

I was, as I wrote, afraid.

Afraid it would return--so I didn't tell anyone. But funny thing, the important people in my life--Chris, my wife; my family; and co-workers all noticed and asked me if the headaches were gone. While  I had believed that they were not affecting me much, clearly, they were since so many people noticed the change.

As I write this, I continue to be cautiously optimistic.  My NDPH remains in remission. I don't know why except that I have been richly blessed. My heart goes out to all of those who continue to suffer and while I never had to bear the burden that many of them do, I know that they are truly suffering and that it is easy to run out of hope--because the headache is always there.

Thank you, Hilary, whoever you are for asking the question in my blog two days ago. You have helped to remind me how richly blessed I have been and I pray that you too, find relief from the persistent headache. I wish that I could give you some formula for success--but as you probably already know--there isn't one.

I thank God for my healing.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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