Monday, January 10, 2005

Weekend Update #3 [belated]: Head Explosions

Home. Sick. Not homesick, that's different. (Mermaid Girl says she's "carsick" when she's sick and tired of being in the car, which can make a person kind of panicky until we remember what she means.) On the one hand? Stomach flu sucks. On the other hand? The worst of it was over last night, and now I get to stay home and munch crackers and write.

I've been meaning to do a head-explosion update for some time, but have been putting it off because it's pretty anti-climatic. But several people expressed concern, and I didn't want you to worry.

A quick recap for new readers (hi, new readers!) and everyone else who has other things to do besides keeping up with the minutiae of my life:

A few months ago, I started getting weird, seemingly random, seemingly allergic reactions involving my head turning bright red and feeling like it was about to explode. Mostly at work, but not all the time. Eventually I went to an allergist, who ordered blood samples taken next time I had an episode. So I got the blood work done, and waited. And waited.

Finally I called the allergist and they called me back to say the results were negative, I appear not to be allergic to anything, I should see an... what's it called if you have a thyroid disorder? Endocrinologist, maybe? Well, I should see one of those. I haven't, yet.

In the meantime, I remembered something one of my co-workers said, back when my exciting reactions first appeared and were the talk of the staff room, about how she was flushing (that's apparently the technical term, and isn't it lovely?) a lot when she first started taking niacin. I've been taking niacin for several months on my doctor's advice as a cholesterol-lowering thing. So as an experiment, I just stopped taking it after my last episode, in late November. And I haven't had a head-explosion since.

I know, I know, I should let my doctor know I've stopped and get on something else to lower my cholesterol. And I will, soon. And I'm not sure why the episodes only started in October when I'd been taking niacin for some time before that. The human body is a strange thing, is all I can conclude.

It does continually amaze me, how much doctors don't know, or don't think about. I mean, my own doctor prescribed the niacin, and if I heard about the connection with flushing in a casual staff-room conversation then she must have known about it, but she didn't say anything about it when I went to her about my episodes. Maybe she's not very good? Or maybe, like with everything else, there's so much to keep track of that she can't remember everything.

P.S. Yesterday's blog-whoring self-promotional post garnered so many votes that I am repeating it:

If you are so inclined, I'd be happy if you'd vote for Travels in Booland in the Best of Blogs awards. You can vote every day between now and January 17th (Not January 14th as originally reported). That's seven more days. If ten people voted for seven days, I could be in, like, sixth place!*

*That is, if the other LBGT finalists got no votes between now and the 17th. Which isn't likely, especially since several of them are way entertaining. But vote anyway, go ahead. And then go vote in some of the other categories, too.


Blogger Kate R said...

Do feel better soon.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Kate R said...

ha! I gave myself a title -- you can see it if you look at the little display above that last entry. MY spanglermonkey's on Permanent Display.

hey, is it just me or am I posting here often enough to qualify as a spammeister? [Need any debt consolidation? how's about some online gaming?]

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must've missed that part about the niacin when you were talking about your head explosions. It will DEFINATLY do that. My friends and I used to slip it to each other as a joke when we were younger so we could see someone suddenly turns as red as a tomato. Plus, we found that continued use stopped the effect and made it more random.

I hope you feel better!!!

That Girl at

2:18 AM  
Blogger RHD said...

If you find you *really* do need to take the niacin, then make sure your stomach is FULL (not just "oh, yeah I kinda ate most of a bagel..."), and take the lowest dosage you can get away with.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Udge said...

Glad to hear that your head has stopped exploding, those episodes were not pretty. There are plenty of other ways to reduce cholesterol, changing your diet for instance, or exercise. But please do tell the doctor.

Re blogwhoring: I voted for you. So should I ever be nominated for something other than "doing the job everybody else has an excuse to avoid", you owe me one.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Really glad to hear the blood work came back okay! Whew...was worrying about that one.

6:46 PM  

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