All the pretty pills

I added a new Page on here to show my updated list of regular meds, not including the ones I am on for my short 21 drug trial with the neuro.


There are certain migraine related blogs I follow and there are days I will hit them all to check out what is going on in the inner universe of other people's migraine afflicted mind.  Well, because I have some time on my hands, I've been blog reading and it has come to my attention that some of my favs are stagnant.  Whether this is because blogging is no longer an interest to them or they have an awesome migraine treatment and therefore nothing migraine related to say, I am not sure.  But it is wierd.  Nonetheless, I am going to have to cull them from my blog roll cause I keep clicking on them... but they will be replaced by other new and interesting blogs I locate.

Feel free to mention some.  Also feel free to mention some philosophy sites, since I check those out in my other blog.  I admit I like to blog, as it is a link to others with the same interests... so I have my main blog which is all funny pics, home pics and interesting science or phil stuff, then there is my creative writing blog which is all about writing, obviously.  But I will always be the Brainless Blogger simply because this would be my most active blog.

Day Ten of migraine treatment

Yesterday I experienced some wierd dizziness and vertigo all day and I know this is from the calcium channel blocker.  They always have some odd effect on my heart rate and blood pressure because they are designed for people with high blood pressure and mine has always been low or low normal.  Yesterday I clocked in at 108/65.  So that is a bit low, but not much lower than it usually is for me.  My heart rate was 85, and that is around where it usually is (wheras Inderal and other beta blockers make it go down to a fainting 50... but then those are not recommended for asthama)  So I figure once I finish the house work and spring cleaning assault I am engaged in I will chill for the last week, see if that helps a bit.

I am just doing some general house cleaning today, that maintence stuff.  Which is nice and mellow.  Also works for me because I have that nasty nerve pain in my feet again.  I am told this nerve pain could be from FMS (Yippeeee) or from the interesting relation between migraine triggers and FMS triggers, thus one amps up the pain of the other, which is possible given that is why my migraines are complicated and do not respond well to treatment.  That is a bit of a drag because while people can try going to a chiropractor or message therapy for migraines, it is not recommended for migraines with FMS since when treating FMS you have to be very careful not to make things worse.  Now for nerve pain, in my feet or wrists, there is literally nothing that can be done, except the exact same preventative meds for migraines because usually a preventative is set asside for migraines because it also works for nerve pain.  It is a real drag, as in I am always dragging my feet.  Yep, my bf calls me 'shuffles'.  Not like I am rushing to get anwhere anyway! 

Now for the real drag... I am not sure this treatment is actually doing what my neuro anticipated.  Not that it did not stop the status migraine, because it did, but it has not eliminated the migraines for the duration either, so not reseting my brain as he said.  I have been keeping track and not sure why I should bother because it looks like this:

Day 1- migraine all day, still status
Day 2- like day 1
Day 3- like day 1 & 2
Day 4- headache all day, very pulsing but not what I would call a migraine
Day 5- moderate migraine
Day 6- migraine, responded well to triptan, headache at night
Day 7- headache in evening, difficult to sleep
Day 8- 4am migraine 8 on my migraine scale, but responded well to triptan, went back to sleep and was gone when I woke
Day 9- headache at night.

Sooooo.... no pain free days in the head department.  Has there been an overall decrease in intensity, for sure.  Have I been able to function and get some things done, definately.  Is this due to the meds or the fact I am not forced to confront triggers all day with a migraine... no freakin idea, my friends.

I am still liking the idea of a chemically induced coma... wonder if my neuro would go for that?

Lets see the world through rose colored glasses

I was reading a question on a message board regarding the possibility of red tinted glasses helping with migraines.  The idea is that it is filtered out the color spectrum that would flare a migraine from photosensitivity.  The idea quite intrigued me and not just because I thought getting myself some red tinted round hippy glasses and having a legitimate excuse to wear them was awesome.  The idea is interesting because I have heard it mentioned that yellow tinted glasses help with night blindness.  Certain sunglasses help me during the day as in it reduces the pain and also filters out the visual snow sparkles I see.  So of course it would be interesting to see if other tints might refine this.  Turns out it is something that people are researching and patients are using.  I find the most references howver to a particular rose tint in glasses and a red tint in contacts.

Moran Eye Center

Red tinted contact lenses

From what I understand the idea is to get the proper coloring and to have your lenses properly made... you can't just go out and get red hippy glasses.  I know that I will be getting these glasses the next time I go and get a new pair of specs... since I think this light tint would be great for the workplace given I highly doubt my employer would consider getting rid of florecent lights.

Why Light Makes Migraines Worse-  It is interesting to note that all the research I have encountered regarding tinted specs and migraines refers to the evils of blue light.

Migraine treatment Day 7

There is little difference so far, but I have been doing some spring cleaning and that makes me happy.  Household chores rather get left behind when you have chronic migraines... since that whole work thing sucks the life right out of you so that by the time you get home, into the blessed confinement of a dark house, you just want to sleep or lay comotose and feel free to be in pain and not do anything.  Oh, you notice all the things that need to be done and they mock you with there damned un-done-ness, but ever tried cleaning a bathtub with a migraine?  I would not recommend trying.  You will not suceed.  So I have all this time on my hands and fewer migraines, so I have been slowly and methodically going through the house and cleaning... but also spring cleaning, as in organizing, cleaning those less daily chores and bringing things to good will.  And it makes me feel damn good that I can at least have a clean house after this break is over... even if it is a short break and in the end I will be faced with the same situation as before upon my inevitable return.

Plus I have been doing the cooking for supper... not as well as my spouse, but giving him a nice break.  Usually he does all the cooking because frankly I usually have no appitite or energy after work.... which means if I were the one tasked to it normally, we would have a whole lot of soup, which I have been known to burn.  This also makes me feel good, being able to help him out with that.

It might be that it is simply a relief from the loads of guilt I have for not being able to do what I think I should on a regular basis.

It also makes me realize how much 'functioning' with a migraine, as in going to work and such with one, takes out of me.  There is literally nothing left over.  And I do myself no favors, since working with a migraines leads to longer migraines or triggers more on a daily basis.  Being at home, even without these meds, means a) I have control over my enviroment, and light levels b) can avoid envriomental triggers c) if I get a migraine I don't have to force myself to do a thing and d) if I have a migraine I have the option of hiding in the dark and trying to rest or sleep.  All of which makes the migraines easier to treat and easier to endure.

In conclusion I have decided to develop a phobia of leaving the house.

Sometimes I feel like having a full blown regressed tantrum...

I was reminded of a post I made here and on a related migraine forum regarding driving with migraines and/or driving with migraine medication. The overwhelming response was never drive with a migraines. Frankly, I would not, if I did not have to. Case and point, now I was specifically told by my neuro not to drive on these meds for this short three week span and I am off work, so i don't need to drive. However, in what world do people live in where someone who works and has chronic migraines gets to call in sick cause they should not drive? I'd be fired by now, which is the absolute truth given how work has treated me for the relatively few absenses I have had, all things consisdered. I got the argument. I got the concerns. Still, that whole needed to pay the bills and eat thing tends to make me decide otherwise. That and with chronic pain for a couple sorts I prioritize my pain; functional pain and non-functional pain. I do all sorts of things with functional pain that I wish the hell I did not have to do, work and driving simply being two examples of such.

I won't mention that topic any further, since people get all riled up about it. But it reminds me of this work situation. The sort of threats stating I can't be sick any longer (as though I had that awesome choice) but as this necessarily means coming to work with migraines I still have to perform not just normally, but awesomely and perfectly (when I can't even speak straight). But I can't not work. Thats not an option. I can get these leaves, which give me such wonderful relief where I don't have to go out in the sun, drive, work or anything when afflicted with a migraine. But they are temporary, there is no treatment that is so awesome I will be able to return to work with only the occasional migraine. As far as I know the possibility of long term disability or permanent disability are both hard to gain and hard to get forever.

So there are literally no options for people with chronic migraines when they have to work. They have to work. It is cruel and unusual punishment in my books, but I did not write the rules. So what the hell does a person do? How do they manage to keep employment for any duration, how do they manage to limit their 'sick' days, how do they endure their suffering silently? I ask those questions more and more frequently. It is cruel to expect people in chronic pain to endure such torture for a day, let alone decades. I really want to know how the hell we are expected to do this until retirement.

I have FMS, (Fibromyalgia) and over the years as that pain got worse, and the symptoms more troublesome I adapted as best I could. It was difficult, but at least an attainable goal... that I could develop ways to cope, careers to choose and methods to limit my pain while holding down a job (not really realistic to make career goals, because the job choices become limited, but a job and preferably one I liked). People do go on permanent disability from FMS, but I always thought there were ways to not go that route and still make a living. I had that hope and I realized it, but without the hope things would have been drastically different. That is not to say it is easy or even possible for some people and flare ups of FMS are horrifically painful but thankfully short in duration (a month at the max).

This differs considerably from chronic migraines. Mostly because it is the brain we are talking about. FMS has fibro fog and memory issues, but you can adapt to that... sticky notes and such, whatever... personally I developed organizational skills I certainly had not been blessed with. With migraines the pain is situated in a location that is by nature hard to push through and ignore... it does not depend on exertion, position and so forth, plus the neurological symptoms make it that much harder to see, hear, touch, focus, remember... all that jazz. In other words there is no way to adapt in a way that enables you to function even though you have a migraine... your productivity will suffer, you will make errors. You will also be forced to take sick days when the migraine is too actute or untreatable... because you are beyond the ability to function and move. It does not matter what job you have as there are no migraine friendly jobs. There is a vast array of possible treatments (way, way more than for FMS) but the sucess rate is niether gaurenteed or down to a level that eliminates the essential problems. In other words, there is no hope that you can accomadate migraines, adapt your work methods or make compramises to cope. It is what it is. Where does that leave the chronic pain sufferer?

One chronic pain can be managed to a degree and one cannot. I knew long ago I would simply have to get used to suffering, since treatment of FMS is... lacking. Doctors are almost indifferent to its many effects. So I coped as best I could. Coping requires some give and take though... how can you cope with the possibility of simply enduring that sort of pain on a daily basis with little relief?  I mean, seriously, give me a carrot to run after.  Give me that slim hope.  Convince me there is some sort of solution at the end of the retirement rainbow even if I can never get to the end of the rainbow.

I guess one way to cope is to not think about the future at all... way too depressing.

Day Four of neuro drug treatment

I was not feeling bad at all today. I slept till two in the afternoon, tidied up the house a wee bit, read a little, wrote a little and cooked supper. And I had no migraine at all. Feel a bit stoned, but not so bad as I can't do things... except drive and so forth. I did get a sort of pressure headache, which I think might be a side effect since I was also a bit dizzy, but by no means a bad headache.

Day Three of Neuro treatment.

I still believe a nice chemcially induced coma would be the most effective thing for me. This drug protocal my neuro has me on for the next three weeks sounded intense, but has not really phased me. The calcium channel blocker will need a little time to kick in for sure, so in the long run this might work well, but in the short run no noticable difference. I have had a migraine for the last three days and have had an erratic sleeping pattern. The tanquilizer he has me on does have a dopey sort of effect on me, which can induce long naps, but does not help me sleep through the night. The migraine on the other hand has not been constant, which is good, but I am not sure if I should be treating it aggressively or waiting for the meds he put me on to do something.

Day 1: three week neuro drug treatment

So my doctor has me on a calcium channel blocker and a tranquilizer. The tranquilizer is usually used for siezures, but then what is a migraine if not overly excited neural activity? I will be on this for three weeks in order to 'reset' my brain and hopefully get me out of this migraine cycle. Fact is, I tend to get stuck in daily migraines about every two years no matter what treatment I am on, to the point I can't even tell if the new preventatives they put me on even do anything. So this is an interesting little trial for me.

Day one was interesting. I took the first dose and thought I feel a wee bit mellow but not nearly as sleepy as the doc said I would be. Then I felt a little zoned out. So I thought maybe I should take a little nap, which turned out to be a five hour nap. Which is totally fine by me, I need the sleep. I do have a migraine today, which I did little for because the sleep means I am not suffering the pain as much. The treatment is by no means making me a zombie, just mellow and sleepy, which means I should be able to do some things during my little work holiday. That was day one; sleep, watched a movie and read a bit and now will go back to sleep.

Saved by the neuro...

I discussed my situation with my neuro today and he was totally cool about. That is the awesome thing about a neuro who gets migraines and therefore gets migraines. He was willing to help me with the medical accomadation and perhaps I will need that, but he has a better idea first. He is putting me on a three week intense drug protocal that will involve a type of tranqulizer and a calcium blocker to basically dull those neurons down, shut down the pain and give us a nice blank slate to start off with again. I will be a zombie for the entire time and will sleep a great deal, but I am really looking forward to it. If it can knock me out of this pain cycle I will do a feakin happy dance. A month is not that much to lose, considering a lose that much in days with migraines every day... can't remember a thing. And a month loss of work will not be that bad, I won't miss much and should be able to just jump back into things. So I will start this as soon as I get the go ahead for short term leave, which should be tommorow. Then when the three weeks of treatment is done, another apt with the neuro to decide where we go from there depending on the sucess. He also changed my triptan, which hopefully will be one without the lung related side effects.

Frankly this came just in time. As is my tendancy, I tend to down play the amount of pain I am in. For a number of reasons. It makes it easier to pretend I am okay, which makes it easier for others. It makes me less emotional about my situation, because acknowledging out loud how much suffering I am, makes me rather emotional. It ensures doctors do not think I am exaggerated or whatever, because doctors tend to think that way sometimes, or they think we are drug seekers... whatever. And you just get used to lying when you have chonic pain, because no one wants to know how you really feel. Unfortunately, that means I do not tend to be bluntly honest when I need to. I tend to say I am doing fine or trying out such and such, because I don't want to say how bad it is lest it effect my job or make me look like I am whinning. I want to believe and make myself believe that if I push through the pain for a bit, it will get better. And it never does, and sometimes waiting is a bad thing to do. The pain was getting to me big time. So this is awesome.

The irony of it is this: my boss treats me like shit, drags me into work and tries to make me stay there. Causing a staff member to be concerned and telling to call HR. I call HR and explain and they suggest an accomadion package and I make a neuro appointment. I go to the neuro and we decided on a month leave and maybe an acomadation package as well. So the boss wants to make me work and what she gets is no me for a month and less of me after. Thats what happens when you push trully ill people, who damn well know they can get leave any time they needed it. And I if that had not happened, I would not have thought to another leave, only phoned my neuro to try another preventative. So she in effect caused my leave by trying to force me into work. Poetic.

I can't believe what I heard at work today

Apparently that day I was in tears at work, in so much pain and so much despair, because my boss cut me to the wick with that phone conversation I had gone into work. Feeling like I had no choice, which severely depressed me, feeling trapped in my pain and no options. That is bad enough, legally you cannot force an employee with a valid medical reason to come in to work. She pushed it there, really pushed it.

Then when i came in, in obvious distress it was not like she sent me home. In fact I was told the boss lady told the supervisor, before the boss lady left herself, not to let me go home. That is definitely illegal. That is cruel to make someone suffer so. And it totally pisses me off she did. Thank goodness one of my co-workers got me to call HR so I could go to the hospital.

I would have continued to suffer and go to work as much as humanly possible, which benefits everyone but me, if she had not acted like this. I realize I must do the formal work up again, to have a paper trail to protect me. By doing this my doctor may cut my work time down, he may send me on leave... so maybe they should have just had a freakin bit of sympathy for my distress that day. My god, to know she was willing to make me stay under those conditions? I could have had a stroke, of passed out, or had a damned nervous break down... and they would be liable because they made me come in and made me stay. So I have no sympathy for them if my docs cut my hours. I will take care of my health first, lest I bloodly well ruin in by coming in when I should not. That day another employee called in sick with no problemo. So that is bias, since I have a medical condition they knew of years ago.

I came close to ruin my health to get to work as much as I have. I came in with brutal migraines and struggled through. I took my triptans too many days in a row, which causes shortness of breath, chest pain, a feeling your throat is closing up and wheezing... then I tried not taking it but since I did not take of the day it was brutal (not that I would have succeeded anyway) the migraine went full status migraine. I kept trying the triptan and then my symptoms got worse. Not only some erratic heart beats and chest pain, but I kept tasting copper in my mouth and was spitting out blood, cough some too... freakin spitting up blood for christ sakes and I still was going in. Given I do that and suffer immensely by going in, screw my health right up to go in, you'd think I would freakin earn a sick day for a bloody status migraine.

I got my neuro appointment tomorrow and I will see what he says. I must not underestimate things, because it is bad.

For a moment I thought I killed the beast, but

It came back with a roar. My doctor had given my a script for something to help me sleep in addition to the sleeping pill, but I can only take it on weekends because it is hard to shake off. However, getting a really good nights sleep is one way to kill a migraine. And it seemed to work. I felt some very mild pain, like I could feel where the core of the migraine was, but it did not hurt that much. So all of Saturday was rather good. Today not so much. I tried my abortive and nothing. Reduced, again, to tramacet which really does not do much. Still having troubles hearing out of my left ear, except of course for a high pitched ringing. And still having some intense double vision. Is this the worst migraine ever? No. But it is a killer one, just when I did not need them.

I am anxious about going in to work Monday, so that does not help. I feel like I will be attacked for missing a day. I am also anxious about asking for an accomadation package for health related reasons, where work would have to make arrangements to accomadate my health problems. First, I don't like doing this because it really finalizes that I am not doing well when I was rather hoping to fake it until things got better. Secondly, the boss lady is not going to like it. So all that just sucks.

Not sure what to do about this status migraine now

I tried my triptan on days 1-4, I used tramecet for the pain when they did not work. I went to the ER and got the toradol. I tried out sleeping it. It is still going strong. I don't want to use anything else, lest I make it worse. So just waiting and waiting for some improvement.

I had one hell of a bad day

This story begins with a migraine, as most of my stories do on this blog. It is a status migraine... a battle that has been ongoing since monday. Monday it began, it was treated and I functioned. Tuesday I woke up with it, it was killer, I was late to work and suffered all day long. Wednesday it was still kicking, took two abortives and kept it medium grade. Today I gave up, since nothing was working anymore and tried to call in sick.

I called in sick. My manager called me back and the conversation was pretty much all on her side, since I could say nothing.

1) I have missed 13 days this year, which is likely true so I can't argue with that. It is three times as many as any other two employees combined... can't argue with that, cause unless they have an unmanaged chronic condition there would be no valid readon to miss that many days.

2) My customers depend on me... I sure to some extent they do.

3) My collegues depend on me and take over my work load when I am not there... yeah, as if I did not feel guilty enough about that.

4) She can't keep defending me... she's defending me? Sounds more like threats and ultimatums.

5) I can't miss more days... I know... tell my brain.

6) I need to make lifestyle changes... sure, cause my lifestyle is the reason why I have migraines. Cause it's my fault then, if I don't change.

Ergo, therefore, thusly... I went in. I went in extremely upset and in loads of pain. That is just how I want my coworkers to see me... so upset I can't stop weeping but can't talk about it or I will just start crying a river. That was just awesome. One by one all my coworkers told me to go home, that I could not work like that, that management could not make me. I said I had no choice, which is what it felt like. Finally one coworker insisted I call HR and talk to them, on the record and ask them. It was nice to have the HR lady tell me flat out I cannot be fired for sick days, that there are no adverse consequences to taking them, needing them or getting accomadation for an illness. She recommended first that I request an accomadation package and take it to my doctor. She said if I needed to go to the hospital to just go. So I did. And I still feel crappy about leaving. And I feel crappy about being emotional in front of others.

The ER is always an adventure best avoided. It took five hours of my life. Bright lights, uncomfortable beds and me in abject misery. Emotionally I was miserbale and physically I was in extreme pain. But ER doctors are not neurologists... they have one battle plan for migraines and it only works 30% of the time with status migraines, on me anyways. Toradol, which I can't take by pill, but can through the IV. It kinda worked, in the sense it knocked the pain from a 8 to a 6, for a little bit. Enough to calm me down anyway. Enough to get me home. Migraine is still there, hovering around a 6 to 7 depending on postion and movement. I always expect the ER to kill a migraine, but they don't, but at least there is a little relief. Although the real reason I went to the extent of going there, knowing they are never all that helpful, was because my triptan usage is causing chest pain, shallow breathing and spitting up blood. They did not do anything about that, so I have no idea if I should not use them, or just hold off a day or so, so that my lungs can recover. I should probally care about that... but I don't. I'll mention it to my neuro when I get a hold of him.

So thus was my crappy day from hell. Granted the only one that made me feel like shit was my boss, but she did a fine job of it and at a time when four days of solid migraines put me in 'that' fragile emotional state.
And I still feel like shit.

Stressed at work? I am. Try this visualization tecnique

Just in case you are having a rough day, here is a stress management Technique used traditionally in Sicily. The funny thing is that it Really does work.

1. Picture yourself lying on your belly on a warm rock that hangs out Over a crystal clear stream.

2. Picture yourself with both your hands dangling in the cool running Water.

3. Birds are sweetly singing in the cool mountain air.

4. No one knows your secret place.

5. You are in total seclusion from that hectic place called the world.

6. The soothing sound of a gentle water fall fills the air with a Cascade of serenity.

7. The water is so crystal clear that you can easily make out the face of the person you are holding underwater.

There!! See? It really does work. You're smiling already. Feel free to forward this if you know others who might benefit from this technique.

I would love to just redirect you to the new site...

But sadly the redirect function doesn't function. I will continue to persist hitting it and see if it will eventually do something. Or s...