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Showing posts from June, 2010

Visual Auras are fun

I was sitting outside watching my cats on their harness.  And my perlonged aura was particularly intense, all those sparkles of white seemed more like worms of light.  Then I looked at the ground and it was shimmering.

I said to spouse, "How hot is it out here?  I can see the heat from the sidewalk."
He looks.  "I don't see anything."
"It is simmering, like a wave."
"Ah, just me then."

Ah, yes the joys of seeing my brain playing visual tricks on me.  Verification from another is one way to tell it is read though.

The visual snow is a prolonged aura I have had for a long time.  But I still get other more common ones that occur prior to a migraine like they should, and this was was just that.  We got a thunder boomer later and I had a whopping migraine.

Neural Acitivity and that Brain thing....

The daily migraine :

"The American Headache Society is reporting new research showing that migraineurs have abnormal neural activity all the time, not just when we’re having a migraine attack.   In particular, this research reports abnormally excited activity in the parts of the brain responsible for sight and vision. Some have speculated that this may be why bright lights and loud noises are the most common migraine triggers — the idea, I suppose, is that if those parts of the brain are overexcited already, then it is more likely that stimulating them even more will cause an attack."
Yes, we have abnormally excited brains all the time, folks. Which unfortunately does not mean we will exhibit any benefits from this, like spontaneous brilliance or awesome eureka moments. Which I think is rather unfair of my brain... if it all excited, then it should at least put that activity to good use. The fact that one of those areas of the extra always excited part of for vision does not …

Negative Childhood Experiences Linked to Headaches, Migraines

Negative Childhood Experiences Linked to Headaches, Migraines

I am not so sure I like this connection or what it entails. It makes it seem like the trauma of childhood causes migraines, which means if you see the local shrink and discuss your issues you will be cured!

But in the sense that any trauma we suffer in childhood trains us how to deal with the world and it trains our brains as well.

I come from a divorced family, but I would not call that a trauma... unless over 50% of divorced couples have kids with migraines. I have also seen my fair share of unwanted sexual advances when I was younger, but while disturbing, in my case not enough to say traumatized by it.

I am a firm believer that childhood sets how we respond to stress, sets a habit that we follow into adulthood, even if the methods no longer fit. But we are as malleable as our brains and the past does not dictate future behavior.

Work gives me migraine... litterally

Today I did not wake up with a migraine, which is awesome and really I would say to that drug treatment my neuro had me on.  Maybe it was not a blaring success, but it has seemed to kick the morning migraines.  So that's all good. 

So it is about 11 am and I get a headache and some nausea and some pretty sparkling lights and a wee bit of virtigo.  But it stay like that till about 4pm and then I felt like my left eye was going to pop it hurt so much and this twisty coiled pain in the left side every time I moved.  So I took my abortive and now I just have a headache.

And it is only Monday.

Good God... this week is going to blow.

At least being the proactive person I pretend to be... I did submit my HR form to the boss lady and we will see where she goes with that.

Had a chat with the boss lady

I suggested a partial work from home and work in the office method to help me cope and treat my migraines effectively, not requiring to work less, just in different locations.  She does not think the area manager will go for it.  She says she does not think it 'works for the position I hold.'  This ticked me off because many large companies have ways to help their chronically ill staff remain productive and work from home, and our company has staff that work from home anyway, so it is feasible and it makes sense.  I said I did not think the company effectively manages disabled employees and she repied they do, just 'physically disabled'... and that made me realize she does not understand the scope of my condition because I have an 'invisible' disability.  But if I had a limp or something, sure they could help out.  So obviously it is going to be tricky to handle the situation.  But just as obviously other location likely have employees with similiar situations.…

I've got an idea...

Yes, I got an idea.  Occasionally the brainless blogger gets bouts of thinking, but I tend to kill them with bouts of migraines.  I was thinking about work and the guilt I get for everytime I can't get into work.  So I thought why not ask management if I can work from home part of the time, and just come into the office for paper work and late appointments?  Doesn't that make more sense then calling in sick and having to cancel all my appointments?  A lot of my appontment work can be done over the phone or email, all my work on a portable lap top and then closing appointments in the office. 

I doubt they will go for it, but it really would work out so much better for me.  So I think I am going to approach the area manager about it and see what she thinks.  I want to be clear with her that I am a disabled employee and since the company says they hire and make accomadations for disabled people why have I not been treated so.  I got a demontion and snarkiness last time I returne…

Man was I ever sick today....

Maybe I had a weather trigger migraine since a strom blew on in.  All I know is that I got very sick, then shaky, then dizzy.  I almost passed out.  My entire vision became obscured and I tried to go sit down, knocking into things and tripping over cats... just made it before I passed out.  And the ringing in my ears was crazy loud.

Passing out from a migraine always freaks me out, because you never really know what caused you to pass out.  Considering how my vision just went like that, and is still blurry, I kind of worry about things like a stroke.  All I could think about at the time was making it to the couch before I lost consciousness, which I knew was going to happen.  When I get all sick to my stomach as well as clammy, thats a sign right there.  I did not expect my vision to go like that, or the problems walking, but likely was just fainting more slowly than usual.

Not sure if these are funny ha ha or funny hee hee

A man goes to the doctor with a long history of migraine headaches. When the doctor does his history and physical, he discovers that the poor guy has tried practically every therapy known to man for his migraines and STILL no improvement.

"Listen," says the doc, "I have migraines, too and the advice I'm going to give you isn't really anything I learned in medical school, but it's advice that I've gotten from my own experience. When I have a migraine, I go home, get in a nice hot bathtub, and soak for a while. Then I have my wife sponge me off with the hottest water I can stand, especially around the forehead. This helps a little. Then I get out of the tub, take her into the bedroom, and even if my head is killing me, I force myself to have sex with her. Almost always, the headache is immediately gone. Now, give it a try, and come back and see me in six weeks."
Six weeks later, the patient returns with a big grin. "Doc! I took your advice and it…

Hmmm... I seem to have lost my sense of humour

Not entirely, obviously.  I'm a goofy person.  But at work, yep, its gone.  It had been a fine part of my facade to laugh things off, but since my break and the way management handled things, I just can't seem to do it.  It is hardly funny to be working with migraines after all.  I don't feel like pretending that it is right now.  As a result my facade is still intact (no screaming in agony or ranting as of yet), but it is a more stoic or bland facade.  And a befuddled one as well, since I am out of practice with the whole concentrating while in pain bit.  Anyway, stoic bland me is not as fun as cracking jokes me, not even for me.  Although when asked how I am feeling and I reply with a "not bad" no one believes me, as well they should not, since I am lying.  Not much of a facade if no one buys it though.  Ah, well, such is life.  Which goes to show you, if work was not such torture it would be fun.

Back to work?

So my leave is over and I'm going back to work tomorrow.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get a hold of my nuero so don't know what his intentions are.  No matter what his decision is, I am supposed to have documentation of it, so technically I should not be working as he is supposed to sign off on that.  However, I don't think he is going to recommend more time off, given it is not like it does anything except give me a nice pain break.  And I figure if he recommends a temporary reduction in my hours then its fine to be back at work for that. 

I am not exactly looking forward to the return really.  It will be nice to get back into the flow of working, but I just really don't want to deal with the loads of extra pain daily.  I feel too cranky with how management handled the situation to just suffer in silence.

Hmmm.... I am truly aiming for brainless apparently.

Both the frequency of Migraine attacks and the length of history of Migraines are indicators for brain damage in Migraine.

Attack frequency and disease duration have an influence on brain structure and integrity in Migraineurs.

Migraineurs with higher frequency of Migraine attacks showed abnormalities in both white matter and grey matter of the brain.

The frontal lobe was shown to be one of the most prominent areas of brain abnormalities in Migraineurs.

High frequency of Migraine attacks or a long history of the disease might contribute to accumulating brain damage due to the repetitive occurrence of pain-related processes, thus making Migraine a progressive disease.

The bottom line here is that this study provides evidence that frequent Migraines and having had Migraines for longer than 15 years significantly increases our risk for brain damage. This provides more evidence that Migraine is indeed a progressive brain disease. It is also of significance that Migraine is repeatedl…

What a pain in the neck!

This study found neck pain to be a "common and integral" symptom of Migraine. Since nausea has been so widely published an discussed as a symptom of Migraine, indeed even listed in the International Headache Society's ICHD-II, it's somewhat surprising that the study found neck pain to be more common during Migraine than nausea. (Migraine Connect) Certainly neck pain is a more common symptom for me than nausea.  Back in the day I had a big issue with migraine nausea, but thankfully, it is not as common as it once way.  Neck pain though is conistent.  It can actually become quite chronic, such that the pain radiates down into the shoulders and arms.  Not fun at all.  I had always assumed it was simply due to the fact when we are in pain we naturally tense up, but maybe there are other factors involved in this.  Which likely makes massage therapy or a chiro a good option for those of us with chronic migraines.

Unless you are also one of us with FMS as well... in which …

Migraine pictures....

Normally I would say it would be difficult for someone else to tell I was having a migraine, but actually you can tell... it shows around the eyes, it looks like you've had no sleep and maybe are sick or something. So I guess that explains how people sometimes say they can tell I have a migraine by my eyes.

This was taken today. I had a migraine from the moment I woke up. The triptan knocked it down enough that I felt I could go to my mom's birthday dinner and really did not want to miss it. Still, I looked rough and the migraine really did not go away.

Waiting on the neuro...

Left a message for my neuro to call me back and i don't want to call work until I talk to him.  I have no idea what he is going to recommend, but as it stands when i return to work it will be the same old same.  I have such a nasty migraine right now too, but not continuous from yesterday, this one started around 7pm.


Your MIDAS Score is 133
Your score indicates a Grade IV Severe disability
We recommend that you go to see your doctor about your headaches if you are not already doing so. MIDAS test Migraine disability assessment test.  And here I thought  i was using a lower estimate, since clearly when I work I do not do 90% of the housework and miss 100% of any social events.  Go figure.  Can't get more severely disabled than that.  Given I did do a lower estimate and got that score, I have to wonder if anyone with chronic migraines would not be classified as severely disabled on this test... given I think it is a score of 21 that shows that (21?  what the hell?)

Neuro treatment is complete

So that treatment of calcium blockers and tranquilizers is complete and it was not very sucessful.  It was partly successful, so that was nice, just not as much as he or I anticipated.  It has been so very nice to be at home when in pain though and while I still have a week left of my leave, I dread going back.  It is not that I do not enjoy my job, cause I do, and it is not only that things have been hard for me with management coming down on me, which is true, but it is just a matter of realizing how much trying to function under that much pain makes me oblivious to all other things and incapable of doing anything.

Anyway, today was the first day off those drugs and I had a very sharp piercing migraine in celebration of that.  But, at least I get to take my sleeping pill tonight and so at least I will get a good nights rest.

Wii workout this weekend...

Maybe for normal people playing the Wii for a bit is not a workout.  Well they can suck it because to me, it is.  I woke up rather sore this morning from playing Mario cart and Mario Olympics.  And, yeah, my arms hurt from vigirously moving the controller up and down to make my character run faster, but also my back for some reason.  Likewise, last week when I did some Wii bowling my lower back was sore.  And so it is that the Wii works more muscles than you think.  Plus it is wicked fun.

National Headache Awareness week

I am celebrating this headache awareness week with a hormonally trigger migraine.  Yipeee. 

However, to promote awareness I will promote this awesome migraine book.....Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need to Know  If you don't have it yet... I would get it.  Teri Roberts is a migraine guru.

Women and our hormones...

Such fun it is.  PMS- premenestral syndrome.  Yep, a syndrome all its own that women all over the world share the monthly glory of.  Who doesn't enjoy a little bit of bloating?  Or breast tenderness and seemingly increasing a cup size for a week?  Throw in some headaches, fatigue, insomnia, irritibility and general mood swings and we are ready to party.

PMS means:

1) Psychotic Mood Shift
2) Potential Murder Suspect
3) People Make me Sick
4) Provide Me with Sweets
5) Pardon My Sobbing
6) Permanent Migraine Stage

Yes, the hormonal migraine trigger.  Ever predicable.  Always intense and extreme.  And extremely hard to treat.  Usually I can look forward to three days of hellish migraines... today being one.  Occasionally, I get a week or two of these nasty migraines, cause one they start they are hard to beat.  They all follow the exact same pattern.  First comes PMS which can be mild to moderate and usually involves getting tearful during girly movies and eating vast amounts of c…

Day 17: of neuro treatment

I just realized I should be done this all on Friday.... so has not really suceeded.  What I am refered to is the three weeks my doctor had me on a tranquilizer and a calcium channel blocker (in addition to my regular preventatives Lyrica and Cymbalta) in order to aggressively attack these migraines.  The idea was to reset my brain by knocking me out of the existing pattern.

That is not to say the leave from work, which lasts until June 20th has not been very nice.  The very fact I am at home makes it easier to cope with the migraines I do get.

That is not also to say that the migraines have no responded (how could they not?  calcium channel blocker + antisezuire med + antidepressant= no base left un covered + tranquiler to slow the nueral activity).  I have been getting a migraine about every other day, and nasty pulsating mild migraines fairly consistently at night.

The problem might me that tranquilizers are not a substitute for sleeping pills and as a result I have had one very err…

My non existent sleep cylce returns

Sleep Solutions (The Calming Collection) is what I'm listening to right now... and I like background noise when I am trying to sleep... cause it makes the pulsing and ringining in my ears way less annoying.  Doesn't matter how calming it is, still not nod worthy.  I gave this one cd to my mom that is my all time fav to sleep to... Pachelbel Canon in D Minor you just stick that one repeat and it is awesome, maybe I should buy it again.

Apparently tranquilzers are not a substitute for sleeping pills, because I can't sleep or stay asleep.  Right now it is insanely early in the morning and I've not slept a wink.  The neuro said no sleeping pills while I am on this drug treatment, but he assumed it would not be a problems with the tranqs... and he was wrong.  Maybe elephant tranqs would do it.  I have been doing this sleep when I am sleepy thing and as a result I am sleeping at bizzare times, but not usually when I should be and for odd lengths.  Sometimes four hours is goo…

Makes me wonder...

If your doctor puts you on a treatment that 'he usually would not consider' to help with your chronically chronic migraines and it does Not work, then what is the next logical step? Lobotomy?

My leave of absence from work...

Has been officially approved by the company that handles our short term and long term claims. The return to work date will be the 21st, which even gives me a few extra days to talk to the neuro after. She says I need to get a doctors note from with for medical clearence to return to work for regular hours... er, I would not even give myself clearence to drive. With my company it is easy to get on short term leave, just not so easy to get on the long term. Unless you have a mental problem. We have had a few people with bi-polar disorder or anxiety or depression that can or are on long term leave. But pain? Pain is not nearly as bad. Apparently. Even though it can lead to many a mental disorder.

Today is Day 13 of this drug trial. I have a migraine that I woke up with. The pain is moderate and maybe I will try a little more sleep.

Migraine More Common in Women With Multiple Sclerosis

"While having a history of migraine diagnosis was linked to MS, women with migraine need to know that over 99 percent of them will never develop MS, thus having migraine should definitely not be a reason to worry about getting MS," said study author Ilya Kister, MD, with New York University School of Medicine and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "More research is needed since it's still not known whether migraine is a risk factor for developing MS or if it is a condition that occurs at the same time as MS."Science Daily

I thought I would post this simply because I do have MS in my family and so it always been something I was a little concerned about... more so after developing some nasty nerve pain in my feet and wrists.  But this is simply rather like if you have Fibromyalgia migraines are comorbid with it, but if you have migraines this does not mean you will develop FMS, see?  Some conditions, autoimmune ones and certain syndromes, have a mult…

Migraine sufferers risk stroke

NEW YORK - PEOPLE who suffer migraines are about twice as likely as people without the painful headaches to suffer a stroke caused by a blood clot, according to a new research review.

The analysis, which combined the results of 21 previous studies, confirms a connection between migraines and ischemic stroke - the most common form of stroke, occurring when a clot disrupts blood flow to the brain.

Across the studies, migraine sufferers were about twice as likely to suffer an ischemic stroke as people without migraines, according to findings published in the American Journal of Medicine. Experts are not sure why the relationship exists, and it is not yet known whether the migraines themselves directly lead to strokes in some people.

It's likely, however, that a common underlying process contributes to both migraines and stroke risk, said Dr Saman Nazarian, the senior researcher on the new study and an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.…

There is no shame in pain.

The only one that suffers with our silence is us... er, suffers more that is.

I got this picture from Cranky Fibro Girl at her excellent blog... love the inner snark, cultivate that inner snark and let it roar, baby!   Cranky Fibro Girl

Day 11 of neuro treatment so not awesome

I can get a little shut eye with the help of a sleeping pill, dang that fibro insomnia to the seventh level of Hell, but without it I really do not sleep much at all.  I am the sort of insomniac that had delayed onset insomnia, as in it takes hours to fall asleep, as well as non-restorative sleep as in I don't spend all that much time in deep sleep and wake up a great many times.  It is just the way it is.  I do end up suffering from sleep deprivation as a result, which triggers migraines... and eventually also gets me into some weird sleep paralysis episodes.  With sleep paralysis you feel awake, can hear the sounds of the room, feel yourself lying in the bed, but you can't move and sometimes you even dream while stuck like this... as in alien abductions are possible dreams while in sleep paralysis, I have yet to be abducted by aliens (that I know of) but I do get horrific nightmares of something there in the room, watching or sometimes attacking.  Never mind that interesting…

Not an ah ha moment, a oh duh moment.

Chronic Migraine Sufferers Sicker, Poorer and More Depressed Than Episodic Migraine Sufferers

The results showed that those with chronic migraine had significantly lower levels of household income, were less likely to be working full time, and were almost twice as likely to have a job related disability than their peers with episodic migraine.

They were twice as likely to be depressed, anxious, and experiencing chronic pain. And they were significantly more likely to have other serious health problems.

These included asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. They were also around 40% more likely to have heart disease and angina and 70% more likely to have had a stroke.

The authors point out that chronic migraine "can be an especially disabling and burdensome condition."
Previous research indicates that chronic migraineurs have a relatively high level of sick leave, reduced productivity, and p…

Tuning Out Visual Stimuli Is Harder For Migraine Sufferers "Around a third of migraine sufferers apparently undergo neurological disruptions prior to the onset of the headache. These auras are claimed to be regularly visual and may seem as gleaming lights or zig-zag patterns that travel across the field of vision. The study illustrated that migraine sufferers with auras were said to be most unfavorably affected by the inclusion of visual noise.

Wagner mentioned that a present hypothesis about migraines is that nerve cells in the brain of migraineurs are believed to be volatile. And when it is exposed to particular triggers, the augmented excitability may cause whole clusters of nerve cells to turn overactive, just like a spasm, and bring on the headache."
I don't know about you guys but the more that is going on the less I am able to focus on something specific... like the person talking to me.  Sometimes it seems like I hear everybody and can't narrow it down and comprhend the person I am directly talking to…

And now for something completely different!

A British woman has woken up speaking with a Chinese accent after reportedly suffering brain damage brought on by a severe migraine.
Sarah Colwill, 35, has carried an English West Country accent her entire life but now sounds like she hails from the far east, British newspapers report.
Doctors have reportedly told Ms Colwill she suffers from Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS), an extremely rare condition with only a few recorded cases.
Ms Colwill believes her sudden accent shift can be traced back to one migraine attack that was so bad she had to be taken to hospital.
She said the changes in her speech were first noticed by the emergency services call operator.
"The first few weeks it was quite funny but to think I am stuck with this — it is not my voice," she told The Sun newspaper.
"I am frustrated to sound like this, I just want my own voice back, but I don't know if I will get it back."
Ms Colwill, who had never been to China, said she was frustrated that…

Improvement by 1% intervals

Sometimes in the workplace you have to endure these managment speals with their management lingo but occasionally something piques your interest.  Once such notion, which my office preaches but does not practice, is the 1% better policy.  You do not have to improve 100% off the get go, that would be impossible, self-defeating and overwhelming.  No, you just need to pick one thing and improve that.  Then pick another, and then another.  This does not apply to work, because they want 150% inprovement in all areas and they want it Now.... so very demanding and needy.  However, when it comes to making health improvements, gradual is best.

My 1% to improve my FMS has been starting to eat yogurt everyday to help ease the whole IBS.  The previous 1% being to vastly increase my fiber intake.  And now the IBS is well controlled in most non-migraine days.

My 1% with migraine control is adding vitamin D and magnesium suplaments.  My neuro said I should add the D, due to my fear of the sun and su…