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Showing posts from December, 2010

New Years Resolutions

Are tricky things for sure.  I could use some postive reinforcements and some realistic goals.  The key to resolutions is that they be realistic, which is tricky.  I like to take a large goal (say losing weight) and making it smaller goals like (losing a few pounds a month, or eating regularly, or exercising on the Wii).  Makes it much more manageable.  I had a good day at work today, since I did not have a migraine At All, which gives me back a taste of confidence.  I like to think if I can manage the self-loathing and over-over-thinking such that I rationalize myself into the unreasonable, then I can cope with pain and work.  Emtional issues, however, are tricky, the moment you think you have a handle on them, they get all slippery and twist around.  So I do not want to make any extreme resolutions.  I need some optimism to balance out those bouts of insane pessimism.  So I like to think of making more than one resolution, of small things, to create a plan of action in order to surv…

Walking backwards

What I like about working is that I have a purpose, which makes me feel like I am at least accomplishing something.  I also like the distraction, it is easier not to focus on existing pain or think about future pain when you are forced to play all nice with others.  I am a good faker that is for sure, but when it comes to honestly discussing how disturbed I am about chronic pain it is extremly difficult not to break down.  Mostly because I figure no matter what I do it absolutely changes nothing, which is rather unpleasant.  In that case, it seems there is no alternative to consider, just figuring out how to suffer silently, while at the same time not, apparently, wanting to jump off a cliff.  Which frankly, is rather asking a lot.  I can play the 'what if' game all I want, but when push comes to shove I need to have an income.  Even if I speculate on ways to do that which will reduce my pain, I still have to do so while actually holding on to the career I have currently, some…

Something interesting from the Migraine Foundation

Well, look at that... some research into why chronic migraines are chronic!
Chronic migraine is a prevalent healthcare burden whose cause is only partly known, a void that hampers development of new treatments. Considerable research shows that chronic pain, including that from migraine, may alter pain pathways so that they are more sensitive. This effect involves cytokines, small molecules first recognized for their role in signaling between immune cells. We hypothesized that pro-inflammatory cytokines produced after migraine could make it easier to trigger subsequent migraines as modeled by spreading depression, a most likely cause of migraine pain and aura.

We confirmed this hypothesis by triggering spreading depression in hippocampal slice cultures, thin sections of brain that can be kept in a dish for months. We found that spreading depression triggered cytokine changes in the brain that both increased and decreased susceptibility to spreading depression on subsequent days. Importa…

Wii Fit

I got the Wii fit for Christmas, which some might narrow their eyes and say 'are you implying I'm fat?', but in my case, I have wanted one for awhile!  Although according to the first start up mode my BMI is 27, which is, er... plump (healthy is 22, and over 25 I think is overweight).  I also have no sense of balance, because my muscles are weak and I am extremely double jointed.  Which is why I wanted this, because the Wii fit has yoga on it.  Since the only form of exercise I apparently can do without boatloads of pain is stretching I figure yoga is a good start.  It goes through each move slowly and then you can make up our own routines from the moves.  Kinda cool.  Then it has exersizes to help with balance that are little fun games, as well as games for aerobic exercise and strength building ones.  Obviously I am avoiding the strength building because those are far more painful than my FMS muscles can handle.  That being said, yoga also painful.  Since you have to hol…

Hemicrania Continua

Someone had mentioned this headache disorder to me because I get chronic migraines.  And they are in fact very similar in some aspects, but Hemicrania Continua is not responsive to triptans, which migraines are, usually, sometimes.  Although it does make me wonder, since I wonder sometimes why migraines become chronic and maybe it is because it is migraines plus another headache condition which would explain the difficulties in treating it.  Anyway, I'd thought I'd share this tidbit.

According to Health Central's fabulous Terri Roberts "Hemicrania continua is considered a primary headache disorder, meaning that it's not caused by another condition. It's a rare but treatable disorder. According to the International Headache Society's (IHS) International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition, hemicrania continua is a "persistent strictly unilateral headache responsive to indomethacin."

The IHS diagnostic criteria for hemicrania continua…

Carol of the Bells - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

yay me... my right eye decided to go funky along with the right ear

So I still cannot hear on the right side, excluding the insanely loud ringing that is driving me crazy.  Today, just for fun, my brain decided to muck up the right eye.  It is like having a cataract, it is all hazy and makes everything looked doubled, which is so much fun.  The visual snow aura is also stronger than it usually is, in that usually it is just pin-prick white sparkles and now it is pin-prick white, black and blue sparkles with the occasionally larger black or while blob.  And of course the migraine pain itself is still there. 

My first day back at work was alright.  It was a half day, so that is not too bad and I am not taking customers yet, so also not too bad.  However, I do have this status migraine joyness to deal with and just stepping outside made that worse.  At least I have been able to keep a grip on my emotions... going for an all out numbness, which works since I have to hide the pain somehow and still be able to talk to co-workers about how I am doing coming…

I don't get this deaf thing

I have had a migraine since Thursday and on Friday I lost the hearing on the right side.  Lost hearing for external sounds completely but there is a very loud ringing noise.  I get how a migraine can knock out my hearing like a broken speaker that flickers on and off, but this whole complete deafness thing is damned irritating. What's worse is that the left side is not all that great either, since some noises are extremely painful.  I wonder if one of these times my hearing won't come back, since it seems to take a damn long time to come back on line.  Damned status migraines... the longer they are the weirder they get.

Tomorrow I go to work

And I think I am still in shock.  Shocked that my neuro cleared me to return.  I said I was terrified of returning, knowing I completely destroyed my emotional calm in trying to hide my suffering.  Just thinking about working in that pain brings tears to my eyes, so how am I going to pretend tomorrow that it is not killing me?  I thought I had made myself clear, but with these doctors it is like those sleep paralysis dreams I get... you can be screaming and screaming and no one hears you, you can run but you never get anywhere and there is no escape.  I still can't believe they did not listen to me.  It is like what I say, believe and feel is of no consequence.  Even though it will be a slow start for two weeks before I go to full time I know the torture that awaits me and, damn it, I can't manage to shove the emotions down far enough to handle the thought of that pain.  It is a slow torture knowing that no matter what you do or say you end up where you were.  I don't know…

Managing Migraine Misery Q&A

Check out the full Managing Migraine Misery: Merle Diamond, MD transcript


Diamond: Chronic migraine or chronic daily headaches is a very common problem seen in a neurologist's or headache specialist's office. There are many treatments available, some of which include drugs and some of which are behavioral. Some simple things to address include caffeine consumption, over-the-counter medications, decongestants, and prescription pain medicine. These can all lead to rebounds. Having a healthcare provider who is interested in managing your treatment over a long period of time is important. The National Headache Foundation may be able to give you appropriate resources in your area.

Member: I recently had a migraine that lasted over 10 days (no medication helped. I took Excedrin on top of Amerge and Tylenol with codeine) and ended up going to the ER for relief and a CT scan (normal results). I don't get migraines often, but when I do, they have lasted up to two weeks. Why?


Diamond…

Its like deja vu all over again

I don't know why I think I can trust my doctors to know what is going on with me when obviously I can't. Every time I have taken a short term leave of absence I have ended up returning to work before I should have, because I am left with no choice but to do so. I have to follow what they put on the forms they send in. And once again I am screwed because the neuro said I was able to return to work this Monday, which I have just been informed of via a message from my short term case manager. Even though I am on two new medications and who knows if they will work long term. Even though one of them makes me so fuzzy headed I can't think straight and sure can't get up at a decent time. I suppose my mental health has no bearing on the situation, although the thought of returning to work right now terrifies me. And rightly so, when I know exactly what it is like to work in all that pain, be expected to do so, and damn well know the price it has on me over the long term…

Got a case of the dead head

This new med is making my brain ball all fuzzy.  The good thing is that I slept like the dead last night... for twelve hours.  And I woke up with no migraine at all.  One migraine free day!  Awesome.  Except I did get a migraine in the evening, but still, a good sleep really helps prevent early morning migraines and the fact it was delayed until the evening is in fact awesome.  The fact my head feels like it is stuffed with cotton balls not so awesome.  This preventative is an antidepressant used to help people sleep, which was the intention given I have such sleep related migraine issues.  But antidepressants always depress my brain functions as well.  If I recall correctly this med is the one that dulled my brain when I was taking my Masters, which did not work out so well for one of my term papers.  At the time it really pissed me off that the neuro I had gave me something that directly affected my ability to function at school, plus all on its own it did nothing for the migraines.…

Almost finished migraine week I think

Almost through this months week of crazy bad migraines.  Maybe.  Last night was brutal and today is the same, but still, I think it is nearing the end.  I am also nearing the end of my short term disability, as I got the paperwork to go ahead with the long term today.  And getting on long term is a whole different story, a lot more paperwork and less of a chance of success.  Unfortunately, nothing has changed since I went on disability, so if I cannot get the long term then I am screwed long term.  I loath insurance paperwork.  Also means off to the doctor I go again so he can fill them out, hopefully, fill them out well, since the last time I attempted long term that doc simply could not be bothered.

I had a dream last night that I was in prison for robbing a bank.  And they would not give me my medications.  So it was very painful and likely influenced by the migraine I had when I went to sleep... still if I can't get on long term, prison is an option. LOL

Yet another drug to add to the cocktail

My neuro has added another medication to the ever growing list.  So now my preventatives are Lyrica, Verapamil ( A calcium channel blocker), and now Amitriptyline (An antidepressant).  Not that Amitriptyline is new to me... way back in the day it was one of my first non-effective preventatives.  He wants to try it with the others and maybe it will help me sleep some as well.

I have to wonder why some people have chronic migraines rather than occassional ones.  There are more of us out there than one might think.  People are always asking me if doctors know why I get so many migraines.  And how should they or I know?  Not caffiene though, that I can say for sure.  Might be genetics, combined with sleep deprivation, combined with FMS and its photosensativity issues.  Yet, then others with chronic migraines would have other underlying conditions and I am not sure that is the case at all, although it might be in some.  So I do wonder why I am afflicted with so very many migraines such tha…

Insomnia Insanity

Pain eventually drives us all to distraction, fustration and desperation.  How can it not?  When it is so intense all you can think about is how to stop it?  Yet, with a good nights sleep, we can at least think rationally again.  Which is why my insomnia is a rather bad element to add to the mix.  Thankfully, when I am so inflicted with sleeplessness I do not worry and I do not dwell on negative thoughts.  Usually I day dream or think about ineresting philosophical ideas... and sometimes I lull myself to sleep doing so.  With a nasty migraine in the mix, my aching, throbbing brain simply does not allow me to sleep.  Even when I distract myself with thoughts I cannot get comfortable.  I am restless and toss and turn.  I get up for a bit sometimes and try again.  Usually I will fall asleep somewhere between 3 to 5 am.  Last night I got all the way to 6 am and knew it was a lost cause.  So I am up, did some laundry and cleaning and now blogging and writing.  Hoping to tire myself out a b…

Thinking about the whole not working thing... again

I find it weird, in this economic climate, that people would find it odd that I am concerned about work stability. I get that I don't have it now, but I had valid reasons for trying to maintain it. The thing is, upon reflection, and then some more reflection, I realize how futile it all was. Yes, financial stability makes me feel so much better. No one likes to worry about bills. And I sure don't like the decrease in my funds with this short term leave, or the fact I have to wait and depend on doctors form filling skills to know if I will continue to have funds at all. And you never know what is going to happen in life, any change of circumstances can throw you throw a loop, and it is a good thing to know you have a career that is stable. So of course, no matter how poor our health we try to hold onto that, knowing because of our poor health we are at a higher risk of being disposed of and laid off.



So the thing that is constant is the chronic illness and chronic pain. That g…