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Showing posts from January, 2012

Between that rock and a hard place

Those of us with chronic pain we live between a rock and a hard place.  Always a certain amount of suffering that needs to be endured, never enough treatment to help with it and no one to tell us how to manage our pain.

My dad came for a short visit on his way to start a new job and we got to chatting.  We ended up chatting about chronic pain, that of FMS (for both of us) and migraines in my case.  My father, I believe, suffers more physical pain from FMS than I do.  I mean I have had some crippling bouts of it, no doubt about it, and the Lyrica definately helps us both, but on a daily baseline pain I would say his is significantly higher than me.  And on my side of the genetic pool I ended up with chronic migraines, which are quite obviously complicated by the FMS.  Both of us have suffered for quite some time.  I believe my father was diagnosed in his late thirties.  And me when I was 22.  Although I know in my case a specialist said I was symptomatic at age 16 and I had symptoms as…


It has been seven years since I was on Topamax and here we are back again.  My neuro has decided to try it again, with my other preventatives, but does not want to put me on too much, because of my other preventatives.  Yeah, more drugs piled onto more drugs is not always the best idea.  However there is something to be said for his drug choice.  I did have a positive result with it when I was on it.  It did reduce migraine frequency, just not to a level that was satisfactory to my doctor at the time, so she added Inderal which did nothing and then added more Inderal which caused things like passing out and a blood pressure close to a dead persons.  And then a short term leave from work, a referral to a neuro and different drugs.  It was bad timing really given I had just been diagnosed with hypothyroidism which can cause migraines so maybe they shouldn't have played around with my meds and should have waited to see what the Synthroid did.  The point is doctors aim for a significa…

That was rather depressing

First, I would like to say a little something about why I stopped seeing my shrink before I get into my rather depressing day.  My shrink had told me I should not be working.  Period.  And I agreed of course.  But I said it was not so simple.  And she said I should go on long term leave and permanent disability.  And I said it is not so simple.  Yes, that makes perfect sense to me, to her, and to any other rational person when you think about chronic pain and inability to function.  That is not the way the insurance world works though, so getting on long term leave is next to impossible.  They go out of their way to prove you can do a job which means you are not completely disabled.  I beg to differ mind you, because even a job, of any sort, requires a brain and also requires the ability to get up and leave the house.  Any job that has specific hours, no matter what those hours are, no matter if a trained monkey could perform that job, still requires someone able to meet those hours. …

It's just a really bad headache

Sometimes I think people believe migraines are a just a really bad headache.  I think this is because they are focusing on the symptom of pain, which is familiar to them, in the form of a headache.  So then they think migraines must just be more pain.  Even doctors focus on the pain mostly.  The pain is a big deal.

When I was younger my migraines presented in a very typical way.  I got a very recognizable aura in form of large blotches of light completely obscuring on side of my vision and visual snow.  I got very normal nausea that was violent enough I was put on a dissovable triptan, but nausea is a classic migraine sysmtom.  And I had very actute sudden onset migraine pain.  My migraines always occured from hormonal triggers and sometimes occured randomly at other times.  This is the sort of migraine people think about when they hear the word.

But every migraine sufferer has differnt assortments of aura sysmtoms, if they get them, and sometimes they do not get pain as a symptom at …

'Vacation' time

I decided on rather short notice to take next week off for my 'holiday', which I don't think impressed my boss but is perfect timing.  One of my co-workers is going to be on course soon so better to take time off before rather than during.  I had little projects on the go, so less work to leave for others to do.  It is not busy yet but will be soon so better than waiting.  And, of course, I have a neuro appointment next week where no doubt I will be switching medications and having a little time to adjust to them is always a good idea.

Most of all I have been having some real issues fuctioning and taking a bit of a break is a good idea.  Last week was a long status migraine hell.  I woke with a brutal migraine today and since it woke me up with full blown migraine fury it was difficult to treat.  Just one of those days where I got up, migrated to the couch and didn't move from it all day.  Now had it been a work day it would have been a trial to get to work, not just b…

Reflecting on 2011

Someone from a migraine forum posted a poll regarding how many migraines we suffered in 2011 and my answer was above the highest possible answer for the poll, which made me reflect a little on this past year where I have suffered an estimated 300 migraines, possibly more given some months were quite nasty.

2011 was actually an exceptionally bad year.  Bad from migraine frequency.  Bad for emotional well being.  Definitely bad for persistent long lasting random symptoms.  Some might think it was in fact better than 2010, given I did not try to kill myself, but honestly, that should not be the meter to rate 'successful' treatments by.  But by all means if your chronic migraine patient kills themselves consider the treatment a big 'fail'.  This year was so bad that if I had not reached that emotional and physical breaking point in 2010 then I would have in 2011.  Maybe inevitable really.  We all likely have our own breaking points when it comes to pain especially when oth…

I wish my neuro apt was closer

It is in fact this month, but it does not seem close enough.  I am losing it with these migraines.  The vertigo thing is just messing me up.  I have a hard time walking straight, everything looks like it is pulsing and my eyes won't track right.  In the last two months I have missed too many days, more than usual, even for me which tells me I need to see my neuro stat.  I hate missing work but these migraines are totally kicking my ass in more than just pain.  Mind you, the pain part is also off the chart right now.  Last couple of days I have not been able to sleep worth a damn, so the crappy migraine I had yesterday (which I treated from the getgo with a triptan, one of those vertigo pills and then later witj painkillers) did not go away, my vision just got wierder and weirder.  Then after no bloody sleep last night today was worse and I treated right away again and still did not break the migraine.

I just can't wake up

I admit my migraine symptoms have been erratic and intense, which is disturbing and difficult to function around.  That's just the way my brain rolls and it is not like my workplace has accomadation for someone merely crippled by pain to help get me through a rough spot... they prefer the make things ways more stressful approach.  Not to say it is getting to me, yet, just that it annoys me. I think all work places would be the same really becase who wants a chronically ill employee right?  That doesn't make it right some of the crap companies pull on us, but I think the bias and discrimination is probally univerally found in most places of employment.  I mean my workplace almost killed me, literally, and that is pretty impressive.  But I made it through 2011 without jumping off a cliff and that was my New Years resolution that year.  So Yay me.  Which means I try not to let that crap get to me as much.  But I am struggling with the migraines lately, added with the numbness in …

Happy New Year

I brought the new year in with a whopping migraine, one that I could not treat with triptans because I had already done so for the three days prior.  So no New Years Eve party or socializing for me this year... or last year if I recall correctly.  Mind you, I don't think I'd be up for it even had I been migraine free; all that vertigo and such that has been going on has also been causing some serious fatigue.  I get insane nap attacks... sometimes after only being up for an hour.  Such a waste of day when it is spent sleeping.

Anyway I am so done with 2011.  Bring it on 2012.  Let's hope for less pain this year.  Better treatment.  Less work related stress.  Less annoying and random symptoms.

My  New Years resolution is just to continue not smoking.  That will be an achievement in itself.  Actually might as well tack on to continue mild exercise, better eating habits and taking my vitamins... because being the way my brain is, it is damn hard to stick to any routine of any…