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Showing posts from June, 2012

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #30: Blogger's Pick

Choose your favortie blog post from any of this month's prompts from someone else's blog to share with us, and tell us why it's your favorite.
I've really enjoyed participating in this event and reading people's blogs.  I've made sure to add as many of those blogs I can so I can add them to my blog and keep connected.  It is difficult to find any one post to mention over another since I enjoyed so very many of them but one really resonated with me because, well, its been a rough battle for me the last couple of years and I still have a few raw mental wounds over it all.

Migraine Interrupted: Say What? The whole 'at least it is not cancer' and 'at least you will not die from it' stuck with me.  As the post says cancer is understood and curable and has an end, whatever that end is.  In the past I have often thought about this in my darker moments and in a way wished I had some sort of potentially deadly disease that sure, would be horrible, but I w…

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #29: "More Often than Not"

Today is Chronic Migraine Awareness Day. People with Chronic Migraine have a Migraine or headache more often than not. Think of and share a random act of kindness that you can do for someone with Chronic Migraine. I've had chronic migraines for over a decade, about fifteen years or so now.  Anyway, I have a random act of kindness someone did for me that I'd like to share because it was pretty damn amazing.  When I left University because my migraines were simply too severe for me to continue on to my Phd I took a job at a hotel as a Front Desk agent working various shifts including the nigh audit. The shift work put me from chronic migraines to daily migraines. My doctor had just begun to play around with preventatives, so I had nothing. I still had violent migraines at that time so... lots and lots of tossing my cookies... and tossing my medications before they became effective.  Plus my hormonal migraines at the time occur, obvously with my mestral cycle which at that age, c…

Feeling rought, doc appointments and new medications

I have been off sick from work for two days.  Rough hormonal hell week.  What makes it worse is that when it pain peaks I just can't sleep.  Earlier in the week I had a day where I got about three hours of sleep and got through work but unfortunately by the end my aura symptoms were nutty and the migraine went apeshit on me.  The next day I had horrible vertigo from bed let alone when I stood up and a wicked migraine.  That night I did not sleep at all. Martin brought the phone into me and told me to call work when my alarm rang... and I said I can work with no sleep! Yeah, who was I kidding... I'm not 18 and I had a migraine and the aura symptoms were again haywire on the lack of sleep.  Just seeing and walking are a big issue.  In fact I feel damn ill, shaky, weak, my heart rate keeps hammering and then going back to normal, my stomach feels ill. I feel like crap all over.  Worse than yesterday.

Honestly I haven't been feeling well for awhile it just gets worse with the …

Migraine Awareness Month: "I learned the hard way..."

We learn a great many things the hard way, through experiences that are often difficult and unpleasant. Of all the things you're learned the hard way, what sticks in your mind the most?

I like to learn the hard way so there are many many things, but one thing that sticks in my mind is an early lesson before I became a hermit. There was a time I did socialize on the occasional pay day Friday with my boyfriend and some friends after work at the local bar. It was a time when I was struggling with dealing with the onslaught of chronic migraines, work and what remained of my social life. I had not yet shed all the frilly parts of a life for the bare essentials of survival. It reminds me a great deal of the time I was struggling with fibromyalgia and being a full time student, trying to have dreams and ambitions. Its what I call denial. The fight is painful as the disease really. You flail around trying to hold onto things until you realize it is impossible... you need every ounce of ene…

Lacking sleep

I have been having some sleep issues.  More so than usual.  I am an insomniac and with fibromyalgia than means when I get to sleep I don't exactly get great quality sleep, but I do get decent sleep with my sleeping pill.  And the sleeping usually helps when I have a migraine to get me to sleep.  Just not lately. There was a day last weekend or the weekend before where I did not sleep at all.  A few work days were I only had a couple hours of sleep.  And today... didn't sleep at all again but on a work day.  I was called in sick yesterday with a migraine and now again today with the same migraine that kept me up all night long.  And I don't get why I could not sleep at all with a sleeping pill.  Not even just a little.  Why is it now my brain is saying 'Too much pain to sleep' when before I could handle it?

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #27: "In My Head and Heart"

Talk about who inspires you to keep trying and not give up, despite your Migraines. There isn't just one.  There were three but then my brother move out and now there are two. 

My brother: When my brother was living with me and my spouse it was great.  He did not inspire me to not give up.  It was more like he wouldn't let me get into a migraine funk mood.  Me and him would sibling bicker... which is just fake bicker back and forth and joke around and be insanely silly.  And it would lighten my heart even on a bad day.  I think only a brother like that has that power.  I really missed that when he moved out.  But I'll tell you it really did help me out, and in ways he would be oblivious to.  Laughter is the best medicine after all.

My Mom:  My mom is there for me no matter what.  She is there for me to drive me to neuro appointments and ask me how they went.  She is there for me to pick me up when I fall down and then take me on a trip to get me back on my feet again.  Sh…

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #24: "Dear Genie"

Put together a wish list for your life.
Another thinker. You do realize I have a wicked migraine, right?  Thinking is just not on the skill set today but I'll try.  Thinking ahead is a bit difficult to do when I'm stuck in a migraine but to tell you the truth I avoid it like the plague anyway because it depresses the hell out of me.  The realism of it all you know.  But I suppose wishful thinking is different.

Abracadabra I wish to be pain free forever!!!!  Yay!!!  And that there would be the only wish I would need.

But assuming that was impossible and we were aiming for realistic wishes...

a) I wish I could work from home and make sufficient income to meet my financial obligations without causing financial strain and stress.  I would love that income to be made writing... fiction and/or non-fiction... both preferably.  But realistically if could be all sorts of different types of work as long as I could be at home, in a controlled enviroment so that if I have a brutal migrain…

Definately doctor time... nocturnal seizures again

Sorry I missed a few blogging days for the blog-a-thon.  Been in status migraine mode so... a bit brainless at the moment. 

Last night I had another one of those nocturnal seizures.  So I think that has been about four episodes now.  Only one really bad one.  But all with three similar characteristics and that bothers me... that they are all the same format.  All the same time of night as well.  Maybe I am getting more and am not aware of it.  I don't know.  But this is what I do know...

a) It begins with a strong tingling at the base of my head and the spreads up over my head to my forehead and gets more intense.  And I know instantly it is going to happen.  I remain conscious each time.

b) Every time my eyelids flutter rapidly.  Sometimes I get a migraine like aura.  The one time that was the longest episode occurred with a bright aura.

c) Every time either my toes and/or my fingers spasm... they sort of rhythmically twitch open and closed.  This last time was just my toes, bu…

Some migraine art and finding a outlet

I have said it before and I will say it again, I love migraine art. It is so intense and because of that you can feel the pain in the image. Obviously I can relate to it, so I like it, but also I think it perhaps brings awareness to others how much we suffer. Not that I don't think people cannot comprehend just that these sorts of things help. I also like migraine poetry for the same reason. Both of them are excellent mediums. Ones I cannot utilize for certain. I have often mentioned that we need an outlet for our more intense emotions. A way to work them out of our system in a healthy manner. It goes along with one of the most important coping mechanisms: Distraction: hobbies and things we do to activily distract ourselves from pain. And this would be number two: outlet: things we do to work through the emotional toll of chronic pain. Creative arts are excellent outlets. I write a great deal. But my novel writing is not an outlet, it is a hobby so it would be under th…

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #21: "Shaking in My Boot."

What's your biggest Migraine related fear? How do you cope with it?
That the pain will never end and it will kill me.  Or more likely it will cause me to kill myself, but maybe it will be a heartattack, or a stroke or a seizure.  But the never ending pain scares me because that makes me fear I will get to that mental place where I will want to kill myself again.

Coping with it is difficult because every day I cope with all this pain through work and unsympathetic doctors and surviving.  How I don't know.  I manage.  Then comes along a five to seven day migrain hell where the pain does not stop, I can't sleep  and I'm desperate,  At those times I wish I din't have to work, but I know my doctor, neuro and insurance companies have given me no options.  I wish I had some options, but I don't know how to achieve them.  I'm desperate for relelief but know the ER will not provide it.  I don't know how I'm going to manage to function for the next few days a…

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #22: "The Game Changer."

Tell us about a time your plans changed due either to an unexpected Migraine or an unexpected Migraine-free experienceTell us about a time your plans changed due either to an unexpected Migraine or an unexpected Migraine-free experience There was this time I had an unexpected migraine free day and I thought 'huh, I'll go into work today!' Kidding! I go into work all the time with migraines but a migraine free day makes it more clear for sure.

Anyhoo... this is a teeny bit hard to answer because, well, I don't plan because of the whole chronic pain thing but I would make a spontaneous plan to do something if I had a migraine free day... but that is so freaking rare that it doesn't really happen on a day off. Or at least I don't recall the last time I have had a migraine free day on a day off. This past Monday and Tuesday were awesome pain days, as I didn't get a migraine until the evening and it was mild. But then Wednesday was a horrific migraine that …

raine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #20: "Run, Forrest, Run!"

Describe the approach you think is best when it's time to move on to a new doctor.
I don't really have an 'approach' I know to when I've had enough.  It a 'It's not me, it's you' sort of situation, but I don't say that.  I say it with actions, as in, the action of 'these boots are made for walking'.  I mean, let's face it most doctors suck with chronic pain patients.  They just do.  I'm just telling it like it is, from a gal with decades of fibro experience of doctors actually just not treating that condition.  I used to think they must just not like having patients that are chonicly ill because they were so reluctant to treat me at all just because the condition has no cure, but obviously that isn't true because that is a lot of conditions... it must be more because of the pain and suffering that they do not actually want to treat due to being leery of precribing painkillers or lack of training on what to do with such patien…

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #19: "The Match Game"

Describe your perfect doctor to treat your Migraines.
Probably one who has actually had a migraine.  Takes one to know one.  Although I suppose that would just be a bonus.  It is difficult to describe a perfect doctor because they don't exist.  They are just as fallible as everybody else.  I suppose though certain traits would be nice...

1) Persistence: I hate it when doctors or neurologists give up on me because they run out of ideas.  It's called a brain.  Use it.  How did you get through med school anyway? Because I recall when I was in university a little something called research.  If you run out of idea, something I find hard to believe because via the power of Google, my own research skills, I have not and the list of preventatives is Huge and treatments I have not tried that are I admit extreme are out there... anyway, if you run out, then research about.  Look at your patient, their particular symptoms and look into it.  Call a friend if you need to.  But passing the …

Migraine Awareness Month #18: "The Price Is Right."

What one thing would you do for the Migraine community if money were no issue.

What wouldn't I do if money were no issue.  I think of all the money that could be put into research alone that would make a huge difference... or at least would make me feel better.  Because then I would feel like I was giving us some hope and you can't put a price on hope.  But then if money were not an issue then I might then fund migraine specialist clinics.  I know in my area, as in my province there is one headache specialist clinic that I am still on a waiting list for... so I know there could definitely be more places dedicated to treating migraines.  I would be thinking a broad approach as well.  There is a certain point where doctors and neurologists just can't help anymore but we still need to learn to manage our pain.  No one teaches us any pain management techniques though.  They just expect us to figure it out.  So a place that is designed to have neurologists as well as pain speci…

The damned estrogen/hormonal trigger

Headache and migraine news posted about a study done looking at the roll between estrogen and migraines.  They found some obvious results:

The study also found that menstrual migraines are more resistant to treatment, last longer and seem to be more debilitating than attacks at other times of the month. Estrogen seems to be a major factor, though not the only factor. It’s interaction with other functions in the body may explain part of what’s going on.
 Yes, I concur.  Definately more reistent to treatment, as in they have never responded to any treatment that other migraines have.  If a preventative works for me, awesome, but it doesn't work on them, ever.  And yes, they last longer, as in they start and they do not end for DAYS.  And they are definately more debilitating because of the whole lasting longer, the difculty treating and then there is the fact they are so damned acute.  And estrogen definately isn't the only factor, other trigger compound in there... like l…

Migraine Awareness Month #17: "Father Knows Best."

Some understand Migraines, some don't. It's Father's Day. Write a letter to your father or the man closest to you, and talk to him about your Migraines.


Hey Dad,

How goes it?  I don't need to explain pain to you.  We both get what chronic pain means.  By the way thanks for sharing that part of the gene pool!  But they say your children have a one and four chance of get fibromyalgia so... if we take that literally then my brothers are safe. Ha. Anyway, so you get pain and you know my migraines much like FM is chronic.  I would say the difference for me personally is that my migraines are far more crippling pain wise than fibromyalgia is.  I mean I know for a fact FM is more severe pain wise for you than it is for me.  I have had severe flare ups that have been debilitating but my base line pain is quite tolerable due to the Lyrica likely.  I know that is not the case for you.  And for me the migraine pain is far more severe and debilitating.  It fluctuates from mo…

Migraine Awareness Month #16: "Lead, follow, or get our of the way."

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #16: "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

Which role fits you and why?

I'm a bit late on this one due to having to get a new computer and then spending a day on set up.

I can say I have never been much of a follower.  Sort of the whole antisocial antiauthority personality of mine doesn't like to follow.  I like to collaborate certainly, but definitely not a follower.  But not a leader either.  Because really I have never been a team player or much for group work per sa, so I'm not about to lead anyone to push boundaries or anything.  I more of a solo player.  In the background sort of speak, unless someone asks for my assistance with a project and then I'm game.  Especially if it tweaks my interest and then I get all into it.  Mostly I do my own thing.  I mean I have a blog... not run a forum.  I write articles freelance which is a solo gig.  I do things like this to throw my voice in the mix and I do as much as I…

Migraine Awareness Month #15: Free Blog!

Blog an a Migraine related topic of your choice. Okay, I'm going to go there.  To that dark place.  Because it was what I was thinking about.  I was thinking about survival.  In particular how long it has been since I survived and could have died.  I looked back on my blog... which is in fact like a migraine diary, rants and all, and it was August 12, 2010 that I tried to kill myself.

The reason I was thinking about my survival was twofold.  One, because of the high suicide rate among people who suffer with chronic migraines that I think is hugely ignored by medical professionals.  In fact, I think they ignore our pain to a high degree and at times treat us like drug seekers or minimize our suffering... and they most definitely do not take into account the huge emotional toll there is to that pain, especially when we come to them in extreme pain in desperate need for help and they turn us away.  Because studies have shown people with chronic migraines often are not depressed when…

raine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #14: "Live Long and Prosper"

Come up with a short, simple phrase or sentence that could be used when saying "Hello" or "Good-bye" to express your wishes for fellow Migraineurs.

'Hey, Have a good pain day'

'Hey, Isn't it a sparkly day out today or what?'

'Hey, Have a good brain day.'

'Hey, Isn't it a beautiful cloudy, nice and cool day today?'

"Well, have a good one, and your brain doesn't turn to pudding.'

"Well, have a good one, and don't try and catch the little sparkles, they are not real... trust me, I tried."

"Well, have a good one, and let's hope we continue to speak English for the rest of the day rather than garbly-gook."

"Survived another one.  Victory is ours!" *fist bump*

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger's Challenge is initiated by

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #11: "Say what?!"

What's the most ridiculous thing ever said to you about Migraines, who said it, and under what circumstances?
Gee.  That is a long list but for some reason my brain is stalling on the details.  It's like one of those job interview questions where you have plenty of answers but then when it comes to it not one example comes to mind because at that precise moment you have a migraine and the potential employer has open blinds behind him and the light glaring and the horizontal blind lines are warping and moving causing your brain to just faulter.  Like that.

I do recall an ER incident that stands out because it was one of those incidents where you realize you know more than most doctors about migraines... and that's not a bloody good thing.  I went in for a statu migraine fully expecting to not get proper treatment as per usual but as per usual I was desperate... likely on day five or six by that point.  Hormonal migraine triggers cause a spike in migraine activity for me, ca…

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #9: "Day Dream Believer."

Describe your dream day - without a Migraine to hold you back.
Not sure I can really.  I still have the fibro to think about.  And to imagine a day without pain is like someone who has never experienced pain imagining chronic pain... I sort of forget what it feels like.  I suppose without the migraine pain my dream day would be full of clarity which would be nice.  Focus.  The ability to concentrate.  That feeling of just being able to exist moment to moment without being bogged down with that brain pain that makes you get through the day by inches.  I could walk outside without wincing... hell, maybe I could actually do something outside... but that sort of stretches my imagination skills right there.  But I could definitely think straight and I have lots of things I could just get done if I could think straight.  Imagine all the articles I could write... and without typos.  What a hermit thing to think of.  But I really miss clarity.  When I first was hit with the reality of fibromya…

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #8: "Let there be light."

Most Migraineurs have issues with light sensitivity. What do you do to cope with it? This is a big one for me.  Maybe because with fibromyalgia I also have light sensitivity, but either way I am very photophobic which is just made worse with a migraine.  I also have a prolonged migraine aura of visual snow... which looks like a billion sparkles of light dancing in the sky, but when you look at things makes them all warpy.  So I never, ever leave the house without sunglasses.  I own several pairs of varying strengths and tints depending on the time of day and whether it is sunny or cloudy, but I always have a pair on.  It is both too painful not to wear them and also too sparkly.  For indoors at work I wear pink tinted glasses as that tint seems to decrease the intensity of fluorescent lights by contrasting against the blue spectrum... and I have mentioned on here those specs developed with an orange based tint that might even be better but I have not tried that myself.  I got the pink…

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #7: List topper.

There are lots of myths and misconceptions about Migraine. Which one tops your list as the biggest and most common? What can we do to get the truth out there? I think the one that bothers me the most is the assumption people have that migraines cannot be chronic or last days.  People do not see migraines as a disease.  They see them as a headache, which right there is wrong because the headache is but one possible symptom of a migraine.  People have this idea that a migraine has to have a visual aura, nausea and a headache and that it does not last longer than a day.  And that for some reason things like 'migraine strength advil' will do the trick.  Well, I do often get a visual aura (a prolonged visual aura actually) and sometimes I get nasty nausea and 99% of the time I get the headache (but have had a few silent migraines in my time).  Advil doesn't cut it unfortunately and yes those commercials annoy the hell out of me because I am afraid of the light.  But I do get ch…

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #6: "Name That Tune!"

Choose a theme song for Migraine disease or your headache disorder. This song always comes to mind when I think of being chronicly ill and its all in the title really.

This song is awesome. A sad happy song. Reminds me of my own pain but also of the burdan there is on my common law spouse of 15 years. 'lights will guide you home... and I will try to fix you'... not that I can be fixed, but he sure is there for me no matter what I need.
And then this song for some reason makes me feel good.  I have no idea if the 'dog days are over' yet but I do know I have survived this much so I listen to this and feel like maybe I have had some victory and conquered some ground and maybe it will get better.... now the video is a little nutty.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger's Challenge is initiated by

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #5: "Do That To Me One More Time."

What comfort measure do you find helps you enough during a Migraine that you go back to it again and again, and how do you use it? I scream a lot inside my head.  Or is that out loud?  Either way.  Cathartic.  Okay, I'm kidding.  Or am I?  One thing I do is joke around a lot so I can laugh and deflect the pain away but I don't know if I exactly take comfort in that or if that is a sort of defense mechanism.  Actually, I think it is a defense mechanism.  Laughing or crying.  And I think customers prefer laughing.

When I think 'comfort' though I think of coping mechanism and not necessarily a trick of treatment I may use.  Because I use a lot of little tricks that may or may not work on a particular migraine.  But the most comfort I get from coping with chronic migraines comes from the ways I distract myself from pain and the best way to distract myself from pain is to absorb myself into something I find interesting and am passionate about.  For me that is writing, wheth…