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Showing posts from August, 2012

Visual Snow- Persistent aura without infarction

Visual snow and Persistent aura without infraction are a constant phenomena of your brain playing perceptual tricks on you. Essentially our brains are playing with our perceptions every hour of every day. Some people it does not effect they as much but for others it can cause some severe problems and even anxiety.
Persistent Migraine Without Infraction is a migraine aura that persists beyond the migraine itself. Generally the longer prolonged auras are visual but sporadically other aspects of the phenomena can be other aura phenomena. Here is a list of the common ones associated with Visual Snow:


Visual snow – Seeing snow or television-like static in parts of or the whole of your visual field. Visual snow can be any color but it usually consists of small, translucent dots whose flicker intensity varies from person to person.Palinopsia – A visual disturbance that causes images to persist to some extent even after their corresponding stimulus has left.Tinnitus – Characterized by a n…

Something to consider

Dietary Products for Pain: Truth & Consequences 
"Of great concern is the potential for dietary supplements to interfere with effective pain management or, worse, to cause drug-drug interactions — ie, various prescribed and nonprescribed agents fighting against each other — leading to serious adverse events [discussed in UPDATE here]. For example, earlier this month [here] we reported on warnings from the FDA regarding the Mexican supplement Reumofan-Plus, sold for pain relief and as a treatment for arthritis as well as other conditions.Among other ingredients not even listed on the label, Reumofan was found to contain diclofenac — an NSAID that may cause gastrointestinal problems — and methocarbamol — a muscle relaxant that can cause dizziness, low blood pressure, or enough sedation to produce mental or physical impairment. One can imagine how such a product might confuse and confound the status of a patient being treated for pain, when unexpected clinical responses or adver…

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20

--Robert Frost


So we didn't get to choose the road we travel on. And it is a rough and rocky road. There are pot holes to trip on and ditches to fall into and curves you don't expect and walls to climb. And cliffs to fall…

Killer migraine-a-thon

It is Status Migraine time. Yay. Actually it is Day Four of the migraine-a-thon. I get through three days with stoic determination and it is usually by day four I'm screaming on the inside. On the outside I expect I look constipated... like I'm holding all that pain in tightly before it explodes. I just don't think a migraine is meant to last this long. It really starts to mess up the neck and jaw area. I can't sleep with my mouth closed it hurts so much. Also I get this tingles across my skull that say 'Hey you might pass out if you blink'. And I get this vertigo when I'm sitting that makes me feel like I'm falling forward. I've noticed this a lot when the pain is acute. This increase in vertigo along for the ride.

Worst thing about my hormonally triggered status migraine-a-thons is the nausea and the IBS. I swear I cannot eat because every time I do... I really regret it. I've literally gone to the bathroom more times in the last three days t…

Well you can't say I will not literally try anything even mindful meditation

My shrink had mentioned meditation and deep breathing as a way to just pull my mind away from thoughts that are causing anxiety. I actually don't think this is necessary because I generally know when I'm in a 'mood' and am going down 'crazy road' with my thoughts and I just intentionally do something else that takes more brain power than thinking random thoughts does. And it works. Just because a migraine causes an emotion doesn't mean you have to fall head first into it. You can be aware of it, know the cause of it, and actively do things you know will help with it. And habitually I don't worry while trying to sleep because I've been an insomniac for a Very Long time and that is something I just learned a long ago. But if I'm anxious or depressed prior to a migraine and want to chill out I figure this would be cool to learn because sometimes I just need to learn to freaking chill out... because sometimes stressful situations seriously ruin my c…

Chicken meet egg

It is almost impossible to dicuss emotional states and chronic pain seperately. Expecially when you are talking about migraines and even fibromyalgia. So I have this issue with depression and occasionally anxiety... both tied to chronic migraines. But prior to a migraine as someone mentioned on my Facebook page is the prodrome stage where those states are quite common. In fact I'm quite aware of the fact I get depressed before some migraines because it is a very weird, non factual depression... as in non-situational... it just is and I know it will pass when the migraine does. But it can be a rather intense depression or a melancholy I need to sleep for a day depression. The intense sort is nasty and dark but at least I recognize it for what it is, but it is not a nice feeling.

Just like when I get a manic migraine... that sort of hyper, jittery state I get in where I have a billion thoughts and talk a mile a minute.  And those ones I actually don't mind. I mean I annoy myself…

Reflecting on the reasons for anxiety

I had my third head shrinkery appointment today and it was an interesting one. I was abit befuddled by a migraine so it wasn't until I got home that I really thought about some of the things we talked about. But one of the things we talked about is how that I like to think myself into anxiety. It is a common thing we do because when we think about the pain, past, present and future and we rely on our experiences of it it sort of creates this cascading effecting in the brain... we know what it has been like, we know what it will be like and it is overwhelming and Bam anxiety... which propels you from thinking into emotion. We talking about that being the fight or flight response and ways to get out of that physical response. Which actually made me think about FM... because unfortunately FM really means we are sort of stuck in the fight or flight response. That is one reason we have problems sleeping... because it is like we are always sort of alert. Anxiety or not physically the FM…

Invisible disability insanity

I'm reading this book on fibromyalgia which I'm planning to do a review on so no point specifically talking about it, but I'm reading parts talking about the author addressing directly the reasons other medical professions do not believe in fibromyalgia as a diagnosis. Despite all the evidence of course. Despite all the research. I mean clearly there are specific indications of things going wrong with neurotransmitters and hormones and the sleep cycle and so forth. But what? It may be something else? It may be it is another condition altogether. It may be it may be it may be. Some of the reasons are purely idiotic when faced with this evidence considering the prevalence of the syndrome all over the world (not just Western civilization or the wealthy or what-freakin-ever). Diagnostically sure there is no blood test or x-ray that can say there you go, right there it shows you definitely have FM, but that can be said for many conditions and there is a framework for FM which a…

Bad pain day and wondering about our distractions

This is a picture of the inside of my brain right now. For some reason my migraines have been going nuts and it isn't even the time of the month for them to go nuts yet, so that is going to be fun. It has been real consistent and last night I had a real acute killer one which actually made me get up... stagger into the kitchen and take a triptan. That enabled me to get to sleep but this morning I woke up with one and it has been around all day. Very symptomatic as well. The pain is lingering at an 8 but I don't want to take anything for it; i'm out of triptans and the toradol shot made me quite sick last time. My ears are ringing so loud I just have to have some background noise so it doesn't drive me nuts. I'm extremely sick to my stomach which is a rare symptom for me for a none hormonally triggered migraine. The pain is radiating all the way through my head and down into my neck. I can't tolerate any pressure at all. You know how sometimes if you apply pres…

Wow... there is some coolness in migraines...

Super cool things about migraines I saw this and had to read it... and it is hilarious... here are the ones that made me laugh...



I’m skinny.  I’m teased mercilessly, but all of that fun diarrhea, nausea and vomiting keeps me the envy of all those healthy people around me who have choices. I know the difference between “happy” and “healthy”.  The first I consciously practice, the second I pray for.My electric bill is cheap.  Keeping the lights off due to constant light sensitivity will do that.I’m smarter than my doctors.  They keep telling me “I don’t know”. My car will live forever.  It rarely leaves my driveway and has maintained its gorgeous good looks and value throughout the years.I can speak in tongues. When aphasia hits, no one understands what I’m trying to say but me. I am easily amused.  It takes a lot less to make me smile, laugh, or appreciate something.  When the lows are so low, even a little high seems big. I rock at conversation.  When prodrome makes me forget what I’m…

Fickle Fibromyalgia: my pain flare stories

Venturing out of my abode got me thinking about fickle fibromyalgia pain. Recently I have been thinking about the variety of FM symptoms because some of them overlap with chronic migraine symptoms such that I don't know which is the cause... such as vertigo; migraine associated vertigo or FM related vertigo, or the balance problems and even the sensitivity to sound and light. Thing is FM came first and migraines later and then chronic migraines so no matter how much my neruo wants to label everything chronic migraines he is actually just saying things doctors had actually labelled everything FM before.

But my trip and any trip actually or any unexpected activity reminds me of the fickle fibro pain. How it can hit like lightning in any muscle group or all muscle groups. How it can be a deep muscle ache that gets worse and worse, grinding and deep until your mobility is completely restricted, or a sharp nerve pain that arches through you or stings like cold fire or burns.  The pain …

Camping adventures

Squirrel!!!
Sorry, this little guy amused the heck out of me. I took at least fifteen shots of him going up and down this tree to get little pieces of bread. I'm easily amused. Clearly I've found a hobby for when I retire.

So three days of Camping Adventures was about as much as my body could take But it was better than it could have been. Potentially it could have been quite painful because I knew those inflatable bed things can flare up every tender point on you in the most nasty of ways in one night.

Tip #1: Thick inflatable mattress and one of those foamy things on top. It worked awesomely. I had some strange brusing after day three and I ached all over moderately but the most intense pain was in my knees and elbows. Not sure why the elbows but it hurt right at the tender point and nasty. But still that accumulation over two nights, so decent really. Better than the one night on the thinner matress without the foamy thingamajig.

Tip#2: Apparently if you have fibro don…

The Hermit is venturing into the wilderness.

Where I will find a cave, make it a home and rant about random crazy things like hermits do.... no, wait, thats not it... what was it now?

Oh yeah,

I'm going Camping! Now keep in mind I WANT to go camping even though I know it will be painful. However, I have tried to make it as painless as possible and this is my first trial run to see how it goes. If it goes well, then more camping, if not then I may have to tweak it. It just to see how much pain we are talking about here. Just moderate pain that I can handle or more than that which would compramise all the funness of it?

1) first thing I did is add one of those foam things you add to your bed to add to our blow up mattress. I learned the just the blow up mattress, which feels fine when you lay one it will actually cause every tender point in your fibro body to ignite on fire. And you will not want to move... ever. So the foamy thing is to prevent that. It might work.

2) got my specs and my hat and sunblock to help block the evi…

anniversary of my suicide surivival

It is the anniversary of my almost-death. That day where the pain literally almost won.

This is obviously a big deal to me. I think about where I was then and where I am now. But this year I think back to then and the impact of others. Actually shortly after my survival I worried about how I had worried or hurt others, more so than concern over myself. And later it was because of the hurt I had caused to others that encouraged me to continue on. 

Yet, I know it was a traumatic thing for me. Something that echoes on. Affected me greatly for a year and then I never seemed to find my core stability after.  But what about my family? How did having me do something like that affect them, short term and long term? I can't say with my spouse. He is very uncomfortable with the topic. He was always aware of how much pain I was in, but just never knew my desperation could reach that level, that I would go so far. And he never wanted to me return to work, especially not that work place and w…

I'm fixating on the concept of pain vs suffering

It is just something I've been thinking about. Obviously the pain is something we have limited control over. It is insanely frustrating because we try so many numerous methods to limit the pain in various ways... and what pain is left, if unmanageable, if too much to handle that there can cause a great deal of emotional distress. Apparently my doctors and even this new shrink concur that is the sort of emotional instability or depression I have... directly correlated to the amount of pain I am in. I just get overwhelmed by the pain. When the pain subsides my mood dramatically improves. But, it is the constant battle of unmanageable pain over time that causes this emotional strain. You know what is coming, you know what the battle has been like and you know what it will be like. Because the undeniable fact is, with my conditions and many others the pain is inescapable. It is a fact. And it is a fact at times it will be brutal. And during those brutal times expecting me to function …

Visual snow

'Visual Snow' May Be a Distinct Clinical Entity
"Visual snow is almost always associated with additional visual symptoms. It therefore represents a unique clinical syndrome – the visual snow syndrome," he said at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society. "It is distinct from visual aura in migraine; migraine with and without aura are common comorbidities, but we don’t actually know at the moment what is the pathological link between those two conditions. And the intake of illicit drugs is not relevant." Dr. Schankin went one step further, proposing new diagnostic criteria for the visual snow syndrome: visual snow plus at least three additional visual symptoms out of nine identified in the study, in the context where these symptoms are not consistent with typical migraine aura and cannot be attributed to some other disorder.  "I suspect it’s migrainous because most of these people have migraines. But it’s not aura. I don’t know real…

Anxious about neuro pending neuro apt... in fact I know now, I almost want to ask for a different one

There is always a certain amount of wariness when you are going to see a new neurologist when you have chronic migraines. This is because a) he could know significantly less than your previous one b) he could be an egotistical bastard c) he could completely change your medications and cause some significant damage or d) he could be completely indifferent to your problems and your problems could be severe.

In my case my previous neurologist was very knowledgeable and I was very discouraged he ran out of ideas, but I get how he did. With my aura becoming more intense and not responding to any of the medications known to treat auras, with fibromyalgia and my sleep issues being a complication that seems to constantly aggravate the migraines and with the preventives we have tried not having any real impact on intensity or frequency. Medications have done different things, just not anything significant. He was just spinning his wheels so he tried one more thing and it was actually helping b…

Migraine Mechanism

I was thinking about the after effects of a suicide attempt... the echoes it has

So I tried to commit suicide in Aug 2010

I surivived

I had a bit of time of work to recover- a short term leave and it was hardly sufficient and I was very upset and I was informed I had to return and I was not going on long term. I felt my doctor didn't comprehend the price of pain, didn't care about suffering and didn't have my back... it was a betrayal. So I knew when things get bad, I could never depend on my employer because what they do is actively make things worse and I could not depend on my doctor and I had no escape, because I had seriously hurt my family by my actions and would not do that to them again. So I was trapped in this pained existence with no escape route. I became just numb, which is a form of depressed.

I went back to work and just did what I was told and tried to just survive in this numb state of acceptance that this suffering was my life. I missed a great deal of work for horrific pain days and they came down on me hard for it, but I didn't …