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Showing posts from June, 2013

Migraine Awareness Month #30 2001: A Space Odyssey:

2001: A Space Odyssey: "I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.": Write a letter to a fictional Headache Disorders patient encouraging that person to be kind to him or herself. Use the ways you're too hard on yourself as inspiration.

Dear Chronic Migraineur:

I understand this battle can be exhausting and frustrating. It never seems to end and your days seem hazed with pain such that life just seems this existence of merely getting through those pain moments and nothing more. Such that the compromises you have made to endure this struggle seem to have shrunk your life more and more to just this core essence of survival. And yet all this effort can still be mocked by all those who do not see how hard you struggle to survive and all the things you do to get through the day.

In our darkest moments this pain does seem vast and all-consuming. It has taken all our past and will eat all of our futur…

Migraine Awareness Month #29 Misfits

Misfits. (If you live with Chronic Migraine, incorporate it into today's post.)

Going to have to keep this short. Rather unwell today. Acute migraine this morning and triptan side effects have stolen this day... and seriously wiped out and just not feeling so hot right now.

So, chronic migraines... yep that would be me. What can I say about this reality?

It is defined as 15 migraines or more a month. Mine are currently daily. One would hope with some moderately effective treatment I can get to around that 20 marker. That would be nice.

Treatment, when you do not have effective preventatives and have daily migraines....
Triptan... for me. Doesn't work for everyone. Doesn't work all the time. Doesn't work all of the day most of the time. Can't take it more than three days out of the week... so there is a problem right there because there are those other four unaccounted days. Treatment is a problem. Sometimes I have a rescue med prescribed, most of the times not. So…

Riding the line- Study on the line between high frequency episodic and chronic #migraines

“Border Zone” Between Episodic and Chronic Migraine Explored in Research by Montefiore Headache Center 

There is a great deal of simularity between those with high frequency episodic migraines with those who have chronic migraines such as similar "sociodemographic characteristics, headache-related disability and a host of problems like chronic pain, psychiatric comorbidities and medical comorbiditie"according to a study done by the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Study by researchers at the Montefiore Headache Center in the Bronx, N.Y and Vedanta Research in Chapel Hill, NC. Those who ride the border-line, with high frequency episodic migraines (HFEM) have about 10-14 migraine days per month whereas chronic migraineurs (CM) have more than 15 migraine days per month. Episodic migraineurs with less than day migraine days per month are considered low frequency episodic migraine (LFEM). The study analazyed data from 18,500 respondants to the AMPP of them 10,…

Migraine Awareness Month #28 Saturday Night Live: How does humor help you cope?

Saturday Night Live: How does humor help you cope?

Humor is one of the main ways I cope. The facade I used to function at work utilized humor because if I can joke and laugh with others it makes me feel a bit better. Makes them feel better. And we all feel better together. Laughing and dancing. Oh the joyness of it all.

Okay maybe not that but laughter makes me feel a bit better. I crack a joke. I act like a goofball. I do a little goofy dance in the car to make my spouse laugh at me. I enjoy things that make me laugh and I enjoy making other people laugh around me. I like to watch movies and shows that make me laugh and to be around people who can make me laugh. I laugh and laugh so that I don't cry... wait, yeah, that is about it.

I think it is likely an underestimated coping mechanism since we all use it so much and yet don't realize the impact on mood that a smile and a laugh can do. Or maybe we do and that is why it is so important.

A tad frustrating when people assume wh…

Study Results regarding Cardiovascular Contraindications to Triptans

I love knowing I am regularly taking a medication I should not be. Just Awesome. In my case angina, which was why I was taken off Imitex shots and all triptans by one doctor... and then another put me back on them because, hey, what is a little heart issue when compared to say the extreme risk to how he is perceived when prescribing pain killers, right? And in my defense I stopped seeing the other doctor because her alternative was anti-inflamatories which caused some damage and I can no longer take them ever, so wasn't pleased about that and so when this other dude put me back on the triptans... well a gal has to work somehow right? Nevertheless not an awesome side effect.

"The triptan drug class, which includes agents such as sumatriptan and rizatriptan, is the most widely prescribed drug class for the treatment of acute migraine. However, because triptans constrict blood vessels, they are contraindicated in patients with cardiovascular, cerebrovascular or peripheral va…

Migraine Awareness Month #27 Anger Management: Goosefrabba:

Anger Management: Goosefrabba: How do you constructively deal with the anger and resentment that arises as a result of living with Migraine/Headache Disorders?

There are only four clear responses I have to this question...

1) I go to my migraine support forum and discuss the issue at hand- sometimes just knowing others get my frustration helps a great deal. Other times people have useful suggestions to dealing with the source of my aggravation. Or just get the issue I am talking about and can relate and it opens up a deeper discussion on the subject.

2) I blog- Generally speaking when I am angry about something it has to do with the frustrations of living with chronic pain, the stigma of it and how people just do not get the level of suffering we endure on a daily basis while trying to so-called 'function'.... but that has very little to do with a particular person making some remark or causing me problems in life. So I do a blog post post that is a good blog rant about my …

Migraine Awareness Month # 26 Men in Black: Migraine Neuralizer:

Men in Black: Migraine Neuralizer: How do you cope with the way Migraine/Headache Disorders can impact our memories?

I am seriously malfunctioning right now with a two day acute migraine with some seriously insane fatigue so lets see how much sense This will make shall we?

A good topic. Since I have daily migraines and many of them are acute and not treated (can't overuse those tripans can we my friends?) what we have here is a situation where I am in a lot of pain when memories are being processed... and studies have shown this affects long term and short term memory. Duh. Don't need a study to figure that one out. Anyone can test this affect... just break your leg and go to a crowded room and have a nice long conversation about Nietzsche or something and then five days later try to remember who was in the room, who that conversation was with and the details of it, not being on pain killer for the leg.

I admit for me it might be a tad affected by FM, sleep deprivation and la…

Non-invasive non-drug no surgery treatment for nerve types of pain

The set up reminds me of the physiotherapy treatment the give you went you are injured... hook you up and run a current through you and tell you to crank it up slowly as you tolerate the current more... still do not quite get how that was helpful but I did rather have problems with some injuries and sprains when I was younger, although in One case a severe sprain the doc said if I had not been so flexible I could have broken some of the small bones in my foot... granted had I not been so flexible I would not have been able to fold my foot in half and step on it so badly as to sprain it so severely in the first place. Still find that hilarious, although it was a nasty one for sure. Anyway.... this hook up here looks to be good for neuropathic pain, RSD pain, nerve pain from shingles and other nerve pain related conditions. It's now going through multiple tests at medical centers and pain centers around the country. Unlike traditional electrical devices, Calmare administers 16 d…

Migraine Awareness Month #25 Lincoln:

Lincoln: Who's your favorite historical figure who lived with Migraine or another Headache Disorder?

I'm hard pressed to say which is my favorite. The philosopher in me really has a fondness for Friedrich Nietzsche. But I also really enjoy the imagery of Vincent Van Gogh.

Now Nietzsche I have read quite a bit of and I enjoy his writing immensely. I had no idea he had migraines... would make sense if he was plagued with them chronically because there is something very much like a person fighting an endless battle with himself that he cannot win. However just migraines I imagine were bad enough when treatment was quite a bit different then. There can be no doubt the man was brilliant and an excellent writer. You don't necessarily get that combo often in a philosopher by the way...  brilliant sometimes, an excellent writer, not often... more cumbersome would be the word. I do not always agree with Nietzsche's theories but I always enjoy reading him and sometimes I find hi…

Migraine Awareness Month #24 Risky Business:

Risky Business: Each time you try a new treatment you take a risk. How do you initiate a discussion with your doctor so you can make an educated decision about trying it as a team?

This topic amuses me to some extent. Because I am so passive when it comes to treatment. And in the past I assumed my doctors and neurologists would know how to handle the situation. I go in with a problem and it is their job to resolve those issues. However, it certainly does not work out that way does it? So maybe I'm an example of what people should not do rather than what they should do.

Like I had an adverse reaction to Imitrex shots (I have an adverse reaction to all triptans, but Imitrex was far worse). In this case it was the angina they were worried about. My doctor took me off it and would not put me on another triptan as a result. This is clearly the right choice. However, being a doctor she would not consider painkillers as an option and instead chose strong anti-inflamatories even though …

Migraine & Headache Awareness Month #23 - Bruce Almighty: How does spirituality and/or religion help you cope?

Bruce Almighty: How does spirituality and/or religion help you cope?

I suppose I could have picked an alternate topic for this one because it is sort of difficult when I am not religious or really spiritual in any strong sense of the word so hard to express any way it would affect my ability to cope. I get too philosophical on this sort of topic and most people don't like it when I get philosophical really so I will not refer to any of that overly.

Fact is I'm about as Agnostic as they come. People often think that means indecisive. Like you cannot make up your mind on what you believe. But I have many strong principles and beliefs, I'm just that sort of person that loves theories, loves thinking about theories, loves speculating about theories, loves analyzing theories and in the end even my own  theories leaves room for being proven wrong or altering them when new evidence comes along. Since in the case of religion and spirituality there is a lot of belief, a lot of fai…

Migraine and Facial Pain

Prevalence of facial pain in migraine: a population-based study.

Unilateral head pain focused on frontal, orbital or parietal regions is a leading symptom of migraine attacks. Rarely, head pain in migraine can extend involving the maxillary or mandibular region of the face, sometimes isolated facial pain is the only and atypical presentation of migraine. The prevalence of these unusual symptoms in migraine is unknown. We aimed to estimate the true prevalence of facial pain in migraine in a population-based sample of 517 migraine patients in Germany. In 46 (8.9%) cases migraine pain involved the head and the lower half of the face. Patients with facial pain suffer more trigemino-autonomic symptoms than migraine patients (47.8% vs. 7.9%; alpha(2) = 66.23, P < 0.001). In one case isolated facial pain without headache was the leading symptom of migraine. Our results demonstrate that facial pain is not unusual in migraine, whereas isolated facial migraine is extremely rare.

Migraine Awareness Month #22 Walk the Line: here a trigger there a trigger everywhere a trigger trigger

Walk the Line: How do you balance the need to avoid your Migraine/Headache Disorder triggers  with the equally powerful need to enjoy the things that give your life meaning?

here a trigger there a trigger everywhere a trigger trigger

That gives my life meaning... well that is certainly something that has changed over time due to chronic migraines... given some of the things that gave my life meaning were things I gave up due to this disease and I had to create new meaning.

However, aside from that fact what remains is someone with a hermit lifestyle and that is due to the fact that I have always been an intervert and when you add a crap load of pain introverts are even Less inclined to play, we just want to retreat more so we can have that quiet time that is more rejuvenating and do the activities that are more pleasurable to us that don't require an overload of stimulus. Until we realize, oops, we completely let that social life thing die and even if we did want to go out there i…

Migraine Awareness Month #21 Oblivion.

Migraine Awareness Month #21 Oblivion.


That sort of says it all. Seeking Oblivion.

o·bliv·i·on(-blv-n)n. (
1. The condition or quality of being completely forgotten: "He knows that everything he writes is consigned to posterity (oblivion's other, seemingly more benign, face)"(Joyce Carol Oates). 2. The act or an instance of forgetting; total forgetfulness: sought the great oblivion of sleep. oblivion
1.unconsciousness, forgetfulness, senselessness, obliviousness, unawareness, insensibility, (waters of) LetheHe drank himself into oblivion.
unconsciousnessperception, awareness, consciousness, sensibility 2.neglect, anonymity, insignificance, obscurity, limbo, nothingness, unimportanceMost of these performers will fail and sink into oblivion. 3.extinction, annihilation, eradication, obliterationAn entire section of the town was bombed into oblivion.

I think of wishing for oblivion... for unconsciousness, for nothingness, for just a coma l…