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 future. We know this is not true however. We know it rationally, but the pain can consume all reason at times. We just know how demanding that pain is on our minds to make us believe it is true when we are suffering. Never for a moment believe it is consuming you because you are so much more than that pain and so much more than the struggle to endure it. One of our greatest battles is staving off this feeling that the pain is winning and we must fight this battle too, at any cost. We must do all that we can to reduce our suffering, even when we cannot reduce the pain. We must seek out anything that helps with this, no matter how minor, no matter what others think about the methods we use... if it helps with our suffering we must use it because this dark, heavy feeling in our most horrific of pain moments that it will never end, that this is to be our existence forever... is false. It is a lie. We are more than just the pain. And we cannot let the suffering consume us either.

I know the pain is isolating. You feel that it can never be understood. You have felt the sharp bite of stigma in many areas of your life. Know that your loved ones love you even if they cannot comprehend all aspects of this struggle. Know that they care about your life and maybe they do not know what to say or do all the time but this is a difficult thing to do. No one always knows what to say or do around someone they love who is chronically ill and will never get better. They want to help but don't always know they way or the words. And maybe they fail to find the right words sometimes but they still love you. Know that their presence in your life, and yours in theirs, is important and vital and not to be underestimated. You have value for who are and not what you can do. Know that it is an extremely difficult thing for loved ones to see someone they love in pain that they cannot conquer and this is difficult for them as well. I know the stigma we face in this world is difficult to manage. There are times when you will face doctors who do not understand the scope of you pain and the impact of this disease and know that it may be better for you to seek another doctor than to get him or her to comprehend it. Know that it is important to have a level of comfort and the ability to communicate with your primary physician. If you feel diminished and ignored it is not better to be stoic and stop mentioning your symptoms or pain... it is their job to treat you not feel comfortable with your disease. Doctors and neurologists will have problems treating conditions with no cure. It is a simple fact they will eventually come to a point where they will become frustrated with our lack of progress, perhaps even seeming like it is your fault, perhaps even suggesting it in some way. Understand that it is their job to treat these illnesses and if they cannot handle the ones with no cure, they are in the wrong job. However, be open to alternative suggestions and changes to your lifestyle as we can never know what will have an impact on this disease. I know your frustration a at facing stigma in the workplace. The stress of working full time with CM is vastly misunderstood. I could recommend open communication with your employer about work place accommodation and flexible hours but you likely have already tried that. You likely have already sat through some unpleasant conversations with your employer about your productivity or absences. Know that you should never be made to feel guilty for that which you have no control over. Even if you comprehend the difficulty of their side of things understand that people are permitted to have diseases and illnesses and be employed and they would never treat someone with other diseases such as cancer that way. Know that you have rights as an employee. And please understand that there may come a time when you may have to make alternative career choices or work part time instead for the sake of your physical, mental and emotional health... and that this choice does not make you worth any less as a person but rather means you will survive this chronic pain battle better.

In the end, there is no wrong choices here. There is only what helps you survive. There is only the strategies that get you through the day. What helps you cope. What makes you suffering less. We all break down at times. We all falter. In the end we get back up to fight another day. And we are stronger in our broken places, because we know what it is to survive, to fight, to endure. I don't want to say that mere survival is the aim but it is sometimes all we can manage at times. We can achieve more than a mere existence of survival though. Part of our coping process can be fitting things that give us pleasure into those cracks within the pain. Part of our mental and emotional well-being trying to find ways to manage our suffering. Until hopefully we have this life in there... a chronic migraineur life... but a life. And that is something to aim for while we hope for effective treatments. And that is what I want for you and everyone like you... to have a life beyond survival, to reduce your suffering in any way you can, to continue to fight at all costs and to hold onto hope.

June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

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. Sometimes it is T3s which is hardly a rescue med really and once Tramacet which did a little better but not much, but something is better than nothing... and usually it is nothing.

The status migraines are dangersous when I get them, as they are for as all... a acute migraine lasting more than three days. It requires a trip to the ER. The ER here gives me toradol which doesn't abort the status migraine. Toradol shots, like toradol pills, which I had a very adverse reaction to, I also have a adverse reaction to. So I stopped going to the ER. My doctor prescribed me toradol shots anyway, if I wanted the side effects I could have them at home. So it can be difficult to get adequate treatment or understanding at an ER for the seriousness of migraine disease or educated doctors on it.

I had a migraine that lasted about six days or so... on the fourth day I woke up with half my hand numb. Felling rotten as well I called in sick. As I said didn't go to the ER. The numbness spread from half the hand across all the way to the thumb until it was the whole hand... as it did so over the course of a few days it also spread to the left hand, pinkie, side of hand and tip of ring finger before it stopped. This nerve damage which is permanent was caused by the migraines. It causes lack of dexterity, the pinkie in particular on my right side can't even fully move right, lack of the ability to feel texture due to the numbness, pricking pain when I press on things, a nerve pain at times that is very unpleasant. So dangerous to have a migraine last that long. Apparently it is possible I had a stroke in my sleep... not sure, either way nerve damage occurred.

The migraines themselves being unmanaged obviously affect my ability to work. I missed a great deal of work, which displeased my employer greatly. I went on many leave of absences due to stress and changes to treatments. My career was affected as I was demoted more than once because of this.

I had a hard time managing the pain and working. It was simply too much pain to handle while working full time. Caused a great deal of stress. Caused a great deal of sleep deprivation. Caused powerful bouts of depression. Eventually caused a suicide attempt. Fortunately I was lucky enough that my brother has a bizarre bout of insomnia that night and felt the need to check on me. That led to a short term leave of absence. And more depression when I returned to the same factors and same pain. Everything changes and everything stays the same.

I'm currently on a long term leave of absence... I believe the only reason I got it to be honest was because of the depression... like chronic migraines are not Significant enough to warrant a long term leave of absence. I don't believe it will last long. And I have no clue what to do when it is up. And that gives me some significant anxiety... because I am afraid to return to that... that desperation I felt when I worked full time... it is not a nice place to Live in. To want to survive in.

And that is what chronic migraines are for me.

And does that make me a misfit? Maybe... but not a lonely one... no... not by a long shot. So many of us share this road together. So many of us don't survive this road. So many of us fighting to survive.

Does it make me feel discarded, ignored, dismissed? Yes. That. It makes me feel that. Like the impact of my migraines is no big deal. My career has been greatly impacted. I have no idea how to resolve the problems with it. I have suffered permanent damage to my body. I have tried to kill myself. Yet... no major impact. No big deal. Clearly I can just deal with it with a few lifestyle changes and all this will go away. I feel like a misfit, a group of misfits that are under treated, vastly ignored and stigmatized in many facets of our lives.

This post took all day, pieces of the day I could manage to get done... it is in fact now the next day. But I got it done. At least I manged to do something... definitely didn't manage anything else from the couch. Such a lost day. June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

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 10,609 had LFEM, 640 with HFEM and 655 with CM.

"Researchers found respondents with HFEM and CM reported significantly lower household income levels, were less likely to be employed full time and were more likely to be occupationally disabled compared to those with LFEM. Data also showed as headache frequency increased, so did diagnoses of anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. Rates of chronic pain also increased and were significantly higher in those with HFEM and CM. Additionally, patients with HFEM and CM reported higher rates of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, such as asthma, bronchitis, heart disease and stroke, compared to those with LFEM. Significant differences were not seen between those with CM and HFEM on most variables."

"“These data suggest a substantial biological overlap between HFEM and CM,” said Richard B. Lipton, M.D., director, Montefiore Headache Center, and professor and vice chair of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. “It is apparent, based on these findings, that people living in this “border zone” of high-frequency episodic migraine face a similar burden as those with chronic migraine. There is a need for additional treatment options to for people with HFEM who in many ways experience similar challenges to those with chronic migraine.”"

I lived in the border zone for a time so I can honestly agree the impact is very similar. So similar I cannot tell you the difference to tell you the truth. Because for a time I didn't know my menstrual migraines were migraines so when I went into chronic migraines is really hard to say... so obviously there was no change in impact. All I can say is when my migraines with aura went into chronic migraines and then, in fact, I would have been well into chronic migraines... and way over the border line. The only difference in regards to impact was when I began to work full time and my sleep issues began to seriously impact my migraines and they went from well about I guess 20 to daily, then back to 20 with the best treatment I ever had, then back to daily again. So daily, working full time, with little pain management... that makes a different. But the impact from HFEM and CM I think we are really in the same boat to be honest... and one that can easily rock the wrong way.

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 when you laugh and smile that means 'poof' you are better or magically you are no longer in pain. Do they think we should be miserable all the time? That we deserve to be? Or that they believe they would be in our shoes?

I am widely known for my giggle. I think it is a womanly chuckle. But I have been repeatedly told it is a giggle. 'Oh I knew you were here... I heard a Nikki giggle.' Ah. Yes. How I make an entrance. Several people know I am in the building because of my giggle. It is an awesome laugh though. Couldn't change it if I wanted to. And I have been told a few times that I sort of have a nervous giggle or make jokes about things about my health that should not be funny... well, sort of is... gallows humor I guess and those are sort of bad pain days or when people insist on discussing things that are not actually funny and I'm trying to lighten the mood by brushing it off. But most days I would rather laugh about Other things... anything really. Anything at all. And you know really bad pain days when I don't have a giggle to my name. Sadly. Lost my giggle.

I have always been an introspective introverted person. It was really coping with pain that brought out that inner goofball. Found that sarcasm rather was worse for coping and just permitted myself to find the humor in life. Gave myself permission to act goofy if I wanted to. Laugh when I felt like it. Be around people that made me want to be free to laugh. And I coped far better I found when I let my inner goofball out to play once in a while. Definitely isn't always sufficient... because the Joker is also a fine facade. See me Smile and Laugh? Smoke and mirrors. But laughter is certainly something I would rather encourage in my life for sure.

Here are some of the Somecards I have made to spread my weird sense of health humor.

June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

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 vascular disease.
In addition, the FDA recommends that migraine patients with CVD risk factors (e.g., hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoker, obesity, diabetes, strong family history of coronary artery disease, women with surgical or physiological menopause, men over 40 years of age) should be evaluated for silent myocardial ischemia before receiving a triptan, and in some cases, have their first dose administered in a medically supervised setting.
In order to determine the scope of individuals with episodic migraine (EM) for whom triptans are contraindicated, investigators examined the prevalence of these conditions by evaluating 6,723 people with EM obtained by screening a representative sample of over 160,000 Americans in the American Migraine Prevention and Prevalence (AMPP) Study database" (Wall Street Journal

Results indicate that a substantial proportion of persons with EM also have cardiovascular events, cardiovascular disease (CVD), or CVD risk factors. The study showed that:
   -- 18.4% of episodic migraineurs had a contraindication to triptan use based 
      on a history of at least one cardiovascular event including: heart attack, 
      stroke, claudication, or angina, or procedure such as stenting or bypass 
   -- Rates of a history of at least one cardiovascular event or procedure 
      increased with age from 11% of those younger than 40, to 18.7% of those 
      age 40-59 to 33.6% for those 60 and older. 
   -- Rates were slightly higher in males compared to females across the 

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 frustration as to not unload on any one person or I do a blog post about my frustrations in general, about the stigma in general or about what it is like to cope with this life on a daily basis. It gets it out of my system in a healthy manner and saves me from snapping at people when I should not, although there are cases when those people deserve a good reality check to be honest in how they treat people with chronic pain and apparently informing them of the facts, being polite and telling them of what I am doing isn't 'sufficient' to help them 'get it'... but most people it really has little to do with what they said but more to do with the pain at that time and the level of frustrating I feel with enduring that pain daily. It is the same with resentment and bitterness... at lack of treatment, doctors and so forth... I get that out in my blog and it calms me down a bit.

3) Creative writing- when it comes to just frustration and this strong resentment that builds up I find I often have to redirect this energy into a completely different direction. Usually I go for creative writing. Lot of emotions can be dumped into creative writing without dwelling on the cause of those emotions, or thinking about those emotions, but it is an outlet nonetheless and a pretty good one since it can relax me quite a bit from a high stress state of say dealing with work or dealing with doctors and nothing is going right and nothing I do seems to affect it.

4) Lack of a good memory- Oddly enough that pain haze that prevents me from remembering clearly certain details of many things, including events and people... also prevents me from remembering the details of things that would cause me to really resent particular people and situations. It is like 'eternal return of the same'... I know this to be true for a fact because there was one day I was writing about work situations for an awareness post and went back into old posts for specifics... and found old posts about similar cases where I had been treated the same way, with a similar horrible effect on me, over and over again... and in some of those cases I a) forgot the details of it such that I forgot I had reacted so intensely or that it had caused things to get so significantly worse or led to a short term leave of absence or b) if it was far enough back forgotten that it had occurred, like forgotten those work place stigmas or incidents had occurred that early on. And it is this pain haze of a memory that enabled me to work without resentment and bitterness for so long because I'd get through these rough patches or back from a short term leave and carry on one day at a time without keeping a mental tally of these nasty incidents that had really hurt my feelings, or drastically affected my pain, or were very unpleasant or in some cases you had to wonder why the hell I didn't call HR (which in most of those incidents I ought to have but was too ill informed). Frankly I loath to carry resentment and bitterness so I often choose to forgive and move on... which I think it is just what happens and then I forget which then makes it easier. I don't think this particularly worked in my favor in this sort of situation to be honest, but nevertheless it is a factor when it comes to resentment isn't it? Can't have it if you can't remember well enough to remember why you should have it.

June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

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 lately topamax.

It rather has a dramatic effect. It was most profound when I am working because the pain is pretty intense and I am focusing pretty hard on attempting to do my job. And I did do my job to the best of my ability with more typos than my fair share and likely more small errors. The problem was I could have an hour long discussion with a customer, go into great detail with him, and then... the next day he comes in with a follow up question about his application and I do not recognize his face or name. Keep in mind, still working that application... just cannot recognize the face that belongs to it or apparently the name that belongs to the face. Because all those details that were not absolutely essential to my work task disappear within moments of that person walking away from me. It is like living in a weird memory bubble... if you are in close radius to me, fine, walk away... poof gone. I can refresh it by reminding myself about the application and it jogs my memory of the conversation and then I'm fine to carry on our conversation, but the face and name never become linked. Because of course Still in a crapload of pain. It is a pain haze existence. And it affects other things as well... I would 'forget' certain things I Knew as fact... how to do things, what policies were in affect... so I had cheat books, like I mean Binders I could reference when my brain blacked out on information it usually just Knew. Irritating as hell because there were times I forgot things and didn't know I forgot them until the computer system came up with an error and I was like why the hell is this error coming up... oh, because my brain is operating on information from a Year ago and it doesn't compute. Well then have to fix that entire application. Fortunately that was rare. More of a typo issue for me so my audit scores sucked because I could never find those damned little errors for the life of me but at least they don't actually affect an application. Now I got around some of these issues with technology... like utilizing features on the work calender program to keep track of my applications and anything else I needed to keep track of, as well as have some daily notes in there. I would print of these lists of active applications, with names of applicants, for easy reference when they came in and had ways of trying to get them to say something so I could remember who they were... since I do this often in daily life I get fairly decent at it, although I suspect that blank look in my face gives away the fact I do not recall them and I hated that. Anyway, this way I knew what was a priority at all times. I had quite reference notes and of course binders of more detailed reference notes and bookmarked pages of internet reference sites for the industry I often utilized. I just became much more organized at finding places for the information I needed. Oh and sticky notes. I had lots of those around my computer right in my face as reminder of simple things. I seriously had one to remind me of how many weeks were in a year... because there was this time frame when I forgot this and my brain decided it was 56. Doesn't help with poor concentration or worse aphasia but I got by the best I could given the circumstances. Poor pain management really inhibits memory I find but also just the enviroment is just so migraine unfriendly... if only you could work in the nice dark quietness. Like at home.

Anyway my memories so in the time I worked full time so for a long time are Hazy in the extreme. My spouse holds all the main details to those memories. 'Remember when we went to dinner there? Who was with us that time. I know I was there and I know you were there. Who else was there?' And he will be like 'That was your birthday and your brother was there. Remember? We did this and this and then we went there?' Oh yeah. Sort of remember some of that. So he is great for helping me remember, well, my life. I also have this tendency to take an insane amount of pictures when we go on trips because each of those is a memory for me... each visual image spikes the memory. I like to do this with any occasion but people don't generally like this, but if I could get away with it I would.

In every day life what do I do to help with this insane absent-mindendness?

1) I utilize an app on my iPhone that is a planner to put in all my appointments with reminders and put in to-do lists and tasks... and I have to have to-do lists or things just never get done because I just forget about them over and over again. So mini check lists for simple little things... makes me feel like I'm 'getting things done'. I also use the reminders on the iPhone itself.

2) Calenders- in addition to my planner I have major things posted on my calender in the kitchen so that I know they are approaching. Just a big visual reminder. And I have things on repeat on my Google calender so I know for example... mortgage payment went through account today or paycheque when into account today... those are to remind myself to do my banking.

3) I write notes- I am old school with my note taking on some things. I mean I have an app for that in most cases. But if I have an article idea or a story notation... I have a notebook for it. If I have something I want to discuss with my doctor I have a notebook for heath matters... when I post the appointment in my iPhone I will note in there what I want to discuss so I remember, but it is all tracked in a notebook so I remember.

4) I blog- If there is an article, study, site I want to remember it ends up on my blog or page. And if there is something going on with my health I blog about it and that is like my own health tracker so if I forget when something happened, or what side effect I had with such and such... I can look back at it.

 June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

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 different algorithm signals in three second intervals. Though it hasn't been proven yet, researchers believe the stimulation may be altering the brain's interpretation of the pain signal— changing it to a no-pain signal. According the Dr. Erick Bingham at Utah Valley Pain Relief, "it gives people another option which doesn't have any side effects," said Dr. Erick Bingham from Utah Valley Pain Relief. " While there are theories, we don't necessarily know how it works or why it works, but it does."...In a Johns Hopkins study, patients with post-shingles pain experienced a 95 percent average reduction in pain. Researchers continue documenting dramatic results as studies enlarge into wider population of pain victims.
In some cases it isn't getting rid of the pain but pretty dramatically reducing the pain levels... and when it comes to pain that means dramatically reducing the effects on mobility and quality of life.

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 him very profound. People have used his theories to pump up their own belief systems numerous times even when they are seriously stretching what he actually meant. But you can get a lot out of his works that is for sure, different things at different times or a little more each time. People still love to quote him today and here are some common ones..

"To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering."
"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man." 
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” 
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” 
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
“Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.” 
“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” 
“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.”

And this one is not that common but I like it... and not in its intended way, but because I think as a pain hermit even in my strongest words, even in my screaming, there is a resounding silence and concealment of the true experience. 
"In the writings of a hermit we always hear also something of the echo of desolation, something of the whispers and the timid gazing around of isolation; from his strongest words, even from his screaming, resounds a new and dangerous kind of silence and concealment."

Vincent Van Gogh has a presence to his artwork. A vividness and at times very tormented. And I get that. I really didn't like him when I was younger... very much appreciated artists that were very precise and painted something that looked very much what it was, the more specific detail the better. But of course with all my auras, the persistent migraine auras, my perception of reality has become a rather different sort of thing and when I find artists that reflect That reality I like it. And when that artist also is so vivid with his color choices and his strokes are so deep... makes it deeper to me. So I have quite an appreciation for him that I never did before.

And I will leave you with a bit from Thus spake Zarathustra (Love this book)

"Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: how the spirit becometh a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.
Many heavy things are there for the spirit, the strong load-bearing spirit in which reverence dwelleth: for the heavy and the heaviest longeth its strength.
What is heavy? so asketh the load-bearing spirit; then kneeleth it down like the camel, and wanteth to be well laden.
What is the heaviest thing, ye heroes? asketh the load-bearing spirit, that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.
Is it not this: To humiliate oneself in order to mortify one's pride? To exhibit one's folly in order to mock at one's wisdom?
Or is it this: To desert our cause when it celebrateth its triumph? To ascend high mountains to tempt the tempter?
Or is it this: To feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge, and for the sake of truth to suffer hunger of soul?
Or is it this: To be sick and dismiss comforters, and make friends of the deaf, who never hear thy requests?
Or is it this: To go into foul water when it is the water of truth, and not disclaim cold frogs and hot toads?
Or is it this: To love those who despise us, and give one's hand to the phantom when it is going to frighten us?
All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon itself: and like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the wilderness, so hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness.
But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second metamorphosis: here the spirit becometh a lion; freedom will it capture, and lordship in its own wilderness.
Its last Lord it here seeketh: hostile will it be to him, and to its last God; for victory will it struggle with the great dragon.
What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to call Lord and God? "Thou-shalt," is the great dragon called. But the spirit of the lion saith, "I will."
"Thou-shalt," lieth in its path, sparkling with gold--a scale-covered beast; and on every scale glittereth golden, "Thou shalt!"
The values of a thousand years glitter on those scales, and thus speaketh the mightiest of all dragons: "All the values of things--glitter on me.
All values have already been created, and all created values--do I represent. Verily, there shall be no 'I will' any more. Thus speaketh the dragon.
My brethren, wherefore is there need of the lion in the spirit? Why sufficeth not the beast of burden, which renounceth and is reverent?
To create new values--that, even the lion cannot yet accomplish: but to create itself freedom for new creating--that can the might of the lion do.
To create itself freedom, and give a holy Nay even unto duty: for that, my brethren, there is need of the lion.
To assume the right to new values--that is the most formidable assumption for a load-bearing and reverent spirit. Verily, unto such a spirit it is preying, and the work of a beast of prey.
As its holiest, it once loved "Thou-shalt": now is it forced to find illusion and arbitrariness even in the holiest things, that it may capture freedom from its love: the lion is needed for this capture.
But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to become a child?
Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a self- rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.
Aye, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed a holy Yea unto life: ITS OWN will, willeth now the spirit; HIS OWN world winneth the world's outcast.
Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how the spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.--
Thus spake Zarathustra."

  June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

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 I have IBS-D and diarrhea as a symptom of migraines which might indicate to someone that I might not tolerate such medications on a regular basis, as in every migraine. So I was put on Toradol. Perhaps unsurprisingly it began to cause severe cramping pain and diarrhea. So she switched me to Arthrotec and same thing, but it didn't cause stomach pain, just cramping in the intestines, which made it slightly better, and still diarrhea. She said it would get better once I 'got used to it' and I believed her. I believed her until diarrhea became more blood... then just blood. Fast forward a year of taking pills to fix that problem and I still can't take anti-inflamatories even OTC. And... the next doctor (given I was rather displeased with the last) put me back on triptans, even though I was taken of them because that adverse reaction of chest pains and breathing issues isn't something to mess around with... and I didn't argue because, well he wasn't going to put me on painkillers was he? And I needed to work so... what could I do? And that is why I never take more than one triptan a day or two days in a row... I don't like those side effects and they are freaky.

Same doctor who put me back on triptans years later decided I didn't need my asthma preventative anymore. Just took me off it. I'm just going to say that resulted in dizzy spells and a surprisingly low peak flow and of course more adverse reactions from my triptans because when they cause issues, that is how I treat the breathing issues. And waking up not breathing, as in gasping for air because you took your triptan the night before and have no asthma preventative is not bloody fun... good thing I still had my asthma inhaler or I would have had some serious problems. He also put me on Toradol shots and told me the stabbing pain I got from them was just the aspirin getting into the stomach and that it wasn't a problem like the toradol pills would be for me... yet whatever that pain was it lasts and it still causes IBS-D problems.

And I stopped going to the ER for status migraines because, of course, the ER here treats every migraine with toradol status or not. So when I had the status migraine that caused the nerve damage with my hand never went to the ER when it turned status, or when the nerve damage happened. My doc thought it might have been a persistent migraine aura! Seriously. One neuro believes I had a stroke in my sleep that caused the initial nerve damage. Which then progressed from there. Other neuro thinks the migraine caused the nerve damage. Either way the ER would have treated the status migraine with toradol, which doesn't abort them with me and it would have happened anyway. Which is why I don't go to the ER and clearly I should have anyway, maybe after even if I don't think it would have helped. But once you realize they don't do anything to abort the status migraine effectively then the risks involved with them will be there whether you go to the ER or not... clearly. And that is pretty dangerous and risky considering I might have had a stroke and could again I guess. I've been told what I should do is say I have an adverse reaction to toradol so they do something different... but different how? Clearly they fail to understand what a status migraine Is.

So yeah risky business.

With neurologists I bring in all my information. Which they never look at anyway. I discuss all the issues that are of major importance. And they have their recommendations. A good neuro will discuss options and side effects and we review which one to choose. A bad neuro has one option and you just have to take it, no discussion offered. However I rarely see a neuro and so sort of have to go with whatever they recommend otherwise hard to see any changes. I mean if they offer one crappy solution that I think will not work... I'll try it so we can move on to the next one. If they have another option. The last one recommended 400mgs of topamax... I made it to 300mgs and had so many side effects was sicker than hell and he seemed so disappointed in me that I didn't tolerate it and also had no other recommendations for medications. He is not a neuro I would recommend, unless you want to try this treatment because it is his go to one for everyone... one size fits all.

And clearly over time I have realized all this has caused some problems. Not just problems but it shows a sort of passiveness on my part and a dangerous passiveness. I do realize I needed the triptans to work for example... but also that I was in so much pain that I didn't care if angina turned out to be a heart attack that might kill me. And I realize the fact that no one looking into the nerve damage on my hand means while they can speculate on the causes of it all they want... they don't even know the extent of the damage let alone anything else and that sort of pisses me off. And I realize being diagnosed with migraine associated vertigo but not having anyone treat it at all is a pretty big problem these days. So lets just say, I'm working on a pretty extensive list to bring to my new neuro to address specifically. However depends on the neuro whether they will actually look into things, actually discuss treatments with me or not. And frankly I will still go with what they recommend because my preventatives do not work so what can I do but try something different?

However with doctors I've learned now to be far more cautious. I have found a doctor who at least listens to what I say which is a benefit. She put me back on my asthma medication. Told me to stop taking the Toradol shots. Put me on depo for the menstrual migraines. So in the end it is just a damn good thing to have a doctor you can communicate with clearly. She is the one sending me to a pain clinic and a new neuro as well. I have hopes that we will develop a good doctor patient relationship. If I trust that she listens to my concerns then I will trust the treatment solutions she offers. And she will trust that if I am having a problems with that treatment I am seriously having a problem. I don't have any need to tell her how to do her job or bring information with me, unless I heard of a medication that I want to know about, but I know I cannot be passive either. Like she looked into some back pain I have been having and after some tests it looks like it is just FM... just FM is a problem though because clearly it is being caused by my exercise attempts and I've been experiencing a lot of pain from mild exercise, including this back pain which rather prevents me from walking far when it is aggravated and we jointly decided that a small increase to my Lyrica might improve my ability to exercise, as it might decrease my pain sensitivity. So she investigated the problem and when we discover it was an FM problem, which was still a problem, we looked at how to improve that. There are many ways we could have dealt with this. And a crappy doctor... would have done nothing. Hell a crappy doctor would have assumed it was FM of the get go and not even looked into it or recommended a thing. That is what I'm used to. June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

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 faith and very little fact, some theories, but the facts can be used one way or the other... I cannot choose any one system I have preference for, just sort of like certain aspects to many systems of thought to be honest, and value certain things from many of them for different reasons, but have no actual faith in any of them. I have a Masters in Philosophy and my area of study was metaphysics... in particular I had a fascination with ontology... theories of what Is. And when you are really into ontology you delve into fields of philosophy of religion and philosophy of science as well.

Point is there are philosophers who are adamant atheists and those who are extremely religious. But for me it made me very agnostic. My own cynical nature, the world as it is and dealing with chronic pain... made me very inclined to be an atheist. But philosophy and being able to see more arguments and physics and being able to see the scope of the universe, just the nature of how the design is, made me disinclined to eliminate the possibility of something divine from my own ontological system... however, no ontology I ever thought of would be Dependent on the divine. No divine causation. No divine plan. No determination. Because you cannot prove the existence of anything divine and therefore shouldn't have an ontology dependent logically on it, which some are. Because that is the way my mind works. To be otherwise requires faith, an element I do not have. Which would be why, I suppose, I'm agnostic. Philosophy of religion was one of my favorite areas of study, you get both sides of the fence but for me, definitely makes you more firmly agnostic.

In other words I allow for the possibility. But I do not allow for an entity that is anthropomorphized in any way. That has a special relationship with humanity in any way. If there is a divine in the universe to me it could be simply all the is, all that causes change... that which creates order from chaos, patterns from chaos, life from just matter... and makes no distinction between you, me, my cat, and the tree outside. And to me why would it? Isn't a dog just as amazing in its existence as a fish or a zebra or a spider or the planet itself or the galaxy? The fact that the universe exists rather than nothing at all is astonishing. The fact there is life rather than no life is amazing. To me that is enough to edge me into being agnostic. I mean the fabric of reality is so intangible it is fascinating to me. And again I like to think that if something divine exists it would be something within everything, not something beyond everything... something that connects everything because when it comes to it our reality of objects appearing distinct and separate can be the appearance when you look deeper down and everything is connected. And I think if there is something divine within the universe it isn't something I can comprehend or label.

Which is awesome to think about and in no way helps me cope with chronic pain I expect. I just love thinking about such things I think. In fact, I'd say the opposite, because I may have a very grand view of the universe, a very philosophical or spiritual view of the divine... but a very cynical view of humanity. A very cynical view on life itself in general as well. But it does mean I have an open mind about many spiritual systems and I suppose some of them I like a lot, or parts of them. I think the only one that helps when it comes to dealing with chronic pain is Buddhism really. That is more as a choice on what I believe this life is about and how to live life. But there is a lot of value to Buddhism I think that goes with coping with chronic pain that I honestly think I could explore more. And perhaps that is why when I studied it during one class I found it the most appealing to be honest. Also there is a part of me that believes there is more to being human than the purely physical existence... and there is nothing I have learned that suggests I can discount such things from an ontology because we have not learned enough in physics to do so... in other words when we think about science in an archaic materialistic way then sure there is nothing to being human than our bodies and the brain with its neural constructs. Yet we know physics has revealed a reality far deeper than that and one which reality is connected and far more intangible than we once thought. So how can we say we know all there is about being human? We can't eliminate possibilities at all I think. We don't even completely understand the brain, our own consciousness, the consciousness of other species even... to really even scratch the surface.

So really spirituality wise there is more depth to us that I figure we know... and many belief systems aid with this I am sure. And I think coping with migraines... there is this fact that I understand pills are never going to be the solution. We have to think of ourselves mind, body and spirit when it comes to illness... as embodied beings that are all of these things combined so all therapies interact and affect all areas. Just body never seems to work it seems. We want to think that in the beginning. That doctors have the answers, but they actually never seem to really know do they? And it is left to us. Things like mediation were never said to be 'real' medicine back in the day but study after study show how they affect the body and the mind... so these sorts of things are tools we can utilize. Same with acupuncture... used to be sort of unreliable therapy wasn't it... and numerous studies have shown it to be beneficial even if they cannot agree Why. So we should believe that these things we do to manage our pain, our moods have more power than we seem to think they do because it all affects parts of the system. We give more power to the body than we do the mind... but that mind has plenty of power and don't seem to realize they are very connected. It has levels we do not understand and some therapies we use work on those levels we do not understand. And some therapies help us cope with dealing with how the brain is designed to deal with pain... two areas respond to pain, physically and a mental and emotional interpretation, and that interpretation comes with it a boatload of prejudices and preconceived notions about how we believe we must be when living with chronic pain, such that we work against ourselves with these negative beliefs and thoughts... and yeah we have to work that crap out all the time because the brain is designed to respond to pain all the time and we have to live with it All the Time. So I think we would get farther if we understood dualism and believing the mind is separate from the body just isn't accurate in reality, they are two sides of a coin that are the same coin and so connected that many of the therapies we use for one affect the other. We are not going to Think or Wish or Will ourselves out of pain by any means, or just stop the migraines either, but all these different things have different possibilities that I want to be open to and that I think have a possibility of reducing my overall suffering. Pain is not really something I have a choice about unfortunately and this I understood since I was quite young, but suffering is something we do have some flexibility on.

And I like to believe, but being agnostic, do not always believe, or just want to believe, that we do have a sort of life force flowing through us... because I just think there is something fundamentally profoundly different between me and a rock, and any living thing from any non-living thing that I cannot define. But if that is so I do not know how that would help us cope except that we need to take care of our lives and that isn't such an easy thing... but I think that is where less 'spectacular' therapies come to mind, like music therapy, and pet therapy (like my cats and petting my a cat makes me feel better... just does) and art therapy and doing things we enjoy for the sake of enjoying them not because we must do them. I know people do not like it when other say... maybe you just need a hobby. But I firmly believe we sort of need something like that... whatever it is to get outside of the pain once in a while, not just a pain distraction (that can be many things) but something we can dive into just for the pleasure of it. And rejuvenates us in some way we cannot define. Sort of why I wish people with chronic pain had access to art therapy because I think it would be a benefit to many of us. But I don't even think it needs to be a hobby... as I said music therapy is beneficial... and I don't mean therapy therapy I just mean losing ourselves in music. And sometimes losing ourselves in a goofy erratic dance because of it. Not saying I do that... okay, I do that. And taking a walk someplace that is filled with just nature, and maybe doing photography while you are out there, but just losing yourself in the walk, in the nature. Don't have much of that around here... but trips to the mountains? Just blissful. I think those sorts of things and anything others come up with... those are the things that maybe take care of the spirit. And I think in some ways these things have great power to help us get through this chronic pain life.

Anyway, that is just me... being all rambling with a wicked migraine all freaking day and unable to be coherent on this topic. Feel free to read some of the more philosophical thoughts I have written in the past...
Theorizing From Fundamental reality a paper on materialism and mysticism. 
Nothing Comes From Nothing a little about the Big Bang
Philosophy of Existence Now this is a paper on ontology... all about how philosophers define existence.
Philosophy of Religion a little review of concepts with tidbits from some philosophers. June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

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.

headacheandmigrainenews. Migraine: Does your face hurt? discusses this study:

"Now this is of course another of those chicken-and-egg questions, because some of those patients likely have jaw issues that are triggering migraine attacks.  But others simply have migraine attacks that cause the facial pain."

"In fact, in rare cases, there is something rare called isolated facial migraine, where the pain in the face is the main feature of the migraine. Sometimes treatment for the jaw is needed, such as an NTI-tss device.  In other cases, when the pain is coming from the migraine attack, simply treating migraine as a whole will solve the facial pain issue as well."

Makes you wonder. I know I have TMJ and I know it is getting worse. I have no idea how this affects the migraines. I do know I have pain from my temples all the way down my jaw all the time with migraines... and it is freaking nasty. And I now when I have a migraine this also makes my teeth throb with the pain.

And I know I have eye socket, cheekbone and nasal cavity and forehead pain and behind the ear pain and this is all clearly from the migraines themselves.

And I know I have nerve pain on the scalp which is allodynia pain which is caused by the central sensitization of chronic migraines and I count that because frankly when you add in the facial pain and that my whole bloody head hurts.

So it is a bit of chicken come meet egg for me. I think many of us can relate to that, eh?

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 is no one to go out with, but... whatever. And being a hermit means I avoid a great deal of the activities that are going to trigger a migraine. But that does not mean that I always avoid them... it just means when I choose to socialize, I choose to do it for whatever reason, and that I am as prepared as I can be... if possible I'll be more likely to choose things at particular times and places than others... but the fact is a migraine is usually going to be present so usually my socialization time frame will be shorter than I would want, but that is the way it is because usually it will aggravate things and that eventually will get to a point where I can no longer ignore it. I do these sorts of things... go on small trips, see events, visit family because I want to spend time with people that are important to me and who want to spend time with me, and occasionally I want to do things despite the pain I am in even though I know the consequences of it. I can prepare, but some triggers are just unavoidable, so in those cases I just do it anyway. It just cannot be done often. There is value to each of those things no matter how rare they are so it is just a cost and consequence sort of deal.

Some of the things that give my life meaning... that make me thrive sort of speak, even if I barely make money off them (sadly) is writing and that involves the computer. Being on the computer is something you really have to control the entire enviroment to handle I find... maybe because it isn't just the pain it is the insane photophobia, the vertigo and the persistent migraine auras making things wonky. So I can handle it a lot better when I: control the contrast, the brightness, add a program called Flux that changes the settings to be more friendly for day vs night, add an Irlens color filter to the screen (purple in my case) to reduce visual distortions, in a room with black out blinds and a very indirect light source in the corner with a nice cover over it to make it all soft. And then I can work on the computer pretty decently unless the vertigo or the pain or both are quite severe. Anyway I love writing. I've done it all my life but it was really something I used a great deal to cope with giving up my academic career... to fill a massive void I had with doing all the research I had been doing and the fulfillment and meaning I had in that. It is a pain distraction, yes. A hobby, yes. Something I do for awareness on the FM and migraine side for non-fiction, yes, and this sort of writing keeps me occupied in different ways. But fiction writing as well is very fulfilling and that trust me earns me pennies. Clearly it gives me something I need to keep doing it. But when I was not on long term leave these sorts of things helped me survive this existence... so worth it far more than many other things. So i will do as much as I can to minimize the impact of using a computer to not aggravate a migraine or trigger one for sure, but usually I already have one by then.

Other triggers... just lifestyle issues. A neuro tells me do this. I do that. He tells me cut out this. I cut out that. He tells me don't eat whatever. I say... eating? I should be so lucky to be able to eat normally you rotten bastard. lol. Other triggers I have no control over. Some I wish I did... damn you insomnia and painsomnia. My migraines are daily. If I'm going to do something statistically there is going to be a migraine... I have to understand that, be prepared for it, and just do whatever it is anyway. Fact of life. And sometimes you just choose to do the things you Want to bloody well do rather than all the damn things you Have to do for once despite the pain. Otherwise what life is this?

 June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

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. (thefreedictionary.com/oblivion)
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.
2. neglect, anonymity, insignificance, obscurity, limbo, nothingness, unimportance Most of these performers will fail and sink into oblivion.
3. extinction, annihilation, eradication, obliteration An entire section of the town was bombed into oblivion.

I think of wishing for oblivion... for unconsciousness, for nothingness, for just a coma like state to suck the pain away. Other times I just wish I could obliterate the migraine itself... just utterly destroy it.

And sometimes I think the pain is so intense or the vertigo and pain combo is so intense it drives my Consciousness and Awareness into a state of obliviousness... into senselessness, insensibility, limbo... into a state where action is definitely not possible but neither is thought, it is just this warping of pain and spinning and flashing lights and shifting nausea... just symptoms. No me at all. Oblivion.

 June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

I would love to just redirect you to the new site...

But sadly the redirect function doesn't function. I will continue to persist hitting it and see if it will eventually do something. Or s...