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Showing posts from July, 2013

Migraine is associated with variations in structure of brain arteries

Migraine is associated with variations in structure of brain arteries

A new study done by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found that the net of arteries supplying blood to the brain is more likely to be incomplete in people who have migraines. Say what? That is what I said. Essentially, "Variations in arterial anatomy lead to asymmetries in cerebral blood flow that might contribute to the process triggering migraines."

"The arterial supply of blood to the brain is protected by a series of connections between the major arteries, termed the "circle of Willis" after the English physician who first described it in the 17th century. People with migraine, particularly migraine with aura, are more likely to be missing components of the circle of Willis."

 There was once the theory we are all familiar with that migraines were caused by dilation of blood vessels in the head... but more recent studies hav…

Dyed my hair and also I need a keeper

I dyed my hair today... and it took a long time to choose This day. I had to choose a day where I did not wake up with a migraine and also was not cooking hot such that the smell of the stuff would make me want to vomit off the get go. Unfortunately it is a migraine trigger so it isn't a fun venture. But I got it done. Takes too boxes at the length and thickness I have going on right now. But I just don't want to get it cut. Well I really do... it is too damn hot to have it this long but I don't want to Pay to have it cut. And I have the two boxes handy... so there you go. However, migraines being such as they are and my gimpy hand being such as it is... I never seem to do a good job a dying my hair. I mean the pictures look fine but a close inspection and there are some interesting highlights of my own color in there which is brown and, er, white... I'm just going to pretend that was intentional and leave it at that.

 Anyway the dye did trigger a migraine but I was …

Persistent #migraine #aura fun

This is my migraine with aura self-portrait. Yeah, fun with camera day.

Visual auras are an amazing, fantastic, insane and distorting phenomena that I wish I could capture with a camera. I get so many of them that it would be awesome if I could take a snapshot of each one and say... this is what I tend to get.  And then even the random spectacularly weird ones because they are so random and spectacular.

I do get the Visual snow...
That is a 24/7 sort of thing... that gets worse at night or poor lighting and definitely with lack of sleep.

And visual snow often comes with these sorts of things:

This picture is a combo... floaters, which everybody is likely familiar with but people with VS seem to statistically get a lot of, which is odd since it is an eye phenomena and not neurological. I get them for sure but have no idea if it is more than usual... I just ignore the damn things. The second one are those bright specs of light that dance in the blue sky, or a white wall, or white anyt…

Help me manage the pain and I will work on the suffering. That is what I would like. Is that so much to ask for?

There are times I wish I had an actual painkiller that worked. Like a real painkiller they give to people in pain. Like an opiate. Yeah, I said it. An opiate. I'm not talking morphine. I've never had actual morphine. I'm sure it is nice and all but I think it might be excessive in my case. But I am actually talking pain relief and management. Like tramadol which is often recommended for use with FM although I would not need it for FM. Perhaps it would help with exercise and that would be beneficial but I am thinking more along the lines of being able to function with chronic migraines, a rescue medication that helps and quality of life. That sort of thing.

If I could take my triptan every day, or twice a day, and if that did not cause a rebound headache or have horrible side effects or actually worked every times... then that might actually work for daily management of migraines in my case. But clearly that is not something I can do. I can only take them three times a day…

What the hell is functional? Damn insruance company ruined my already depressed mood

I cannot even grasp the meaning of functional anymore. It is beyond me. I am in agony right now as I write this. Too much pain to sleep and have been immobile all day. Unable to function. Unable to do anything because of the pain and the auras. Is that the line I wonder? That I was incapacitated all day and even now I am unable to sleep because the pain is too acute and I cannot lie down because the pain in my head hurts too much to touch the pillow? Is that the line and anything below that is some gray area doctors and insurance companies make up when it suits them? I mean how bad is bad? How much pain do you have to be in for someone to say you cannot function at a job? How much symptoms do you have to have? How safe is it for you to be driving even?

My long term ends at the end of the year. My insurance company says for it to continue it has to be demonstrated that not only can I not do my job but not A job. What difference is there? If I called in sick way too many times to the jo…

Heart rate variability with fibromyalgia study

Objective: The goal of this systematic literature review is to determine whether there are differences and similarities in heart rate variability (HRV) between adult patients with Fibromyalgia (FM), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and healthy pain-free control subjects.
Methods: To obtain relevant articles, PubMed and Web of Knowledge were searched for case–control studies. Selection of the literature was based on selection criteria ascertaining studies with adult human patient groups comparing HRV. Risk of bias and levels of evidence were determined.
Results: Sixteen case–control studies were included, 10 comparing FM patients to controls and 6 comparing CFS patients to controls. Methodological quality was moderate to good. Both time domain and frequency domain measurements were used. The majority of the researchers observed lower HRV in FM patients compared to healthy control persons, as well as increased sympathetic activity and a blunted autonomic response to stres…

My brain is not agreeing with me at all: Frustrated beyond belief with #migraines and #fibrofog

I'm on a long term leave from work but this will only last till the end of the year. I really doubt if it will be continued after that if I understand the insurance company correctly or really if you know how insurance companies Are. If they deem me capable of returning to work then my employer will offer me some random position which I will have to take or I can also choose to take severance pay (which seems like a sucky alternative).

So either I find alternative employment I Can function at or I get back into a functioning state. The first option can be something that just pays sufficiently. But I have to be capable of being presence and able to work either way. Or at home work if I can find something I am capable of doing that pays that barely sufficient amount, which for online work is harder than you think. I got bills to pay. Had two decent incomes... so need to have one sufficient income to replace my decent income. Or I become functional in the basic sense of the work... a…

What is negative? What is th postive you want to feel?

So my psychologist asks these questions before he proceeds with this weird EMDR therapy for chronic pain.I don't know if the EMDR therapy is working yet be the questions always get me thinking.

But the questions of what is the most negative thing you associate with your pain I don't like because well I don't want to think about those things. I could in general relate to the whole list of them. I could in general focus on the whole list of them and work myself into a real state if I wanted to. I think the first time I picked I can never be successful because I worry a great deal about my ability to function right now. And this time I picked was something about unable to physically be well because I have just been unable to get around the pain and symptoms to get to the point where I can see where certain things can be conceivable goals. I can't work. I need to work. Obviously this was on my mind. Is on my mind. Consumes me with trying to find solutions. And the whole pu…

Sort of an interesting #doctors appointment... bone density to colonoscopy

First of all I had gone and had a bone density test because I am on depo prevara shots for the mentrual migraines and apparently over time that can affect bone density. So she had me get a baseline. Then I get this call. You know the one. Doctor wants you to come in to talk about your test results. Well I have had wicked migraines due to the weather so it took them a week to get a hold of me and I was like 'What test results?' I didn't remember going in for something that I might expect any sort of call about at all. Certainly not that so when she reminded me I was like 'Oh crap'. The receptionist goes 'I can't read what it says you have to speak with the doctor.' I know not to freak out about test results but I also know if they ask you to come in it isn't Good and bone density generally means lack there of. And I was right. But not like insanely low. Just statistically low for my age, which given my age, is a little abnormal. Maybe due to the medi…

That was me... not my illness

Sometimes this is hard to distinguish but clearly when I am awesome that is me not my illness. It is hard for other people to distinguish because my awesomeness gets in the way of them seeing my illness. Like my awesome sense of humor. It is very hard for people to tell how much pain I am in when I am so goofy and have such an awesome sense of humor. It is hardly my fault I like to laugh and still find things to laugh about when I am in pain. I would say it is just the way it is but in fact it is a way I have tried to cultivate because I really prefer to laugh and be around people who make me laugh because I am in pain. It is an unintentional side effect of coping with chronic pain that helped grow and cultivate this sense of humor but one I like to continue to counter balance the fact that I also like to over think and over think... and think myself into places where laughter does not exist. I am told that is partly from lack of sleep, pain levels and pre-migraine states... that is b…

Gender stigma against woman and chronic pain

"In 2011, the Institute of Medicine published a report on the public health impact of chronic pain, called “Relieving Pain in America.” It found that not only did women appear to suffer more from pain, but that women’s reports of pain were more likely to be dismissed.
This is a serious problem, because pain is subjective and self-reported, and diagnosis and treatment depend on the assumption that the person reporting symptoms is beyond doubt. The oft-cited study “The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain” found that women were less likely to receive aggressive treatment when diagnosed, and were more likely to have their pain characterized as “emotional,” “psychogenic” and therefore “not real.” Instead of appropriate care for physical pain, this can lead to treatment for mental health issues that might not even exist. The situation is further complicated by the fact that antidepressants are absorbed differently in …

Echoes from the past

I was looking for a very old philosophy article I wrote and came across some very, very old poetry I wrote. I seriously hoard this stuff. Never throw away written work. Except when i was spring cleaning I did a little. Anyway, I'm going to share it with you. Let you know what I felt about FM back in the day. I didn't have chronic migraines then. Sort of poetic reflections. Poetry and writing a journal being ways to sort out the feelings we have about our illness.

Everyone has to work,      I writhe in pain. Everyone has to sleep,      I twist and turn again. Everyone has to get up,      It is driving me insane.
I'm so tired.  Too tired for school today.  I'm too tired.  Too tired for work today.  There goes life slippen away. 
 I'm so weary.  Too weary to lift my head.  I'm too weary.  Too heavy to get out of bed.  There goes life slippen away. 
 Life has slipped way.  I can't even make the day.  Here I am going nowhere,  No energy to spare. 

Intranasal Oxytocin study for #chronic #migraine

Small study involving 40 patients with chronic migraines were treated with an agent referred to as TI-001 an intranasal version of the hormone oxytocin. Patients with chronic migraine who "received a dose of the agent and were asked to rate their pain, nausea, photophobia, and phonophobia on a 4-point scale (indicating severe, moderate, mild, or none) prior to and at 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 24 hours.At from 2 to 4 hours, 64% of the patients who received the agent reported a reduction in pain by 2 categories (either from "severe to mild or none," or from "moderate to none") compared with only 27% of patients who received a placebo." Intranasal Oxytocin Looks Promising for Migraine

The body itself produces oxytocin to " induce labor and promote lactation, but its strongest release comes during sexual orgasm in both women and men. The current liquid intranasal formulation of the hormone is inhaled up one nostril to reach and cover the nasal mucosa,…

Negative Physician Attitudes About #Opioid #Pain Meds and higher prescribing rates of #NSAIDs with #chronic pain

According to a study published in The Journal of Pain negative doctor attitudes about opiate medications are closely linked with lower rates of prescribing them and more favorable attitudes linked with higher levels of prescription levels. 

"In 1994, Dennis C. Turk, PhD and colleagues at the University of Washington conducted a survey of physician attitudes about prescribing opioids for chronic non-cancer pain, which identified significant differences in attitudes and beliefs throughout the country and by medical specialty. The current study, also conducted by University of Washington researchers and collaborators, was intended to assess how physician beliefs about opioids have evolved over time and may coincide with changes in regulations, increasing drug misuse and negative public opinions about narcotic pain medications." Negative Physician Attitudes About Opioid Pain Meds Linked with Lower Prescribing  We as patients obviously do not need a study to be aware t…

Laughter is the best medicine

It occurred to me that occasionally I chance upon some piece of pain humor that tickles my funny bone... and sometimes it floats around again. The real good ones do. But sometimes they don't. So I post them on my page for sure but if they are links to sites I may lose them... so I figure maybe I will post some of the ones I really like recently and if it is on my blog, well, that lives forever. And I can enjoy it again and again. Or at least have access to the source if I want to post such awesome humor in the future. Maybe I will do it once in awhile just to have some blog humor on here to make it a little less depressing, eh?

 This cartoonist has a blog called A Cartoon Guide to Becoming a Doctor and this is an old one but I only came across it at the end of June... I find it hilarious of course.
The fact he is a doctor is funny in itself... most of them have their sense of humor surgically removed in order to attain that poor bedside manor.I suspect some sort of nerve damage in…