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Showing posts from September, 2013

My little migraine classifcations... not the real ones...

1)The migraine without aura- Mild, moderate or acute. Can have any of the other symptoms (nausea and light sensitivity). Tends to grow in strength slowly over an hour. With plenty of time to treat it before it gets acute, or endure it if it does not.

2)The migraine with aura- your warning is the visual fireworks. Negative, positive, sparkles, blotches, waves of light. And any other aura symptoms, like tingling, numbness, hearing problems, blurred or double vision, problems speaking, thinking, moving...

3)The midnight migraine- A migraine that starts when you are asleep, gives you the most vivid and spectacular dreams and then pulls you awake from the pain. Gotta love waking up like that.

4)The manic migraine- a migraine that instead of making you lethargic with a brain of pudding, it gives you a jittery boost of energy and creativity prior to coming on. Often with trembling hands and twitches, making you look like a recovering crack addict. But you can think and talk a m…

"Monsters don’t sleep under your bed. They sleep inside your head." Literally? AHHHHHH

"Monsters don’t sleep under your bed. They sleep inside your head."





And then they wake up and try to claw their way out of your brain. The movement makes you really nauseous at first. And you can feel them trying to get out the eyeballs right away… easy access point I figure. In some people this can cause a lot of visual distortions as they try to push your eyeballs out. Then they are pretty frantic when this doesn’t work and just go nuts. This causes a great deal of sharp pain felt through the brain region and throbbing due to the pressure they cause with their upward movements. Also because they generally are digging about so much the pain can be felt in many facial areas as the hit more than a few nerves. And I think as an alternate route some of them try to go downward and that results in a great deal of neck pain. Anyway clearly it is a futile effort on their part because monsters live in the head and cannot escape the physical confines of this area… however…
Old post from June 2010 that got misplaced but want to save:

The daily migraine :

"The American Headache Society is reporting new research showing that migraineurs have abnormal neural activity all the time, not just when we’re having a migraine attack.   In particular, this research reports abnormally excited activity in the parts of the brain responsible for sight and vision. Some have speculated that this may be why bright lights and loud noises are the most common migraine triggers — the idea, I suppose, is that if those parts of the brain are overexcited already, then it is more likely that stimulating them even more will cause an attack."
Yes, we have abnormally excited brains all the time, folks. Which unfortunately does not mean we will exhibit any benefits from this, like spontaneous brilliance or awesome eureka moments. Which I think is rather unfair of my brain... if it all excited, then it should at least put that activity to good use. The fact that o…

And we are on a roll... killer migraine strikes again three days and counting.

 Just another day in the life. But I feel ranty. It has been extremely painful these last three days. Waking up with migraines. Going to bed with them.

It is not fun when we hit that migraine streak. Not when you have chronic migraines. It means... you are not going to be able to treat the pain in there. I got a migraine and they are daily so this is not a surprise. It was an intense one so I did take a T3 that night to help me sleep. I actually missed my window of opportunity there. The painkiller did slightly dull the pain but not really well and not in enough time for me to fall asleep so the pain got back to where it was... and I couldn't fall asleep. So I didn't. And the pain got worse. And worse. So I got up in a fit of frustration at 7am with a level 9 migraine. This was yesterday. And it kept on at that. I did get some sleep in there. A fitful in and out sort of sleep. But something. Pain remained up there. My spouse came home with some lovely triptans. I thought it wo…

Destined for pain

When you have Fibromyalgia the pain process involves is this central sensitization... your brain becoming more sensitive and heightened for pain. There is a lot of pain dysfunction in FM. We feel it faster, for less stimulus, and longer, for no reason. People can get FM it seems for no reason but some after an accident, injury or illness. Like a trigger event traumatizes that nervous system and sets into motion this FM process which the person might have been predetermined for. And with migraines again people who are episodic go into chronic migraines at times with this process of central sensitization... the brain becoming more sensitive to pain and to triggers making the attacks more frequent. But certainly many people have episodic migraines and never have this occur.

With FM you sort of think, well, I have a brain wired for pain it is hardly surprising when i got migraines it continued with that process. But... did I have a brain designed for this, set up, if you will for chronic …

Oliver Sacks presentation at World Science Festival to discus his book Hallucinations.

Hallucinations- With Oliver Sacks  "In the first installment of the World Science Festival’s new series, Science & Story, famed neurologist Oliver Sacks joined award-winning journalist John Hockenberry to discuss Sacks’ latest book, which explores the surreal world of hallucinations."
Oliver Sacks discusses Hallucinations and types in this presentation. Well worth watching. It is fascinating.

However, his book Migraine is on my list of books to buy. It sounds like a fascinating read for many reasons.


 "The many manifestations of migraine can vary dramatically from one patient to another, even within the same patient at different times. Among the most compelling and perplexing of these symptoms are the strange visual hallucinations and distortions of space, time, and body image which migraineurs sometimes experience. Portrayals of these uncanny states have found their way into many works of art, from the heavenly visions of Hildegard von Bingen to Alice in Wonde…

Fall walk by the lake

My spouse had been on holidays for the week of his birthday so been spending some time with him. We went to dinner and then took an evening stroll by the lake in town. I want to get some good walking time outside in this nice weather we have in Fall. This not too hot in the day, with nice coolness at nigh. No wide fluctuations. No sudden storms when it is hot that are a massive trigger. It is a lovely season trigger wise. And I need to get that nice exercise that doesn't really aggravate my brain if I do it when the sun is not at its peak. It was a lovely walk. A bit shorter than usually since I was very sore from painting the bathroom. I will blog about that later but the pain in the body but mostly for walking the knees, ankles and back. But I thought a walk might prevent them from getting worse... sort of relax it out maybe. Got some nice dark pictures with good contrast over the water as the sun was setting. And it was nice to walk with my spouse as well.




How the brain responds to pain

Illness belief structures and #invisible #illness

I remember when I was younger and had Fibromyalgia and episodic migraines I thought very differently about my illness than I do now. I remember taking my first Philosophy class and being introduced to Rene Descartes the famous dualist where the mind is separate from the body. You have a mental substance and a physical substance. Connected, of course, but separate. And when it came to my illness I was very fond of thinking this way, even though when it came to philosophy I thought otherwise. But I very sharply defined my Mind and my Body as these distinctly separate entities.

My Body had betrayed me. My Body had failed me. My Body was undependable and unpredictable. It had clearly demonstrated it had Limits. It gave me Pain and discomfort and Fatigue. I knew it would always be like this; a burden I had to bear. A shackle limiting my options in life. Making me choose things carefully. Plan things carefully. Limit how much I could do things with my peers. How much fun I could have. Lim…

Study suggests #migraine with #aura people can have vidual abnormalities in-between attacks

Again a study finds there is in fact symptoms between migraines. One study had illustrated that photosensitivity persisted to a degree in some migraineurs after a migraine. Since I have daily migraines, wasn't awed by this one, given I have pretty extreme photosensitivity all the time... but nonetheless it demonstrated the symptom persisted beyond the migraine event.



This study is more peculiar. In migraine with aura... do visual issues persist after the migraine event? In fact, they do.

"Researchers also recognize that migraine patients have symptoms in-between attacks – inter-ictal symptoms.  Could vision problems be one of these?

Researchers at The University of Melbourne in Australia did some in-depth study of 43 people, 17 with migraine, to find the answer.  And the answer was – yes.  Migraine patients do have visual abnormalities in-between attacks.

This testing was more than reading letters on the wall.  Researchers measured electrical responses of the retina, and u…

A #doctor blogger talking about #chornic #pain

Now this doctor has realized there is most to the pain experience and equally understands how doctors can have a problem with communicating with chronic pain patients. It is a very interesting read  How doctors respond to chronic pain

"'I learned early in my life that a pain is almost never just a pain. The ripples spread from the nervous system into the sufferer’s whole life. If you stub your toe or burn your finger, it hurts but it’s quickly over. Anything more complicated – and especially the kind of pain that is recurring or chronic – impacts on the patient’s personality and relationship with the world. Pain does not happen in a laboratory. It happens to an individual, and there is a cultural context that informs the individual’s experience’. What a pain is, and whether it matters, is not just a medical question. Hilary Mantel'" "Philosopher Havi Carel uses the term “epistemic injustice” to explain the gap between what doctors want to know and what …

Migraine Face

This is migraine face. I had a wicked acute migraine all day. I'm on the cough hugging that blue pillow because I was having some serious nausea and hugging that pillow close made me feel better. Usually you take picture and you smile and look fine because you have that Facade on... so I thought here is Migraine Face... no Facade, just place laying there in too much pain to move or function. But the filter is used did diminish the really dark black spots under my eyes. Still you can see that wide eyed dazed look.

#invisible #illness Part 4: self interpreting the process

 The journey thus far: #Invisble #Illness Part One... in the beginning there was no label, #Invisble #Illness Part Two... The illness defined and medical stigma born and #Invisble #illness Part Three... the thing that hides itself #invisibleillness



As an introvert I have spent a lot of time over the years thinking about chronic pain and about the process I got through. Interpreting it and myself. The experience of pain and the experience of living with pain. People, doctors and life itself all have an impact on how I coped with fibromyalgia and chronic migraines. However I also am a very internal person. A very internal thinker. Very much thinking about how I react to external influences, why, how I cope, what factors affect my coping and just working through it all. For an example to my introverted nature when I was having problems coping when I was younger with my yet to be diagnosed pain and was depressed for certain... I had this book about curing depressed naturally. And there wa…

I can't believe the side effects I get from #triptans are not common... in some degree.

Maxalt side effects
Heart Throbbing or PoundingSevereTrouble BreathingSevereSlow HeartbeatSevereAbnormal Heart RhythmSevereFast HeartbeatSevereChest PainSevereChest TightnessSevereNumbness and TinglingSevereSerotonin Syndrome - Adverse Drug InteractionSevereHeart AttackSevereAnginaSevereHemorrhage in the BrainSevereStrokeSevereToxic Epidermal NecrolysisSevereWheezingSevereGiant HivesSevereAllergic Reaction caused by a DrugSevere
 I made a post on the Migraine Misfits board about how hard it is to determine where the line between mild side effects and side effects that are of a concern is. Not the obviously concerning side effects of triptans, but the ones where you know it isn't normal but the side effects in general that are mild are not great either... so hard to tell at times. But I realize it is because as my doctor said I am really reactive to triptans... I have a lot of the side effects you should not have... and I have ignored them for a very long time. I have linked the Max…

#Invisble #illness Part Three... the thing that hides itself #invisibleillness

 So I have reflected on how it was in the beginning when my illness was not defined and then when it was labeled that medical stigma that was born from it. How interactions with doctors and that stigma impacted how I conceived of my illness. It really defined how I discussed it to be honest. When it comes to Fibromyalgia I understood I had it. I understood I had to cope with it. But I also understood people would not comprehend it because doctors ignored it so fundamentally and if they did, then clearly people would also not comprehend it. So either I simply did not discuss it or I kept it very vague. 'I have chronic insomnia'. 'I have chronic pain'. Only people that I trusted would I reveal what I actually had because I did not want to deal with the stigma. Partly this due to the fact I am a introverted person and reserved... don't want to talk about personal things I am dealing with if I don't have to and if it does not involve that person in any way. Partly …