Friday, February 29, 2008

My body hates me.

Happy Friday everyone! I'm really sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. See, I write for a living (public relations) and I've had two newsletters to put together this month. So when I get home, which is late, the last thing I want to do is write. But since I'm taking a quick lunch break at my desk, I decided to write this post.

So, in regards to my title...let me start by saying I am *NOT* pregnant. And yet I've had many of the symptoms. I've been eating a lot, and I'm always hungry. Except when I'm nauseous, which has been frequent. I think the nausea is from migraines/headaches I've been getting. Then there's the moodiness - more downs than ups unfortunately. I'd rather not get into the rest.

But I don't have a headache right now. Woohoo!

My next neurology appointment is March 10. If anyone has any ideas I could bring up to my neurologist, that'd be great. So far I'm going to ask him about:

-fish oil
-food triggers
-and one type of medication that my sister told me about but I don't have it in front of me since I'm at work.

Any other ideas?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekend Migraine

I'm going to be honest. I go to bed and wake up later than usual on weekends. I'm really good at keeping my sleep-eat schedule during the week, but I don't want a strict schedule on weekends.

On Friday I had weird random pains in the back of my head, on and off all day. I can't remember when I went to bed but I'm guessing it was around midnight. Saturday morning, I got up around 7:45 - not terrible - but then I took an afternoon nap on the couch from 3ish to 6:30ish. Waaaay too long! I woke with an awful headache that got worse and worse toward the night. I didn't take anything because I try not to take medicine for headaches at the end of the day because sometimes they go away after I sleep for the night, and if I still have it when I wake up, then I'll take the medicine. I have to be careful not to take medicine too much because I could get rebound headaches, so I try to save it for the really bad ones... this morning. I had trouble going to sleep last night because my head hurt. Next thing I remember I'm waking up at 4 a.m. with a pounding migraine. I use a cervical pillow to help with neck pain, but it's really hard and it was killing my head, so I threw it on the floor and used half of my husband's soft pillow. When I woke up for church, the migraine was there but seemed to be getting better, so I didn't take medicine.

I went to church and had a cup of tea to see if the caffeine would help me feel better. Then about 10 minutes into church, when I stood up with everyone for the gospel reading, I started to feel bad, like I might faint, and then the nausea kicked in. It was awful...I tried to stay through the reading but I had to go near the end. I told my husband I felt bad, grabbed my purse and went to the bathroom. I didn't throw up, but I had to sit and close my eyes for a while. Once I felt less nauseous, I went to get some water and I took an Excedrin Migraine. I sat in a comfy chair in the lobby area and could hear the sermon, so I stayed there the rest of the service. I started getting cold and was shaky so I drank a cup of coffee. It didn't take long for the medicine to kick in, and I ended up going out and eating a huge lunch with my husband.

I'm starting to feel the medicine wear off, but I'm hoping after I sleep tonight it'll be gone. I'm dreading work tomorrow because I have a LOT to get done, and if I still have the migraine I don't know what I'm going to do.

I think I need a less stressful job to see if the headaches get better. What that would be, I don't know...I seem to stress about everything. Maybe I just need to try yoga again.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

M&M: Massage and Migraines

An article in the Sacramento Bee discusses the benefits massage can have on migraines. Click here to read the full article.

Since professional massage is expensive, the article lists three things you can do at home:

Hand reflexology: By pinching your fingers together, apply pressure to the web between your pointer finger and thumb and work the tenderness out for three to five minutes on each hand. This should take down the headache a few notches. Feel around this area for little curves under the skin, indicators of dehydration.

Foot reflexology: Sit down and put your bare foot on a tennis ball. Apply pressure while moving your foot around on the ball. Focus for 10 to 15 seconds on sore spots, then switch feet.

Light traction on the spine: Consult a professional to learn how to do this properly, then ask a family member or friend to try this method on you. Lying on your back, have them place a soft rolled terrycloth towel on the base of your skull before applying gentle traction from the C7 vertebra (the most protruding vertebra in the neck) up to the skull. Use 30-second traction intervals for five minutes total.

My comments:

Hand reflexology - lots of people, including my former chiropractor, shared this technique with me. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked for me, but maybe it works for some people.

Foot reflexology - can anyone say "Charlie horse?" That would most definitely give me a Charlie horse which would be worse than my headache.

Spine traction - my chiropractor tried this on me; didn't work.

Something that MIGHT work, though, is a head massage. I went to get my hair cut at a new place last weekend and the stylist massaged my entire scalp during and even a few minutes after washing my hair (and I was also in a massage chair). It felt so good and I think that would work on a tension headache. I'm either going to have to get frequent hair cuts or teach my hubby to do this.

On a different note, I went to my dentist yesterday and the girl who cleans my teeth (who is in her 20s like me) gets migraines so we always update each other on our progress (or lack thereof). She had been taking Topamax but it didn't work all the time and made her lose her appetite. Yesterday she told me a new side effect it had on her - kidney stones! She said they were more painful than the migraines, and her neurologist wanted to up her dose of the Topamax. Thank goodness she said no, and she stopped taking the Topamax. Now she is not taking anything, but she still had migraines with the Topamax so not much has changed. That's pretty scary; I think she was on the Topamax for only a few years.