Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Misery Loves Company

If you click on this link you'll find a chart that shows different health conditions and sufferers' participation of vs. benefit in online social networks.

It shows that people who suffer from migraines are more likely to participate in AND benefit from social networks.

I knew I was doing this blog for a reason!

P.S. - Couldn't think of another word for "sufferers" - but I'm fully aware that I overuse this word. I'm not in a constant state of suffering, and I hope you're not either! :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

News Item: 6 Reasons Your Headache Treatment Is Failing You

I feel that my headache treatment is failing me, so here's an appropriate article. Not the most helpful, but appropriate. Thanks, Jessica Ryen Doyle of FoxNews.com and @MigraineInfo on Twitter.

House, er, blogkeeping, update: Instead of adding a blog roll, I'm officially "following" headache/migraine bloggers through the Blogger feature. To see these blogs, you should be able to click on my full profile to the left. If you want me to start following you (not literally of course - creepy!) just let me know!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Neuro Appointment - More sleep tips

My Headache Clinic appointment got moved because of a scheduling conflict, so I had it last Monday, about two weeks after my last appointment. I thought it'd be a waste of a $40 copay, since I just saw my neuro, but it was actually a good appointment.

I told her how tired I was during the day, but it still takes me about 10 minutes to fall asleep at night. She asked what was going through my head when I was trying to sleep, and I told her mainly the next day's schedule. So here's the advice she gave me:

* Write down a to-do list about 15 minutes before going to bed each night. That gets it out of your head and on paper. Then when you get in bed, block out words and instead visualize a picture, like a beach scene. Thinking in pictures instead of words slows your brain waves which is what happens when you're sleeping.

* My neuro also gave me Ambien (the generic version) again to try for five nights, which I've just finished. I've been sleeping fine, but I'm still exhausted during the day, so I don't think it helped.

She also gave me 800 mg of Ibuprofen to take up to four times a day, no more than two days a week though, for when I have headaches and the Maxalt doesn't work. I had been taking Aleve, which doesn't always work, so she said I needed something stronger. I tried the Ibuprofen for one headache and it didn't work, but yesterday I took it and it eliminated my headache! Woohoo!!

I tried refilling Maxalt and I can't do it yet, so I literally get four a month from my insurance and that's it. I'll have to ask for samples next neuro appt. Speaking of which, my next one won't be until July, because she wanted to give the meds I'm on and my sleep schedule time to work. That will save me some copays, so I'm happy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pharmacy Survey

Just added a survey to the left - please vote!

I just got $5 extra bucks from CVS, but it's because I spent a fortune on prescriptions recently. I've heard Walmart's prescriptions are cheap, but the Walmart near my house is awful and I'd get a migraine just from visiting it, so it's worth the money to avoid it. But are some pharmacies cheaper than others? Do some have shorter waits than others (this probably depends on the location). I've been going to CVS since they were Revco (no I did not remember the name, I had to ask my husband - my memory is not that good!), and while I have few complaints, I'm curious to see what pharmacies you guys like.

Btw, I visited my neuro earlier this week; I'll write a blog post soon on how that went.

Have a terrific and headache/migraine-free week!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Check out these blogs

If you've visited my blog, you've probably visited the blogs of other headache sufferers. I'd like to use this post to share with you some of my favorites since I'm too lazy to create an official blog roll on this site.

Not all of these are headache-specific, but most are.

Fly With Hope
My Life with Fibro
Migraine Chick
The Daily Headache
The Migraine Girl
No Extended Warranty

Please feel free to leave a comment and add your own blog or others that you follow!

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sleep study results

I had my second appointment at the new headache center this week, and I got the results of my sleep study.
I don't have sleep apnea, but I did have a few leg twitches and it took me a while to fall asleep (I was in a strange place and had wires stuck to my body). But she did say that I woke up an average of 10 times per hour, particularly in the first stage of sleep.

Here's the extremely disappointing part, and I'm more mad at myself than anything. She put me on Lyrica and said that helps people get more restorative sleep and it should help me. I've tried Lyrica before. But did I tell her this? No. Why, I don't know. Up until that point, the appointment hadn't gone very well, because my memory sucks and she wanted me to tell her about my headaches without looking at my headache diary, and I can't count how many were mild and moderate (I remember the severe ones of course), they just all blur together, and she was saying there was a disconnect and it seemed like she was accusing me of lying. Plus, she had given me two medications during my first visit that I had tried before, and when I had told her that, she told me to try them again. So I figured she wouldn't care this time.

So, now I'm on the following:

- Lyrica
- Iron because my blood test showed I have low iron
- Maxalt because I told her the Imitrex made my throat tight - I've tried Maxalt before too, and I took it yesterday and it didn't help, but whatever.
- Regular Magnesium (magnesium oxide) instead of Magnesium Potassium Sulfate because my neuro recommended trying a different kind if it was giving me stomach issues, although she said that it's not common for any type of magnesium to give people stomach problems.
- Vivelle dot (fake estrogen/progestin or whatever patch) - I put it on Monday afternoon and took the Nuva Ring out - goal was for me to have a regular period and then tomorrow morning, I start the Nuva Ring again, and this time, I shouldn't have constant spotting. Problem is, I didn't start the normal period until just now, and it's not going to have enough time to finish before the Nuva Ring stops it. At least I don't think it would. But I'm going to follow the doctor's orders.
- still on Lexapro and I still have the "emergency" migraine concoction; however, my neuro said I CANNOT take Butalbital/Fioricet again because of rebound headaches. :(

I did some quick online research on sleep disorders and didn't find anything that fit my symptoms. I don't snore, I don't have trouble falling asleep, and I don't have trouble staying asleep. I rarely notice waking up throughout the night, so I don't know what's going on.

I may see a sleep specialist in the future, but I just spent $450 on medical costs so I'm not adding on to my medical bills any time soon.

I'm extremely frustrated. My husband told me yesterday that he wouldn't mind all my medical bills if there were results, but there aren't any. My headaches are getting worse. And I feel like I'm running out of options.

Wishing I could say, "April Fools!"...