Friday, October 30, 2009


A co-worker of mine pointed me to an article in a benefits newsletter on headaches, and one of the things offered that I wasn't aware of is three free counseling sessions. I've been miserable lately - although hiding it well - and my headaches have been daily. Tonight it's a migraine (I also have a fever and upset stomach). Ugh.

Since I don't seem to handle stress well (I tense up, tightening my neck and shoulders, and keep it inside or cry), I decided to take advantage of the three free sessions. I'd rather not go into detail on the first session, but let's just say I cried on and off the entire time. In fact I'm tearing up just thinking about it. Stupid PMS.

My counselor recommended a work book on behavioral therapy, Mind over Mood, which I ordered from Amazon. She also said to do "rescue breathing" which I thought I was already doing, but I was doing it incorrectly. I was taking deep breaths through my mouth when stressed out, but you're actually supposed to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth and breathe with your diaphragm. If you breathe in through your mouth, you could get dizzy easier and cause yourself to hyperventilate.

The counselor also gave me a list of supplements that can increase serotonin naturally (5-HTP amino acid and SAM-e) and help me get deeper sleep (melatonin), but I'm sick of pills so those will be a last resort. I should note that she can't prescribe anything so she said to talk to a doctor before taking these.

One other update on my health - I think I have a stomach ulcer or ulcers. Every morning I wake up with a burning stomach which mostly goes away once I eat, and before dinnertime I start to get sharp, stabbing stomach pains. I'm taking Prilosec OTC for 14 days to see if that helps, and if not I'll see a doctor. Because of this I've stopped taking Aleve. If my headaches get bad enough, I still have Butalbital (which I will absolutely take tomorrow if I wake up feeling like I do now) which has acetaminophen and is not an ulcer-causing NSAID, to my knowledge.

If you're wondering why I haven't mentioned Tui Na massage lately, my husband refuses to let me see the acupuncturist who does that because he's still freaked out from the cupping (see earlier post). I'm trying to stand up for myself, but it is $50 a session and I don't make nearly as much as my husband, so I feel like I don't have the right to spend that kind of money when I don't know for sure that it'll work. Sometimes you have to pick your battles.