Sunday, March 28, 2010

Adding foods!!! :) :) :)

Lately, I've been down in the dumps, big time. I think it's the Zonegran, but I can't go off it until I see my neurologist again, which isn't for a while.

So, I've decided that three months of the food elimination diet (instead of four) is enough (and yes, I have cheated a few times). Just this decision is already lifting my spirits!

I'm supposed to add one migraine trigger back at a time, per week, and eat that food every day that week. But since my headaches never stopped (although my migraines are less intense), I don't really know if the food has anything to do with the headaches. Instead, I'm adding back two foods at a time per week. This week it's tomatoes and onions, not because I like them the most - I don't really like them at all - but because they're the easiest. They're in so many darn things that you don't even realize!

Flickr photo by John-Morgan

The idea is, of course, that if I get a migraine, one of those foods is a trigger for me.

I'm thinking the following week will be chocolate (that will get my mood up!) but I still need to limit that one because of the caffeine content. I'm not really supposed to add caffeine back at all. Cheese might be the second trigger that week because I've really missed the "good" cheeses. And now I'm hungry...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Weapon for Nausea

Nausea hasn't been a big problem for me lately, probably because my headaches are more daily headaches and not so much migraines (and by that I mean the intensity is not a 7 to 10 on a 10 scale and I don't have nausea and throbbing). This could be due to the Zonegran, the TMJ mouth guard which I got last week and now wear 24/7 except for eating, or my migraine trigger food elimination diet. I hope it's not the Zonegran that's helping because it's similar to Topamax, and I'm having similar side effects - loss of appetite, word loss, trouble concentrating, hair loss...but this could be because I'm on the generic.

But back to the nausea. I know that many migraine sufferers do have nausea, so I wanted to share something that worked wonders for me when I had nausea.

Drumroll, please....

Newman's Own Ginger Mints. Yes, they're organic! Meaning no artificial sweeteners, which can trigger migraines. I buy them at the health food section of my local Kroger, but I found them online here.

I'm not promising this will work for you. My nausea may not be as bad as yours. I've only thrown up once from a migraine, but I don't throw up much in general. Even with flu, I get symptoms on the other end, if you know what I mean. TMI, sorry. However, with migraines, I would get nausea in waves so bad that I'd have to stop what I was doing to concentrate on not throwing up, and when I took this it would help a lot. Hope it works for you too! :)

No, Newman's Own is not sending me free stuff, and I've never actually ordered through

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Healing Service

My church is having healing services every Wednesday during Lent, and I was finally able to make it this evening. We had a small, intimate group and it was very moving and powerful. I was anointed with oil and prayed over while the attendees layed hands on me, and I did the same for others who needed prayer. (No, this is not like what you see on TV with those over-the-top televangelists.) I personally believe in God's healing. And it's scripture based:
"Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so you may be healed." - James 5:14-16a
Here's our closing prayer, which was printed in the bulletin. If you choose, you're welcome to pray this as you read it:
"Almighty God, we pray that our brothers and sisters may be comforted in their suffering and made whole. When they are afraid, give them courage; when they feel weak, grant them your strength; when they are afflicted, afford them patience; when they are lost, offer them hope; when they are alone, move us to their side; in the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Medication: How much is too much?

An anonymous person commented on my blog; here's an excerpt:
"...your reliance on meds is overwhelming to me! I know you are in alot of pain but as I read your blog, it is always a new drug for you. Just the aleve alone can do damage your stomach. Stomach issues and ulcers can cause headaches! You try all these different remedies and if they don't work your done with them, but you never stray from the drugs. I really fear for your health as you do not really know what these drugs can do to you. I know you are desparate for some relief ...I know I've been there, but please try to get away from these drugs!!! They are doing more harm than good."
I'm going to be completely honest. At first this comment infuriated me. I showed it to my husband hoping for support, and he agreed with the comment! I should have known. He's always felt that way. He rarely takes medicine, but he also rarely (if ever) has headaches. Now that I've calmed down, I have to say I agree too.

But please allow me to be human and get defensive. I try to keep this blog positive, so I don't write much about my pain and instead try to focus on treatment. But don't doubt that I'm in pain, almost every day. And my headaches don't last a few hours each day and go away. They're generally constant, all day long, getting progressively worse throughout the day. A few times a month they reach high pain levels, which is when I label them migraines. This is when I have nausea and throbbing too. Naturally, I want the pain to go away. I hate medicines and the side effects, but I think God gave doctors and scientists the abilities to develop medicines for us to use. They might not work for everyone, but it's worth a try. If I have a bad reaction to a med, I'll stop it immediately (Cymbalta for example). Otherwise, I'll try a med about three months and if it doesn't help my headaches I'll stop it and try something else, all under a neurologist's supervision. Also, I've tried/am trying many non-medication ways to fight my headaches.

I admit that I haven't had any luck from medications, other than the "rescue" meds, which are simply band-aids that don't last. But at the same time, if I were to stop trying, I would feel defeated. I'm not sure what to make of the comment because I really do agree - I hate the side effects of meds and I hate that they don't fix what they're supposed to fix, but I feel like I have no other options. I'm in too much pain to sit and do nothing.

What's your opinion on medications? How much is too much? Is there a point when one should just give up on trying meds for headaches/migraines?