Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Blogcation

Image by Storm Crypt on Flickr

I've decided to take a break from blogging this summer - let's call it a summer blogcation. My therapist told me to take a break long ago, but I didn't feel the need to. However, the other day my husband asked me to; not in a mean, demanding way, but in a "I care about you and think you should give yourself a break" kind of way. I finally caved and agreed. Here are my reasons:
  • I need to reduce stress. Not that blogging is stressful - it's not; but it's one more thing I "have" to do. Plus my day job is more than 50% writing and I get tired of it.
  • Headaches are ruling my life. I had two days in a row of no head pain last week, and it's the first time that's happened in months. All I think about is the pain, and I'm constantly trying to find ways to stop the pain. I spend a few hours a week doing research, reading other headache/migraine bloggers' posts and writing my own, and while it's not that much time, it is time I'm thinking about headaches and migraines. I need to take a break and focus on anything but that. Which brings me to my next reason...
  • I'm going to replace the time I spend blogging and reading blogs with something stress-free and non-head-related. This could be painting, biking, cooking new recipes, shopping with friends, and spending more time with my husband. The options are endless!
Please know that I WILL be back, probably in August unless something drastic happens that I can't wait to blog about. I'll try to respond to comments to my blog, but I'm not anticipating many. Thank you for not only being a reader of my blog but for being a FRIEND. I hope you all have an amazing summer and improved health!

P.S. I hate to make this a long post, but I want to close some loops before I take my blogcation.
  • Elimination Diet: It wasn't too helpful for me, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't help others; in fact, I know it's helped others. I have a few questionable foods that I'm going to test again later, but in general I've added back most foods and am no longer restricting my diet, at least not as it relates to migraine triggers. I just finished "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver and it has inspired me even more to stick to organic foods (as much as possible) and maybe even grow my own someday when I get out of this condo. I cannot recommend this book enough!!
  • Occipital Nerve Block: Didn't work. At all. AND, apparently 5% of women have spotting and cramping from the steroids for about a month. Yes, I would fall into that category. I didn't see anything online about it and was getting concerned, but the doc filled me in during the follow up. So now it's online. Be warned.
  • Drugs. I stopped the Zonisamide because of the daily stomach issues, and I decided to give up on preventatives (I've tried almost all of them, seriously). But my doc recommended Gabapentin (Neurontin) so I figured I'd try ONE more. So far the dizziness and drowsiness are killing me but I'm trying to stick with it. My stupid insurance denied coverage of Treximet so my doc said I could try Imitrex (generic; apparently my insurance doesn't even cover Imitrex; and it only covers four generic pills a month - jerks) along with 500 mg Naproxen. I just tried it today and it was so not the same. I still have Aleve, Butalbital and Toradol if I have migraines, but they're hit or miss. Other than that, I'm free of meds except for topical acne medicine.
  • TMJ mouth guard: no luck for headaches yet although my jaw pain, which I only get when I grind my teeth at night, is better. I'm still wearing it 24/7 except for eating.
And no, I will not be on the sailboat in the picture during my time off from blogging. Sadness!

    Saturday, June 5, 2010

    National Headache Awareness Week 2010

    National Headache Awareness Week 2010 takes place June 6-12. The National Headache Foundation has a wealth of information on its website including activities taking place across the U.S. during the week, free newsletter sign-up and topic sheets. The NHF will also be posting answers (provided by headache experts) to questions submitted by website visitors.

    While we headache and migraine sufferers are all too "aware" of the impact chronic headaches have on our lives and the lives of those close to us, I think it's important to spread the word and educate non-headache-sufferers. Sometimes I feel I share a little too much and sound overly negative or just plain boring, but people need to know that we aren't lazy, hypochondriacs, drama queens or kings, or crazy. We're in severe pain. Awareness could also result in additional funding for research and better health insurance coverage (please allow me to dream).

    Happy National Headache Awareness Week. Spread the word!