Friday, May 27, 2011


I'm FINALLY able to cross something off my list that has been on it a few months now:

We have wall art! :) I used an idea I found online, chose my own colors, and then my dear husband designed it in CAD so I could trace the lines and paint it. Painting is therapeutic for me; I love it! Yay for art!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Migraine Warrior Classmates

During the spring semester, I became an instant friend with a girl who was in two of my classes. We just clicked, and it didn't take us long to discover that we both suffered from migraines. She's unfortunate enough to have "classic" migraines where she has vomiting and can't function when she has's so bad that if her husband's working when she gets one he either has to leave work or her in-laws have to come and take care of her kids. Luckily, like me, she didn't have to miss a lot of class. She's putting up a good fight though; in fact, during the semester she tried Botox (at first her insurance refused to cover it, but then her neurologist reworded the request and they agreed to cover it, but I think she had to pay the deductible). It may have helped a little at first but she's still having migraines.

In one of our classes, we had a group project and of all people got teamed up with another migraine sufferer! This classmate is seeing a former neurologist of mine and I think I convinced her to fire him because he was changing her meds a LOT during the semester and she had really bad fatigue and was not happy with him. Sounds like he hasn't changed - he shoves drugs down your throat and doesn't communicate with you. She ended up missing class quite a bit, but I think she was able to stay in the class because it was for medical reasons and thank goodness the instructor and college seemed to be supportive.

I know I'm rambling, but isn't it neat how you come across fellow migraine warriors (not just online but also in person) and you just "click" and start comparing treatments and stories? Yes it's a little depressing because we're all pretty much in the same place as far as not finding treatment that works, but it was nice to go through the semester with these girls fighting alongside with me!

Monday, May 9, 2011

GelStat Migraine

My busy semester is OVER! I'm so thankful that while taking 16 credit hours, working 10 hours a week and having chronic headaches and occasional migraines, I managed to earn a 3.8 GPA and I only missed ONE class due to a migraine! I really feel that this is God's plan for me and He's giving me the strength to do it.

Thank you, readers and friends, for being patient with my lack of blog posts. This summer I'll be working more but I only have one class, so I hope to be more active here. And my husband finally fixed my browser issues so I can now leave comments on your blogs again. :)

During the semester, my headaches have remained the same, but I haven't given up the fight. Here's what I'm trying:
  • Butterbur: I tried this about 3 months and gave up because I noticed no improvements, and it was upsetting my stomach.
  • TMJ mouth guard: I'm still seeing a TMJ specialist every few months, and we gradually decreased the time I'm required to wear my mouth guard. Now I only need to have it in at night (8-10 hrs). I don't think it's impacted my headaches but I do have a lot less jaw pain.
  • Therapy: I'm still seeing a therapist about once every three weeks for stress, anxiety and pain management.
  • GelStat Migraine: A friend of mine suggested it and I noticed they have a free trial (I just had to pay $3.99 shipping), so I figured I'd give it a whirl. The first dose I tried helped, but the second didn't, probably because I didn't catch the headache soon enough. Have any of you had success with GelStat?
    Empty dose with my hand for size comparison. It actually tasted decent.

  • Ice pack: My trusty ice pack has seen better days, so I got a new one. This one is from The Container Store. When I saw it online I assumed it would fit on my entire head, but when I went to buy it I realized it was more like the size of my hand. Does anyone know where you can get a head-size ice bag? 
Cute Retro Ice Bag
  • Progesterone: My gyno upped my dose of progesterone (bioidentical hormone) and switched from the pill to cream, which I requested because I thought it might work better. It looks intimidating, but I don't inject it anywhere; instead, I put the specified dose on a tissue and rub it on my inner thighs (one of the many safe spots). The higher dose makes me really tired, but I only use it day 15 to the end of each cycle. It's still early to tell if it's helping.
Progesterone cream
  • Drugs: The only drugs I take are Aleve for really bad headaches and Butalbital (Fioricet) for migraines. I'm trying to take as few meds as possible and prevent headaches through a healthy diet and exercise. I've always had this ambition, but now that I've gone through most of the standard migraine meds, I feel a renewed desire to get more serious about exercising. I hope it lasts!