Sunday, September 25, 2011


My body and I really don't get along. I've been really into running, as you probably know by now, and three weeks ago I ran 30 minutes without stopping to walk - which is the longest yet! I didn't even have time to be proud of myself because costochondritis took away my happy thoughts. Since I was a kid, I've always had random chest pains where it hurts to take deep breaths so I have to do shallow breathing until the "episode" goes away, but it didn't do it much and didn't concern me. Since I've started running, it's been doing it more and the episodes have been longer. After the 30-minute run, it was so bad that the chest pain would start for no reason and would linger for hours (it wouldn't hurt unless I took deep breaths or moved the wrong way). It would even wake me up at night if I ended up laying on my chest because the pain is on my left side and it would be so sharp I'd wake up and have to turn on my side or back.

By the way, I'm completely self-diagnosing myself. I haven't been to the doctor for it (although I did talk to my nurse Mom who is familiar with the condition because Dad had it once), but costocondritis (or "Costco" as my husband calls it) matches my symptoms. Nor do I want to go to the doctor for it because I see too many docs already. Instead, I took a long (and sad) break from running to give myself rest. I was fighting a cold and I think that made it worse too. Yesterday I went for a very short run and walked most of the time, and haven't had an episode yet, so I think I'm better. Who knows what will come up next to prevent me from running, but I'll fight whatever it is with all I've got!

As far as my headaches go, I had a neurology appointment last week and it was a little awkward because I'm not willing to try any new meds but I've tried just about everything else, so I feel like I put my neuro in a tough spot and we were both having trouble deciding what to do next. I did agree to try Botox and since the appointment I found out that my insurance does cover it BUT (there's always a but) the insurance company gets to pick where the Botox comes from so I'd have to bring in "approved" Botox for my neuro to administer. And of course, my neuro's office doesn't accept outside Botox. So next step is for me to find a doctor that will administer outside Botox, but first I'm going to call my insurance and make sure I don't have to meet my $1,000 deductible first, which I'm assuming is the case and if it is, I'll have to put Botox back on my "future things to try" list.

I also asked my neuro about 5-HTP for headaches/migraines and she hasn't had any patients try it but thinks it will be safe, so I've started 50 mg at night and will work up to 100 mg. No noticeable side effects, so that's always a plus!

Edited 9/26 - I forgot to mention that I did ask my neuro about the costochondritis even though that's not in her department, and she agreed that it sounds like what I have and told me to get it checked out if it lasts another week; luckily, it seems to be going away finally. I don't know for sure that running caused it, but I'm going to be more careful and do a lot more walk/runs for a while just to be safe.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stopping Progesterone

My headaches have been relentless lately, showing no sign of improvement. I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm guessing it is related to stress because the fall semester has started. I enjoy my design classes, but the homework takes forever. I feel like that's all I do.

Last week I saw my gyno and told her I wanted to stop the progesterone cream. My reasons: acne, increased migraines and debilitating cramps. I can't remember if I blogged about it, but one night my menstrual cramps kept me up until 5:30 or so in the morning. Also, I missed church and class because of cramps. I've always had bad cramps, but never that bad! My gyno suggested I try yet another form of progesterone, sublingual drops, but I told her I needed a break from progesterone. Maybe I'll try the drops later, but right now I feel like I've messed with my hormones enough and my body is pissed at me.

Even though my headaches and migraines have been bad and I've used way too much medication lately, I have still been working out. Last Thursday I did yoga and running with a pounding head, and my head pain actually decreased while I was running. I'm trying to keep it up, but I'm also trying to not take as much medication and unfortunately the pain is starting to take over my life right now.

At least we survived Hurricane Irene. I hope you all did as well!

Pre-Irene sunset

Post-Irene sunset