Saturday, July 25, 2009

Migraine Mania!

No, really.

I haven't posted in a while because I've been doing well, because I've been so busy going from gig to gig that if I get a migraine it usually waits until a day off and I'm so exhausted anyway that it almost doesn't matter. I'm in bed already; adding drugs and an ice pack isn't much more effort.

But now begins the Deadly Period. I have no gigs, and haven't worked for a week and a half. Stress about finances + depression = migraine cocktail. And why might depression play a role? Well, easy: when I'm already feeling down and listless, I am less likely to be aware of migraine triggers or migraine warning signs. This is why I watched half of a terrible Matthew McConaughey movie and then Harry Potter 4 again instead of seeing my favorite 3-year old for his birthday party. But somehow, my head's condition was not fitting for an outdoor party with lots of little kids. And I was feeling crappy enough here at home that Old Shirtless McSmirky was even somewhat entertaining. Somewhat. I'm not completely daft.

Now onto the mania: I called my mother for her migraine guidance, because I truly was torn about missing the birthday party. The fact that I was having trouble forming sentences should've been a warning sign. When she answered the phone I could tell that she was in some stage of a headache; I can always hear the weakness/spaciness in her voice. So we were indeed a pair trying to talk on the phone! Anyway, she told me that her neurologist said that pre-headache mania is actually a form of an aura. WHO KNEW?! I never get the auras anymore, the regular kind, so it is interesting to note that my last 3 migraines were preceded by a period of intense mania. Like, yesterday I laundered ALL of my bedclothes, comforters, duvets, etc. AND scrubbed the floors, cleaned under things, etc. Mom reported that she used a toothpick to pick at the stubborn spots in the bathroom shower tile grout. Clearly, not normal behavior for either of us!

So now a new warning sign: mania. May take the form of intense cleaning or productivity. Oh, yay!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I was trapped under something heavy!

Wow - I cannot believe its been almost THREE MONTHS since I last wrote here. But, seriously, I was working so much and so many crazy long hours that we should all give thanks that I remembered to leave the house wearing pants. Most of the time.

The amazing thing about being completely, relentlessly, overwhelmingly busy is that your head doesn't have time to f**k with you. Mine behaved for the most part through my last freelance gig - the only few bumps were due to drastic weather changes and were solved quite quickly and with minimal drugs. I was working intense days - days in which I would realize at 2:00 PM that I was still in my pajamas and hadn't yet had a thing to eat or drink. And some days, that realization would come and go and be re-visited around 6pm, when I was feeling seriously craptacular. Nothing like freelancing and working from home. No set schedule, but that also means NO END OF DAY. Or weekends. What are those?

So, of course, the day after my big event ended I was hit with 2 migraines. I was prepared and not surprised. So it just makes me wonder: if I can convince my head, albeit subconsciously, to hold off on migraines while I am busy...shouldn't I have the same power all the time? I am in charge! Going to explore that idea for now. Any thoughts?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

More thoughts on stress

Not surprisingly, stress can do a real number on your system. We all know this fact. But WOW, have I ever been experiencing just how many tricks stress has up it's sleeve (just go with me on this one and assume that stress wears clothes, ok?!).

Since being laid off in January, I've been on a detailed tour of strange new maladies: migraines of course - those were no surprise; coming down with the flu so severely that I could barely even get out of bed for 5 days (really!); new allergies, most distressingly to my favorite perfume (sexy!); strange rashes (date me now!); vertigo (like being stuck on the Tilt-A-Whirl); panic attacks (leaving my house felt like that scene in "Beetlejuice" when the Geena Davis character tries to leave the house and the front door opens into an abyss); and so many more! FUN!!! My father offers the sound advice that I should just go take a walk, that exercise would make me feel better. Of course he is right -- but isn't taking into account the paralyzing anxiety or the unrelenting migraines that are keeping me inside.

So what is my point here? Well, something we already knew: stress is bad. But if anyone can learn a lesson from me and control theirs better than I have, well, at least I will have made a difference. Take care, everyone.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Update: I took my scrip to the Walgreens pharmacy, a bit of heaven for those of us accustomed to the third world country that is the Duane Reade pharmacy experience. As it turns out, Imitrex has lowered its price to match the price of the generic.

I decided to stick with the name brand after reading a few online comments from people who've tried the generic and found it doesn't work as well. I can't say I'm that surprised, as the generic manufacturing company is named Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, which just reminds me of Dr. Funke's 100% Natural Good-Time Family-Band Solution from "Arrested Development," so I just cannot take it seriously. But maybe I just need to take an Euphorazine.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A few more reasons to hope

One: I've heard the rumor that generic sumatriptan (Imitrex) is now on the market. This may be small news for those with excellent prescription plans, but for me this is reason to throw a parade! It boggles my mind that the stuff is so pricey to begin with, but my good friend B, a PhD candidate in a science field, reminds me that a LOT of research and funding goes into developing these drugs. And that even the funding spent on wining and dining doctors is a small piece of the overall budget pie. Ok, I'll buy that for now. I'll be heading to the pharmacy with scrip in hand to test the waters tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Two: Bourgeois Deviant passed on a website which postulated that magnesium chloride may help to ease migraines. You can read the original page here and I will be doing more research into this topic in the future for sure.

But for now, MG is off to brunch!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


So I was trying to give this new Pope a pass since he likes cats and wears oddly whimsical red Prada shoes, but this article takes the cake (or host, or whatever). The Vatican says that "the contraceptive pill is polluting the environment and is in part responsible for male infertility." Wow. Maybe women are evil witches, too.

The pope further writes that "contraception means negating the intimate truth of conjugal love, with which the divine gift (of life) is communicated," which, sure, I can understand how he would want to say that since it seems in line with the theology. But it conveniently exists in a vacuum -- with lots of other church proclamations.

I love it when the people who don't have to worry about contraception or hormones make all the rules about it for everyone else. Much like with every other issue related to women's bodies, the Catholic church has again decided that they know what's best. Cause, really, who knows about womens' bodies better than a bunch of old celibate dudes?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Breaking News: relaxing helps keep migraines at bay

Yeah, who knew? In my ongoing love affair with my new iPhone, MN recently downloaded the "Custom Hypnosis" application from iTunes on a complete whim. I just tried the lite (i.e. free) version to start, which is a sleep program. MN was having a completely wonderfully productive and pleasant afternoon yesterday, with sunlight streaming through all my southern-exposed windows. Then that "oh shit" moment hit, and I knew I'd reached my limit for the day and absolutely needed to lie down or face dire migraine consequences. Rather than give in and nap - I really hate sleeping in the daytime - I tried the hypnosis app. Having been hypnotized before (with chronic pain, one tries everything...I would go to a witch doctor if I knew where to find one. Maybe Queens?) I wasn't sure what to expect with a generic hypnosis coming out of my phone, I mean, really? But I settled in and it was quite wonderful. I opted for the long program of 20 minutes and after the time was up I switched to some white noise (another useful iPhone application) and continued my chilled out state.

Happily, I can report that I never succumbed to migraine. The only down side was that I was super-awake the rest of the night so my sleep cycle is a bit off. Apparently, one hour of hypnosis is equal to four hours of regular sleep (or so I've read on multiple websites, but who knows). What I do know is that I will be using hypnosis more in the future. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Not with a bang but a whimper

Welcome, 2009! My new year was less party-party and more icepack/blackout mask/drugs/CSI marathon. Ah, yes. The migraine which began Sunday evening abated briefly yesterday with the start of the snowfall but then came back last evening as a special New Year's treat. It was never bad enough to make me 100% non-functioning, though I was an hour late to work on Tuesday as I needed the extra time for the drugs to take effect. So, last evening I stayed in with my pals Grissom, Catherine, Warrick, Sarah, and Nick and listened to them solve cases I'd already watched before but had mostly forgotten. Seriously, can you believe I couldn't find any Law & Orders that I hadn't seen recently? A New Year's tragedy.

So, here's to a better 2009, with the (fingers crossed) release of a generic form of Imitrex, and even more hopeful: fewer reasons to take it!

Good health to all!