Thursday, March 20, 2008
Small Victories
Last week, when I was having all the issues with migraines, my doctor agreed to refer me to a second neurologist. We talked a little about how I didn't feel that neurologist #1 was a good fit for me. He wanted to recommend drugs, daily drugs. I don't like that. From the way I see things, I'd like to tackle other things first. Stuff like lifestyle items, figuring out what my triggers are, and working on a plan to understand what is going on with me. But this guy wanted to prescribe drugs.

So my small victory today was that the receptionist for neurologist #2 called today schedule an appointment. I really thought it would be more of a hassle. But nope. Things worked like they should. It's always such a relief when that happens.

Now I don't know that much about #2. (and I'm sure he doesn't know that he just received such an awesome nickname from me). But I do know that people like him on yelp. I know that he his written books about migraines and headaches. And he's an older dude. He's a migraine expert. That's got to be good for something.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008
Feeling Groovy
I woke up this morning and honestly feel good for the first time in I don't know how long. This is a relief. I can't say that I understand migraines, and I don't know how they manage to make everything hurt. It's a hurt you can't get away from. What's interesting to me as I learn more is that it isn't just the headache ... its a disease that can do all sorts of things. My stomach hurts, I get confused, I smell things that aren't there, I'm exhausted, I can't concentrate. Those are all symptoms of migraine - the disease - and the headache is just another part of it. The disease itself is awful, and then beyond what it does, it freaks me out and makes me feel helpless. Which is also really difficult to deal with.

So over the past few days I've been looking for ways to allow me to control what I can over this. I know I can't be as scared as I have been, I can't continue feeling out of control. That only adds to what the migraines can do. So, here's what I've done and maybe its making me feel a little stronger, a little more in control.

1. Research ... lots of blogs, asking lots of questions on a message board. How does this effect other people? What do they do? It's been relieving to find other people with chronic illness and see how they cope. It's been a relief to find books and posts about migraine and its symptoms that confirm I'm not crazy.

2. Realizing I think I clench my jaw as I sleep.
I think I've gotten so stressed over having to deal with the last few weeks of migraine stuff that I am either grinding or clenching my jaw as I sleep. I reached this conclusion when I noticed that my upper teeth have been aching every morning when I wake up. To the point I'd been thinking I had a sinus headache or something else. The pain would subside during the day, and would go away again by night. Then the same thing would continue again the next morning. This pain was all in addition to, or on top of migraine headaches. So, I got a mouth guard from a sporting good store and slept with that last night. No upper tooth pain this morning.

3. Ear plugs when I sleep.
I don't know but maybe I am a light sleeper. I started sleeping with ear plugs off and on a while ago because I'd hear noises and get irritated and then not be able to go back to sleep while I was irritated. Last night I just left the ear plugs in all night. I think that helped me sleep much sounder.

Today I feel like doing something fun. There's no headache gnawing away at me. I feel rested. And I feel hopeful. It's really nice to have that back.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008
And in today's bag of tricks
In an earlier post I mentioned I was diagnosed with migraines. And since then it seems like I get them all the time. I've started down the road of trying so hard to figure out what causes them, how to treat them, what doctors to see, what questions to ask. I don't feel like I've gotten very far. And some days it feels like I'm actually going backwards with any progress.

So that's what today felt like. It sucked. I went to a neurologist for the second time. Let's say the first time, I didn't feel like we had any connection. He seems about 65 and like he's tied to some old school (not old skool) ideas. He likes to prescribe drugs and he likes to list out drug options. Great! I'm not a final exam in pharmacology, though.

Today I asked questions like "How do I narrow down what my triggers are?" because I'm not interested in taking that many drugs. He actually said two things that are retarded. Honest to goodness, old skool retarded. First he said "by your age, most people know what their triggers are" and "you can look up lists of triggers on the internet."

'scuse me?

There's a person sitting in front of you, sir, and they just asked a question. You are the doctor. Maybe back in 1918 when you graduated, you didn't learn about answering questions. Or women weren't supposed to ask questions. Or, you're really a demi-god and mortals haven't asked you a question in a really long time.

And besides, everyone knows, the internet is for porn.

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