4 Days Of Misery

I have just gone through a four day migraine due to weather. Now some may ask how can the weather give me a migraine that lasts four days without relief? It happens when the barometric pressure increases the sky fills with dark heavy clouds and the air is filled with pressure that doesn't let up. The effect is like have a lead weight pressing down on my brain from the inside out. I tried ice pack, medication, sugar, caffeine, sleeping you name it, nothing worked. Today the sky is clearer, not completely but less cloudy and the sun is shinning somewhat. The problem is that the weather is supposed to get back to cloudy again in the next two days. I am praying that it does not bring on another round of pain.
I looked up barometric pressure and migraines on the net and all the sites said the same thing: stay inside!!! Yea right like that helps!!! Staying inside is not only all one can do in this condition but the severity of the weather outside doesn't stay outside. I affects us even if we do stay inside. Who ever came up with that statement must not only be an idiot but must be a moron and has never had a migraine caused by this weather condition.
Today I am feeling better, somewhat weak due to the effects of the meds and just staying inside but better. I am making meat loaf and potatoes for dinner which is the first real meal I have felt like having since Monday. Smells good which is a great sign. If I do get another bad headache then at least I will have had a good meal this week.
I know that it is not just the weather but also stress. I am still on unemployment and have been going through a rough time with getting my benefits and all due to the fact that the person who I spoke to did not do their job. Must be nice to have that kind of job security and especially when you have peoples livelihoods in your hands. Oh well, enough venting gripping whining. Take care.


The Loss of Simple Things

The Simple Things I’ve Given Up
There are lots and lots of things about living with migraines that frustrate me; not doing well at work, not being able to play or have fun due to migraine pain or sickness, others not understanding the problem, doctors and drug companies making money off of my pain. The most frustrating thing or loss is the simple things. I love chocolate like most people do but chocolate is a major trigger for my migraines. I discovered this years ago and it used to be all the time. Even the smallest piece of chocolate would send me to bed with a 10+ migraine vomiting in pain for a day or more. Now it seems that the trigger is not predictive. Some days I can have chocolate and there is no migraine some days it is mild and some days it is major a 10+. That means that if I want to have any chocolate, like syrup on my ice cream, a piece of chocolate cake, or my favorites like a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter night or a warm chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven I mentally flip a coin and then decide if I want to take the chance.
Living with migraines for me is mostly about watching what I eat and how long I sleep – too much or too little can trigger a migraine – but the frustrating part is the unknowns like chocolate. This one thing seems to be the only unknown as far as food. I have learned that all foods with high sodium content are a big no no as well as lots of garlic and preservatives. Those things I can control and have with no regrets or cravings after all potato chips are really not good for you and nuts can be bought unsalted and preservatives cause cancer and other illnesses when eaten too much or too often.
Last night I was freezing, my bones ached and I was just really miserable since we had snow here in Vegas during the day and tea just didn't hit the spot. I tried to make a cup of hot carob but it turned out really grouse so I flipped the coin and took a chance on an old fashioned cup of cocoa make with nestle quick, we all have had that and grew up with it. Oh it was heaven so warm and not too chocolaty. I drank it so fast it was hard to not just gulp it down since it has been over a year since my last cup. Well today I am paying the price. Yup, around 3:30am I woke up or rather was woken up with a migraine on the scale in the range of a 7 or 8. I got up took two of my pills went back to bed praying that it would be gone in the morning. At 6:30am I awoke again to pain still around a 7 or 8 and so that will be the rest of my day. It may be gone by tonight which is how long the chocolate usually takes to leave my system, fingers crossed.
Many people I have met who suffer from migraines are frustrated with the loss of jobs, money, travel which is fine we are all different. For me it is the loss of simple things for to me the simple things are what make us smile the most often.
To all my fellow migraine sisters, take care, smiles, hugz and love.
Darlene Blair


3 M'S-Menstruation; Menopause; Migraines Part One

I started this post 3 days ago and it really got away from me. The next day I woke up with a stage 10+ migraine which put me totally out of it for 2 days. First day from pain second day for recovery. I am feeling better today but the two days lost will take 4 days to catch up on things that didn't get done.
I am going to re-post a previous entry outlining my migraine treatment and information I have gathered throughout my life with Migraines. For this I will start at the beginning or from where I can remember is more accurate.
I remember starting to have migraines or at the time bad headaches as they were called around the age of 10. The were very infrequent but severe and made me want to stay home in bed crying and throwing up. Unfortunately, I was told by my mother that "It was the meanness coming out of me" so I would go to school like normal and somehow make it through the day. By 12 I had started to menstruate and that is when the headaches became more frequent and more severe. The same mantra was chanted to me and since the only over-the-counter medication available was aspirin. I would eat them by the handfuls on days when it was the worst and usually without water since during class leaving was not allowed. Some days I would spend in the nurses office for a major portion of the day with a cold compress on my forehead which helped as it does now.
From then on my life has revolved around the pain of migraine, what causes it, what stops it, how to muddle through the day (s) while in pain and not be a total vegetable. I have tried all types of different remedies, some legal some inventive some homeopathic some home developed to only come to the conclusion that being in pain at any given time is my lot in life. During my reproductive age the only time I did not have a migraine was when I was pregnant. Yup not a one for 9 glorious months. I did however have severe morning sickness which lasted all 9 months. I traded one illness for another. Which was worse I am not sure since being pregnant was temporary and migraines seem to be forever.
As I write this post I am again fighting back the pain. It has been mild one of those I am here days don't forget me I haven't forgotten you and if I so desire I will bring the full force of destruction on you. I really try very hard to not get into a self pity poor me frame of mind but damn I am so tired of fearing the full blown force of migraine that could come at any time. Of living day to day wondering if today will be a good day a bad day or a just so so day. In fact, I has been so long since I have had a full good day I can't remember what it is like.
I digress.
So from the time I was in my teens until I was in my 30's I mostly took OTC medications, threw up, used iced packs, cried, screamed at times I even would bang my head against the wall literally to counteract the pain from the migraine. In my late 20's the medical world finally gave these headaches a name MIGRAINE. At that time a doctor prescribed cafergot to me. It worked most of the time and I was on it for about 4 years. Unfortunately, I was building up a resistance to it and over time had to take more and more of it to stop the pain. One day during a really bad headache I took 12 in the course of about 6 hours and fell asleep. When I woke up about 6 hours later I couldn't believe what I had done. I went to the drug store and bought my first prescription drug book and found out what was in the pills. Each pill was equal to drinking a full pot of coffee so I had in essence drank 12 pots of coffee and fallen asleep and still woke up with the headache. I immediately flushed the rest of the pills down the toilet and that was the last time I took them. Then I found a doctor who was not only a chiropractor of extreme genius but he was also a nutritionist. He was referred to me by a lady friend who was in her late 60's and like me had been a migraine sufferer for all of her life. I made an appointment picked up the packet of health info to fill out and was astonished to find it was the size of a short story. My memory of it was approximately 40 pages and ranged in questions from what I ate, drank, when I ate, how much I ate and drank all types of liquids not just alcohol how long I had been suffering etc. My first appointment consisted of a full body xray, a 30 minute interview with a nurse and then another 30 minutes with the doctor. His recommendation was extensive. My diet was a wreck, I ate packaged foods, processed meats, salty foods you name it if it was bad I ate it. I also ate good foods things I had grown up on but I was a product of the fast and easy generation and so my diet reflected it. I was told to stop eating all of the above items, eliminating all preservatives, nitrates, nitrites, salt, anything packaged or processed. True to my belief in this doctor and his recommendation I immediately emptied my home of all packaged products foods etc. Needless to say the next day I did some major food shopping since my will power was low I knew I had to not have any of it around me to tempt and weaken my will even more. WOW I thought I was going to starve and it did take me months to get used to not getting the package of hot dogs, bologna, potato chips etc. He also gave me items to use to detox my system. This was a six week program and the first few days was really rough. It was all worth it though because during my short 2 years with him I only had 2 migraines, yup you got 2 and these were minimal on the scale of 0-10+. When I did have pain I could call him and get in that day for a minor adjustment using his pressure punch and the pain was gone and I was fine.
The xray had shown that I had severe scoliosis which had existed since I was a teen and had fallen off of the parallel bars during gym class. The condition was aggravated from poor sitting habits and from carrying my young children on my hip.
I am going to post this now and continue on another day.
Take care and be blessed.


New Members of the "Put My Head in The Freezer" Group

Yesterday a sweet friend of mine from Twitter posted a link to a migraine chat group that meets every Wednesday evening. I have joined some of these groups before and honestly have to say that they were mostly bitch fests where everyone just wanted to vent about other things in their lives that had nothing to do with migraines. This one is totally different and a great place to exchange information and get support. In just one day I have found connections with others who have tried medicines and doctors and found only criticism and failure just as I have. I have known for years that I am not alone in my headache suffering and that there are those who are much worse off than me and I have tried to share my experiences with them. The things that have worked for me and the things that didn't work for me and sadly the information didn't go very far or get to very many who suffer. Know may be different I sincerely hope so.
Below is a link to a trailer of a book written by a young lady who is suffering far worse than I am and also may have suffered in the past. It is hard to say since when I started having migraines the term didn't exist and over the counter medications for pain were Aspirin, Excedrin and Buferin. Not much to choose from and since the medical association didn't recognize these server headaches as a real problem prescriptions were not given for pain especially to young women.
I have not read this book but do plan on getting it soon.

The ladies I met last night have inspired me to do more on this blog and my others and to also work more on my websites. This is not going to be easy for me I seem to be lazier than ever lately when it comes to doing those things that used to give me joy. All I seem to want to do is watch twitter and Facebook, listen to the TV and play solitaire on the computer. I do the normal daily things but nothing really gets my juices flowing or gets me excited. This is not to say I don't get angry with the world events and the horrible actions of others and how they are affecting those in need but that is not the same and feeling joy at doing new things and seeing people and spending time with others. I did go to a birthday party last week for the 1 yr old daughter of a former co-worker, yes I had a job for about 4 months but the owners lied to me about keeping me on permanent and then hired back someone who had worked there last year and walked out on them one day with no notice. WEIRD. Anyway the party was great and I laughed and had the best time I have had in a long time being with people who really didn't know me very well but accepted me as a friend.
I am looking forward to posting more here and am going to work on combining all of my blog pages on my websites.
Thank you for visiting and Be Blessed.


So Much For Todays Plan

Well the day started out okay but within less than 30 minutes the head was full of pain. Took meds with coffee, applied ice pack and no help. Had wanted to clean up back yard, get rid of old cupboard and spray off patio and clean tables etc. Got some of it done, cupboard is disassembled and moved out of the way, wooden crates are set up for gardening and pool supplies, throw away stuff is in trash bags but that is as far as I have gotten. Need to take a shower and bring son to work soon, as well as go to store for a few items too tie us over until grocery shopping next week and then hubby wants to go out for dinner. Not going to be much fun for me with headache but as usual he comes first. Need to change that but not sure if solution is a possibility at this time. I have started a new blog page about surprises. Don't think I will be able to finish today since it is really hard to think of new things with the migraine. Creativity is limited on these kind of days, mundane actions are easy as well as writing about things I am very familiar with like migraines. Have no idea why the headache, since I have been watching my diet and can't think of any extreme stress lately and there are no clouds in the sky but it could be a delayed reaction from last 2 or 3 days of stress and weather. Oh well, onward and upward and look forward to meeting with new friend and her 2 twin girls next week. They are coming over so the girls can swim and Stephanie and I can get to know each other better, although I/We feel like we are already old and good friends. Such a joy to meet new friends, one of the few joys in my life these days. Now I am getting/sounding depressing, so will close for today. As ever take care and be safe.


Two Triggers I Can Not Control

It has been a while since I have posted here and mostly because I have been going through a lot of bad events some of which were expected some not expected. I recently had to put one of my two oldest cats, Prince, to sleep due to kidney failure. He is now on the mantle with his mom and brother. I have one more of the family left and she is also 16 years old and fairing so so. My husband also has been in for kidney stone removal and so was home for a week recovery which meant I was playing nursemaid. He is better for now but will have to get used to drinking more water to keep from getting more stones. Not something he wants to do. So the stress level around here has been extremely higher than normal and mostly out of my control. I did enjoy a visit with my granddaughter who lives in Louisiana and is five years old and whom I haven't seen since she was 2. She was born four days after my birthday so we are very much alike in many ways. One is that every seven years our birthday is on Thanksgiving and we are REAL TURKEYS! That is what my Dad used to tell me since I was known for being silly most of the time anyway. I never do anything half way good or bad silly or serious it is all or nothing and I will stay that way, that is Just Me.
Years ago when I first found out that I actually had what is now known as migraines there were three triggers I could not control. Hormones, the weather and stress. I now am taking a natural soy based hormone replacement and no longer have a problem with frequent unexplained mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats or migraine pain from my hormone imbalance. That has taken care of one trigger I was unable to control in the past. As for the weather and stress, not so fortunate on those two issues. There is absolutely nothing I can do to change or stop the weather from bothering me. No matter where I might live there will always be humidity, cloudy skies, cold and storms. As far as stress well I guess I could live in a monastery or convent but not sure if there is any that would accept me. Being the wild child that I am not a good fit.
My only recourse is to try to deal as best I can with the weather and as for the stress I am looking into alternatives ways to deal with that also. I am going to go to a meeting with a neighbor to see about practicing Buddhism and am also looking into relaxation techniques that will lessen the effects of stress on my body and mind. One other thing I am going to try to do is not read, listen or follow information that upsets me in regards to new treatments for migraines. For example the most recent news flash of how cosmetic surgery on forehead wrinkles help migraine sufferers. That is all well and good for someone who has the financial means to afford that kind of surgery in the first place but what about the millions of others who don't have that option. And the other upsetting treatment using Botox. Who in their right mind would inject themselves with poison. I have had migraines for over 40 years and at times have been bed ridden for weeks with pain and even wished I were dead, only in the pain induced extreme, but would never put a known poison in my body even if it were free.
Please people who read this blog do not let the medical society and the pharmaceutical companies influence your own common sense and induce you to take or try chemicals that are not only dangerous but deadly. There are many other natural herbs and vitamins that can achieve the same end without any dangerous side effects or at the least very slight side effects which will not hurt or kill you.
Even the simplest thing like using an ice pack can relieve the most horrific pain from a migraine and there is absolutely no side effects from it's use.


New Info Old Info All Around the World Info

I have done my first RSS feed on google for migraines. It is mostly old and unreliable information but I have come across some very good blog pages and some new information. For now I am just going to put some of my old information that has worked for me and some new information on treatments I am now trying.
First the old - I have always believed in and used natural herbs and supplements to treat my migraines and to help counteract the lack of vitamins obtained from our unhealthy food grown with hormones, pesticides and herbicides. Since my migraines were caused by so many triggers it was difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate them all and to take the right supplement to defend against the migraine. I found about 10 years ago that a combination of calcium and magnesium helped tremendously. The best and purest I have found is from Country Life and there is 1000 mg of calcium and 500 mg of magnesium in 2 caplets which is the normal daily dosage. I now take 3 a day just because of my age and to prevent osteoporosis. I have also found that grape seed is a great detoxifier and I take one a day at bedtime. There are many brands and strengths but I now use Puritans Pride grape seed extract. I also take 1 cod liver oil capsule a day at dinner. This is another antioxidant but also has Vitamin D which is great for blood circulation, another cause or condition related to migraines. These are just a few of the vitamins and supplements I have been taking for the past 25 years.
Now the NEW - There is only 1 new vitamin that I am taking for the past3 months but it has has a remarkable effect. Vitamin B2 500 mg per day in the morning. My new neurologist started me on it and within the first week I noticed a decrease in the frequency and intensity of my migraines. I was able to cut my use of fiorecet down to half of what I had been taking. Then a set back. The skies started to be increasingly cloudy, heavy with black and the barometric pressure was so intense I felt like I was constantly under 100 feet of water. Migraines came back with a vengeance as though to make up for lost time and lack of pain. I went back to using the full amount of fiorecet prescribed by my doctor. I went back to my neurologist and he told me to be patient. He knew I was feeling a let down since I had experienced such a great relief but he told me that the longer I took the B2 the more it would help and even with the pressure caused by the weather. I persisted and then this week it came true. We have had almost a week of rain, wind clouds and humidity. You see I live in Las Vegas desert and we are not supposed to have humidity. Thanks to all of the golf courses and pools and fountains the dry desert is no more. But I am better, I am nearly pain free, and I am happy. I still get a slight tightening behind my left eye and the back of my head but not nearly as bad and I have cut my pain meds down by 1/3 of what I was taking. YAHOOOO and happy days.
In future posts, I am going to list all or as many of my triggers as I can remember from all of the years of suffering. Some have gone by the wayside and some have become random, one day they trigger a migraine and some days they don't. It appears that triggers can be as fickle as some of the doctors and researchers that want us to believe we are neurotic and this is only imaginary or some other crackpot excuse for selling drugs that don't work or to put us on medication that is far worse that the pain. Some may say that there is nothing worse than the pain of a full blown, put your head in the trash basket, cut it off and freeze it, shoot me migraine but I disagree and believe me I have felt this pain. I don't want to die from a stroke or be paralyzed. Some of the new drugs have not been tested long enough and the side effects are far worse than the pain. There have been deaths from migraines. Yes some who have suffered severe pain and can not take it anymore have ended the pain in the most final way. Suicide is a constant threat, little voice in some of us but no one has died from the pain itself. Just from the medications and the wish to end the pain in any way possible. To all of you who have suffered as I please send me your comments and suggestions and ideas. Take care, be safe and remain hopeful.
Here are links for where I purchase my vitamins and supplements.