Migraine Life

me.

Recently I started a new and different medication for my chronic migraines. We've been through the gambit. I've tried a lot of them. Recently started a new medication noted for off label migraine treatment. I was hopeful.  I had been asking my neurologist to try it, then my migraine specialist, PCP more than once, my Pdoc….Nobody cared to do this. It's a psyche drug. I wasn't afraid to ask them either.  I am never afraid to bring up a medication that I've read about that might be beneficial too.

When I first began reading about it they had been using it for a few years anyway. It causes the brain in someway to be less excitable.  Something to do with glutamate. I dunno. But it had promise and was working for some. Maybe it's just a premonition, intuition…something told me that this sounded like it could help.  Thus…asking my doctors since it's a different class that I've tried before.

Anyway, cut to 5-6 years later when I mention it again to my PCP as we struggle to find a preventative med to help me.  Suddenly she tells me they are using it for migraines and fibromyalgia now. Now she has no problem with a trial of it.  Yessssssss.

The first month was very successful. I had about half the number of migraines normally which are chronic…which are most days of the month. So this was awesome.

I slowly titrated the dose as instructed and the migraines seem to resist the medication. They began to increase and I was noticing that the minor headaches I had before were no longer staying little and they were turning into full blown migraines that weren't responding to my acute treatments..ie triptans.Image result for vintage  labels cannabis

So, as things will have it I started to be lax about taking that morning dose.  After the second day I noticed things seemed better with the night dose.  Usually my body is resistant to meds and I seem to require higher doses.  This time I was surprised that a slight decrease in meds seems to be helping.

Now I'm back to how it was when I was beginning the med and it seems to be working again. I am hopeful. It is the first medication that has brought on noticeable

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Less Crazy But Fat

fatpills

When your pdoc suggests starting one of the newer anti-psychotic meds used to treat your mental health disorder, you are leery but go along with her because you feel like utter shit. You don’t ask about weight gain because you already know.

The first psyche med caused me major weight gain. I must have gained 20+ pounds in a week or two.  Now I’m up in my weight after years of thinking I had it under control.  What I think might have been happening before was that my anxiety and mania kept my weight in check.  I lost weight very easily.  I could eat what I wanted but a lot of the time I wasn’t hungry but I was running around at work too.  I took it as a happy benefit though didn’t realize it was probably mania at the time. We were looking through pictures of years past and I came upon a picture of a time where I know for sure I was manic and I was really thin. I read that some people can tell if someone is manic from their eyes.  In that picture I looked manic. My eyes look larger and a lil bit crazy maybe. Or maybe it’s just that I remember back to that time and know I was acting out impulsively and I was definitely not acting like myself.

This new med she has me on is supposed to be weight neutral but it makes me really hungry all day long.  Plus…munchies, you know. I need to stop snacking.  I need to just suck it up and learn to eat wisely again.  This is my public declaration 😉  Maybe it’ll help me stay true.

 

 

My Week

This week wasn’t bad.  Things overall are better but I’ve still had some episodes of anxiety. It seems like every other day is a better day.  I wonder if it’s some type of decompensation. After I spend a day doing a couple of errands or visiting with a friend I feel as though I need a day to recover. I can’t handle a full on booked up week, not working, not playing.

I was able to go out twice this week and be in public. I did some errands, went to my little craft group and made a dreaded phone call. I’m trying to get outside in my garden every few hours anyway. There is always something to do. It makes me feel a little helpful.

Yesterday I had a feeling of dread all day.  I just couldn’t help but feel like something bad was going to happen but I just wasn’t sure of what it was. As the day went on I was feeling nauseous. I used to feel that way so much more severely. I used to think depression was more my issue but it’s really anxiety. Worried about……everything.

By the time my husband got home I told him I thought I was having a panic attack and he gave me the biggest hugs. He told me nothing was wrong and everything was going to be ok.  He’s always been able to hug me and make everything else melt away. I don’t deserve him.

Migraines this week were not good.  I’m running through my triptans too quickly.  My second line fiorcette isn’t as effective and I have only a limited amount of that too.  I’ve had to take some excederin a few times and even after a week I feel gastritis which feels quite like an ulcer with heart palpitations to boot.

Glad the weekend is here. I don’t have any plans in stone. Next weekend we have a milestone we’re celebrating so next week will be stressful for me.  Emotional and stressful. Maybe I’ll share more about this later.

Peace…

Tracking and Logging Headaches

headachelog

Aw, damn I thought my migraines were doing a little better. I’ve been trying to track them lately just to document the frequency.  I had started a new medication (bipolar) and at a lower dose it was helping. As we upped the dose it’s not any more. Maybe I’ll talk to my pdoc about lowering the dose.  My appetite was much better on the lower dose anyway but the headache benefit might be a good reason to lower it.  I don’t see her going for it though.

Occasionally I track my migraines when they seem more or less frequent. I always forget to add the migraines which I’ve taken something at the very beginning of or at the aura stage.  It’s easy to remember the ones which I had to go hide in my room and lay in the dark.

The last time I had been really tracking them my neuro handed them back to me and told me I could hang on to them.  He was not interested. I couldn’t believe it because I’ve seen so many doctors over the years as a nurse and patient who have requested headache logs. I dislike physicians who think they know it all.

From my logs I learned that light is one of my worst triggers. Strong smells, splenda and NutraSweet are also triggers.  Those are concretes.  I WILL get a migraine. Also liquor.  I had three apple ciders tonight. I never drink so this is an anomaly.  They are so good though and my husband and I were home alone doing yard work.  They didn’t disappoint though and I’m working on a decent headache now.

 

Meds stolen?

Has anyone had their meds stolen?

When my son was in high school I did by his friend staying with us while having problems at home.  Later he confessed and went to rehab. I felt so betrayed. It was a bottle of ADD meds that my son had refused to take.

Last night I went to take a klonapin. I couldn’t find it anywhere. My mind immediately thinks someone took it.  I have kids in and out of my house. I went to bed really uneasy. My husband said I just misplaced it because I misplace things all the time. Go to sleep. 🙂

All I could think of was having to tell my Pdoc my meds were stolen.  Like she’s never heard that before.  And I don’t think I’d be able to tell her.  I’d look like a drug seeker and I was abusing my medication.

This morning i found it.   I over reacted last night.  Once again my husband was right. I’ll keep him around 😉

 

 

Feeling Low and Sad

I’ve been out of my Lamictal for five days now.  It’s messing with my sleep and my mood. Sometimes I can miss a pill or two of something and feel no consequence but not the Lamictal.  My mood goes low and I get weepy.  It is a mood stabilizer afterall. It’s one that I can’t miss.

I feel so depressed.  I’m having a hard time dragging myself out of bed and then I don’t know what to do once I’m up. I’m feeling so overwhelmed at my mounting chores.  I started a paining project last week.  It’s not complete.  My furniture is scattered.  I just want to crawl back into bed.

This morning I got up after taking the first dose of Lamictal last night.  I slept a little better but my mood is no better and my motivation is lower.  I have a mild migraine.  I’m sitting in my fave chair under a blanket while binging on Naked and Afraid XL and feeling sad and negative today.

 

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Living Life Around Medication

I take a bunch of meds every night.  It’s about a handful practically. To keep things organized I have to use a pill sorter now and I’m no where near elderly! Without it I would be forgetting all kinds of pills.

Now I have one of those giant 30 day pill sorters.  It’s like a caricature of a pill sorter. One of my dreaded chores is filling the damn pill box when it runs out. I procrastinate on that so bad.

So, sometimes I wish I could just stop my bipolar meds.  I know it’s common. They often make me feel very flat and numb. I don’t feel like doing anything and mostly sleep. Abilify did it to me bad.  We kept raising the dose.  I didn’t realize it was the medication but thought it was a new part of depression.  It’s like being a zombie and just going through the motions big time.

For morning meds I just have my stimulant med for ADD which is sometimes used for depression as well.  It’s something that I never want to do without either.  It helps with my chronic fatigue and gives me a little bit of help with motivation.  I rarely forget to take it because it is so useful to me.  I recently had an pharmacy/insurance issue and I was not able to take it for a month.  I couldn’t believe how much of a difference it made when I had to be without.

Now, I’d keep all my migraine meds.  I guard them.  I’m kind of a hoarder. 🙂 j/k a lil bit. 😉 They all live in my purse and I take them everywhere. I don’t plan to be anywhere without any of them.

 

 

My 10 Go To Tool’s for when I’m out of my migraine meds

  1. Ice.  I use ice for my forehead and back of neck.  Often I will wake up and my eyes are numb from the ice.  Its effective for me because my pain is greatest in my eye.
  2. peppermint essential oil across the forehead (careful!) and the back of the neck.  I sometimes mix it with lavender.  The peppermint’s cooling sensation on the skin helps take the edge off. It’s also something you can easily use if you are out and about.
  3. My bed.  I typically sleep on my back with knees up.
  4. My tens.  This is my go-to for a migraine with extra tight muscles on the side of my neck.  It really loosens the muscles.  You start out very lightly and then when you’re used to it you can dial it down.
  5. sun glasses if I’m going to be leaving a building.  I even wear my sunglasses on a bright but cloudy day.  Sunlight is a big trigger of mine.
  6. a shower.  No brainier, right? I like to put a few drops of peppermint, or rosemary.  It smells amazing and they aren’t a strong floral scent,
  7. Later when I’m feeling a little better I love a Fountain coke. I know everyone has heard of coke added to your advil or tylenol which is a good idea.  However, there seems to be more coke syrup (maybe?) I crave this and I’m guilty of asking my kids to go to the corner store for me.
  8. Frankincense and Myrrh.  This stuff is amazing,  It helped my husbands back pain.  He was so impressed and didn’t believe it would work at first.  I’ve found it at my local pharmacy near the diabetic things.  It does have other essential oils in it too but it’s worth it.
  9.  My dog.  He knows when I’m getting a migraine and always lays with me. Something about my pup is so healing,.
  10. Later, when my husband comes home he will pick up my meds at the pharmacy. Hopefully they will do the trick.

 

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