Tracking and Logging Headaches


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.


Dear Migraine From Hell


Please go away.  I know that’s it’s physically impossible since I’ve lived with you for 44 years. I know you’ll never just disappear.

Instead I am ever thankful that you usually respond to my migraine meds. Thank God for my prescription meds and my doctor to prescribe them for me.  I’d be dead without them.  I couldn’t cope. Please don’t ever stop working!!!!!!

I went to Target this morning without my sunglasses and spent money.  Both things are big triggers for me.  I took a nap after I got home to try and chill but my normal headache took a turn and my eye is blurring and uuuuugh. We meet again.

I took my meds but they haven’t yet kicked in yet. And I’m getting low on my medication. I should have refilled this week but I put it off.  Because I’m the worlds biggest procrastinator.


art by :  Junji Ito


Are You Comfortable With Your Doctors?

My two main docs are my pdoc and my GP who treats my myriad of other afflictions I have. I stopped seeing my neurologist because nothing was helping. He was helpful for ruling out MS as a diagnosis, got my MRI’s all authroized quickly.  My GP says the specialists always are that way.  (I don’t think that’s always the case).

I like my GP because she asks for my opinion and input. I’ve felt comfortable asking her about personal questions, anxiety meds, increasing a dose, can we tests for _______.  I’ve convinced her to try a couple of non-conventional treatments for my migraines after I had read about them. She’s not a total pushover though.  She wasn’t totally for applying for disability. She told me I wouldn’t have anything to do after, like a place to go to every day and I might end up feeling worse.

Pdoc seems to know her stuff.  She was more in favor of applying for disability. A couple of times I’ve mentioned a different treatment and she hasn’t been open to it. I don’t push it either because I know she knows a hell of a lot more than my doctor google degree. She doesn’t like to do big changes with meds…one change at a time kind of rule.

Since then I’ve been on disability for two years? I’ve had  a few periods of  “meh” and a couple of “ok’s”.  I had no idea it would take so long to treat bipolar disorder and I know I’m still not fixed yet.

23 Things I Planned On Telling You

  1. I saw this idea on someone else’s blog and stole it.
  2. I’ve had Lyme Disease.  It took a long time to diagnose. Now I’m left with pain and other issues.  But is it fibromyalgia? Or Chronic Lyme.  Who the hell knows.
  3. I thought I had MS for a long time. I felt ignored by my previous doctor. I know it’s nothing new. I was tripping and falling, numbness plus other MS like symptoms.
  4. I used to follow a few bands live.  That was when I was up/happy. I like the hippie genre mostly. Folk, bluegrass, Americana and classic.
  5. Sometimes music makes me sad and I don’t listen.  Often it’s connected to a bad memory of me being manic and overly excitable.  Instead I avoid it and listen to music without the bad feelings.
  6. I have a mail phobia.  I’m afraid to open my mail for fear of hospital bill collectors, random other things that give me anxiety.  So I avoid it.  It has caused problems over the years.  I need to work on that. Taxes…
  7. It doesn’t help that I am not the most organized person with some things.  Like bills and everything else 😉
  8. Steering in the opposite direction of my parents, I have always been a little messy.
  9. I have always thought creative people were messy.  I care more about the art than the clean up. I’d rather create something than cook or clean.
  10. Lately I’ve been really trying to overcome this.  I have several strategies.
  11. I make my bed every morning now.  It’s practically a habit.
  12. Messy bed, messy head.
  13. My husband is a work-a-holic.  He works 7 days a week and loves what he does.
  14. I’m happy he loves what he does but so much could be done at home with him here. So many home improvement projects and quality time together.
  15. He’s an amazing provider though, a husband and father. He has supported me through good and bad times.
  16. I am incredibly overwhelmed all the time. It makes me want to hide.
  17. I have isolated myself in the past and still away from friends and family.
  18. Retreating to my room is my “thing”.  I try much more to not do this.
  19. Most days I pass the day puttering around, looking at the internet on occasion, doing some laundry. I try to interest myself in TV to pass time too.  I don’t find much I like to watch.
  20. I wish I had the stamina and drive my sister has.  She tackles home improvement projects like a pro.  She works full time plus, takes care of everything at home.  She’s basically happy like that even her husband doesn’t contribute. I want energy like she has.
  21. I have only 2 very close friends plus my sister. I’d rather have a few close friends rather than a group.
  22. I get so anxious if it’s a group type thing I usually avoid it.
  23. I always think people are staring at me.  Maybe it’s paranoia?

Losing Control

When I go to my primary care doctors it’s not unusual for me to cry.  She is wonderful and kind but we are not in control of my illness(es).  I cry while saying I wasn’t depressed.  I didn’t know what was wrong.

I feel so vulnerable when I go to my doctors.  Always. I’ve explained the whole thing, gave you all my symptoms, we’ve established the diagnosis. Please help me, please fix this.  I can’t imagine what someone with a terminal illness or illness far more serious than me feels like. 😦

I wish I could control my migraines. Whatever I’m doing isn’t working. We try this, we try that. I look into something else. As silly as it sounds, it feels like a failure when we try something and it doesn’t work.  I feel like another failure when I have to ask for a new refill (again) of my scripts. I can’t control them.

Bipolar is becoming a beast to control.  So far I’ve failed a bunch of meds and none have worked on my depression. We increased my prozac a tiny bit and I think it might be helping a smidgen.  Much less anxiety, anyway.

I feel like the best thing to take control of my illnesses is research, seeing my doctors regularly and keeping track of my symptoms.  It helps me feel like I’m at least doing something to help myself.

Sense Of Smell

My sense of smell has never been right.  For a long time it was barely there.  I can remember driving past a dead skunk one night and it didn’t bother me the least.  I could hardly smell it I told my husb.

For the past couple of years different scents have either triggered a migraine or made it much worse. Fresh cut grass, frying fish and perfumes to name a few. My sense of smell becomes really heightened.

When I do have a migraine I love lavender and peppermint essential oils. They really help. Rub some on your forehead, temples, nape of neck. They start working immediately while waiting for your medication to kick in. Give it a try!


What Caused My Childhood Pain

I’ve often wondered about the root of my pain.  Did something happen to me to cause these migraines or was I just born this way? Was I a stressed out little baby and it turned me into a ball of crazy ever after?

My mom was verbally and mentally abused by my alcoholic father until I was about 3 or 4.  She has never has said exactly what he’d say. I only have a vague idea and a few memories.   Could that abuse effect a child that young?

I suffer from fibromyalgia.  It’s a syndrome which is noted to have occurrence in adults who were abused as children. I’ve never been abused as a child but I know what my mom experienced effected me deeply.  I do believe it was the trigger for my young migraines. It was just at that time she left him. I’d still have to see him sporadically throughout my childhood.

I think this is plain old genetic. My own daughter has suffered from pain symptoms since she’s been little. She also suffers from migraines and I know she has not been abused as a child.

My sister and I have no contact with our father now.  An amazing step-father stepped into his place and provided a safe and nurturing environment for all the migraines. Every one.

this is about my childhood with migraines.

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.



Debilitating Migraine Pain

Do you rate your migraines? I rate mine like I rate pain 0-10.

I had a 10 once.  The worse headache I’ve ever had. I think it was one of those thunder-clap headaches.  I’ve never had such pain.  We were on the way for an MRI and my migraine turned quickly into this screaming, squeezing my head between my hands thing. It lasted about a minute.  My husb was freaking while driving since he had never seen me have a headache this bad. I had no migraine meds and thought that was the cause and it just got that bad. We were already at the hospital for the MRI so I should have just been seen.

For me a 4 is a minor headache.  I put off meds even though we’re told to take them at the fist sign.  Instead I ignore that and thinking maybe it will go away on its own. Try some water. Ignore it.  When I get to seven I still might not take them but I definitely should. They get worse and then I’ve spiked to an eight or nine and I’m just dying for the triptan to kick in and hope it works this time.

I should know better.

Does Weed Fry Your Brain?

I’m going to be honest.  When I first saw the post of the day word “fry” my mind went to pot. Hah! And then it went to marijuana. Does weed fry your brain?  It first made me a little paranoid (hah again!) to talk about this on my totally private blog. 🙂 such a dork.

You know that there are hundreds of articles to smoke or not.  Pros vs cons.  Healthy or not.  Good or bad. Fries or not.  Favorable statistics vs non. I’m no expert, certainly.  I don’t believe it is good for growing brains to be smoking so I’m against kids smoking pot. It’s not for everyone.  This is just my experience.

My husband grew up in the 70’s and was a user in the day.  He’s was a hippie!  I was a little aghast when he told me he smoked pot.  I lectured him (years later) how terrible it was.  How I would never do it.  Are you kidding me? Never.

I never smoked cannabis until I was 38.  I had just finished nursing school when I was introduced to it by a good nursing school friend.  I was shocked she smoked…a nurse! (since then I’ve met many more). I never even knew until she told me. I gave her my uninformed opinion.  She changed my mind with facts.  Once I tried it I couldn’t believe the controversy. I think I was expecting a psychedelic experience.  And it was nothing like drinking and being out of control.

Since then I’ve used cannabis safely for my migraines. It has worked well for me.  If I have a migraine and have used my all migraine meds without effect it truly helps. It helps for pain control, nausea and sleep.

So it’s another judgement thing.  I was just as guilty of judging my husband and friend until I was able to make my own informed decision.  In my opinion it’s an effective tool for migraine.  I’m happy to see it becoming legalized in some states and is used medicinally in others.

What do you guys think?