Friday, March 21, 2014

Migraines and Noises

If you are a migraine sufferer like me, you know that noises can be excruciating.  I have never been able to handle beeping noises.  Fast food restaurants can drive me bonkers.  I am so very glad that I never had to work at one; I am not sure that I could have handled one day with those nasty things.  Working at a Walmart was bad enough.What with the cash registers, the constantly changing lights and the surging of the crowd levels, I was sure I would go crazy working there.  (I'm still not sure that didn't happen.)

Phonophobia is a common thing for migraine sufferers.  However, the noises that are bothersome are as different as all the other migraine symptoms each person suffers.  For me, almost all eating noises fall into this category:  chewing with your mouth open, talking with food in your mouth, scraping your dish with your silverware, slurping, and sometimes even the loud noise that comes with eating crunchy foods.  I also have 8 year old twin girls.  You can bet this makes things fun.  Young girls have high pitched voices.  When they are excited, that pitch goes up at least one octave, if not more.  That excitement can come in many forms: happy, sad, angry, shock, and the list goes on.  You add in 2 more girls of close to the same age (my fiance's daughters) and you have a migraine just waiting to happen.  When one has already arrived, it can be pure agony.

Where am I going with this?  Well, for most migraine sufferers, retreating to a dark and quiet place is just one "prescription" for helping to relieve the pain.  And this is almost true for me.  I say almost because while I like the dark, and quiet can be a good thing, I prefer to have some soft music playing.  Part of the reasoning for this is that too much quiet just doesn't block enough of the noise from the rest of the house.  Our house is just too small to get far enough away from everyone else to not hear everything.  The other reason is, I just LOVE music.  If I'm not feeling too bad, I'll turn Pandora on to shuffle.  (If you want to know what that is like, check out this post.)  If I am really hurting and possibly want to sleep, I change it over to the Spa Station.  This is some very relaxing music that provides a mask for the household noise while also allowing me to just zone out.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chronic Pain Relationships

Today's post is brought to you by a couple of days of pain.  Monday night, I took Ted's dad to the train station for a week long visit to North Dakota.  Between the train arrival time being later than my normal bedtime coupled with it being an hour late, I was not doing well come Tuesday.  I still haven't recovered.  Ted has fibromyalgia, which has been acting up a bit the last few days.

All of this hit us both pretty hard at about 2:30 this morning.  He woke up with his whole body just aching and I woke up with a level 8 migraine.  When I have that bad of a migraine, I just want to cuddle and/or be held.  When his fibro is acting up that bad, he needs to be left alone, since it hurts him even more to be touched.  These are not good combinations.

When this happens, you would think it would be a recipe for disaster and I think, normally, it would be.  But we manage.  I curl up as close to him as I can without touching him and let him lay his arm on me.  I think it works for us.  I feel better knowing he is there.

I haven't been able to find much out there where both people in a relationship are coping with chronic illness, so I'm not sure how other people handle this.  It would be interesting to know.

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Real Fun Migraine Today

Today's migraine was such a fun one. There was the joy of rain, the wonders of wind, the pleasant nausea, and the lovely inability to focus. The focus issue was especially bad today and I had a really hard time figuring out why. I just figured it was one of those nasty migraines. Well, it turns out I messed up my meds this morning. Instead of taking my morning medications this morning, I took my nighttime ones. That's four medicines that all make me sleepy. No wonder I couldn't focus! Boy, did I feel dumb when I grabbed my pill minder and noticed that tonight's pills where missing. You can bet I skipped tonight's dose. I think I've done enough damage for today. I'm off to bed and hoping tomorrow is better.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

And Another New Medicine

So the experiment with Dexamethazone didn't go so well.  It's one of those steroids that can inhibit your sleep.  It also gave me horrible night sweats.  Needless to say, the pain did not go away.  By Tuesday, I needed some relief.  On the doctor's orders, I headed to ER.  Since I live in such a small area, that was a strange trip.  After registering, I was taken to the clinic across the hall as a walk in.  Turns out there were 3 ambulances on the way and they didn't want me to have to wait.

I get back to a room and the nurse is wonderful.  She has migraines herself and knew what to say and how to say it.  Then the doctor came in.  I was sure I would puke right then and there.  What doctor wears that much perfume?!  It might just have been my sense of smell at the time since Ted couldn't smell anything.

It was decided we would try Toradol and Promethazine.  Now I knew that the Promethazine would work for the nausea, since that is what I take at home.  I've had Toradol shots before and they usually work as well.  We decided to try them and then wait a half hour to see if they would work.

The Toradol did nothing.  It was time to try something new, Dilaudid.  I had heard of Dilaudid, but had never tried it before.  Knowing me and pain medications, I was hoping the Promethazine would continue working.  I really hate nausea and pain medications tend to make migraine nausea worse.

The good news is that the medicine worked.  The bad news is that the anti nausea did not.  The really bad news is that after the Dilaudid wore off, I was in pain again.  And I was still vomiting every time I sat up.  

This was all on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, I called my neurologist to see what I should do.  My luck, he was out of the office attending a meeting for the day.  My options were to wait until Thursday or go back to ER.  I decided I could wait for one day to see what he wanted to try.

Today is Thursday and I have been prescribed Topamax.  I'm hoping that this medicine works AND that the side effects aren't horrible.  There are too many things that could go wrong with this one.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mother Nature is a Bully

Most people with chronic pain will tell you that weather changes tend to be a big trigger.  For me, that has never been so obvious as the last few weeks have been.  Since Mother Nature can't seem to make up her mind about it being either winter or spring, I have been in almost constant pain.  I have quite a few loved ones who suffer from fibromyalgia.  They have also been suffering through the mood swings of the capricious Mother Nature.  

I'm always being told that if I would just eat healthier and/or exercise, I wouldn't hurt so bad.  That is most likely true.  I would love to be able to.  However, it's hard to eat when a migraine causes nausea.  I would rather not add to the pain by vomiting, so I don't always eat.  As for exercise, it's hard to do indoors with two active children and the cold/snow makes it difficult to go outside and do it.  I'm not saying it's impossible, but when I have a migraine, I try to avoid things that make it worse.

Another problem with having chronic pain is the depression and/or anxiety that comes along with it.  After so long, you start to feel helpless.  I mean, if I can't get my body to cooperate with me, how can I keep going.  You are also always tensed up waiting for the next ball of pain to hit you.  You become tired of all the doctor's appointments, all the medications, the financial worries that come from missing work.  You no longer have a social life because you are in too much pain to contemplate going anywhere.  You worry that your family might get tired of trying to deal with you.  image found here

There is also the pain scale.  It becomes something you ignore anymore.  What is the difference between a 2 and 3 on a normal day.  Then a bad day hurts and you are at anywhere from a 7 to a 9.  If you are very lucky, you get to avoid a 10.  I can't remember the last time I was at a 0 or even a 1.  image found here

I'm so very tired of being in pain.  I'm tired of taking medication.  I realize that I will probably never be free of it, but I want to be.  I want to live my life again.  I miss being able to just do what I want and not have to worry about a whether or not a migraine is going to worry about.  I'm tired of not being able to make plans or even making them and then having to cancel.

As for Mother Nature, I'm with other people who say she needs to get it together and decide what season it is.  Please.  We can't take much more of this pain.

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

New Medication

Not fun.  I have never had insomnia this bad.  Ever.  

The only time I sweat at night is with a fever.  Those sheets need a good washing and I need a shower.  Yuck!

Only another day and a half. I can make it.

I hope.

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