Monday, April 30, 2007

Seeing Stars



I frequently see jagged little lines with my aura, but I decided that Ann sees stars. I took this photo in Ann Arbor, and I used photo impact pro for the rest.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Don't Touch My Head!

A friend has been encouraging me to go to a massage therapist with her. She has a bad back and she thought a massage might help my migraines, so yesterday evening, I decided to go with her to just “watch.”

We went to the licensed massage therapist’s home, where she runs her business out of a spare bedroom. It was a very pretty room, painted blue and decorated with candles. There was new age music playing. She didn’t look very new age though. In her mid thirties, she had big, blonde teased hair and she was wearing light blue eye shadow with heavy eyeliner. Her nails were painted a metallic lilac.

As she worked on my friend’s sciatica, it didn’t seem too extreme, and since my friend was looking very relaxed. I decided to let her help me with my migraines.

It was a huge mistake. The pressure of her fingers on my skull was too painful and I felt like I was Uncle Fester on The Addam’s Family having his head crushed in a vise. She insisted she was hardly using any pressure.

She tried some other manipulations. It was worse. The intensity of the discomfort was so bad that I felt as if I was going to throw up. Tears were welling up in my eyes. I wanted to tell her to stop, but I didn’t want to be a baby.

Finally, she gave up on my head and she tried to do some reflexology on my feet, which she said had helped some people with headaches.

Afterwards, I had my friend take me straight home. I didn’t tell her how awful it had been, because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but as soon as she left, I went straight to bed with a pain pill.

I'm still not feeling so great today.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Migraine Chick Photos




I love taking pictures of things like Barbies, cute toys and mannequins, so I thought I would try to take some Migraine Chick photos.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Moody Blues


Yesterday in The Detroit News in the Health and Fitness section there was an article about not letting menopause getting you down titled Moody Blues

"Are you a little more irritable than usual? Are your monthly periods turning into a quarterly event? Does life seem more overwhelming now than just a few short months ago? Either you're under a lot of stress or you may be entering the whacky world of menopause, the term commonly used to encompass the time before, when and after a woman stops menstruating."

Sometimes, I think with all this migraine pain that I forget I have other perimenopause systems like mood swings and the feeling I'm being overwhelmed by life. A lot of times, I take these feelings as my inability to cope with my migraines. So I think I need to give myself more of a break and try to realize where all this is coming from.

I wish the article had mentioned migraines as a symptom though instead of just "headaches."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Discouragement

I told a good friend of mine that I was starting a blog about migraines. He replied that he thought I was becoming obsessed with migraines. That I was letting them control my life instead of me controlling them.

That really bothered me. Considering my head hurts almost every day now, it is hard not to be obsessed with them. It is hard to control something that is taking over every aspect of my life.

What is better? Pretending to be in control in front of other people, while inside I’m floundering, or trying to find someway to live with this challenge in my life and becoming more actively involved in learning how to cope.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Migraine Art


Darling, There's Nothing Like a Drop of Rum to Cure a Migraine," from "Les Etudians De Paris"

I found this poster on AllPosters. It's by Pierre Gavarni. I quite like how she has her hand draped over her face. It speaks volumes.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Not a Teddy Bear Picnic

When I’m trapped at work with a migraine, I often find myself daydreaming about drive thru hospitals with injection pain medication on the dollar menu and I long for migraine hotels where doctors can be ordered like room service.

Yesterday, I found my mental musings were not working. My pain was too bad. My head felt as if it was filled with throbbing, burning brimstone. The coals on my brain stem were setting my hair on fire.

The only relief I found was eating little graham crackers that were shaped like teddy bears. I used my mouth like a giant cave, inhaling the legions, trying to distract myself. Barely chewing them, I found they were gone in one bite or two.

Suddenly, there was a four-alarm slice of pain through my skull. I ran to the bathroom, darted into a stall, slammed the door shut, and tossed my cookies in the waiting commode.

A moment later, I looked at the mass, watery grave of the little cookies. I could see the heads and limbs. Back in the light of day, the little bear friends, family and loved ones were staring in horror at what had happened to them.

Traumatized by this sight, I flushed them back into darkness, and I staggered back to my desk. The half-eaten bag of bears still lingered on my desk.

I sat down and pulled one bear out of the bag, and I peered into his tiny innocent face, realizing that I would just have to chew them better.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Migraine Advice at Work

I work with a very diverse set of characters at work, with it being a call center, and I've gotten some pretty interesting advice for my migraines over the years. Some of it makes sense like "drink a cup of coffee and go lay down in a dark room" and some of it is truly questionable. What do you think?

One lady said that the ink from my tattoos had seemed into my brain and it was poisoning me. That's why I have migraines.

Another woman said that I might have too much water on the brain and I need to piss it out.

Someone told me to eat a banana every morning. It worked for a friend.

A guy offered to score me some pot. (I declined)

And a supervisor told me it was because I was a vegetarian. (I've been a vegetarian for twenty years, take plenty of vitamins, and I've had migraines for about half that time. You do the math.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hang in there blues


I'm having a chronic pain blues type of day. Sometimes, I'm so tired of having to hang in there. I feel like I'm one of those kittens in those "Hang in There" posters. I know it's supposed to be a funny poster, but what about how the kitten is feeling?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Boogie Woogie Migraine Night

It’s hard to make plans with your friends when you’re a Migraine Chick. Some friends of mine asked me to go to a boogie-woogie piano concert at The Ark in Ann Arbor (Mr. B's 10th Annual Blues and Boogie Celebration). I agreed to go, but of course, I was living in migraine land the night of the concert. It wasn’t a full-blown migraine, but it was enough to cause me worry about the evening. Still the ticket had cost $35.00 and I didn’t want to disappoint my friends.

Therefore, I loaded up on some drugs, brought some earplugs and forged forward. Much to my dismay, I learned that boogie-woogie piano music is very loud. My earplugs weren’t much help and the concert lasted over four hours with for different pianists.

At one point, I was ready to offer the staff at The Ark money to make it stop, and I found myself wishing I had brought a little brass hammer to break some pianists' knuckles. That’s when I knew I needed a break, so I took a long bathroom visit to find some quiet.

Overall, my friends had a good time. They had no idea about my throbbing head, but the dark circles under my eyes the next morning told another story.

I learned a valuable lesson as a Migraine Chick. Before you go to a concert, make sure you listen to the type of music first.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hungry Girl Advice

The Hungry Girl daily email had this advice for headaches:


RELIEVE HEADACHES

People who suffer from headaches are usually lacking magnesium in their diets. Luckily, increasing levels of the mineral in your body can help fight dull aches and even sharp migraines. Cereal rich in whole grains is a fantastic source of magnesium (a half-cup of our fave, Fiber One, provides 10% of the RDA of the stuff). Leafy green veggies and nuts are also high in the mineral. Many people also use ginger to thwart and prevent migraines. Other headache-stompers include brown rice, orange veggies and cherries!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Why I'm a Migraine Chick

I was a migraine free girl until perimenopause struck in my mid thirties, so along with the cliche mood swings and hot flashes, my brain decided it wanted to join in on the fun. It rewired itself into a highly oversensitive pain center, fluctuating wildly with every hormonal shift. Then my brain was so pleased with its accomplishments, it tossed in a few more migraine triggers like barometric pressure, sinus pressure and stress.

I've made the usual rounds to the doctors, taken most of the medicines associated with migraines, but none of it has really helped. It appears that I'm stuck with these headaches until my eggs dry up (not to be insensitive, but being a child free type person, I never needed them in the first place, so this is really irritating.)

In addition, I am slowly coming to realize that my coping skills are crap. My concentration is shot, and I maybe going just a little bit crazy. It's hard to face the world everyday feeling like the sky is going to fall. That's how I know I'm a Migraine Chick..

Friday, April 13, 2007

Why?

I'm not sure why I want to begin chronicling my migraine adventures. I just feel compelled to write some of this crazy stuff down, and I want to explore what I'm learning along the way. I want to make some sense of it because it has taken over my life.