Tag Archives: chronic migraines

Health Update – Feb 2017

10 Mar

Happy Friday friends! It’s been a while, I know. Sometimes life just kicks you down a bit and you’ve got to let go of the blogging goals. (plus my parents were in town last weekend to celebrate OH’s birthday, such a fun time!) So, this update is late, but at least it’s happening. Here we go:

fightinglymemigraines

According to my migraine app (Migraine Buddy), my migraines have averaged 30 hours. I’ve had 26 attack days, 5 free days! They’ve happened 80% on weekdays at an average of 7.5 pain intensity. My top three aura/prodromes were weakness, muscle stiffness and fatigue/achiness. Top three triggers were neck pain, interrupted sleep and too much activity. Top three symptoms were jaw pain, neck pain and throbbing pain. They frequently started in the temple, jaw and base of skull.

Overall Health: About the same as the past few months, although I’ve been dealing with the emotional side of it better these past few weeks. Realized at the doctor’s last week that I haven’t gotten rid of any symptoms, have only added more. Rather discouraging.The never-ending search for what will help is exhausting and I’ve been dreaming of being healthy and able to homestead like I want to =)  Plus I got sick earlier this week so not sure if my newest treatment attempt is helping or not.

Treatment: I started taking Ceanothus on the 9th of Feb and it seems to help so far as it gives me a burst of energy (kind of like caffeine) and I’m not as bitterly cold all the time. It seemed to get rid of the nausea as well, and eased the joint pain. By the end of the month, when I went in to my dr, I hadn’t improved much past that so she suggested I try an antibiotic for two weeks. I’ve been on it for one week but have been sick for most of it… so is it helping? We’ll see. If this doesn’t help, I’m not sure what we’ll do. My OH is getting frustrated that we’ve made so very little progress and I have to admit that I’m right there with him.

Migraines: They might have eased since Jan… it’s hard to really remember. They have been hitting hard and frequent. Typically in the evening.

Digestion and TMJ: my digestion has been a bit off again lately. perhaps too much sugar?? TMJ—well, that’s a story in itself. Remember when I said my goal for Feb was to ‘survive dentist appointment’? I survived it but the news was not-so-friendly. I’ve added grinding to my clenching of my teeth over the last four years. And that constant stress spreads a whole host of fun symptoms – explaining at least in part why I’ve gotten worse. I’ve got to reschedule to meet with a craniosacral chiropractor (was supposed to go in this past week but the cold I got prohibited that!) in the hopes that the therapy will help realign my jaw. Thankfully, my teeth themselves are fine and there’s no further need to go to the dentist. Huzzah!

Sleep: I’ve been having to take Theanine to get to sleep again lately. It’s frustrating but I’d rather get at least six hours than lay tossing and turning and be guaranteed  to have a migraine the next day.

Memory/Brain Fog: This has improved the past few months (!!!) While I still struggle to gather my thoughts when I’m in a crowded/noisy room, and anything long term is hard to remember, I’m not kicking myself for forgetting the littlest things like I was doing. Brain fog is pretty rare now, typically only occurring when the pain is severe.

Vision: My eyes are still frequently blurry but it seems to be slightly better than it was. I’m hopeful this continues to clear up!

Feet/leg cramps: Still tense and minor cramping. Very few bad cramps. Mainly in feet lately.

Dizziness: Only if I’m really tired and have had too much salt. Thank goodness this is mostly gone!

Joint Pain: This one has eased as well although the ache is definitely still present. Any lessening is a blessing!

Nausea: This is gone and, as I said above, I think it’s in thanks to the Ceanothus. I’m not for sure but I’m so thankful that it’s gone.

Moodiness: This one has also mostly gone away. I’m pretty sure my OH is as glad as I am about this. hehe.

Fatigue: This is one of my biggest struggles and I’m not sure why it hasn’t been on this list at all yet. Even with the energy burst from the Ceanothus, my fatigue is REAL, people. I’m looking forward to the day when I can look at a flight of stairs and not feel a sense of dread.

It’s so nice to have seen at least a few symptoms ease/disappear but I’m afraid that joy has gotten swallowed by the rest of everything else. Until this past week of sickness, I was getting the dogs to the park about three times a week. I’ve also started trying to get Lady to walk .5 mile while there. She’s older and needs to lose weight and it gives me a reason beyond myself to. get. moving. And that’s always a good thing.

That’s the update for February, although it is late! Have a fabulous weekend and we’ll hope to see you back here next week.

~Laura

p.s. don’t forget to spring your clocks forward on Sunday!!! 

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Health update – January 2017

31 Jan

 

Well, folks, as I’m writing this I’m fighting nausea like nobody’s business – along with a migraine, so forgive me if it doesn’t all make sense.

fightinglymemigraines

Here’s the update from my migraine app from this past month : I have had 1 attack-free day. They average at 34 1/2 hrs. I’m (supposedly) getting 8 hrs of sleep a night. 76% of them occur on a weekday. The pain average is 8, minimum a 7, maximum a 10. Fatigue/achiness, muscle stiffness and headache are the top 3 auras. Neck pain, interrupted sleep and lack of sleep are the top 3 triggers. Likely triggers are interrupted sleep, pre-cycle and neck pain. Symptoms are neck pain, jaw pain and fatigue. Frequent start positions are temples, eyes, jaw, neck and base of skull. Relief methods that seem to work are clonidine, pulsatilla, oils and food/water.

~While I love having this app, it isn’t as accurate as I’d really like. part of that problem is that one must pay close attention and then input said attention into the app. So. perhaps it’s not fully the app’s fault. (coughcough)   To compare with last month’s though, the average time has gone down, while my nightly sleep has gone up! Most are now occurring on weekdays, and average pain has gone down one level. Fatigue is still a major issue; neck pain is a consistent trigger and symptoms have stayed the same.

What’s interesting about this ‘synopsis’ is that I would have said the pain had gone up this month…. but! I will trust what I put in the app and roll with it.

Overall Health: Honestly, I’ve felt so rotten this month that it’s really started to affect my moods and productivity. The chronic pains that have flared up again are so bad that I just don’t want to move majority of the time. Heaven save me from living on the couch.

Treatment: I made the mistake of running out of several vitamins/supplements at the same time and have been paying for it….dearly. I’ve added almost all of them back in, as well as iron and feverfew. My Dr. says she has rarely seen someone as low in iron as I am. I’m also super high in fibrinogen, a protein that is essential for blood clot formation. I’ve been needing to take 3-4 clonidine a day for the migraines.

Migraines: They seem to have gotten more intense as the month has progressed. Only one hit a ’10’ though. something to be grateful for. The clonidine and natural pain killers I use haven’t been very effective. At all. Nothing has been touching these things = super fun, that.

Digestion and TMJ : Digestion has been some better. Jaw pain is about the same.

Sleep:  Aside from taking Theanine a few nights last week, I haven’t been taking anything to help me sleep. It’s so nice. I am waking up once or twice a night and am sometimes still able to get back to sleep when I wake early in the am. This is not to say that I’m waking up rested and refreshed (I was probably a pre-teen the last time that happened). I’m fighting exhaustion , and taking naps all the time.

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Memory/Brain fog:  This has been a continued struggle. I am praying that the iron i’m taking helps with blood flow and gets more oxygen to my brain, thus improving this. Fog hasn’t been too awful, but gets worse when i’m in a crowded room.

I get to add another few items to this months list:

Vision– my eyes are having a hard time focusing, even with my glasses on. it’s of course worse when I’m tired or the migraine is worse but it’s a pretty constant thing these days.

Feet/leg cramps –  these are back like crazy. i’m thankful that most of the time it’s just a matter of tenseness rather than straight up cramps but it’s still painful.

Dizziness- i’m having to remember to stand up slowly. no sudden movements.

Joint pain – like none other, people.

Nausea – Out of everything I’m adding here, this is the one that I’d ask to go away first. it’s what’s keeping me down today, when the migraine isn’t bad.

Moodiness – yes, it’s bad enough that it gets its own category. I was so glad when my moods evened out months ago that it’s frustrating this problem has resurfaced.

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I have also lost almost 5 lbs – and then promptly regained it.

Well, there it is – January’s health update! I’m not off to a very good start this year but my doctor is such an encourager, that I’m clinging to her optimism. I’ve also been going to a chiropractor for my back/hip pain and am summoning up the courage to call the dentist and make a TMJ appointment. So perhaps February will see a change.

Check out my Chronic Pain page to see all my health updates and health advice!

~Laura

 

 

 

Health Update – Dec 2016

3 Jan

Hello again lovely readers! I really need to start keeping better notes on how I’ve been. A full month in between is hard to keep track of. Because, right now, I’m liable to say ‘I’ve felt awful this month’. But the truth is probably a little more of ‘ I took some steps backward in health but I had some really good days and have gotten better in this or that area.’ But, without really good notes, I just don’t remember. So. Goal for this coming month is to sit and write a bi-weekly account of how I’m doing.

For a quick report from my migraine app – Migraine Buddy –   Average duration was 43 hrs. Average sleep a night was 7 hrs. 57% happened on weekdays, 43% weekends. Average pain level was 8 , high was 9 and low 6. My top Auras were fatigue/achiness, tingling near eye(s) and weakness. My top 3 triggers were neck pain, too much activity and pre cycle. Top 3 symptoms were neck pain, fatigue and jaw pain. Frequent start positions were temples, eyes and neck. Reliefs that seem to work consistently are : clonidine, oils, belladonna/pulsatilla and heat pad.

So, things have changed a little – duration has gone down a little, they are more evenly spaced during the week/weekends, average pain has gone up, and the auras/triggers/symptoms changed one item.

 

fightinglymemigraines

Overall Health: Better than November – sort of.  As of the last few days I’ve been feeling more like myself than I have all month.

Treatment: I’m still taking two Xiao Chai Hu Tang a day. I have added in one Ashwagandha a day. I started – and had to stop- taking Banderol as the the side effects (major fatigue) were just too bad. The Chaste Tree Berry daily seems to be helping my calf cramps. As I run out of vitamins/supplements, I am going to see if I notice not being on them. Excepting EHB, Ashwandha and a few others. I need to add in iron and butterbur to my regime.

Migraines:  These things have been brutal this month. BRUTAL. I’m pretty sure I told my mom I was dying last monday. That was a migraine like I haven’t had in a long while. Severe to the maximum. I don’t think they’ve gotten better since last month. they might really have taken a turn for the worse. But, the activity that naturally follows the holidays might have something to do with that.

Digestion and TMJ : While my digestion has been better than it was last month, it is still rather…touchy. I’m starting to juice again regularly – I’m going to mix it up and incorporate veggies that are high in iron ( spinach, beet, beet greens, etc) , otherwise the juice is kale, cucumber, celery, carrots, lemon, ginger and apple. Jaw pain goes away faster but is popping like nobody’s business whenever it wants to

Sleep:  The biggest change this past month is probably that I quit taking melatonin every night. I noticed I was sleeping the same length – and waking up the same amount of times –  without it. I’m glad to have one less pill every day. My app says I’m getting about 7 hrs of sleep, and I kid you not, I can predict within a half hour of when I’ll wake up in the morning from when I go to bed. Apparently my internal wake-clock works really well.

My app says I’ve been getting about 7 hours a night but I certainly don’t feel like it! I am still waking up 2-3 times a night to go to the bathroom, and sometimes can’t go back to sleep the last time. I’ve been taking a lot of long naps lately – but still am exhausted by late evening.

Memory/Brain fog:  I feel like my memory has been slipping again. Joy oh joy. I’ve added brain fog into this category because I feel like it’s something that I forget to mention – having had it so long it’s just a part of life now. The fog was heavy most days of Dec, it would lift for part of the day but it doesn’t ever lift completely- especially in a group of people, it kind of covers me like a cloak when there’s a lot of noises buzzing around me.

I did get in to my dr. for a quick acupuncture last week. I found out my results for my nutrient test that I took before Christmas. I’m low in iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin D3  (which reminds me I’m supposed to up the dosage I’ve been taking). It seems like my body is sensitive to almost everything I take to get kill the infections. Sigh. There is always going to be some herxing   but when it’s severe – it’s not fun to have to keep trying new treatments only to have to go off because of what they do to you. But, we keep on keeping on. My dream is to be as healthy as possible (for me) by the end of the year. Which also means, losing some weight. So, I’m going to start working out (in my living room) tomorrow morning. Hopefully three times a week. Combine that with eating healthy and juicing lots, I am hoping to see improvements in my joint pain/cramps, digestion and some weight loss! Here’s to renewed motivation despite chronic pain and fatigue. Lyme disease, I will kick your butt.

~Laura

p.s. that link about herxing is on a site that has a LOT of great articles about Lyme.

p.p.s. this is a great article about Inflammation and Lyme Disease 

 

 

Health Update – 12-2-16

2 Dec

Happy December friends! Thanks for stopping by SGL today, I’m so glad you’re here! Once a month, I review how I’ve been feeling – how the treatment for my Lyme Disease is going, and all the other fun things I’ve got going on.

fightinglymemigraines

November was a month of contradictions. For the majority of it, I felt really beyond awful. But when I felt good – I felt really good! There wasn’t much in between for me. I had some ‘fun’ new symptoms start/kick it up a notch and my migraines tended to last an average of 55 hours. Yep. 55 HOURS. If that’s not fun, I don’t know what fun is. Stores are still places of pure torture wrapped in spikes and crocodiles.

For a quick report from my migraine app – Migraine Buddy –  88% happened on weekdays, 12% weekends. Average pain level was 7.6 , high was 9 and low 6. My top Auras were fatigue/achiness and muscle stiffness. My top 3 triggers were neck pain, interrupted sleep, pre cycle. Top 3 symptoms were neck pain, fatigue and throbbing pain. Frequent start positions were temples, eyes, jaw and neck. Reliefs that seem to work consistently are : clonidine, oils, belladonna/pulsatilla and heat pad.

Overall Health: Much the same as October, ROUGH. Like I said, fun fun symptoms to keep me guessing. Lights and sounds started hurting bad again. Constant calf cramping (literally 24/7) along with severe random cramps no matter what I am doing. A harsh cough a few times a week (you know that deep, painful cough you get when you’re sick? yeah. that.) Daily fatigue/achiness.  Ringing in ears off and on.  Some nausea when I move. I lost a few pounds, only to promptly gain them back.

Due to the calf cramps, sleeping has been difficult. For a few weeks, I wrapped up in my cozy electric blanket most every night – it was the only way to ease the pain so I could sleep. I’ve started soaking my feet more often, hoping the epsom salts helps.

Treatment: I have backed off the garlic pills, to just one a day and have added back in the Xiao Chai Hu Tang. I started with one pill a day and have gone up to 2 a day this week to see how I do. Otherwise, I am on everything my doctor put me on last time I was there.

Migraines:  So, on one hand I feel they are getting better. On the other – 55 hours. I’ll take what I can get but aren’t they supposed to get shorter too????

Digestion and TMJ :  digestion has been touch and go – what with feeling so poorly it was hard to cook (read: pasta and french fries) and juicing pretty consistently…. I definitely digest better when I stay away from breads/pastas/etc, and drink at least 3 glasses of juice a day. (juice being kale, cucumber, celery, carrots, lemon, ginger and apple). My jaw hasn’t been good. often it’s been an indicator that pain/migraine was on its way.

Sleep: My app says I’ve been getting about 7 hours a night but I certainly don’t feel like it! I am still waking up 2-3 times a night to go to the bathroom, and sometimes can’t go back to sleep the last time. I’ve been taking a lot of long naps lately – but still am exhausted by late evening.

Memory: this might actually be improving – or at least it stopped its downward spiral. Being in Bend for a week with family and friends, I noticed I wasn’t saying ‘um’ as much, or searching for the correct word. Granted, I still did it but I was able to carry on a coherent conversation and that wasn’t the case a few months ago.

Daily Vitamins/Supplements:

Clonidine – averaging 2 a day (although many, many days these past few weeks I’ve needed 3, and sometimes 4 to get through them. ugh)

Pulsatilla and Belladonna – I’d run out of one in time to replace it before I went on vacation and then promptly ran out of the other. oy.

1 each of B complex, B2, Calcium, D3, Fish oil, Copper, Garlic (trying 2 every other day of garlic)

2 each of Magnesium, Olive Leaf Extract, Vitamin E

3 Evening Primrose Oil

6 EHB

on Days 15-28, 1 each of Horse Chestnut Extract and Chaste Tree Berry

1/2 tsp Silver nano ( 2x a day)

1 TB Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water in the mornings

 

That’s all I can think of. I am feeling like this Lyme Disease is kicking my butt right now, so it’s probably good timing that I’m going in to my dr. tomorrow morning to get some motivation and encouragement (yep, she’s that awesome) along with some acupuncture. I don’t know if some of this is herxing or what, but I’m done.

*on a purely fun side note, I won nanowrimo!!! i’ll tell you more what that means next week! *

~Laura

Feel free to check out my other health updates here on my Chronic Pain page!

Health Update – 9/23/2016

23 Sep

How in the world can September already be almost over?! Although, the coming of all things pumpkin and fall does help ease the shock of it 😉

 

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Overall Health: since getting back on the majority of my vitamins/supplements I’ve been better – comparably. For about a week I was stuck on the couch due to unbelievable weakness and exhaustion. I haven’t been quite so negative. I haven’t had to nap so often lately, but sleeping at night has been really rough. I’ve been able to walk the dogs a few times a week, which benefits all 3 of us.

Treatment: I went in to my doctor the beginning of this week and we changed up what I’ve been taking, and she sent me home with several new things to start! I am currently off the Xiao Chai Hu Tang (possibly the cause of my extreme exhaustion last week) and have started taking Silver. (yes, silver! apparently while it’s very gentle on you, it kills things, who knew?) Tomorrow I start taking EHB, then if I don’t react negatively to that, 3 days later I start Garlic pills (oh joy). 3 days later, Vitamin E and then, you guessed it, 3 days after that, Copper pills. She’s also told me to start drinking 1 TB Apple Cider Vinegar in the mornings.

Migraines: Killer. They have been going from a 5 to an 8 (or higher) in the blink of an eye, making thinking (and anything else really) incredibly difficult.

Digestion and TMJ: Neither have changed here-which means they aren’t that good… but while my jaw has been hurting a lot, it doesn’t pop as much as it used to! Silver lining right there!

Mood: It’s been better overall this past month, thank goodness. I feel like I mostly am back to myself although I do still feel a tad anti-social

Sleep: Except for the past few nights, it’s been atrocious. Of course, the nights I do sleep better I have nightmares..sigh.

Memory: Once again, it hasn’t improved but aside from freaking out late one night because I couldn’t remember words to songs that I’ve known for ages, I haven’t noticed any worsening.

Daily Vitamins:

Clonidine – for most of this month I was taking 3 a day but since Sunday it’s backed off to 1 or 2 !!!!!

off the Xiao Chai Hu Tang

Pulsatilla and Belladonna – finally got some more of these amazing tinctures!!!

Here’s a full list  – although I will have to update this next month!

Stick around and check out my other health updates!

8/23/16

Symptoms of my Lyme

7/27/16

Fighting Lyme and Migraines

The Big Health Update

 

Next week is the monthly Book Review, come back and check it out!

Have a fabulous Fall weekend,

Laura

 

 

 

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