• Mental health, chronic illness

    Mental Health and Chronic Illness

    Why Mental Health and Chronic Illness are connected: Fighting a Chronic Illness is hard work! It doesn’t matter if your battle is against Lupus, MS, ME/CFS, Chronic Migraine, fibromyalgia…the list could go on and on. The honest truth is that the battles are real, the battles are life-altering and the battles are not easy and can have long term effects on your mental health. The never ending onslaught of treatments, sickness, isolation and stigmas surrounding chronic illness can lead to severe depression and other mental health issues. I personally think that the medical community misses the mark in this area by a mile! The depression caused by the stress of…

  • Brain fog, migraine

    The Truth about Brain Fog

    Everyone on Earth has those moments when you can’t grab the word for something or have times when you would forget your head if it wasn’t attached. But these are just fleeting moments…now imagine being that way a lot. This is called brain fog. Most people with Migraine and other chronic illnesses experience brain fog at some level and it is one of the most frustrating symptoms of my migraines. So, let’s start with a definition of brain fog: Brain fog isn’t a medical condition itself, but rather a symptom of other medical conditions. It’s a type of cognitive dysfunction involving memory problems, lack of mental clarity, poor concentration and…

  • #fear #chronicillness #migraine #hemiplegicmigraine

    When Fear Takes Over

    On Sunday, I felt like I was physically able to go to church. This was only the second time this year that I felt like I could go. As I started the getting ready, I realized I was afraid. Fear had begun to take over. You see, my husband and I have worked hard making sure the house was safe for me and every possible trigger is avoided. There is a dark room for bad moments, my medications are laid out and all of the other things that seem mundane to most people are taken care of. Every single detail of my environment is controlled by us. Church (or any…

  • New Medication Protocol …

    As I said in my last blog post, I am going off of my preventative medications. Slowly tapering off will take between 5-6 months. On top of this change, my Doctor and I came up with a new rescue medication protocol. The first part of this is for migraine pain is for my daily migraine. An effective treatment for migraine is a medication called Midrin. Although effective it is also very addictive and the sedative in it can cause rebound headaches. The ingredient in this medication that actually helps the migraine is called isometheptene mucate. So, the Mayo Clinic Pharmacy compounds the medicine with only this ingredient. (Not sure but…

  • Taking a Medication Vacation

      By definition, a medication vacation is when a patient stops taking a medication(s) for a period of time under supervision and direction of a Doctor. On Friday, I had a follow up appointment with my Mayo Clinic Doctor. It was a long appointment that resulted in some major treatment changes, although I am a little apprehensive, I think they will be great in the long term. Currently, I am taking high doses of 2 seizure medications, Lamictal and Keppra. I am also on a high dose of Verapamil. These are my preventative medications…they are supposed to keep me from having migraines. They are clearly not working. Here is where…

  • A Fresh Perspective …

    One week ago, I was admitted to the hospital because my migraine auras were coming every 2 hours. My pain was off the charts and my brain was exhausted. During my stay in the hospital, I didn’t post a blog because I really needed to stay off of screens and focus on getting better. I got home from the hospital on Tuesday and it feels so good to be home. It is kind of funny how you go to the hospital to get better and to rest but no one will leave you alone long enough to rest. And if someone isn’t bothering you, a machine will start beeping. Here…

  • Expect the Unexpected …

    One thing that is inevitable about having a chronic illness is that plans can change in an instant. I had planned on watching the Migraine World Summit everyday and posting my thoughts on one of the topics each day. Unfortunately, my unpredictable, chronic life had different plans for me. I am currently writing this in my hospital bed. I spent yesterday riding for 3 hours to the Mayo Clinic Emergency Room because my Doctor wanted me to be admitted. Then I spent most of the day in the ER before getting my room. See, having a chronic illness means that sometimes you can’t keep pushing on in spite of how…

  • Aging and Migraine…

    WORLD MIGRAINE SUMMIT – DAY 1 Each day of the World Migraine Summit I will be picking one of the day’s topics and giving a small review. This was an interesting topic and Dr. Allan Purdy; Professor of Neurology, Dalhousie University, Canada gave an amazing talk about aging with migraine. The discussion was based around how Migraine can change as you enter each season of life. I found it very interesting that migraine hits its hardest during what is supposed to be your most productive years…the thirties, forties and fifties. He talked about how hormones can effect the severity of migraine but was also very careful to remind that men…

  • Migraine, myth busters

    Myth Busters: Migraine Edition

    I have picked out 5 myths about migraine and will explain why they are not true. It isn’t possible to have a migraine everyday – If a migraine attack occurs at least 15 days a month for 3 months or more then it is called Chronic Migraine. Episodic Migraine is the type of Migraine that occurs for less than 15 days a month. So, yes, it is possible to have daily migraine attacks. Migraine is just a bad headache – Migraine is a neurological disease that is characterised by a severe throbbing pain in one side of the head along with other symptoms such as nausea or vomiting. A headache…

  • Safety, plan, Migraine, chronic illness, chronic migraine

    Importance of a Migraine Safety Plan …

    As I have mentioned before, I have a rare type of Migraine called Hemiplegic Migraine. My aura symptoms include stroke like symptoms and includes vision loss, right side paralysis, inability to say words (just comes out as jibberish) and right side facial numbness (includes tongue and sometimes throat tingling). That is on top of the excruciating headache, light and sound sensitivity. That means being safe in my home has become very important. The reason I am posting this is because yesterday I was reminded of how important that really is. I went downstairs to freshen up my drink (My Yeti cup helps but eventually the ice still melts!). What was…