How Graphic Design Has Helped My Migraines

As you have noticed, it appears that I have deserted my very own blog! 

I suppose this is accurate, but you see, I’ve been on a bit of an adventure, and spreading my wings too thin.

I’m delighted I kept this blog open and sincerely thank everyone who continues to read all of my earlier postings while leaving comments that I’ve neglected.  I genuinely apologize for that.

In early fall 2017, I began writing articles for a site called Virily.com (they pay writers for their work) and thoroughly relished writing quizzes of all things.  My writing has steered me to various spheres, but I’m new to inventing a quiz!

What was most exhilarating was realizing an old passion; art design!

When I was on Virily, a blogging friend revealed that she designs for a site called “Redbubble.”  This miffed me, but as soon as I heard the word ‘design,’ I needed to investigate.

Redbubble.com is a ‘print-on-demand’ (POD) marketplace whereby a designer or artist uploads an image of their design to appear on a multitude of Redbubble products.  They sell merchandise such as framed prints, apparel, mugs, pillows, duvets, cellphone cases and laptop sleeves, clocks, tote bags, etc. via online shopping.

All production, shipping and customer service is their responsibility, therefore, you don’t have to carry your own inventory and uploading is free.  They pay you a percentage of each sale.

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Have Migraine Headaches or know someone who does? – Take this Quiz!

What do you know about MIGRAINE?

What do you know about MIGRAINE HEADACHES? - Virily

I’ve just created a Quiz on Migraines!  Hope you will try it out!

https://virily.com/virily_quiz/know-migraine-headaches/

Deb

 

11 Pressure Points for Headache Relief

This short video is helpful for people who are unaware of pressure points for the possible relief of headaches or migraines.  In my case with chronic migraines, every pressure point shown in the video is usually so horribly tender and painful to touch.

Have you ever heard about Silent Migraines?

How migraines without headache pain can wreak havoc on your health

Did you know you could have what’s called a ‘silent migraine‘ without actually having a headache?  Surprisingly, migraines can occur without the classic pulsing head pain. In fact, about 3 to 5% of people with chronic migraines experience such headache-free migraines, known as “silent migraines.” But how can you know when you’re having one if you’re not in pain?

Silent Migraine Sufferers’ Profile

Silent migraines occur in older adults who have previously suffered full migraine symptoms, headache and all.

In other cases, adults over age 40 develop these headache-less migraines out of the blue. Here are six names associated with silent migraines:

  • Acephalgic migraine: Acephalgic is the Latin word for “without head pain”
  • Isolated visual migraine
  • Late-onset migraine accompaniment: Occurs when the condition first strikes someone over the age of 40
  • Migraine dissocié: The French name for a migraine that is dissociated from (that is, not related to) headache
  • Migraine equivalent or migraine variant
  • Typical aura without headache

MigraineS

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Avoid these 10 foods for Killer Migraines

Image: Living in Stigma cherished79.com

Every day, millions of people across the world suffer from migraine headaches. They come on quickly and viciously and invariably ruin your day. Often, these headaches are caused by certain foods. Knowing which foods are most likely to cause your migraine headaches can provide a vital step in determining what your headache triggers are, and help you avoid these unpleasant episodes in the future.

Alcohol

Red wine is a famous headache trigger, but many people don’t realize that all alcohols, particularly dark liquors, have the potential to be headache triggers. While the causative agents for migraines are not well known, it is postulated that the histamines and tyramines present in alcohol may act to promote headaches. Added to this is the dehydrating effect of drinking alcohol, which, as we all know, can be a surefire way to get a splitting headache.

Caffeine

Headaches are caused not by caffeine itself, but by the withdrawal symptoms experienced afterward. Research indicates that a withdrawal headache can result after ingesting approximately 200 milligrams of caffeine, which amounts to around 2–3 cups of coffee. Stick to just one cup of coffee a day and lay off the cans of coke to avoid these withdrawal headaches.

Cheese

While the research regarding cheese as a migraine precursor is limited, it is thought that aged cheeses such as Swiss, cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan and blue cheese are more likely to give you a headache. This is due to the greater concentrations of tyramine in these cheeses, which forms as the proteins in cheese break down over time.

Monosodium glutamate

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It’s not just a ‘headache’ ~ It’s ‘CHRONIC MIGRAINE’

These chronic migraines are not “pop 2 aspirin and call me in the morning” headaches……

Image Source: “Making Migraines Visible” image included in a slideshow by: Teri Robert on HealthCentral.com

Chronic Migraines

That’s me, that’s what I suffer with.   Winter has been unkind to me, especially January through March, where very few days did I escape not having a migraine headache.   The pulsating, throbbing head and face agony had me bedridden most days, and other times unable to wear my glasses due to tenderness over the bridge of my nose.

Since thoughts of jumping over the balcony crossed my mind to end this crap and a trip to the emergency isn’t an option anymore (wait times approx. 10-14 hrs. and their refusal to use narcotics), I had to ‘suck it up’.

My neurologist suggested Botox treatments, but I’m unsure of this method for chronic migraines, and the research I’ve done has shown some people were worse off with the treatment due to constant stiff necks and even more pain + medications.  I am considering chiropractic or acupuncture methods, but for this past week, I’m experimenting with a natural herbal medication which has shown good progress so far.  Fingers crossed!

This wonderful link provides a more in-depth look at migraines @ HealthCentral.com http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/cf/slideshows/migraines-visible#slide=1

(updated and reposted)

What is Bell’s Palsy? Connected to Migraines?

Waking up one morning, I looked in the mirror, saw my face was droopy on one side, scaring the heck out of me.  I was in my 30’s, believing it was a stroke but relieved the diagnoses was Bell’s Palsy.  Most of the facial nerves returned to normal, however, I continue to show minor signs around my eyes and mouth area (30 years later).  It’s interesting to learn that people with migraines have a higher risk of having Bell’s Palsy.

Image: Picture of Allen Ginsberg who had Bell’s Palsy, photo by Michiel Hendryckx (Wikimedia Commons)

Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face.

The facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face is damaged causing that side of your face to droop, which may affect your sense of taste and how you produce tears and saliva.

This condition comes without warning. Waking up with Bell’s Palsy first thing in the morning, a person discovers that one side of their face doesn’t move, and if an eyelid is affected, blinking may be difficult.

FACTS:

1.  Bell’s Palsy typically starts suddenly, but it’s not to be confused with the condition of cerebral palsy.

2.  Links have been found between migraine, facial and limb weakness which prompted a study showing that people with migraine may be at much higher risk of having Bell’s Palsy.

3.  Most people who suddenly undergo these sudden symptoms believe they are having a stroke. However, if the weakness or paralysis only affects the face it’s likely to be diagnosed with Bell’s palsy.

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Migraine World Summit 2017

I would love nothing more than to attend this summit, but when your income depends on disability payments,  money is extremely tight.  It’s iffy to travel to the U.S. these days also.

Calling all migraineurs! Do you feel like you have exhausted all treatment options and you don’t know where to turn to next? That you want answers to the questions that plague you daily that your doctor cannot give you or do you simply need help in explaining your condition to loved ones and how best […]

via Do Not Miss The Migraine World Summit 2017! — Hope Vs Headaches

My chronic migraines ~ I’m cranky

I’ll admit I’ve been cranky with an awfully short fuse lately, however, I’ve also been bedridden with ice-packs stuck to my head, isolated, and living in dark spaces for months. Winters in Canada aren’t kind to me, the barometer changing from day to day and week to week promotes wicked chronic migraines. Weather changes are my triggers.

I’ve posted previously about my 40+ year struggle with these crappy recurring headaches doing anything to prevent a trip to the hospital emergency for an IV drip to end the agony. The waits are lengthy (8-12 hours), torturous and almost always have some nitwit beside me who wants to chit chat.  Leave me be, please!

Currently, in my city, though, migraine sufferers cannot be treated with narcotics relief at any hospitals only providing Toradol which is comparable to placing a band-aid on my forehead.  Best to remain at home and suffer in peace.

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Have you ever heard of ‘Thunderclap’ Headaches?

Picture this….You’re relaxing in your favorite chair, or out with friends for coffee or perhaps enjoying a delightful soothing bath, when unexpectedly, BAM!!, you’re struck with this horrendous pain in your head; the worst headache pain you’ve ever felt.  It’s different from a migraine, and termed a “THUNDERCLAP” headache.

During the warmer weather, two years ago, for a couple of hellish months, I’d been lucky to dodge migraines for a few days here and there.  But, no time for celebration, as I was suddenly contending with these sudden ‘BAM!’ headaches as well.  The pain was directed in the middle of my forehead, top of my head and covering my entire face, not a typical migraine for me, which are bilateral.

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7 other pains worse than childbirth

As a chronic migraine sufferer who has never given birth, I’m incapable of comparing pain. On a scale of 1-10 (as doctors insist on using), my excruciating pain sometimes exceeds 10+, but, I can envision childbirth close or equal. Let’s face it, any horrible pain is a horrible pain.

7 Horrible Types of Pain (not in particular order)

(people at random said)

1.   Toothache

2.   Migraines

3.   Trigeminal Neuralgia

4.   Gout

5.   Serious Burns

6.  Pudendal Neuralgia

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Chronic Pain: 16 Things We Want You To Know

It’s not just in our head. The pain is there and always would be even if there is no apparent reason for it. Our pain is real and will not just go away after we take some pills for a week or two. It would always be there and we have learned to live with it. Here are 16 more things we wish you knew about us!

1. We Don’t Make a Mountain out of a Molehill

You think you can imagine our pain? Now multiply that amount by 10. No matter how sympathetic you are, studies have proved that people tend to underestimate other people’s pain. Chronic pain by default is hard to imagine unless you have experienced it in your life. It’s invisible, but it is always there. We urge health care not out of hypochondria or the need for attention, but because of our severe physical state.

2. We Need to Balance Actions Carefully

We use the Spoon Theory.  We have a limited amount of spoons each day we could use for different actions. Getting up, getting dressed, taking a shower, driving, walking, picking up the phone — each action requires us to use one of our precious spoons. On good days, we finish with a few spoons left so we can do something fun. On bad days, we borrow spoons from the next day and need extra recovery afterward. So if we suddenly cancel our plans with you or tell we can’t do it now — it’s just because we ran out of spoons today. Try to understand this.

3. We Struggle to Find a Good Doctor

Sadly, a lot of health care pros lack knowledge in pain management because it is rarely part of their training. We often visit numerous specialists before receiving a proper diagnosis and wait months to years to see a real pain specialist for treatment. Doctors often fall victim to the cognitive error of underestimating another’s pain and a small number of doctors are willing to take the legal risks involved in prescribing powerful pain pills.

Same goes with the nurses. Finding a good one who can really understand and help us relieve the pain is hard! Luckily, there are some online schools like Sacred Heart University that are training future nurse leaders to overcome these issues in the future and provide better care for patients.

While you may think it’s crazy, we’re willing to travel further to find a good nurse with this kind of training and rave about it when we find one.

4. We Are Not Lazy

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Research shows a link between Migraine and Estrogen

migraine

This article appeared today in Science World Report ~ “The Link Between Migraine And Unstable Levels Of Estrogen”.

Migraines are usually more common in women than men. Although there is still no explanation for this, some researchers suggest that the female hormone, estrogen may be one of the factors.

It has been reported that migraine is the third most common illness in the world. According to statistics, 1 in 4 American households has one person who experiences migraine. It has also been said that women are three times more likely to suffer from migraine than men. The condition in women totals to 18 percent of the population, compared to only 6 percent of men.

According to Medical News Today, researchers believe that the increase incidence of migraine in women is most likely because of both biological and psychosocial factors. But, the gender difference is most obvious in women of reproductive age, and many scientists believe that the increase in the level of hormones may be what’s causing the problem.

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Childhood Trauma Tied to Migraine Risk as Adult

Study found witnessing parental domestic violence produced most powerful association

(HealthDay News) — Experiencing a traumatic event during childhood may raise the risk for migraines as an adult, new Canadian research suggests.

“We found the more types of violence the individual had been exposed to during their childhood, the greater the odds of migraine,” study author Sarah Brennenstuhl, from the University of Toronto, said in a university news release.

“For those who reported all three types of adversities — [witnessing] parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse — the odds of migraine were a little over three times higher for men and just under three times higher for women,” Brennenstuhl said.

The findings were reported online recently in the journal Headache. To reach their conclusions, researchers looked at data from a mental health survey involving nearly 23,000 men and women over the age of 18.

“The most surprising finding was the link between exposure to parental domestic violence and migraines,” study co-author Esme Fuller-Thomson, a professor and chair at University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, said in the news release.

Girls who had witnessed parental domestic violence grew up to be women with a 64 percent greater risk for migraines, compared with those with no such history. For men, the bump in risk amounted to 52 percent, the investigators found.

And the team noted this association held up even after taking into account a wide range of influential factors, such as age, race, a history of depression or anxiety, and any history of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse.

However, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between childhood trauma and migraine risk.

From HealthDay.com:
http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/domestic-violence-news-207/childhood-trauma-may-up-risk-for-adult-migraines-700726.html

More information

Visit the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for more on migraines.

SOURCE: University of Toronto, news release, June 24, 2015

I’m cranky and I have a migraine…

Existing with chronic migraines in February, March and April are normally unkind to me, lasting 24/7 at times.  No cures for migraines, but I am used to the pounding pain which is mostly caused by changes in the barometric pressure.

I was up during the night watching TV, my migraine unbearable, and up pops an infomercial for the “cure-all” for migraines and back problems.  My exhilaration quickly sunk when what appeared was……wires with small black pads, fastened to one’s forehead, then connecting to a “powerful” machine.  The woman “patient” was amazed at how her migraine just “disappeared” in no time.

Hmmmm, wouldn’t that be magnificent! NOT! I’m somehow skeptical.  I believe they were giving away 2 for the price of 1 for a limited time only.  Gotta go, phone right now, 4 payments of just $49.99 + S&H.

So, bottom line….I will be posting a bit slower for the next few days.

Migraines ~ Appropriate Treatment

image: pinterest.com

I found this article on Migraine.com showing a research study which included people who met the criteria of chronic migraine for appropriate treatments.

There are three vital components for appropriate treatment of migraine:  1. consultation with a health care professional, 2. accurate diagnosis, and 3. adequate treatment. If any one of these areas is not fulfilled, a person’s chance of treatment success is diminished. A study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual conference in April found that only 4.5% of people with chronic migraine receive minimally appropriate treatment. Researchers considered a person to be receiving minimally appropriate treatment if they used at least one recommended acute migraine treatment and one preventive treatment.

The study included 1,254 people who met the criteria of chronic migraine. Of those, 512 (40.8%) reported currently seeing a health care professional for migraine treatment. Of those, only a quarter (126 participants) had been diagnosed with chronic migraine or transformed migraine. In people who had been diagnosed, 44.4% were receiving minimally appropriate treatment. Only 4.5% met all three vital components for appropriate migraine treatment.

In the study, the likelihood that a person had seen a health care professional for migraine increased with age, frequency/number of migraine symptoms, degree of disability, and having health insurance. Getting a diagnosis was more likely for women, for those with multiple migraine symptoms, and for those who saw a headache specialist.

Another study presented at the same conference showed that only 28% of primary care providers were aware of the American Academy of Neurology’s guidelines for migraine preventive treatments and 40% knew of the Institutes of Medicine’s Choosing Wisely campaign, which provides migraine treatment recommendations. Medication overuse headache was known to 79% of primary care providers, but only 54% knew that products containing butalbital (Fioricet) can cause MOH and only 34% knew narcotics/opioids can. All this translates into fewer diagnoses and suboptimal care for migraine.

image: tumblr

The findings of these studies are deeply disturbing, but they’re also helpful. With this knowledge, doctors can help fill the gaps in treatment and find ways to improve patient care. Patients can act on this information to take charge of their own care by learning about migraine (which you’re doing by reading this article) and advocating for themselves. In her article on the headache specialist shortage, Tammy outlines excellent strategies for getting the best care possible. I recommend taking all her suggestions to heart. All I would add is to take an ally with you to your appointments, if possible. A partner, family member, or friend can help you get your questions answered, can clarify your doctor’s recommendations if you’re too brain-fogged to do so yourself, and can advocate for you if you’re too sick to advocate for yourself.

The research findings are dismal, but that doesn’t mean that people with chronic migraine are out of luck. Instead, it means we have to take and active and proactive role in our care. This can seem daunting and can be exhausting at times, but it’s the only way to ensure that you’re trying the treatments that are best for you and are managing your migraine attacks most effectively.

Migraine Relief? ‘Daith piercing’ is becoming popular for migraine and headache relief.

I’ve included two articles on the subject of ‘Daith Piercing’, a positive and negative. Personally, I have never heard of this procedure before now, however, upon reading these articles, I’ve decided this wouldn’t be for me.

fourstateshomepage – by Kheslleen Dimanche ~ According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are an extraordinarily common disease that affects 38 million people in the United States. After several people posted their social media accounts that daith piercing has brought them relief, others are jumping for the fix.

“I’ve had a constant migraine for two and half to three years, and I heard it helps,” said Jenny Wagner, received daith piercing.

Wagner says since struggling with migraines, she and her mother felt piercing the daith was worth a try.

“Spending over a thousand dollars a month on doctors and then spending $40 on a piercing is way better,” said Wagner. She says prior to getting the piercing, she tried almost everything to get relief and nothing seemed to work.

“Some medication didn’t do anything, some made me like end up in the ER,” Wagner explained.

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Migraine Triggers

My triggers are:

The biggie always seems to be weather, also skipped meals and alcohol (can’t have any, and haven’t in years and years).  Chocolate isn’t on the list, that’s has been a trigger, and I’m unsure if this is connected but, if I wake up suddenly from a horrible dream it’s accompanied by a severe migraine.

Could PTSD + Anger perhaps = Migraines?

I have said this many times!:

I’ve been scarce these last few months, coping with horrible migraines and wishing for any kind of treatment aside from popping pain meds.

I investigated and discovered that childhood trauma (PTSD) + anxiety or anger may perhaps kick off a trigger for migraines.  Although I’ve been dealing with PTSD associated with Childhood Sexual Abuse, I never really considered the emotional abuse and hatred I had for my Narcissistic mother.  The lack of empathy, validation and endless criticism was so destructive.

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News Item: Blogger with torturous migraines has brain fog and taking a break from social media to clear head

Well, I’m confessing, I have some type of “brain fog”, that I’m sure is related to these migraine headaches.  Summer has been crappy.  Writing thoughts are not flowing, and my fingers on the keys aren’t cooperating either, so I’m giving my head a time-out for awhile and taking a break from social media.  I’ll be checking in, so feel free to leave comments.

I’ve lived with these migraines for over 40+ years, assessed by countless neurosurgeons and oodles of tests, end result: “You have bilateral migraines” and that’s that. Translation: Live with it.  I take preventative meds and a med if I snag one coming on.  Currently, zilch is helping.

Thanks to new followers/viewers for checking out this blog, and others that have taken the time to comment on my posts. Be back soon.

Deb

‘THUNDERCLAP’ Headaches – Probably the worst headache of your life

You’re relaxing in your favorite chair, or out with friends for coffee or perhaps enjoying a delightful soothing bath, when unexpectedly, BAM, you are struck with this horrendous pain in your head; the worst headache pain you’ve ever felt.  It’s different from a migraine, and termed a “THUNDERCLAP” headache.

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“My Head REALLY Hurts” ~ this is what I mean……

This was posted on Twitter.com (just today) by Chronic Migraine Aware @CMAware. Interesting for those who suffer with migraines, such as myself and now aware of how many blood vessels in and around the face area, which mine often go, and even wearing glasses is too painful.

https://www.facebook.com/ChronicMigraineAwareness

Sorry to bother you

This for me is hiding my depression and not showing how badly my head is throbbing due to horrible chronic migraines.   Perhaps this is why people question why I remain on disability, as I appear to “look well”.  I believe people have grown tired of my “headache” woes, as they seem to change the subject fast.

PTSD common in migraine sufferers

Sometimes my migraines feel like this

I posted this article a few years ago, but thought I would re-post due to the fact that I am a major migraine sufferer (this month has been utter hell, as I have had a migraine or “lighter” headache every single day of January).  I’ve never thought that it was tied to my PTSD, as most of mine appear to be caused by the barometric changes, however it could be a possibility.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) — Adults who suffer migraine headaches are more apt to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than the general population, a new study suggests. And having PTSD and migraine may lead to greater headache-related disability.

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Does More Stress = More Headaches??

A new study provides evidence for what many people who experience headaches have long suspected — having more stress in your life leads to more headaches.  The study released today will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology‘s 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, April 26 to May 3, 2014.

For the study, 5,159 people age 21 to 71 in the general population were surveyed about their stress levels and headaches four times a year for two years.  Participants stated how many headaches they had per month and rated their stress level on a scale of zero to 100.

A total of 31 percent of the participants had tension-type headache, 14 percent had migraine, 11 percent had migraine combined with tension-type headache and for 17 percent the headache type was not classified.  Those with tension-type headache rated their stress at an average of 52 out of 100.

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