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Sunday Thoughts on Living with Migraine - Emotions

HappySundayBlossomsHappy Sunday to my extended Migraine and Headache Family!

Last week, I had an interesting conversation with a fellow Migraine Ninja who has been frustrated by how her moods and emotions are impacted by Migraine. This is a topic we've discussed several times recently. For her, the impact on her moods and emotions begin during the prodrome phase, a couple of days before the rest of the Migraine attack hits.

When we began our discussions, she had just put it together that her emotional swings were part of her prodrome. Her doctor had never mentioned the possibility to her, let alone explained why this can happen. When we have a Migraine, it can cause levels of neurotransmitters in the brain to fluctuate. We've known for some time that levels of serotonin and norepinephrine fluctuate. A study has now shown that our dopamine levels fluctuate also, and the drop in dopamine may be behind our need to retreat to a dark room and avoid stimulation.

My friend had shared with me that she finds herself feeling very anxious and cranky when the prodrome begins. Then she feels guilty for having been cranky with the people around her. That's a problem I can definitely relate to because one of my first signs that a Migraine is starting is crankiness. Bless my husband who will sometimes point out that I'm being cranky and ask if I'm getting a Migraine.

Once I realized that my crankiness can be part of the prodrome, I tried to figure out a way to handle it. When I notice it (or when John points it out to me), I employ meditation and deep breathing exercises. Then I play some of my favorite music. When we talked last week, my friend happily reported that she'd tried those counter measures, and they had helped her. They helped her to not feel as cranky, which also meant that she didn't have the guilt that went with being cranky with other people.

Another issue I've had is total panic during a Migraine attack. One night, I told John that I knew something was terribly wrong, and that I need to go to the emergency room. My doctor has prescribed rescue medications for me to use when my first-line meds fail, specifically so I don't have to go to the ER. John knew I hadn't used them, and that it hadn't been very long since I took my first-line meds. So, he asked me if it was the worst Migraine I've ever had. I told him it wasn't. He asked if my symptoms were new, unusual, or worse than usual. Again, no. By then, his questions had made me think, and I realized I needed to go to bed, not the ER.

Do your emotions sometimes run away with you during a Migraine? If you've found things that help you during these times, please leave a comment below, and share them with us.

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"
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Enter the Frames of Mind Migraine Art Contest

Frames-of-MindThe American Migraine Foundation and Allergan are collaborating on an exciting new campaign that gives people with Migraine an outlet for their creativity that will be used to raise awareness about Migraine disease.

Frames of Mind is an interactive campaign to promote awareness of the impact that Migraine can have on patients' everyday lives. People living with this often debilitating condition are encouraged to submit original artwork depicting how the symptoms of migraine personally affect them.

Dr. David Dodick, Chairman of the American Migraine Foundation said,

"We are excited to collaborate with Allergan on this eye-opening campaign that we hope will unify the migraine community. While the symptoms of Migraine can occur in a myriad of unique ways, we hope to underscore the common needs of this community and empower patients to better manage their condition, advocate for access to care and appropriate treatment options, and inspire funding for research into the causes and better treatments for Migraine."

People living with Migraine are encouraged to create art submissions that visually depict how the various symptoms of Migraine affect them — both physically and emotionally. Digital, high resolution versions of the original works of art should then be submitted via email to FramesOfMind@toniclc.com, noting the artist's name, location, and contact information.

Select submissions chosen by notable migraine experts will be displayed at the 59th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society from June 8 – June 11, 2017 at the Westin Boston Waterfront in Boston and other Migraine-related events throughout the remainder of 2017. Additionally, art submissions will be displayed on the My Chronic Migraine Facebook Page.

David Nicholson, Chief R&D Officer at Allergan, commented:

"Allergan is dedicated to supporting the millions of Americans living with the debilitating effects of Migraine and educating the public about this condition in order to encourage proper diagnosis and treatment. In addition to our focus on advancing research and treatment options, we are committed to offering education and support that will make a true difference in the lives of this patient community."

The timing of this campaign is perfect since the works of art will begin being displayed during Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.

Where does your artistic talent lie? Painting, sketching, sculpting, photography? Whatever talent you have, now's the time to use it to help promote Migraine awareness. Get your submissions in now to FramesOfMind@toniclc.com.

FramesofMind_callforEntries

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"
Visit MigraineDisease.com


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Sunday Thoughts on Living with Migraine - Driving

HappySundayBlossomsGood morning, and happy Sunday to my extended Migraine and Headache family!

This week, I want to share an email I received and my thoughts about it. Here's part of the email:

"I read something you wrote on Facebook saying that nobody should drive with a migraine. Just who the hell died and left you in charge? I don't get an aura with my migraines so I'm just fine to drive thank you very much. I have a migraine 20 or more days a month. I have to drive to pick up my kids, get groceries, go to the pharmacy. If your migraines were as often and bad as mine, you'd sing a different tune..."

 

EmojiSinging-200So, for those of you who don't know, I've had periods of chronic Migraine during which I've had up to 30 days of Migraine in a month. I couldn't work, take care of our home, or do anything for my family. This isn't a contest, but I feel I should address that part of the email. And, I don't need to change my tune. It's just fine as it is.

The question of whether it's safe for us to drive when we have a Migraine is quite simple. No, it is not safe. It doesn't matter if we have visual aura symptoms. It doesn't matter if we're extremely sensitive to light. The quite simple fact is that a Migraine attack slows our reaction times, making it unsafe for us to drive. Period.

If we drive when we have a Migraine, endanger ourselves AND others. Some people may say that we have the right to take risks. That's debatable. Even if we say we have the right to take risks for ourselves, we do NOT have the right to risk the safety and very lives of others.

Maybe this needs to be put in very practical terms. A fellow Migraine patient shared her story about driving with a Migraine with me. She doesn't mind my sharing the story, but she does wish to remain anonymous. One day, she decided she just had to drive to the grocery store instead of waiting for her husband to get home. On the way back, she wasn't able to stop the car in time and hit another car. The car carried a man, a woman, and their daughter. The woman with the Migraine walked away from the crash. The people in the other car sustained injuries. Fortunately, they weren't very severe, and they were all discharged from the hospital in just a few days. The police cited the woman for the wreck. She paid a large fine and spent a few months in jail. Her problems were just starting. The family from the other car filed a civil suit for damages, and the jury awarded them a huge settlement. She and her husband lost everything, including their home. Her husband filed for divorce.

She said something to me that is so horrifically sad. She said, "I simply didn't believe what you said about not driving with a Migraine. I believed I was fine. It took losing everything — our home, our boat, our fancy cars, and my marriage to the love of my life — to make me listen. And now it's too late. My life might as well be over. The only thing I can be thankful for is that nobody died."

So, there you have it. Migraine specialists and researchers have told me that our response times are slowed. If that's not enough to convince you, please consider what happened to the woman who shared her experience. We absolutely should not drive when we have a Migraine.

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"
Visit MigraineDisease.com


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Sunday Thoughts on Living with Migraine - Context

HappySundayCloudGood morning, and happy Sunday to my extended Migraine and Headache family!

Migraine is one of the hottest topics online, especially in social media. There are myriad Facebook pages and groups about Migraine, and #Migraine is the #1 disease hashtag on Twitter.

Unfortunately, many people who use Facebook and Twitter to find Migraine information and support are missing out. They're missing out because they read only the headline, and don't click through to the information provided.

There's only so much that can be conveyed in a title, headline, or a Tweet, so there's often not much context. Therein lies the problem. If we read only the title, and don't click the link to read the actual content, we may:

  • miss the point entirely,
  • totally misinterpret what the piece is about,
  • ask questions that were answered in the piece.

It's not unusual for me to see a link on Facebook or Twitter and think I know what the piece is about, only to find I'm totally off-target when I click the link. Especially on my Facebook page, I notice other people falling into the same little trap. Quite often, when I post a link to an article I've written, some of the comments show that people are commenting only from reading the title. It's obvious for any number of reasons:

  • The person may be upset with me because they totally misunderstood what I was saying because they only read the title.
  • The comments may be roughly on a relevant issue, but not really related at all to the article.
  • The comments contain questions that were answered in the article.

 

WinkyLashes-500I don't know how many times I've leaned back in my chair and said, "Well, duh!" because I clicked a Facebook or Twitter link, and once I got to the piece of content felt silly because the topic was so obvious AFTER I clicked the link.

Does this happen to you too? Some days, I choose to blame it on "Migraine brain." Other days, I blame in on age. Still other days, I just chalk it up to a blond moment. I really think part of my problem is that, like many other people today, I've become accustomed to instant gratification - having information instantly available. Perhaps it's that and a bit of laziness that have brought me to make incorrect assumptions about content because I read only the title.

In any case, I've put a sticky note on my monitor. On that sticky note, I wrote, "Click the link!"

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"
Visit MigraineDisease.com


MigraineNinja200Visit Migraine.ninja

 

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Sunday Thoughts on Living with Migraine - Desperate and Vulnerable

HappySundayCloudHappy Sunday to my extended Migraine and Headache family!

Anyone who has lived with Migraine disease very long knows what I mean when I say that we can become desperate for relief and effective treatments. I've been there myself, and may well find myself back in that situation, so I know how it feels.

Many issues can crop up as a result of feeling so desperate. Perhaps one of the most potentially threatening is that feeling desperate can render us vulnerable. We can become oh so vulnerable to every quick fix, instant remedy, and cure pitch that comes at us.

We're living with Migraine — a genetic neurological disease for which, at this time, there is no cure. It's not that we haven't heard about the cure. There simply isn't one yet. Trust in this — If and when a cure is found, we'll all hear about it very quickly. Conspiracy theorists would have us believe that there is a cure, but it's being hidden by the pharmaceutical companies because they don't want their profits to drop. If someone had indeed found a cure, any journalist would jump at reporting about it and any conspiracies to hide it because it would be Pulitzer Prize material.

The same applies to all the claims or quick fixes and instant remedies. If they were legitimate, we'd have heard about them because major media would be reporting about them.

Then there are all the eBooks that so many spammers are trying to sell us. These spammers promise that their eBook holds THE secret to ridding ourselves of Migraine permanently, or managing our Migraines with breathing exercises, and so on. Once again, if that were true, the book would be a best-seller, and it would be in the news — big time!

What really matters here is not letting ourselves fall victim to these false claims. When someone approaches me with quick fix or cure claim, I have responses that I fall back on:

  • Show me the science!
  • Show me the peer-reviewed journal articles with the results of your double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials!

Spammers and scammers have no proof. "Testimonials" aren't to be trusted because they can be falsified all too easily.

The Internet is truly wonderful. It gives us access to more information than ever before. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to spot what's correct, and what isn't. We must not let spammers and scammers take advantage of how vulnerable we are when we're desperate for relief. Sadly, people must be falling for their claims, or they wouldn't continue to spam and scam. Remember the old axiom: If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. When in doubt, we can always check with our doctors. In fact, we SHOULD check with our doctors before trying anything. Please, take care of yourselves, and give spammers and scammers the boot!

No-Cure-Cartoon-Bite-Me

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"
Visit MigraineDisease.com


MigraineNinja200Visit Migraine.ninja

 

Follow me on    or 
 

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape© Teri Robert, 2017.

 

 

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