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Biking for Migraine Research

How would you like to ride your bike and help with Migraine research at the same time? Well! I'm here to tell you that you can do just that!

The Migraine Research Foundation is an official Charity Partner of BikeNY in the TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour on May 1, 2011. This is the largest recreational cycling event in America, and one of the hottest tickets in the Tri-State area. MRF invites you to raise awareness and critically needed funds for migraine research by riding in this incredibly empowering and inspiring event...

TDBank2011

If you're interested, you can find more information on the Migraine Research Foundation web site.

Live well,


 

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated March 31, 2011


Migraine Poetry Contest - Two Days Left!

POHTPoetry2011-200b The Putting Our Heads Together Migraine Poetry Contest is still open for submissions. This is a great way to express yourself about the impact of Migraine and other headache disorders.

All entries will be published on www.HelpForHeadaches.com, and winners will be announced in April, in observance of National Poetry Month.

You don't have to be an experienced poety to enter. Poems must be about Migraine or another headache disorder, and all poems must be in English.

For rules and the online entry form, go to the rules and submission page.

Live well,


 

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Get the latest Migraine and headache news, informational articles, tips for living well, and more in my free weekly newsletter. To subscribe, CLICK HERE.

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated March 29, 2011


Migraine Pearls or Onions? 3/16/11

PearlsOrOnions125 When it comes to online Migraine information, the quality of what we find has quite a wide range. It can be bright, polished, and valuable, or it can be... well, rough and stinky.

This feature, "Migraine Pearls or Onions?," highlights both the Migraine Pearls I come across online and the stinky Migraine Onions.

Today's Migraine Pearl and Onion came from the same incident, a 12-year-old Texas student who went to the school nurse because she didn't feel well and ended up suspended from school and orderd to attend an alternative school for 30 days for illegal drug use.

On February 21 of this year, Aliah Rowe went to school despite not having felt well for a few days. She had a headache and stomach ache. By mid-morning, she felt bad enough that she went to see the school nurse. Here's an abbreviated version of what happened. The nurse thought Aliah looked and behaved as if she'd used a drug or alcohol, so she called in a sheriff's deputy who was the school police liason. Without contacting Aliah's parents, they then conducted field sobriety tests, called in the school counselor, and accused Aliah of drug use.  At that point, Aliah's mother was called, and she took her from the school to a local hospital where she had Aliah's blood and unine tested for drugs and alcohol.

The school district suspended Aliah from school for three days and ordered her to attend the Texas City school district's alternative learning campus for 30 days. Aliah and her mother appealed this decision twice. Both times, they submitted the negative results of the drug testing as well as a statement from a doctor stating that Aliah's headaches may have been Migraines and that Migraines could have cause the symptoms and behavior that the nurse and deputy observed. Both appeals were denied.

Yesterday, saying only that they'd received "new information," school district officials announced that they'd reversed their decision, and Aliah will be allowed to return to her regular school on Monday when students return from spring break. You can read more details of this incident in Texas School Suspends, Punishes Student for Migraine.

Pearl100 So, first up...today's Migraine Pearl... today's pearl goes to:

  • Aliah's mother, Cynthia Murray;
  • Dr. Rayne Rouce, the doctor who examined Aliah and wrote to the school district;
  • T. J. Aulds of the Galveston County Daily News, whose comprehensive reports on this incident may be responsible for the reversal of the school district's decision;
  • and everyone else who supported Aliah through this ordeal.

Onion100 And, today's Migraine Onion. Today's onion, of course, goes to:

  • the school nurse at Blocker Middle School in Texas City,
  • the sheriff's deputy who responded to her call and treated this student so poorly,
  • the school counselor, and all of the school district officials who played a part in this fiasco.

What happend on February 21 when Aliah went to the nurse's office was bad enough. Yet school officials made matters even worse by refusing to accept the negative results of the drug testing that was performed and the word of the doctor who examined Aliah.

The stigma associated with Migraine disease is strenghtened when such indicents occur. These school officials owe Aliah a huge apology.

If you'd like to make a suggestion for a
Migraine Pearl or a Migraine Onion,
please leave me a comment!

Live well,


 

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Get the latest Migraine and headache news, informational articles, tips for living well, and more in my free weekly newsletter. To subscribe, CLICK HERE.

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated March 16, 2011


Cindy McCain Speaks Out About Migraine

McCain128 Some of you may remember that I had the opportunity to interview Cindy McCain about her Migraines back in September of 2009. (See Interview with Cindy McCain: Migraine Sufferer, Advocate.)

Mrs. McCain was delightful, but her story was like that of too many Migraineurs - a story of being dismissed by doctors, of having to finally say "No," to her doctor and insist that someone listen to her. At the time of our interview, she was also determined to work toward getting Migraine better recognized so that all of us would have a chance at better treatment.

Things happen in life, and Mrs. McCain has been out of the MIgraine spotlight for a bit. But, she still thinks Migraineurs are "misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and basically are suffering in great numbers across this country with very little help."

I really don't want to give away what she has to say, so please take a few minutes to listen to what she had to say when she talked with Dr. David Dodick of the American Headache Society and the American Migraine Foundation in this new podcast. After you listen to this podcast, please share it with all of your friends via email, Facebook, Twitter, and every way you can think of.

Live well,


 

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Get the latest Migraine and headache news, informational articles, tips for living well, and more in my free weekly newsletter. To subscribe, CLICK HERE.

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated March 15, 2011


March Migraine & Headache Blog Carnival: Life Hacks

BlogCarnival125 Welcome to the March
Headache and Migraine Disease Blog Carnival!

The Headache & Migraine Disease Blog Carnival has been created to provide both Migraine and headache patients and people who blog about Migraines and headaches with opportunities to share ideas on topics of particular interest and importance to us.

The theme of the March carnival is "Life Hacks: Tweaking Work & Life to Deal with Migraines"
 

Check out this month's great collection of blogs in Life Hacks: Tweaking Work and Life to Deal with Migraines.

Live well,


 

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Get the latest Migraine and headache news, informational articles, tips for living well, and more in my free weekly newsletter. To subscribe, CLICK HERE.

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated March 15, 2011


Enter Your Migraine Poem

Now's the time to express yourself about living with Migraine or other headache disorders. Our 2011 Putting Our Heads Together Poetry Contest is now open for submissions. You have until March 31 to enter. For rules and the online entry form, go to the rules and submission page.


Migraine Life Hacks: Dealing Better with Migraines

MigraineLifeHacks Diana Lee has chosen a great topic for the March, 2011, Migraine blog carnival, "Life Hacks: Tweaking Work & Life to Deal with Migraines." Over the years, I've written several articles about various aspects of this topic. It's really one of my favorite topics because it's one way we can actually exercise control over this darned disease.

It so often seems that Migraine disease controls us. Too often, it does, BUT if there's one good thing about this disease, it's that there are indeed things we can do to control our lives that in some cases help control the disease. Even those that don't control the disease, can make it easier to live with the disease by our taking better control of our own lives.

So, let's get down to taking a look at some "live hacks" that can make it easier to live with Migraines. These fall into two categories, those related to Migraine triggers and those not directly related to triggers.

life hacks elated to triggers:

  • Trigger identification and management is an essential part of Migraine management. Some triggers are avoidable, some are not. One we know what our triggers are, we can avoid some Migraines if we find that we have any avoidable triggers. If our triggers aren't avoidable, knowing what they are won't help us avoid Migraines, but it can at least help us be better prepared for them.
  • If you're tyring to identify your triggers, keeping a Migraine diary can be extremely helpful. You can find more information and download a free diary workbook in Your Migraine and Headache Diary.
  • For some lucky people, many Migraines can be avoided by avoiding certain foods or beverages. Is that you? Do you know if any foods or beverages are triggers for you? You can learn more and download a free work book in Managing Migraine - Migraine Trigger Foods.
  • Are loud music and crowded clubs a trigger for you? Ask your friends to spend an evening with you at home where you can have quieter music and a less crowded environment.
  • Is alcohol a trigger? Club soda with a twist of lime tastes great, especially when it means you won't have a Migraine!
  • MSG a trigger? Then you know you can't order Chinese take-out unless it can be ordered without MSG. You know you can't eat that bag or Doritos. Which is more important? Eating the junk or feeling well? You decide.
  • Messed up sleep. Too much, too little, disrupted, and poor quality sleep can all be Migraine triggers. If they're a problem for you, then you know you're going to pay for it if you don't pay attention to your sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

life hacks not directly related to triggers:
These are mostly organizational suggestions that can make things much easier when you live with Migraines:

  • Keep your prescriptions filled so you don't run out of medications.
  • Shop ahead. Make a short list of things that you really need to have in the house when you don't feel well. Make sure you're always well stocked on these items. It's helpful if they're items that can be kept - canned or frozen, for example.
  • Cook ahead. When you cook a good, healthy meal, think about doubling the recipe and freezing an extra meal. It will come in handy when you're in a hurry or when you don't feel well.
  • Whatever you can plan ahead or do ahead, do it. When we do this, we give ourselves huge breaks. It's such great feeling when events are planned ahead, when holiday shopping is done well in advance.
  • Dump the guilt. Nobody is perfect. If you miss an event or a few details, the world is not coming to an end.
  • Be realistic. This is one of the biggest favors any of us can do ourselves. Be realistic in our expectations of ourselves and others. Look at the overall picture and don't let small details ruin things.

In the end, how effective Migraine life hacks can be is really up to each individual Migraineur, and that's going to vary from time to time. There are going to be times when we get angry and don't want to compromise because of having a disease. You know what? That's perfectly reasonable, when it happens occasionally. We all feel that way, sometimes.

In my day-to-day communications with Migraineurs from all over the world, I'm seeing a growing group of Migraineurs to whom I'd like to offer some encouragement and perspective when it comes to these Migraine life hacks. I think there are elements of today's fast-paced life that are building unrealistic expectation:

  • Cell phones mean we don't have to wait until we get home to phone people.
  • Text messaging means we don't even have to wait until we can call someone to tell them something.
  • Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter give us "instant" updates on what people are doing.
  • Email means we often don't have to wait for a regular postal letter to be delivered for "mail" communication.

These things make it easy for us to feel that we "can have it all" and forget that living fully, well, and successfully is usually a series of compromises. Nobody gets their way all the time. Maybe I shouldn't be, but I'm surprised when I get an email or a Facebook message from someone who has avoidable Migraine triggers such as foods, alcohol, smoke, loud music, or crowded bars and is upset because they have to give up certain social events or suffer with a Migraine. Now, I'm not so old that I can't remember hating to miss a big party or an important family event. Still, if I had a choice between going to a New Year's Eve party and drinking club soda with lime or drinking alcohol and being deathly ill with a Migraine, that seems to me to be an easy choice. If I knew chocolate was going to give me a level 10 Migraine, I think I'd prefer to abstain from it.

Anyway, what I'm really trying to say is that each of us has to decide what it's worth to us to avoid Migraines and to live better when they do strike. To me, it's well worth avoiding known triggers and some advance planning.

Do you have migraine life hacks to suggest? If so, please leave a comment and share them!

Live well,


 

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Get the latest Migraine and headache news, informational articles, tips for living well, and more in my free weekly newsletter. To subscribe, CLICK HERE.

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated March 11, 2011


Migraine Poetry Contest Deadline Extended

POHTPoetry2011-200b The deadline for submitting poetry to the 2011 Putting Our Heads Together Migraine Poetry Contest has been extended to midnight, March 31, 2011.

Entries are welcome from any country, but all entries must be in English. Entrants are asked to limit their entries to three poems. Poetry may be in any form -- rhymed, free-verse, ect. -- but must be poetry, not prose. Limit of 60 lines, 80 characters per line, including punctuation and spaces. Poetry must be on subjects related to Migraines or other headache disorders.

The poetry will be judged by patient educators and advocates Teri Robert and Nancy Harris Bonk and staff members of the National Headache Foundation. For complete rules and the online submission form, go to the Help for Headaches and Migraine Poetry Submission Page.

Live well,


 

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Get the latest Migraine and headache news, informational articles, tips for living well, and more in my free weekly newsletter. To subscribe, CLICK HERE.

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Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated March 11, 2011