Dear Migraine:

Why did you have to creep up on me in the middle of the night and blast me with waves of pain and nausea? Don’t you know I need to sleep, not toss and turn all night? What makes you think I even wanted you to visit? Haven’t you gotten the hint from all of the medications I’ve tried that I’m sick of you and am damn near willing to medicate you out of existence, if I can? Go away! I don’t like you! I don’t like your throbbing, searing pain. I don’t like your uncontrollable nausea. I don’t like your sensitivity to light and sound. I don’t like YOU!

I have things to do, places to be, work to accomplish. I don’t have the time or energy to deal with you. Right now, if a magic genie-in-a-bottle showed up and told me he’d grant me one wish, I would wish to banish you to the lowest level of hell so you never return!

– Your desperate victim

We’ve had over-cast, rainy weather the past couple of days. Every time we have a storm or system blow in, I get a migraine. My head does not like changes in barometric pressure. I knew, when I looked at the weather a few days ago and realized this system was going to blow in, that I’d get at least one migraine. It was just a matter of when, not if. Last night/this morning, it finally reared its ugly head.

I stumbled across this article about migraine sufferers yesterday in my Facebook feed, and I can relate to a lot of what it says. Some of the statements don’t apply to me, but like it states at the beginning, not all migraines are the same for all people. Everyone’s experiences with migraines are different. For instance, my migraines usually always happen on the right side of my head, either at the base of my skull or near my temple. The pain feels like someone has a red-hot knife jabbed into my skull and is trying to pry it open. It’s a searing, throbbing, dull yet strong pain.

I can take Excedrin Migraine for it, but that doesn’t always do a lot for me. Sometimes it relieves the pain after a few hours. Sometimes it relieves all of the symptoms. Other times, like today, it doesn’t do a damn thing for me! I’ve tried all of the “interrupter” medications for migraines, like Imitrex and Maxalt. They make me feel like the muscles in my neck and shoulders are seizing up and they make me grit and grind my teeth. I really, really don’t like those very unpleasant sensations. I would honestly rather just deal with my migraine than take those. I have found that Topamax gives me a lot more migraine-free days, but I don’t think Topamax can do anything for pressure-induced attacks.

So, I’ll deal with this migraine. I’ll crawl back into my bed with the windows covered and lie as still as possible. Hopefully, the pain will subside. This is the ONLY thing that truly works for my migraines – lying still in a cool, dark, quiet room and focusing on making every muscle in my body relax as much as I can.

Advertisements

Fibromyalgia

I have Fibromyalgia. This has got to be one of the most frustrating diagnoses that one could ever be given, because no doctor is sure what causes it, exactly how to fix it or make it better, and there isn’t even a universal medication for it. It’s also frustrating because you can be completely fine and feeling awesome one day, and the next be laid up in bed with so much pain you wish your mattress would swallow you alive.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2012, but I believe I first started showing symptoms the summer of 2008. There is a theory floating around that says that a trauma to your body, such as a bad car accident or a major surgery, can trigger Fibromyalgia, but not everyone can identify a trigger. I believe mine could have been my C-section and the birth of my pre-mature son.

The year of 2008 is really fuzzy for me. I know I slept almost the entire summer away. I was always so exhausted that I would spend almost all day and all night, every day, in bed sleeping. I didn’t know why I was so tired. I couldn’t really explain it, and I even secretly thought my mother was right when she’d come over and get on my case about being “lazy” because I was always in bed. My self-esteem took a nose-dive. I couldn’t help it. I felt worthless because I slept constantly.

This was also around the same time I started having a lot of problems with back pain. I now have a diagnosis of scoliosis, but back then I just knew my back hurt. It didn’t hurt just a little bit, either. If I’d pick my son up the wrong way, pain would shoot up my back or my sides, and I’d be laid up for days, trying to deal with it.

When I got diagnosed, my primary care doctor had sent me to see a spine specialist, who told me he couldn’t find anything wrong with my back. The night before the appointment, I had found an article online about Fibromyalgia. I think one of my friends who also has it had posted something about it, and I’m the curious type, so I started reading up on it. I found a little questionnaire to fill out to help identify if you suffer from Fibromyalgia or chronic pain, and I was actually astonished when I started going through it and realized how many of the questions I personally identified with. So, when I went to my appointment, and the doctor told me that my MRI looked fine to him, I asked him if he thought I could possibly have Fibromyalgia. He, of course, told me that wasn’t his expertise, but he said it was entirely possible, so he called my primary doctor and asked her to refer me to a Rheumatologist.

It didn’t take my Rheumatologist more than ten minutes to diagnose me, and on top of Fibromyalgia, he also said I have the beginnings of osteoarthritis in one of my knees, because it crackles when I bend and straighten it. He prescribed me Lyrica, which in the beginning was a godsend for me.

Another thing that was extremely helpful for me, was getting the diagnosis of scoliosis, because I was referred to PT for ultrasound massage and subluxation. I’m not shy to say that ultrasound massage hurts like a royal bitch! But, it’s totally worth it. After around twenty sessions, we were able to get my back all straightened out, which lessened a lot of my pain.

I no longer take Lyrica. It quit working for me. I already experienced what people call “brain fog,” and there towards the end, my head was getting even foggier, and my doctor wanted to increase my dosage. I didn’t feel like the higher doses were helping at all, when I tried them, but I was feeling even more confused than before, so I made the decision to titrate off Lyrica. I know it wasn’t helping anymore, because my pain severity hasn’t increased at all since stopping the medication. I am, however, a lot less foggy than I was while taking it.

I could go on and on and tell you so much more about Fibromyalgia, but I’m following the Daily Prompt, which asked us to write for no more or less than 10 minutes. If you have any questions about my experiences with Fibromyalgia, or are even wondering what it is, feel free to comment.