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Archive for January 27th, 2008

(and yes, I’m a bit early!)

I love this photo, it just says “mother love”.

mare-foal.jpg

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and I am a migraine sufferer.    

There, I said it.  It’s something not many of my friends may know about me, though my utterly devoted husband has become all too familiar with my migraines (especially during the past few months).  Call this the beginning of my coming out, if you will.  It’s really not something I’m very comfortable with, frankly.  I’ve always been a tomboy, and lately I feel like my body is failing me.  I don’t like being labeled as ‘sick’, though it’s nice to finally have a ‘diagnosis’ for several years worth of pain, nausea, asking Tim to turn down the TV, cringing at oncoming headlights when driving, etc.  At my husband’s urging, I went to see my general practice doctor a year and a half ago for my severe, almost daily headaches.  And after going through three different doctors, several other diagnosis, a nasty car accident that certainly didn’t help matters, and finally seeing a neurologist in November, I’ve been diagnosed with chronic migraines.  It turns out I’ve had them for at least three or four years.

How can you not know you have migraines?, you ask.  I should clarify.  I’ve had several what I would consider crippling migraine attacks–horribly throbbing head, severe nausea, intense photophobia and phonophobia–that put me in bed for the day.  So yes, I knew I had migraines.  I’d get them once or twice a year, until this year.  This year I’ve had five or six of those.  However, I was under the impression that the daily headaches I was getting where “regular” headaches.  Yes, they were bad and I wanted to puke and crawl in bed when I got home at the end of the day, but I was under the (misguided) assumption that you had to be in an immense amount of pain for the headache to be a migraine.  Migraines are actually defined as vascular in nature, not by the amount of pain they generate, though they generally are quite painful.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migraine)

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 My diagnosis leaves me working towards findings a treatment program that works for me.  Unfortunately, this is a frustrating, trial-and-error process.  My doc originally put me on Topamax (another story) as a preventative, and has now added Pamelor.  I take Imitrex as an abortive (i.e. when I feel a migraine coming on).  I also get to make lots of fun lifestyle changes, like limiting how much cheese, pizza, and wine I eat.  Of course, all my favorites!  Meanwhile, I’ve done a lot of research and found out how scary migraines are.  From a physiological standpoint, a migraine is very similar to a stroke, and migraineurs are more likely to suffer a stroke at some point in their life.  What the medical community doesn’t agree on is how much more likely, but it’s between 50-80% vs. those who don’t have migraines.  (http://headaches.about.com/cs/education/a/hp_ingore_not.htm)

On the upside, I have a wonderful, supportive husband who loves me very much and will stand by me through anything.  They say the first year of marriage is often the rockiest (if that’s a word).  Time will tell if ours has been, but we’ve grown a lot together.  Our families (and friends) have helped us a lot, too, but mostly it’s just been the two of us.  We rock!  And I’m looking forward winter being over (I’m not a fan of winter, it’s a blue, cold time of year for me), and spring to be here!

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