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Weather and migraines don’t mix

This whole weather changing thing has got to stop. At least the drastic changes. I woke with a migraine so disabling that I could barely handle the pain. Dan took the kids to the bus stop and I went back to sleep only to wake up to excruciating pain. So I brought out my Arsenal of abortive meds and took them all. I took the one that has been working for migraine first but 30 minutes later nothing changed. Then I took benedryl to hopefully go back to sleep and waited and put my IceKap on but nothing was helping. I finally brought out the big guns: 2 doses of Toradol and I was relaxed enough to fall asleep in about 15 minutes and slept until now. The excruciating pain is definitely gone, PTL, I just feel groggy with moderate level pain which I am so grateful for. Hey at least I finished and filed my taxes last night; maybe that was the cause of the migraine ūüėú. And thankfully I had planned today as a day of rest. So I will continue to rest and pray that when the meds where off the migraine does not return.

Of course this migraine lasted 72 hours followed by a day of disabling fatigue and dull head pain. ¬†The 2nd day I just tried to sleep as much as I could to deal with the pain, using medicine alternatives like the icekap and heated ricebags. ¬†However by the 3rd day I couldn’t take it anymore, so I took abortive meds again. Fortunately the meds take the severe pain away but unfortunately they leave me very dysfunctional and sleeping most of the day, then I couldn’t sleep at night, so I slept most of the day today (migraine hangover day). ¬†The past 3 weeks have looked exactly like this and I am just getting frustrated. ¬†Yes, there are meds out there that take the pain away, but they don’t make me functional. ¬†So I am starting to consider a 2nd opinion.

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How can I forget so easily?

Even though I have found that prednisone works like a miracle drug for me and takes away my migraines and headaches for the number of days, the aftermath is not so much fun. ¬†It is as if the week of freedom makes me completely forget about what it’s like to have migraines, what the symptoms are leading up to the migraine, what happens to me during the migraine and especially the day following the migraine. ¬†This week came¬†as if it was a complete surprise to me. ¬†Every time I have gone on prednisone I have had a really bad week following, so should have known, but it was nowhere in my memory as I drudged through the week.IMG_7959

Luckily I had enough medication to get me through Monday, which was spent all day in the Pediatric ER at Sparrow. ¬†8 hours of sitting, waiting, trying to make Gideon comfortable, dealing with fever, puking, pain. ¬†It was a good reminder of what my friends and family have done for me over the past year. ¬†And I was very thankful that my migraine had not returned yet. ¬†But it was the last day of the prednisone…so now I just had to wait for the head pain and migraine to come again.
12742637_1745763652304281_8267423894534451792_nI didn’t have to wait long. ¬†Tuesday morning I awoke with the beginnings of a migraine and the regular head pain had returned. ¬†By the end of the day the migraine had kicked in full gear, so I took a triptan, which helped me get through the day…but I was woken up at various points in the night with the pain and then remained in bed all of Wed and Thurs. The pain was almost unbearable at times. ¬†This happens when both the migraine and the new daily persistent headache are both competing for top spot on my pain scale. ¬†I got a lot of use out of my IceKap and I even brought out the eye patch I bough in case it might help with the severe light sensitivity I get during the bad migraines. ¬†I spent a good deal of time sleeping, but I also watched a good deal of NCIS on my right side with my right eye close and one ear plug in my left ear. ¬†This minimized sound, brightness and business and allows me to block out the pain for periods of time. ¬†This migraine also brought on a great deal of jaw pain and so I pulled out my bite guard…it was as if I had to pull everything out of my aresanol to deal with this big whopping migraine.

I had already decided I would take meds on Friday morning to help with the pain if it remained and it did.  So I took my migraine cocktail (Toradol, Zofran and Benedryl) and a triptan for good measure and went back to sleep for 4 more hours.  The rest of the day I thought I was feeling drugged and then remembered the postdrome symptoms and I was smack dab in the middle of them.  How could one week of relief make me forget how all of this works.

When I woke up Saturday (today) I felt great and I took Gideon to swim, went to CVS and to QD to get our after swim donuts (and milk and orange juice). ¬†When I got home I asked if everyone wanted to go into town later because I was feeling great, but I just needed a nap). ¬†Again how could I forget what 4 days of solitude, tucked away in my dark and quiet room does to me…It makes me fatigue easily and makes dealing with chaotic situations not so well. ¬†But I had forgotten all of that and we headed into town. ¬†After doing a return at Kohl’s and doing some shopping, I was whipped and couldn’t figure out why. ¬†By the time we left the store I was so irritable because the boys were being boys (not even being bad, just noisy and busy: chaotic). ¬†We had planned on going out to eat and just going inside the restaurant kicked up my anxiety a notch that when I came back to the car I had to put ear plugs in and ended up having to keep them in the entire evening. ¬†By the time we were done eating, there was no way I was going to be able to go grocery shopping too. ¬†How could I forget all of this during a one week of reprieve?? ¬†It is beyond me! ¬†But thankfully I am on the flip side of that migraine and I will take it easy tomorrow in the hopes that it will keep another migraine from coming on so quickly as it tends to do these days.

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MHNI Visit #13

2/2/2016 Yesterday I had my follow up with my Dr’s at MHNI yesterday.

I woke with a full blown migraine. I took my morning meds and an IMITREX, put my IceKap on and slept for an hour. When I woke up I felt so much better, thank goodness, because I had no idea how I would make it through the day. ¬†Gideon took all of his meds like a champion this morning (thank goodness). He had to go with us to the Dr. appointments because he couldn’t go to school, I couldn’t drive and we didn’t want to expose anyone else to his multiple illnesses. ¬†So he got to hang¬†out in the car with us for the day. He is all set with electronics, movies and his new little stuffed animal. Then as we went to all get in the car,¬†we had locked our one and only set of keys in the car. Luckily Dan is a pretty handy guy and we still had a metal hanger. Car unlocked, and only 15 minutes late. Then I downed¬†some ice tea (caffeine) to further help knock out the migraine.

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My neurologist changed the¬†triptan I was on (Imitrex) to a triptan called Amerge for an abortive med for the classic migraine, hoping¬†it will have¬†less side effects. ¬† We also discussed adding¬†Flexeril to my preventative¬†meds for NDPH. He had read an article that people with NDPH have had great success with Flexeril, so I will be starting that tomorrow. ¬†We will see how it goes. It is a low dose so hopefully I won’t have to many side effects. ¬†The last change to¬†my meds is to increase my migraine preventative medication, Robaxon to its maximum dosage¬†to see if I had any better luck at a higher dose. ¬†At my next office visit if my migraines haven’t gotten any better, we will try a new preventative med. ¬†I didn’t want to add a new medication before our vacation. If the increase in this med doesn’t work, we try another at another at my next appointment. The goal is to find a med that will break the cycle of the migraines and NDPH and prevent further head pain. I also now have the option to make an apt for nerve blocks in my temples as needed every 6 weeks which thus far has been a miracle block. ¬†I get an entire week of pain free.

2/3/2016 Today Gideon and I had a whirlwind day. ¬†Josiah had a delay in school, so we drove him to school, so Gideon and I went to CVS to return our late Red box movies..ugh, we have to stop doing that! ¬†And then I realized I forgot my prescriptions…ugh again! ¬†We did manage to get to the post office to resend for the 3rd time documents to SSDI…ugh why do they keep losing my paperwork. ¬†We drove back home to get the prescriptions…ugh. ¬†Went back to CVS and then headed to Eaton Rapids for lunch with Dawn at McDonalds…Gideon was so excited! ¬†Then a follow up with his Dr. ¬†He is still full of illness ūüė¶ ¬†Double ear infection still, swollen glands, sinuses completely blocked up. ¬†So she prescribed prednisone to help all of the swelling (Is it bad that I want to keep the prednisone for myself ūüėõ and no I gave the steroid to Gideon. ¬†He is feeling better, but just the energy level! ¬†The rest of his little body still hurts.

Once we got home I passed out with a migraine on my left side (very unusual for me, most of my migraines are on the right side).  Still have a mild migraine but a good day overall.

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IceKap Review

1/24/16 My friend Mindy said that this cool cap makes me look a Migraine Super Hero! ¬†I kinda like that! ¬†Not sure what my super power is…maybe living in a cave for days on end??

The sales ad for this migraine product kept popping up everywhere for this IceKap.  I read several reviews and thought that this might be something that might be great to add to my migraine toolbox.  And indeed it is most definitely awesome!  I used the IceKap both hot and cold.

Hot: In general I use heat in the form of heated rice bags. ¬†So the first way I tried the Kap was hot. ¬†But the way to heat the gel packs is by putting it in the microwave for 10 second spurts. ¬†The first time I heated them it took 2 minutes at 10 second spurts…this was not fun at all with the amount of pain I was in. ¬†Then my husband recommended the crockpot on warm since that is the way I heated my rice bags. ¬†However this was not a good idea. ¬†When I took the gel packs out in the morning one of them was about to explode and I could not even touch them. ¬†In fact I couldn’t even touch them for several hours. ¬†In other words I have not found a good way to use this Kap as heat, however the directions did suggest using hot water to heat them. ¬†So at some point I will try it and let you all know.

Update: After sending an email to the company, here were the suggestions they gave me after reading my review ūüôā ¬†Great suggestions! ¬†Great company!

Regarding the heating part. We say 10 second intervals as everyone’s microwave is different and we want to make sure nobody bursts them. Sounds like you could get away with doing 30 second intervals. Try 20 first. Also when using hot water the gel will expand if it’s left to continue heating or it will burst. Try pouring near booming water over them on a pot or even warming them on the stove in a pot of warm water.

Cold: After reading the information on the website and knowing so much about my migraines and what helps, I decided to try the Ice/Cold aspect of the cap. ¬†In the past I have not been able to use ice because it caused vasoconstriction immediately and increased pain, mostly because it was cold in my hands and sent chills up to my head, which in turn caused the constriction of the blood vessels in my head and increasing the pain. ¬†However, with these gel packs, you can put them in the refrigerator and make them cold instead of ice cold. ¬†Using the cap in this manner, reduces the swelling and since the types of medications¬†that work on my migraines are anti-inflammitory drugs, I thought I would give it a try. ¬†And it provides a great amount of relief…enough so that I could fall asleep with the IceKap on. ¬†When I woke I was able to put the 2nd set of gel packs into the Kap. ¬†It was also a great cap to wear on the way to the emergency room today because I was able to pull the cap down over my eyes blocking out the light at the same time providing some relief.

Overall I highly recommend the IceKap for Migraine, Head or Sinus pain.

Here is the link to the website and an explanation about how the IceKap works.

IceKap.ca Website

product-profile (1)

Andrea Jones, ICEKAP founder

As a migraine sufferer, I was desperate to find a natural solution that would not only help relieve the pain but also allow me to keep up with my active lifestyle. I suffered from migraines and headaches for well over a decade. During this time I have been in and out of the hospital and had many serious and invasive tests done to determine what is causing my migraines. I had also become far too familiar with the steady flow of ineffective prescription drugs that impacted my ability to operate normally. I had become so desperate to find something natural and drug free to help me I started going to work in a tuque filled with ice. This is where it all began.

I developed this product for anybody who suffers from pain, sick days, lost wages, and the pure frustration of having a migraine or headache. When our whole ‚Äėcontrol center‚Äô is in pain, how are we supposed to accomplish anything? ¬†Never mind getting dressed in the morning. My work was suffering, my pocket book was suffering, I needed to find another way. Now there is ‚Äď a soft, soothing and natural way to sooth you in your time of need and I‚Äôm so happy to finally be able to share it with you! I am not making any claims that Icekap is the miracle cure for migraine headaches but I can assure you it will soothe your symptoms, offer great relaxing relief and help you along the way to recovery in style!

How your Icekap works…

Icekap uses a combination of cryotherapy, aromatherapy and pressure therapy to treat symptoms. Cryotherapy is the general use of cold temperatures in medical therapy or the removal of heat from a body part. During a migraine the blood vessels in the head dilate causing pain. These vessels become swollen with blood and thus put pressure on the nerves surrounding the vessels. Both heat and cooling therapies use temperature manipulation to reduce migraine/ headache pain.

The use of cold therapy (Cryotherapy) is believed to cause the swollen blood vessels to constrict, thus reducing the pressure of the migraine/ headache pain. The use of heat therapy increases blood flow, increasing the amount of fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients to the head.

Icekap Essential Oil:

This combination offers an amazing soothing and cooling effect to the migraine sufferer. Cooling to the touch, it offers instant relief and a wonderful sense of well being. Lavender oil has calming properties that aid in relaxation and reduce anxiety while peppermint oil has cooling properties that create a cooling and soothing effect. Distilled essential oils have been employed as medicines since the eleventh century and are 100% natural.

Icekap Pressure System:

Some migraine/headache sufferers feel relief when pressure is applied to their head. To accommodate this, Icekap has an adjustable pressure band which allows the user to adjust the pressure of the cap to whatever tension they desire. The pressure system offers a comforting support to the key migraine areas ‚Äď occipital, frontal, parietal and temporal regions. With this band the user can apply pressure to sooth the key areas of ‚Äėpounding‚Äô during a migraine.

Sincere thanks and joy to you for trying Icekap.
Andrea Jones, ICEKAP founder