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My Current Diagnoses

  1. Chronic Classic Migraine

    The International Headache Society defines chronic migraine as more than fifteen headache days per month over a three month period of which more than eight are migrainous, in the absence of medication over use. Episodic migraine is the other migraine sub-type, which is defined as less than 15 headache days per month.

    These are the worst types of head pain that I have and are the most debilitating.  They last 72 hours followed by a day of postdrome and can be immediately followed by another migraine.  Sometimes I get 2-3 days between migraines (but those days are filled with NDPH, see below).  My Migraine Cave was created for these, because I cannot get out of bed and the pain behind my right eye, in general, forces me to close that eye for most of those 72 hours.  It makes it difficult to eat, drink, watch TV (so I tend to use my iPad because it has a much smaller screen and use an ear bud to make the sound more direct and in the ear opposite the migraine.  It is the Migraine that doesn’t allow me to work, make plans, leave the house very often, which game me the title to this blog: My Family’s New Normal.  We stay at home much more these days because even when I am feeling better, I am afraid the sound of restaraunts, movie theatres, anywhere with people really will trigger a migraine.  But luckily my family are homebodies by nature and they don’t complain much about this.  

  2. Tension Migraines

    • Affects both sides of your head
    • Cause mild to moderate pain
    • Cause pain that feels pressing or tightening, but not pulsating
    • Aren’t aggravated by routine physical activity

    Some people may have skull tenderness.

    I am just coming out of a really bad Tension migraine.  For me this tends to be brought on by both weather and any type of physical activity.  The severity can range from moderate to debilitating and can often piggy back a classic migraine.

  3. New daily persistent headache (NDPH)

    These headaches come on suddenly, usually in people without a headache history. They become constant within three days of your first headache. They have at least two of the following characteristics:

    • Usually affects both sides of your head
    • Cause pain that feels like pressing or tightening, but not pulsating
    • Cause mild to moderate pain
    • Aren’t aggravated by routine physical activity

For me this headache started two days after the anaphylaxis and treatment that occurred on January 21st, 2015.  This is the pain that I wake up every day with, and have done so since January 23rd.  I have a baseline level of pain that is moderate or a 3 on a 0-5 pain scale (pain that I can function with).  But sometimes the pain becomes more severe and widespread and turns into the Tension Migraine when the pressure becomes so severe that medication is needed to relieve the pressure or a trip to ER is needed. 

4.  Cervicalgia

Cervicalgia is neck pain that does not radiate outward to the upper extremities or shoulders. Its symptoms can be chronic or acute and can include neck stiffness, aching, tenderness, pain upon movement and headaches. It can be treated with application of ice when caused by an injury, heat when the pain is muscular in nature, temporary use of a cervical collar, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. 

I have gone to physical therapy for this and will start again soon.  They help to work the stiffness out but I have to do the stretches at home to strengthen my neck muscles at the same time or the physical therapy only provides temporary relief. 

5. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

TMJ acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.The exact cause of a person’s TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. Your pain may be due to a combination of problems, such as arthritis or jaw injury. Some people who have jaw pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth, but many people habitually clench their teeth and never develop TMJ disorders.In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders can be alleviated with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments.

I have a bite guard that I wear every night and also try and remember to do my jaw stretches (which uses my thumb and forefinger to stretch my mouth and is very painful…I can also get similar results eating an apple, which forces me to open my mouth wider which seems to get easier the further into the apple I get.

 

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Several Good Days/Barometric Pressure

In a previous post I thought that the burst of energy might be a precursor to a migraine, because that seemed to have happened before the previous two migraines.  But this time it wasn’t the case. which is good news for me really.  I have had three days in a row with functional head pain and lots of energy.  In fact I was up until 4:30am last night and awake at 7:30am…no nap!!  This is a big deal.  I am a bit tired, but my head won’t calm down…I feel like the energizer bunny, hence the Migraine Cave being created in the matter of 3 days.

Things that have changed in the past 3 days:

  1. The new glasses: Theraspecs Website.  I have been wearing them at all times both inside and outside.
  2. I have stayed well hydrated (which was very helpful when I got a blood draw for allergy testing today).
  3. I have not spent all day in bed.  I have been out and about, visiting with friends, shopping, etc.  It has been a good 3 days.

I have also been watching the barometric pressure and feel spikes in my head pain when the pressure changes.  But so far it hasn’t gone into a full blown migraine or a debilitating NDPH.  There have been moments throughout all three days where the pain spikes for a half an hour or an hour here and there but I can almost always trace it to a drop in Barometric pressure.

A great article that my mom found about how Barometric can scientifically effect or trigger migraines.

Barometric Pressure in Relation to Migraines

My mom also found a great app for my phone that allows me to track 48 hours of Barometric pressure.  It is called Pressur but you can do a search for Barometric pressure and it should come up.  I paid the $1.98 to upgrade so that I do have the 48hrs.  The free one comes with a 12 graph.

  

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Theraspecs

After much deliberation, I decided to get a pair of glasses specifically designed for migraine sufferers. And I got them today 😀. I could have definitely used them over the passed 72 hours during one of the worst migraine I have had. Three days in bed will be fun to recover from.

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But I digress. I got glasses for indoor and outdoor. I had to buy the ones for over  prescription glasses so they are not cute and a bit bulky but I am hoping it will help with screen time specifically. But also to be in the living room with natural light as well.  I look forward to trying both the indoor and outdoor glasses. I am also curious to see if wearing them during my baseline New Daily Persistent Headaches (NDPH) will reduce eye pain.

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