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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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Home again…making adjustments

Slept all night in my own bed and it was wonderful…no beeping, no needle pokes in the middle of the night, no one waking me at 5:30 to take prilosec. But I did have a rough patch in the early morning.   Thankfully I was able to fall back asleep and slept until noon. Luckily Dan and I came up with a plan to dispense my medicines for morning last night so I just had to take them around the right time. It worked great. My head is still quite numb from the injections and the injection sites are starting to hurt a bit but overall I am doing ok!!

Has anyone ever had TMJ? I woke up yesterday in the hospital feeling like someone punched me in the jaw and I had a hard time opening my mouth. The nurse said it was probably TMJ due to the constant headache and I was probably clenching in my sleep. So now my rice bag has so many purposes. The newest being the injection sites and the jaw. At least I have a brief relief from the mind exploding headache.  I will take it.

tmj-diagram

I’m looking for a blood pressure cuff to borrow or know where we could rent one or buy one. After being awake for an hour and a half and just sitting in the chair I tried to get up and almost passed out so we were thinking we might want to start monitoring my blood pressure at home…with the advice of friends, Dan went to CVS and bought one.  Just took my blood pressure is 97/58. Going to monitor it and keep drinking fluids to get it back up above 100/60.

It just sucks that TMJ is one more thing that just started and causes additional pain. Plus the low blood pressure that is making it difficult to be up and around. Ugh. I’m not at the end of my rope but there isn’t much left.

And now the microwave died. Ugh! My main source of relief from pain is a heated rice bag. Going to try heating in the oven.  Update: Dan looked up on eHow how to reset the microwave and it worked. Phew. That was a close call!!  But the best FB response was from Emily:

Emily Feldpausch: Use the crock pot! (I continued to use the crock pot everywhere I went, including my bedroom, the hospital and at my moms.  Now I have a microwave in my bedroom, but the crock pot was genius!)