Saturday, April 05, 2008

Coping With the Pain









Migraine: Paroxysmal attacks of headache, frequently unilateral, usually accompanied by disordered vision and gastrointestinal disturbances. Thought to be the result of vasodilation of extracerebral cranial arteries.











ETIOL: Unknown, but a family history of migraine will be found in over half of patients. It may be precipitated by allergic hypersensitivity or emotional disturbances.






SYM: Headaches associated with the sensation of seeing zigzags of light, called scintillating scotoma, vomiting, and at times diplopia, unilateral sweating and focal symptoms. Sharp, stabbing pains frequently in temporofrontal region.





Treatment: Rest in quiet, darkened room during attack. Ergotamine tartate proves efficacious in most cases but should be taken at onset of the attack.





(Tabers Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary; edition 15, copyright 1985)




My, but we've come a long way since 1985, haven't we! Not only in our recognition or definition, but treatment. Origin, or Etiology as stated, interested me because of the first word, "unknown."




Though some of the origin is unknown; thankfully, research has blossomed over the past 23 years for those of us who must suffer.







So, how do I cope with monster as it embarks on me? Well, as you can see from the pictures above; pretty much like that. That is, when it beats me to that level anyway. That being a level 10.







Like most Migraineurs on this blog block; I've been around the pharmaceutical candy round, too much. That is to say, my body is and has, paid a price for the many high-toxic drugs I have put into it, just to get relief. Unfortunately, it has left me unable to use most of the "good stuff" out there, when I really need to.







My only abortive now, is Toradol; which I take, with caution. So as not to cause myself the dreaded rebound we greatly fear. When this fails me, I call my doc and into the infusion center I go. There, I receive more "candy" the body hesitantly recieves.







My veins have become very hardened to the idea of the invasion. They roll and burst and laugh at my nurse as she gets more and more frustrated at my vascular system. Over and over she tries; the right arm, then the left and back again. She'll call in another nurse. Heat my arm. Just getting a line started usually can take upwards of two hours. But I am patient with her; this is not her fault, it is the fault of the disease process, the medications of past infusions, vascular constriction of migraine itself.







When I was hospitalized, I would get a PICC line inserted. But because I return for infusion for 3-4 days, the IV is the only thing necessary. I did inquiry about a port two years ago; but because of the risk of a little thing called - stroke, my doctor refused. I'm ok with that. Seriously.







The coping mechanism is, I'm finding, very different with each ensuing migraine. They, the migraine, that is, are very individual. Some can seem very mild compared to others that come smashing in on me, unannounced. So the coping is always somewhat different and unique.







The curtains are almost always closed. Even if the sun is hiding. Because even the faintest of light is painful. Blankets are a necessity, and they must be up over my face. my hand is almost always on my face, as well. I keep a bottle of Lavendar spray next to my nightstand; because I find the scent very calming, and I can tolerate it when I can't tolerate anything else.







My beloved dog knows when the beast is coming, and he seems to try to shield me from it. He can't just lay at my side or my feet, but ON me. Oddly, even at 100 pounds, it's comforting to know he's with me.















Earplugs. My new favorite friends, seem to be company when I sleep, or if I'm at an event that makes loud noise. I should have worn them when I was at Marisa's Drumline competition. You'd think, right.







My favorite drink at the time of the beast, would be my water. But it's not just plain tap water, because that makes me gag. Literally, gag, and when you are already nauseous that's not something you want to do. I like the lemon flavored Velocity water that Wegmans puts out. It's all I can tolerate at the time. And though it's said you should eat, I cannot. I don't know many who can. This is the only thing I can tolerate at the time. I drink a lot of it. At least I'm hydrating. My drink of choice used to be Ginger-ale, but I can't tolerate it so much anymore.







Oh, and music. I love music. All the time, anytime. Even when my head is crushing me. I find music can just take me anywhere, and especially away from the pain. I love DMB, Michael Buble`, Bocelli; music is a wonderful way to escape. If you can tolerate it that is.







Wishing away your pain



Deborah

6 comments:

Joanna said...

Ooh, good idea about the Unconscious Mutterings! They come out every week with a new list, so I will definitely do that!

I think I received Toradol when I was at my docs' infusion center - whatever it was they gave me didn't work since I was then an inpatient for 10 days. I slept the whole time I was in infusion, so who knows! I didn't have to get a pic line thankfully - I was probably a day away from having to, since my veins were practically yelling at the nurses.
I'm seeing DMB this summer, can't wait :-) Also, that's so sweet about your dog trying to make you feel better - my aunt and uncle's little guy used to do that to me too, he could just tell when I wasn't feeling good... he did that for my grandpa too when he was ill.

deborah said...

I'll be seeing Dave this summer, too. I can't wait!!! I had to sell my tix 2 years ago because I was too sick to go. Not this time, heree's hoping.

Dr.Carley Clan said...

DEB-
WE SO HAVE TO TALK! I THINK WE HAVE THE EXACT SAME MIGRAINES. THE CAN OF GINGERAL...MY HUBBY ALWAYS KNOWS TO GRAB ONE ON THE WAY TO THE ER OR IF I AM TRYING TO TAKE CARE OF IT MYSELF. I HAVE NEVER TAKEN A PIC OF MYSELF LOOKING BAD. bUT TODAY I JUST PUT PICS UP OF ME AND MY HUBBY AND A PIC OF A WOMAN WHO WAS SICK. ONE DOC I HAVE HAD ONLY SEEN ME WITH MIGRAINES, WHEN HE FINALLY SAW ME AT A PARTY, HE SAID HE DID NOT RECOGNIZE ME. I THINK THE NEXT TIME I AM IN ONE I WILL HAVE BILL TAKE A SHOT OF ME AND SEE THE DIFFERENCE.
HAVE A PAIN FREE DAY
LIZ

Jeff said...

That is so incredibly sweet that your puppy lays with/on you when you're sick. Even though I don't suffer from migraines, I can see how that would be comforting. Hope you feel better soon.

Megan Oltman said...

I wish my kitty would visit me in my migraines - he thinks elder cat (7 years dead) will come clobber him. Nurse in my doc's iv room tells me I have scarring on my veins - I tell her - that's your fault! I never stuck anything in them - it's iv scarring!

I know that hand on face over eye, too.

- Megan

Eileen said...

I have to say - jealous you can do ear plugs.

I've tried. I have a husband in a band, who plays drums...there is no quiet way to play drums....and ear plugs don't work for me.

I have tried them when I migraine too, just to block out noise, like at work - It feels like the inside of my ear is swollen (probably my trigeminal nerve being inflammed from the darn migraine process!)

And I will have to look out for that water too - sounds yummy!!!

Wishing you pain free days!!