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I am laughing through pain. That's right. I am laughing at my pain. Oh wait - this really does hurt.


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Sunday, January 27, 2008

January into February

**SIGH** I'm not feeling too good today. Nothinig to do with my headaches and everything to do with me. My headaches, I am happy to report, have been pretty much undercontrol. This mix of botox and stopping my period seems to work. I still highly recommend botox for people who suffer from tension/migraines.

I don't know if it's because I have been really stressed at work, my crappy day yesterday, or because I realized today that I have been taking care of everyone but myself....but, I feel like I have let myself go and that makes me sad. My weight has been bothering me for sometime, but yesterday it really hit it home.

Yesterday I went and stood in line to meet the producers of Cesar Milan's dog whisperer show. My dog has dog agression and I would love to get this man's advice., my boyfriend and our dog stood in line for 3 hours only to be told to submit our dog online. I would have preferred to meet Cesar which was a shorter line...but, what can ya do? The 3 hours was gone, we got to see Cesar anyways and our dog did pretty well around all those other dogs considering he wanted to kill them. Our dog was for the most part calm.

What made it a crappy day was that my boyfriend did not want to be there and he let me know that through some pretty obvious silent communication. So, silent that he rarely spoke to me the whole time. When I confronted him on this he said he only came to support me. What??? I explained that showing me how annoyed you were for 3 hours does not make me feel supported, it makes me feel as if I have terribly inconvenienced you. I'm not sure this message was received and in all honesty it doesn't matter. I know better than to have him come with me to anything like this again; I would rather stick pins in my eyeballs. What actually ticked me off was the "support" comment. It ticked me off because I was reminded that sometimes the support provided in this relationship is not always balanced. I have been his morale support for a long time, but I have not been that same strength to myself. I became enraged at the thought that I was not taking care of and loving myself.....and now I sound like a sound bite on Oprah. AGGGGHHHHH!

I got down on myself for about 6 hours and then woke up this morning and decided to try something to get this weight off. I am going to support and care for myself. I am not going to wait for the support or expect the support to come from some place else. No more placing someone else first so I don't have to pay attention to my own needs, it's time to ease up on the deflection and dive into reflection. Corny, yes but I gotta do it.

I will keep you posted.....wish me luck!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Le Definition....part one

I would have to say this is one of the better defininations of a migraine I have seen. It is somewhat lengthy but worth the read. Please go directly to the website for the references as I have ommitted them for space purposes. I have also edited some of the content. This was taken from

"Migraine is a neurological disease that can cause a wide range of symptoms during an attack. The most commonly thought of symptom is headache. It is widespread in the population. In the U.S., 18% of women and 6% of men report having had at least one migraine episode in the previous year, with seriousness ranging from an annoyance to a life-threatening and/or daily experience. Periodic or unpredictable disability can cause poverty due to patients' inability to hold down a job. Overview Usually migraine causes episodes of severe or moderate headache (which is often one-sided and pulsating) lasting from several hours to three days, accompanied by gastrointestinal upsets, such as nausea and vomiting, and a heightened sensitivity to bright lights (photophobia) and noise (phonophobia).

Approximately one third of people who experience migraine get a preceding aura. The word migraine is French in origin and comes from the Greek hemicrania, as does the Old English term megrim. Literally, hemicrania means "half (the) head". Migraines' secondary characteristics are inconsistent.

Triggers precipitating a particular episode of migraine vary widely. The efficacy of the simplest treatment, applying warmth or coolness to the affected area of the head, varies between persons, sometimes worsening the migraine. A particular migraine rescue drug may sometimes work and sometimes not work in the same patient. Some migraine types don't have pain or may manifest symptoms in parts of the body other than the head. Available evidence suggests that migraine pain is one symptom of several to many disorders of the serotonergic control system, a dual hormone-neurotransmitter with numerous types of receptors. Two disorders — classic migraine with aura (MA, STG) and common migraine without aura (MO, STG) — have been shown to have a genetic factor. Studies on twins show that genes have a 60 to 65% influence on the development of migraine (PMID 10496258 and PMID 10204850 ). Additional migraine types are suspected and could be proven to be genetic. Migraine understood as several or many disorders could explain the inconsistencies, especially if a single patient has more than one genetic type. However, still other migraine types might be functionally acquired due to hormone organ disease or injury. Three quarters of adult migraine patients are female, although pre-pubertal migraine affects approximately equal numbers of boys and girls. This reveals the strong correlation to hormonal cycling and hormonal-related causes or triggers. Hormonal migraine is a likely consequence of periodically falling hormone levels causing reduction in protein biosynthesis of metabolic components including intestinal tract serotonin.

Part deux

Classification Migraines have been classified by the International Headache Society which periodically revises their classification. [edit] Defining severity of pain In addition to classifying the type of headache, the International Headache Society defines intensity of pain on a verbal 4 point scale:
0 no pain 1 mild pain 'does not interfere with usual activities'
2 moderate pain 'inhibits, but does not wholly prevent usual activities'
3 severe pain 'prevents all activities' [edit]

Migraine without aura This is the most commonly seen form of migraine; patients who primarily suffer from migraine without aura may also have attacks of migraine with aura. According to the International Classification of Headache Disorders it is a recurrent headache disorder manifesting in attacks lasting 4-72 hours. Typical characteristics of the headache are unilateral location, pulsating quality, moderate or severe intensity, aggravation by routine physical activity and association with nausea and/or photophobia and phonophobia. In order to diagnose migraine without aura, there must have been at least five attacks not attributable to another cause that fulfill the following criteria:
1. Headache attacks lasting 4-72 hours when untreated
2. At least two of the following characteristics: Unilateral location Pulsating quality Moderate or severe pain intensity Aggravation by or causing avoidance of routine physical activity
3. During the headache there must be at least one of the following associated symptom clusters: Nausea and/or vomiting Photophobia and phonophobia Where these criteria are not fully met, the problem may be classified as "probable migraine without aura" but other diagnoses such as "episodic tension type headache" must also be excluded.

Part Tres

Migraine with aura
This is the second most commonly seen form of migraine: patients who primarily suffer from migraine with aura may also have attacks of migraine without aura. According to the International Classification of Headache Disorders it is a recurrent disorder manifesting in attacks of reversible focal neurological symptoms that usually develop gradually over 5-20 minutes and last for less than 60 minutes. Headache with the features of "migraine without aura" usually follows the aura symptoms. Less commonly, the aura may occur without a subsequent headache or the headache may be non-migrainous in type.In order to diagnose migraine with aura, there must have been at least two attacks not attributable to another cause that fulfill the following criteria:
1. Aura consisting of at least one of the following, but no muscle weakness or paralysis:Fully reversible visual symptoms (e.g. flickering lights, spots, lines, loss of vision)Fully reversible sensory symptoms (e.g. pins and needles, numbness)Fully reversible dysphasia (speech disturbance)
2. Aura has at least two of the following characteristics:Visual symptoms affecting just one side of the field of vision and/or sensory symptoms affecting just one side of the bodyAt least one aura symptom develops gradually over more than 5 minutes and/or different aura symptoms occur one after the other over more than 5 minutesEach symptom lasts from 5-60 minutes. Where these criteria are not fully met, a diagnosis of "probable migraine with aura" may be considered, although other neurological causes must also be excluded. If the picture complies with the criteria but includes one-sided muscular weakness or paralysis, a diagnosis of "sporadic hemiplegic migraine" or "familial hemiplegic migraine" should be considered.[edit] Basilar type migraineBasilar type migraine (BTM), formerly known as basilar artery migraine (BAM) or basilar migraine (BM), is an uncommon type of complicated migraine with symptoms that result from brainstem dysfunction. Serious episodes of BTM can lead to stroke, coma, or even death. The use of triptans and other vasoconstrictors as abortive treatments in BTM is contraindicated. Abortive treatments for BTM often focus on vasodilation and restoration of normal blood flow to the vertebrobasilar territory and subsequent return of normal brainstem function.[edit]

Familial hemiplegic migraine
Familial hemiplegic migraine 'FHM' is a type of migraine with a possible polygenetic component. These migraine attacks may last 4-72 hours and are apparently caused by ion channel mutations, three types of which have been identified to date. Patients who experience this syndrome have relatively typical migraine headaches preceded and/or accompanied by reversible limb weakness on one side as well as visual, sensory or speech difficulties. A non-familial form exists as well, "sporadic hemiplegic migraine" (SHM). It is often difficult to make the diagnosis between basilar-type migraine and hemiplegic migraine. When making the differential diagnosis is difficult, the deciding symptom is often the motor weakness or unilateral paralysis which can occur in FHM or SHM. While basilar-type migraine can present with tingling or numbness, true motor weakness and/or paralysis occur only in hemiplegic migraine.

Abdominal migraine
According to the International Classification of Headache Disorders abdominal migraine is a recurrent disorder of unknown origin which occurs mainly in children. It is characterised by episodes of moderate to severe central abdominal pain lasting 1-72 hours. There is usually associated nausea and vomiting but the child is entirely well between attacks.
In order to diagnose abdominal migraine, there must be at least five attacks, not attributable to another cause, fulfilling the following criteria:
1. Attacks lasting 1-72 hours when untreated
2. Pain must have ALL of the following characteristics:Location in the midline, around the umbilicus or poorly localisedDull or 'just sore' qualityModerate or severe intensity
3. During an attack there must be at least two of the following:Loss of appetiteNauseaVomitingPallorMost children with abdominal migraine will develop migraine headache later in life and the two may co-exist during adolescence.

Acephalgic migraine
Acephalgic migraine is a neurological syndrome. It is a variant of migraine in which the patient may experience aura symptoms such as scintillating scotoma, nausea, photophobia, hemiparesis and other migraine symptoms but does not experience headache. Acephalgic migraine is also referred to as amigrainous migraine, ocular migraine, or optical migraine.Sufferers of acephalgic migraine are more likely than the general population to develop classical migraine with headache.The prevention and treatment of acephalgic migraine is broadly the same as for classical migraine. However, because of the absence of "headache", diagnosis of acephalgic migraine is apt to be significantly delayed and the risk of misdiagnosis significantly increased.Visual snow might be a form of acephalgic migraine.If symptoms are primarily visual, it may be necessary to consult an ophthalmologist to rule out potential eye disease before considering this diagnosis.

Menstrual migraine
Menstrual migraine is distinct from other migraines. Approximately 21 million women in the US suffer from migraines, and about 60% of them suffer from menstrual migraines.There are two types of menstrual migraine – Menstrually Related Migraine (MRM) and Pure Menstrual Migraine (PMM)MRM is a headache of moderate-to-severe pain intensity that happens around the time of a woman’s period and at other times of the month as well.PMM is similar in every respect but only occurs around the time of a woman’s period.The exact causes of menstrual migraine are uncertain but evidence suggest there may be a link between menstruation and migraine due to the drop in estrogen levels that normally occurs right before the period starts.Menstrual migraine has been reported to be more likely to occur during a five-day window, from two days before to two days after menstruation.When compared with migraines that occur at other times of the month, menstrual migraines have been reported toLast longer—up to 72 hoursBe more severeOccur more often with nausea and vomitingBe more difficult to treat—occur more frequently

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Rain Rain Rain ....YEAH!

It has been raining for 3 days and I love it! It is so dry in Southern California that any rain feels like a good cleaning. They said it was going to be flooding but all I have seen is some damp roadways. Granted we have had some moments of downpour but it is nothing like what Nothern California receives.

On that note....I am on way up to Northern California for a business trip. These are usually somewhat stale as you usually are spoken at versus spoken to. I am sure we will have some type of motivational speaker but for the most part it will be sitting and schmoozing. The hardest part is just being away from home. The nice part is one of my girlfriends is having a baby shower on the Saturday I will be up there so I will get to go.

I am committed to get my stress level down. Having my boob examined on Tuesday for cancer (aka a lump) does not assist in this, but I suppose it needs to be completed. Anywho, I am committed to decreasing my stress and thus I have scheduled a day off next month so I can go to a spa all day. YEAH BABY! YEAH! When I get back from my trip I will reintroduce yoga to my destressing repetoir. I am determined to lose this muffin I have acquired just above my hips.

As for my headaches....they remain under contol. This whole plan to stop my periods seems to be having a bigger effect on my breasts (they hurt from the extra hormones). I am not sure when my normal period is supposed to happen (I think it is in 2 weeks). My fingers remained crossed that I will skip a migraine with my period.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008're here?

Wow....I am always surprised when the new year is here. I am always shocked at how quickly the year has flown by and reminded that when I was a child how slowly time seemed to move. I wonder if this is an effect of being a child and can't wait for time to speed up but when you're an adult you are trying to slow time down. As an adult you need more time....more time to get your job done and more time for yourself.

Sometimes I wonder if we had more of a European sense of time and quality of life, would we better off? When you walk the streets of Paris you have the distinct sense that their jobs do not consume them, stress them or dictate their lives. Certainly they are present when they are working and take their jobs seriously, but it is not what defines them. The whole country recently when on strike because their President was trying to lengthen the work day.

This is my hope for the new year....that my fight against the migraine will win, that my job will cease to be so consuming, that I will gain some direction, and that I will keep my promise to myself to lose weight. If you can't keep your promises to yourself, who can you trust?

My migraine this last month was not as bad as it normally is. The botox is still working. So, in that sense....I am winning. 2008 is going to be a great year!