Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Unconsciously self-destructive

I may have mentioned in times past that I suffer from the occasional migraine. There have been times that I've had a cycle that I had a difficult time breaking. I've had that happen twice. The first time, I was stuck in the old basement of our office building counting the very dusty artificial flower back stock. All that dust gave me an instant migraine that lasted for about 3 1/2 weeks. That one had stabbing pain. Recently, I've been stuck in another migraine cycle. Since the very end of May, I've been suffering from low-grade migraines. As I was walking home from leaving K- off to school, I was having pain in my jaw. I discovered the cause. I had been back to clinching my teeth. Not only was I doing it at night, but I found that I was unconsciously doing that during the day.

Stress my friends.

I decided that I would dust off the ole night guard and wear it to break myself of my nighttime clinching habit. During the day, I would have to be more in tune to my unconscious actions. After a few days of wearing the night guard, I thought I had licked the problem.

The migraine haze progressed.

The humming pain at the right back of my neck has continued.

I've taken Excedrin Migraine, Advil, Tylenol, cough syrup, Advil Cold & Sinus and Claritin. Each had their own smallish effect, but nothing has licked it. Off and on for almost the past month, I've continued with the migraine hum.

I don't know why I hadn't done it earlier, but I consulted with our staff Migraine Guru on Monday. Bless her heart, Cheryl stuck around after she had clocked out to help work out an action plan. Here is our plan:

1. Increase water consumption. I've thought I was pretty good at drinking water, but after really thinking about it, I'm not taking in as much as possible. Dehydration can give a mean headache.
2. Decrease caffeine consumption. I buy pop in the cans to help me keep track of portions better. If I buy it in a 2 liter, I tend not to keep control. I was consuming 1-3 cans of soda a day. 1 will be my limit. (It was before.)
3. Change pillows. I have two pillows. One is the memory foam dip kind of pillow that I bought to keep my head a bit more aligned. When I was suffering from the migraine cycle before, I found that it didn't help that I was sleeping with two pillows that had my head tilted weird, I was breathing weird at night (with Hubs waking me) and I think that I wasn't taking in the proper amount of oxygen that my noggin required. The dippy pillow helped with that. Now I've dumped the dippy pillow for the big, lumpy, comfy pillow and I slept delightfully last night.
4. Wear my mouth guard. It is a little weird to have something latched onto my top teeth, but it is key in breaking the cycle. I wore it last night and I do believe that it helped today.
5. Consider sweet talking the massotherapist that works in our office to work on my head. Believe me, I have cash and would definitely pay her.
6. Make a rice compress. I certainly have enough fabric to quickly craft one. Heat 1 minute, then in 20 second increments. I can handle that.
7. Stretching. Cheryl has instructed that I do some upper body stretching. Most importantly, when I stretch my head from right to left, I must follow up from left to right. I haven't mirrored my stretches and that could cause issue. Seems to make sense and it has helped.
8. Meditation. I used to do meditation back in college. When I was working as an office assistant for a psychologist, I was so stressed between work and school that my hair was falling out in chunks. The one mama psychologist on staff suggested meditation and brought me things to try. It worked. Wouldn't hurt to try it again.

Changes so far? Caffeine consumption, water intake (though that needs more help), pillows changed, mouth guard worn and stretching done.

If anyone else is a fellow migraine sufferer, my apologies. Do you have any tricks that work for you that aren't on my list. Yes, they must be legal.

Smiles in my day:
- My friend Heather came to my rescue, again. K- accidentally locked us out of the house (happens every year during VBS week). My purse, keys and cell were in the house. I knocked on 3 different neighbors doors before I finally found a neighbor up, called Hubs and basically confirmed that he hadn't replaced the outside key he lost. Heather came to pick me up, took me, K- and her kids to VBS.
- My mother-in-law brought her extra house key when she picked K- up from VBS, drove us back home and made sure that I got in, got my stuff and on my way.
- Yes, the key has been replaced and I placed it on nothing mobile, unlike my husband. He considered himself fired from extra key placement after last time.

Have a great day!


ChupieandJ'smama said...

Rest, Time and Maxalt (prescription from Doc).
Hugs my friend. Feel better soon!

Rach said...

I hope all those steps you've taken will help you find relief soon.