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Archive for May, 2007

The bad news is that I have an unbelievably awful ear infection. But the good news is that this is sure keeping my mind off of the migraine situation. See? It’s all about perspective.

My poor husband woke up to me sobbing in pain last night. I’m sure he thought I was in labor or something. Rather than horror at my obvious pain level, I’m certain what he felt instead was relief that it was “just” my ear. See? Perspective.

Speaking of perspective, please go give some love to Suzanne. Sometimes when I’m feeling yucky, or having contractions, or trying to figure out the logistics of caring for three tiny babies, I think of Suzanne. Every morning I wake up thankful that I have triplets and not quadruplets. Not because quadruplets are not a blessing, but because I’m not certain I could handle the trials of the pregnancy with the grace that Suzanne has. Yes, Suzanne is pregnancy with quadruplets and just had to have a cerclage performed. I know with triplets, I’m not immune to the possibility of a cerclage in my future, but I remain hopeful. Suzanne has the best possible attitude, but I also know she’s going through a very scary time. She’s almost 21 weeks, so she’s still got a few weeks that she simply must hang on to those babies and that’s very, very frightening. So if you’re feeling loveable… go give Suz some love. Because, really? It’s all about perspective.

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The bad news is that I have an unbelievably awful ear infection. But the good news is that this is sure keeping my mind off of the migraine situation. See? It's all about perspective.

My poor husband woke up to me sobbing in pain last night. I'm sure he thought I was in labor or something. Rather than horror at my obvious pain level, I'm certain what he felt instead was relief that it was "just" my ear. See? Perspective.

Speaking of perspective, please go give some love to Suzanne. Sometimes when I'm feeling yucky, or having contractions, or trying to figure out the logistics of caring for three tiny babies, I think of Suzanne. Every morning I wake up thankful that I have triplets and not quadruplets. Not because quadruplets are not a blessing, but because I'm not certain I could handle the trials of the pregnancy with the grace that Suzanne has. Yes, Suzanne is pregnancy with quadruplets and just had to have a cerclage performed. I know with triplets, I'm not immune to the possibility of a cerclage in my future, but I remain hopeful. Suzanne has the best possible attitude, but I also know she's going through a very scary time. She's almost 21 weeks, so she's still got a few weeks that she simply must hang on to those babies and that's very, very frightening. So if you're feeling loveable… go give Suz some love. Because, really? It's all about perspective.

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Quick Neurologist Update

I don’t have a lot of time because it’s almost Shabbos (the Jewish Sabbath), but I did meet with the neurologist today. He had a fair bit to say, most of which boiled down to the fact that I have limited options. He agreed that even though migraines aren’t life-threatening that the risk/benefit ratio still plays out that I need some kind of prophylactic treatment even during pregnancy. He acknowledged that my pain-relief options were limited, particularly since I’ve stopped responding to codeine (he said it’s easy to build a quick tolerance to codeine). He did not like the idea of calcium channel blockers because they don’t do me much good. He in particular said that nifedipine is a very not-good choice for migraine treatment. I didn’t ask why.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that he’s recommended I take Topomax, which surprised me, but he said that the greatest risk with Topomax is neural tube defects in the first trimester. Since the neural tube has already been formed, this is no longer a risk. He put a call into my perinatologist, and in the meantime gave me samples and a script for Topomax, but said not to take it until I’d heard from them that it was okayed by the perinatologist. If the perinatologist didn’t agree, they’d work out another option and he’d call it in for me. Much to my surprise, Dr. G said he was fine with me trying it.

Neither doctor wants me to get to a truly therapeutic dose while I’m pregnant, so the neurologist made sure to note that I’m not likely to have full relief. That’s okay. If I get 20% relief until September, I’ll be thrilled. After that, I can work on more complete relief. So I start it tonight. I took Topomax years ago with a fair bit of success (admittedly at a much higher dose). It wasn’t perfect, which is why I changed, but in retrospect, the Depakote that I switched to was somewhat better but with far more unbearable side effects. So hopefully this will at least take the edge off.

A couple random migraine notes in response to comments:

I have tried both chiropractic care and accupuncture, with little success. Accupuncture in particular was not only not useful, it left me feeling worse than I started. Chiropractic care was fine for other reasons, but had little effect on my migraines. As for the vinegar trick… I’ve heard that one before, but have never tried it, because the smell of vinegar (except balsamic) makes me very ill. I imagine in pregnancy it would be far worse!

I totally get that this is an infertility/pregnancy blog, not a migraine blog, but frankly, it’s hard to separate the migraines from everything else, because it is a constant state of my being. I have another perinatology appointment on Thursday, so maybe I’ll have more interesting things to say then. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Quick Neurologist Update

I don't have a lot of time because it's almost Shabbos (the Jewish Sabbath), but I did meet with the neurologist today. He had a fair bit to say, most of which boiled down to the fact that I have limited options. He agreed that even though migraines aren't life-threatening that the risk/benefit ratio still plays out that I need some kind of prophylactic treatment even during pregnancy. He acknowledged that my pain-relief options were limited, particularly since I've stopped responding to codeine (he said it's easy to build a quick tolerance to codeine). He did not like the idea of calcium channel blockers because they don't do me much good. He in particular said that nifedipine is a very not-good choice for migraine treatment. I didn't ask why.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that he's recommended I take Topomax, which surprised me, but he said that the greatest risk with Topomax is neural tube defects in the first trimester. Since the neural tube has already been formed, this is no longer a risk. He put a call into my perinatologist, and in the meantime gave me samples and a script for Topomax, but said not to take it until I'd heard from them that it was okayed by the perinatologist. If the perinatologist didn't agree, they'd work out another option and he'd call it in for me. Much to my surprise, Dr. G said he was fine with me trying it.

Neither doctor wants me to get to a truly therapeutic dose while I'm pregnant, so the neurologist made sure to note that I'm not likely to have full relief. That's okay. If I get 20% relief until September, I'll be thrilled. After that, I can work on more complete relief. So I start it tonight. I took Topomax years ago with a fair bit of success (admittedly at a much higher dose). It wasn't perfect, which is why I changed, but in retrospect, the Depakote that I switched to was somewhat better but with far more unbearable side effects. So hopefully this will at least take the edge off.

A couple random migraine notes in response to comments:

I have tried both chiropractic care and accupuncture, with little success. Accupuncture in particular was not only not useful, it left me feeling worse than I started. Chiropractic care was fine for other reasons, but had little effect on my migraines. As for the vinegar trick… I've heard that one before, but have never tried it, because the smell of vinegar (except balsamic) makes me very ill. I imagine in pregnancy it would be far worse!

I totally get that this is an infertility/pregnancy blog, not a migraine blog, but frankly, it's hard to separate the migraines from everything else, because it is a constant state of my being. I have another perinatology appointment on Thursday, so maybe I'll have more interesting things to say then. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Quick Neurologist Update

I don't have a lot of time because it's almost Shabbos (the Jewish Sabbath), but I did meet with the neurologist today. He had a fair bit to say, most of which boiled down to the fact that I have limited options. He agreed that even though migraines aren't life-threatening that the risk/benefit ratio still plays out that I need some kind of prophylactic treatment even during pregnancy. He acknowledged that my pain-relief options were limited, particularly since I've stopped responding to codeine (he said it's easy to build a quick tolerance to codeine). He did not like the idea of calcium channel blockers because they don't do me much good. He in particular said that nifedipine is a very not-good choice for migraine treatment. I didn't ask why.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that he's recommended I take Topomax, which surprised me, but he said that the greatest risk with Topomax is neural tube defects in the first trimester. Since the neural tube has already been formed, this is no longer a risk. He put a call into my perinatologist, and in the meantime gave me samples and a script for Topomax, but said not to take it until I'd heard from them that it was okayed by the perinatologist. If the perinatologist didn't agree, they'd work out another option and he'd call it in for me. Much to my surprise, Dr. G said he was fine with me trying it.

Neither doctor wants me to get to a truly therapeutic dose while I'm pregnant, so the neurologist made sure to note that I'm not likely to have full relief. That's okay. If I get 20% relief until September, I'll be thrilled. After that, I can work on more complete relief. So I start it tonight. I took Topomax years ago with a fair bit of success (admittedly at a much higher dose). It wasn't perfect, which is why I changed, but in retrospect, the Depakote that I switched to was somewhat better but with far more unbearable side effects. So hopefully this will at least take the edge off.

A couple random migraine notes in response to comments:

I have tried both chiropractic care and accupuncture, with little success. Accupuncture in particular was not only not useful, it left me feeling worse than I started. Chiropractic care was fine for other reasons, but had little effect on my migraines. As for the vinegar trick… I've heard that one before, but have never tried it, because the smell of vinegar (except balsamic) makes me very ill. I imagine in pregnancy it would be far worse!

I totally get that this is an infertility/pregnancy blog, not a migraine blog, but frankly, it's hard to separate the migraines from everything else, because it is a constant state of my being. I have another perinatology appointment on Thursday, so maybe I'll have more interesting things to say then. 🙂

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quickie post

I never know what to do with helpful comments that I can’t respond directly to… when I have neither an email address nor a blog link to go by. Responding within the comments seems a bit useless, since blogger doesn’t do threaded comments… and since I assume people aren’t eagerly checking back in my comments to see if I’ve responded. This is why I do a lot of responding directly via email. But in this case, I received a good comment from Crystal that I’d like to respond to, so I’ll do it here. She wrote:

I haven’t read back in your archives yet, but I wanted to offer some suggestions on treating your migraines and nausea. Hopefully I’m not suggesting something you’ve tried already! I recently got desperate for a natural migraine treatment because I am breastfeeding. I found a tip on kellymom.com about snorting a few grains of cayenne pepper. Like I said, I was desperate and I figured it couldn’t hurt. So I tried it and it actually helped! It left me with a dull headache, which was a whole lot better than a migraine!

A friend of mine recently got some wrist bands (called Sea Bands, I believe) that have a small ball that touches a pressure point to help with nausea. Up until she bought the bands, she had tried every other natural remedy and was still puking. So, that is something you could try. It can’t hurt!

Kellymom, as usual, is right on with the suggestion to snort a few grains of cayenne pepper. The capsaicin dilates blood vessels. Since migraines are a vascular headache, this makes a lot of sense. In fact, one of the major migraine studies underway right now involves capsaicin treatment in nasal spray form. Frankly, I don’t think it’s necessary to run a study about this, as there are already capsaicin nasal sprays out there that work for a lot of people. See, for example, http://www.sinusbuster.us/products_hf.html One of their products is a nasal spray for headaches that includes capsaicin, peppermint oil, and feverfew. Peppermit oil also dilates the blood vessels and feverfew is a pretty popular herbal remedy for migraines (though I never found that it helped me). The problem for me, however, is that both capsaicin and peppermint are serious migraine triggers for me. And while it’s known that the sinus buster product can actually exacerbate migraines for a few days but is supposed to improve over time, I find that it just causes me more intense migaines. I’m just lucky.

I’ve been getting migraines for almost thirty years (I’m 31 now). I am never, ever opposed to people suggesting remedies, even if I’ve tried them before, because some of the things that HAVE worked for me in the past have come from people who have said, “I’m sure you’ve already tried this and I’m sure you’re tired of suggestions, but XYZ worked for my buddy.” A lot of things work for me for a short time and then cease working. Other things work, but the side effects prove too great. Some things don’t work the first time I try it, but work years later. So bring on the migraine suggestions. Yes, odds are good that I’ve tried it, but you never know.

As for the Sea Bands, that’s a good suggestion. In fact, I’ve gotten them for other pregnant friends before, but haven’t actually tried them myself this time. I get a bit weird about my nausea, because I KNOW it could be worse and hey… most pregnant women get nausea, so it’s normal, right? And Zofran really does work, it’s just that when I first wake up in the morning, the Zofran from the day before has worn off. The advantage to the wrist bands, of course, is that I could wear them overnight. See? Folks in the blogosphere are quite smart. 🙂

In other news, my Friday of migraine-free-ness did not result in a migraine-free Saturday, but I was better equipped to cope with it having had a day to recover a bit from the relentless pain I’d been in all week. I’m not greedy. I’ll take one good day. It still gives me hope that I’ll have more to come. And whatever it takes to get these babies to September… if it means a few more months of relentless migraines, I’ll do it. Once they’re born, I’ll have more options for prophylactic treatment, so my real focus is on getting to September. (That being said, I’m still talking to the neurologist on Friday to see what options I’ve got right now).

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quickie post

I never know what to do with helpful comments that I can't respond directly to… when I have neither an email address nor a blog link to go by. Responding within the comments seems a bit useless, since blogger doesn't do threaded comments… and since I assume people aren't eagerly checking back in my comments to see if I've responded. This is why I do a lot of responding directly via email. But in this case, I received a good comment from Crystal that I'd like to respond to, so I'll do it here. She wrote:

I haven't read back in your archives yet, but I wanted to offer some suggestions on treating your migraines and nausea. Hopefully I'm not suggesting something you've tried already! I recently got desperate for a natural migraine treatment because I am breastfeeding. I found a tip on kellymom.com about snorting a few grains of cayenne pepper. Like I said, I was desperate and I figured it couldn't hurt. So I tried it and it actually helped! It left me with a dull headache, which was a whole lot better than a migraine!

A friend of mine recently got some wrist bands (called Sea Bands, I believe) that have a small ball that touches a pressure point to help with nausea. Up until she bought the bands, she had tried every other natural remedy and was still puking. So, that is something you could try. It can't hurt!

Kellymom, as usual, is right on with the suggestion to snort a few grains of cayenne pepper. The capsaicin dilates blood vessels. Since migraines are a vascular headache, this makes a lot of sense. In fact, one of the major migraine studies underway right now involves capsaicin treatment in nasal spray form. Frankly, I don't think it's necessary to run a study about this, as there are already capsaicin nasal sprays out there that work for a lot of people. See, for example, http://www.sinusbuster.us/products_hf.html One of their products is a nasal spray for headaches that includes capsaicin, peppermint oil, and feverfew. Peppermit oil also dilates the blood vessels and feverfew is a pretty popular herbal remedy for migraines (though I never found that it helped me). The problem for me, however, is that both capsaicin and peppermint are serious migraine triggers for me. And while it's known that the sinus buster product can actually exacerbate migraines for a few days but is supposed to improve over time, I find that it just causes me more intense migaines. I'm just lucky.

I've been getting migraines for almost thirty years (I'm 31 now). I am never, ever opposed to people suggesting remedies, even if I've tried them before, because some of the things that HAVE worked for me in the past have come from people who have said, "I'm sure you've already tried this and I'm sure you're tired of suggestions, but XYZ worked for my buddy." A lot of things work for me for a short time and then cease working. Other things work, but the side effects prove too great. Some things don't work the first time I try it, but work years later. So bring on the migraine suggestions. Yes, odds are good that I've tried it, but you never know.

As for the Sea Bands, that's a good suggestion. In fact, I've gotten them for other pregnant friends before, but haven't actually tried them myself this time. I get a bit weird about my nausea, because I KNOW it could be worse and hey… most pregnant women get nausea, so it's normal, right? And Zofran really does work, it's just that when I first wake up in the morning, the Zofran from the day before has worn off. The advantage to the wrist bands, of course, is that I could wear them overnight. See? Folks in the blogosphere are quite smart. 🙂

In other news, my Friday of migraine-free-ness did not result in a migraine-free Saturday, but I was better equipped to cope with it having had a day to recover a bit from the relentless pain I'd been in all week. I'm not greedy. I'll take one good day. It still gives me hope that I'll have more to come. And whatever it takes to get these babies to September… if it means a few more months of relentless migraines, I'll do it. Once they're born, I'll have more options for prophylactic treatment, so my real focus is on getting to September. (That being said, I'm still talking to the neurologist on Friday to see what options I've got right now).

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