It’s been a long ten months battling this migraine issue. The last medicine I was put on by my neurologist was for blood pressure, although I have low blood pressure. It didn’t offer any side effects or any benefits. I am trying a new medicine now on a 6 day trial. But in the meantime, I decided to go a homeopathic route and do something I’ve never done: Acupuncture.
The Mayo Clinic describes acupuncture as the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. It is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (CHEE) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.
In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. This stimulation appears to boost the activity of your body’s natural painkillers and increase blood flow.
So my first consultation/procedure is two hours. One hour the acupuncturist will take down all my medical history and information, the second hour, he will actually do the first procedure. Yikes! I don’t dread getting shots but I don’t like it either. Who does? I know the needles are tiny and thin too. I asked my neurologist about doing this and she said a lot of research shows it can be effective, some say its good effects are actually just a placebo effect (like getting better while unknowingly taking sugar pills (the “placebo”), because you believe they are making you better), however even is there is a placebo effect and I feel better, she said, “Who cares! Better is better”. I like her. She’s a smart neurologist and sensible.
It’s not cheap and I will submit it to insurance but am not sure if there will be any coverage. The first visit is $125 and follow ups are $75. If it gets me better, I’d rather spend my money on acupuncture than medicine. If I don’t have results from it, I will probably try a chiropractor next. Love, HauteAngel
October 27, 2014
Update on Chronic Migraine Battle – Part II
It’s been a month and I have had very little pain relief from cutting fake sugars and soda from my diet. However, I know it’s good for me and I’m done with it for good. I was put on a few different medicines, one of which is called Trokendi XR (Topiramate). I took 3 doses, increasing the milligrams each week for three weeks. Unfortunately, my short-term memory loss from this medicine was significant. It was very upsetting. Not only was there no help with the pain, but I was losing it and making mistakes I never would normally at work.
So my neurologist took me off of that and I’m trying something different. She also gave me a shot in the back of my neck to cause a little numbness and as she said, to “break the pain cycle”. It’s been 10 months straight of a headache, even when I lay down, which is horrible enough but explaining it to people is worse.
I think it is very easy to have compassion and empathy for a person with a chronic condition in the beginning, even in small doses as time goes on, but you begin to feel like the little girl (or boy) who cried wolf. People lose their concern for your health and start to focus more on how much a pain it is for them, or how depressing it is to always hear about a person not feeling well.
But my family and friends have been good to me and I can count on them. I just realize if I’m exhausted from the pain, they must be tired of not having the “normal me” around. I am sure tired of it too. So the shot took the edge off a tiny bit and I felt a little bit better for the first time in a long time. I even had the energy to go and help my daughter clean this past weekend. That was nice.
Hopefully, my neurologist and I can figure this out and get me back to full speed soon. I really think a chiropractor/acupuncture route might be best going forward. I am going to discuss those options with her. Love, HauteAngel
September 29, 2014
10 Steps for Dealing with Sugar Addiction
A nurse and good friend of mine gave me this helpful article, as I make my way back through the dark tunnel of getting off of sugar, AGAIN, and mostly…the agonizing journey of getting off of fake sugars forever. I need to lose the weight I’ve gained back and get back on track toward eliminating about 40 total lbs. more…plus, and most importantly, I have to get a grip on these chronic migraines that have swept my life under the rug for the last nine months. So here are the tips (Author recognition is at the end):
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine. The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar swings, causing sugar cravings to be more frequent.
- Drink water. Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you go for the sugar, have a glass of water and then wait a few minutes to see what happens. Caution: soft drinks are now America’s number one source of added sugar.
- Eat sweet vegetables and fruit. They are sweet, healthy and delicious. The more you eat, the less you’ll crave sugar.
- Use gentle sweets. Avoid chemicalized, artificial sweeteners and foods with added sugar. Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dried fruit, stevia, barley malt and agave nectar.
- Get physically active. Start with simple activities, like walking or yoga. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase. It will help balance your blood sugar levels, boost your energy, and reduce tension without medicating yourself with sugar!
- Get more sleep, rest and relaxation. When you are tired or stressed, your body will crave energy—in the form of sugar. These cravings are often a result of being sleep-deprived, going to bed late or waking up early, sometimes for months and years on end.
- Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. Eating too much can lead to cravings for sweets. So can eating too little! A good health coach will help you sort this out. Experiment. Respect your body’s individuality.
- Eliminate fat-free or low-fat packaged snack-foods. These foods contain high quantities of sugar to compensate for lack of flavor and fat, which will send you on the roller-coaster ride of sugar highs and lows.
- Experiment with spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
- Slow down and find sweetness in non-food ways! You body does not biologically need sugar, but it does long for hugs, time with friends, outside time, workouts, massages, etc. When life becomes sweet enough itself, no additives are needed!
From Get the Sugar Out: 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Sugar Out of Any Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman.
If you have any tips or helpful advice, please share. Love, HauteAngel
September 25, 2014
I have just been diagnosed with this after growing up with lots of allergies, constantly stuffed up, have had sinus surgery and had a lot of relief from that. But the last nine months, I’ve had a headache and my CAT scan showed my sinuses are clear. I assumed it was that again and it wasn’t. So I saw a Neurologist and filled out about 15 pages of forms with all my information. She met with me for three hours, which is unheard of in healthcare and I truly appreciate it and thank her for great care. So there are tons of different things we can try to get me better and the first thing she told me I have to do, to my chagrin, is stop drinking diet soda. And not because of the caffeine. Because of the “fake” sugar or aspartame. I have heard many times it’s bad for you and being that I’ve been on a very low carbohydrate diet for a couple of years now, I really indulge in diet sodas and fake sugar in coffee and tea to get “sweet” in my diet.
In a nutshell, she said these fake sugars are toxic and are even illegal in a lot of countries. Who knew? So today was my first day fake sugar-free and I will let you know how things go in this journey to headache-free wellness.