Feeling Grateful

I am feeling especially grateful today. Over the past few weeks, many readers have contacted me to tell me how much my book (Finding Happiness with Migraines: A Do-It-Yourself Guide) has improved their lives – both physically and mentally. They’re sleeping better, feeling less pain, and (most importantly, in my opinion) experiencing renewed hope and optimism about life.

Hearing their stories – your stories, in some cases – fills me with gratitude and love.

I am grateful to know we aren’t alone; no matter what our lives with migraine may be like, someone somewhere knows what we are experiencing. I am grateful that the Internet enables us to find that someone. And, I am grateful that in my own small way I have been able to reach out into the world and be that someone for other migraineurs.

I am truly so, so grateful to be of service, to be able to help.

Life with migraines isn’t easy, but having the support of my readers and being able to provide support in return makes it just a little easier. And, most days, that is more than enough.

 

If you haven’t checked out my book, it’s available for $2.99 as an e-book from Amazon and Barnes and Noble and as a PDF from my publisher. Reviews from readers can be found here and here, as well as on Goodreads, Amazon.com, and BN.com.

 

Early Second Trimester Migraines

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about chronic migraines and pregnancy in which I expressed my hopes that my migraines would get better as I entered the second trimester. So far, those hopes have not been realized. In fact, my migraines have been worse in the past two weeks than over the past two months combined. And, it seems I’m not alone.

Many of the pregnant women on the Whattoexpect.com forums who are (like me) due in October report suffering from debilitating migraines. Often reported statistics indicate that 50 to 90% of women with migraines experience an improvement in their migraine frequency and pain levels during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Apparently, neither I nor the other women in my forum group are included in this majority.

I have not had the chance to ask the other women who are reporting problems if they suffer from migraine with or without aura. Evidence seems to suggest that women without aura tend to do better in pregnancy than women with aura. Based on this findings, I (a chronic migraineur with aura) had expected to see little to no improvement in my condition over the course of my pregnancy. But, of course, that didn’t keep me from hoping.

Now that I’m in the fourth month of pregnancy and the early part of my second trimester, that hope is starting to wane.

Known as the “planning trimester,” months four through six are supposed to be the best months of pregnancy. The months in which you have the most energy and can really prepare for the baby’s arrival. The months in which you finish up any outstanding projects (like the book I’m supposed to be writing and the thesis that’s due in just a few weeks). The second trimester is when you’re supposed to do all the prepping and planning that you were too sick to do in the first trimester and that you’ll be too tired and too big to do in the third.

While I have managed to put together our baby registry and figure out what baby proofing items we need to buy from my bed, I certainly don’t feel up to finishing my projects, renewing my exercise routine, or preparing a nursery. (Heck, I can’t even clean my bathroom, despite that fact that every venture beyond the bathroom door leaves me in a slight state of disgust.) In short, I’m so tired and suffering from so much pain that most days all I want to do is bang my head against the wall, sleep, and cry.

To the other women out there who are suffering from the same thing: my heart goes out to you. Hopefully, better weeks and months are yet to come. For now, I’ll be crossing my fingers and hoping that the energy boost I’ve been promised will come by month five at the latest.

Summer Heat and Migraine Woes

With record-breaking highs recorded in Austin this month (well over 105 degrees F), my migraine attacks have been unrelenting. Heat always exacerbates my condition, but this month has seen a long line of afternoons in which I have been able to do little but curl on the couch with the lights off and the A.C. on.

Unfortunately, while heat is a common enough trigger for migraineurs, there isn’t much we can do to control it. I do my best to stay indoors whenever the temperature exceeds 100 degrees, but it doesn’t seem to help. It’s almost as if my head is aware of how hot it is outside, even if I’m basking in a temperature-controlled room of 70 – 75 degrees.

And, it looks like I’m not alone. Emergency room physicians report that the number of migraineurs seeking treatment in the ER increases when it’s hot, though they’re not quite sure why. And, in Boston, researchers have discovered a 7.5 percent increase in the chance of an attack with every nine-degree increase in temperature.

Some experts have suggested the real culprit is dehydration, but I think I drink plenty of water. Bright sunlight can also be a trigger, so I do my best to wear sunglasses and a hat every time I leave the house. Again, nothing seems to help. So, for now, I’ll resign myself to hanging out inside – a bottle of pain pills to my right and an ice pack to my left – as I eagerly await the cooler days of late October.

How about you? Do you experience more migraine attacks or higher levels of pain when it’s hot? How do you cope?

New Additions to the Blog Roll

As some of my longer-term readers may have noted, I took a lengthy break from blogging a couple of years ago. Dealing with chronic pain can be exceptionally disheartening, especially when you’re talking about it, writing about it, and keeping a journal cataloging it on a regular basis. So, I quit.

I stopped talking, stopped blogging, and definitely stopped keeping my migraine journal. Trouble was my can’t-I-just-pretend-this-excruciating-daily-pain-doesn’t-exist mindset was a dressed up version of denial. Once I came to terms with this fact, I started blogging again.

Naturally, many of my fellow migraineurs also stopped blogging during that time. And, since then, new (and wonderful) blogs have popped up. So, today’s post is a shout-out to the new (and old) blogs I managed to find this week after joining the ChronicBabe Forum.

Newly added to the blogroll:

Redefining “Good:” Learning to live with chronic pain and illness gracefully

Somebody Heal Me

Graceful Agony: Living your best life in spite of having chronic pain

Migrainista

Overflowing Brain

That’s all for now, but I’m always on the lookout for insightful, informative, and inspirational blogs. Does anyone have a favorite blog that isn’t listed? Please share!