Like clockwork my migraine arrived within the predicted timescale, which is every month between 18th – 22nd. It started around midnight but as I was half asleep and I didn’t twig, I just thought maybe it isn’t as the pain wasn’t intense it just felt like my sinuses had become a bit stuffy. However by 2am it was clear with every passing minute the pain was becoming more intense. I panicked a bit thinking I may have missed my window of opportunity with the sumatriptan.
I am so thankful that I put my migraine grab bag together, it sits on a shelf beside the bed with all my medications. Inside is a bottle of water, a pint sized plastic cup, soluble paracetamol, soluble aspirin, buccastem and sumatriptan. Having it all in one place means I don’t have to fumble around trying to find various medications. It is all in one place, plonk the soluble tablets in the cup, tip in the water and then take them and the sumatriptan. Then shove the buccastem between my gum and my top lip. Turn off the bedroom light and go back to sleep.
Migraine grab bag
Previously I would take the medication I had, then spend the next couple of hours trying in vain not to vomit them all back up. By 4.30am my migraine had subsided to just a headache and I was up chatting to Jay, having a cup of sugary tea as my sugar cravings and crazy hunger kick in straight after a migraine subsides and vomiting is no longer on the cards. I did go back to bed at around 5.30am and slept a few more hours.
I really didn’t feel well all day, quite spaced out and didn’t quite suss out that with all the drama of having a migraine I had forgotten to take my morning medications. I was quite lucky in the withdrawal symptoms weren’t that bad I just felt unwell.
The protocol I have been following with the supplements says that you won’t notice any change in your migraines ( severity or frequency ) until you have been taking them for a period of at least 3 months. So I was expecting to have a migraine this month. I had felt the warning side of a cranky bad mood ( to me it feels like bad PMT and feeling and getting angry with inanimate objects) the day before which seems to be the only warning sign that I get. It always seems to be the day before that this strange mood hits where nothing is right and everything is conspiring against me. I have identified this now with the last two migraines now that I am tracking them with more detail. There is no food trigger as my diet is pretty similar each day to the next. With it always being within that date range I would say that it was more than likely hormone based. Despite the fact since coming off the pill in December 2019 there has been zero sign of any menses.
My migraine tracker
As usual my memory of Saturday is pretty hazy other than the fact I was ravenously hungry all day and extremely tired. I remember Sunday which is better than normal, as usually I lose a few days worth of detailed memory. Sunday I still didn’t feel 100% and managed to pass out whilst trying to get on the floor due to feeling like I was going to faint. Resulting in a bruised bum and a Labrador sitting on me refusing to allow me to get up again until he believed it was safe for me to do so. The signal that it is safe, is Dembe going and getting me a toy from his toy box and wanting to play. Until then he will prevent me from even sitting up but sitting on my arm or throwing himself across my chest. This isn’t something we have trained him to do but something he does instinctively and I am incredibly proud of our boy.
It is fantastic news that the sumatriptan is working so well for me and it has taken away some of the fear that had been surrounding the next migraine attack after the one in May been just so bloody awful. I am noticing with the magnesium supplement that I am sleeping an awful lot better, which is great as for the first time in years I am not spending hours awake in the middle of the night. So it is positive news on multiple fronts for a change.
After last weeks post Spondylolisthesis my back improved massively. Just yesterday I was considering dropping taking the naproxen as it hadn’t caused me any issues at all for a number of days, then I woke up this morning and bang the pain was back.
I have pushed through as much as I can today but I had to give up at 14.30 and take some diazepam. The muscles of my backside are really tight and sore. When they are like this it is a symptom of the Spondylolisthesis, it aches down the back of both my thighs and no position is comfortable. Standing feels like someone is kicking me in the arse, sitting makes my buttocks ache and I get severe pain in my coccyx. If I could lie down knowing that by doing so I wouldn’t be woken up at 2am by my back throwing a tantrum I would. So at the moment my only relief is by having a hot water bottle applied to my back ( far too hot ) and regular changes in position which makes doing anything difficult because those changes need to be made every ten minutes or so.
If I knew why my back had kicked off so much today I would be happier, I didn’t use my sewing or embroidery machines at all yesterday. We had a relatively lazy day but even in that we were moving around and I certainly wasn’t static for hours at a time. Which I know does cause me issues, so I am at a loss. I have avoided all the things I am supposed to like lifting – can’t do that anyway, staying static for too long. All I can think is that I have turned weirdly in my sleep and hyper-extended my spine and it is letting me know today that it didn’t like it.
I have always found wherever possible distraction is the best possible thing to combat pain but some pain is just so strong that no amount of distraction can stop those nerve signals being acknowledged by your brain. That is why I like sewing / embroidery / crochet as it means I can distract myself most of the time but today it hasn’t mattered what I have done those pain signals are just getting stronger and stronger. I am very glad that we now have a dog walker who takes Dembe out for an hour when Jay is on a late night as it means Dembe settles very quickly in the evening and I will be able to go to bed and attempt to get comfortable relatively early on tonight. Rather than Dembe needing mental stimulation for 90 minutes or so, to tire him out and get him to wind down for the day.
Much of the last few days has also been spent on high alert as from now until the 23rd (ish) I am on migraine watch. This week of the month is usually when it strikes. Yesterday ( Tuesday) I was convinced it was going to be today as I was starving hungry all day with nothing satisfying me. I am still trying to work out what the signals are that I am going to end up having a migraine but there is nothing I can say is 100% concrete that is a definite clue that it is going to happen. I have noticed mood changes the day before, hunger and sometimes the evening before my vision goes a bit weird. However it doesn’t happen on each one, which means sometimes these things happen, I get frightened because they have been so bad and then nothing. Which is exactly what happened last night.
I am a few weeks into the Migraine Clinic protocol and they advise that you really need to have been doing it for around 3 months before you can say if it has had any effect on your migraines. You can find the protocol HERE. So it is too early to say at the moment, also I have been known to skip a months migraine and have it two weeks later so a cycle of 6 weeks rather than 4 weekly. That is the major issue I won’t know when the next one is coming. I have worked out that dehydration is a trigger but it is a rare trigger as due to my excessive thirst I do tend to drink much more than the average person. The day in question when I did suffer a migraine it followed a day where I had been drinking alcohol from around 2pm in the afternoon (Cider at 4% so not the hard stuff). Because I didn’t have any additional fluids I am pretty sure that is what triggered that one and I had to use my emergency meds. I was very grateful that I did have my grab bag made and everything in one place as it meant I could take the meds and get my head down.
I have been religiously taking my supplements and even managing to remember to take the midday dose of the one I have to take three times a day. A new alarm on my phone helps me remember!
As sitting is literally a massive pain in the butt and I am having to type this sitting down I am going to wrap this up now. Plus I took half a diazepam about an hour ago and that starts messing with concentration levels. Plus I want to tidy up a bit before Dembe gets back from his yomp on the common!