Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

More Stupider

I'm on my third Migraine this week.

A couple weeks ago, I suffered the worst Migraine of my life that lasted for three days and after which, my left eyelid drooped for several days.

That freaked me the flock out.

Did you know that more people die from Migraine related stroke than from handgun violence?

My doctor ordered an MRI and referred me to a neurologist. She also prescribed Topamax. But Topamax can take up to 4 months to reach maximum effectiveness because you have to start at a low dose and build to a therapeutic level.

In the meantime, the migraines are increasing in frequency, though they do seem a smidge less severe. I still have to take to my bed more often than not, but at least I haven't been puking my guts out.

We have CRAPPY insurance. Husband works for a small local company that the owner recently bought back from Big Corporate Conglomerate. He is tryiing to cut costs wherever possible and that means high premiums, copays and deductibles.

It's going to cost $1100 out of pocket for me to have the MRI, so it will have to wait until after the first of the year. I don't know about you, but we don't happen to have $1100 lying around this time of year.

I'm honestly at my wit's end.

My life is being lived at the mercy of migraines. Diminutive One has a school project that was due Friday, and I had to ask his teacher to extend the due date for him because I've been too sick to help him with it.

My oldest son sometimes has to get himself off to school because I am in so much pain that I go back to bed as soon as Diminutive One gets on the bus. He is old enough and perfectly capable, of course, but it still fills me with guilt.

I've had migraines all my life, and I've always prided myself on that fact that I have not let them interfere with my parenting. I have gone to baseball games, school functions, doctors appointments and playdates with Migraines.

But I can't do that anymore. I can't push through the pain like I used to. My coping mechanisms don't seem to be as effective as they once were. Is it age? I don't know.

Which is why I've started researching different drug therapies after years of not using anything. I've already been through quite a few that were either ineffective, or that produced unbearable side effects.

I think the Topamax is working. As I said, though the Migraines have increased in frequency (which I don't believe is related to the medication) they are less severe, and, I think, shorter in duration. I think that trend will continue as my dosage increases.

But..here's the rub...Topamax causes aphasia. It's not pronounced, but it is there. And for someone like me, it's maddening.

At first, I thought I was imagining it, because I'm kind of paranoid about taking drugs and all their various side effects. But Husband has noticed it, my kids have noticed it, friends have noticed it, and my sister noticed it during a phone conversation the other day.

So I either let Migraines rule my life and that of my family, or I take medicine that robs me of my one true pride...words.

I started out at 25mg of Topamax and am currently taking 50mg. The goal is to build to 200mg. I can't imagine what a blithering idiot I will be at that dosage.

Perhaps I will have to change the name of my blog to "Blog Is Stupid and Getting More Stupid Every Day".

Anyway...if you've been wondering about my lack of substantive content lately...that's the reason. Between the chaos of Christmas and the Migraines and the medicine...it's all I can do to remember my own name.

Bear with me.

43 Comments:

  • At 7:05 PM, Blogger Mary Alice said…

    Do you drink Diet Coke? When I quit drinking that, my migraines dissapeared too. Coincidence? I dunno, but worth a try.

     
  • At 7:07 PM, Blogger Mary Alice said…

    I mean.. disappeared.. misspellings make my eye twitch!

     
  • At 7:13 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    yet another thing we have in common. I am on topamax as well, but an incredibly low dose as the higher dosage made me have eye flutters and I thought I was having some kind of seizure disorder. It was creepy. But the low dosage is working well for me and I don't have aphasia.

    Have they given you the trigger foods list?

     
  • At 7:20 PM, Blogger Veronica Mitchell said…

    I hope you find the right treatment or dose and feel better soon.

    Migraines can be brought on by hormone changes, so it could be related to the change in cycle you wrote about earlier.

     
  • At 7:28 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    Yuck ~ sorry to hear about this BA. Wish I had some words of wisdom to add but my headaches ~ though relatively frequent, do not frequently turn into migraines.
    Hope the Topamax starts to work very soon!

     
  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Mary Alice: I avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague because it's a huge trigger for me. I thoroughly dislike diet soda so it's not too difficult, thank goodness!

    Flutter: I don't seem to have too many dietary triggers. Mine seem to be primarly hormonal and environmental. Weather changes are a big one for me.

    Veronica: I think you're right, and so does my doctor. I had about 100 vials of blood drawn at my last visit to test many things, among them, hormone levels. If there is an imbalance, we may consider some hormone therapy, but that really scares me due to the risk of breast cancer.

     
  • At 7:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, I feel for you...I, too, have been through countless therapies, medications, MRIs, and more than my share of days in bed. The topamax made a great difference for me and, as my dr says, put my migraines in remission. I took 200mg a day for several years, and the side effects get better. I had tingling of the lips and hands as well as pretty severe "tip of my tongue" syndrome - the word was on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't find it. After I had been in remission for several years, the dr cut me back slowly until I was completely weaned off the meds. That was 4 years ago, and I have about 1 migraine every six month. They are much less severe, and usually only have me bed bound for 1/2 a day. Good luck to you -- I know everyone's migraines are different, but I wish you quick healing!

     
  • At 8:06 PM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    oh, hon. i'm so sorry. that sounds really frightening.

    i hope the topamax ends up working without the aphasia becoming more than a minor annoyance.

     
  • At 8:56 PM, Blogger we_be_toys said…

    Girl, migraines suck! I haven't had one in about 16 years, thank god, but I feel for you (insert sympathetic whine here).
    I'm glad to hear you don't mess around with the aspartame/artificial sweeteners - it was something I was going to ask.
    I'm hoping the Topamax will help you out - so far, you still sound pretty articulate to me!!
    PS loved the hats and mittens hoarding you mentioned in the last post - kids!!!

     
  • At 9:07 PM, Blogger Kathy said…

    I feel ya'. I, too, pride myself on the fact that I haven't had to take anything stronger than an over-the-counter aspirin/caffeine combo. I might have to some day, but mine have been fairly mild so far. Avoiding the triggers helps, but unfortunately, a lot of people like to douse themselves in perfume, which is a huge trigger. So is bright light. Living as a scent-free vampire probably is not an option.

    It's odd that aphasia is one of the side effects of Topamax. I tend to have trouble with words during a Migraine.

     
  • At 9:31 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    I have nothing sage to say except that I"m sorry that you are going through so much pain and I hope you find relief soon!

     
  • At 10:08 PM, Blogger Mamma said…

    I am so sorry. That droopy eyelid must have been so scary. I'm going to worry about you now. It probably won't make you feel any better, but worrying is what I'm good at. And since you don't live nearby for me to help out with the kids, I'm guessing it's all I can do for now.

    Hang in there friend.

     
  • At 10:17 PM, Blogger JaniceNW said…

    Dear B.A.~please don't put the MRI off too long. A droopy eyelid makes me think of TIA's which I'll pray you do not have. I get migraines, but my peak years were during pregnancy(first 16 weeks), nursing(and my period which comes back when babies are 3 months even when nursing 24/7). I found Zomig to be helpful because it took away my sensitivity to light and noise and nausea. The pain isn't so bad when those side effects aren't there. Mine tend to be stress related and sometimes to humidity in warmer weather. I'll pray for you and am sending good wishes.

     
  • At 10:24 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Thanks all for your kind thoughts and your concern.

    Mama, worrying is what I do best too. :?)

    Janice, I have one scheduled for January 8th, so don't worry. It freaked me out enough that I'm not going to put it off any longer than I have to.

     
  • At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Kvetch said…

    B.A. -- keep us posted. We will read whatever words you write. We will read in between them, under them and over them if we have to. I get migranes as well but not chronically. A few doozies a year. My last one lasted 3 days and I felt the effects for a week. It was brought on by a lack of sleep although sleep did not cure it. I feel your pain, quite literally.

    And, on another note, the blog is looking quite spiffy!

    xo

    Amy aka Kvetch
    www.orthoticcontessa.com

     
  • At 11:02 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    Wow. I'm amazed you can write at all given what you're going through.

    I know many people suggested this to me during my darkest periods of sickness - acupuncture. Apparently it's good for everything that could possibly ail you.

    Wishing you a clear, and painless, head.

     
  • At 11:03 PM, Blogger J. Denae said…

    Be careful with Topamax. My Dr. uses it and loves it, but by the time I got to the 100mg dose I was suicidal... and not the depresed "my life is over" suicidal, but cheerfully and logically suicidal. As in, Hmmm, suicide sounds like a good idea. Maybe I'll do that instead of watching tv. That kind of reaction is VERY RARE and I hope that Topamax works for you, but it's something to watch for!!

     
  • At 11:27 PM, Blogger Mom101 said…

    Oh, shoot BA. No advice, just sympathy. I get optic migraines which is nothing like what you're dealing with and even that is crushing. I hope you find something that works for you.

     
  • At 11:35 PM, Blogger margalit said…

    Topamax has always been one of those drugs that scared me. I can't say exactly why, but the tics, the aphasia, and the long lag time don't seem worth it to me. But imitrex is even scarier... especially to those with heart issues. No way I'll ever take either for my migraines.

    But I have to mention this, even though I think it's a TOTAL fluke. I had a horrible migraine about a week ago and I was totally incapacitated...dark room, ice pack on my eyes, the whole bit. When I was in our bathroom I noticed that something my daughter bought came with a little sample of 10 Excedrine for migraines. I took two and it worked like magic. The damn headache was gone!

    NOTHING has ever worked for me before, so this was nothing short of miraculous.

    I hope you get some relief. It's so bad to have such bad headaches that you literally can't function.

    Oh, and btw. Your blog is snowing!

     
  • At 12:12 AM, Blogger Carol said…

    OUCH!! I feel for you! I can only imagine...! I'm a complete wimp, even with a run-of-the-mill headache!

    Hang in there!

    Oh, and I love the new look!

    Carol

     
  • At 12:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Our son had migraines his whole life, out of desperation we went to a chiropractor, and he found a deformed vertebra in his neck. He taught him exercises to strengthen his neck muscles to compensate and he seldom has a headache - maybe 1 or 2 a year - mostly when he get lazy about his exercises. I hope you can find your 'cure'. I'm so sorry for your suffer.

     
  • At 12:36 AM, Blogger jen said…

    oh honey.

    i used to have them weekly. after oodles of psychotherapy and a bit of voodoo (email me if you are interested in hearing more) they went away. and thank god. i so feel for you.

     
  • At 1:00 AM, Blogger Cathy said…

    Oh, I' hope they're able to figure out some sort of therapy to give you relief.

    I've had vicious headaches ever since the blasted mono struck in June. Not sure if they're tension or migraine -- chills, nausea, but sometimes the pain starts from the front of my head, like a pencil being shoved up thorugh my nose and into my eye and sometimes it's just along the base of my skull.

    I've tried Imitrex, which does kick, but it makes me feel weird, so I try not to take it too often.

    Mine seemed to be related to my menstrual cycle, with the worst ones striking either right before or during my period. Have been researching estrogen...

    Anyway, I do hope they find something that works for you. Headaches can be utter incapacitating.

     
  • At 8:57 AM, Blogger Tismee2 said…

    I sympathise with you too but as you've had them all your life I doubt we can tell you anything you don't already know or have tried.

    Mine stopped when I was pregnant, but it's a bit of a drastic cure methinks!

    I love the new page too - very festive.
    Gail

     
  • At 9:38 AM, Blogger Jenn said…

    Bearing with you.

    And hoping for the best outcome and answers.

     
  • At 10:09 AM, Blogger Chanda (aka Bea) said…

    BA - That sounds awful! I don't know if this would help or not, as I only get the killer headaches once in a while; but we_be_toys suggested to me long ago to put a wet face cloth in the freezer and let it get good and cold, almost stiff, and place on your head (or face, or back of the neck)until its not cold anymore. I don't know if it works for migrains, but even a little temporary relief might help. I hope you feel better soon!

     
  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger Mitzi Green said…

    substantive content is overrated.

     
  • At 11:43 AM, Anonymous OmegaMom said…

    My migraines were definitely tied to my cycles; now that I am menopausal, I get them once every six months or so, instead of every month.

    The caffeine might help, so give regular Coke a try, rather than diet.

    Vis-a-vis the MRI: Have you discussed setting up a payment agreement? That way, you could pay a bit now and when the new year comes, pay it off...

     
  • At 12:30 PM, Blogger sltbee69 said…

    Oh my, I can't imagine having migraines that often. I feel for you. I used to get them pretty frequently, even been to the ER twice for them, but never went on an RX. I think mine were mostly hormone related. As my hormones are what they used to be, I don't get them like I used to. I'll keep positive thoughts that you can find relief soon, without the scary RX.

     
  • At 12:31 PM, Blogger WrapAroundSam said…

    I feel not only for you but for your family. My wife went through several years of the same thing and the family suffered too. They are tough and I hope you find a cause/cure soon.

     
  • At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    I feel for you woman. I do. I take Relpax for my migraines (when I'm not pregnant), but I can't take it until the onset of a migraine, so it's reactionary, not preventative. I couldn't imagine being faced with a choice such as my words or my life participation. I still think your words are beautiful, and the introspection level hasn't seemed diminished to me on your posts. Maybe the aphasia is something that will even out as your body becomes more used to the Topomax.

    Andrea

     
  • At 2:53 PM, Blogger Mac and Cheese said…

    That's terrible. I hope you get past this soon.

     
  • At 5:23 PM, Blogger Windows Wide Open said…

    Lots of hugs and wishes for this to settle down for you soon.

    Don't worry...we'll remember your name for you and be right here when you're up to posting.

    ~~Hang in there.

     
  • At 5:59 PM, Blogger Natalie said…

    I had migraines for about 6mo around age 16 and am so thankful that they didn't stick around. What you are going through sounds scary and painful. I am sending all the best thoughts.

     
  • At 8:35 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    I'm really sorry. I've had migraines all of my life -- I had a lot of them when I was younger and they went away for a while, but came back just after I had Oliver with a vengeance. They are so debilitating. I feel so badly for you because I know exactly where you are coming from.

     
  • At 9:30 PM, Blogger Rositta said…

    I to have migraines, have had them twice a month for 44 years. I crawl into bed with gravol suppositories (gross, I know) and a couple of tyenol 3 or percocet and sleep for 12 hours. That usually works. I was given a new drug, Maxalt RPD which melts on your tongue and it worked really well. Migraine gone in about two hours,the only problem is that it can cause stroke or heart attack so my cardiologist has forbidden me to take it. That life...ciao

     
  • At 10:05 PM, Blogger jennie said…

    my husband has had all kinds of problems with migranes. he just found a new wonder of wonders that worked miracles for him - imitrix pen.

     
  • At 10:40 PM, Blogger Angela said…

    I know the pain.
    Hope you get relief soon

     
  • At 12:23 PM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    i hope this all gets better. how crappy. my MIL has severe aphasia after her stroke, and I aqlways think how hard it would be to have thoughts you can't express.

     
  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    HAdn't seen anything here about Zomig. That's the one thing that worked for my wife. Her's are definitely hormonal.

     
  • At 8:50 PM, Blogger Student of Life said…

    A couple non-prescription options that medical professionals have recommended to me:
    *Magnesium therapy (basically a supplement regimen)
    *Feverfew (herbal remedy)...this worked very well for a friend of mine, but it caused me to have a massive increase in menstrual blood flow, which, to me, was not worth the benefits

    Dr. Google could probably help you decide if you want to try either of those things, especially since you seem to have concerns about the prescription's side effects (which is always a huge concern of mine)

    Good luck.

     
  • At 5:43 PM, Blogger preTzel said…

    BA -

    Topamax will also cause kidney stones (hence the reason I was immediately taken off them from my neurologist) and it will cause tingling in the hands and feet along with the "stupid" feeling. I'm now taking a low dose of Amatriptylene (sic?) to keep the migraines at bay after suffering a horrific episode in September. I did not know that I had migraines - I thought it was menopause (early) and that the headaches (2 to 6 daily since March of '07) were caused by hormone changes and not migraines.

    September came along and they all thought I was having a stroke but my CAT and MRI came back clean so the neurologist, based on my headache diaries, says it's migraine paralysis which mimics a stroke. It can not be proven medically but it does happen.

    The Amatrip is an old Anti - D that is used now to treat migraines w/out the side effects most of the drugs give you. The only one I've noticed is the sleepiness I have from it. I have to take it 10 hours before needing to be up the next morning or I suffer from drowsiness the next day. I've been on it since October and I have noticed less drowsiness but my sleep quality and quantity is loads better than it was before. My headaches are also fewer and far between.

    One other thing, they did a test on my heart and found a PFO (Patent Foremen Ovale {sic?}) and it has been found, although data isn't all in, that most migraine sufferers have the PFO. Fixing it might fix the migraines but it also carries a high risk.

    Just throwing that out there for you. I know how hard it is to be nauseated, vomiting, and downright ill from migraines. You can find all kinds of information about it on my blog from September and October of this year.

     
  • At 1:34 PM, Blogger Mad Hatter said…

    I am so very sorry to hear this, BA. My sister had debilitating migraines for years and then one day they simply stopped. She has no idea why.

     

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