taking charge of our migraines: a new year of headache and migraine blog carnivals.

they must bust in early May
Image by Kalense Kid via Flickr

I’m always walking a fine line with my migraines and their triggers. A food combo on Wednesday may be fine; the same combo on Friday can lead to a migraine. One day chocolate is fine; another it sends me into a cranium-crusher of a headache. In order to track food intolerances that might be making my IBS worse, I should keep a food diary. I will add a column for headaches; maybe, other than total avoidance, there REALLY is a pattern to food consumption and headaches.

Changes in barometric pressure lead to migraines: we don’t need a barometer to know a front (hot or cold) is coming in. As Bob Dylan said, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” – or words to that effect in Subterranean Home Sick Blues. This seems like an area where I COULDN’T take control; the vagrancies of the weather are not something I can influence: I don’t have the special powers of a shaman who can “dance” rain into being for example. But, I can keep a different sort of migraine log: record daily the barometric pressure and other weather conditions in one column and my headaches/migraines in another. Since much evidence remains antidotal on weather and migraines, my log will be another addition to this personal-view-based body of knowledge. PS: thanks to the newly launched migraine.com, I learned of mediclim.com that sends email alerts about potential health-related weather issues.

My neck/neck spasms are another trigger for migraines (and an increase in the level of my chronic facial pain and ondontalgia). My pcp has suggested I go to a spine and sports medicine physical therapy facility for my neck, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis issues. This will involve some negotiations: it appears that the facility is out of network for my health insurance provider (thus causing a deductible and  higher out-of-pocket expenses).  Since we need to come up with an additional $2,500. just to pay for the insurance this year, somehow more budget cuts will have to be made if I try to take control of my neck spasm-induced migraines. Since we live on one income, close to the bone, some of the few luxuries we afford ourselves will have to go: no more soups from Whole Foods; scones from Starbucks; facial creams and lotions to roll back time. I’ll have to polish up my pr skills, and see what deals I can broker.

I resolve to take charge of my migraines in 2011. If I can avoid them, I can reduce the amount of medication I take for them. These savings can go towards my rehab costs. In 2011, I will be stronger than the headaches! The thought is kinda scary, kinda exciting, and a lot of work. I’ll let you know if it pays off.

For more info on this months headache and migraine blog carnival, see: Somebody Heal Me.