Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Some Migraine-related Links of Isis.

I have kind of run out of steam on following the National Migraine Awareness Month blogging prompts. Nothing against the prompts themselves, but they have not been speaking to me personally. So instead, I might try finishing up the month with some unprompted blogs.

Today, though, I just want to give you some links.

I just read over at "That M Word: A Migraine Blog" this post about what migraine looks like from the outside--and about family and friends who want to understand but don't (yet?). The writer (who does not name herself) mentioned "The Spoon Theory," with which I was not familiar, so of course I had to follow the link trail back to it.

Here it is: "The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino."

What an incredible way to understand chronic illness--and the perfect metaphor for short-handing the challenges it poses.

This article--"Migraine"--is a nice, general introduction to migraine disease--what it is, what we think we know about it, and ways we try to treat it. My only complaint about it is that, once again, the typical progression arc of a migraine is represented without much acknowledgement that that is not the only pattern. I frequently find myself reading these narratives saying, "Yes, those sound like my aura symptoms--but what don't they go away before the headache? And why do they often appear and disappear randomly, or persist for days?"

This article--"When a headache never goes away"--interests me because it offers a theory of headache disorders that is completely different from anything I have yet encountered. I had never heard of cytokines before, and now I am eager to learn more. I have shied away from a lumbar puncture (1) because of earlier bad experiences with needles, and (2) because they frequently bring on horrible, long-lasting headaches, but perhaps it is worth considering.

And more than anything, that last link offers me encouragement that there is always another thing to try. I confess that I oscillate between trying things--new drugs, an MRI of my brain, old drugs but just one more time, an MRI of my neck, no gluten, an EEG, no dairy, a new pillow, shock-testing for nerve firing, blood tests, massage, urine tests, another new pillow, no eggs, feverfew, a serious yoga program, no caffeine, no alcohol, chiropractic, physical therapy, etc., etc.--and trying to practice acceptance. Oddly--and confusingly--I often try both at once: I keep searching for improvement, but I also try to accept that this is just how things are now. But when I read an article in a reputable source about some new way that a doctor has come to understand migraine, well, I get more optimistic, reminding me that new knowledge does evolve.

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