rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
1. I was just saying to my boss this week that I was quite proud of keeping my migraines under control more lately; guess what I got yesterday? So annoying, especially as I'd been looking forward to a friend's party that I ended up missing.

2. I am very slowly beginning to tackle the backlog of Stuff I Kept Putting Off While Studying; this week has been all about the clothes / fabric. I have assorted piles of worn-out clothes and out-grown clothes accumulating around my room. I pulled out all the actually worn-out stuff, and bagged that up to go to recycling. I bagged up two sets of bedding we never use for the charity shop. I bought myself some underwear that doesn't have holes in, and added all the ones that did to the recycling bags, along with my oldest & least useful bras. I sorted through my socks, and chucked a good few pairs in the recycling bags, and a few others into the charity bag. Finally I ended up sorting through my stash of pretty scarves and wraps and kept only the ones that I really love and may actually wear more than once a year. (I sort of aspire to be someone who routinely wears pretty scarves etc but in practice I am never that put-together very often.)

3. I took the charity bag to the EACH shop, and came back with a very shiny pair of not!DMs and a metallic blue stripey hat. (Amusingly, I had been whinging this week about needing new shoes for winter, and hating shoe shopping, so that was very well timed.)

4. Last Saturday I watched Robocop with [personal profile] fanf . He was inspired by this post (linked by [personal profile] andrewducker ), and I'd never previously watched it - not on purpose, just never got round to it. It's very very Paul Verhoeven isn't it? Gratuitious mixed-sex shower scene, gory violence, horrible-future-media & horrible-future-adverts. Although my reaction to the project manager with the huge glasses was a. love those glasses b. you are really enjoying imagining watsisface having his hand broken c. please tell me watsisface dies horribly after forcing a kiss on you and taking credit for your work (spoiler - he does). Watsisface really is a walking example of the unwarranted confidence of the mediocre white man.

5. Nicholas saw Trolls at holiday/after school clubs and asked for his own copy. It's not awful, and I like the music, but after sitting through it with him three times in less than a week, I think I have had enough of it for now. The trailers on it include Home (based on The True Meaning of Smekday) which I've been meaning to watch, and Nicholas is keen to do so too, so hopefully I'll enjoy that more.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I had planned a fairly low-key long weekend, involving some studying, and taking the children swimming as much as possible.

However, I got a migraine on Saturday evening which was not shifted by sumatriptan, and which didn't really clear until Monday evening.  So we had an even lower-key weekend. Charles made a cake (over two days, because we ran out of ingredients), and Nicholas watched/listened to/sang Mitch Benn's Very Hungry Caterpillar rock opera song repeatedly, and spent ages engrossed in a puzzle book I later realised was marked "7-10 years", and Tony gently herded and fed everybody and got retweeted by Mitch Benn, and I spent most of the time in bed.  Though I did go food shopping yesterday afternoon, which for reasons meant wandering around Aldi in one of my more glamorous dresses and a huge pair of sunglasses.

This morning I had an appointment with my cancer consultant at Addenbrookes, and decided I was still too tired to cycle, so I went by bus which takes about twice as long, but at least it's reading time? All my results are still clear, including the DNA tests which were backed up for ages, but are now getting turned round quite fast - even my most recent stabbing results are back, and completely clear.  I'm now nearly half way through follow-up.

I mentioned feeling like my recovery had plateaued, and she listened, but pointed out I'd had multiple colds over the winter, and it was a bad winter for cold viruses around here apparently, and viruses do cause fatigue.  The physiotherapy department is offering a newish "exercise for recovery" programme, and she's going to refer me. From previous experience of stuff like this, I don't expect it to tell me much new-to-me, but I'll give it a try anyway. I said something along those lines, but she said "well, I want to know if it can help my patients, and you can tell me what it's like if I refer you".  I agreed that I probably would be able to report back on who would be helped by it, even if I wasn't.

My reading time on buses and in the waiting room was spent on All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries), a novella by Martha Wells, which [personal profile] fanf read recently and recommended, and which I'd seen multiple people on DW and Twitter enthuse about. I loved it, and I would happily read many more instalments of adventures of the grumpy socially-awkward soap-opera-watching security android who stops pissing about the moment something dares to threaten its humans. I have not previously read anything by Martha Wells, but I see she has quite the back catalogue, mostly fantasy. Anyone who has read both All Systems Red and her other books, are they similar?
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
3 trains booked for the epic nordic holiday
2 stroppy letters regarding school attendance written and ready to print out and drop off in the morning
1 dance school dress rehearsal stewarded today (Nico is on stage for about 4 minutes; I stewarded an entirely different group; my respect for the head of dance school has shot up several magnitudes after watching her organise this)
0 working days lost to migraine, and a new prescription request filed online

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/673553.html with comment count unavailable comments.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
I've been having more flashing-light / visual obstruction migraine auras in the last few months.  Yesterday evening I had the fingers of my right hand go temporarily numb!  Fellow migraineurs, is this a known thing?

It was about 90 minutes after I'd first seen visual disturbances. I'd taken my drugs, waited for them to work, reached the point where I couldn't see my desktop properly so left work a bit early; collected the children; made them some food so I could crash if/when the headache got really bad.  I was in the middle of making myself some food when numbness started up in my right thumb.  It  moved slowly across the hand - maybe 5-10 minutes to move completely across.  By the time the fourth finger was solidly numb, the thumb wasn't any more.  My impression is the progression was similar in speed to the way flashing lights move across my field of vision from the left side to the right, and I gather that is something to do with the neurochemical cascade of the migraine travelling across the brain.  So maybe this was too.

(My sumatriptan has been working approx 4-5 times out of 6 if I take it as soon as I notice visual disturbance.  Yesterday was one of the times it didn't. I briefly tried getting up this morning; Tony got up to do the school run assuming I wouldn't be fit to go anywhere and he turned out to be right.)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
(Because I know I'm not meeting any of my goals any time soon, but if I take the time to look up the earliest possible date I could, it stops my brain running in circles and me obsessively checking the fitbit history.)
numbers )

I am reaching feeling-overstretched again, and I really need to buckle down and be a study-hermit. (Exam in 13 days, EMA for a different course due in the same day, new course books arriving any minute for the officially-starting-1st-October courses.) I've had three migraines in 16 days, and it's a mixture of overdoing things, struggling in the summer heat, and the perennial favourite of Not Getting Enough Sleep.

The fitbit number I am paying most attention to at the moment is the hours of sleep. It's still too low.

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/650312.html with comment count unavailable comments.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
As well as all the caring-for-sick-child, I woke up this morning with a migraine.  (I am only managing to type this with the brightness turned way down on my laptop.)  Not entirely surprising after multiple disturbed nights and higher-than-usual amounts of exercise, but entirely frustrating as well as painful.

I suppose ... at least I'm well enough to overdo things enough to get migraines?  The last one I had was in Bristol the week before I went into hospital last summer. 

*scales back immediate plans even further*

Right now I don't even know if I will be able to work tomorrow; plus I need to check with nursery about when Nico can return (I expect not until the antibiotics are finished, but not sure, and not going to cycle there to find out.)

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/628362.html with comment count unavailable comments.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
For the second time in 10 days, I have had that "what's that mark on my screen?" feeling, only to realise it isn't on the screen, it is in my vision.  The little blurry mark has expanded gradually into a wobbly semicircle fitting neatly around my monitor, and flashing interesting geometric coloured patterns.  When it expands out of my field of vision, the headache will probably start.  There is some really interesting correlation I can't quite remember between the neurochemical cascade in my brain and this light show outside ... actually the light show is also in my brain, isn't it?.

Unlike 10 days ago, I have managed to take some drugs while the aura is still in progress..  Let's see how this goes.

I seem to have improved my energy levels to the point where I can stay up too late repeatedly, and give myself migraines.  Onward with glorious purpose!

Later edit ~19:00
: The painkillers did not take; I ended up begging a lift home from a coworker and taking my nauseous headachy self to lie very still in a dark room.  After a while I felt better enough to come out and eat and drink a bit, but the headache persists, so back I go.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
Sunday: mild migraine - got very little done
Monday: recovery day - as migraine was mild I was able to work, but I did minimal effort apart from that
Tuesday: easy normal day with no run
Wednesday: busy day, lots of walking, no run
Thursday: in theory a fully recovered day, should have been out running at lunchtime but lacked all motivation and didn't
Friday: mild migraine, could still work, weekend plans cancelled, that explains my mood Thursday
Saturday: migraine continues

I know what the stress trigger is behind this, but I can't fix it easily (that's why it's stressful!).  (It's child-related and not for public discussion, sorry, not trying to be all I-have-a-secret at you, readers.)   Running is a great coping mechanism but not at times like this, where there aren't enough days I can run.  I need better/alternative coping mechanisms. 

I can't fix it today.  Today is for resting and recovering so I can do my job next week.  I have used three Audible credits on Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, and the first third of the BBC Lord of the Rings adaptation by Brian Sibley.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
+ back to work after 2 days sick
- lengthy meeting in room with flickering projector triggered a new headache
+ free lunch
- colleagues with assorted troubles taking them away from the office
+ played with new free project-management app
+ which resulted in dumping a lot of stuff I was perseverating over into external memory
+ got a few of those "little non-urgent but useful" tasks done
- missed book club due to headache
+ tony being supportive and children being (mostly) lovely
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
A while ago,[livejournal.com profile] fanf posted a link to "Is the Oculus Rift sexist?" by danah boyd, which is a provocatively-titled piece about sex-linked biological differences in the processing of visual information.  (I was a little startled by the author's use of words like "transexuals" and "biological men" although she does explain why as an update at the end of the piece.)  These differences may be the cause of reported sex-linked differences in the ability of people to use virtual-reality systems without nausea - women report feeling sick far more often than men.

Much as I dislike gender essentialism, I was intrigued by the piece, particularly reading it shortly after the discussion about 3D films in my journal.  If I've understood the danah boyd article correctly, polarised-light 3D works off the same "male-favourable" cues as the virtual reality systems she was studying.   With the exception of my brother, every single person who's told me about getting nausea from the current polarised-light type of 3D is female, including "all the mums" of a group of young boys trying to arrange a  cinema trip.  My brother has migraine, which is a sex-linked condition, affecting at least twice as many women as men. 

I'd love to know if any research has been done on the ill-effects of 3D cinema, and whether it's linked to migraine or to sex more generally.

rmc28: (BRAINS)
So there's a film being released tomorrow that I've been looking forward to for a long time. There are midnight showings! There are double-bills with an earlier film for which I have an abiding adoration and would love to see again on the big screen.  But I won't be.  Because the double-bills and nearly all the midnight screenings are in 3D.

3D films mostly work for me while I'm watching them, though I find fast-moving sequences seem to be jerky rather than flowing.  But without fail, I get nauseous afterwards, and I get a migraine the next day.  Throw in the lack of sleep that goes with a double-bill ending at 2:30am, and that's going to be a bad migraine.

I have it fairly easy: my brother (also a migraineur) gets a headache within a few minutes of watching something in 3D.  I have a friend who reports getting headaches from walking past display 3D TVs in shops. 

I don't love any film enough to take the consequences of watching them in 3D any more.

(Luckily, we found a midnight showing in 2D, so I'm taking my brother tonight as a birthday present, though I'm going to need a nap first.)

rmc28: (BRAINS)
whinge )
Migraine sucks.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
It started Thursday night (and oh goodness walking home in the cold dark feeling nauseated gave me nasty pregnancy flashbacks; I'm making a point of extra layers now). 

I spent Friday on painkillers and mostly in bed with a cheerful baby, who seemed pretty pleased with all the uninterrupted cuddle-time.

It was still there when I went to sleep but had dissolved by Saturday morning,   I spent Saturday feeling tired and getting very little done.

Today I managed the cycle ride to the Funky Fun House and back, and some studying while there.  Definitely no running; maybe tomorrow after work.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
 I am having a full-on classic migraine aura, with an exciting jagged bright flickering image sitting in the left-hand field of my vision and obscuring things I am trying to read.  Normally I just get a vague blurring down the outer edges of my vision, like rain on window panes, this is much more fun.  Also it has got multicoloured and is growing.

Eventually I stopped admiring it and remembered to take my drugs in hopes of averting the headache.  And then I remembered that I can't donate milk for a couple of days now and should avoid feeding N for at least 2 hours (that's 2pm, external memory).  Luckily he is asleep.  I should probably stop trying to read things now and see if rest in a dim room helps make the shiny go away.

Edited next day: the shiny thing went away but sadly was replaced by headache, nausea & exhaustion.  Feeling better today, just a bit tired, so a stern reminder-to-self to take it easy and let my body fully recover.
rmc28: (babysitter)
As some of my friends know, my mother was admitted to hospital in early December with a broken pelvis following a car accident. She was operated on a week before Christmas, and was back home with very limited mobility in early January. I'm glad to say her recovery seems to be going well, but obviously I have been somewhat stressed and worried.

The rest of this post is all about meeeee )
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Jonny got a Wii this week, and found me a bargain Wii Fit while he was at it. It is surprisingly fun and social and even Charles loves some of the games. I am finding it useful for exercising the parts that powerwalking does not reach.

I had a mild migraine throughout Thursday and Friday, which was very tedious, but it seems to have eased off. My brain annoys me sometimes.

We are down to 1 small nappy load a week now, which is a nice reduction in housework, enough to make me chill out a bit about getting rid of that last nappy-a-day. Charles will do it when he's ready, as he has everything else.

Today I had to get the cats to the vet for annual jabs at 9:30, so we are all up and dressed now. It's sunny, and Charles has emptied the laundry into a basket for me to hang out; then he's going to play in his house while I build "a surprise" i.e. the rest of the climbing frame, with Tony's help where needed.

Plan for the weekend:
Finish the climbing frame and get it pegged down in its permanent location
Restring the clothes lines to avoid it
Move the rotary line to be visible from the kitchen window (so we don't forget it's there!)
Powerwalk 10 miles
Deliver some leaflets
Read at least one library book
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Yesterday Tony & I managed a date together to go and see Avatar in 3D. We left it a bit late and had to sit right at the front, but this worked reasonably well.

This was my first "modern" 3D film and I was impressed. The plot is rather generic plot no. 4 but executed well, and very beautifully. The 3D was impressive without being too overused. And it had Sigourney Weaver, who always improves a movie for me. (Utter fail on the Bechdel test, sadly: 4 strong women characters, they hardly even talk to each other, let alone about something other than a man.)

The 3D was so impressive in fact, that I had mild seasickness for at least an hour after taking the glasses off at the end of the movie. Tony didn't, so it's probably Just Me.

Jonny met us with Charles afterward and we headed over to attend [personal profile] atreic's ceilidh. Charles was a bit anti the loud music but was happy to watch the dancing from another room, and even do a bit of improvised dancing with me and Tony. However we left early because I was falling asleep on my feet, probably due to being up too late after the hustings the night before.

Charles had not napped and was up late, so I had a glorious lie-in until 8 this morning, but this was rapidly spoiled by a migraine. Bah. My to-do list for today had been:

1. Do powerwalking
2. Do weekly accounts catchup
3. Write article for NCT magazine

But instead I have achieved:

1. Use last of migraine medication
2. Go back to bed for several hours blessed quiet in a dimly-lit room
3. Eat Tony's wonderful cooking for late lunch/early dinner
4. Go to shop for fizzy caffeine

And I think I might return to bed again after giving the accounts a stab. I must find my repeat prescription and get it to the doctor tomorrow. Should have done that after I took the penultimate tablet for my last migraine, but that was probably in the depths of the post-viral fatigue before Christmas.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
I have had a migraine every week for the last four weeks. I have also been hideously stressed at work and struggling to keep up my plans for early bedtime and more sleep, so this is not entirely surprising.

The drugs work, they just make me spaced-out, and they don't remove the exhaustion. I experimentally left out the codeine today, to see what aspects of the spaciness is due to it and what due to the sumatriptan. (conclusion: it's Not Just The Codeine)

The work stress is coming under control, I think (no doubt something hideous will now happen this afternoon just so the universe can point and laugh at me). The biggest factor in the lack of sleep is darling son's new habit of waking bright and cheerful before 6am, so I may have to go to sleep even earlier.

Still, at least I get more done in the evenings in my increasingly-limited time, thanks to the ankletop.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I didn't do everything as originally planned: I did help [livejournal.com profile] mobbsy move, which was ace fun. I got to be loadmaster, playing furniture tetris with the van (er, did the second load survive? I mean to check). I departed when there was a general break for lunch, in order to go home, shower, and then drag Tony & Charles to a Benefactors Garden Party (relocated to Dome) at Murray Edwards.

There were several names I recognised in the attendance list, but I didn't see them in person, apart from my much-loved old DoS and the College President. I had an interesting conversation with a rather older alumna who was very much anti the name change, but actually the longest conversation was with another mother (surprise). She had brought a darling little toddler almost exactly the same age as Charles, but rather shyer. The toddlers got on and the family live nearby so I managed to swap email addresses and might actually get the tuits to organise some play dates.

We got home, and discovered some of my planning to remove heaps of garden waste had apparently worked, by its absence. Very soon after I realised I had a headache ... and then I realised it was actually a migraine ... and then I forgot one of the vital drugs for 30 minutes. So I then had a long dull evening lying down and reading trashy romance and failing to sleep, before eventually getting up to drink and eat, and ended up watching the remake of The Italian Job with Tony.

Sunday I took very very easily in order not to trigger another migraine. I did manage to do some freecycle admin and read up more about Inbox Zero, which in turn meant I installed Thunderbird, made it work and set up some templates and filters that may be useful. As with a lot of the 43-folders/Getting Things Done stuff, I think that I naturally have the right general principles, but can get much better by using some specific techniques. Still, I'm currently at about 20 in my personal inbox and want to get to 0 by the end of the week.

My attempts to make space in the house by freecycling books failed when one of the people taking away books gave me a carrier bag of more trashy romance in exchange. I lack willpower to resist people giving me Free Books Brought To My Door. I have managed to find temporary storage space for them anyway, but there's only so much I can read in one go.

Today I went to work as usual but was definitely still a bit slow and tired from the migraine. Afterwards, I opted out of ballet, but carried out a commitment to demonstrate slings to an antenatal yoga class (the one I attended for a bit when pregnant). Charles was fairly co-operative right up until I stopped him Playing With Doors in order to evilly make him go home. I've never had to fight to get him in the bike seat before, but luckily I was able to distract him by pointing out cats and vans and lorries, so he was actually quite happy by the time we got home.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
Bad thing: I've got a monthly cycle again.
Good thing: Bleeding is light and painless, so the Mirena is not being totally useless.
Bad thing: My last four migraine attacks have coincided with bleeding.
Good thing: The migraine drugs I have are working, if I take them properly.
Bad thing: I am down to two triptan pills; time to find time to see the doctor for some more.

Bah, my migraines never used to be tied to periods (er, apart from stopping altogether when I was pregnant). I do wonder if it is really a hormonal link, or just the extra load on the body of the bleeding. My migraines used to be reliably triggered by excess physical or mental stress, and there's been reasonable grounds for suspecting that too in all the four recent cases. Must Get Enough Sleep.
rmc28: (glowy)
On Thursday I went to work and spent as much as possible of the afternoon and evening lying down or at least with my feet up - this owed a lot to Jonny and to CBeebies and to Tony being willing to cancel going to the pub and come home to look after us. On Friday Charles has swimming class in Impington. In theory I can cycle to this. In practice there was no way I was cycling, but as he had just fallen asleep when I picked him up from the childminder, I let him sleep in the buggy and went by bus rather than use James's car. He woke up just as we arrived, having had something like an hour's nap.

We just missed a bus on the way back. No problem, thought I, this is an every-10-minutes service. 15 minutes later a bus clogged with schoolchildren sailed past without stopping. 30 minutes after that, 2 buses came along leapfrogging each other. Charles had eaten all his post-swim snack and I was rapidly running out of songs to sing to keep him distracted from how bored and cold he was. At least there was a bus shelter and it had a seat.

We got home about 4:30 and I had another afternoon/evening of sitting on the sofa or lying on the bed. I fell asleep with Charles around 9:30pm and slept through until nearly 8am, with a couple of brief wakings to feed crying hungry toddler.

We have no plans this weekend so I am going to spend as much of it as possible in bed with books, in hopes that this will help my body deal with whatever tiredness/illness issues it has, and the books will distract me from the urge to get up and Do Many Things. Tony is primed for toddler-wrangling. I am unimpressed by the arrival of a small cough today, though it feeds my theory that among the stresses leading to the recent bout of migraines is the need to fight off the various bugs brought to the office by over-keen colleagues who won't take sick leave unless they are nearly dead.

In any case, I am finding my off-switch this weekend. I'm not always very good at that, and pay for it with the safety-valve alarm of migraines. 3 in a week is a Very Loud Alarm indeed.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
I spent most of the morning in bed and hoarded my spoons for a) getting dressed b) fetching Charles from the childminder. Jonny is helping chase Charles around the house (and has hung out laundry! what a helpful brother/uncle). I am determinedly resting. Tomorrow I will hopefully get to work, but rest the remainder of the day. I will see about Friday when we get there.

The migraines Will Not Win.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
Migraine no. 3 this afternoon. Sumatriptan seems to be working to remove the headache, so I just have the exhaustion to deal with. Cancelled various plans for today, spent the afternoon flopped with baby or letting uncle J babysit baby, and will go to bed shortly once baby is likely to sleep too.

Yes, there are various stressors right now, but incapacitating me DOES NOT HELP to fix them. Dear brain, pls stoppit kthxbye.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
Or "recovery period" as I sometimes call it. Ah yes, this is why I went to the effort of tracking down triptans I could take without compromising breastfeeding. It is so bloody infuriating to feel completely fine until actually trying to walk anywhere or pick up my 11kg toddler, and having to lie down for a rest to recover. I am trying very hard not to feel like a lazy wastrel for taking another day off work because hard experience has taught me it will just mean More Migraines next week.

Ubuntu seems to have a thing that will work with Remote Desktop on Windows but the work firewall is too clever and detects that I am not using Windows. I am probably the only person in the whole administration who wants to work from home AND doesn't use Windows, and I probably ought to be lying down some more anyway before I go pick up Charles from the childminder.

Now, if I can just avoid the migraines arriving overnight in future, life will be much better.


2008-01-10 08:18
rmc28: (BRAINS)
Had a migrainey sort of feeling at work yesterday, linked with some frustration. Rested yesterday, thought it had gone away.

Waking up with a migraine is a special new experience for me.

Back to bed now I've emailed work and faffed.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I rang and they didn't have it in lost property, but this was because it was still in the feeding room. The chap I spoke to found it and put it in lost property for me to collect.

Extreme logistical faff turned into reasonable logistics with the cancellation of babysitting, so Charles and I walked Tony into town to retrieve the bag. I dropped into our GP surgery on the way back to establish that I need to see a doctor in order to get sumatriptan and domperidone on repeat prescription; as I am down to the last sumatriptan we promptly arranged an appointment for next week. I also established that they have a letter about Charles's hospital admission on their system and should be able to request a copy from the doctor when I see her.

I could do with spending a weekend in bed, but we are busy until Christmas. Tomorrow we go to visit my dad for the weekend and see my stepmother perform in South Pacific. I haven't seen Dad since his brief visit to move Jonny out and before then it was a short meal with him and Lisa at the end of July. I'm struggling now to remember when I last saw my stepsibs.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
In mid-September I finally made time to go see a GP and tell them what I needed prescribing. The doctor I saw was pretty good: didn't instantly do what I wanted, but listened to my explanations of why I wanted sumatriptan and motillium and let me wave my copy of Hale's "Medications and Mothers Milk" around, and gave me what I wanted at the end.

Since then I've had 3 "attempted" migraines, i.e. ones that got squashed by taking triptans in time. I get the feeling that the triptan might kill the migraine but isn't fixing the underlying reasons why my body wants to throw a migraine in the first place. So I am trying very hard to rest sufficiently when not at work, and not get too wound up by the pressures in work (start of the new academic year is always busy), or the vast list of things I need to sort out at home.

Me, family, home, job. I'm allowed not to look after anything else.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
Came on in the middle of particularly stressful and tricky piece of work, I'm sure not entirely by coincidence. Not too horrible, but I still needed to sleep for several hours and rest the rest of the day. Hopefully I can get back in tomorrow, if I take it really really easy.

I need to sort out getting a prescription for sumatriptan, which is the only triptan tested as ok to take when breastfeeding, according to my copy of Hale, and some more Motillium. I also need to get some more paracetamol+codeine, and not let Boots fob me off with "you can't have this because you are breastfeeding" (perhaps I should take Hale with me to buy it). Or lie. Or send Tony to get it for me. Or get the doctor to prescribe it, though that'll cost more. And then I need to actually carry the stuff around with me. A migraine-free pregnancy has destroyed all my good habits like that.

I think I have about a 40% success rate in preventing migraines with triptans, but a 100% success rate in taking the pain of the headache phase away with paracetamol+codeine. Of course, the latter still means I have the long tail recovery phase to go through. Today's migraine was probably a prime candidate for triptan prevention though, as I had a long build-up, starting with when I started to hear all the monitors in the room whining, and then some flashy light effects (not that common for me) and then the feeling sick/headachy/unable to see easily.

And now for pizza with Keith & Cat at their new pad. Yum pizza.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
Calling in sick the first working day after being hauled over the coals looks really bad. Extra dodginess points for being just post a long weekend.

Going into work in a condition I know predisposes me to mistakes would be worse in the long run. I know that, I will keep telling myself that (and also that stress is a trigger and I need to deal with the work situation calmly).
rmc28: (BRAINS)
Started last night. Still going this morning. I'm going back to bed very soon, having let work know I won't be in.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
Had a migraine this morning. Not quite sure why, but four busy days in a row and underlying house stress might have something to do with it. The point is taken, I will slow down again *sigh*.

I am lucky in that my husband can work from home and my baby was very co-operative, going off to sleep for the morning just when I most needed to rest, and being happy to lie on the bed and burble at me for most of the day. So [livejournal.com profile] fanf didn't have to interrupt work much, if at all (except to make lunch), but I could relax in the knowledge that if I fell asleep and the baby cried he would be answered, or if I called for help another adult would come.

Once Charles is mobile migraines will be a lot more serious.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
Yesterday I had my first migraine in 9 months. I'd had a dehydration headache most of the morning, and it wasn't until the health visitor left that I realised it had mutated into a migraine. I haven't found out if I'm allowed to take triptans while breastfeeding (I expect probably not, as that seems to be the default for all medication) but in any case it was too late for one by the time I realised I needed it.

The difference having a baby makes is that you finish breastfeeding and then change the nappy before finding the painkillers and calling for help. I took some Motillium to force my digestion to keep working (so that painkillers, food etc get absorbed and actually work), and called Tony asking him to come and work from home in case I slept too deeply to hear the baby. Cat was at home and I got her to get extra milk and CHOCOLATE from the co-op for me. Then I put baby in the Moses basket, ate random food to get my blood sugar back up, and tried to stay vaguely awake until Tony got home.

The Motillium may have had an effect on baby, because we went through enormous numbers of nappies yesterday evening. I should perhaps have thought of that before taking it, though as side-effects go it doesn't seem that harmful, and I'm not really tough enough to go through a migraine without painkillers (also I still need pain relief for the Caesarian - thankfully they're the same sort of drugs).

I will spend most of today resting in bed again, and take things very easy tomorrow. I knew I'd overdone things a bit at the weekend, and this is just additional evidence.


2006-04-27 10:33
rmc28: (BRAINS)
I have either a bad headache or a mild migraine: band of pain across the head, dislike of strong light, occasional nausea, tiny concentration span. Obviously I crowed too often recently about not having had a migraine since I got pregnant (actually that one was probably just after, which might explain why it happened given my body was doing stuff I didn't know about and couldn't make allowance for).

Paracetamol is helping, but not fixing. I have called in sick. I have a prescription I could go fill for paracetamol+metoproclamide (the latter an antinausea prescribed for bad morning sickness). I'm also quite stuffed up - I've had 'lurking cold' symptoms for a while, though so far I've avoided the lurgy that circulated through our office in the last few weeks - so may get more Tunes/Lockets to tackle that, and of course drink copious amounts of water as both migraine and stuffed-up-ness need that. Really useful things like proper decongestants, triptans or paracetamol+codeine will of course make me a Bad Mother if I take them.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
If you thought I was overdoing it during the last entry, you'd be in agreement with my body which decided to hit me with one of the worst migraines I can remember sometime on Tuesday afternoon. I managed to leave messages with everyone that mattered, get drugs, get home, sleep for hours, and then devour food when Tony provided me a pizza before sleeping for more hours. Yesterday I did very little but read, rest and eat, and this morning I was still exhausted so I called in sick again rather than try to work from home. I'm beginning to feel a bit less lethargic so with luck tomorrow I might actually be fit to work.

Looking back on the weekend, I should have done either the packed Saturday or the climbing on Sunday, not both. Perhaps if we'd come straight home without visiting the pub, or even missed the exhibition as well and just done lunch and meeting up with Dan, I'd have had enough rest Saturday. It seems to me that I can either regard migraines as a useful warning sign that I'm taking on too much, or let them suck me into a horrible cycle of trying to catch up too much and getting sick again week after week after week. Andrew drew some parallels with depression which just made me grateful I don't have to deal with that as well.

The "threshold" idea about managing migraine is that there is a range of stresses that can lead to migraine, but it's only when the combination reaches a threshold level that a migraine is triggered. When I saw the COLMC doctor in June she got me to manage my food better, in order to smooth out peaks and troughs of blood sugar. That took away a "final straw" and thus I was nearly migraine-free for months. However, that doesn't mean that other stresses can't increase and cause the threshold to be reached no matter how good I am with my food. This month for example, I'm doing rather more exercise, I'm steadily (if slowly) losing weight, I've got more to do at work, and I've not been getting to bed on time. Only one of these things is actually 'bad', but they are all increased physical and mental stresses compared to the previous few months and I think I need to take that bit more care about picking and choosing where I put my energy.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
I started noticing the early signs around 1:30, when I really should have had lunch earlier. More fool me. Still, food, drugs, fizzy drink and more food seemed to at least stop the pain+nausea, leaving me merely with the fuzzy brain and ENORMOUS APPETITE OF DOOM. Annoyed with myself for not correctly calibrating the diet/blood sugar balance.

I stayed at work and puttered through things rather less effectively than normal, but didn't go home because I had to be at CUMC Teas, and if I went home I'd never get out again. At Teas someone had brought a recording of a most amusing snippet of Top Gear. Clarkson bets some mountaineers he can drive up a big mountain faster than they can climb it. He drives it in just over 2 hours, but they've been there a good twenty minutes already (I came in late so missed all the shots of the cool climbing). Then he suggests they try again racing to the bottom. He zooms off back down the twisty road ... and the climbers jump with parachutes! "1500 metres in 20s" says one of the nutters after landing safely.

Someone else had found a copy of "Night Climbing in Cambridge" in the city library so we cooed over the pictures. I need to find out its copyright status. There was also cake, which kept me alive.

Then I went to the Carlton and ate more food and drank more coke than sensible and finally dragged myself home around 10:30, with a book-borrowing [livejournal.com profile] crazyscot in tow, and caught the end of House which seemed excellent as usual. And finally got myself into bed like I should have done two hours previously. The having-drunk-too-much-coke manifested in an interrupted night, and this morning I decided it was more sensible to work at home than attempt to do anything so energetic as walk or cycle to the office.

I have found the perfect cheering-up music to send to my mother, although I am currently "testing it out" myself. Loudly. [livejournal.com profile] covertmusic found this sufficient incentive to go to work.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Painkillers seem to be doing a reasonable job. I had no difficulty walking the length of Richmond Road to catch the bus into town for the migraine follow-up appointment, but was glad that was as far as I had to go. The appointment was very simple and routine - my doc made the necessary prescription, ran through the COLMC recommendations with me and suggested the quickest way for me to see a physio was to go to a self-help group based at the Buchan St Neighbourhood Centre, somewhere off King's Hedges Road. I caught the bus back to Richmond Road and was home again soon after 9am. The walk back from the bus stop became gradually less comfortable, so I'm not likely to go far today unless I have to.

I rang into work to let them know I'd work at home and I might be called back into the hospital for a scan. About twenty minutes after that, Dr Li, the nice ob/gyn from yesterday, rang me. All my swabs and blood samples have come back clear and there is no need for antibiotics. She's sent a request form to the radiology department and how long it takes me to get a scan depends on their prioritisation and other requests coming in. She suspects probably not today, but she'll ring me if so. I should probably ring the ward on Monday if I haven't heard anything, but it's likely to be sometime Monday-Wednesday next week.

I've worked out that the Citi 7 bus goes from opposite the Iceland/Aldi, all of three minutes walk away, to the stop opposite the main entrance to the Rosie. This is probably about as easy a journey as I can manage on public transport, and runs from before 7am to after 10pm. If I don't get a scan until next week and I'm feeling well enough to get to work, there's always the free bus from near-work to Addenbrookes' main entrance. If I'm well enough to reach work, I'll be well enough to walk through the site to the Rosie.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
A couple of weeks ago I had my appointment at the City of London Migraine Clinic. It was a first appointment, and I went armed with migraine diary from the previous 18 months, and spent a good while being examined and questioned in detail by one of their migraine specialists. In some ways I felt I didn't have enough detail for her, but overall it was a very useful experience. She's followed up with a letter to my GP, copied to me.

She made a thorough physical/neuro exam, testing all sorts of movements, and having a good poke and prod over my neck, shoulders, back and abdomen. She took my blood pressure (normal as ever at 112/80). Her notes say the exam was generally unremarkable, apart from being "tender over temporalis muscles and both sternocleidomasteoid muscles". Must find my anatomy book. She was quite concerned about the tension in my shoulders and back, although I pointed out that I'd had a particularly stressful week leading up to the appointment, and has recommended my GP to refer me to a physiotherapist. In the mean time, I should use either heat or a cold pack to ease the tension. (Along the same lines, I decided to get back into daily yoga practice, as it is excellent for easing stress.)

I explained I wanted to come off beta-blockers and she said I should have come off them after six months. Of course, I can't just stop them, I have to "step down" over about two weeks, and I need my GP to prescribe me smaller doses in order to do so. So, another trip to the docs is due before I can get off the energy-sapping things. She recommended that I take 20mg of motilium together with 600-900mg of soluble aspirin dissolved in something fizzy at the first sign of migraine. The motilium is to reverse the usual "gastric stasis" of migraine, and presumably to allow further medication to be absorbed. Can still take my triptan half an hour later if needed.

Finally, she told me that my pre-migraine chocolate cravings were almost certainly an indication of low blood sugar, and I should at the very least have a mid-afternoon snack to reduce the likelihood of low blood sugar in the afternoon (almost all my weekday migraines have been in the afternoon). I mentioned my tentative ideas about the GI diet, and she said that was an excellent idea and I should try to incorporate the principles into my diet as it would help avoid the periods of low blood sugar likely to be triggering my migraines. I have yesterday got around to ordering a bunch of books which I hope will give me a bit more detail than Living the GI Diet - that book doesn't distinguish between foods banned for being calorific and foods banned for being high-GI. It's almost impossible to overeat if you stick strictly to its "green list" of allowed foods, but that's very hard to do. I'm far more concerned about always being able to eat low-GI than I am about losing weight now. So I have coming The New Glucose Revolution (an update to the original "The GI Factor" which has been around for years before the idea became fashionable), The Complete Guide to GI Values, Top 100 GI Foods (actually the 100 foods with the lowest GI factors, which I reckon will be handy) and The Glucose Revolution: Diabetes. Between them all I hope to have enough information to eat for my head.

She made no comment on the quantity of diet coke I consume, except to say it was a good thing to drink the aspirin and motilium in. Yuck, but good for me I'm sure.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
Yesterday lunchtime, another migraine. This time, I really can't fathom why: no obvious sleep shortages in the past few days, and no real sugar rushes since last Monday. There was the mild overindulgence on Saturday night, but I was extra careful to recover from it on Sunday. All I can think is possibly working late on Monday (though this was because I was caught up in enjoying poking at something), and the general working-hard nature of the last few weeks. Which is even more hard to get a grip on than "getting enough sleep", and I've been trying that for months.
gory details )
What annoys me most is that it's completely put paid to going to Leeds this weekend and seeing Mum. It was always going to be a squeeze to lose two days to that, and now the chemical games in my brain have taken those days instead. On the plus side, [livejournal.com profile] jdc39 is coming to town this weekend, so I get to see him instead.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
or Rachel's adventures in migraine management.

In which the author changes her drug dosage for increased quality of life, tries (again) to sleep properly and tries out a new diet. And tries out yoga, although that's not really to do with the migraines.
Read more... )
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Fellow migraine-sufferers might be interested in the MIST medical trial investigating a link between a common heart defect (15%-25% of the population, most of whom won't know they have it) and migraine. I got sent a leaflet by the Migraine Action Association. My migraine pattern is not suitable for the trial but I'm on their mailing list for when they have results.

Oxfam Unwrapped has new stock of emergency supplies for disaster relief. That perfect gift for a January birthday (both my parents and my oldest brother have January birthdays).

I've started reading my flylady emails again, after a couple of months' break. So far it's been kind of fun how they've been pushing decluttering and post-Christmas clearing, most of the time being what I was hoping to do anyway. I'm currently thinking about adapting the control journal idea to a multi-person household where housework is expected to be shared. The 'you found it, you clean it' approach works most of the time, but not always, and not if we all get tired or lazy at once. I'm thinking of creating a ticklist of daily, weekly and monthly tasks to go up in the kitchen, and another for my and Tony's bedroom and bathroom. I also need to get some kind of noisy timer to try out the '15-minute' task approach - it would fit in well with my keyboard breaks but I don't like starting huge tasks in those, thus the timer to provide a reason to stop and make the big tidy tasks seem less daunting.
rmc28: (BRAINS)
I made my code run perfectly, just in time to meet [livejournal.com profile] acronym for proper food: wedges, quorn, mushrooms and cheese, mmm. And he walked with me around Boots and around Sainsbury's while I got drugs and supplies which made the whole process a darn sight easier than if I'd been on my own.

And then I got home, took drugs and fell asleep streaming Straw Poll on terrorism. Interesting and a migraine cure ;)

A bit more dozing and I can probably make it to beating-people-up class tonight. (What would you prefer us to call it, [livejournal.com profile] saraphale? Ninjutsu or Bujinkan or something else?)
rmc28: (BRAINS)
I have sometimes bemoaned the lack of interesting visual effects in my migraines. It seems only fair, given I getthe bad stuff )that I should get the funky visuals that fellow-sufferers describe so interestingly. But yesterday for the first time, I had a growing blind spot, which eventually grew black-and-white flashing checks. It was utterly fascinating and I watched it for hours.

Of course, if I was being sensible I would have been asleep yesterday by the time the light show turned up. Perhaps that's what's happened all the other times I haven't had interesting visual effects.

This particular migraine is turning into something of an epic: from yesterday lunchtime and still going strong. I'm being stubborn and finishing some work, mainly so it's not me who holds up go-live. I think pride may be the death of me one day; that or my inability to stick to the concept of getting enough sleep.


rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Rachel Coleman

October 2017

23 45 67 8
91011121314 15
16171819 202122


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated 2017-10-22 17:26
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios