Axon Optics Migraine Glasses, natural relief

*This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you buy and click from this post I will be compensated by the  affiliate.  This in no way alters my opinion and I only recommend things I use.  I use these often!  I was given a pair to review and have used them often since.

Natural Relief

Before I had children I was a special education teacher.  The years after college; I was teaching, coaching, tutoring, and getting my Master’s degree.  That was all? ha.  At this point my migraines became chronic and pretty much elevated to a new level.  Stress, lack of sleep, noise levels and inconsistent diet triggered me daily.

Along with these were the lights!  I taught in very harsh florescent lighting during the day, coached in a bright gym and sat in front of a computer doing homework or lesson plans.  My eyes were so stressed that I sat in the dark during my free period and had the monitor brightness turned as low as possible.  I didn’t have a smart board at that time but if I had worked with one, I know I would have been pained every time I used it.

This was all before I was given a pair of Axon Optics to review.

I wish so desperately that at that time I had Axon Optics migraine glasses.  They have FL-41 lenses that block  blue-green light which was developed to reduce sensitivity to fluorescent lighting.  They sell a range of products that can fit many eyewear needs.  I found working with the Axon Optics staff easy and simple.  I appreciate this greatly!

I now use them to blog (I’m wearing them now!) and when my photophobia is heightened (which is everywhere!).  I use them everyday.  I wear them making lunches and dinner, doing homework, reading books, doing computer work, going into stores, starting my day (anywhere) and more.  If you see me, I’m wearing them!

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Check them out….. Shop our best-selling migraine relief glasses and sungasses.

 

 

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Botox, Topomax and preventatives for Migraine and their side effects

Recently I was asked why I don’t take preventative medicine for my chronic migraines. What a loaded question! I actually do, I get Botox but the effectiveness is hit or miss and I get different side effects from the injections each time. I never know how I’m going to feel the days after, the effectiveness of the areas, and the time before it kicks in and wears off. This is the same as all preventatives with me.

Weighing the side effects and effectiveness is really what I have battled with for years. So  I took my medication vacation before I had children and  haven’t gone back to any (daily preventative) pills. Before this “vacation” and a ton of reflection, I didn’t understand the side effects that I was getting from the variety of medications that I tried. I have a hypersensitive body and brain which probably seems obvious. But growing up I didn’t understand the risks and damage that these meds were doing to me while I was under the impression that they would help.

I have taken dozens of different preventatives over the years….none of which are specifically made for migraine sufferers. They have been anti seizure, blood pressure, depression, and more. None of which I am diagnosed with. But in an attempt to curb these daily headaches and migraines I have tried it. I always trusted my doctor would steer me in the right direction but what I have learned is to trust yourself!

I was on Topomax for the longest amount of time and from what I remember was the most effective for the greatest amount of time for me. I say, from what I remember because memory loss, fuzziness and concentration issues are just a few of the many side effects I had from Topomax. I started out on a low dosage and slowly increased to keep up with my growing migraines.

Topomax didn’t make me loose weight like many have reported but it gave me all the side effects mentally. I was tired, confused, loosing words, moody, dizzy, lost hair, had altered tastes in foods and more. The crazy thing is, I didn’t understand that these were side effects of the medication until years after I was off it.

I remember reporting some of my issues to my doctor but thought it was just associated with migraine pain and everything else that comes with it. The hindsight made me realize that I wasn’t crazy. The drugs I was given to help me were hurting me! It’s beyond frustrating to think I was taking these meds and they were making me worse.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten prescriptions and read the side effects and been both horrified and terrified. But most of the time I read it once I’ve bought it and it’s too late. I don’t have the money to be throwing away something that holds hope for me. The risks now just don’t outweigh the benefit to me.   I have never felt great on anything, so why continue to take anything? Nothing has been approved for my diagnosis so why am I a human guinea pig in the mean time?

This is not to say that I don’t think they work and no one should take them. Everyone is so different which is why the battle is real for all of us. None of us are the same and don’t get the results or side effects the same. I don’t necessarily regret taking these meds that didn’t work for me. I regret not being more informed!!!!!!! I regret feeling like I was crazy, a hypochondriac, and a waste of time and money searching for relief. I regret not listening to my body and understanding the side effects of my medications.

Side effects made my condition worse, gave me other issues to deal with and have caused a lot of problems throughout my journey. I didn’t understand that my growing and changing body would require changing meds and it wasn’t a fail. I now see it as another move in my game of chess.   I can now check those things off my list and say “I tried it and no thank you right now.”

Does that mean I’ll never go back on them? Of course not. I will do whatever I can to feel better. Some days are more desperate than others but most of the time I try to be realistic and think both short and long term. I used to think my doctor was going to give me something to leave with that would cure me and make me feel normal. I didn’t understand that it’s a journey and there are no cures. It’s a combination and balance in my life that I need to look for. I think if I was going to give some advice it would be, “Understand what you are taking, both preventative and rescue. Understand how they work together and dosages. Read and understand the side effects and risks of any medication that you use. Be careful, be safe, and hopefully be well!”

Do you take a preventative medication for migraine?  What side effects have you had?

Does having a Cold or Sinus Infection trigger a Migraine?

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I get severe sinus infections every year!  I have had sinus surgery and still get sinus infections!  They are a huge trigger for my migraines and this season has been no different.  I was once told that I’m allergic to viruses and get very sick when I contract an infection like a cold, sinus infection or the flu.  When I  get sick, it always ends in a migraine.  My sinus infection was treated with an antibiotic and ended with a cycle of migraine.

Prior to that, I had been burning my candle from both ends, so to speak,  and got a cold. The first day I was wiped out with no energy, lost my voice, and was overall down and out.  The following days I continued to cough and had other various cold like symptoms.  I have to say, colds are no fun and I’m glad I don’t get them often.  It really was more annoying than anything else though.  I was just ready for it to be done.  I could continue on with my life but it slowed me down a bit.

Here’s the difference between a cold and my everyday life….migraines!  I tried not to take a lot of over the counter (OTC) cold meds because I really don’t like to take OTCs in general.  I lived a period of my life getting rebound headaches not understanding the repercussions of OTCs and I have not taken them since.   So med free, I had a coughing fit one night.  This fit triggered a migraine and I immediately went into abort migraine mode.

I actually thought to myself, “wow, a cold is annoying but a migraine sends true fear through me.”  The proverbial trick or treat.   A cold is no treat, but with a migraine looming I took it as one.  My trick being pain, pain, pain, and I wasn’t falling for it.  I had  resisted taking meds all week but once the migraine hit I immediately took what I hoped would be effective.

With the coughing, lack of sleep, stuffy head turned sinus infection I knew a migraine would not be far away.  I went to the doctor to confirm a sinus infection and start an antibiotic.  I never feel better immediately on antibiotics and once they kicked in they started a migraine cycle for me that last 3 days.

So why can’t I just get a cold?  Like I said, it’s no fun at all (especially with 2 children that also have colds and sinus infections) but having a simple cold made me feel almost normal.   It was the migraine cycle that ended it that was the worst.  Being sick is so hard but combined with chronic migraine it makes the battle all that harder!

 

Zecuity for Migraine treatment

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Recently I shared my experience taking Zecuity, a new medication, with New Life Outlook.

It’s an informative experience that you can learn from.

Check it out and tell me your thoughts.

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Zecuity via My Migraine Life

Living with pain haze, brain fog, mommy brain and Migraine

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Sometimes, things just look a bit hazy

 

Call it mommy brain. Call it pain haze. When I have a migraine I’m a bit fuzzy to say the least.

I got a migraine after the 4th of July (which was not a surprise, I get a migraine at every holiday) that lasted a few days and was severe. I spent the remainder of my week recovering. So when I woke up again with another migraine I was totally frustrated.

My husband had left for a trip before I woke up and I went directly into survival mode. I took my meds, iced and drank coffee before my kids got up. By the time they got up, I was able to put on a happy face and told myself I was going to make it through the day and to keep on fighting. I talk to myself and my migraines a lot!

So I decided to continue on with what I planned for the day and started addressing thank you notes that I had written for my daughter’s birthday. As I did this, I responded to a wedding invitation. The invitation already had a stamp on it and at this point I realized I had addressed my envelopes backwards. I had reversed the stamp and return address and would not have noticed had I not seen an example of the correct way to address an envelope. Uh, how frustrating.

Was it the end of the world, of course not. It was just an honest mistake but it frustrated me. When I was on preventatives I made mistakes like this a lot (See why I don’t take preventatives). Now that I’m not, I try to keep my head as clear as possible but controlling the pain is a priority. I have many friends who do not suffer and tell me they are the same way with “mommy brain”.

Call it what you will, it’s mommy brain, pain haze, migraine hangover, busy life and fogginess. The problem with suffering is that I never know what’s normal. What is normal anyways? Knowing how to address an envelope is normal, so maybe I’m a bit hazy. I guess I could be called worse.

What have you done in a pain haze?

Migraine is a neurological disease

Migraine is a neurological disease caused by genetics and a hypersensitive brain.

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Photo by Karen Eh, content by Teri Robert

This is an especially important fact for me.  My mom and grandmothers both suffered from Migraines.  I remember my grandpa being very sensitive to me suffering after he saw my grandma suffer on the couch with a wet cloth for so many years.

I  am a mom that worries daily about the fact and  possibility of passing it on to my sweet babies.  It was one of the first thoughts I had when I found out I was having a girl and knowing her chances would be higher.  I observe her constantly for signs of Migraine.  I make sure my children eat well, have a constant sleep schedules, show them stress relief techniques and more.  I try my best to teach them the importance of health but am fully aware that I can not change their genetics that I passed on.

The hypersensitive brain is something that makes me feel sane.  For many many years I felt crazy for the ailments I have.  I always thought it was an abundance of different things, the idea that I wasn’t truly sick or that everyone else felt that bad and it was normal.  Once I learned about the scope of migraine and that it is my brain being hypersensitive, I was able to understand myself.

When I get asked why all the treatments I have tried don’t work, the answer is clear…..I can’t change my genetic makeup.  I can try to control it, prevent it, treat it, and live with it.  I won’t be cured.  This is a fact that many need to understand.  I suffer and many generations suffer.  It’s genetics and a hypersensitive brain.

I am hypersensitive to light, sound, touch, smell, heat, cold, weather, stress, hormones,  and more.  I get triggered by things people would never notice.  Once I’m triggered my brain becomes more sensitive.  Once I have had a migraine, I am at a higher risk for another one since my sensitivity is heightened.  This often throws me into a cycle because of medication rebound and my hypersensitivity not calming down.  It is very complex and difficult to deal with.

The brain is a very tricky thing.  A migraine brain seems impossible!

Migraine World Summit

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The Migraine World Summit April 15-20, 2016 Register for FREE

* Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.”  This means if you purchase the item from clicking here, I will receive an affiliate commission.  This in no way alters my opinions or reason why I am referring you to them.  I use everything I recommend.

Recently I was contacted by the host of the Migraine World Summit.  It sounds like a great opportunity to get questions answered, a chance to learn about migraines and a way to participate in the migraine community from the comfort of your home.  Many of us have trouble traveling, can’t sit in fluorescent conference rooms or have the funds to participate.  If this is your case, the good news is….it’s FREE and from HOME!

 The Migraine World Summit runs from April 15-20, 2016

Anyone may attend for free, just register here: https://www.migraineworldsummit.com/

Dr. Rigaux, the CEO and inventor of Cefaly (the only FDA-device approved for the preventative treatment of migraines) as well as 30+ other doctors will be speaking. The doctor of Axon Optics will also be a doctor participating. If you don’t know who Axon Optics is, they are migraine glasses to help with  photophobia ! Shop migraine relief eyewear at Axon Optics.  *
I love them!   There will also be experts from Harvard Medical School, the Mayo Clinic, Stanford Medical, the Cleveland Clinic and the International Headache Society. It will feature interviews with Migraine Research Foundation experts, a group that I love and encourage you to support.

Here is a link to the medical professionals who are speaking: http://www.migraineworldsummit.com/speakers

Here is the press release sent to me:

 World’s First Migraine Summit Set to Relieve Pain Experienced by Millions

 Over 30 doctors, professors and specialists have gathered from world leading institutions to help answer some of the most difficult questions for patients in desperate need of relief.

Migraines are more common than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined. [i] There are 956,000 thousand migraine attacks every day in the USA[ii] with around 37 million affected.

Carl Cincinnato, host of the Migraine World Summit, sees how migraine can cripple an individual over time:

“Migraines can be devastating to someone’s quality of life. It can affect not only their physical well being, but their relationships, family life and in severe cases their ability to keep a job and have a career.

There is still a stigma associated with migraine. Many people feel guilty or ashamed to admit they have a migraine. Migraines can also lead to depression and anxiety as many struggle with the isolation, lack of progress and lose hope.

Research shows a direct link between the frequency of migraine and a person’s quality of life.”

Migraines were recently found to be the 6th highest cause of disability worldwide in terms of years lost to disability [iii] A severe migraine can be as disabling as quadriplegia or active psychosis.[iv]

Despite the prevalence of migraine, it remains under diagnosed and under treated with less than 50% of patients consulting a physician.[v]

For those who do seek help, finding the right doctor can be difficult.

Just 4 hours are committed to headaches disorders in undergraduate medical training worldwide.[vi]

The US is one of the few places where there are subspecialty certifications for headache medicine, yet there is only one headache specialist for every 85,000 patients.[vii] This shortage is consistent worldwide.

The Migraine World Summit provides unprecedented access to dozens of experts for those suffering from this debilitating disorder.

Dr Pierre Rigaux, CEO of Cefaly Technology and inventor of the innovative Cefaly®, the only FDA-device approved for the preventative treatment of migraines, is one of the speakers at the event.

Specialists require referrals, patients may incur significant costs and there can be waiting lists when treating migraines.  The Migraine World Summit is a great opportunity to jump the line and get into the room with doctors to hear the latest best practice and approaches being used from some of the best in migraine.

[i] Headache Disorders – not respected, not resourced. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Headache Disorders. 2010.  Migraine Trust

[ii] Steiner TJ et al. The prevalence and disability burden of adult migraine in England and their relationships to age, gender and ethnicity. Cephalalgia. 2003;23(7):519-527.

[iii] Steiner, Timothy J., et al. “Headache disorders are third cause of disability worldwide.” The journal of headache and pain 16.1 (2015): 1-3.

[iv] Blumenfeld, A. M., et al. “Disability, HRQoL and resource use among chronic and episodic migraineurs: results from the International Burden of Migraine Study (IBMS).” Cephalalgia 31.3 (2011): 301-315.

[v] Pavone E et al. Patterns of triptans use: a study based on the records of a community pharmaceutical department. Cephalalgia. 2007;27(9):1000-4.

[vi] World Health Organization. Atlas of headache disorders and resources in the world 2011.

[vii] Mauser, Emily D., and Noah L. Rosen. “So many migraines, so few subspecialists: Analysis of the geographic location of United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS) certified headache subspecialists compared to United States headache demographics.” Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain 54.8 (2014): 134