Posted in blogging, chronic pain

This Blog is now Closed

Image result for announcement

I’m closing this blog “Lady with the Migraine” and merging with my other blog “Living in Stigma“.

 

My “Living in Stigma” blog was started in 2007 mainly to promote mental illness stigma.  I wanted to launch a separate blog “Lady with Migraine” that would connect people with chronic pain due to invisible illnesses.

I struggle with both mental illness and chronic migraines, and with news articles, social media, research and my valued readers sharing comments and opinions on this blog and Twitter, it’s a reality that invisible illnesses such as fibromyalgia, lupus, headaches, Lyme disease, recurring back and leg pain, and so many more are also a vast portion of invisible illness stigma.

There appears to be a link, in numerous situations, where people are also experiencing chronic pain, as well as, depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, a connection to PTSD or feelings of suicide. We sit in isolation, put on a fake smile, and feel as if we are a burden.

WordPress will be transferring all of my followers from this blog to Living in Stigma.  I hope you remain a follower, you will be delighted with the enormous content on my other blog.

Thanks so much for supporting me and I welcome you over there.

Cheers!

Deb McCarthy

Living in Stigma (where 444,000 people have stopped by)

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Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines, MRI, physical health

10 Reasons Why an MRI Scan is Valuable

(Image: Para-sagittal MRI of the head, with aliasing artifacts (nose and forehead appear at the back of the head)

MRI Scans Explained

What is an MRI scan?

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanning is a medical investigation that uses an exceptionally strong magnet and radio frequency waves to generate images of your body.

Why would I need an MRI scan?

An MRI scan is one of the most sophisticated diagnostic tools available to help a referring clinician understand the cause of your particular health issue.

What can be diagnosed by an MRI scan?

By scanning the relevant sector(s) of a patient’s body, an MRI scan can help to diagnose the following: Continue reading “10 Reasons Why an MRI Scan is Valuable”

Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines

Botox highly effective for more than easing Chronic Migraine Pain

Chronic migraine is defined as having migraines 15 or more days a month.  I was amazed that this treatment eases migraines, as well as, other disorders.  (The image above shows Botox injection points)

New guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology suggest that Botox can be used as a “safe and effective” way to treat chronic migraine headaches, among other neurological disorders.

Botulinum toxin is normally used as a cosmetic treatment to smooth out wrinkles, but it can also reduce muscle contractions and the transmission of pain signals by blocking the release of neurotransmitters from nerve endings.

The authors of the updated guideline reviewed scientific studies on the four preparations of botulinum toxin available in the United States.

Chronic migraine is defined as having migraines 15 or more days a month, the study authors explained.

Spasticity has many causes, including multiple sclerosis, stroke, and head or spinal-cord trauma, according to the guidelines. Simpson is with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Continue reading “Botox highly effective for more than easing Chronic Migraine Pain”

Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines, pregnancy

Pregnancy Often Leads to Changes in Migraines

Women who suffer from migraines may notice changes in their headache patterns when they’re pregnant, experts say.

For example, many women will have fewer migraines during pregnancy.

“If you suffer from migraine, there’s a good chance your migraine attacks will improve during pregnancy,” Dr. David Dodick, chair of the American Migraine Foundation, said in a foundation news release.

Research has shown that 50 to 80 percent of women who have migraine before pregnancy may notice a reduction in migraine attacks, especially in the second and third trimesters, likely due to a rise in estrogen levels,” said Dodick, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Arizona.

Women who have migraines associated with menstruation are particularly likely to have fewer attacks during pregnancy, the study authors pointed out.

Continue reading “Pregnancy Often Leads to Changes in Migraines”

Posted in acupuncture, chronic pain, health, PTSD

Consider this Way to Relieve Chronic Pain

Some of the earliest medical acupuncture texts have survived since 200 B.C. and are still being used to teach students today. When you consider the fact that acupuncture has been used to treat patients for nearly 3,000 years, microsystems acupuncture is a relatively new practice.

Ear acupuncture, or (auricular therapy), is a type of acupuncture that approaches the ear as a microsystem of the body. Similar to reflexology, it treats this one body part in an attempt to treat symptoms elsewhere.

It was popularized in the 1950s by a French doctor, Dr. Paul Nogier, and was created as a bridge between Eastern and Western acupuncture. These days, most acupuncturists will use it in tandem with full-body acupuncture.

Practitioners insert very fine needles into set points in the ear, often prompting quick — sometimes immediate — results. Ear acupuncture can be used to treat chronic pain, isolated injury, stress, addiction, and more.

Let’s dive into this new variation on an ancient healing practice:

How does it work?

Continue reading “Consider this Way to Relieve Chronic Pain”

Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines

Want to know 7 other pains worse than childbirth?

As a chronic migraine sufferer who has never given birth, I’m incapable of comparing pain. On a scale of 1-10 (as doctors insist on using), my excruciating pain sometimes exceeds 10+, but, I can envision childbirth close or equal. Let’s face it, any horrible pain is a horrible pain.

7 Horrible Types of Pain (not in particular order)

1.   Toothache

2.   Migraines

3.   Trigeminal Neuralgia

4.   Gout

5.   Serious Burns

6.  Pudendal Neuralgia

7.  Cluster Headaches

I’m only including this image of the ‘pain scale’ similar to what docs have used to measure my chronic migraine pain.  It irritates the crap out of me because, how can you assess your pain accurately on a scale?  When my neuro asks me, he peeks at my chart from the last visit and says “oh, we’re worse than last time“.  Me:  “So doc, any suggestions?“, Doc:  Stunned look, clears throat.

1.  TOOTHACHE Continue reading “Want to know 7 other pains worse than childbirth?”

Posted in chronic pain, depression, health, poetry

You Know You…….and invisible illnesses

YOU know you are strong inside despite what mental or chronic illness has dealt you.

YOU know you are doing the best that you can, with what life has handed you.

YOU can pat yourself on the back right now, for a job well done. Mastering and surviving each day with an illness, in my eyes, is a full-time job.

Only YOU will know when it’s time to return to the working world; if that is your goal. It’s alright to be coached and nudged, but you are really the best judge.

Only YOU know the blackness felt during depression – how the pitch black mud swallows you up and is unforgiving, or the isolation.

Maybe YOU don’t know how very precious you are, and that you didn’t ask for this illness, and you didn’t choose to be ill, and that mental illness is not a character flaw.

YOU will find society’s thinking and attitudes on invisible illness stigma still remain, but with education, perhaps people will alter their opinions and/or judgment.

But YOU know YOU, and that is all that is important.

Written and copyright by Deb McCarthy/2017

Originally posted on my blog “Living in Stigma

Posted in chronic pain, exercise, health, migraines

Headaches after Exercising? Tips to avoid

Heads heartbeat:

Avoiding an after-exercise headache

You have a great work-out, then BOOM! – the dreaded after-exercise headache hits. Sometimes it’s right away, sometimes a couple of hours after you’re done exercising.

What’s causing it?

There are a number of things that can cause after exercise headache. If you already suffer from migraine, chances are that your exercise is triggering the migraine chain-reaction. It may be that the symptoms are a little different than what you’re used to – don’t let that throw you off. Chances are, it’s still a migraine.

Continue reading “Headaches after Exercising? Tips to avoid”

Posted in chronic pain, fibromyalgia, health

New Discovery for Fibromyalgia Could Aid Diagnosis 

Researchers discovered a neural signature that identified fibromyalgia with 93% accuracy, according to a 72-patient” study.

These results build off of other important previous work and have to be replicated using other samples of fibromyalgia patients. They represent a natural step in the evolution of our understanding of fibromyalgia as a disorder with an important brain component.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.painmedicinenews.com

Posted in chronic pain, health

How do survivors pee after the pain of Female Genital Mutilation?

Image:  Wikipedia  A campaign against female genital mutilation – a road sign near Kapchorwa, Uganda.

**This article may be upsetting for some readers

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. Country based surveys on the rates of FGM suggest that 200 million women have undergone the procedures in 27 countries in Africa, as well as in Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen, with a rate of 80–98 percent within the 15–49 age group in Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Sudan. The practice is also found elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East and among communities from these areas in other countries.

This article appeared today on BBC News.com Magazine

Some 200 million women and girls across 30 countries have been affected by female genital mutilation (FGM). But how do survivors live with the pain of peeing, periods and childbirth?

“The first time you notice your physicality has changed is your pee,” says Hibo Wardere.

Hibo, now 46, was subjected to what is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “type three” mutilation when she was six. This means all of her labia were cut off and she was then stitched together, leaving a tiny hole she compares to the size of a matchstick.

Continue reading “How do survivors pee after the pain of Female Genital Mutilation?”

Posted in chronic pain, health, sciatia

Low Back Pain Emergencies Could Signal Neurological Injuries

When physicians pick up a chart in the emergency department and see that the chief complaint is low back pain, most have a similar reaction: not another lumbosacral sprain, not another drug-seeker, or not another patient nothing can be done for. Most often, the cause of the low back pain is benign, and many physicians feel ill-equipped with the tools needed to help these patients in any significant way.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.acepnow.com

Posted in chronic pain, migraines

Migraine or Headache?

Migraine and Headaches are two terms that are sometimes used without knowing which is what! In this article it seems to me really important to make sure that when we say “apple” we do not mean “orange”! Both of the above situations refer to a simple fact: PAIN in our head! Since headache means exactly…

via Migraine or Headache? — Good Medical

Posted in chronic pain, fibromyalgia, physical health

I’m not getting enough Sleep with my Fibromyalgia Pain. Why?

Patients coping with the complex (pain disorder) fibromyalgia often have difficulty sleeping, and a new study published in The Journal of Pain reports that despite the negative quality of life implications, poor sleep is not a significant predictor of fibromyalgia pain intensity and duration.

The complexity of fibromyalgia as a pain disorder is rooted in the variable, patient-to-patient, influence of physical, psychological, social factors that contribute to clinical pain, and their influence often is difficult to understand. Previous research has shown that variables such as negative mood and the number of localized pain areas are significant predictors of clinical pain in fibromyalgia patients.

Many fibromyalgia patients complain about poor sleep, and studies have shown that interrupted sleep experienced by individuals with other pain conditions is predictive of next day clinical pain.  Also, sleep duration has been shown to predict clinical pain in healthy adults.  For this study, a research team from the University of Florida hypothesized that decreased total sleep time would predict higher clinical pain in a sample of patients with fibromyalgia.

Seventy-four adults with fibromyalgia were recruited for a University of Florida study and they were observed for 14 days.  Subjects rated their clinical pain every evening and completed sleep diaries describing the previous night’s sleep.

Results of the analysis showed that four sleep measures evaluated in the study failed to significantly predict clinical pain.  The authors noted that the effects of impaired sleep, such as fatigue and inactivity, may play more significant roles in clinical pain than measures of sleep duration or insomnia.

Source:  ScienceDaily.com

Originally posted on my blog “Living in Stigma

Posted in chronic pain, physical health

Horrible Headaches? Could be Chiari Malformation

I’m always looking for other reasons that cause migraines or headaches and came across this:

Chiari Malformation

Chiari malformations (CMs) are structural defects in the cerebellum (the portion of the brain that controls balance).

For the most part, the cerebellum and parts of the brain stem sit in an indented area at the lower position of the skull but above the foramen magnum (funnel-like opening to the spinal canal). But if part of the cerebellum is below the foramen magnum, these are Chiari malformations.

Causes

~ Structural defects in the brain and spinal cord during pregnancy, possibly genetic or absence of proper vitamins or diet

~ Excessive draining of spinal fluid from area of the spine

Symptoms (just listing some) Continue reading “Horrible Headaches? Could be Chiari Malformation”

Posted in chronic pain, physical health

1347. There is a loneliness in this world so great that you can see it in the slow movement of the hands of a clock. ~Charles Bukowski

Excellent post on living with chronic pain.

Sacred Touches

Of pain you could wish only
one thing: that it would stop.
Nothing in the world is so
bad as physical pain.
In the face of pain there are no heroes.
~George Orwell

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This is not a plea for sympathy. Nor is it a cry for help, nor a need for response, nor an abandonment of hope for better days. Instead it is a bid for understanding of a place where some have never been, at least not for very long, a place that has to be believed to be felt because chronic pain comes with a terrible price and aching loneliness. Because I’ve lost another whole day of my life to the chronic pain that has dogged my days since I was 25 years old, I’ve been struggling to cope and understand as well as to find the strength to endure both the pain and the aloneness of it. In…

View original post 584 more words

Posted in chronic pain, health

PAIN IN THE NECK? IT MAY BE CONNECTED TO YOUR JAW!

Temporomandibular Joint (in short TMJ!) PAIN IN THE NECK? IT MAY BE CONNECTED TO YOUR JAW! We all suffer from neck pain from time to time. For some of us it is a regular problem & others it can be intensified when we are feeling stressed. Let’s take a look at the anatomy of our […]

via Pain in the neck? It could be coming from your jaw! — The Mobile Massage Therapist.

Posted in chronic pain, migraines

What are ‘Thunderclap’ Headaches

Picture this….You’re relaxing in your favorite chair, or out with friends for coffee or perhaps enjoying a delightful soothing bath, when unexpectedly, BAM!!, you’re struck with this horrendous pain in your head; the worst headache pain you’ve ever felt.  It’s different from a migraine, and termed a “THUNDERCLAP” headache.

During the warmer weather, two years ago, for a couple of hellish months, I’d been lucky to dodge migraines for a few days here and there.  But, no time for celebration, as I was suddenly contending with these sudden ‘BAM!’ headaches as well.  The pain was directed in the middle of my forehead, top of my head and covering my entire face, not a typical migraine for me, which are bilateral. Continue reading “What are ‘Thunderclap’ Headaches”

Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines

16 Things People With Chronic Pain Want You To Know

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It’s not just in our head. The pain is there and always would be even if there is no apparent reason for it. Our pain is real and will not just go away after we take some pills for a week or two. It would always be there and we have learned to live with it. Here are 16 more things we wish you knew about us!

1. We Don’t Make a Mountain out of a Molehill

You think you can imagine our pain? Now multiply that amount by 10. No matter how sympathetic you are, studies have proved that people tend to underestimate other people’s pain. Chronic pain by default is hard to imagine unless you have experienced it in your life. It’s invisible, but it is always there. We urge health care not out of hypochondria or the need for attention, but because of our severe physical state.

2. We Need to Balance Actions Carefully

We use the Spoon Theory.  We have a limited amount of spoons each day we could use for different actions. Getting up, getting dressed, taking a shower, driving, walking, picking up the phone — each action requires us to use one of our precious spoons. On good days, we finish with a few spoons left so we can do something fun. On bad days, we borrow spoons from the next day and need extra recovery afterward. So if we suddenly cancel our plans with you or tell we can’t do it now — it’s just because we ran out of spoons today. Try to understand this.

Continue reading “16 Things People With Chronic Pain Want You To Know”