Monday, April 8, 2013

My Open Letter to Nancy Grace: A Migraine is NOT a Headache

Picture courtesy of SalFalco
Dear Nancy Grace,
I was watching your recaps of weeks 13 and 14 of the Jody Arias trial (accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008) this past weekend. You were discussing a day court recessed early because Arias had a Migraine. A few times you said court recessed because Arias "had a Headache"...I think you said "just a Headache". See Headache: Did Arias migraine put brakes on trial?

The problem is Migraines are NOT Headaches. A Headache is one of the many symptoms of a Migraine attack and some people don't even experience a Headache during an attack. The head pain of a Migraine attack can be excruciating. It's throbbing pain that's caused by misfiring of neurons. One of the ways a Migraine differs from other types of head pain is because it's (usually) one-sided.

Migraine is a neurological biological genetic disease. It's a disease just like Diabetes, Epilepsy or Cancer. There is no cure for Migraine but for over 95% of Migraineurs (Migraine sufferers) frequency and intensity can be minimized or even prevented through things like medication or trigger avoidance.

Arias claims she's having Migraine attacks because she's not being provided lunch. I'm not a neurologist and neither are you but, I bet you and I can offer this advice...EAT SOMETHING. If she has another attack during court, instead of recessing court for the day, if she's been prescribed a Triptan (a Migraine-specific medication that comes in various delivery methods such as a tablet, injection, nasal spray and sublingual) use it, and lie down in a dark room for an hour. If this helps, court can resume. If this doesn't help, then the court can decide what the plans are for the remainder of the day. Depending on the specific Triptan, she may be able to take another dose or another treatment can be administered. Many Migraineurs have a treatment plan (both written and unwritten) that outlines what the next step is when their primary method fails. Maybe she should too.

Did Arias have a Migraine attack? Did she have a Headache? Was she faking? We'll never know. I will say this, I know thousands of Migraineurs and, although possible, I have never met anyone who's ONLY symptom of a Migraine attack is a Headache.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Love Beats Hate Blogging Event

Bloggers are uniting today to spread the message about how LOVE in online communities triumphs over haters who attack marginalized populations.

For a list of people participating in this blog event go to Linky Tools. For more information check out Chronic and Love Beats Hate (Facebook link).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thoughts of the Day

Picture courtesy of Laurie Avocado
If you think MEDICAL Marijuana has anything to do with south of the border drug cartels, dime bags of weed bought on the street, addiction or gateways drugs -You're wrong and you need to EDUCATE YOURSELF.

Ever wonder why someone using opioids such as Morphine, Demerol or Fentanyl would trade them for MEDICAL Marijuana in a heartbeat if it provided at least the same if not better pain relief?

Ask someone suffering a terminal disease or debilitating chronic pain if they'd use MEDICAL Marijuana if it meant they could be pain free for 10 minutes to do simple things (like standing at the sink washing dishes) you take for granted ever day.

Ask an MS patient with involuntary muscle spasms, an AIDS patient with Wasting Syndrome, or a Chemo patient suffering with severe nausea/vomiting if they think MEDICAL Marijuana has no proven or acceptable medical use.

Before you say anything about SMOKING MEDICAL Marijuana, check out the new delivery systems researchers come up with every day (i.e. Sativex).

And check your facts before you say MEDICAL Marijuana kills. According to FDA data, Marijuana was NOT reported as a primary cause of death at all between January 1,1997 to June 30, 2005.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Migraine Sufferers Have Lower Annual Incomes

Results of The American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention study (AMPP) was presented at The 2010 European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress (EHMTIC) on October 29, 2010. This study found those with Chronic Migraine (greater that or equal to 15 days per month) are more likely to have annual household incomes below $30,000 vs. those with Episodic Migraine (less than 15 days per month).

The AAMP is the largest Migraine study every conducted. Questionaires were mailed to 163,000 participants beginning in 2004 and 24,000 of them were followed annually through 2009. Income statistics were acquired from 6,927 participants – 373 Chronic Migraineurs and 6,554 with Episodic Migraines. The results show 38.3% of Chronic Migraineurs and 26.5% of Episodic Migraineurs had annual household incomes of less than $30,000.

To assist in determining Migraine and Headache impact on daily life, participants in 2009 used The Headache Impact Test (HIT-6). This test helps
measures the burden of headache in areas including work, school, social life and feeling such as fatigue, irritability and difficulty with concentration over the previous month.
Scores on this test range from 36-78. You can take this test online by visiting The Headache Impact Test (HIT-6). For a paper copy, and to see the questions click  HERE,

Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Director of Behavioral Medicine at the Montefiore Headache Center in Bronx, NY, study co-investigator Dawn C. Buse, PhD said,
These results reinforce the fact that the impact of headache is most significant among persons with chronic migraine when compared to persons with episodic migraine. In addition, we find that headache impact is predicted by headache pain intensity, severity of associated symptoms, and the presence of depression.
Richard B. Lipton, MD, study co-investigator, Professor of Neurology at Einstein and Director of Montefiore adds,
...chronic migraine, its symptoms, and comorbidities including depression and anxiety are very treatable. (He) advises, “Persons living with chronic migraine should speak with a knowledgeable health care professional about available treatments.
A research grant to the National Headache Foundation from Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, Inc. funded the AMPP. Additional analysis were supported by Allergan, Inc.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tylenol Stinks (AGAIN!)

Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare, is recalling one lot (128,000 bottles) of Tylenol 8 Hour caplets in 50-count bottles because of a musty or moldy odor. This is thought to be caused by trace amounts of 2,4,6-tribromoanisole, a fungicide used to treat packing materials and wooden pallets. Consumers complained of stomach pain, nausea/vomiting and diarrhea after taking the pills.

This is the FIFTH (5th) time Johnson &Johnson has recalled a nonprescription medication because of complaints of an unpleasant odor and their THIRTEENTH (13th) product recall this year.

Click or call 1-888-222-6036 if you need instructions on receiving a refund. If you have medical concerns, contact your healthcare provider.

Photo courtesy of Deborah Austin.

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's About Time: FDA Finally Approves Botox for Migraine Prevention

Doctors have been using Botox for years to treat chronic Migraine even though it wasn't FDA approved for this disease. As of last Friday, the FDA finally approved it for chronic Migraine prevention.  For those of you who have never tried it because of the cost should now have an easier time getting your health insurance to pay for this treatment.

Botox is a poison that's injected around the head to lessen future head pain. The FDA recommends injections every three months. It doesn't work for everyone but many people have had success with it. If you've never tried it, this might be something to consider.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October 2010 Headache & Migraine Blog Carnival - Hobbies and Coping

Check out October's edition of the Headache & Migraine Blog Carnival posted over at Diana Lee's site Somebody Heal Me. The theme for this edition is "How have your hobbies helped you cope with your Headache disorder?"

Don't know what a blog carnival is? A blog carnival is a collection of links to a variety of a blogs on a central topic. The Headache & Migraine Blog Carnival provides both Headache and Migraine Disease patients and people who blog about headache disorders with unique opportunities to share ideas on topics of particular interest and importance to us. Visit this month's carnival for a collection of informative entries on the role hobbies play in those who suffer with Headache disorders or other chronic illnesses.

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