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.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mom Finds Perfect Way To Communicate With Daughter About Suicide of Rutgers Student

I rarely blog about something off topic, but today I'm making an exception.  If you're a parent with a kid in high school or college, you may have found it really hard to talk to him/her about the Rutgers student "who committed suicide after his sexual encounter with a man in his dormitory room was secretly streamed online".

Vicky Bell found a perfect way to communicate her feelings with her college student daughter by writing her a letter.  Please take a few minutes and read what Vicky so eloquently wrote in "Letter to my daughter (in the wake of senseless tragedy)".

Thanks for writing this beautiful letter, Vicki.

Having a Hobby Can Help You Cope With Migraine or Any Other Illness

Like others in the same situation I'm in, I lose a lot of time to Migraine Disease and chronic illness. I call this my “downtime”. In addition to being unable to do anything, I used to spend much of this time wondering what I “woulda”, “coulda” and “shoulda” been doing. Just thinking about the dishes piled up in the sink or the grocery shopping that needed to be done drove me crazy.

Over time, I've learned how to manage my time better and incorporate simple things (such as online grocery shopping and bill paying) to free up time on my good days – my “uptime”. Because of this freed up time, I now have time for my hobby.

Wikipedia, says a hobby is:
an activity of interest that is undertaken for pleasure or relaxation, typically done during one's leisure time.
On the other hand, Urban Dictionary, says a hobby is:
Something you like enjoy doing until you decide making it your profession...
My definition of a hobby is a combination of both:
“an activity of interest that is undertaken for pleasure or relaxation, typically done during one's leisure time” you enjoy “doing until you decide making it your profession”.
If you're considering a hobby, here's some things to keep in mind...

  • A lot of people will tell you a hobby is a waste of time. IGNORE THEM.
  • A hobby is a good way to learn about something that you didn't know much about before or realize a passion or talent you didn't know you had.
  • A hobby can keep your mind active.
  • A hobby can help you express your creativity
  • Having a hobby is a good way to relax and reduce stress.
  • A hobby is a good networking tool – It's a good way to share common interests with others or learn from others with different interests.
  • Doing something fun can help reduce depression.
  • Some hobbies can reduce the affects of certain physical conditions such as improving strength, dexterity or range of motion.
  • A hobby can help manage your pain. The article Hobbies Help Arthritic Hands suggests you do the  activity "immediately after you take your pain medication or at a time of day when you feel better..."  The article offers other suggestions such as using heat treatment before the activity and taking frequent breaks to stretch.
My hobby just kinda happened. I have always enjoyed crocheting but the thought of myself sitting in a rocking chair, surrounded by balls of yarn, doing the granny thing making doilies and potholders drove me nuts.  Fortunately I kept seeing things that inspired me.  Everywhere I went, everything I did, flipping through magazines, on the internet, whatever, wherever...I'd see something and think, "that would make the most awesome afghan". Eventually I was able to block the rocking chair image out of my mind and dive in...


I make afghans using a technique called “Tunisian Crochet”. Many people consider this to be a cross between knitting and crochet. Unlike traditional crochet, one row of Tunisian is worked in two different passes. Loops are worked on the hook in the first pass and worked off the hook in the second. The work is never turned so the right side is always the facing side.

I prefer making my afghans using a special hook called a flexible afghan hook (Picture on left below). It looks like a regular crochet hook that has a cable on the end so that I can put a lot of loops on the hook. Other people use a very long hook with a stopper on the end . (Top hook in picture on right below.  Bottom hook is a regular one.)

Here are some examples of what I do. My afghans use lots of color changes using a technique similar to Intarsia.

It doesn't matter what your hobby is; paint-by-number, making jewelery, collecting Beanie Babies or bird watching. If it helps you cope with your Headache disorder or other chronic illness, it's worth it.

And finally, to answer the question, “Do you sell those things?” The answer is NO. However I do give them away and I will consider a trade or barter. If you can come up with the idea for my next one, I will make it for you. This is not a joke, game or contest. It's simple, if I like your idea, IT'S YOURS. You can email me, leave me a comment here or contact me on Facebook. If you wish to send me a picture, that's fine too.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Sunglasses May Help Migraine Sufferers

Industrial Vision Corporation, a manufacturer with 30 years of experience, of ophthalmic and occupational lenses, has come out with a new sunglasses that may help Migraine sufferers. The sunglasses, developed by certified optometrists, designers AND Migraine sufferers, are called MigraShades.

MigraShades are darker than regular sunglasses. The lenses have internal filters to block UVA/UVB and horizontal light waves. Unlike regular sunglasses, these glasses filter blue light and reflective light and eliminate haze and erratic wave lengths.

The benefits of MigraShades are listed HERE and you can order a pair for $139 HERE.

More information can be found in the press release New MigraShades Sunglasses Provide Help For Migraine Sufferers.

Friday, May 7, 2010

School Information Migraine Packs for Students, Parents and Teachers

Please forgive my absence.  My computer blew last September and I'm just getting back to my online life.

Here's some information just in time for school exams.  The Migraine Association of Ireland (MAI) has new downloadable School Information Packs for students (teens), parents and teachers.  The MAI says:
The new Schools Information Pack aims to raise awareness of migraine and how it can affect children's schoolwork and their personal and family lives. The pack also arms parents and students with practical and reliable information about the condition, which will help reduce the significant impact it can have.
Below is the MAI's description of each Information Pack and the location of the download.

The guide for students aims to inform and educate about migraine and also to encourage teenagers to take responsibility for managing their own condition. The booklet contains useful lifestyle tips on reducing the impact of migraine as well as features on famous migraineurs and managing migraine at exam time.
Click HERE for this download.

In this booklet we highlight the importance of having the condition diagnosed early, so that the effect it has on the child's life can be minimised. We also point out the main differences between migraine in children and adults. Although migraine runs in families, parents sometimes fail to recognise their child's migraine symptoms if they are different to their own.
Parents are of course, their child's immediate source of support. The booklet offers advice for parents in helping their child cope with their migraine attacks, while at the same time recommending that the child takes responsibility for managing their own condition.
Click HERE for this download.

The teachers guide to migraine is a short explanation of the condition, how to recognise or even predict it in students and what to do if an attack occurs in the classroom. Because migraine can interfere with a students work throughout their school-life, we also offer advice which may help get the student back to their desk as soon as possible, without having to send the student home.

Migraine attacks can also be triggered by events related to school and its environment and these issues are also covered.
Click HERE for this download.

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