Through my own forgetfulness I forgot to order a repeat prescription for my migraine medications.
I struggle to remember anything complex anyway but for the past 6 months I've been increasing my medicine programme with my neurologist, slowly getting somewhere better but still a long way to go.
My tablets have a half-life (time in bloodstream I think) of 22 hours. I take them when I go to bed and usually get head pain in the evening (if I didn't have it already) when the drugs are wearing off.
Now I face 48 hours without them while my repeat prescription is sorted out. I took today off as a migraine hit me yesterday afternoon at work and I'm just going to have to put up with it.
Oh well, good thing I wasn't going to the office Christmas party anyway huh. Migraine is such a lonely place. I'm not one to reach out.
And I am having to move my London Marathon entry because of it. Gutting week really.
I've had a migraine every day since Saturday. That's 6 days inclusive. Not the same one either, they go, then another comes. Used 5 triptans this week and got today's too late. It's not just annoying, it's scary.
What a fortnight!! My beautiful guinea pig went missing - we think a fox ate him RIP Wheatley...
He had such a huge personality and was a huge part of my life for the short few months we had him - other pig owners will understand, they look so small but are amazing, friendly creatures to bond with.
We have another guinea pig though who is a bit lonely without him, I hate it when animals die, and it's made even worse by the fact there was trail of his gorgeous snow white fur leading down the garden. As if that's not stressful, this past fortnight has been spent dodging HR bullets, I'll go into that later when it all blows over.
So I've been using all this negative energy to focus on my marathon training...
I joined the office running club and went out for the first time yesterday. I was super dehydrated at the end so lesson learned - drink more water! We did about 4.5km and I ran most of it. Tonight is spinning which I'm quite good at, so I can work my butt off at it. I love the feeling of my muscles feeling tight the day after exercise - I feel like I am making progress and it's having an effect, and I'm really lucky to have a gym at the office with personal trainers on-hand to offer advice.
The migraines are still not under control though. I used to have them most days a week and with all my medication they'd reduced slightly. On Saturday I ran out of medication and was bedridden for most of the day - double bad because I'd gone to visit my family in Yorkshire for the weekend and couldn't spend time with them as I couldn't bear light or noise. Since then I've taken a triptan every day, for 5 days. Triptans are like little emergency pills us migraineurs take when we feel an attack coming on, in addition to any daily medicines we may use. They're only really supposed to be used a few times a month (I get 6 a month), not 5 days in a row.
I'm unsure about going back to my neurologist - it's expense I can't afford since I went private as NHS waiting lists are months long, and then the doctor may have to refer you again. It's a complete joke - we can afford wars and aid for other countries but we can't afford a decent health service and education system.
My neurologist is worth his weight in gold and I can't recommend him enough. I should really go back and see him - 5 migraines is as many days is as bad as I was before I started treatment. The only difference is that I have these triptans to take at work. I also take 2 x ibuprofen every time I go to the gym to avoid the pain of an exercise-triggered migraine. It's ridiculous. Sometimes I wonder how I would hold down a job without my current prescriptions - I'm essentially powered by drug companies, and working for one that used to be at the forefront of migraine research. Having this condition (chronic daily migraine) has a double-edged sword: it's an invisible disability so people can't judge me and I can go about my day at work without it affecting me for the most part, but it's an invisible disability so people who need to understand it do not - I don't 'look' ill or disabled, I am able to do exercise sometimes, they don't see all the management, research and routine that are my attempts to keep migraines at bay.
On a lighter note, I need some creative fundraising ideas for my challenge, for The Migraine Trust. Any suggestions!?
I went for a run yesterday. I had a migraine as I mentioned in my last post but it never developed into anything crazy so I went for a run. I had a good chat with Dan at the gym and we're meeting next week to tear apart my running technique and get me marathon-ready from a posture and style point-of-view.
I've had a bit of a time of it at work recently with my health issues, HR, Employee Health and an office move pulling me in all directions, as well as looking for a new job (which is no secret to anyone saying I need to hide this fact!) so have a lot going on and a lot on my mind. I tried to visualise the people irritating me the most while I was running, to take some of the negative energy resulting from things upsetting me and turn it into drive and power to succeed.
But all I could imagine was my brother (read his triathlon blog here) pushing me, shouting at me, willing me on. It looked something like this:
Bah! He's not wrong! I did 2km in 15 mins and learned that I don't drink enough water - but I also keep forgetting that a marathon isn't about speed. I run too fast. I need to be able to sustain a run, and the distance will come as I increase it in time.
However, I can do planks already for almost a minute (hello abs) which was an original goal, so now the goal becomes 2 minutes.
Game on! As always folks, sponsorship link is here:
I must need my head checking.
Oh no, already had that done and I was diagnosed with Chronic Daily Migraine.
And then a few months later I was given a place in the London Marathon, running for The Migraine Trust - a charity which has given me amazing support this year, and also supports many other people. I'm part of an AMAZING migraine support group who listen to me whinge and moan and understand because they also suffer with migraines rather badly. I feel normal again, to a point. I am running to raise funds for research to improve our lives. Group - thank you, on a daily basis. Especially when you remind me not to cry as it makes the head POUND!
Anyhoo, I have no idea how I am going to run a marathon with migraines almost every day. They'd reduced to 2-3 a week but are now back to pretty much every day. I was having acupuncture weekly and maybe that made them worse. Who knows.
But I still have a marathon to run, no matter what. I WILL do it!
My neurologist and I have spoken at length about fitness, training and migraines. By the way, if you found this blog because you too are a migraineur: a) my sympathies and b) this is my neurologist and I cannot recommend him enough.
He says, "The provision of care for neurology patients in the United Kingdom is a national disgrace and an international embarrassment. Average wait to see a neurologist in the UK is more than seven months. The degree of anxiety and suffering this causes is totally unacceptable."
Right on, bro, couldn't have said it better myself.
I was taking triptans (preventative medication, in addition to the seven tablets I take every bedtime) before each gym session to avoid running bringing on a migraine attack but that's neither good for me or realistic. He suggested taking some ibuprofen an hour before my gym session, the idea being that anti-inflammatories will reduce the chance of any arteries supplying blood to my brain expanding to cause a migraine. I tried this for the first time just now so will let you know how it goes although I have had a migraine all afternoon.
Normally ibuprofen hasn't taken the pain in my head away one single bit BUT that was before I started my daily medication programme. I really hope it helps, I need to train.
I'm going to work with one of the gym personal trainers next week to devise a non-running marathon routine so I can work on my posture on particularly bad days - I just hope these are few and far between. We migraineurs know the annoyance of not being able to plan because of our diagnosis, but a marathon requires this discipline. On marathon day (13 April 2014) I'm no doubt going to have migraine so may as well learn how to cope when I have to run with one.
Please think about sponsoring me here to motivate me to complete this event. Or perhaps you can help by organising an event locally, or help me at one. I would be WOWED by that. Email me on prelovedrelovedkim (at) gmail.com, or send me a tweet. This is going to be one of the most difficult challenges I have ever done (even harder than a sponsored silence) and I know a migraine charity isn't at the forefront of most people's charity giving intentions (sob story, etc), people think migraines don't kill people (they can) or they're not as important as cancer (more people suffer migraines than cancer and it costs our economy billions) so try this infographic I made in September for size:
I'm moving office in a month's time and dreading the effect that it's going to have on my head. Two buses (can't drive, and can't learn with my condition), standing in the freezing cold, wind blowing right on my face - it's a recipe for ouch. Even the preparation of moving there is stressing me out, no wonder my migraines continue with force.
Right, I hurt, still. A lot. I just saw an option for guestlist +1 for one of my favourite bands and have turned it down, and you know (or should) how important music is in my life.