Sunday, October 16, 2016

Breathe.....Just Breathe

I finally realized I needed to do something, something different.

As long as I have struggled with headaches I have always had my go to pain medication and techniques to "fix" my headache and make it bearable. That's right to make it bearable, not make it stop, not prevent it from happening but to just deal with it.  So, when I finally saw a neurologist that said he could help me become headache free and medication free I immediately thought WOO HOO!!!!! This is going to be amazing and I can't even begin to fathom how great I am going to feel!

Then boom, Arnold had to come into my life, little did I know it had been stalking me and that it would be just a matter of time before it would cross my path and I would come face to face with it.
Well my plans to be headache and medication free went out the window with my introduction to Arnold.

So now here I was teased with a solution only to have it ripped away with the now pending pain and headaches from having brain surgery to remove a tumor.  What the heck was I supposed to do now, I am on a strict pain management system that I can't detour from, it consists of three medications.

My daily medication is an antidepressant that is supposed to help manage my headaches. It is supposed to decrease the severity and the duration. 

The second medication I take is an "as needed" pill called rizatriptan. I am only allowed to take a max of two pills a day and up to 4 pills within a week.  What that means is when I meet the max I can't take it anymore until it has been 7 days since my last dose.

My third medication cambia is also "as needed" and I can take it in correlation with the rizatriptan, once I have met my max dose I can take the cambia instead with the same limitations of 2 times a day with a max of 4 times a week.

Once I meet my max that is it, can't take anything else, to explain - the reason for multiple meds and a limited dose is to prevent pain medication dependency.

 I would say it does help but my neurologist said we need a few months to establish a pattern and because of my upcoming surgery I will have to basically start over.  He also said the narcotics I may be administered are not good for migraines but will be necessary for managing my pain from surgery, so basically I am between a rock and a hard place. 

This all makes me nervous obviously because I don't want headaches I despise headaches, my husband my kids they despise my headaches, headaches suck.  Sorry, I just hate them.. A LOT.

Anyway, so back to breathing.  I wanted to find ways to calm down and control my anxiety as well as lower my hospital induced high blood pressure so I asked those close to me for advice on what they use to help keep their blood pressure low figuring it would help with the rest of my craziness too.  
I was provided with a lot of suggestions from lowering my sodium intake to meditation.  The meditation option sang a song of joy to me and my friend sent me a link to a video on YouTube 

The video was so calming and it lead me to even more videos (similar to watching a cat video and then realizing it has been three hours and now you are watching videos of cute donkeys playing soccer)  I was lost in relaxation.  I had just gone three days with severe headaches and no relief from my medication so when I fell asleep listening to a meditation video and woke up without a headache and really felt amazing it was such an awesome feeling.  I have gone to bed every night since listening to a meditation video on YouTube and I sleep so well, I wake up rested and full of energy.

Now, I am pretty open minded and I know that not everyone is, so before you think meditation is fluffy and out there if you are really struggling with stress, anxiety or discomfort just try it once, just one time and see if it makes a positive change in your situation.  It doesn't matter if your situation is a brain tumor or an upcoming exam, stress is stress and comes along for many different reasons on many different levels.

There are so many videos that it may become overwhelming when you search but the ones in this blog are my favorites, I also included a version for hearing impaired that has some great reviews. I do have to warn you......these videos make you fall asleep so fast, if you just give into the prompts and allow yourself to relax :)

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