Friday, 25 December 2015

Early Start

Merry Christmas to all of you reading this (assuming that you read it today, which most of you probably won't, so I hope that you had a nice Christmas, or are having a nice, pain free day).

Ahh the joys of waking up with a migraine.  It's my own fault as I had a migraine yesterday and after taking a triptan at lunch time and a paramol mid afternoon, I decided that it was sufficiently in the background to leave for the rest of the day.  Just before bed it started to come back, but I took the decision that a good night's sleep would do the job.

So I wasn't completely surprised that at 3:52am I woke up with a raging mig.  Cursing my bad judgement I tried for all of 3 minutes to go back to sleep, failed miserably and stumbled downstairs to dose up.  "Just give me the drugs man" is a phrase that is becoming quite common in our house, although it's me that says it the most, my daughter sadly has a need to say the same as she has recently started to get migraines.  She is 13 and we think that they are linked to her newly acquired womanhood (hey, I'm a bloke so don't expect details here!)  In a sad selfish way it is kind of nice to have someone else in the house who really understands what I am going through.  And it is also kind of nice to be able to offer support to someone else who has migs as I really understand what she is going through except auras which I don't get and she does.  Our docs are really good in that if we do the research and ask for a specific medicine, they will give it to us.  So she has some triptans of her own now which is kind of cute as her single box is nestled up against the dozens that I have!  Thankfully, she didn't get one last month and this month also seems clear so far, but being the old pro that I am, I made sure that she kept a diary of the previous 24 hours so we can hopefully find a pattern next time she gets one.

Ok I digress, even though it was an important digression.  So I stumbled downstairs, opened my box of tricks and took 2 drugs which contained pretty much everything I needed; paracetamol, neurofen, aspirin, co-codamol and caffeine.  Stumbled back upstairs into bed, put my earpiece in, turned on an Andrew Johnson MP3 and tried in vain to sleep.  Andrew Johnson is a life saver.  He has produced a huge number of apps and MP3s to help people relax, change and create.  I have about a
dozen of them and they have regularly saved me from a sleepless night.  Many a morning I have had to fish through the bedsheets to find my earpiece which has fallen out in the night.  I just wish that I knew what he said at the end of his MP3s as I rarely stay awake long enough to hear that far through them.

But this morning I didn't fall asleep as the pain was too much even for the gentle tones of the mighty AJ.  I am now awake with my boy and feeling the groggy after-effects of the drugs, mig and lack of sleep.  But, at least the pain has gone.  Next time I try to sleep a mig off, will you remind me that it is a bad idea!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Cefaly - at last

I have resisted buying the Cefaly machine for a long time as I have never been convinced by the lack of proper research into it's effectiveness.  There have been tests but they have not been clinical enough to be approved in this country (although it is available on insurance in America).  What we need are some proper double blind tests to prove beyond all doubt that it works.  The other reason that I have been resisting is that in America you can get your money back if it doesn't work whereas in the UK they don't offer the same policy and £250 is just a little bit too much to pay just to try something out.

But, my migraines have been getting slowly worse (I am currently getting 27 days of headaches per month with 18 being migs) so I decided that it was worth the expense to try and manage my migs (actually my mum helped with the costs so yay mum!)

It arrived yesterday and I eagerly unwrapped the boxes to see what it;s all about.

It comes in a cool case to keep it safe.  Quite sturdy and looks good.  The machine itself is disappointingly flimsy.  The battery covers are loose and seem to be gripping on by the skin of their teeth.  But, looks aren't everything, after all, I would gladly slap a piece of rusty metal round my head if only it would keep the pain at bay.

It is easy to put on. You put the plaster on your forehead and rest the machine on the protruding metal contact.
It doesn't click into place but just rests there.  I like to make a clicking noise as it makes it more fun, but that's just me.

Ok here we go... Two presses of the button for migraine preventative...
I am making these notes as I go so sorry for their brevity. 

  • Immediate migraine over right eye.
  • Eyebrows feel like they are standing on edge.
  • Then feel like they are trying to fly off.
  • Migraine then over both eyes.
  • The fuzziness creeps up my forehead.
  • Goes into my head.
  • Right back to my crown feels fuzzy and numb to the touch.
  • Ouch.
  • Ouch.
  • Ouch.
  • It feels like a hammer above my eyes.
  • If I raise my eyebrows up the fuzz stops but the pain increases.
  • Ouch.
  • No pain no gain.
  • Ouch.
  • Pins and needles in forehead.
  • I think it's reached it maximum now. It does that after 12 minutes.
  • Did I say ouch???
  • My eyes are vibrating.
  • It feels like my forehead is climbing down over my eyes.
  • My eyes are bloodshot now.
  • If I close my eyes my forehead stings.
  • My teeth are aching but I think that's because I am tensing them.
  • Do you know I said it had reached its maximum, I think I was wrong.
  • My forehead feels like it is made of sand.
  • My skull is completely numb to the touch.
  • Ouch.
  • Ouch.
  • This feels like a bad migraine over both eyes.
  • At least I know this pain won't last more than 20 minutes.
  • I hope the timer works as I've forgotten what time it started.
  • It's like a mig without the side effects.
  • I was hoping to be able to do things whilst using this but I'm not so sure now.
  • I can't see now as everything is wobbling.
  • Either I'm getting used to it or the intensity is decreasing.
  • And it's over
  • Wow release
  • My forehead is aching slightly and head is numb a little.
  • Slight ache in forehead and it is red in the shape of the electrode sticker.
Wow I feel a bit drained after that.  You can stop the intensity increasing at any time by pressing the button again, but I was determined to leave it and cope. No pain no gain.
I tried it again this morning and just as my forehead started to go numb after nearly 5 minutes (I remembered to time it this morning), the batteries ran out.  Slightly disappointing as they are meant to last a month, but I was actually relieved to avoid the pain again...  Still, it won't stop me, I just might press the button before the full 12 minute build up next time!

Nurofen Price Cheats

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, but there hasn't really been much to post about.  My migs have been getting steadily worse and there are no other cures on offer.

It seems that the news has at last caught up with my previous post stating that headache drugs are a rip off!  Nurofen are currently in the spotlight as they have been caught in Australia offering the same drug in different packets at different prices (again, see my previous post stating just that).  But as I found, Nurofen are certainly not the worst offenders.  That prize went to Migraleve Yellow tablets (32p per tablet v's 3p for exactly the same unbranded tablet).  The rest of the industry should be worried as fingers need to be pointed in all direction.

The general advice (as per Radio 4 this morning) is that you are safe to take generic medication over branded alternatives.  They are put through the same tests, the same safety and will act in the same way.  If in doubt, ask your pharmacist.

What my previous post did help with is finding a new tablet.  My new favourite drug is Anadin Extra.  The pound shop near me sells them for £1 for 8 which is pretty good so I stock up whenever I go.  They don't seem to mind me buying multiple packets at once.