Apr 15, 2010

turns out, I do get "aura"!

I always thought that I didn't get an aura before my migraines. I was actually a little jealous of the people who got flashing lights, zig-zags, and a host of other interesting "heads-up" symptoms that a migraine was on its way.

The other day I realized that about 20 minutes before the start of my headaches, I get a hard to describe "prickly", "pins and needles", "electric" kind of feeling from my occipital area around to my eyes.

I suppose I always thought that this was actually the headache (as it is uncomfortable), but I've recently learned that if I can throw enough medication at it while I'm in this "prickly" phase, I can prevent it from getting worse.

Does anyone else get "aura" that isn't visual?

Apr 14, 2010

teaching empathy?

A visting scholar, Dr. Arno Kumagai from the University of Michigan Medical School gave a fascinating presentation to our faculty a few weeks ago.

Dr. Kumagai is the director of an innovative program for first-year medical students called the "Family Centred Experience", where students are matched for a year with families dealing with chronic illness.

At the end of the year, the students create some form of artistic representation of the illness experience.

Please take a moment to listen to this mp3. I wish I could give proper credits, but was only able to find it listed as: Ben, Heiko, and Cailin
The song is about migraine experience, it left me in tears. These students are amazing.

mp3 Performance of "Lullaby", scroll down page to see

Apr 11, 2010

haute migraine

Apr 8, 2010

The "F" Word


I saw an Internist yesterday about why I don't seem to ever feel 100% well. After reviewing my symptoms (constant low-grade fever, feeling flu-like ever few weeks, horrible fatigue), she mentioned that some of my concerns sounded like fibromyalgia.

I worry that if I get stuck with the "f"-word, it will undermine my efforts to find out what really is wrong with me. My main issue isn't muscle pain; it is fatigue and flu-like illness.

The thing is, I know my body. I know what it feels like to be healthy and active. I reject the chronic disease label. I don't want to give up hope and just learn to live like this.

Fortunately, this Internist is willing to keep working with me to find the source of my problem. Next stop: endocrinology. Possible future step: infectious disease.

*I do believe that Fibromyalgia exists. I just don't think that I have it.