Sunday, June 1, 2014

Migraines on Vacation? Well Crap....Just Out of My Grasp


Hugs for today!
Good morning!  I’ve decided to use my blog not only to writing, music, and other facets of entertainment, but, also to share my journey. I’ve had significant health problems for almost two years. Initially, my rheumatologist diagnosed me with systemic lupus (SLE) on June 19, 2013. However, the medication wasn’t working and I kept getting worse and developing new symptoms. So, after second, third, and fourth opinions, my neurologist believes instead I have fibromyalgia. 
In April 2014 I visited yet another rheumatologist who I hoped would be familiar with autoimmune disorders. Following an extensive intake during my initial appointment, I found a place where the doctor also listened to me. Based upon my blood work, the doctor believes I have Sjogren’s Syndrome. She also made the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and pre-lupus. I’ve never heard of pre-lupus, but, hopefully it stays in the “pre” category.
Thank you for listening, each week I will have a new installment chronicling my journey- Which is now more frustrating than ever. I test positive for ANAs in my blood, but, the lupus tests are negative. There are several varieties of autoimmune disorders, with different caveats and health variations. Learning to live with the unknown has become my routine.
Migraines on Vacation- It sucks!
Okay, folks, happy post Memorial Day and welcome to the dog days of summer. Although it isn’t officially summer until June 21, it’s feeling hot in Dallas. Hopefully, I can get in my pool this weekend!  Hey hey hey!
So, over Memorial Day, we had a heckuva time in Galveston, TX. Although the beaches could stand a little seaweed maintenance, it’s always a good day at the ocean. My nieces and kids built sandcastles and we applied sunscreen like crazy. We managed out there almost all day Saturday and all day Sunday. Our hotel was across the street, so, very convenient.
We stayed at the Commodore on the Beach. Now, the rooms are dated, but, we didn’t care, that wasn’t our primary reason for the visit, we were going to be outside. But, the great thing is we also had poolside rooms with sliding glass door, so, access to the pool was awesome!  Just across the street is the beach on the Seawall, so, it’s perfect location.
I must give a shoutout to Joann at the front desk. She asked me about my tattoo and asked if I was a teacher or something. (because of the books) When I said I was an author, she smiled so big and got so excited. “I’ve never met an author in real life before!” she completely made my day and made me feel like a superstar. I took her a book of mine and swag. She said her daughter writes a book blog and would be in touch. It was amazing.
Back to the story- so on Sunday, we headed to the beach again. We had cold beverages of all kinds and over the course of the afternoon, I had 3-4 beers, but, paced myself, stayed out of the sun and under the umbrella. I also ate food. I had a nice ocean buzz and enjoyed the day.
But, I sensed trouble coming in the form of nausea and a heaviness across my eyes and the bridge of my nose. We got ready to go out to eat and the kids chose Rainforest Café, my little almost grandson had never been and my nieces love it, so, off we went. High priced with marginal food, but, it’s all about atmosphere.
It hit in the middle of the thunder and gorilla grunting. The migraine arrived full blown and it again felt like an axe between my eyes and my eyes hurt. Thankfully, we returned to the room not long after and I went to bed. (feeling bad because I couldn’t hang out with everyone) I took some meds, but, if you are familiar with migraines, you know there isn’t much to stop it once it starts. One must power through it. Unless you have a remedy, then, please share.
I spent the night in the air conditioned room under the covers with a pillow over my head. I kept turning it over to the “cool side” to keep my head cool. If I’d had the strength, I would have gotten up for some peppermint essential oil on my temples, but, I couldn’t manage it. At home I have ice packs designed to fit over my eyes, but, I had to make do with the cool side of the pillow. My eyes felt like they were gonna pop out. I managed some of my take home cheeseburger to try to ease the nausea, but, nope. A few bites and I had to stop.
The pain finally subsided and I awakened about 9am, thankful for the relief. My head felt bruised and my eyes were sore and felt like someone had repeatedly punched them with sand under my lids. We ate a lunch and I got quite a bit down and it settled my stomach more. I drank some Big Red, haven’t had it in years, and Pepsi. It also eased my stomach.
I had to drive home, which is about 5 hours. Thank goodness the throbbing stopped, but, the migraine teased me again. I made it home pain free and thanked the Lord another migraine didn’t blast in.
A couple of things to note- I know some folks say the sugars and sweeteners in soda pop, foods, etc make their pain worse. But, the soda actually eased my stomach and the caffeine helped open up the blood flow in my brain. I didn’t overindulge, just enough to satisfy the thirst.
Also, the beer and the yeast might have helped trigger the migraine. However, I don’t drink beer or other alcohols very often anymore. (the sulfites in the beer and wine sometimes trigger an allergic reaction and headache for me.)
I may not have drunk enough water, but, I tried to stay hydrated and even ate fruits and vegetables for additional water intake.
The quick trip, stress of driving, and the combination of good stress factors for vacation were the perfect breeding grounds for a migraine. So, I learned a few things from this trip.


Number one, when possible, drive during the daylight hours when I’m normally awake. We left around 7pm and didn’t arrive until 1am in the morning. I stayed awake longer than I should have, missed my amitriptyline and didn’t get sufficient rest.
Number two, when drinking a beer drink maybe two waters in between. Adding the additional water can help with the hydration and keep my blood vessels open and flowing.
Number three, get enough good rest. The beds were uncomfortable and we were crowded. My sleep wasn’t as regenerative and my body suffered the consequences. Stressors, even good stressors like family time and vacation, can mean we get less rest because we are excited to be awake and enjoying the time. It’s a careful balance.
My body is now like a domino effect. One thing happens and triggers something else and the next thing I know I’m in a flare. The flare doesn’t always mean a migraine headache, but, on the vacation it did.
I hope you enjoy many vacations this summer and get into a variety of new activities, but as always, be conscious of your body and take care of you.

2 comments:

morgan said...

Sulfites, who knew? I didn't. You've given me a lot to consider.

Davee said...

Hi Morgan, yes, I didn't know about the sulfites and how they affected me until recently. Wish I'd known before.