Tag Archives: migraine

I. Am. So. Screwed.

The American Academy of Neurology has released reports from two studies that women who suffer migraine with visual aura have an increased risk for experiencing a “cardiac event” such as heart attack or stroke.

Migraine Barbie has Snapped!

Migraine Barbie has Snapped! (Photo credit: Deborah Leigh (Migraine Chick))

“The first study showed that migraine with aura is a strong contributor to the development of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. The Women’s Health Study involved 27,860 women, 1,435 of whom had migraine with aura. During the 15-year study, there were 1,030 cases of heart attack, stroke or death from a cardiovascular cause. The study examined the relative contribution of various vascular risk factors to these major cardiovascular events.”

“After high blood pressure, migraine with aura was the second strongest single contributor to risk of heart attacks and strokes,” said study author Tobias Kurth, MD, ScD, of INSERM, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Kurth is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “It came ahead of diabetes, current smoking, obesity, and family history of early heart disease.”

Hmmm.  I have hypertension.  I have migraine with aura.  I could stand to lose a little (okay, okay – maybe more than a little) weight.  I. Am. So. Screwed.

Grim Reaper (advertisement)

Grim Reaper (advertisement) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


What is a girl (okay, okay, a woman pushing fifty sixty) supposed to do?  What does one wear for a cardiac event?  These are questions I am sure you want answered.

First, a girl can lower her risk by not smoking (check), lowering her blood pressure (check-ish), keeping her weight down (um, well, duly noted) and exercising (Ha! Fat freakin’… oh… I mean, duly noted).

As for what to wear for a cardiac event…this gal plans on wearing a red dress for a while, and when that Reaper asshat comes to get me, I hope to be wearing a little(r) black dress, out on the dance floor.

Stay tuned…


Filed under humor

Friday Facebook Family and Friends 11/11/11

I have been missing in action all week – I’ve had a migraine of major proportion.  It responds to the medication but keeps coming back, with a vengence.  So when I haven’t been medicated (and mumbling, stumbling and glassy-eyed) I have been hung over from the meds.  Not my favorite way to spend a week.  But my family and friends kept up their usual shenanigans…


Filed under General Mumblings, Uncategorized

Suffering Succotash

Today is my sister’s birthday.  She is a little older than I am (although most people assume I am older since I stopped coloring my hair years ago).   We are in the back row (I’m on the left).  She is the only person left on earth who has known me since the day I was born.  She knows me probably better than anyone and loves me anyway.  We make quite a pair – she has a hearing loss and I am very forgetful.  She can remember anything if she can hear it, and I can hear everything, but can’t remember it.  I wish I could give her a birthday hug in person, cyber hugs just don’t cut it.

Alice Marie Flannery

Happy Birthday, Sis.


I am recovering from a 3 day weather-induced migraine/sinus splitting headache combo.  It was pretty rough.  I may, or may not, have left stupid comments on some blogs.  If I did, I apologize.  If I didn’t, I wish I had, I can be pretty entertaining on medications….


I attended a memorial service Monday evening for one of my nursing students who died from a heart attack.  He was a great guy – an older student (35), large, loud, bright and funny.  He was a husband and father of 5.  He came from a very large family with 13 siblings, many adopted.  His cheery presence will be greatly missed both in the classroom and in the nursing lab I run for the college.

He worked full time, went to school full time and was a father – full time.  He laughed about burning the candle at both ends.  He lived on Red Bull and other “energy” drinks to keep himself alert and constantly moving.  His wit was razor sharp and his capacity for absorbing minutiae was incredible.

His widow, his children, and his siblings each read a letter written to say goodbye.  I have never, and probably never will, write words as poignant as those read that night.  I pray that I will never have to.


Imagine my surprise to find that I am a finalist in the caption contest over at the Good Greatsby’s Blog.  Please, I am BEGGING you, go there and vote for my caption.  I will owe you, big time.  I will do all kinds of things for you, like belch when you feel full, sleep for you when you feel tired, and bottle up some sunshine and send it your way on gray and gloomy days.  I don’t make offers like that to just anybody, either.  So get on over there, and vote.  Thanks.

Here’s hoping the rest of the week will be better.


Filed under General Mumblings, Uncategorized

Migraine – An Etheree



Shades pulled down

Cool cloth on eyes

Steady stabs of pain

Hours ticking slowly by

Rolling waves of nausea

Waiting, riding it out, praying

Relief will come, eyes will open to

A fresh, bright world that’s free from all pain

And I have survived another migraine.



Filed under General Mumblings

The Pain in My Head is a Pain in the Arse – and Where’s the Pizza


Migraine sufferers:  Napolean Bonaparte, Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant.  Lewis Carrol, Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Signmund Freud, Nietzche, Whoopi Goldberg, Julius Caesar, Elvis, Me.

I have had a migraine for the past 2 days now.  Unfortunately, these were the last 2 days of the college classes I teach.  I drugged up and tried to go on.  This is not always a good idea.  The slurred speech, inability to concentrate or complete a full sentence – outward manifestations of my malady.  On more than one occasion I have had employers, friends, family members , strangers and policemen suspect that I was under the influence.  I was under the influence, all right, of dilated blood vessels in my head.

The unseen effects:  nausea, often advancing to outright vomiting; photophobia – the inability to tolerate light; olfactory disturbances which often includes smelling disgusting things that are not there.   Like burnt toast, cat feces, and diesel fumes.  I can tolerate neither noise nor silence. Visual disturbances that begin before the pain – the aura.  There are gray holes in my vision – that part of my sight is simply missing.  The rest of my visual field is wavy, like looking through a falling sheet of water.  Then in the throes of the migraine, colors appear brighter, sharper – almost too bright to tolerate and stationary objects appear to be moving.  It’s a trip…

And a throbbing, stabbing unrelenting pain in my head – behind my eye and down toward the back of my neck.  Once the pain has subsided – my scalp is tender and there is a “zinging” sensation with any movement of my head.

I know I will live when I start to feel ravenous; but I am not nearly well enough to forage for food.  As a young mother, I kept the pizza menus near the phone. My boys would, upon being given the thumbs up, order a pizza (and take money to pay for it from the envelope marked for that purpose). I associate pizza to this day with headaches and illness – needless to say it is not one of my favorite foods.

My children spent an inordinate, guilt-producing amount of time taking care of me instead of the other way around.  I often had 3 or 4 migraines a week – the kind that sent me directly to my bedroom, where the shades would be drawn, music played at just above a whisper, and no one moved around me because their motion would make me violently ill.  Once when I neglected to keep the pizza envelope funded, my older son (7 or 8 years old at the time) rode his bike to a deli to get me a cup of soup after emptying his pockets, piggybank, and scavenging the change compartment of my car to scrape up enough change to feed me.  I was filled with incredible admiration and abject horror that my firstborn was compelled to be the caregiver.  I spent too many days and nights in bed, praying they would not kill each other or burn the house down while I was incapacitated.

Medication is usually helpful but I occasionally will have a migraine that laughs in the face of modern medicine, and more than one emergency room visit was necessitated by intractable migraine.  There, unless there were visible manifestations (like puking my guts out) I would be treated like a drug-seeker.  My doctor friends tell me that drug seekers often claim migraine symptoms and are exceedingly persistent in their pursuit of “relief”.

I am coming out of this migraine – which is a good thing, I was supposed to be packing for my trek north.  Because I was planning on leaving  –  there are no groceries in the house.  Why doesn’t anyone deliver pizza at 7:00 am?


Filed under General Mumblings, Uncategorized