Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chamomile is not for sleepy time; it's for the wickedly awake in all of us!

THE JOY OF CHAMOMILE: migraines suck the life out of a person. i'm not allowed to take "ordinary" migraine RXs because, silly me, i had a stroke 10 years ago, so that makes "ordinary" migraine medications, the kind that will zap the headache away/RIGHT AWAY contraindicated for me because, "what the fuck if" they caused another stroke?!?!?!? that wouldn’t be good now would it?

so the alternative is to have one of these buggers, which usually include a neuro pro-drome, which then ramps to the “real ache” from which i CANNOT GET A F’ING BREAK, followed by at least a week post headache, where i feel like i'm missing the digits of my left hand and can't walk talk/walk straight—because, yeah, that’s far less damaging to my BRAIN than a migraine med THAT WOULD STOP THE HEADACHE IN ITS TRACKS!

anyhoo, a year or so ago, my doctor put me on a prophylactic medication, a low-dose blood pressure med (even though i have the most labile blood pressure of all time/even when i'm LOL'ing and pissing myself!) since this is supposed to help stop/reduce migraines.

go figure!

now, i did not go into her office SCREAMING THAT IF SHE DIDN’T GIVE ME SOMETHING I WOULD PEEL THE PAINT OF THE WALLS WITH MY TEETH, BECAUSE I COULDN’T HANDLE ONE MORE HEADACHE, but i did stress that they are both emotionally and physically debilitating and that I REALLY COULDN’T TAKE IT ANY LONGER!

i gave this med a try and i've tracked this for over a year. now, every once in a great while, i can go a month without a F’ing MIGRAINE, but the “every once in a while[s]” don’t come around that often. the first time i went 30 days without one, yes, way cool, but once i had another one shortly after the milestone, i tended to forget how cool it was or when it was that i was ever MIGRAINE-FREE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!

some months i’ll have one migraine, but it’s more like two. i typically have a “funny headache” around the hormonal wing-dinging in my ovulation cycle (YES, AT 50! EGGS! so not right!), and then i’ll have the pleasure of a prodrome, a F’ING migraine and the resultant dead head week, with the migraine usually starting right before my –er, uhm, gonna say it on Blogger, right before my F’ING PERIOD! even this is better than the “off the chart and on no particular schedule” migraines i’ve had since pre-teen-hood, but still just because they’re coming “on a schedule” DOESN’T MEAN THEY WERE INVITED!

so yeah, two headaches a month is better than more than two a month or an “anything can happen” headache kind of life, but like a doctor told me once years ago when i told him i once went such-and-such a few weeks without a headache, “Uhm, hello, a person isn’t ‘supposed’ to *really* have headaches, especially migraines, and a person really isn’t supposed to count the number of them as the positive; the positive would be not having a headache at all, Ms. Stoic MigraineSufferer, no WONDER YOU HAVE MIGRAINES! you think one or two is a picnic, but a bunch of them is a mess. the fact is THEY'RE ALL MESSY AND YOU'RE A MESS!"

i was told that when i was about 24, and i remember readjusting the giant stick up my stoic ass and thinking, “uhm, sure, i’m sure a day without a migraine is a day without a migraine, but what kind of a wuss would choose that over … oh, what the hell am i thinking, I HAVE A MIGRAINE…” and then a number of years passed, and i was still having migraines so i kind of told my doctor i was uber-interested in this “semi-charmed kinda life” that this other doctor had told me about long, long ago in a faraway no-headache land!

that’s how i ended up with the blood pressure med, even though i didn’t have high blood pressure, and here i was still on an “okay, so two migraines a month, maybe not a picnic, but certainly not the end of the world,” schedule and not thinking that was too bad, because the Mayans are in charge of the REAL end of the world, right?

and this is also how i have now ended by weaning off the drug/shit that doesn’t work—because, yeah, you have to wean off a high blood pressure med, and not just stop it, even if you DON’T HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE—AND IF THAT WON’T GIVE YOU HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE OR A F’ING CLUSTER HEADACHE (different than a migraine, by the way, so how lucky am i that i don’t have those … there i go again on the sunny side of the f’d up HEADACHE STREET!)

and so enters this month’s “funny headache” mid-month, and so entered premenstrual migraine (just like most usual/on or off this medication i didn’t need that didn’t work). AND, the ditzy prodrome-ish crap started on the eve of my 50th a.k.a. GRAND TIME FOR A F’ING MIGRAINE, can you believe it?!!?!?

however, this time i tried the usual holistical-ish things, and had a strong cup of coffee (for the caffeine and vasodilation), made sure i had taken my one 325 mg (stroke prevention enteric-coated aspirin already that day), and then the rest of the afternoon and evening drank chamomile tea, STEEPED, and lots of it, both cold and warm.

i did not take any additional ibuprofen or Tyleonol, or Excedrin Migraine or aspirin Goodie powders, and I did not drink any GIN straight until i fell on the floor and could just forget the battering ram of a headache. i did not drink more gin after the first “pass-out that wasn’t long enough,” followed by more Tanqueray with Nyquil just to make sure i would pass out again and get past the headache, and also sleep through the night, so i could wake up unrefreshed to continue working on my headache!

i hate taking so much ibuprofen even though it's something else my doctor said "can help" (such as taking it “several days before your cycle” to stave off the migraine), but she also can't give me anything else, so what else is she going to say?!?!!?

i already combat my ridiculously low vitamin D with supplements, make sure i’m getting enough iron for my lily white ghost appearance, drink a billion tons of water, exercise, eat right, take my fish oil (and eat 50 pounds of fish a day, practically), and a number of other things to prevent/stave off the M-beast and keep my head “safe.”

i don’t really eat chocolate (yeah, i know, weird) and i even (and this is hard for me to say) STAY AWAY FROM THE CHEESES MOST NOTABLE FOR CONTRIBUTING, SUPPOSEDLY, TO MIGRAINES—although i think that’s propaganda!

too many aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. bother me in the first place because i don't like "thinning my blood out" any further than necessary because what if this, that or the bloody last migraine makes my head explode?!?!!? yeah, see? you can see the mess i’m explaining and it's bad headache art! what’s to become of Vegetable Matter Me if all that loosened blood flow, thinned and ready to travel, gushs out my ears and nostrils, making my gums bleed and then, well—not so good!

so where is this all going? it leads straight back to the CHAMOMILE tea, Baby! i sucked that shit like it was gin!!! by my 50th birthday morning, my headache was down to a lesser pulsation, and even though i found it difficult to think, and i knew i’d still be Freudian-slipping words for the next several days, my head felt more manageable!

i mean, if a person was going to be force-fed a headache, a migraine EVERY SINGLE MONTH, this one i can “almost” get into, even though of course i wish they’d go away forever! but i won’t look a gift lesser headache in the mouth especially when i'm having so much fun IN SPITE THE F'ER!

also of note, i typically don’t drive or run heavy machinery when my “head is fucked.” with a sludge-filled head, i do dumb-ass things like put a cup of water in the fridge and then wonder why it’s not in the microwave, heated up, when i return from pissing in a closet instead of the bathroom. stuff like that, stuff way crazier than normal crazy!

however, yesterday it was easier to do that, drive and “stuff,” though i was glad it was a fun outing day with my eldest daughter (a chaperone) and eldest grand girl (someone i could entertain with my crazy shit!). it’s still nice to have company on Freudian slip/head f’d days, a. because it’s Freudian slips are better with an audience or someone that can explain things to the cops, and b. it helps me to talk through what i’m doing and where i’m going next when i can’t concentrate. if someone is there going, “i know you meant we were going to the store next and not the shoe,” that’s always super helpful.

i also don’t take on EXTREME WORK or futz with my schedule during this “time of the month,” and make sure to get my sleep, solid as possible, no reading, no movies, no music beforehead, just dead head go to bed. i count to ten over and over to get past the pounding and go to sleep, or a reason facsimile thereof, since the dreams during a migraine are freak-oriffic! (more freak-oriffic than regular freak!)

now, i had read chamomile can be good for headaches, though we all know it’s the tea of choice for a good night’s sleep, and while it can’t KILL A FUCKING MIGRAINE TO DEATH, it can slur-purr one into submission and make it more manageable—and that was WITHOUT EVEN PUTTING GIN OR NYQUIL IN MY MUG!

i’m a total tea fanatic/ADDICT now, anyways, so this was a giant score-score/win-win. Chammy, my nickname for the wondrous tea will become one of my fav/stave off a headache “cocktails” now, where previously in all my tea collection i’ve been ignoring her as the “sleepy time tea.”

most evenings, i’m cavorting with other leaf-age varieties, or sipping ice water (what Granny calls her gin—just kidding!) and don’t need a “sleepy time” tea because i get to the business of “sleepy” all by myself. but Chammy will now be one of my topper teas on a daily basis.

this was just one lesser than evil migraine under my belt, but i’m taking it my tea ball and i’m going to run with it—okay, moderately race walk and try not to fall on my face!

we’ll see what happens next time i feel the rampage starting up. i’ve also rethought and redrawn the garden plot of my dreams for this summer at “the little yellow house” and it’s most probably going to become an expanse of CHAMOMILE!!!!!! –and maybe some weed!—i mean WEEDS, the other wildflower!

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"For some migraine sufferers, chamomile tea, has been helpful in relieving certain migraine symptoms. Chamomile has used to help with reducing inflammation, reducing muscle spasms, relieving anxiety, treating stomach cramps, ease skin irritations and serves as a mild sedative to help with problems sleeping. Chamomile is available as a tea, liquid extract, capsules, skin ointment and as dried flower heads." ---from (this does not work, of course if caffeine is a causitive for your migraines as some teas contain caffeine)


Anonymous said...

Maybe if you said the f word less, you wouldn't get a migraine.

Anne Cunningham said...

ouch f' your comment just gave me a migraine. :)

Anonymous said...

Ha! Loved this article! Feel as though we could be related. I'm 25, ov hormonal fkin change is here and I feel like carving my brain out through my eye sockets with a rusty knife! I double steep the chamomile. I hope it helps this time and I hope it kicks the insomnia in the balls... Migraines suck, had them since I was 8.

girlnumber20 said...

I've been googling the shit out of Google for things related to migraines.
Funniest article ever. Gonna try that chamomile tea. I'm 31, migraines since 12. Allergic to most painkillers (paracetamol and NSAIDS) and preventive meds like propanolol and topiramates
Only eletriptan (Relpax) works on me, but after 15 years i think I'm getting immune. Oh well. Good luck to us.