Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I can't C!

Last week I got a headache. I've been getting them fairly regularly for the last couple of years - intense, blinding headaches that stay for at least 2 days and then disappear as suddenly as they appeared. Headaches that amplify all noises and make it difficult to see; Headaches that make it feel as if my head is going to explode.
Hubby has been pushing me to go see a doctor, just in case there's a pumpkin growing in my head, or something.

So when this one attacked I decided to do something about it - but I went to the chiropractor, not the doctor. We'll leave that as a last resort[1]. Besides, surely some tlc from the magic chiro would be able to sort it out?!
Well, a good long massage and a few adjustments in my neck certainly helped to relieve a large portion of the tension I had no idea I was feeling. The bad news is that he told me that it wasn't just a tension headache, but in fact a migraine. I'd been suspecting this but hoping it wasn't, because I've heard those can be quite nasty. After taking his advice to lie down in a quiet, dark room with a cold compress on my pip for relief, I was persuaded to acknowledge that perhaps he was right. OK, so now it has a name and the likliehood of me sprouting vegetables from my ears is no longer a possibility, my mind is at rest a bit.
The thing to do now is figure out what is causing them and how to avoid them.
Trouble is, apparently the 3 things most likely to cause or aggravate a migraine are coffee, cheese and chocolate.

YIKES!!!

Coffee and cheese are 2 of my staple diet items - the chocolate I'm not too concerned with, as I don't often have a chocoloate except in emergencies when PMS hits and then, oh boy, just you TRY and stop me munching an Aero..!
The upshot is, I'm a little deflated - coming down from a 5-year caffeine buzz, since the last time I went without coffee was about 5 years back when I did a bit of a detox diet. I'm fooling myself by drinking a couple of mugs of decaf which is sort of working, although the brewing-coffee smell that fills the office first thing in the morning is almost enough to make me mug (haha!) someone for a cup.
I was more or less forced to have cheese on my sandwich for lunch yesterday (that'll teach me to wait until the last minute to go in search of food) but the killer was this morning, when I ambled over to the coffee station to get myself a cup of decaf and there, strewn across the table, were dozens of shiny, enticing chocolates there for the taking.

This is not going to be easy.

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[1] I'm quite happy to make like an Ostrich.

14 comments:

It is the question said...

Hi Terri

My dad suffers from cluster headaches. They appear every few years and are apparently one of the worst pains known to man. So bad that the doctor gave my father morphine to keep at home.

There is not a lot known about them other than the same info you have on migraines.

Hope it's not that.

Good luck.

IITQ

anne said...

Alcohol triggers migraines in one of my friends, another one doesn't have a clue what does it... I'm intrigued by the caffeine statement, though, as loads of migraine drugs have caffeine in them. You sure you don't want go see a REAL doctor??

DelBoy said...

Stop being such a "pampoen" cuz and go and see a real doctor. You may even get that morning cuppa back on your diet! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hang in there Mluv. I will keep an eye out for sprouts eminating from your ears ... :-)

Angelina said...

My doctor gave me the same diet advice when I started getting migraines a few years ago, except he added red wine and citrus to the list. I was told to stay away from the five C's: caffeine, chocolate, cheese, citrus, and chianti (any red wine really, he just said chianti to keep the 'C' rule consistent). It did help get my migraines under control, but I was only able to successfully cut out citrus from my diet completely, I have very little self discipline :)

LiVEwiRe said...

Diet modification may help but if it's a tension migraine that just means that you'll have to take another holiday AND all the caffeine, chocolate and cheese would be withing legal limits! As a sufferer of daily headaches all of my adult life, I can truly say 'I feel your pain' and it sucks! May this resolve itself quickly.

-Ann said...

Thinking of a delicate way to put this....have you noticed any pattern to the headaches? Are they completely random or do they happen to coincide with your monthly cycle?

On a fairly regular basis, I get a killer migraine the day before my period starts. The doctor suggested an estrogen supplement. I suggested I just suck it up and live with it. :) I didn't get any advice on diet.

The headaches still occur, but sleeping it off in a dark, cool room does work. I can live with them - but I can't live without caffiene, cheese, or chocolate.

Terri said...

IITQ - I did a bit of research on headaches and am relieved to say I don't think it's cluster headaches; From what I hear, those REALLY suck!

Anne - I don't think a "real" doctor would give me such a nice massage ;-)

Del - I'll tell you a secret: I'm allowing myself one cup of regular instant coffee a day so my morning cuppa is safe for the moment :)

Hubby - Aw fanks, hay.

Angelina - I'm with you on the self-discipline. Fortunately I don't like red wine so it's not a problem... but have you noticed how difficult it is to avoid cheese completely? What about pizza??!

LiVEwIRe - I think I like that advice again. Packing my bags as we speak.

-ann - It's funny you should mention that... I'm sort of in the process of tracking them. I thought I'd try the diet thing for now and see if it makes any difference first. I'll definitely keep this in mind though, thanks.

laurie said...

dear dear terri--migraines run in my family. men and women, though the women find ours are tied, sometimes, to what -ann suggests.

there are meds you can pop the second you feel one coming on that will stop it in its tracks. i suggest you see a doctor and get one of those. i used to use caffergot, but i think there are newer and better meds now.

you do NOT have to live without chocolate or coffee.

by the way, here are some of my triggers: sleeping wrong (it's all in the neck); red wine (i only drink white now); and not enough water. dehydration can get you headaches.

angel said...

oh my terri, thats dreadful! i get stress headaches that also last a coupla days- but they're not migraines...
i do hope yoiu can find some kind of treatment that works quickly.

Dawn said...

Howdy china - hope the pain and tension have subsided! 18 Months ago I changed my diet RADICALLY - like by 21 major food items - biggies - no wheat, no flour, no yeast, no beef, no dairy ... one day i might post about it - it has been SO beneficial to my health - quite life changing. I would encourage you to persevere and wish you good luck. Hope all else is well with you and yours. Haven't seen you in a while. xox

Ben O. said...

We're with you . . . I'll try and eat some extra cheese in memory of your abstinence.

:)

Ben O.

LiVEwiRe said...

Hope you are feeling better doll!

Terri said...

Laurie - I must say I have no intention of living without cheese or chocolate forever. Strangely, the one cup of instant I allow myself first thing in the morning appears to be enough and I think the caffeine cutback is doing me a world of good. But yes, next time I get one it's off to the doctor for me. Bring on the drugs!

Angel - I find holidays are a great cure for stress headaces ;)

Dawn - Only 21? ;-) I don't think I have the willpower to be quite so radical. Good for you!

Ben O. - Thanks, you're a pal. I almost mugged a colleague for chocolate a couple of days ago...

LiVEwIRe - Ditto :)