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Headache Journal

Migraine journal re-opened

Scott Haines Monday August 21, 2017
Thanks to Plexus, I was able to pretty much close my migraine journal and not think about it. Today, I have re-opened it. As best I can, I've been trying to track changes over the last three weeks. Unfortunately, I haven't found any one thing that has changed. Many of you recall that from March 22 - July 31, I only had 2 migraines. However, since August 1st, I have had 6 with 3 of those lasting several days with more serious symptoms. Of those three migraines, one was a hemiplegic migraine and two were occular.

Migraine Update - 98.6%

Scott Haines Friday July 28, 2017
It's been quite awhile since I've written a headache journal entry or provided a migraine update. Why? Because the migraines have gone the way of the dodo. Always the skeptic, 4 months ago, I would have NEVER even imaged writing this article. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be able to provide this testimony.

Chronic illness

Scott Haines Monday June 26, 2017
When will it come back? How long will I feel good? These two questions that I have found are fairly common for people suffering from chronic illness. Chronic migraine is no different. In 4 days, it will have been 10 weeks since my last migraine. It has been a wonderful ride so far, but those two questions linger in the back of my mind. How long can I remain migraine-free? How long can this trend continue? What will that next migraine be like after being pain free for so long?

Putting the light back in my life

Scott Haines Monday May 8, 2017
Recently, I watched a webinar discussing migraine triggers—specifically light. Unfortunately for chronic migraine sufferers, light is one of the most common triggers. As a result, we tend to hide from the light or eliminate it completely. It made me think about how I deal with light and migraines.

Penny Lane - my first migraine treatment

Scott Haines Friday April 14, 2017
As crazy as it sounds, the song "Penny Lane" by The Beatles was my very first migraine treatment. This may sound foolhardy but it was just the way we did things. For most medical needs we went to our family doctor, but not for "odd" things like migraines. For migraines or arthritis, mom and dad preferred folk remedies which sometimes worked, sometimes not.

Migraine Triggers - another uncovered

Scott Haines Thursday April 6, 2017
The saga continues. My ongoing quest to uncover all of my potential migraine triggers revealed a new possible cause. This time, we have found a correlation with oxygen levels in my blood. During my kidney stone scope surgery last month, my urologist noticed something that gave him pause.

Treatment worse than the condition

Scott Haines Sunday March 26, 2017

Today, like so many others, I was experienced treatment worse than the condition. This is yet another reason that I started Plexus yesterday.

It started as a typical Sunday morning with us getting up and heading out to church. Shortly after arriving, I noticed that I was having some visual difficulties. Everything looked much more vivid and full of color which normally wouldn't be a bad thing. However, after a few minutes, I realized that just around the periphery, things seemed "muddy". An aural migraine.

A "new" beginning

Scott Haines Wednesday March 22, 2017
Today I embarked on a new quest that prayerfully will bring and end to this terrible journey. It's not so adventurous as the search for Dread Pirate Roberts but for me it's a huge step. Ever the skeptic, I rarely try any of the holistic or one cure fits all options presented to me. Basically, I have never found much relief in these remedies. So, today I signed up for a new program that offers some promise of recovery. Being new to the program, I'm not sure what I can share at this point, but as I continue in the program I will definitely share my results.

Series: Migraine's Vicious Circle - article 3 - Living with it

Scott Haines Wednesday March 15, 2017
In the first two parts of this series, I discussed the treatment challenges for living with migraines. What do you do when treatment after treatment fails? You go on to a stronger more potent treatment. Unfortunately, there is only so far you can go until medicine catches up with the condition. For most, migraines decrease with age, but in my case, they keep getting worse.

Series: Migraine's Vicious Circle, article 1 - It begins

Scott Haines Tuesday March 14, 2017

Chronic migraine sufferers often finding themselves in a vicious circle of treatment from which escape seems hopeless. This is the first in a series about the vicious circle of migraines.

This vicious circle of treatment is a never ending cycle of relief, pain, side effects, etc. When the migraines start, we are focused on anything that can give us even a moment's relief. Eventually we start looking at triggers and journaling our experiences. Then, our initial "relief" system stops working and we being increasing doses and switching medications. Finally, everything seems to stop working and the cycle starts over.

Grading your migraine

Scott Haines Tuesday February 7, 2017
Those of us that suffer from chronic migraine often find ourselves grading our migraines. How much pain can I tolerate today? Is it worth taking a migraine pill? Do I want to die? These are the questions we ask ourselves because for most of us, we only get so many treatments. Whether it be an acute migraine pill such as imitrex or axert or a long term treatment such as botox or topamax we all have limits. We also have to consider the side effects of such treatments. (For me, the Imitrex side effects are often worse than the migraine itself.)

Recommended Providers List

Scott Haines Friday December 16, 2016
One of the thing I'm asked quite often these days is to provide a list of my recommended providers. Unfortunately, I do have a listafter extensive trial and errorof both recommended and NOT recommended providers. We all have our preferred doctors, heating and cooling techs, etc so I will this list will contain reasons as to why I recommend/do not recommend each.

RFA Progress - Week 4

Scott Haines Friday December 16, 2016
This past Tuesday marked 5 weeks since my radiofrequency ablation and it's time for a progress update. (Three weeks from today is my official checkup with Dr. Ratzman.) While I am not ready to concede defeat or pronounce success, I have noticed some progress—along with disappointment. Dr. Ratzman told me that I can't think of success or failure until I hit that "magical" 6-week mark (Monday, December 20, 2016). So, rather than conceding or pronouncing victory I decided to post an update of current progress:

Visual aura with migraine

Scott Haines Thursday December 8, 2016

I found this article yesterday and thought I'd share. It should give you an idea what a migraine with aura looks/feels like. I currently have about 2 of these a month these days for the last few years.

It is sometimes difficult to explain this symptom, but this is a pretty good illustration by the Mayo Clinic.

Living life in pain

Scott Haines Thursday December 8, 2016
I am by no means a good example of gracefully living with pain. If you want to see a good example, you need to look at the life lived by my brother Mike. Mike lived his whole life in pain but rarely showed it. He has always been my role model—not only because of the way he dealt with pain, but also the way he lived.

Can't you sit still?

Scott Haines Tuesday November 29, 2016

How many of us have had someone ask, "Can't you sit still?" Sadly, for many of us in the world, we truly can't. For some, it's just shear hyperactivity, but for others, it's a troublesome medical condition called RLS.

For those of you unfamiliar, RLS stands for Restless-Leg Syndrome. Many doctors still deny the existence of RLS even though an estimated millions of people suffer from it. RLS is difficult to describe to those who do not suffer from it but this comes close:

Cervicogenic Headache

Scott Haines Wednesday November 16, 2016

A new path

Until late 2015, I had never heard of a cervicogenic headache let alone that I had been suffering from them for years. I began "real" treatment for my migraines in late 2007 after we saw an ad for the St. Vincent Migraine Center on TV. After years of failed attempts to control them, I found Dr. Edward D. Zdobylak who promptly put me on Topamax. Topamax controlled my migraines (15 a year down from 150 a year) for about 8 years and it just stopped working. It was time for Dr. Zdobylak to try something new and in early 2015 we tried Botox for Migraines.

What is your headache?

Scott Haines Thursday November 3, 2016

Sounds like a silly question doesn't it? YOUR headache? Isn't a headache a headache?

Take it from someone who knows—headaches come in many forms. They can be tension, sinus, stress, migraine, cervicogenic and many more. For me, the two most common headaches I have are migraine (About 40% of my headaches) and cervicogenic (the other 50-60%). Furthermore, migraines come in all forms as well—and I've experienced nearly all of them.

Fog - a.k.a. Migraine postdrome

Scott Haines Wednesday October 19, 2016
The Fog...That's a pretty good way to describe it. Many of you know what it's like to have a migraine because you've had one or two here and there. In 4 years I've had over 800. Somehow I find a way to work, live and function through them. I use the word "function" loosely on days like today. After 2 bad migraines in 2 days I find it difficult to concentrate, stay on task, keep my cool, etc.
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