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A Morning Person After All? A Return to Normal With Ritalin

When I was teaching public speaking in graduate school, I had a student I called Lawyer Boy who argued about everything. I told the class, which began at 7:40 a.m., that I was not a morning person. He responded, “You’re a morning person, you just don’t want to be.” This was about a year into the migraine attacks disrupting my life significantly (it was actually the last class I was able to teach).

I’ve wondered since if I really am the morning person I remember being as a kid, but the migraine attacks and fatigue were causing me to sleep more than usual. Now, on my seventh day of Ritalin, I have to admit that Lawyer Boy was probably right. I fall asleep at 10:30 or 11 p.m. and wake at 7:40 without an alarm clock. Before Ritalin, I’d sleep until 10:30 a.m. on a good day. On a night I had a migraine (which was most of them), I’d sleep until at least 11, often noon or even 1 p.m. Then I’d lie in bed for an hour or two, mucking about on my phone and gathering the energy to get up.

It doesn’t feel like Ritalin is amping me up, but is restoring my rightful self. This morning, when my head was throbbing at a level 4, I was still up at 7:40. I popped out of bed and started writing immediately. Even better, the head pain decreased to a 3 within 30 minutes. Reduced fatigue, a clear mind, less head pain, minimal side effects*. . . . I hope this lasts.

*For me at least. I’m working on a post about side effects and potential problems of Ritalin.

3 Responses to A Morning Person After All? A Return to Normal With Ritalin

  1. emily says:

    I am so, so glad for you. Everyone deserves to feel like a human being — not just a body surviving.

  2. Nilofer says:

    That is great news Kerrie. I hope that you are finding good help with your neurologist. I am trying to get an appt. with an neur. at Columbia since I see that they are up on the gluten-migraine connection. According to Health Day’s article on May 3, 2012, Columbia researchers presented data at the most recent American Academy of Neurology annul meeting in New Orleans about the improvement or cessation of migraines for people on a gluten-free diet. The study hasn’t been published in a peer reviewed journal yet, but should be soon I hope. The article says “chronic headaches of any kind were reported in 56% of gluten-sensitive particpants, 30% of those with celiac and 23% of those with inflammatory bowel disease, while only 14% of the control group reported headaches”. Dr Fasano said in the article “one thing is for sure: many people with migraines, when they go on a gluten-free diet, the migraines improve or go away”.
    It is great to find doctors who think outside of the box.

  3. Lisa says:

    So so glad it is helping! the drop from 4 to 3 is significant for me, and I know you use the same pain scale, so I bet it is for you too! :)

    Nilofer I’m so glad the diet helped you. It doesn’t elp us all though. I was very strictly gluten free for 6 months and saw no change, except I was very very hungry!

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