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Sleeping Pills & Alcohol

Drugs come with so many warnings missing some is easy. The interaction of sleeping pills like Ambien and Sonata and alcohol is one to be aware of. It can increase the side effects of the drugs significantly — and is potentially fatal. Alcohol is also a common cause of insomnia.

  • Severe depression
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory blackout
  • Lack of coordination
  • Speech problems
  • Drowsiness

Most alarming is that of severe depression, which many people with headache disorders and chronic illness already deal with. Not to mention the dangers of combining alcohol and antidepressants.

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Balance & Illness (and Always Pushing Myself Over the Edge)

It’s 2:35 p.m. and I just got out of bed. I tried to get up at 10:30. I took a bath and went right back to sleep. My head wasn’t even that bad, but I was completely spent. Reviewing the last three weeks, it’s not surprising. Since May 21, I have:

Surprised Hart with a trip to Portland over Memorial Day weekend. We had a great time wandering around different neighborhoods, going to the Saturday market and Powell’s Books, and visiting the rose and Japanese gardens. We stopped at my sister’s house on the way home to see her family and their four-week-old puppies. (Photo included to make this post a little cheerier.)

Rearranged almost all the furniture upstairs, switching the guest room to a media room/Hart’s office and our shared office to the guest room/my office. Plus we moved the guest bed into our room and our bed to the guest room, which required breaking down each frame and putting them back together. It is still a mess in progress, which is stressful in itself.

Spent five days in Minnesota for Hart’s college reunion. It was a fabulous trip, but we went all day long every day. We packed in as much time with his friends as possible, plus spent time with my best friend from college and Hart’s sister and brother-in-law.

Hosted a birthday party for Hart. Everyone brought food, but I still did some cooking. The lemonade for the tasty vodka-spiked punch had to be homemade. I enjoyed the entire party without pain or exhaustion, but drinking alcohol is rarely a smart move for a migraineur.

Then there was all the regular life stuff to keep up with: laundry, cooking, cleaning, blogging, exercising, yard work. . . .

In all this time, my head was in good shape. I aborted most severe headaches before they started. When my other migraine symptoms got bad, I rested. I’m most disappointed because I thought I was taking care of myself pretty well. I even rested proactively and had a massage.

Could I have done more to stay in balance? Or is this just too much to tackle in three weeks? This list seems completely reasonable to me. It’s not like I was booked all day every day and I had a great time. Will I ever learn how to balance?

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Bad Decision

Except for the bad weather spell at the end of November, I’ve had remarkably less head pain than usual since Thanksgiving. This is despite spending three days over Thanksgiving in a house that has been so heavily smoked in for the last 40 years that the walls are yellowed and you can see thick white air when light streams in the front windows, my dad getting really sick, and having a nasty cold for the past two weeks.

So I was feeling invincible when I ordered a gin and tonic with dinner last night. We’re on vacation where it’s warm and sunny, and it’s just too cold in Seattle to drink gin between Labor Day and Memorial Day. My head didn’t care what the reasons were. All that mattered was that I consumed something it didn’t like. It reminded me of my betrayal with stabbing, throbbing pain above my left eye in the middle of the night.

It sucks to have such a vengeful illness.