Chronic Migraine, Coping, Meds & Supplements, Treatment

Why, Hello There!

Along with the Seattle sunshine, I’m rejoining the world after a long hibernation. It was another terrible spring for nausea, but my migraines and headaches have been relatively mild. (More on that in a moment.) Whenever I have felt decent, I’ve been getting ready to sell our house and move to Boston.

That’s right, we’re moving to Boston in August! Hart was offered a job he couldn’t refuse. As much as I love Seattle, I’m excited for an adventure. I’m also terrified, but isn’t that a part of every adventure?

I hope better health and more time to write will coincide with the move. Although a change of location is unlikely to spur the change, birth control pills might. My migraines and headaches reduced in frequency and severity after I had taken birth control pills for three months. Unfortunately, they also caused horrendous nausea.

I’ve spent the last few months drugged up and conked out. Deciding I was better equipped to handle head pain than nausea, I stopped the pills last week. Sure enough, the nausea is gone, but head pain and general wooziness are back. I’m seeing a gynecologist tomorrow to determine what to try next. I imagine it will be a brand with different synthetic hormones. I hope I won’t have to wait another three months for them to take effect.

So, that’s what’s been going on in my life. I hope you have been doing as well as possible!

Coping, Meds & Supplements, Treatment

Maybe Birth Control Pills Would Be OK

Talking to Hart about hormonal birth control, migraine and stroke risk got me wondering what my risk really is. If it is low, multiplying the number by eight isn’t that big of a deal. Kersti explains this well in her comment on the post:

[T]he problem with statistics is that they’re misleading. 8 times more likely… 8 times what? You need to find out what the baseline actually is, and you need to find it out for your own ethnicity, gender, circumstances before you know if this is a problem. If for example the baseline is 10% then 8 times is pretty ghastly, however, if the baseline is 0.01% then you’re still at 8 times 99.92% likely to NOT get one.

I’m kind of embarrassed I didn’t think this through before I wrote the post. I’m always urging readers to think critically. No matter how much I recommend caution, I too fall into the trap of fear. “Stroke? Eight times more likely? No way!” is how I reacted yesterday.

According to the American Heart Association’s stroke risk factors, I’m at very little risk. That’s reassuring. I’ll talk with the doctor on Monday and see what she recommends.

Check out the this BBC article on understanding — and critically evaluating — statistics, which Kersti suggested.

Meds & Supplements, Treatment

Managing Your Period to Manage Migraine

Lybrel, a continuous birth control pill that stops menstruation recently approved by the FDA, may help prevent menstrually associated migraines for some women. Hormonal birth control is often used as a migraine preventive. Many doctors prescribe that patients replace the sugar pills with active pills to suppress menstruation, thus lessening hormonal fluctuations.

Taken each day, Lybrel provides a continuous supply of hormones without a break for a period, ever. It seems creepy to me, but The Well-Timed Period quotes a report that says that periods aren’t as necessary as they seem. Also, I’m one of the few women who actually likes having a period. (Maybe you didn’t want to know that?)

Learn more about “menstrual management” under “How to Skip a Period” on The Well-Timed Period and pokearound the informative blog.

Meds & Supplements, News & Research, Treatment

Birth Control Pill News

Birth control pills are often used to treat menstrual migraine by evening out hormone levels and sometimes to stop menstruation all together. In recent news are a medication that keeps women from menstruating and a tasty new pill.

Lybrel, a continuous oral birth control that stops menstruation, may soon be an option for women with menstrual migraine. Taken each day, the pills provide a continuous supply of hormones without a break for a period, ever. With Seasonale, a similar product that’s been on the market for awhile, a woman menstruates four times a year. Wyeth, the maker of Lybrel, hopes to market it the drug early next year, pending FDA approval. It seems creepy to me, but The Well-Timed Period quotes a report that says that periods aren’t as necessary as they seem.

To learn more about “menstrual management,” see the links under “How to Skip a Period” on The Well-Timed Period and poke through the very informative blog.

In more bizarre contraceptive news, a mint-flavored chewable birth control pill called Femcon Fe is now available by prescription. Kids mistaking birth control pills for candy is already a risk, won’t making the pills taste good further the problem?

(By the way, if you’re a Seasonale user, generics called Jolessa and Quasense are now available.)