The Happy Migraineur: Homemade Icepacks!!!

My migraines, as I have said before, are epic.  They are triggered by weather, hormones, food, wine, stress…life.

I’d had headaches when I was younger but nothing like the ones I have had since I had The Boy 21 years ago.  That first real migraine, or at least the first one I knew, without a doubt, was a migraine, was killer.  I thought I’d die.  The only thing I wanted was a cold room and complete and utter darkness.

As I told Scott yesterday, I had a headache but compared to my migraines it was just a nuisance and not even worth tylenol.  Usually I know when the migraine is on the attack.  It starts either on the left side of my head or the right side in the back at the base of my skull.  Then it spreads like an tsunami all over my skull from one side to the other and from front to back.  I sometimes get an aura and sometimes I just KNOW that this one is THE one and start to batten down the hatches.

My first line of attack is to either do nothing or to take tylenol if I think it could help.  Then I drink a hot cup of tea.  My neuro told me that caffeine and the pain reliever mixed together work better.  He said sometimes even caffeine can stop the migraine attack but I find it works better with tylenol.

Next, I eat a popsicle and get an ice pack which is what this post is about.  The
ice pack.

I find that most ice packs are too hard or don’t conform to the parts of my head or neck that I need when the migraine is on the attack.  So what is a migraineur to do?

Enter the homemade ice pack!!!

I took a Ziploc freezer bag with the sliding zipper (I recommend a genuine, authentic, freezer Ziploc – mainly to limit the possibilities of leakage but your mileage may vary) and filled it with corn syrup until I had a flat layer about 1/4″ thick.  Then I put the bag into the freezer.

This is where the icepack gets cool.

It didn’t freeze solid but kept a very elastic property.  Even frozen it was very pliable.  When I used it, it stayed at a great temperature for about 20 minutes which is how long doctors recommend you ice something like your wrist, ankle or head.

It’s better at molding to whatever you’re freezing than peas and doesn’t drip like a pea package does.  

To make this short and sweet (ha!), it’s a perfect way to apply cold to an area and have it really mold to the area and provide a better administration.

Now, there are some cool things you can do.  You can put little floatables in the corn syrup like glitter.  You can color it with food coloring.  You could draw on the bag with Sharpies.  Basically you can make it your own.  It would actually be a good activity for the Littles and though I might give it a whirl, you MAY be able to use ziploc snack size bags to make smaller size ice packs.  Either way, they are portable in a small cooler and great for the boos that could happen at, say, Miracle League games or at the playground.

The best part?  No toxic chemicals on the inside to poison anyone and make them sick.  

For me, they are great to put under my head and neck when I lie down.  I can cover my forehead and head with them.  In short, I absolutely adore them!

So let me know what you think.  Try them out and see how they work for you and then leave a comment!!!


Life As A Headcase: Doctor, Doctor…Breaking Up Is NOT So Hard To Do

This is a post about me and my doctor.  However, as weird as this may be it starts off with the story of my migraines but bear with me, we WILL get to the actual message of this blog…just hang in there and trust me.

Besides everything else that is going on with me, I also suffer from Chronic Migraines.  I don’t know why this is…does anyone ever know what causes a migraine?  Well, seriously, I guess some people can tell you what triggers theirs but I am not so sure anyone really knows what causes them.

Or even how they feel or how they present.

My migraines happen about 4 days a week.  My neuro was very conservative
and gave me 15 Fioricet pills a month.  That’s one every two days or estimating a month containing just 15 migraines.  With 4 headache days a week, my month has about 20 migraines.  This caused me to hoard meds because I was always so afraid I’d run out JUST when I needed it.  He also prescribed compazine for the accompanying nausea.

Still with me, because now we are at the heart of the matter…I told
you we’d get there right?

Now here comes the rant (because you knew there WAS one right?)  I had to
choose a primary care doctor so I picked one I didn’t know simply because all the ones I DID know either didn’t take my insurance or weren’t taking new patients.  So I picked a guy I didn’t know but who was in a practice and could see me in a closeby office on Wednesdays (the day I can get a ride.)

Well, yesterday I saw him.  While I was in the hospital, my treating psychiatrists and doctors (yes, GPs) prescribed a couple new things (Abilify, Remeron) and changed a few things (Klonopin to Xanax and upped the Fioricet/Compazine cocktail to one time a day when needed.)
So here I am, going to see Dr. Pompous Ass.  He didn’t get this name until yesterday but boy, he earned it.  I get why he said what he did by the way.  My rant is more about his attitude.  Dick.

Anyway, I gave his nurse all my paperwork with all my new meds.  Dr. PA walks in and says, “I don’t want to deal with all of your meds.  I only want to deal with your regular meds.  Your shrink can deal with your happy pills.”  Then he started listing them.

After feeling like the biggest hypochondriac EVAH or at least a simulated medicine cabinet for the entire Israeli army, he concludes he won’t deal with my Lamictal, Compazine, Fioricet, or Remeron.
Well, for your information, Dr. Pompous Ass, the Lamictal is for seizures, the Compazine/Fioricet cocktail is for unrelenting headaches that I actually came to YOU for several months ago despite the fact my neuro had at ONE time prescribed the combo for a post lumbar headache I got.  And…the Remeron, it’s not for depression, you ass, like I told you, and like I have asked you for for months, it’s prescribed so I can sleep longer than 2 hours at a time.


I am not even sure he put these back on the list but he treated me like I was a head case (okay, I am but I don’t need to be treated like one) and was actually rude.  Scott was there and he thought the dr. was a pompous ass too.

I mean I get why he’d want my shrink to handle the cocktail of happy meds I am
on (I counted, I am on four altogether so its not like I am on some ungodly number) and that was fine.  I am NOT fine that he won’t deal with the others so…

We broke up.

I haven’t told him yet since I have to see my new doctor first and that won’t be until August 27.

Don’t burn the bridge that renews your meds, right?

On August 27, Evan and I are changing to a really nice doctor who is a woman
(yeah!) and who also has a specialization in pediatrics as well as family meds.  This should be really good for Evan since she’ll be able to understand the autism and how that affects him.  I think that will be a win win for him and for me.  I am not sure how she’ll handle my head case but I am confident that it HAS to be better than what I am getting now and even if it’s the same…I KNOW it can’t get worse.

The whole thing pisses me off but I don’t have a great rapport OR history with Dr. Pompous Ass so changing now is the right time.  Also, this doctor is affiliated with the hospital I go to and I plan to hook her up with my shrink with a release so they can share information.  As long as she deals with all of my OTHER meds I have NO issue at all with her passing the pipe of my happy meds to my shrink.

I just want what I need and what has been prescribed to be respected and
handled properly.  I want to be respected and treated with dignity and not treated like I am asking for something that I am not actually holding paperwork to show you it has been prescribed for me.

Let’s hope this works.