Migraine Awareness Month, my migraine update

migraine awareness

I don’t know who to credit for this image, but it is so true I had to use it. If you know who I should credit, please let me know.

June has been Migraine Awareness Month.  I had planned to do a few posts about migraine, what it is, who gets it, how disabling it can be, new treatments….ect… unfortunately I’ve been having some severe migraines this month and simply haven’t been able to focus well enough to write and get all the facts straight.  It’s not just the pain of the migraine that has stopped me, it’s all the other symptoms that go with it, the fogginess, nausea, insomnia, sensitivity to light, sound and smells….I simply can’t concentrate or get things done.

New Migraine Doctor – On Tuesday I saw a new migraine specialist.  He’s with Banner Health/University of Arrizona’s neurology department.  First impression, he was pretty thorough, and seemed to know what he was doing, however, there were some things he said that I felt were just rude, but it may just be his sense of humor that I didn’t get.  For example, after we went through my history he looked at hubby and said, “Did you know she had all these issues before you married her?”  Then he laughed a little and said he was joking, but honestly that did not make me feel good at all.  But he did take the time to go over my records and listen.  At first I felt that he was going to be a butt, because when I told him all my different types of headaches (chronic migraine, vestibular migraine, cluster headaches, and Intracranial Hypertension), he said, “I don’t believe it”  He questioned if I could have Intracranial Hypertension on top of the rest.  I told him I had numerous lumbar punctures and that diagnosis came from Duke, he seemed to understand then that I really have been diagnosed with these things, they weren’t just speculation.  We went through a huge list of drugs I’ve tried and if they worked at all, and we discussed other treatments that haven’t worked (acupuncture, chiropractic, a ton of supplements….).  He finally said, “So, it sounds like nothing has worked” and I agreed.  (Oh, I was given a complete exam, testing all my reflexes, checking my optic nerve….he really was thorough)  He left the room for a moment and came back with a gammaCore.

gammacore

image courtesy of http://www.gammacore.com

Using the gammaCore – The gammaCore is a non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator.  It’s pretty darn cool actually.   Most of what I’m including next can be found on the gammaCore site, you can read more about it there if you’d like.  https://gammacore.com/

“gammaCore (nVNS) sends gentle, patented stimulation through the skin to activate the vagus nerve, providing relief from migraine and cluster headache pain in a different way than drugs.

  • The vagus nerve is an important highway of communication between your brain and many parts of the body
  • The vagus nerve plays an important role in regulating pain”

He gave me a demo and it was interesting.  You take this little device and put a gel on the electrodes then place it on your neck, right where you’d check someone’s pulse, you increase the signal until you get the results you are looking for (a twitch of your mouth or side of your face) you keep it there for 2 minutes and it cuts off by itself.  They say there’s a beep, but I can’t hear it, I just notice that it stopped, I don’t know why you’d need a beep to tell you that it stops, you can feel it.  People like to give sounds for all kinds of things that really don’t need them, in my opinion anyway.  After it stops on one side, you repeat it on the other side, and that’s it.  That’s a treatment.  If pain persist after 20 minutes, do it again.  After 2 hours, if you still have pain, or if it returns, repeat a treatment.

I will be receiving my gammaCore in the mail in a few days.  The first month is free, I don’t know how much it will cost after that.  When it was first approved earlier this year Stuart called to see if insurance would cover it and they weren’t there yet.  If it helps, I sure hope that insurance will cover at least part of it.   You are supposed to use it at the first sign of migraine pain, unfortunately I am NEVER without a headache, so I need to use it at the first sign that it’s getting bad.  I still don’t feel that the doctor understood that I have a headache ALL THE TIME.   I actually plan on using it as often as I can to see if I can get some lasting relief, maybe I’ll actually have a day without a migraine!  I am cautiously optimistic.  If it doesn’t work, I haven’t lost anything.  If it does work, I will have to decide if I can afford it.

One HUGE thing I hate about the gammaCore is that it’s disposable.  Why can’t they make it so you can charge it or change the battery or something, having to replace this device every month is so wasteful and bad for the environment.  I’m having a very hard time coming to terms with that.  I can only think that they do it this way so that people will have to buy a new one each month, that’s just a rip-off.  What am I supposed to do with all these used devices?  If nothing else, they need a recycling program.  (Yes, I will be suggesting this to them)

Medical Marijuana – I also had an appointment on Wednesday to get approved for my medical marijuana card.  Medical marijuana is legal in Arizona and severe migraine is on the list of conditions that can be treated with it, so I decided to apply.  I should get my card in a couple of weeks.

Full disclosure here, I have been using marijuana to help me for a couple of years now, but I had to rely on what I could get on the street, I don’t know the strains, or anything like that, so results have varied.  Sometimes when the pain hits I can vape a little and it is gone, other times it just makes me feel funny, and other times it does nothing.  I’m hoping that getting it from a dispensary where I will be assured of quality and will know what strains and hybrids I’m getting, I will be able to medicate more successfully; more pain relief with less high feeling would be optimal. After I started using a little every night before I go to bed (I made brownies) my vertigo has been reduced drastically.  When I can’t get it, I have more vertigo again.  This is not an approved condition in Arizona (Meniere’s is an approved condition in some states), but it should be.  I can’t be 100% sure that it’s the marijuana that has helped my vertigo, but it would be some strange coincidence if it isn’t.  It even helps stop an attack….if I start to have a vertigo attack I will vape just a little and it will often stop it, even if it doesn’t stop the vertigo, it stops the vomiting.  I cannot stress how important that is.  The only reason I will go to the ER with all of this (vertigo or migraine) is if I’m also dehydrated.  Throwing up for hours on end will cause dehydration, I know that the marijuana has stopped me from going to the ER numerous times.  I’m so very grateful I have found some relief through medicinals.

As I navigate this new world of treatment, I will post more about it and give you lots of updates.  To learn more about how medical marijuana can help with migraines there’s a great article here: https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/conditions/chronic-migraine/

Now, it has taken me many hours to write this post, so I will close for now.  Hopefully my head will calm down soon and I will be able to write more often.  I would like to thank Lorraine for being so kind and helping me keep up my weekly Mindfulness Monday posts.  They mean a lot to me and it was really hurting me when I couldn’t post.  Thank you Lorraine, you are the best, I love you my friend!!

Have any of you tried the gammaCore?  If not, would you?

How about medical marijuana, have you tried it?  Did it help?

I’d really like to know your experiences.

 

Advertisements

BioCBD+ “Feel the Difference”

“I have been given BioCBD+ Total Body Care as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. “

CBD bottle

Simply Google “CBD” and you will find a plethora of products, it seems as if a new product is added every day.  It can be daunting to the consumer to try to wade through all of these to find what works.  (unfortunately there’s a lot of junk out there).  One way I can help is to give you my experience with BioCBD+  (please see their website here)

BioCBD+ is an American company, located in Encinitas, CA, that sells CBD (cannabidiol) supplements. CBD is a non-psychoactive part of the cannabis sativa plant.  (you can read more about cannabidiol here.)  “BioCBD™ is derived from organically grown hemp plants, and it contains all of the synergistic cannabinoids, terpenoids, and other compounds of the original plant”(BioCBD website).  Since Sanjay Gupta’s documentary “WEED”, brought the awareness of CBD and how it can help people, especially a little girl named Charlotte, whow has epilepsy.  You can watch the video here.

What makes BioCBD+ different from their competitors?  “BioCBD™ is an all natural, water soluble source of CBD plus Ayurvedic herbs (magnesium and turmeric in Total Body Care) that is more bioavailable than any CBD hemp oil products on the market.” (BioCBD+ website)  According to their website BioCBD+ never uses artificial coloring or flavoring and their products are free of soy, nuts, GMOs, binding solutions and/or solvents, and  are the only all natural water soluble CBD made without the use of solvents or glycerides.  BioCBD+’s “CBD is extracted from our special variety of industrial hemp that contains naturally high concentrations of CBD. The result is a raw oil that is high in CBD, virtually free of THC (less than 0.03%,) and complete with a full spectrum of other cannabinoids and terpenes, which work synergistically to make CBD even more effective. The hemp oil is then shipped to our labs to converted into the all natural, water soluble BioCBD™ through our patented process”. (BioCBD+ website)

BioCBD+ is a pioneer in producing water soluble CBD.  This process posibly makes their product more of a value for the money.  You can watch their video about water soluble CBD here.

CBD bioavailable

I started my first bottle of BioCBD+ Total Body Care on July 31st.   After reading about the many things CBD is reported to help, I was looking for some pain relief and possibly some help with anxiety.

This was a good time to try the BioCBD+ Total Body Care as I hurt my back and started physical therapy just a few days before. Therefore, I was able to judge the efficacy (for mr) not only on chronic pain, but also on acute pain.

The suggested use, as, stated on the bottle, is: “Start with one capsule daily and increase up to 6 capsules per day.  When desired results are achieved gradually reduce daily amount”.  I started with 1 capsule and took one a day for a week, I didn’t really notice much of a difference.  I increased the amount to 2 capsules and I started noticing a reduction in pain.  Just a little.  I wasn’t sure if it was the placebo effect or not.  In 6 days I got in touch with the company and asked how fast I should be increasing my dose, he said after a couple of days; The bottle I was given had 30 capsules, so I was able to take one does of 3 capsules and I finished up the bottle with the 2 that were left.    This I noticed.  This helped my muscle spasms.  It took the edge off of all my pain, the acute back pain and the chronic arthritis pain in my neck  *note it wasn’t a miracle, it just made the pain more tolerable..  I also noticed I didn’t have as much wide spread pain (from fibromyalgia).   I admit, I didn’t really think it was doing very much, until I ran out.  Within a few days after I ran out, I was in much more pain and I had a panic attack.  I didn’t realize how much it was helping my anxiety.  I purchased more of the Total Body Care, so I could give a more detailed review.  (The second bottle, was not given to me, I bought it myself).  There was a break of about 2 weeks before the next bottle appeared. (It took me a,title while to order it)  I once again started with 1 capsule, but I’ve increased the dosage every 2 days, until I got to 4 capsules a day.  I have noticed a reduction in pain, and my anxiety is better.  However, I’m having increased vertigo.  I had increased vertigo when taking the first bottle, then it calmed down the week I was out of it, and increased again when I started taking it again.  As my normal readers will know, I have vertigo often due to Meniere’s Disease, but I had very little vertigo for the past 6 months, until I started  BioCBD+ Total Body Care.  Unless you have a condition that causes vertigo, I wouldn’t think this would be a problem.

1 Bottle of Total Body Care is $120, 2 Bottles is $220, and 3 bottles is $300.  Each bottle contains 30 capsules.   Signing up for auto-shipments can save you a lot of money There is also a sample size available for $45, it contains 15 capsules.

BioCBD+ also has a scholarship program.  They are a “for benefit” company.  For every bottle purchased they give a bottle away to someone in need.  If you have a financial and medical need, or know someone who does, check out this program.  +Scholarship – Buy 1, Change 2 Lives.

Another great thing they have is the “Feel the Difference”  Money Back Guarantee. When you order a product you have 30 days to try it.  If you don’t like it you can return it, you don’t even have to return the product of a 30 count bottle as long as the return is within 2 months of purchase.  If you buy more than 30 capsules, you will need to return the unused product to prevent fraud.

To purchase BioCBD+ Total Body Care (or other their other products)  just follow this link:

BioCBD+ kindly offered to give my readers a 10% discount on you first order.  All you have to do is enter PICNIC10 in the Coupon Code section.  How cool is that?

Additional Resources:

 

Can Cannabidol help the NFL?

I haven’t mentioned medical marijuana on my blog, mainly because it isn’t legal in my state.  However, cannabidiol (known as CBD) is legal in the US. (at least everywhere I know of)

The following quotes are from Win The Bright Lights Fade web page on Realm of Caring’s web site.

“CW Botanicals, a pioneer in hemp oil therapy, originally developed Charlotte’s Web (a hemp-based oil rich in cannabidiol, a non-euphoric cannabinoid) as a natural progenitor for overall brain health. Containing no more THC (the chemical that causes the psychotropic “high”) than the average hemp granola bar, their hemp oil delivers precise levels of cannabinoids, naturally occurring compounds that interact with neuroreceptors in the brain and the endocannabinoid system to regulate processes such as appetite, pain sensation, mood, and memory.”

“A recent study conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University shows 96% of former NFL players suffer from the neurodegenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is widely believed to stem from repetitive trauma to the head and can lead to conditions such as memory loss, depression and dementia.”  (this was brought to the public’s attention with the movie Concussion.)

“The Realm of Caring Foundation (RoC) is launching When the Bright Lights Fade, a campaign to raise funds for a series of studies exploring how the use of cannabinoids, specifically cannabidiol (known as CBD), can help treat and prevent the onset of symptoms associated with CTE and traumatic brain injury.”

About me and cannibus….I just ordered High CBD oil to use for pain control.  It takes a little while to get the full effect as soon as I know if it is going to work, I’ll post an update.  I have degenerative arthritis in my neck.  I can’t take traditional pain medications and most have undesirable side effects for almost everyone I know.  I am hoping this alternative will help with the pain and not cause me any ill effects.

Today I received a sample of The Fay Farm’s CBD Warming Muscle Rub.  I will write a review of this soon.  I’ve used it once and was surprised at how much it helped with my pain.  I want to give it more time before posting my review.

For the past year I’ve been using cannibus to control the nausea and vomiting during a vertigo attack.  I use it when I first feel the vertigo start and it has helped greatly.  Before using this I was taken to the ER a number of times because the vomiting was so severe I would become dehydrated and traditional antiemitics do not work for me during this time.  I feel this also helps to slow or stop a vertigo attack before it gets bad.  (yes, my doctors know I use this, I’ve had 2 say if it was legal in this state they would prescribe it, that’s why I started using it.)  I have do not use enough to get “high”, if I did I’m afraid I would have a vertigo attack because of it, therefore it does not help me with pain.  I am hoping as I start taking the cannabidiol it will help with the nausea and reducing my vertigo atacks all the time so I don’t have to use cannibus at all.  Again, something I will update on in the future.