My Maddening Migraines


So, before I got pregnant (which was later in life) I used to get a migraine about once every few months.  Then, in my pregnancy with Jayden, they got even worse.  But miraculously, apart from on the day of his circumcision a week after he was born, my headaches all but stopped!  Now, although the pregnancy with Ethan a few years later was very much wanted (all the doctors said I was “over the hill” – biologically-speaking at the ripe young age of 39 and probably entering the menopause, or, at least, peri-menopause, yes, lovely), it wasn’t easy on my body at all. I felt the age difference and also could hardly move. Now, of course that wasn’t helped by the fact that in the seventh month I broke my ankle and was put in a cast, but I see I am once again digressing…

Back to the migraines…I thought they would be there again in the second pregnancy but they weren’t and of course I was delighted. Again, about a week after the birth, I had one huge attack and then nothing.  But now, here I am, Ethan is 13 months (approaching 14 months actually) and my headaches have started again.  I get one about every 2 weeks and since I am very against medication (I have no idea why really) I try to manage them by sleeping with an aromatherapy hot pack on my head (which had also worked in the past).  Unfortunately last night when I tried this, I woke up a couple of hours later and it was way worse so I took a Migraleve (that I’d ordered online as it had been highly recommended by a fellow sufferer) which had also helped pre-pregnancy, and thankfully I woke up this morning feeling fine, but somewhat tender.

So now I’m wondering what my next step should be.  I used to do a lot of Chinese medicine for all of my aches and pains but I am so busy (in a fun way) with the kids and work and shopping and swimming and trying to think of extra ways to make money (I’ll discuss the Asia finance idea at some point when I understand it myself a bit more), that I’d rather just pop a pill.  I’m just wondering if that’s the best way to deal with it all. I definitely don’t want to go to a doctor, as, quite frankly, I’d rather have my teeth pulled.

…But implants and dentists has to put aside as a post for another time… It’s time to get on with the laundry and the dishes.  So  I leave you with these thoughts and wish you a Happy Wednesday! It’s the middle of the week, do something exciting that takes you away from being in the middle… be at the top…if only just for today…

Hearing After a 30-Year Silence

Nancy Sinclair-Estes heard without the use of a hearing aid, for the first time in almost three decades.  The Lebanese woman – who has been suffering from extreme hear-loss since her early twenties – had a cochlear implant fitted last week.  She only recently discovered that she would be a candidate for the procedure and is now delighted.  The mother of four, three of her children also suffer from hearing loss.  To correct the hearing, the implant bypasses the cochlea’s damaged cells which is a main cause of hearing loss, and thereafter stimulates the hearing nerve.

The 51-year-old’s hearing started deteriorating in her late teens but it wasn’t until a few years later – when she hit 22 – that she got her hearing aids.  She did that as she had to be told by her husband that she hadn’t heard her baby crying.  Shortly thereafter there was a rapid deterioration in her hearing loss.  It wasn’t until the implants were fitted that she was able to hear much of anything; to communicate she would rely on lip-reading.

Once she left the office, Nancy was immediately able to hear her son’s voice, without having to lip-read him.  She actually heard his voice for the first time ever!  She couldn’t believe it and was clearly delighted. Prior to the procedure however, she was somewhat nervous.  Having lived in a close-to-silent world for around 30 years, she was apprehensive of what she might hear and what it might be like.  Now, she’s incredibly grateful for what she is hearing.

Schools and Student Suicide

Teenage suicide is a serious issue which has a ripple effect on everyone exposed to the tragedy. According to several mental health experts, the aftermath of a student’s suicide may actually worsen the conditions of other depressed teens. According to these specialists, candlelit vigils, memorials and large assemblies can often trigger additional suicides.

Darcy Haag Granello, professor of counselor education at Ohio State University, explains that “the first goal after a student suicide should be eliminating the contagion that can lead to copycat suicides.“ She brings up the example of a high school where a popular boy died of suicide. Staffers and students organized numerous memorials, only to experience another suicide one month later.

“This second student, who was at risk and vulnerable, had watched his classmates at all the memorials for the first boy and though ‘I wonder what they’d say about me?’ Schools need to let students know that suicide is not glamorous, but also give support by grieving.”

Schools throughout the U.S. are overwhelmed and under-staffed as is, and are largely unprepared to deal with a student’s suicide. Stephen Roggenbaum, a research assistant at the University of South Florida, has helped to develop the Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide for institutes across the nation.

“Teachers and administrators have our youth for one third of their day….. Schools are already asked to do so much with fewer resources,” Roggenbaum said. “Many administrators don’t have time to scour the literature on youth suicide themselves. We’ve tried to fill that void.”
Dr. Nancy Rappaport, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, strongly suggests incorporating mental health screenings into routine adolescent health care, like the program offered by Teen Screen National Center for Mental Health Checkups.

“From a historic perspective, 20 years ago schools thought the way to talk to students about suicide was during a large assembly, which was actually not helpful at all in identifying who might be at risk,” Rappaport said. “If you identify and treat depression, you decrease the suicide rate. Any time a school community loses a student to suicide, it’s heartbreaking…. There is nothing worse.”

The Healing Power of our Four-Legged Friends

It has been known for a long time that dogs can bring therapeutic relief to patients with a whole slew of different needs.  It seems like the furry friends are able to take patients’ minds off their troubles. But a recent news story really made headlines when it was the dogs themselves who could have been hospitalized as well!  And these injured dogs were also providing aid to patients in a Dallas rehabilitation  institute.

Wheelchair-bound dogs Chili and Arlo have been able to inspire many patients.  According to program director at Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation Linda Marler, since “many of the patients are new to wheelchairs, when they see Chili and Arlo, they say, ‘If those dogs can do it, so can I.’”  Every week the dogs come and visit these patients who have incurred a traumatic injury or a stroke.  Indeed, 6-year-old Chili was thrown over a fence onto cement when she was just 8 weeks old.

Vigo Gum May Improve Health (And Complexion)

A new chewing gum, developed in Sweden, claims to provide vitamins which will strengthen your hair, nails and skin, possibly improving the chewer’s appearance.

The gum, called Vigo, has sparked controversy with its tagline “Spry, Pretty or Clever- Chew the Gum that Suits You,” which is said to be misleading. However, Antula Healthcare, the manufacturer, defended the product stating that it was approved by the European Food Safety Authority. A spokeswoman added: “We are not saying that you will look better but that you will maintain a healthy complexion.”

Pharmacies and supermarkets have begun to sell the gum, which is rich in vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, C, Beta Carotene and Selenium. The product comes in flavors ‘Beauty,’ ‘Focus’ and ‘Active.’

Certainly, it is important to maintain a healthy, balanced diet despite the gum.