Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mixed Messages

I suppose the fact that I'm not thinking of writing this as regularly as I used to means the misery really is less than it used to be. However immediately after writing "Better Times" I had less intense than normal but nevertheless unpleasant common migraine. Maybe the very act of focussing on the blog is triggering something! A horrible thought.

Yesterday I had to cancel a day out with a friend because I awoke with another common migraine and felt incapable of driving. It did not last past lunchtime but I began to think that the minor liberties I'm taking with the diet are likely to be causing these more frequent attacks. These liberties are mainly sating my craving for fruit by risking muffins with currants and dates and also an apple pie. I've also been trying a little potato salad and this afternoon had some blackcurrant jam for the first time since starting the diet. More sinfully perhaps I had a chicken baguette for lunch at a cafe on Tuesday and this turned out to be really nice - far spicier than anything tasted in the last few weeks. (Surprisingly this did not upset my stomach.) I could argue that rather than taking liberties, I'm adding back foods in a controlled fashion to see whether they have any effect. Unfortunately, everything I add back seems to have an adverse effect.

Looking back to April when I first came off amitriptyline, there is however no doubt whatsoever that I feel heaps better. Equally theres no doubt that the "heads" are less troublesome both in frequency and intensity. Sleep patterns continue to improve, and while I still get up between 5am and 6am most days, it is a pleasure to be up, often in the garden, on these still calm summer mornings.

For the last 3-4 days the gastro problem has been better so maybe the persistence with Zoton is paying off.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Better times

Shortly after writing last Thurdsay's post I had a classic migraine; the full aura and a few hours of subsequent headache and sickness, but as I've recorded previously, these are minor events compared with the common migraines which in recent times have been the main source of misery.

Since Friday its been a very good spell, with clear head and somewhat reduced stomach pain. I saw the doctor today, and while he had hoped for better results from the Zoton, he's asking me to stay on it for another six weeks prior to reducing the dose by half for a fortnight and then stopping.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Normal again?

It's a week since I last wrote and I'm trying to remember the details. Overall I'm now pretty convinced that the diet is the key to the reduced frequency of migraines. I've had one relatively minor migranous event in the last seven days, and this hangover-like incident followed a very nice three-course meal out at a good restaurant this Tuesday. I woke up with a bad head on Wednesday morning early, took 2 Solpadienes and by lunchtime it had faded. I also ate out on Saturday night and while there were no immediate ill-effects I feel this in some way contributed to "going over the top" with Tuesday's meal. In neither outing was it possible to avoid some of the no-no items in the migraine diet, and I feel while I can take the occasional risk*, two within the same few days leads to trouble. This was the case on the cruise, and once over the top I need a few days of careful eating to detox and get back to normal.

Looking back at the early days of coming off amitriptyline, I realise how everything seemed magnified in the first few weeks: all the little worries and concerns were amplified to the extent that I was really depressed and could not see the point of not starting to take it again. I seemed to be screaming silently all the time. It was a true addiction and one that I am now well rid of. Dare I say I feel normal again - mentally, and at the moment the migraine frequency and intensity is lower than it has been for ages.

Sleepwise, things are still disturbed. Some nights I get through without sleepers and others I don't even though I've taken some. I suppose I feel things are getting better but very gradually: either that or I'm less concerned about sleeping less.

One new issue - I hesitate to add - is a recurrence of the ulcer symptoms I suffered from about 15 years ago. The doctor has decided to put me back on Zoton for a month to see it this controls the unusual "ache" which is not burning and not ordinary indigestion. When I first had this someone said these symptoms were migraine related. Now I wonder if they're migraine-diet related.

* By "risk" I mean some gravy with the main course or a dessert with some summer fruits in. Alcohol, citrus fruits, chocolate, cheese and all the other common triggers never pass my lips.