Tame the Pain

Peace at last!

Well, after a 3-hour visit with the neurologist last night I did get some answers to my migraine problem.

There are three main headaches one can get: tension, sinus, or cluster.  My pain may originate from one of these three and turn into a migraine within a short amount of time or the migraine hits full force immediately.  In either case, I have been officially diagnosed with migraines.  This is positive news for me because now I can get the proper treatment.

Thankfully I have an episodic migraine and not a chronic one.  The difference? Chronic migraines happen more than 15 times a month for at least three months in a row! Ouch!

I appreciate all who shared their thoughts and experiences with me, as it helped me to gather questions I wouldn’t have thought of and it provided me with support. Thank you.

Treatment: Ellie from Emerald Pie told me about Botox treatments so, of course, I had to ask the specialist! Yes, it’s true…people do get injections every three months for those who suffer from chronic migraines.  Since mine is not chronic, I am not eligible for this treatment. Shucks 🙂

Kelly from My Twice Baked Potato and Laura from As Time Goes…Buy suggested acupuncture. Because I saw a medical doctor, she really wouldn’t give a professional opinion about it so I looked into it myself (Google).  Acupuncture boasts that it reduces inflammation and helps control pain; there are a lot of people that live by this treatment. So, after I’m done seeing the neurologist (I have two more visits), I’ll stop by an acupuncturist to see if this approach would be better.

What I’m doing in the meantime: I took a nerve test last night. It literally felt like I was getting shock injections shot into my body. A scary feeling at first and then it turned into a feeling like you get when you ride a roller coaster.  The doctor was looking for nerve signs that could be the cause of my migraines. A small pen was inserted into my arm so that the doc could ‘listen’ to my nerves. It sounded like Oster during one of his sonograms.

She prescribed an abortive drug for me to take when the migraine hits.  She said there are 10 main drugs that are on the market and she chose this particular one for the sole purpose of trial and error.

I did NOT receive a preventative drug because I didn’t want to have to take something every day. I dislike taking drugs altogether, so you can imagine how thankful I was that she didn’t push me taking a preventative.

I have to go back in two weeks for the nerve test results. From there, we’ll make an appointment for an MRI (brain and neck).

I’m excited to finally get the ball rolling after decades of brushing this pain off as it just being part of life.

Will Sugar Drinks Eventually be Taxed?

I read an article in this Sunday’s Tribune entitled, Many are no longer sweet on soft drinks. I was intrigued by the title, but mostly its byline: Communities, hospitals and others coast to coast are considering bans or taxes to curb consumption and combat obesity.

That’s a bold move considering every American consumes roughly 150 pounds of sugar a year (according to Dr. Oz).  The article mainly talks about adding taxes to sodas or banning sugary drinks from vending machines in hospitals, parks, and libraries. New York City is even talking about banning super-sized drinks from restaurants, movie theaters, and sporting events.

This got me thinking: Shouldn’t schools also be included in this “push”? If some hospitals in Chicago can replace energy drinks and sodas with bottled water, why can’t we do that in our public schools? Don’t these soda companies make bottled water too? I know that schools get some kickback for having vending machines in their buildings.  But why can’t these machines be filled with water and low-sugar juices?

If this idea is bogus, what about educating parents and children as to how much sugar they are drinking? Some hospitals in Boston are putting nutrition labels on the fountain drinks that show how much sugar is about to be consumed.  When I taught a one-week unit on nutrition (in one of my business classes) my favorite website to show my students was Sugar Stacks. This site gives you a visual as to how much sugar you are consuming for popular foods (cookies, soda, veggies, etc.).

I found it interesting that other popular drinks weren’t mentioned in the article. Mainly: Major coffee brand’s iced coffees and “milkshakes”.  How hard would these companies be hit if there was a ban or tax on its delicious creations?

How do you feel about banning or taxing sugary drinks? Is it so bad that lawmakers have to get involved? Do we need better nutrition education at the primary level?   

 Image from: New Public Health