Pain! 


I love my neurologist. I’ve been seeing her since I was twelve years old and she is the only one of my doctors that remembers my mom. Every time I see her we spend time chatting about the babies, work and my family. I would cry if I ever had to change doctors. 

For the last year or so, I’ve been seeing her every three months instead of six. And since the twins have been born, my headaches and migraines have increased almost ten fold. It’s rare to have a day without either. And it sucks.

There are quite a few food/drink items that I try very hard to stay away from because they can be triggers. For drinks, no juice, coffee, hot chocolate, alcohol, nothing with a lot of caffeine and nothing that contains aspartame or citric acid. So I drink a lot of milk. For food, no bananas, citrus fruits, processed meats (everything from lunch meat to bacon and kielbasa and hot dogs), aged cheese, nothing with msg… and more. 

Since I basically couldn’t even have a decent sandwich, I was taking cereal and milk with me to school for lunch. 
Forget a scorpion bowl. Hawaiian Punch is an instant migraine. 

I cheat. Of course I do. And sometimes I end up really really regretting it. Like that time I ate five pieces of bacon in one sitting. Delicious, but very painful. 

Adding insult to injury, was my long hair. It’s naturally thick and wavy and was giving me headaches. I couldn’t put it in a ponytail because it gave me a headache. Even a low ponytail was out of the question. And since I don’t straighten my hair in 90 degree heat, I didn’t wear it down. So I braided it. Or wore it in a bun so far on the top of my head that I looked ridiculous. So I made the decision to chop it off. But that only helped so much. 

I have a system when I get a headache. First, I drink some water. Then I eat. If either of those help then I know my headache was caused by dehydration or low blood sugar. If they don’t help, I have a small amount of caffeine. If that doesn’t work, then I take ibuprofen. And if that doesn’t work, I take my prescription. My $500 for 9 doses, prescription. It works best when I can hide in a dark quiet room but with three kids, that’s not always possible. Oh yeah, I take medication DAILY to prevent headaches and migraines. 

Compounding this whole issue is the kids. We were SOOOOOOO spoiled with the first one. She slept straight through the night (10-12hours) at 10-weeks, give or take a day or two here and there. The twins just turned 6-months and are still eating almost every three hours. A few glorious nights they gave us a nice long stretch but on average nights, 4-5 hours is the most we get. The issue with this is not just being exhausted, but being so exhausted that I forget and fall asleep on my back. Because, oh yeah, sleeping on my back means horrendous migraine. And the more exhausted I am, the better the chance that I will end up on my back. 

When I saw my neurologist last week she said something very smart. She said something that in the back of our minds, we knew, but pretty much ignored. She said that the girls are big enough, at six months old, to not NEED to eat in the middle of the night. But, as I explained, when they are three feet away, it’s not as easy to ignore as just switching the baby monitor to mute.  

So we moved them out of the bedroom. 

After the fiasco a couple of weeks ago, we knew that sticking them with their big sister was a no go at this point. They wake her up and then she is inconsolable. And a cranky toddler sucks. 

We have a “four-bedroom” house. I use air quotes because it’s not really like four bedrooms. When you look at our house from the outside its a modest two-story with a single garage. Well someone turned that single garage into two small rooms with closets. Ergo, two additional bedrooms. But one houses bookcases chock full of books and music, and the other we slapped a door on the side, moved the washer/dryer in and called it a mudroom. The second floor then has two large bedrooms, with sloped ceilings in the front and back. 

So the twins are currently sleeping in play pens in the man cave. I don’t like them sleeping on a different floor than the two of us. It sorta feels like i’m neglecting them. But they did fine last night. A few short cries but they went to sleep within minutes and gave us a solid seven hour stretch. They haven’t started teething yet, and haven’t yet been sick so I’m sure something is going to come up. And if it does, I’ll be sleeping on the couch so the hubby (who now has to leave the house at 6am for work) can get a decent nights’ sleep. 

So here’s hoping for some longer sleeping babies and less headaches/migraines. Lord knows that I can’t afford that prescription if I’m not working!  

P.S. Ibuprofen only goes so far. Real severe migraines don’t respond to an anti-inflammatory. And don’t tell me to take Exedrin Migraine. You know what that is? It’s Exedrin and caffeine. If that makes your “migraine” go away then you didn’t actually have a migraine. You probably were having a caffeine-withdrawal headache. 

P.P.S. Sorry for the rant. I’m sick of listening to self-diagnosed migraine sufferers. Spend twenty years of your life on multiple medications under a doctor’s care and go through dozens of MRIs and then we can compare notes. For those of us that suffer from migraines it’s really not a joke. 

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