Migraine sufferers closer to getting relief

As a migraine sufferer, I know what it’s like to lie in bed and pray that the throbbing pain in your head would subside and that every little noise, every ray of light wasn’t so excruciating.

Photo from psypost.com

But I’m lucky; I’ve been diagnosed with cluster migraines, but my migraines can be controlled with over-the-counter medicine. My brother, niece and sister have headaches so severe that they have to inject themselves with Imatrx, a potent migraine pain killer. They end up going to bed for hours, even a day, and wait for the pain to stop.

A June 12 article on Yahoo Health, entitled, “Scientists find genes linked to migraines,”  told about a study done on men and women with migraines and noticed that certain genes might be responsible for migraines. It said that those who suffer from migraines have a neurological condition that involves their neurons ‘speaking” to each other differently than those who don’t have migraines.

The article also said that women suffer with migraines 3-4 times more often than men.  Specific genes, they concluded, are responsible for migraines. Though it’s not a cure, they seem to be on the right path to finding out exactly what migraines are and how they can alleviate the suffering for so many.

Not so long ago, migraine sufferers didn’t have the resources to relieve their headaches.  They had to rely on aspirin to try to take their pain away. But today doctors know more about migraines as they used to. They now know that the flashes of light, the ringing of the ears, and the sensitivity to light and sound are indicators of a migraine coming on, and can usually be “headed off at the pass.”

Through years of suffering myself, I have come to terms with my headaches and have devised a plan on how to deal with them, which I think is different for everyone. I have tried extra doses of riboflavin, suggested by my doctor. I’ve taken Paxil (an anti-depressant)  which I didn’t like. I have tried Imatrex, which is usually great for migraine sufferers but didn’t help me much. I have tried Tylenol and Advil. But what has helped me the most is a combination of ibuprofen, Excedrin Migraine and Sudafed. I’m not sure why it works for me,  I just know it does, and when I get a migraine, I just want the pain to stop.

I refuse to let migraines run my life, but there are days when all I can do is lay down and hope it will go away. However, it sounds as though researchers are getting closer to figuring out what causes migraines. And when they do, it will finally ease the suffering of millions of people.

Learning as I go-week 4

I started college almost 4 years ago knowing that it would be a challenge. Not because I wasn’t very smart, but because it had been a long time since I’d had to study, do homework or take tests. I knew that I had the brains, but did I have the drive and motivation to keep going?

I had been to college before when my kids were little. I had tried my hand as an executive secretary, which I found out later was just another word for slave; I went to school to become a veterinarian assistant, but the first time they euthanized a dog in class and pulled out his brain, I was done. I also went to school to become an elementary education teacher but I got sick and had to quit.

But this time was different. I had thought long and hard about what it is I wanted to do the rest of my life. I loved to write, but was I good enough? Did I have what it takes to be persistent, to get the story and then turn around and write it in half an hour? I wasn’t sure, but I knew I wanted to try.

School wasn’t as bad as i thought it would be. I found out that I really enjoyed learning about different things that I hadn’t known before. It was kind of tough at times, but not having to take care of kids freed my time to concentrate more on my homework. (I applaud those parents who can go to school while raising kids–it’s extremely difficult!)

So I found my niche. My time in college taught me a lot about myself, things I hadn’t known before; I was too busy taking care of other people to even think about who I was. I learned that I loved being a writer, an editor, and even deadlines.

I also learned that I learn as I go. Trying to learn from a book is extremely excruciating for me and I learn better hands-on. Give me a computer and I can mess around with it until I find out how it works. Give me five chapters to read about how to do it, and you’ve lost me.

There was a time when that frightened me. Being thrown into something I have never done before is a scary thought but I have found that that is how I learn best. Throw me in and let me learn on how to swim on my own. Fortunately, I have people around me in case I do flounder, but I know this is the way I have to do it.

Week Four of the Hiawatha Advocate has gone well.  I’ve written a few stories and decided to use WordPress (hiawathaadvocate) as an addition to my website and personal blog. I produced my first video, and even though it was not the best, it also wasn’t the worst. I am confident that I will get better as time goes on.

So I’m learning as I go, what works, what doesn’t. My website is starting to look like an actual news publication. I know it will keep changing until I come up with something I really like and really works.

I’m also getting out and meeting people in the community, handing out my business cards and learning more about the community.  Tomorrow I’m going to a children’s concert at the Hiawatha library and I’m actually excited about it;  a great story and a great photo opportunity! Oh yeah, I’m sure the music will be good too.

The answer to the ultimate question is … 42

The movie, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” strikes me as extremely funny. It uses humor to explain some of the most sought-after questions of the Universe, the answers to questions we wouldn’t consider to be very important, questions such as, “Did you bring your towel?”

courtesy of Google Images

The recent failed doomsday prediction may have reminded us that, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over,” but it also once again raised the proverbial question, “Is there something greater than ourselves?”

My boyfriend, a very quiet, but intelligent man, explained to me that people let their emotions control them, and he knows there is a greater power out there through reasoning and logic.

A nuclear engineer by trade, (if you remember, he taught me about nuclear fusion over coffee) Jeff relies on numbers and calculations to explain everything, including life. I love to listen to his explanations of those things that I have accepted just as Is. Listening to him explain them in terms I can understand helps me to see that there really are logical explanations for everything, including God and life, in general.

He told me that life is unnatural. There is something making order out of chaos. Life is constantly breaking down. But there is something, some kind of energy that is keeping it all together. Nothing is random, we didn’t just happen, he said. Something is keeping order in the Universe.

I was brought up to believe that God was a vengeful entity, who punished us for being bad. But as I have taken a journey to find out the meaning of life for myself, I have come to believe that no one really knows anything about what or who God is.  But my faith in Something Greater comes from someplace deep within my being, from my soul-I just feel that it is so.

I wasn’t too worried about the doomsday prediction because if the Bible is right, no one will know the exact time that God will follow through with his plan. If he chooses to, that is. After all,  He can do anything he want. He’s God.

Everyone has their own beliefs, their own opinions, and everyone is always trying to get others to see things the way they see them. I think everyone has the right to their own beliefs, and really, what works for them. But I believe that we should all believe in something. What is life if we don’t have purpose?

courtesy of Google Images

Without giving too much of the movie away, (see it if you haven’t) it just goes to show that we really don’t know the answer to the ultimate question, and those who say they do, really don’t.

There are two givens in life; we are born and we die. The cycle of life. What we do in between is up to us. The secrets of the Universe have been eluding the most intelligent people of the world forever. People who say they have it all figured out are usually the ones who know the least.

However, I believe that people like the Doomsday Prophet are sent to remind us that we can’t dismiss any of the unanswered questions of the Universe, just because we don’t understand. Who knows? Maybe the answers are far too complex for the mere mortal to understand and none of us will understand it until we do, whenever and wherever that may be.

So for the time being, all we can do is ponder the questions and come to our own conclusions. After all, according to Plato, “An unexamined life is not worth living.”

Maybe that’s really all we’re supposed to do while we’re here; strive to be better than we were before and just enjoy life while we’re here.

And if there comes a day when we are all surprised by circumstances beyond our control, we may want to hitch a ride with the dolphins and echo their sentiments, stated so eloquently in the Hitchiker’s Guide, “So long, and thanks for the fish.”

Building an empire–week 3

OK, so maybe I like to dream big.

Google Images

I don’t watch a lot of TV but happened to catch a glimpse of Donald Trump a few weeks ago, talking about how he didn’t get where he was today by being “soft.” I suppose we could take that a few different ways, but I think he meant that he didn’t let anything or anyone get in his way, no matter what.

While I may not have the personality of ever being that tough, I can see myself working just as hard to see that my publication thrives. It may never be the on the same scale as other empires, but it will be something I can be proud of. If I had ever thought for one minute that I couldn’t do this, I would have backed off long ago. But as soon as that thought entered my mind (thanks Joe!) that I could actually do this, not once have I thought it wasn’t possible.

Maybe that’s what Trump was talking about; thinking positive, having the drive and determination to see it through, not listening to other people who say it’s not possible. These are all qualities that seem to make all the difference in how I look at this whole project. I can’t let myself get into that negative thinking of, “What if it’s no good? What if people don’t read it? Why bother?” Because I really do believe in this paper, and I believe in myself.

Week three of the Hiawatha Advocate website has gone well. I have my site up and even have a few articles and photos on it. I will be working on it continuously; adding, deleting, editing, tweeking always trying new and different things.

I’ve said it before; I really think that taking it slow is helping me get to know the community of Hiawatha and different aspects of the newspaper business. I see it as “practice” before the big show, still on schedule for Feb. 29, 2012. It will be here before I know it and I still have so much to do.

This week I am trying to get ahold of city officials to talk to them about different events going on, but I know they are busy people, too. But I am pretty persistent; I have to be.

I am still having trouble with Go Daddy and the website, as far as search engines go. I am learning that process, too, and spent money to get it more visible when people google my site, but it still isn’t bringing it up the way I want. It’s all a process, I know, but I’m pretty determined to get things straightened out before the summer’s over.  Three months; I’m pretty sure it can be done.