Cefaly at Two Weeks

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My approximation of the box pose, only more ‘me’

Along with getting rid of my chronic case of tech neck, I am dearly hoping mid-July’s Botox treatment will give me the pain relief I seek. The last doctor treatment for migraine (or anything, actually) was May 28 when I had the nerve block. Over time, my facial pain, the pain in the back of my head that radiates down my neck and into my shoulders returns as the day wears on. On the plus side, I can sit up for ages before becoming dizzy. I usually become sore first. I have several lamps now and aim them all over the place at various levels to limit pain. Noise levels are still problematic.

Anyway, The Cefaly.

There are two types of Cefaly units. The US one, and the

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The Cefaly Box

Canadian and rest of the world? European? one. From what I understand, the US model has one speed and an allowable wear time of 20 minutes.

My model has three speeds 1. Active Headache 2. Prevent 3. Gentle and is allowed to be worn all day. (The website at http://www.cefaly-technology.com explains all this).

Included in the box is a set of electrodes, (3 maybe? My husband ordered a whole bunch so I got confused.) And some forehead wipes.

Cefaly works by cleaning your forehead with the wipe. Bioderma is the closest sub for this. It must be non-oily. Next you place the provided electrode (powered by 2AA batteries, don’t worry) on your forehead. The brochure will describe this, don’t worry. Mid forehead. You then slide the lovely Wonder Woman Headband down your head until it engages with the electrode. Press the button on your WWH until you get your program. (In US this is ONCE). Enjoy your 20 minute treatment. Repeat if desired, unless American. Lowest price we found in Canada was $299 at Costco.ca.

I am fortunate to have the gentle cycle, because I am very sensitive to TENS! Yes, I had no clue this was TENS at all. I had used a machine once at my grandmother’s house once about 25 years ago and it was so incredibly painful.

The first time I used it, thoughts I had included:

“Dear God, I hope this thing shuts off eventually. What if it doesn’t?”

“This feels like Dave Grohl playing timpani on my sinuses!”

“Did I buy a home ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) machine by accident?”*

*(I had a family member go through this treatment several times, we discussed it,  plus the awful scene in cuckoo’s nest, I understand it was a very mild situation.  My brains were being scrambled, and I was getting scared. That’s where my weird mind went.)

But I endured. The next therapy I needed to stop about 5 minutes in. It was just too painful. My husband complained of a headache that evening, so it was time for an experiment. He got to wear the band. He couldn’t feel anything! I couldn’t believe it.

 

The next time I used Cefaly, I sat up and carefully applied the electrode supplied, to my forehead using a mirror to judge the best spot midway between my eyebrows/forehead ridge and the start of where my forehead curves. This session was so much less painful. It still hurt, but was much better.  This time I noticed how much better I felt after the session. I had about 10 minutes where I felt I still was wearing the headband, and I was kind of scrambled for a few minutes, like waking from a nap. My shoulder and neck pain was so much better, and my facial pain was from a 6 to a 3 or 2.

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Electrode Placement is Very Important

 

The next three or four days were tough, as I had excessive sleeping. I would lie down for a quick nap, planning to wake around 5 for dinner, do my therapies; and wake up the next morning.  I’ve done sessions over the last three days, still on gentle. However, now the painful part is only a couple of minutes and I tend to fall asleep for the last part of the session. The damn beeping to signal the finish always wakes me. I’m thinking of going up to level 2 soon.

 

  • Having your electrode placed properly is very important. Use a mirror.
  • I found having the TV or something on is helpful to pass time or distract.
  • Bioderma is a fantastic substitute for the included wipes. I have not found a distributor. Alcohol is too drying and will degrade your electrode pad.
  • Just press the button for emergency stop. 
  • Two AA batteries.

 

At this point I am looking forward to my afternoon sessions. It’s like a challenge.

The fantastic part is my insurance reimbursed us for it. Yay!

Verdict: Even though I am sensitive to TENS, this product is highly effective in reducing and treating my headaches. Where I would expect to be useless, I can take a treatment and after 20 minutes my pain is seriously reduced.  I’m amazed.

I will keep you posted!

 

Lies I’ve Been Told…

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“Looks aren’t that important in life, it’s what’s inside a person that matters.” …

“I am your friend,”…

“That looks great on you!” …

“You’ll regret it!” …

“I’ll never tell anyone, I swear!” …

“You can count on me!”…

“This medication is non-addictive.”…

“I would never lie to you,”…

“I love you!” countless…

“If you lose weight you’ll feel better!” x infinity…

“Your doctor will call you back in three days…”.

“Your doctor will call you on Tuesday.”.

(Sigh)

Now, to be fair, it seems the clinic is moving floors. It essentially broke down earlier this year (at last check, admittedly a bit ago, only complaint with my doctor who ran clinic is about paperwork. Will keep you posted. Must have hubby do checking am too weak),  and it seems to have merged with another pain management service. My new doctor, who was only in this clinic once a week anyway, has not been in, due to the chaos. I have confirmed the scan is on my file. Now, I don’t even know if the doctor to administer the blood patch is still on staff. I caught a quick article up online for only a couple of hours that stated there are no doctors in my home city to treat chiari if it turns out to be. I will burn that bridge when I get to it, but I am pretty miserable here. I essentially lie in the dark most of the time. The straighter my neck the better. My vision is very bad. My tablet is turned way down, as is the tv. Very dark. I can’t stand noise. So it’s not always watchable or useable in the tablets case. Last week was great- I could sit horizontally and play with makeup for a little bit! Have a rest. Organize some items I had tossed aside when feeling terribler. So much better than lying on my side in the dark. I have incredible trouble sleeping, so I stare into black space for hours. It can be awful. And the facial pain. Ay-yi. And the back pain so bad you almost faint, but you don’t.  Because you’re home alone. On really good days I get to sit up for a while before the pain starts, the nausea and dizzy take over. On really really good days you can turn on a lamp.

The EDS Clinic said I could be in to the pain clinic there by the end of June, so hope oozes from every pore! No, I am grateful as I’ve been inappropriately medicated for a long time. I would like to sleep, maybe? Once a week? My former pain doctor had been planning to change my plans for medication for a while, as he suspected I might be causing myself pain with what I am on. (Apparently it’s a thing) Plus it has been a year since I have had proper migraine shots, so dealing with intermittent migraines, too. Fun! 😄

Oh, and a lady from Chiari Canada has been so lovely and supportive in corresponding with me, even though she is so busy. I appreciate it so much.

My rugrats gave me their flu or cold or whatever… I am not amused. I shall take my whiny butt back under the blanket.

I shall let you know.

 

 

I’m a 10 out of 10

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You know you’re gearing up for a migraine when you lecture a stranger in your dream for wearing too much perfume. I even gave her the speech on the proper distance you should be from someone before you first detect it. I was quite thorough. The proper distance, by the way, is conversational distance. That is where you should first detect someone else’s fragrance.  None of this where they walk into the establishment and you can taste it before you even see the person nonsense.

Anyway, I tried to play with makeup yesterday, but the migraine started creeping up. I continued, because it had been over a week! I played for a bit, then finally had a nap. Slept from 1 pm until 8:30 pm when my husband came to bed. I was so restless and uncomfortable.  I couldn’t settle my stomach. I didn’t have anything solid yesterday except for oatmeal for breakfast.

I couldn’t sleep last night, I was just awake, restless. I keep trying. I’d dissolve into tears every once in a while, the pain was so bad, and then it would dissipate. Then ramp up. Ugh. I would lie there, just trying to be still, trying to distract myself. Reading cat memes. Reading long form news stories.

I was supposed to have Botox injections for migraine and for pain management on August 22-ish.  Since then the migraines are back, I’ve had my first period in fourteen years, (Mirena) and I’m wracked with pain.

I have not heard back from the pain clinic. Realistically, it’s been 3 weeks? I think? It feels like an eternity. I feel like most of the pain right now is in the back of my head, whatever we are dealing with there. One month until my neurologist appointment.

It’s also been close enough to a month that I believe it is time to start harassing the EDS clinic again. I think we shall do those things, see where that leads us.

I’m interested to see if I have a period next month. The question: was the Botox contributing to my lack of menses? How? Dunno. Correlation does not equal causation yeah yeah. We will see.

Let’s tackle one thing at a time. I will certainly bring it up at the EDS clinic, I don’t know if they have a GYN on staff, but I will ask for a referral straight away, as well as for a gastroenterologist, as that doesn’t seem to be happening either.

Happily, however, my stomach seems to have settled and I no longer feel like throwing up my toenails. Yay Gravol!

Short term, I don’t seem to be sleepy. Or I am already dead. I occasionally find a comfy spot and all is happy for a while, so things aren’t terrible. I’m going to focus on medicating myself today, listening to podcasts, and maybe tv if I can. Tonight I’m definitely taking a sleeping pill, and back to that if I need to.

I was thinking of a warm bath, but moving…

I can do a month! Right?

And however long the EDS clinic takes…

💜

 

 

Drowning in Exhaustion

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My migraine finally broke last night, but it’s been flirting around the edges of my brain, threatening to return with one wrong move.

Every day I start out happy and full of promise. With pain, of course, but I have plans for things to do, and stuff I want to accomplish! Soon, though, I’m worn out and wondering how much I can still push through. Trouble is, when I’m trying to take photos of the makeup I’ve accomplished, you can see the pain in my face if I push it too much. I suppose it’s a way of keeping me from too much.

I finally had a full bath today, instead of a sponge bath. It’s been tough to get in there, I’m so cold all the time. I feel better now. It took me ten minutes just to get warm. My lovely daughter babysat. I need help running the bath, and I like someone to stay on the second floor with me, so when I get out, in case I slip they can help. I’ve got such great kids. They don’t complain much.

My husband has been so exhausted lately. I miss him. I could barely speak when he came to bed last night. There are so many things I want to do with him (that too) but I’d like to start with a hug, or putting my head on his chest. I can’t get close enough to him yet. I’m too sore. He’s too stressed. The other day my daughter noticed a pair of my underwear that must have fallen when my husband went to put laundry away. It was kind of near the bed, not really obvious. She handed them to me, to which I cheekily replied, “oh, there those are! Wild night last night!” She’s 15, our bedroom doesn’t have a door and is right next to her bedroom. She gave me the ‘yeah, right’ face. 😂

Okay, trying to catch up with everyone. I’m thinking of you!

Have a wonderful evening, Zebras! 😘

 

 

Head Pain

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Aaagh My head! My head and neck are really sore. I’m just in so much pain. The back of my head really hurts. I fractured my skull in 1992 after a fall down some stairs. Like, a flight and a half. I saw my boots silhouetted against the sky. And I remember nothing. I woke up 10? Minutes later. I was taken to the hospital when fluid was leaking out of my ears later that day. I had some bladder incontinence for a day, but then was better and they sent me home, no follow up. But that’s where it hurts.  I’m also quite nauseated.

I rubbed Voltaren on my neck last night. Oh! Heaven! 😍! My neck is so much better. It may be why my head hurts, as I tend to have migraines when I relax. I want to be put in a harness and hanged by my neck so I can straighten everything out. My husband suggested he crack me like a whip to put everything into place!

I’m in a happy mood, my makeup guru drops a makeup collection today! I’m so excited! My friend made my week the other day. She went blonde, and said I had inspired her, because I have so much fun on my Instagram and beauty blog with different lipsticks and makeup. Wait until she sees my new lashes! Also, she’s quite a beauty. I’m flattered to have inspired someone so fabulous!

I have an appointment with my therapist today, and I’m slightly displeased. Mildly miffed? They have a 48 hour cancellation policy, as one does, and I understand it’s to keep those reluctant or anxious from canceling at the last minute every time. However, I don’t know when I’m going to be hit with blinding pain every time. This is not a therapy avoidance tactic, and although my therapist is kind enough to meet with me by phone, I am not exactly getting my $200 worth that I am paying out of pocket. Anyway.

I’m in tears from pain now. Still happy, though. You zebras know what I mean! Just vaped. Lol! 😂

Have a good day Zebra friends!

PS. To whom it may concern: I didn’t see any owls on my Facebook. If you go to my WordPress page, the icons at the top? Should take you directly to me. My avatar shows half my face. Also on my WordPress site is a contact form to email me so you can send me your name, I can look out for you!

My head is mushy and um… sorry. I am intelligent.