(mig)raine, (mig)raine, go away

I am home from work unexpectedly on a Tuesday, thanks to a migraine. I used to be plagued by migraines, for years. I generally know how to handle them and “get ’em gone” within a few hours. This one is persistent. I am impatient. These two do not mix well.

I had to take off work – I have been having problems with my vision for a few weeks and the blurriness coupled with the light sensitivity was just too much this time. I called out and I’ve been trying to stay in the dark and quiet. My dogs are out and about, because I don’t have the heart to put them in the crates when I know they could be out and about with me. Occasionally, I get a big bark over a squirrel in the yard, or the neighbors out walking. But I can deal with that. They are in an affectionate mood with each other right now. Usually Flash is a grumpy gus, but I guess having “mommy” home midday has a good effect.

About six months ago, I helped a work friend help his daughter get rid of her migraines. I used a combination of personal experience and the ideas gleaned from reading up on the biological mechanism of migraine, mostly in the book

    Heal Your Headache

by David Bucholtz, which I was given by my father’s reflexologist, . She also sells an excellent Young Living essential oil blend called M*Graine that works wonders.

The technical details are interesting to me, as a scientist. But most folks don’t really care WHY they have one, they just want it to go away. I meticulously tracked my food intake for six months back in 2012, and realized I have several food triggers. (Of course, they are all my favorite things!). Bananas, avocados, red wine, cheese, and sushi. I’m sure the sushi is partly because of the soy sauce. In any case, I do not eat these five things within 24 hours of one another, and I usually can avoid the migraine. I learned NOT to treat them with caffeine, though it is a last resort if needed, for temporary relief. Finally, I was able to eliminate imitrex, which is the sumatriptan based migraine medication most commonly perscribed for migraine sufferers. I never liked it. It always gave me a second headache once it wore off. Not a fan.

Today, I was fortunate because my neighbor Andy had given me a cucumber and some fresh cherry tomatoes off the vine last night. I made a great cucumber/tomato pasta salad, using Dreamfields pasta and cubed cheddar cheese in a balsamic base. That will only get better with a few hours to marinate. I put some corn off the cob leftover from Sunday dinner with my parents in there too and plenty of salt and pepper. And with the rest of the tomatoes, I made an olive oil, vidalia and garlic based saute and the rest of the pasta. I ate that for lunch. I have enough left for tomorrow’s lunch too (sorry, guys, garlic breath will be addressed via altoids!). It was wonderful. Fresh food always makes me feel better. The migraine rages on, but at least I ate well!

And finally, I made a white bean spinach artichoke baked dip with the remains of a bag of spinach I needed to use up. First time making that – pretty good. Consistency needs some work. I was trying to avoid using any dairy. I ended up with a little butter in there, some mayonnaise and olive oil to get the smoothness I wanted. I blended the beans and some of the artichokes, with some lemon juice and olive oil, plus put in the artichokes and spinach (I used fresh, so I sauteed it in butter briefly to let it wilt).

I’m wishing for some relief, but I can’t complain. Life has hit us pretty hard this year. While we still have hurdles to overcome, my husband and I are happy and enjoying our life. I am grateful.


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