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Ronald W. Hull

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Last edited: Saturday, February 19, 2011
Posted: Saturday, February 19, 2011

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All headaches aren't the same.

With all the recent fervor over newswoman Serene Branson's on-air migraine, I thought it necessary to throw in my two cents worth. All my life, I thought that migraine headaches were some serious disability that a few people had. For example, my cousin claimed that he couldn't work because of migraine headaches he was experiencing. I heard stories of people having headaches so bad that they couldn't stand them and that there was no headache treatment that could stop them from being debilitating.

It was only recently, about 10 years ago, when I described to a doctor the episodes that I was having—a momentary blurred vision like water on a window pane, sometimes accompanied with a slight headache—that I found out the episodes were migraine headaches.

I experienced my first episode in our junior high gym while playing volleyball after my sack lunch. I was in the middle of the volleyball game when my vision became blurred and I felt unable to continue playing. Fortunately, there were always others willing to take my place. I sat down on the bleachers and soon regained my vision.

Over the years I've experienced mylogram headaches, caused by air bubbles in my spinal fluid introduced during the mylograms that I've had, sinus headaches, and migraine headaches. The mylogram headaches were the worst. The air bubbles in my spinal fluid would float up into the brain and cause me to go into convulsions—severe headache, vomit reflex, and unconsciousness—forcing me to lie down in a prone position for hours until the air bubbles dissolved.

Doctors describe my sinusitis as "chronic," and periodically it gives me a small headache between my eyes and a generally stuffy nose and plugged ears. I don't treat it—except with ear drops—and generally put up with the inconvenience.

My migraine headaches were few and far between during most of my adult life. Although recently—I experienced one this morning just before dictating this article—probably because of increased stress caused by my workload, my age, and my increasing paralysis and quadriplegia, the episodes have become quite frequent, usually after stress from long hours of staring at a computer screen. I've come to ignore them like I ignore my episodes of dysreflexia just before I have to urinate, as one of those little inconveniences I have to put up with for being healthy in spite of my age.

So far, I have not experienced these migraines while driving. In spite of the blurred vision, I do believe I could stay on the road and continue until the episode was over rather than having to drastically pull to the side. All my life, I have had chronic dry eye. Usually after many hours on the road or when I've had exhaust fumes or dust in the air, my tear ducts will open and the salt on my dry eye balls will cause an extreme burning sensation, requiring me to blink and try to wash my eyes free of the pain. Again, this happens very infrequently and I've only had to pull to the side until my eyes recover two or three times in the couple of million miles I've driven.

I am interested in your experience with these headaches. I'm not interested in your complaining and telling me that your headaches are debilitating and so forth. I've heard those stories and have had to give people aspirin or Tylenol or some other over-the-counter drug that I rarely take for these, life's little expectancies.

In conclusion, my sinus and migraine headaches are no big deal. Mylogram headaches, however, should be avoided at all cost—simply by lying down and staying down to avoid pressure on the brain.

Web Site: Ron's Place

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Reviewed by Michael Guy 2/19/2011
Very informative; yet you have one problem few others ever have: "increasing paralysis and quadriplegia" - your immobility. It's amazing what you do despite it, including your writing, your job and so forth. Strangely for years on Dialysis and up until a few years ago I was very often disabled by those severe vomiting migraines,and for awhile when I was young enough (and I guess my Dr. thought my liver could take it) he gave me some prescription that had a slight narcotic in it. But as usual I got dependent, then after the stress of parents deaths and losing my home in Daytona, I finally quit all bad habits (Like smoking a few cigars once in awhile when fishing) but i also swore off of most processed foods by American food companies, especially yeast breads, coffee, donuts, microwave dinners, etc. I did more yoga, drank herb & black tea and due to poverty couldn't afford the garbage most Americans shove down there throats. I still eat dairy, ice cream, yogurt but NO Migraines. I think with my kidney transplant (only 1) I was very susceptible to toxins (and you would be too I would think) -- anyway I rarely get them now, and although I rebel at my ascetic lifestyle at times, I feel better. And it is all due to hardship & adversity!? Umm... a lesson there about modern society I guess.
Well... after the asteroid hits, if I'm still here, I'm going back to live with the Indians...
Take care my friend, your a great writer.
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 2/19/2011
I had some headaches as a child but none to speak of after that. Thank you for this information, Ron. I always appreciate learning something new. Love and peace to you,

Reviewed by Patrick Granfors 2/19/2011
Never had to deal with them fortunately. Most of my headaches are self induced. Patrick
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