The past eight months have not been good and it is why I’ve decided to come back to blogging. Since last summer my headaches have come back with a vengeance and I’m in pain every single day without fail. Here’s me in a few short sentences.
- I have cluster headaches, not simply migraines. This fact has been made very clear to me and I’m finally listening to my neurologist this cycle.
- I’m keeping a very good migraine diary. My iPhone app sucks and I need to rewrite it to be more suitable for all experiences.
- My medication trials were not good enough in the past and I’m re-trialing Topamax, zonisamide and melatonin. I’m even going today to discuss testosterone therapy with my neurologist – something I’ve discovered through NIH research.
- I’m having 3-5 headaches a day, all on my left side. My nose drains, eye typically waters. They last from 5 minutes to 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Some last hours. If I do not medicate they can go away on their own. Typically I have to medicate with an NSAID like Tylenol or Alleve. I am taking way too many NSAIDs.
- In the last three months I’ve documented 235 headaches.
I plan on giving a better catch up soon. I wanted to post something to get the ball rolling.
A while back I mentioned that I was wanting to create a migraine diary on the iPhone. Well, the time has come to announce that I’ve released the application. I finished my master’s degree in Software Engineering and the capstone project was a success.
If you’re interested in downloading the application, follow this link and click the iTunes App Store icon.
Been busy the past few weeks and really haven’t had much to blog about. I’ve found that Twitter fills in my need to broadcast to the world more often than writing up a formal post. Half the time I get through writing a post I realize I’ve been babbling and end up deleting it.
The migraines have been pretty consistent lately. I get 1-2 attacks a week with most of them responding fairly quickly to over the counter medication. I talked briefly with my neurologist this week and he said if OTC is doing the job, then we don’t have to look at going back on to anti-seizure medications any time soon. I don’t take enough of the NSAIDs for them to be an issue with my liver at this point. I’d like to be on a prophylactic medication but the side effects from the ones I have been on aren’t really ideal for me. Topamax had such a positive effect on the migraines but making me turn into a stupid idiot was difficult to handle.
School has been going well over the summer. I’ve been making headway on my iPhone migraine diary and may even have something out there by the end of summer. I have to remember I’m not doing this to make money on the iTunes store, but rather get a good grade for my graduate Capstone project. Rushing to get it out to the market isn’t what I would consider a good idea. However, if I got real world users to help with the process along the way, that could make for a very good final presentation. On a good note, my neurologist is totally on board with helping me with the application!
Summer is FINALLY here in Wisconsin and we’re having our first 90+ degree day. Can’t say I’m thrilled for the heat and high humidity, but it’s nice to have the body clock reset after a really long winter.
Eek, four weeks since I’ve posted something. Unfortunately, the blog has been taking the back seat to life lately…
The client I’m at didn’t renew our contract through the end of the month, so I’m heading back in the office after April 24th. I may already have another client booked but that hasn’t been finalized yet. To be a consultant on the bench isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I’m not bringing in money and it isn’t cheap to sit around doing nothing. I’m not too worried as I’m continually adding to my skills to be more of a selling point to potential clients. Enough about work.
School has been crazy, as usual. I’m looking forward to finishing at the end of this month because Tazz and I are heading to New Mexico for five days and then to San Antonio for four days. We’re going to see Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico along with the VLA (Very Large Array) near Socorro which was featured in the film Contact. San Antonio will be four days of unplanned activities, mostly sitting around relaxing with my Aunt and Grandfather. Tazz has never been to SA so he’s looking forward to it!
The household work has been a blast this spring, already. Finally got the garage door replaced and entry door removed. The chimney was falling apart and just dropped $2200 on a new liner and repair. Next up, our driveway is getting ripped out and replaced because of water issues we were having in the basement. It’s the year of repairs and I’m doing my part to stimulate the local economy. (read: sarcasm)
Starting this fall, maybe even this summer, I will be starting initial work on my iPhone application for a migraine diary. If you have interest in being part of my focus group and potentially a beta tester, let me know via a comment or send me an e-mail through my blog.
Still no word on the HIPAA complaint I filed. I may re-file the complaint with the regional office in Chicago rather than e-mailing it to the national office. I’ll certainly update everyone when I find out what is happening.
After reviewing my files, I realized that I had certain dates wrong in my head. My migraines weren’t diagnosed until 2003 and I’ve been on blood pressure medications since 1999. The doctors office kept copies every time they got a fax note from me and whenever I had a prescription refilled. Kind of scary to see how often I called that quack.
What I’ve learned so far is that memory doesn’t serve me as well as I thought. Keeping a timeline written down somewhere is your best plan. You may think you will remember a significant event forever, when in fact, you start to forget when it doesn’t continue to be an ultra-relevant fact any more.
Leads me to believe that my idea for a migraine diary application for a mobile phone makes more sense every day. I think I might actually make it my final project for my software engineering degree.
I’m thinking of creating an iPhone App that would be for a headache diary. You could track food intake, meds, episodes of headaches with intensities, etc. Would an iPhone app be of more use than a paper one?? Anyone interested?