Monday 16 April 2018

Audiobooks & Podcasts I have been loving

I have never been the biggest reader but since becoming ill, I have found reading really tiring and my head doesn’t like it much.

I have fallen in love with listening to audiobooks and podcasts. They are so relaxing (even the psychological thrillers I like to listen to!). Migraines and screens aren’t the best mix. So if you are lying in pain bored and need a good distraction, I would highly recommend trying one.

You can listen to audibooks and podcasts using Audible or through iTunes on apple devices. 

Audiobooks I’m loving..
Podcasts I’m loving..

The Guilty Feminist

The High Low

Deliciously Stella

Get it on with Dawn O’ Porter

The Uterus & The Duderus

At Home with…

Ctrl Alt Delete

I’m always looking for more recommendations, so please let me know what you have been listening to.

Wednesday 4 April 2018

Success Story: Alicia

I’m Alicia and I’m a 32-year-old living in Dallas, Tx who develops migraine-friendly recipes (check out my website at The Dizzy Cook and over on Instagram too). I started having terrible vertigo over 2 years ago after I got back from a trip around Asia. It started with a fleeting lightheaded feeling and slowly morphed into being all encompassing vertigo.

I felt like I was moving when I was sitting perfectly still. My eyes couldn’t focus properly and I could barely keep my head up. Sometimes I felt like I was walking on clouds or incredibly drunk.

It got to the point where I had to take short term disability while doctor after doctor was perplexed. They told me it was “just stress” or a perilymph fistula and I would need to get surgery.

After months of not leaving the house, my husband drove me to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona to meet with an ENT. He diagnosed me with vestibular migraine, something the 7 other doctors I saw never mentioned. When I came back to Dallas I sought out a neuro-otologist, a neurologist that treats inner ear disorders.

Since I was considering having kids in the future, we started on a low dose of ativan and timolol eye drops rather than a preventative. It’s not recommended to be on benzodiazepines as it can surprise your vestibular system, but within a short time I was able to wean off the ativan successfully.

I also began taking Magnesium Glycinate, Vitamin D, and B2 vitamins daily. Within time I added vestibular therapy and enrolled in a beginner’s ballet class. While I felt incredibly awkward at first, all those relev├ęs slowly helped me regain my balance. I got better at staying on my toes for longer!

What really pushed me to about 95% was the Heal Your Headache diet. It’s an elimination diet from the Heal Your Headache book by David Buchholz and the John’s Hopkins Headache Centre. I strictly followed the diet for about 4 months and started to reintroduce foods. At one point I thought it was stupid and I was fed up with all the rules. I tried yogurt, a food I had previously eaten every day, and everything around me immediately started moving. I couldn’t believe something I had eaten every day was secretly triggering my migraines. I’ve been able to add a few things back in, but I find the diet is a great way to help me prevent my migraines naturally.

I make sure to do some type of exercise 5 times a week, practice mindfulness, drink at least 75-100oz of water and take my supplements daily. I believe a combination of all of this helped me get my life back. While I still have a bad day or two every month, I can work again, drive again, and even enjoy happy hour with friends. It does get better and there is hope, it just requires finding the right combination specific for you and the willingness to try anything and everything. While I can’t say I’m happy this happened to me, I can definitely say it made me a much stronger person.