Since my last post in December 2010, I have traveled a new world (for me) in pain management. The energy this requires has made it difficult to keep up with regular posts, let alone summon the creativity to re-group on what this blog is and how I want it to evolve. Now I feel ready to take on this writing again.
The new world of pain management that I entered in late November was introduced to me by Dr. David Buchholz, MD, in his book Heal Your Headache: The 1.2.3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain. Briefly, he advocates strongly and, to me, convincingly, that the two main reasons for migraines are (1) food triggers; and (2) rebound headaches resulting from taking too much pain medication - especially the meds created specifically for migraine headaches. The regimen is controversial and doesn't work for everyone, but to me was worth a try. Always the impulsive one, I began the very day I first browsed through the book: I stopped taking my migraine medications and began the rather restrictive diet he prescribes.
Predictably, the migraines worsened and intensified immediately, and although they have not been quite as bad as they were during those first two weeks, they have not let up. Dr. Buccholz recommends staying on the regimen for four months: I have two months to go. Other than whining about not being allowed to drink my usual one or two cups of tea per day - caffiene is off the list of allowable foods - I have managed actually to enjoy the new diet and the culinary creativity it forces on me. And it certainly is a healthy one.
I find it really difficult to peer at a computer when I have a migraine and so I felt it best to discontinue the blog while I learned this new level of pain management. I am still learning, yet eager to begin writing again, especially as I have a couple of - in my opinion - neat ideas for this year.
The first idea centers around the book recommended to me by friend and blogger, Ellen Painter Dollar. (Who, by the way, has written a couple of guest posts that I will soon publish on this blog.) The book, The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering, is written by Melanie Thernstrom, herself a long-time sufferer of chronic pain due to a neck injury. It is an amazing book, well-written and comprehensive in the extreme. In it I found several topics for blog posts, the first of which I will begin this week.
The next idea also centers around a book: The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. I have quoted and ruminated about Tolle's work in previous posts, and in listening (I don't read much due to the headaches, but love books on CD) to this book recently, I realized that I was taking his thoughts and translating them for myself so that they more specifically fit the physical pain in my life. I plan a long series of posts about this take on Tolle's philosophy this spring and summer.
Finally, I am still interested in hearing from, talking to and posting the writings of other persons living with chronic pain. Ellen Painter Dollar is the first of what I hope will be several guest bloggers or interviews this year.
God willing, what I write and post here in 2011 will bless others as much as being in this process is blessing me.
I would love to hear from you. Use the Comment box, below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carol D. Marsh
- With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90 days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.