Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  jagmig on Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:36 pm

Yes, it is very hard to keep up a fitness plan with migraines. For me, the day of a migraine and usually the day after are lost days for my fitness routine. Not only that, the hangover from pain medication puts a seriously dent in my ability to work out with any intensity.

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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  brookelinn on Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:52 pm

I'm so glad you started this topic! As an athlete who suffers from 3-6 migraines a week I have been looking for support and advice from other athletes and haven't been able to find it anywhere. I play roller derby on a very competitive league and I have practice 2-3 days a week for 2 1/2-3 hours. Then I do off skate training in the gym 3 other days a week. That usually consists of running a few miles, and weight training.

I have just been forcing myself to push through the migraines, knowing that it will result in more pain afterward, but I don't have much of a choice. Once I start though and my adrenaline gets going it does help with some of the pain, it's just the comedown that is the worst. I try to hydrate as much as I can during my workout and I usually end up taking something for the pain before it's all over with.

On game day I just make sure that I have plenty of triptans on the bench with me Smile

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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  Stillhurtin on Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:14 pm

Daniela wrote:It is so frustrating trying to maintain an active life and manage headaches. Yoga has been the one form of exercise that I've been able to do consistently. It's focus on controlled breathing and gentle strength training have been very beneficial. Aside from that I try to get out on the bicycle as much as possible - it's another activity that I can control (slow down and coast if my heart's beating too fast).

I agree...

I have been doing Hot (Birkham) Yoga. I am almost always guaranteed a nasty M or an increase in pain if I go when I already have one, butit makes me feel better in so many other ways I don't want to give it up.

Martial Arts is another one that is very structured and mind/body oriented so I can push myself b/c the benfits are so miltifaceted. PLus I do that with my kids so it's a family activity so I give it priority an push to get it in unless things are just too bad.

I used to run 5ks but I can't get to that level of physical excertion since my Ms have taken their most recent turn for the worst. I do still enjoy swimming,but get scared b/c I often use my meds to get me through a workout and I would hate to drown (yikes!!)

Good thread.

I missed Hot Yoga last week but had a good excuse (medical procedure). I promote to Yellow belt on March 29th so I will def be goin to class at least once if not twice per week in the next couple weeks.

Keep on keepin on eveyone!
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  milo on Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:08 pm

Hurtin...try doing the runs at a very slow pace to keep your heartrate down. You can also run in the pool with a vest on to keep you up, this will give you the workout without the strain....and you won't drown if you're on meds cus you will have a vest on...lol

I honestly think running has been really helping my head.

I admit that I often need meds by five pm, but I've been managing most days until then...which is way better then before I started running.
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  jwar on Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:38 pm

I love running! I am also moving through the couch to 5k program. I think it definitely helps my head. I think the most important benefit that I see is that it is much easier for me to be a happy person when the rest of my body feels good, despite my head hurting. This is why I take advantage of every single day of mild to moderate pain by exercising. If it hurts too much I won't force myself, but if it only hurts a little I make myself go. I often find that the pain is reduced after a nice long exercise session. And I sleep much better at night, too.

I know how hard it is to make yourself exercise when you suffer from chronic migraines, but I really think the effects are worth it.

I have experienced an aura a few times right in the middle of an exercise session. Each time I go I'm a little nervous that it'll happen. But in reality the percentage of times that has happened to me is very low, and I find that by doing a nice, gradual 5-10 minute warm-up and a nice, gradual 5-10 minute cool-down that my head generally responds very well.
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  milo on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:02 pm

Roller Derby....SOOOOOOO COOOOOLLLLLL!!!

I can't imagine roller derby and a migraine....even just watching it...lol. You go girl!

I think you are all awesome for trying. No matter how little you manage to do, at the end of the day, it's still more then you would have done if you just stayed home.
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  Ivy on Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:30 am

Jwar,
you said exactly what I think. Running makes me feel so better that I can even forget that I am a migraine sufferer. During and 1 hour after running, I feel so well...No aches, no weird symptoms. I feel great.
This happens to most runners. They get "addicted" to run because the release of endorphines and other hormons that make you feel so well can be compared to a drug.

Like you, I've also experienced aura during running. I normally don't have aura. It happened to me only 4 times in my life, 2 of them were during a run. Maybe the blood stream is particularly intense and somehow affects a disturb that normally would not occur...

Bye
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  milo on Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:59 am

Now that I think about it, I have had aura's as well during runs. I do not typically get them. Weird
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  milo on Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:02 am

OK....I'm debating in my head.

My training for the half marathon has an option of doing it in KM as well as Miles. I have been following the miles as my treadmill logs in miles.

I also like them because the number is smaller.

But if I log the runs in KM, I'll feel like I've accomplished more...because a KM is 1.6 to a mile.

Hmmmmm....maybe I should keep two logs...miles to look at before and km to admire after...lol
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  Ivy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:20 am

Milo,
are you training for a 42K marathon???
You're brave and a real athlet Very Happy
I'm just a dummy compared to you.... pale
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  milo on Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:30 pm

No...it's a half marathon.
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  milo on Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:31 pm

Just 21km...lol
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  milo on Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:21 am

Slight set back but managed to log 6 KM on Sat, 8KM on Sunday and then another 4 today. My program had a setback so I ended up repeating week three. (migraines)

The only problem now is that the 16 week program no longer has any wiggle room....so I'm going to have to make sure I log every km required until race day.

It's a big commitment with migraines....but it sure feels like an even bigger acheivement.
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  jwar on Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:22 am

Milo,

I am so impressed! It truly is an AMAZINGLY huge accomplishment doing what you're doing in spite of migraines. Be very, very proud of yourself.

Keep it up!

Jayme
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Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  Lil Bird on Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:10 am

Hi,
I'm new to the forum but I found this topic most interesting as I struggle with the same thing. I am a gym rat to the extreme. However, I haven't been at all in the last 3 weeks thanks to migraines. Well, that and the new meds they put me on to keep the migraines away. (what a joke) I am taking an antidepressant which is actually making me depressed. (go figure) And to add injury to insult they started me on a calcium channel blocker...there goes my heart rate.

I know I sound terribly un-thankful, don't I? I am usually very happy and perky but I finally hit the wall, so to speak. It just sucks that all the meds they have to put you on make it so hard to work out. I love working out. Its what I do. I run, practice martial arts, cycle, and lift weights. But I made decision a couple of weeks ago that the migraines had to stop. They had become chronic and were occurring about every 48 hrs. Probably re-bound headaches as they are called. I feel like I have to give my head a chance to re-set itself so I can try some gentler homeopathic meds. I have been taking 750 mg of Mg and 400 mg Riboflavin for 6 mos with no effect on my migraines. Also, I think that most of my migraines are caused by muscle spasms in my back and neck. So today I'm going to the chiropractor. Pray that she can help. Gosh, I could go on and on.....Migraines are so complicated.

Anyway, I think running in the morning does help. Maybe it is due to the bp rise and fall or the endorphines...who knows? That would be worth studying, wouldn't it. However lately I wake up with migraines. Has anybody out there tried feverfew, melatonin or co q 10?

May we all find a cure for migraines!
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  HeelerLady on Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:13 am

Hi Lil Bird,

Welcome to our group. Smile I would seriously talk to your doctor, depression is not an okay side effect - been there, done that and am talking to my doctor about this again today. I also was on an anti-depressant that sent my resting hr to 100 (was 64 before starting it) and frankly when your heart rate gets higher, your head feels worse (took me 4 months to figure that one out). If it's working that's one thing, but it doesn't sound like it is.

I know, this is a struggle for all of us. We do as much as our head allows. I used to work out - had a great set of abs going and had to quit...my head just wouldn't tolerate it. I do what I can and since I HATE running, I walk. My dogs love it, they stay at a trot and I just chug along. My hr doesn't get high enough to bother my head and often times I do feel better after my 30+ minute walk. Do what you can and don't worry about the bad days - the bad days are going to come and are part of life.

I tried mg and b2 - did nothing for me either. I would check with your doctor before starting butterbur or feverfew - these can alter brain chemicals and you don't want it interfering with what you are already on. I haven't tried them, or melatonin or coQ10 - I don't really want to until doctor has run through everything else (I've had enough interactions of things and they are not fun so not chancing it again). Others may have thoughts on these.

Becky
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  LG on Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:44 am

HeelerLady wrote:Hi Lil Bird,

Welcome to our group. Smile I would seriously talk to your doctor, depression is not an okay side effect - been there, done that and am talking to my doctor about this again today. I also was on an anti-depressant that sent my resting hr to 100 (was 64 before starting it) and frankly when your heart rate gets higher, your head feels worse (took me 4 months to figure that one out). If it's working that's one thing, but it doesn't sound like it is.

I know, this is a struggle for all of us. We do as much as our head allows. I used to work out - had a great set of abs going and had to quit...my head just wouldn't tolerate it. I do what I can and since I HATE running, I walk. My dogs love it, they stay at a trot and I just chug along. My hr doesn't get high enough to bother my head and often times I do feel better after my 30+ minute walk. Do what you can and don't worry about the bad days - the bad days are going to come and are part of life.

I tried mg and b2 - did nothing for me either. I would check with your doctor before starting butterbur or feverfew - these can alter brain chemicals and you don't want it interfering with what you are already on. I haven't tried them, or melatonin or coQ10 - I don't really want to until doctor has run through everything else (I've had enough interactions of things and they are not fun so not chancing it again). Others may have thoughts on these.

Becky

Lil Bird,

Please do not expect to see results from either migraine preventative for at least 3 months and also take a look at Richards post about migraine preventatives being renamed reduction medications. I think it sums things up pretty well.

Also, I think it is a little nutso that your doctor put you on two different things at once for your first time to the doctor. (I gather it is your first time from the way I had read your post..if it is not, please forgive me but concider this thought anyway) How in the world are you supposted to know which drug is working? This is overmedicating, IMHO. Where as most of us on here are chronic cases we take one drug, you are the same and you take two? Maybe you need two but it would be a good idea to start with one first, no? It is strange...I would ask why in the world he would overmedicate you like this. Question Nobody wants to take MORE drugs!

Feel better and I hope you are able to get out and enjoy the spring soon,
LG
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  HeelerLady on Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:12 pm

lovegia wrote:
Please do not expect to see results from either migraine preventative for at least 3 months and also take a look at Richards post about migraine preventatives being renamed reduction medications. I think it sums things up pretty well.

Also, I think it is a little nutso that your doctor put you on two different things at once for your first time to the doctor. (I gather it is your first time from the way I had read your post..if it is not, please forgive me but concider this thought anyway) How in the world are you supposted to know which drug is working? This is overmedicating, IMHO. Where as most of us on here are chronic cases we take one drug, you are the same and you take two? Maybe you need two but it would be a good idea to start with one first, no? It is strange...I would ask why in the world he would overmedicate you like this. Question Nobody wants to take MORE drugs!

Feel better and I hope you are able to get out and enjoy the spring soon,
LG

LG - we may have to agree to disagree on a few points here. I think 3 months of a loser drug (something not helping) is a waste of time. My doctor, expects to see some change well before that time period (although there are some out there that do take time to work and if you have to do an escalation, that has to be figured in) but in general, you should see some change in the first month if not before. Especially if you have them as frequently as most folks around here.

Also, use of an anti-depressant and something else is not crazy. This is actually done quite commonly (at least here) - something about using the anti-depressant to target the other medication to the source of the problem (I don't understand it but I know that this has worked well for other chronics I know). As long as you tolerate each one fine independently (ie this was tested out first) and you watch for interactions, it's not horrible. But it depends on the person and how they react and what their foundational cause might be.
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  milo on Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:41 pm

Heya...welcome to one of the greatest resources you will ever find as a migrainer.

Beta blockers are killer if you want to keep up any type of physical activity.

I'm on a combo of butterbur (has no known side effects and is the top recommended supplement fromthe Mayo clinic at this time) as well as mg, b2, coenzyme q10, omega three, D3 (I live in rain country), and I was also on 5htp but I'm stopping that now.

I have been running, quite successfully for approximately three to four full months on this combo of vitamins.

I still miss training days, but for the most part, I have been able to train through the migraines.

Feel free to Private message me if you want the doses of my vits...they were prescribed by the areas top headache doc who just moved here from working at Mayo.

Best part....no side effects at all from the supplements (for me) (Some do get stomache upset from the mg.)

I'm off to the gym now for my lunch run Smile
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  LG on Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:32 pm

HeelerLady wrote:
LG - we may have to agree to disagree on a few points here. I think 3 months of a loser drug (something not helping) is a waste of time. My doctor, expects to see some change well before that time period (although there are some out there that do take time to work and if you have to do an escalation, that has to be figured in) but in general, you should see some change in the first month if not before. Especially if you have them as frequently as most folks around here.

Also, use of an anti-depressant and something else is not crazy. This is actually done quite commonly (at least here) - something about using the anti-depressant to target the other medication to the source of the problem (I don't understand it but I know that this has worked well for other chronics I know). As long as you tolerate each one fine independently (ie this was tested out first) and you watch for interactions, it's not horrible. But it depends on the person and how they react and what their foundational cause might be.

I completely see your point Becky, and very well stated. Thanks for putting it out there Smile I think it depends completely on the individual.

The first thing I would walk out of the office saying would be why am I on so many drugs and why do I have so many scripts in my hand. It is a major problem for me personally which is why I brought it up, but this is me..it may not be you. My big thing is the less drugs the better so my immediate reaction is "wooooh..hold on a minute! Really?!" I've been fighting migraines since I was 12 (1-2 a month) and chronic (4-5X a week) for about a year (not too long!) but I refused to fill a second preventative on my specialists recommedation. Just me though, so I had to say it. I am so strongly opposed I had to put it out there. You just have no clue which one is working or if they are both working together unless you take them apart first to find out. That is my reasoning behind that statement.

Also, with topamax, my dear friend topamax. Our relationship was so turbulent at the beginning. The side effects for the first 2 1/2 months were hell. For the first month, especially the first few weeks I wanted to take the wretched bottle and dump it down the toilet. I had cognitive hell and leg cramps that made me want to kill someone! More than that, I was stupid for the first time in my life and stoned...all the time. I didn't notice ANY difference in the first two weeks, and for the 3-8th weeks the difference was so small had I not written it down I would have never noticed. In fact, it continued on that way until I figured out my needed dosage.

I had went from 4-5 migraines a week at 8-9 hours a clip to 4 migraines a week 7-8 hours a clip with a little less severity. Geez. Then I told my doctor and she upped my dose instead of taking me off and it saved my life probably. I was really depressed before topamax...

I know this is a different class of drug but because of my experience I figured I should share because if it had saved me so big, I just figure anything could help, right? Three months of not exercising sucks..yes it does, it's giving up something you love dearly. Living a life with migraines sucks worse because it may be giving up many things you love dearly. Imagine that one drug you quit out on is your saving grace and you never knew it. Thats why I try things and give them the full shot. If that helps one person, it would make me feel so much better.
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  milo on Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:25 pm

It certainly can be sad if you give up on a medication too quickly, but only you can decide when enough is enough.

Beta-blockers would have had me kill myself within a month if I was forced to continue on them. That was me, and my body's response to them.
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  milo on Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:48 pm

I'm very happy to say that I FINALLY got to tick off another box on my training sheet.

I highlight runs once they are complete, and because of my head, I repeated a week because I had missed runs....but today I am back to advancing and it feels WONDERFUL!!!!!
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  Lil Bird on Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:08 pm

Hey Guys!

Thanks for the warm welcome. Its nice to hear from others who understand the hell of migraines. Misery loves company, right? LOL

Anyway, I went to the chiro yesterday and I really liked her. I told her about the pains in my neck and back and she thinks she can help. I got my x-rays done today. I believe that I suffer from two different forms of migraine, one of which stems from my upper back and neck. The other one....well, you know how that story goes. I have hope which is a good thing especially with the way I've been feeling lately.

I've had migraines for about 2 years now. The first thing they put me on was a beta block which worked but caused me to pass out. So, I tried dieting and excercising my way out of it. LOL Well, I'm sure you know how well that went.... However, at the time I was only getting 4 or 5 attacks a month. My attacks weren't going away though so I went to a neurologist who told me to take Mg and Riboflavin. I did but it had little effect on my condition. I went back to discuss options and to get orders for a MRI. (Why is it Drs hate running test?) So he suggested pamelor which I didn't want to take but I took the script anyway. (I hate taking new meds. I'm actually afraid of meds.) I waited months before I started taking the pamelor. I kept hoping they would "magically" go away. (Did you guys ever do that?) Of course they didn't and a month ago I came to an impasse. I am now having an attack every 48-72 hrs! One Saturday my husband had to take me to the ER and I made a decision to "cure" myself from these HAs. (This isn't living.) So, now I am attacking them with gusto! My PCM prescribed the CCB after I told her about my side effects from the pamelor but she told me to keep taking it at a very low dose. So far nothing is helping but midrin and muscle relaxers. I really hope my migraines turn out to be muscle related and physical therapy and chiros can help. Wouldn't that be a miracle?

So I'm staying on the CCB and the antidepressant for now. I have to get the HAs to cease and then I will try backing off of them one at a time and see what happens. I have hope again which is the most important part. Right? Thanks guys. Hang in there.
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Yoga

Post  Anna on Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:42 pm

A few people have mentioned yoga and that is my life saver. Literally. I love it and have been a practitioner since I was fourteen. Of course I've had migraines since I was much, much younger (5 or 6). Forever, really.

Yoga makes me happy and keeps me healthy. It's is a sure way to improve my mood and I am strong, flexible and if it weren't for the migraines, I would be healthy. In addition to my own practice, I teach both group and private classes and have gone in to teach very, very ill and left feeling better. It's not a cure, but the calm focus and movement are healing. Transforming really. (I have had to cancel classes on a few occasions, but generally I medicate myself in advance so I can make it.)

Not all yoga is the same, so if you try it and don't have success, I would suggest trying another class with another teacher or in a different style. And don't let any teacher talk you into a movement that you know is not wise for your body (including your head). Yoga is really an art form and many people teach now despite not truly being ready to do so. That's when people get hurt.
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Re: Looking for other "athletes" to support each other

Post  LG on Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:03 pm

I do not know of your financial situation but if you are able to afford about $120-130 US dollars a month you can look into acupuncture. I hear of some people getting relief from that as well. Some insurance companies cover it, too.

If drugs are the only thing available to you rest assured that there are plenty more to try and although SOME are harsh in the beginning most of the time the side effects do fade away by the 2nd or 3rd month of taking them. Topamax, for example would not have effected my ability to exercise but certainly effected my ability to think (among some other weird side effects) but by 2 1/2 months I was free of these cognitive "defects" and when I up my dose I don't notice much change. Be aware of all the side effects of every medication you take because most doctors do not tell you everything when they prescribe the drug. I was completely unaware of most of the things I was experiencing with topamax that are quite common because my MD didn't want to scare me out of taking it (I believe).

If muscle relaxers help I certainly hope that at least some of this is caused my tension and can be solved by chiropractice and correcting your stance (maybe the way you sit at your desk, home ect.?) If so, that would be an easy non-med. fix to the problem! How awesome! I will be hoping for that! If anything, keep pushing..keep searching and keep posting. We will be here and support you through your battle to find something that works for you.

I hope you feel better soon.

PS Milo, great job on your fitness routine!! I am so proud of you, you are really encouraging this community. Very Happy

LG
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