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Most Bizarre Trigger Ever!

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Post  charmed quark on Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:54 am

I set off an intense migraine last night in the most unusual way.

I was getting ready for bed and decided to heat up a heating pad for some neck pain. I pulled my portable heating pad our of my "drug bag" I carry around with me and stuck in the microwave for a couple of minutes.

When I pulled it out of the microwave, I got hit by this intense cloud of toxic vapor. The vapor smelled like toxic lemon pledge. I briefly looked at the heating pad and thought something plastic had melted on it, maybe I had overheated it. Whatever it was, I felt "poisoned". I immediately got sick to my stomach, developed an intense one-side headache and was dizzy and weak in the knees. One of the worst migraines I've had in years.

I tried going outside and breathing fresh air to get whatever it was out of my lungs but it kept getting worst. Soon I was in even worst pain and putting ice wraps around my head and neck and thinking about going to the ER.

In a couple of hours it had subsided enough that I was able to get to sleep, still holding a trash can!

I examined the heating pad this morning and found the culprit. A small plastic bag of candied ginger had slid inside the heating pad's cover and been melted by the microwave into a sticky mess. The fumes were ginger fumes with perhaps just a tad of plastic. Ironically, I had looked around for some ginger last night to try to stop the nausea. But now I don't think I can ever look at ginger again.

I don't normally get migraines set off by odors. So I'm wondering if there actually is something toxic about breating ginger steam/fumes. or did I just freak myself into a migraine because I thought I had breathed something poisonous?

In any case, ginger fumes definitely do NOT help with nausea or migraines!

charmed quark

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Post  Mini on Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:20 am

I very much doubt that ginger alone is the culprit.
It is more likely that since it was candied, it was the mixtrue of sugar with plastic, that combined to produce seriously those toxic fumes. Sugar would soon caramelise then burn and added to plastic, it could be seriously nasty.

Do not give up on ginger yet. Give it a chance as it is great for nausea.
For nausea I make a tea with a fresh root ginger, which I boil about an inch of chopped ginger for short time, let it rest, and then drink the infusion with, or without sugar (I prefer it with no sugar).
You can add more water and boil second infusion.

So do not panic - if you find relief with ginger, perhaps you might want to try the giner tea.

Funny about a week ago I had a similar experience with a nasty toxic smell.It was horrible.

I was only half awake in the morning and put on a pot on the stove, to boil and egg, but I did not realise that a small piece of plastic wrapper somehow got stuck under the pot.

Suddenly there was this horrid sweetly toxic smell which made me feel just as you describe, before I realised what happened.
I took the pot of the stove, I opened the kitchen door and window, but it was too late. I felt the pang in the head etc.
Burning plastic - definitely a very bad trigger.

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Post  Cathy on Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:44 am

That is really a weird trigger but then a lot of smells are. Isn't plastic made out of fossil fuels - like gasoline essentially? Maybe I'm wrong. I can have that happen from a strong garlic smell too. That's pretty strange also. And when I use the self clean feature on my oven, I have to stay far away or it bothers my head and throat. A headache just waiting to happen.


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Post  CluelessKitty on Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:51 pm

Oh I can sympathize...! Smells and noise are my # 1 M triggers,
and any strong smell can set off M in me as fast as one, two, three.
The Smell, as bad as it can feel, doesn't have to be toxic to set off truly evil M episode. It's just how strong it is.
Or peculiar to us, since not everyone respond the same way to same smells, i.e perfumes, cooking vapors.

The odor you've experienced yesterday could have been toxic due to melted plastic component, yes, which is never good, but not necessarily because it smelled so bad.
One of the most deadly gases in the world, CO, is odorless, actually, for example.
It is most likely that simply the stench made you so sick.

I feel very sorry for you. I got a sick feeling just reading your description of what happened!
Hugs, sweetie! Feel better today! A lot!



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Post  02R96 on Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:12 pm

Not so bizarre Charmed. I'm not surprised you triggered a migraine. Strong fumes cause me a lot of problems.

One of the worst (for me) is diesel exhaust from a truck. I hate getting behind one and having the fumes enter the car I'm riding in. Burnt grease is another one. If I already have a migraine in progress, my sense of smell becomes hyper sensitive. Odor that most people can disregard become focus points and triggers to my head. It's just another symptom people (who don't suffer from M's and CDH's) cannot understand.

Noxious fumes just kill me. bounce

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Post  Mishkyn on Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:07 am

Dear CQ,
Odors are a huge trigger for me. If the elevator doors open--just for an instant, on a floor where they are painting, varnishing or cleaning with chemicals, I just go straight to bed, and the horrid pain can last days.

Trust me, it is the chemicals from the plastic. I get increased pain from eating ginger, but not from smelling it. It had to be the plastic bag.

Scientists say we should NEVER use plastic in the microwave. Plastic is permeable---things pass back and forth from the food to it and back.

Ever use a plastic container---even I you don't heat it, to hold tomato sauce and you cannot get the red color out of the container? It leeches into the plastic and the plastic, in turn, leeches into our food.

I read a long article by several contributing scientists who say they never let their families use plastic in the MW. Waxed paper is okay. They say saran wrap touching food is one of the most dangerous toxins ever.

Lots of Gulf War Vets, from the first Gulf war got horribly ill when millions of 2 liter bottles of sodas were sent to them. The plastic bottles sat out in heat that often reached 112 degrees. The soldiers later said the soda had a plastic sort of taste. I have had this happen when I have forgotten about a bottle of cola in my home for way too long, the chemical taste is so obvious.

BE careful. These scientists were very very concerned about all the plastic that is labeled safe for the MW. They all said, NO plastic is safe for any MW. I love the glass Pyrex containers with lids. They come in various sizes and go from oven to MW to table to freezer to dishwasher.

Why do you think all of a sudden the plastic drinking bottles for people to take to the gym have suddenly been replaced by rows and rows of metal drinking bottles?

Sorry for the length, but I am really upset about this issue and how much it is hurting all of us.


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Post  Mini on Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:20 pm

Thanks for mentioning this Mishkyn, I never thought about that. And I always carry a water bottle in the car with me, and in summer it can get very hot.

One of the worst triggers for me is any new plastic appliance, like vacuum cleaners, or new hair drier, anything really, also any new carpet - you cannot get rid of this one in a hurry, and it stinks for a very long time. A nightmare.

I cannot stand any perfumes any more either, I use to love them, so I was often given them as presents by my wodely travelling family and friends, really wonderful expensive brands.
Then one by one, I realise they caused dreadful headaches, so I had to stop using them. I was still getting them for years, as friends from abroad often forget that I cannot use them any more. So at one time I ended up with so many bottles my bathroom cabinet was full of them - I did not know what to do with them. I tried to give some away, but people have very definite preferences so even that was not easy.

I still miss those lovely scents - but now I cannot use any, apart from a natural rose scent in a special brand but only as a soap, as the bottled scent is too strong.

Also I hate all incense - some shops love to use them, to make their place seem exotic - cannot stand that, instant migraine. The same with any scented candles.
List is too long, and it is late here so now I wish you all Good Night,

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