Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I am sick of this headache

OK enough all ready. I solemnly promise not to eat any more ice cream. x my heart. Pinkie swear. Will that do it? See, I am allergic to dairy. My only real dairy obscession is ice cream and a bit of cheese. I can moderate the cheese pretty easily. The ice cream is harder. It is nice to have a scoop after the kids go to bed. And literally, it is A SCOOP. not a big ole cereal bowl, I am moderate. But my head doesn't care.

I started getting migraines when I was about 19. Didn't really know why and they became a familiar and unpleasant part of my life. To be sure, there are multiple triggers. Stress, illness, interupted sleep, missing a meal can all contribute. But the sneaky one that does me in the most is the dairy. I found out in my 20's that many adults who had a dairy allergy as a child manifest this allergy in the form of migraines as an adult.

I actually eliminated all dairy from my diet for a few months and saw amazing results. One would think that this would make an intelligent human being keep it that way. But no, one forgets the pain. One has a scoop of ice cream and nothing happens. So one gets careless. Or foolhardy. Or something. And then there I am. With a pattern of having a scoop of ice cream nightly and a pattern of having a migraine every 4 to 6 weeks. Usually they only last a day or two . Two being average. lately they have been more of the 3 and 4 day variety which leads me to decide that I really have to kick the ice cream habit. Today the headache is a little better, but after a bad one it sort of has residual pain. Not really the migraine, just the after shocks as it were.

I suppose too, that if I would take heavy duty drugs like Imitrex and similar ones that I could perhaps get medical relief more quickly and easily. But they also have really substantial warnings about the potential for cardiac issues and heart disease runs strongly on both sides of my family. Hmmm, risk a heart attack to get rid of pain? Nope. So I take aspirin and tough it out. When it gets real bad I bump up to the big leagues and pop an excedrin. It doesn't stop the pain but I can usually continue to function with it. With 4 kids and a job and a half, I need to function. Most importantly my kids need to see me function. They tend to freak if they think I am not. Freaking is not good. :-)

I will say that when I reflect on the whole pathetic icy mess I have gotten myself into it makes me more sensitive to people with other food issues or substance issues. In most regards I am the very soul of moderation. When I decided to quit smoking there was no back sliding. I just quit. From a pack a day to zero in one smooth step. Now admittedly I could not afford both food AND cigarettes (being a struggling college student at the time) but I still did it. I don't drink to excess. I am a vegetarian and really LIKE vegetables! By and large overeating has never been an issue for me. I have worn the same pair of shorts for 21 years. Really. There is a pic of me in the shorts at my niece's first birthday and she is going to be 23 this summer. I still have the shorts; they still fit and I still love them. But like many people I am flawed enough that i keep going back to something that clearly has a negative impact on my overall well being. The temporary enjoyment of that scoop of icecream can make me feel ill for days. Kind of stupid really.

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