Tag Archive | brain

Unbalanced Thoughts

thinker

Neurotypicals will never understand  the complicated thought process someone like me must endure. My brain is different (understatement) so how I perceive and react to the world is different. I suppose I am lucky enough to be self aware of my differences so I know how to appear normal when I need to, but let me tell you, this process of monitoring unbalanced thoughts and correcting them is exhausting.

Most people fit into the social spectrum somewhere that makes sense. Most people have issues, fears, crap from their childhood and past relationships that hold them back from reaching their full potential. Most people are still free to have their own thoughts – I can tell this in a variety of ways but a simple one is by response time in social interactions.

I lack spontaneity. I analyze my own thoughts and behaviors as they happen, like pressing the internal instant replay button, as well as those of the people around me. I am not free to have a thought pop in my mind and let random words escape my mouth. Why? Because most initial thoughts are not actually my own. It is not my own voice I hear inside of me and are often so unbalanced I would sound insane and frighten or insult people.

And no, please read my post about hearing voices, I am not schizophrenic, although I do get auditory flashbacks, I have a firm grip on reality and that is not what I am talking about here. But when I listen to myself, it usually isn’t me right away, as my core beliefs come first and I have to battle to let my own voice come through. My brainwashing, my conditioning, was so severe, so complete in my childhood that my first thoughts are filtered through something that I must work carefully to remove.

Some of these are stuck points, some are cognitive distortions, some are the perpetual sick and twisted darkness within me. I was raised by a sadistic pedophilic psychopath and a narcissist. I have accepted that this has touched every neuron in my head. How could it not? Some people have said that simply watching a creepy movie like Silence of the Lambs got in their heads forever. Imagine being raised by someone like that. I will never have the freedom to simply let my thoughts go by unexamined for flaws and distortions.

I am an introvert, it is undeniably true. I may also be on the autistic/asperger spectrum if you need a way to understand how my behavior might appear. I’m trying to explain how it feels, and what it looks like inside my head. I’m trying to say, please be patient with those quiet people, they may need more time to think than you during a conversation. If you jump topics, speak too quickly, and get impatient or demand a response, it is very stressful. I probably won’t give you much if any eye contact. You will think I am shy or nervous or rude. Or weird.

Mostly I don’t care. Except I don’t want to bother anyone or hurt anyone, so I’m very careful not to offend or do the wrong thing. I’d rather leave or avoid a conversation than try to form the right response like that, its not worth it to me. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, so I need to go through all of my responses to make sure I am being polite, make sure I didn’t miss your  meaning, maybe you were joking, maybe you referenced something in the news I need to form an opinion about, maybe I need to remove my depression filter so I don’t frighten you, maybe I need to remind my face how to smile. All of this takes time and energy, and I’ll do it if you are important to me. Otherwise, shhhh. Don’t make me talk to you if I don’t have to. Better yet, don’t make listen to you. Get to the point efficiently and don’t play games. I hate being confused.

Everything in my head is telling me that you are lying. Most people are lying about something, it just isn’t important, because it is a slight exaggeration, but I can still discern this and so my alarm bells get triggered for feeling unsafe and I have to pause and figure out why you are lying and what your motives are.

Or I feel invisible. Maybe I am actually trying to get noticed, to speak up finally to people that don’t know I exist, and my tiny voice is inaudible, and my powers of being invisible are impossible to turn off, and the cliques in town are to rude and impenetrable so I stop trying and go home to write an email. Feeling invisible is both a power and a trigger for feeling worthless.

Or maybe I’m fighting the darkness. Depression has its grips on me and everything seems pointless. That’s a tough one. I have to filter every thought and word on those days because literally I want to die, or at least stop fighting, and have lost hope, and everything is so hard, I’m so tired, everyone is so stupid. I use all or nothing thinking, I jump to the worst conclusions, I assume everything is my fault on those days. I struggle to follow simple conversations, I can’t keep up. I feel stupid and slow and want to hide. I know I have to toss out the garbage thoughts and find the ones that sound like me – buried, and tired to core- but me.

I may never have naturally balanced thoughts spontaneously. I may get better with all this monitoring and practice. Impossible to say. But I do know I want this sculpture in my yard.  Or tattooed on my … something. I found this pic on Pixabay like I do all my images, apparently this is in Copenhagen and I love it.

What am I recovering from exactly

I’m supposedly in recovery right now. I just wish I knew from what exactly.

Although I had a suicidal ideation episode, I don’t think I’m in a major depressive episode right now. I can’t seem to get any 2 people to agree on this or a course of treatment. I don’t feel remarkably different from before I entered the hospital in April, although I do feel more in control, less reckless, but still quite hopeless, and it confuses me that these can coincide.

I am taking better care of my body, eating better, no alcohol, some exercise, getting outside, talking to friends more.

And yet the underlying thought remains – none of this matters, there is no point, no end to all this suffering, death would be welcome. But those thoughts aren’t desperate, aren’t powerful, but they seem to be at my core whenever I sit quietly and look inside. Whenever I ask myself what I want, that is the answer I get.

Last week, I found a newspaper in my closet from my high school, announcing my graduation. I was on the front page of this newspaper along with 5 other smartypants’es. We were the top 6 scholars, I tied for 4th place out of many hundreds graduating and had earned a hefty scholarship. I cried when I saw that photo of me.

I remember being that girl. I remember working so hard to earn my ticket out of hell. Ever since 6th grade when my big brother left for college, I was determined to do the same. I did everything they told me to do. I joined every club, art, band. I volunteered with Kiwanis, at Red Cross, at the hospital, at nursing homes. I worked 2 jobs. I took AP classes and college classes at the local college instead of at my HS. I had perfect grades, overloaded credits, overloaded life. I also had mono, an ulcer, anorexia, migraines, back spasms and weak limpy leg, insomnia, chronic bronchitis and asthma, and a really fucked up home life that I did everything possible to avoid going home. But I did it, I earned my ticket, I got out.

But I soon found out, as you all already know, hell follows you. There is no getting out. It doesn’t matter where you are, the demons will find you.

Here I am 20 years later still wanting to get out of hell. 20 years of hiding from, battling, ignoring, and thinking I had defeated those demons, or enough of them. Were the demons hiding or was I?

Or am I simply battling a horrific neurological disease, isn’t hemiplegic migraines bad enough, and this current suffering has nothing to do with my past abuse? Am I going to counseling and being treated for PTSD for what is actually a physical problem? But would I have this disease without the PTSD? No one knows. As with psychology, neurology is a load of guesswork as the brain is far too complicated for us to understand yet.

All I know is I am physically miserable most of the time. My emotions do go crazy all over the place when the flashbacks/memories flood in with the migraines. Otherwise I am fairly stable unless provoked/triggered. I am definitely edgy and worn out, my patience and stress tolerance is kinda nonexistent. How does a mom get to rest while kids are home over the summer? exactly, she doesn’t. So I’m doing the best I can to keep going with no energy and no chance to recharge.

I don’t know how to recover because I don’t even know what I’m recovering from.

I’m in all of these seemingly impossible situations, with no energy, no motivation, and I honestly just don’t want to work so hard any more. I just want to close my eyes and stop thinking and feeling and let it all disappear.

I feel pathetic, weak, and unreliable.

I know I’ll get through this, somehow, someday, but the frustration is turning into anger and I’ve run out of coping skills since these damn migraines have taken away all my usual stress relievers and turned them into stressors or impossibilities.

Any suggestions for something else to get rid of this anger? Writing only helps a little, and this post took me 3 hours with my stupid head and eyes and makes me angrier sometimes.

Migraine and PTSD memory emotion connection

migraine and ptsd, seems to be like peanut butter and jelly.

Today my brain is like jelly, missing that peanut butter to make anything stick, but wanted to try to get some thoughts down.

Yesterday was watching ‘So you think you can dance’ with kiddos and a girl with a hurt leg from a car accident came on to audition and it triggered me big time, I guess, I didn’t know at the time.

I cried when she talked about rehab and saw her supportive family, and how brave she was to get on stage with her ugly leg. My family hid me, made me feel ashamed of my ugliness. I was overcome with happiness for this girl dancing again, but also knowing she’ll never be quite the same, so much damage, so much pain. And then I had a flood of memories of AF and his own physical therapy for my paralyzed leg, he refused to pay a dr, so he was the one to do it.

I only had a glimpse of a moment of that memory yesterday, and really wasn’t even aware of it at the time until much later last night. I didn’t hold the tears back, as it was appropriate to cry a bit during this scene, we all were affected by it. But I didn’t sob, just a few tears, moist eyes really, and that tight feeling in the throat. But then I felt overwhelmingly sleepy, and since the kiddos were all content watching tv, I lay down on the couch and fell into a deep, deep uncontrollable sleep for the next 3 hours.

I could not believe so much time had passed when I woke up and saw the time. I noticed my hands were tingly, but thought I must have been laying on them. Until I stood up, and saw how wobbly I was, and then the real problems were when I tried to talk the words were all scrambly and I saw sparkles everywhere, like rainbow fireflys.

I felt quite uneasy, a deep fear, a childish type of fear, like don’t turn out the light, and I noticed it was unbearable when Hubby simply left the room. I felt abandoned! I was doing anything to keep him in the room and I had no idea why. We ended up talking about all kind of things for the next several hours, until we uncovered a whole slew of fresh memories I had from childhood. They weren’t all bad or disturbing, they didn’t all involve AF, many were about the 4th of July, but all of them were so vivid I could taste, hear, smell, feel, or re-experience some part of them. Some of the memories were from early times with Hubby and he had trouble recalling what I described from 20 years ago. I think it helped Hubby to understand how intense this experience can be for me, and that I am not intentionally sitting and thinking about anything, not drudging up the past – the past came back and hit me unavoidably in the brain.

I think it overloaded my system and forced me to sleep and caused the migraine, all those memories reactivating.

The emotions attached to these memories were raw and wild, and I went through each one, like rapid fire, not knowing what to do. I kept asking Hubby if I am crazy, is this it, have I lost it, because I feel like my brain has been hijacked, these thoughts and feelings are not my own. I had all this shame and fear and confusion.

I’m still in pain, limping a bit, so much visual snow, distortions and sparkles, but my thoughts and emotions have slowed down a bit. Hubby stayed home from work to help me today, which both angered me that I need his help, and is a relief to me that he is helping. I have too many things to manage with the kids that I’m beyond struggling to do and the pressure to be the mom I want to be is too much. Constant worries and always something new to do and take care of, doctors and appointments with kids, it is too much. But I have to find a way to do it.

AND then – I don’t like ME right now. In fact I hate me right now. I discovered this last night. All this talk of acceptance and self-love and I’m back here at the loathing. I think I’m pathetic and I’ve lost patience with myself. I think its because those childhood emotions are so fresh right now, so trying to be gentle, but honestly I’m so confused. It’s like my brain is slippery and I can’t find anything solid to hold onto anymore. I need and hate Hubby in the exact same moment and with such intensity, it is truly frightening to me now. I used to make sense. I used to be logical. These migraines have turned me into nonsensical soup and I swear I did not go through the mirror or the rabbit hole drink from the ‘drink me’ bottle.

Maladaptive Schema – Finally a name for those diseased roots

I’ve never actually chosen life. This reality came crashing down on me a few weeks ago. I’ve been balanced precariously on the edge of not choosing death for so many years, that until now, I didn’t know that was a problem.

I’ve been going through the motions of life, not actually living it. Because I don’t know how.

2 weeks in the psych ward has enlightened me with this information. I checked myself in when my world was getting out of control. I had flashbacks and uncontrollable FEELINGS. Migraines were preventing me from working and I decided to quit, that job wasn’t worth holding onto and causing me so much stress. I had already reduced my hours significantly, but the migraines and FEELINGS kept coming. And then the urges to stop the FEELINGS came. I’ve spoken in here before how I would numb myself with large doses of alcohol, and sometimes toss in a sleeping pill on occasion. A few weeks ago my doses of alcohol number of pills started increasing. It didn’t work, it didn’t stop the FEELINGS. I decided I didn’t want to live any more and added tylenol to my mix, not to kill myself, but to self harm and cause liver damage and eventual death that would look accidental. Once I took all the tylenol, the FEELINGS got stronger. I already had so much whiskey and sleeping pills and was still awake. I added half a bottle of cough syrup. That did it. I blacked out. I woke up, not sure how much time passed, and was unable to see and made it to the bathroom to vomit. I sat on the floor and clung to the toilet seat, and blacked out there again, head dangling right in. I’m not sure I wanted to die when I swallowed everything, but I sure did when I woke up. The pain was unbearable, from my splitting head, aching guts, and those god damned FEELINGS were stronger than ever. Fear, shame, guilt, hopeless, disgust, sadness, to name a few.

I have much to share about my experience in the hospital, but today wanted to start with the conclusion instead. The conclusion from the clinical counselors is that I am seriously fucked up. I’ve spoken of the diseased roots inside me before, well, they saw it. I let them see it. They said I have ZERO emotional intelligence and that they have only seen this before in patients with traumatic brain injuries like from a car crash. Then they shared stories of children in the Russian orphanages that are better off than I am now. They said everything I have based my life on is WRONG and from the early age of abuse and so many years of it, that my brain is likely missing bits or has malformed bits in the emotional areas. They said I would have to be willing to work my ass off every day of life and could perhaps – perhaps – grow some new connections but that it was unlikely I would ever be ‘normal’. But that I wouldn’t know until I tried, and I couldn’t try if I was dead.

Not the best pep talk I have ever received, but strangely enough I appreciated the raw reality of it and starting to trust them, that finally they could see in me what I have known all along.

I don’t know how I’ve never heard of this, but they recommended a specialized form of cognitive behavioral therapy to help me reform maladaptive schema. These are also called lifetraps if you google. Here’s a link if you don’t want to google. http://www.schematherapy.com/id201.htm. And here’s a summary if you don’t want to link.

I have nearly every one of these, and even exhibit multiples at any given time throughout every day. I highlighted the ones that are strongest for me. Most healthy people have a few of these, these are the emotional ‘buttons’ that get pressed and people react strongly without knowing why. The reaction is equal in severity to the severity or repetitiveness of life events that formed the schema. Schema must be reinforced as a pattern throughout childhood, adolescence and adulthood to become schema. Exhibiting these behaviors once or on occasion does not count for this.

I have been prescribed an intensive outpatient therapy program specifically for trauma survivors. It has a long waiting list and is the only one of its kind in my state. I have my 3 hour onboarding assessment with counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists in about 2 weeks from now. They will then assign me to appropriate group therapy based on my needs. The waiting list for individual therapy is even longer, so we’re starting with group first. I am skeptical, but deciding to reserve judgment until I’ve actually tried it. Maybe it will help. Maybe.

Early Maladaptive Schemas

1.  ABANDONMENT /  INSTABILITY –  The perceived instability or unreliability of those available for support and connection.

2.  MISTRUST / ABUSE – The expectation that others will hurt, abuse, humiliate, cheat, lie, manipulate, or take advantage.  This one is huge for me and I don’t see how this can be overcome.
3.  EMOTIONAL DEPRIVATION –    Expectation that one’s desire for a normal degree of emotional support will not be adequately met by others. 
 4.  DEFECTIVENESS / SHAME –     The feeling that one is defective, bad, unwanted, inferior, or invalid in important respects; or that one would be unlovable to significant others if exposed. I used to have this one, but not so much any more.

5.  SOCIAL ISOLATION / ALIENATION –     The feeling that one is isolated from the rest of the world, different from other people, and/or not part of any group or community.  I have lived my life next to people, not with people. I don’t see how this can be overcome.

6.  DEPENDENCE / INCOMPETENCE –      Belief that one is unable to handle one’s everyday responsibilities in a competent manner, without considerable help from others. I don’t believe I could ever live alone, I keep losing jobs, can’t work full time, due to medical or mental illness.

7.  VULNERABILITY TO HARM OR ILLNESS –     Exaggerated fear that imminent catastrophe will strike at any time and that one will be unable to prevent it. I always think the worst. In fact I see the worst played out in my mind like a horror movie. I’ve been aware of this and do what I can to counteract it, but nothing has stopped it from happening in the first place.

8.  ENMESHMENT  /  UNDEVELOPED SELF –      Excessive emotional involvement and closeness with one or more significant others (often parents), at the expense of full individuation or normal social development.  Often experienced as a feeling of emptiness and floundering, having no direction, or in extreme cases questioning one’s existence.  AF raised me as part of him, it was incredibly painful to separate from him. And when I finally did, I found out I was empty inside.

9.  FAILURE TO ACHIEVE –      The belief that one has failed,  will inevitably fail, or is fundamentally inadequate relative to one’s peers, in areas of achievement (school, career, sports, etc.). 

10.  ENTITLEMENT / GRANDIOSITY  –      The belief that one is superior to other people; entitled to special rights and privileges; or not bound by the rules of reciprocity that guide normal social interaction. 

11. INSUFFICIENT SELF-CONTROL / SELF-DISCIPLINE –     Pervasive difficulty or refusal to exercise sufficient self-control and frustration tolerance to achieve one’s personal goals, or to restrain the excessive expression of one’s emotions and impulses.  In its milder form,  patient presents with an exaggerated emphasis on discomfort-avoidance:  avoiding pain, conflict, confrontation, responsibility, or overexertion—at the expense of personal fulfillment, commitment,  or integrity. I would avoid everything if possible

12.  SUBJUGATION  –    Excessive surrendering of control to others because one feels coerced – – usually to avoid anger, retaliation, or abandonment. I learned to give up, that I didn’t matter, that nothing really mattered

  13. SELF-SACRIFICE  –      Excessive focus on voluntarily meeting the needs of others in daily situations, at the expense of one’s own gratification.  The most common reasons are:  to prevent causing pain to others;  to avoid guilt from feeling selfish;  or to maintain the connection with others perceived as needy .  Often results from an acute sensitivity to the pain of others.

14.  APPROVAL-SEEKING  /  RECOGNITION-SEEKING  –      Excessive emphasis on gaining approval, recognition, or attention from other people, or fitting in, at the expense of developing a secure and true sense of self.  

15. NEGATIVITY  /  PESSIMISM  –      A pervasive, lifelong focus on the negative aspects of life (pain, death, loss, disappointment, conflict, guilt, resentment, unsolved problems, potential mistakes, betrayal, things that could go wrong, etc.) while minimizing or neglecting the positive or optimistic aspects. Usually includes an exaggerated expectation– in a wide range of work, financial, or interpersonal situations — that things will eventually go seriously wrong, or that aspects of one’s life that seem to be going well will ultimately fall apart. I also apply this to the world at large, that humanity itself is a terrible mistake of nature and that nothing can be done. I can’t save the world, I don’t even want to try any more.

16.  EMOTIONAL INHIBITION  –      The excessive inhibition of spontaneous action, feeling, or communication — usually to avoid disapproval by others, feelings of shame, or losing control of one’s impulses. I’m not sure I’ve ever had much of a spontaneous feeling. My feelings were never my own and had to be controlled. I think before I feel. And usually I don’t ever feel.

17.  UNRELENTING STANDARDS /  HYPERCRITICALNESS   –     The underlying belief that one must strive to meet very high internalized standards of behavior and performance, usually to avoid criticism. Typically results in feelings of pressure or difficulty slowing down; and in hypercriticalness toward oneself and others.  Unrelenting standards typically present as:  (a) perfectionism, inordinate attention to detail, or an underestimate of how good one’s own performance is relative to the norm;  (b) rigid rulesand “shoulds” in many areas of life, including unrealistically high moral, ethical, cultural, or religious precepts; or (c) preoccupation with time and efficiency, so that more can be accomplished. This one is huge for me. Goes along with unrealistic expectations and leads to pessimism, reinforces that the world is crap when no one, including myself, measures up to my impossible standards.

18.  PUNITIVENESS   –    The belief that people should be harshly punished for making mistakes.  Involves the tendency to be angry, intolerant,  punitive, and impatient with those people (including oneself) who do not meet one’s expectations or standards.  Usually includes difficulty forgiving mistakes in oneself or others, because of a reluctance to consider extenuating circumstances, allow for human imperfection, or empathize with feelings. Goes right along with 17. I judge everyone harshly, not humanly.

Nearly normal

Feeling nearly normal for 2 days. No new hemiplegic migraine attacks. I am following a strict no trigger diet: avoiding bread, malt, yeast, cheese, fermented/aged items, limiting alcohol, dairy, caffiene, chocolate. Eating real whole foods, nothing packaged. Logging a diary. Up to 3/4 dose of gabapentin. Trying to very hard to be healthy and overcome this.

I quit my side job of teaching art lessons. I thought I would feel sad or disappointed, I just feel relief. One less thing to worry about. I guess I wasn’t that attached to it.

I’ve been up out of bed and trying to recover. I don’t have all my strength back but not limping or twitching. My thinking feels slow, I stare off in to space trying to work, trying to remember the next step. Having trouble getting from A to B mentally. And finding it impossible to find C. I used to do A-Z with no effort.

Example, my mental math is gone. Doctor asked the age of my AF when he died. I don’t know this being estranged from him, but for some reason recalled he was born in 1943. But then I could not do the simple math.

Example, my daughter wanted me to do a math trick she learned. Mom, think of any 2 digit number and add the 2 digits, then subtract that number from the original number…I couldnt do it. I thought ’32’, 3+2=5, and then it was all a blank. completely blank, the number were GONE when I tried to think about what she asked. I could hold on to 32 or 5, but not both together. It was the weirdest feeling, grasping for something so simple, and I thought of the hundreds of students I have seen stumped over the years. It was scary and fascinating at the same time, making me wonder how the migraine had disabled such a selective bit of my functioning – my working memory – or short term memory.

The scientist in me is actually enjoying figuratively dissecting my own brain. I NEED to know how this migraine thing works.

Link to learn about the brain areas

excerpt from above link In the course of a day, there are many times when you need to keep some piece of information in your head for just a few seconds. Maybe it is a number that you are “carrying over” to do a subtraction, or a persuasive argument that you are going to make as soon as the other person finishes talking. Either way, you are using your short-term memory.

In fact, those are two very good examples of why you usually hold information in your short-term memory: to accomplish something that you have planned to do. Perhaps the most extreme example of short-term memory is a chess master who can explore several possible solutions mentally before choosing the one that will lead to checkmate.

This ability to hold on to a piece of information temporarily in order to complete a task is specifically human. It causes certain regions of the brain to become very active, in particular the pre-frontal lobe. (located at the very front of the brain in the forehead)”

In My Head – PTSD and Migraine

I’m in a migraine holding pattern, meaning my brain has forgotten how to be ‘normal’ and is hyper-responsive to anything right now. I have super bionic senses – all of them. I am truly highly sensitive. I am not ‘feeling’ sensitive but I am over-reacting.

I turned on the water in the sink and screamed in pain from the roaring sound that overwhlemed me for a moment.

I have dimmed all of the lights and displays to ease up on my eyes. No interest in going outside, the sun, if we had any shining, would be too bright through closed eyelids. Makes me see spots.

My skin feels as if it is bruised all over, so a simple brush or bump causes near black out as I recover from the shock.

These are not me imagining everything is too loud. The actual neurons in my head have changed how my ears process input. This is a chemical change in my head. It is too soon to tell if new meds will help, still slowly dosing up over many weeks.

Good news is the weakness and twitching in arms and legs have gone and I’m getting around pretty normal today. I don’t have full fine motor control in my right hand yet, struggle to pick up pills, but typing seems better today.

I have not had another major attack since Friday, only minor ones that I DID NOT IGNORE and immediately went to bed each time to make sure they didn’t get worse.

I feel like a ticking time bomb, that my brain can explode any second for any reason. I had enough control issues, really. PTSD always had me on the look out for triggers, and now I’m worried about the migraine and getting paralyzed suddenly too. And I’m worried that the two conditions are completely intertwined and maliciously feeding off of each other. Hightened stress response from PTSD sets off a new migraine – or a new migraine sets off a PTSD flashback.

As you can imagine, it is not great fun inside my head right now. Like an LSD trip (I am guessing) without all the fun and good feelings. I kind of wish I had experimented with drugs at some point, but I was way too perfect for that.

http://www.achenet.org/resources/abuse_post_traumatic_stress_disorder_and_migraine/

Hemiplegic migraines – not a stroke

Exam from neurologist has preliminary diagnosis as hemiplegic migraine for me. I had no idea my brain could do this. Its completely fascinating all while being completely terrifying and debilitating.

Here’s a great blog devoted to it so I don’t have to type so much.

https://hemiplegicmigrainehope.wordpress.com/basics/

excerpyt “Hemiplegic Migraine (HM, a hemi), is a rare and complicated form of migraine disease where sufferers have temporary paralysis, among other dramatic dysfunctional symptoms similar to a stroke, spinal meningitis, and a LSD trip (so I hear) all coming together for temporary misery, typically on one side of the body.  After too many attacks or over a very a severe attack the HM’er can have muscle atrophy, permanent loss of function, experience a stroke, have a coma or die.”

“It is believed that in this process of calcium/ionic imbalance that the brain cells are hyper-stimulated and then suppressed by a phenomenon called a Cortical Spreading Depression.  This is not depression like, a mood, or hormonal imbalance in the brain, but this is thought to be a reaction to a trigger, or something that irritates the brain, one cell get’s overly stimulated and does a little high energy “jig” then he shares his happy energy with the next, cell, as he passes it on, he get’s drained and overly tired.  This little hyper/exhausted relay spreads from one cell out  rhythmically across the whole brain, effecting every cell.  This of it like a drop of water spreading, and the ripple spread out in ring like waves. All of this electrical activity causes all the of the chaos and exhaustion that the HM’er suffers through. It also affects things we cannot see like the hormones in the brain, which affect a persons mood.  This chemical change makes the person change involuntarily, and even the most positive person can become suicidal.”

“Symptoms that May Emerge During a HM Attack – I crossed off ones I have not had yet

Remember all are temporary, unless complications occur, most symptoms are usually on only one side of the body, and the *ed ones are very rare, and typically happen in only a few genetic strains of HM, not all HM’ers are susceptible.

  • Syncope (passing out)
  • Paralysis, 1 or more limbs at a time or alternating
  • Facial tingling
  • Spinal swelling and discomfort
  • Swelling of limbs, neck, spine or face
  • No feeling at all
  • Muscle cramps
  • Aversion to light
  • Wavy Lines in vision
  • Rippled effect in vision
  • Sparkly vision
  • Alice in Wonderland Vision (warped, altered shaped, tunnel, zigzagged)
  • Blind spots in vision
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Tearing or dry eyes
  • The horizon line of the floor/earth can tip from 10 degrees to completely upside down
  • Reduced  or inability to hear
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Vertigo
  • Seizures*
  • Coma*
  • Stroke*
  • Reduced smell and taste
  • Increased smells to the point of very offensive
  • Dog like powers of smell
  • Inability to speak
  • Slurring
  • Confusion mentally
  • Difficulty processing language
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Craving Carbs, Fats or Junk Foods
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive but scant urination (like a need to go every 1 minute)
  • Very sensitive skin or scalp
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Hot flashes followed by extreme chills, cold to the bone
  • Cold limbs
  • Unusual emotional reactions (burst out in tears, shouting, irritated, depressed, etc)
  • Throbbing head
  • Neck muscle pain
  • Nodules in muscles (starting at the base of the head and spreading downward) that are hard balls, that are painful
  • Difficulty with deep inhalation
  • Excessive yawning
  • Mild chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint pain
  • exhaustion after
  • elation after

Wow. This sure sound like me. Maybe this is the answer to so much of my suffering throught the years. Sure h ope it doesnt progress to the ones I crossed off.

Feeling so much better today than yesterday. still have some head pain, but the brick is no longer crushing my skull. Some tremor and weakness in right arm and leg but I’m getting around without holding onto stuff today.

Meds I’m on now:

medrol – methylprednisolone – steroid

zanaflex – muscle realxer – CNS depressant

gabapentin – antiepilectic/anticonvulsant – calms nerve endiongs

I worked more today and now I’m afraid to overdo it and going to ly down.