Attitudes, Migraines, and Melatonin

I am amazed at the things that will cause a 13 year-old girl to cop an attitude.  For Grace, it’s this:

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Grace struggles with maintaining her blood sugar, or, at least, she thinks she does.  We’re not sure.  Abilify affects the pancreas.  We do know this.  Well, if Grace doesn’t eat something every two hours, her mood tanks.  She becomes irritable, unreasonable, shaky, and then she starts crying.  If she eats candy, then you can forget the rest of your day.  Skittles will send her into a tailspin.  So, I’ve started packing thinkThin bars in her backpack as an afternoon snack.  With 20 grams of protein, a low glycemic index, and no sugar, it is the perfect thing for her to eat at midday.  For the record, they taste good.  They are not your mother’s 1970s weight-loss bar.  I would eat this if they didn’t have soy.  Sometimes I still sneak one.

Grace, however, almost has a fit over having to eat these bars! It’s like I’m making her eat alfalfa sprouts, raw mushrooms, and barley grass.  She tried to have a showdown with me this morning when I insisted she bring one to school.  She wanted to eat popcorn.  How is popcorn going to maintain her blood sugar? She stood in the living room and glared at me, as if I could’t sense that.  I’m sorry, I do live with two other teenaged girls, thank you very much.  They do, on occasion, glare at me from that same spot.  I’m not your friend, sugar pie.  I’m your mom! I’m trying to help you so holster that attitude before you shoot yourself in the foot!

In other news, I came across a meta-study regarding migraine and cluster headaches.  This is important so hear me out.  If you struggle with migraines or the dreaded cluster headache, then you will want to read this study or, at least, find out the results of my trial.  I have just come off a three month run of migraines/cluster headaches.  Yes, I do take Topamax to prevent migraines, but when I’m stuck in a period of clustering it doesn’t seem to do much good.  I take that back.  I’ll get 12 headaches a month as opposed to 20 which was the case pre-Topamax.  My neurologist finally prescribed prednisone in an attempt to stop the headaches altogether.  It worked for a week.  For months, I was awakened at around 3:30 AM every other night either with an aura or in the middle of some sort of headache–migraine or cluster.  I was starting to go crazy.  I started looking for alternative treatments.

According to this study, the use of melatonin before bedtime helped almost every migraineur in some way.  Blood tests revealed low levels of melatonin in migraineurs.  I gave it a shot.  I took 5 mg of time-released melatonin just as I was going to bed.  The first night I slept like a rock.  I could barely get up in the morning, and I was very disoriented the next day.  It was suggested to me that my state was caused by sleep deprivation.  That’s possible.  i, however, did not get a migraine.  The next night I slept well, and I woke up feeling more refreshed and less disoriented.  Once again, I did not get a migraine.  Last night, I took melatonin, and I did not get a migraine.  This morning, I feel a bit better.  One thing to note, melatonin can give you weird dreams.  This has been true for me.  I dreamed that I was surrounded by giant rabbits the size of Irish Wolf Hounds, and they were all trying to kiss me.  Weird…

Needless to say, if you struggle with migraines or cluster headaches, think about taking melatonin.  I was very dubious, but I was also desperate.  So far, it has provided me with three days of relief.  That’s the longest I’ve gone without a headache since July.

Resources:

The Therapeutic Potential of Melatonin in Migraines and Other Headache Types

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