Shoulder Pain – Migraine?

Interesting.
I have been doing my research of late with regard to my migraines. At the same time, I’ve been looking into what may be causing my constant and intense shoulder pain (which doctors and surgeons have yet to diagnose or explain; after SIX YEARS).

This evening I was suffering an inexplicable pain in my good arm, not unlike that of bad days with my bad arm. It was really beginning to bother me, and then I also started to get a headache. Not wanting to write off my Friday night, I took a migraine drug just in case. My headache has eased off AND my arm has stopped hurting.

Now I was reading recently about the different ways a migraine aura can present itself. There is the often talked about visual disturbances and partial blindness; but I also found out about sensory aura.

A sensory aura presents itself as “phantom pain” often in the upper limbs and extremities. That sounds familiar. Could it be that my “shoulder condition” is in fact more closely related to my migraines? Could I have been suffering persistent migraine symptoms for six years straight? I’m beginning to wonder.

Good job I have a science background and can research these things for myself. So far the medical professionals haven’t come up with the best explanations as of yet. Although I give some credit to the representative of a pain management clinic I’ve spoken to, who has recently suggested treating my two conditions simultaneously and more appropriately.

Hopefully some progress will begin to be made.

To be continued…

Dr. Jack Stanley Hodgins IV (BONES)

For the past day, I’ve been re-watching BONES season 1.  I’ve followed this show right from the beginning.  I’ve read loads of Kathy Reichs’ books over the years, and this show has been another staple in my life for the past 9-10 years.  As I write this season 10 has yet to air on UK television.  But it’s coming very soon!

I’m only up to episode 5 (of my re-watch), but one detail has reminded me of my encounter with TJ Thyne AKA Dr. Jack Stanley Hodgins IV at London Film and Comic Con (LFCC) this past summer (2014).  That detail is the rubber band that Hodgins wears on his wrist as an anger management tool.  All of a sudden I remember the story that he told, not to me directly but to one of the people just ahead of me in the autograph queue, that he still wears that band on his wrist to this day.  He was wearing it at the convention.  That’s 10 years!  It’s such a tiny detail, but it’s a testament to how well-loved these characters are by the actors, and all involved, that sometimes the fantasy blurs into reality.

TJ spent a lot of time with each of the fans at LFCC, we each got the chance to have a proper conversation with him; which is different from the norm at these events.  Usually you barely get to say “hello” before your time is up and it’s on to the next person in line.  I got the chance to tell him that Hodgins and Angela are my favourite on-screen couple!  Hooray!  And it transpired that this was his first time to the UK since he was 18 and looking to go to drama school.  TJ also brought some beautiful photographs from behind the scenes on BONES, and also some bugs (from bug boy!).  Because of the fact that he was spending a decent amount of time with each fan, the queue was extremely slow – but it was well worth the wait.  By the sounds of things on twitter later, he was the last celebrity in the building, still signing and chatting past closing time.  Well done TJ, and thanks.  A lovely, lovely man.

KING OF THE LAB RULES!

My Loot from London Film and Comic Con 2014. The King of the Lab bought us all bugs!
Look at my shiny loot from London Film and Comic Con 2014. The King of the Lab bought us all bugs!

There’s more coming soon

I’ve got quite a bit of writing to do in the next few weeks, my book and TV reviews need writing and publishing asap – before I watch and read any more!

I’ll be working on these probably fairly slowly in the next week or so, as my shoulder condition – that’s a very long story (6 years it’s been giving me trouble, so far) – is forcing me to do a bit less for a few days.  Keep an eye on the crownjulesreviews blog later.  I also really want to write some science and business based articles, but will have to spend time properly researching those before actually publishing them.  I’ve just created a second job for myself!  Oh well.

Frustrating as it is, however, I have no choice but to concede defeat for a little while.  You win this round, shoulder.

To be continued.. (as they say)

My struggle with migraines

I just wanted to write a short update (well it started out as short) to describe how suffering with migraines interferes with having a normal life. I’ve had an attack today, and as it happens it’s Migraine Awareness Week, which is run by the Migraine Trust at migrainetrust.org. Quite frankly, migraines are the main reason that I have missed more than my fair share of days at work (something which I am constantly in trouble for).

Put simply, migraines ruin my life.

A typical attack can occasionally be preceded with very minor symptoms, like light sensitivity, which if I notice early enough (sadly I don’t very often) can sometimes mean I take my medication in time to stave it off. Most of the time, however, I wake up with huge sections missing from my field of vision. I.e. I am semi-BLIND. These “missing” sections actually resemble the grey static that you used to see on TV (before the digital age, that is) – with black and white geometric patterns zig-zagging their way around the edges.

At the same time, I feel incredibly nauseous (the whole world is after all moving, flickering and flashing), sometimes I am actually sick, and I have a headache so bad that I wish I could knock myself out to avoid feeling the pain.  The headache itself is usually behind and around one or other of my eyes (it can be either, and it can move from one side to the other and back during the course of a single attack), down the side of my face, and down my neck.  I have a numbness/tingling sensations in my extremities; notably my hands, feet and tongue.  I also get very scatty-brained, and can not properly form a sentence or organise my thoughts to communicate coherently (both verbally and written – I’ve got into trouble saying and doing the wrong things that way also).

Emotionally I feel like I’m letting myself and everybody down, my work colleagues, my friends, my family.  When I try and talk to people about my condition it comes across as me winging or moaning, and I end up pissing people off.  Consequently I feel very worried, upset and angry at the same time as having the physical/medical symptoms, and I can end up being on the defensive, and can come across as aggressive.  It’s never my intention.

I have a plethora of drugs which are an attempt to manage this condition.  I take pizotifen every single day as a prophylactic, and I have both sumitriptan (Imigran) and Migraleve to relieve an attack. They don’t always work.

Finally, in general I feel the need to shy away from friends, be distant to work colleagues, ignore a large number of my family; because after all “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Even before starting my MBA studies, now finished, I didn’t have much of a social life. Staying inside and studying was actually not the problem, but a sort of solution to the fact that I didn’t want to risk going out with people. Going out and having a good time releases endorphins in the brain – and that’s one of my (many) triggers. Having fun can bring on an attack. Lucky me. That’s why I stay in.

For more information on this condition please take a look at the Migraine Awareness Week pages and the Migraine Trust FAQ.

No More Book-Learning for Me

This one’s just a very quick post to finalise my progress on my postgraduate studies.  Which is to say:

I PASSED MY MBA WITH COMMENDATION!

Hooray!  Thank goodness for that!  If there’s one lesson learned, it’s that I’m done with academia.  Not that all the hard work wasn’t worth it, of course it was, and if you’re looking to choose a university yourself for business studies then definitely have a look at what the University of Hertfordshire has on offer.  I’ve made some great friends, and plenty of new colleagues with whom I am certain to collaborate in the future.

So, there are three more letters that I can add to my name.  Excellent.  Now to order some new business cards!

MBA Dissertation Done!

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Well, this is just a short and sweet post to celebrate that I HAVE FINISHED MY MBA DISSERTATION!  WOO HOO!

It’s all handed in, and the results are now in the hands of the gods (so to speak).  I started with all the best intentions to “do well”, but now at the end of the whole course I will be happy with just a pass!

*fingers firmly crossed*

What’s also excellent, is that I will be able to start writing about some of the other (hugely wide range of) subjects that I am interested in, and actually post on here more regularly.  And, you know, go out places and see what the UK and the rest of the world has to offer outside of a classroom or office!  That’s the plan anyway.

Until next time..