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19 February 2018

Love Yourself Series: Practicing Gentle Kindness

Welcome to the third week in the Love Yourself Series. Monday is dedicated to bettering our skills in mindfulness. Today I would like for you to use the Insight Timer app and the "Practicing Gentle Kindness toward Ourself" guided meditation by Sarah Blondin.

01 February 2018

"Love Myself" February Series

Starting February 5th on my Facebook page (The Migraine Diva) I will be going live at noon (12 p.m. EST) every Monday through Friday to share motivational tools and assignments to help us learn to love ourselves more and spend more time on our well-being.  February is the month where we will begin to dedicate time to taking care of ourselves. 

26 January 2018

#Review #Sponsored Verified CBD Hemp Oil

"I have been given this product as part of a product review through my blog, The Migraine Diva. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. "

CBD oil, you say? What is it, what is it used for, is it safe, and... is it LEGAL?  I'll answer those questions shortly.  But first, I've been wondering about how this oil could help with my chronic pain and have heard and seen a lot of talk of it helping others.  With medical marijuana becoming available and legal in more states, I have noticed more and more people using it to treat their chronic pain, including migraine.  

Whether it be through vaping, ingesting edibles, or using THC ointments, many in the chronic pain community have found that it helps better than their prescription medications in managing their pain.  Unfortunately for me, I live in a state where marijuana is illegal for both recreational and medical use.  For those like me who want to try CBD's but without the THC, there is hemp oil.

20 January 2018

My Migraine Story - From Darkened Room to Writer! #Review

My Migraine Story is a telling tale of what a life with chronic migraine looks like.  As a woman who lives with chronic migraine, it is comforting to read another's story of the true-life debilitation that is migraine.  So often, our pain is diminished and dismissed.  The countless days lost to pain and darkness wear on the mind, body and spirit.  Tracy Stedman shares how migraine became a part of her life at the age of eleven, something I can relate to as mine started when I was eight years old.  Chronicling her journey through increased migraine attacks, puberty, childbirth, numerous doctors and medications, Tracy reveals a rawness and honesty about how this neurological disease can leave a person feeling hopeless and indifferent.

11 January 2018

Opioids and STOP Pain Initiatives Act - Take Action Now

As a migraine patient, I am always looking for better treatments.  The list of drugs made specifically for the prevention or treatment of migraine is extremely short.  Those of us with migraine often have to take off-label medications that were FDA approved for other disease areas as preventives and/or abortives.  This leads to many side effects and possible introductions to new conditions brought on by these medications. In some cases, opioids are prescribed because there isn't anything else that works.

We need much better treatment options with less risks associated with them.  Right now you have a unique opportunity to influence Congress about the need to increase NIH research on understanding chronic pain and opioids that could lead to new treatments. In 2016, the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (AHDA) helped to have provisions focused on increasing NIH pain research included in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). CARA was signed into law in July 2016. Since then, they have been collaborating on a bill to fully fund these provisions. That bill was recently introduced: 

The Opioids and STOP Pain Initiatives Act (H.R.4722 / S.2260)

You can help pass this bill by urging your Members of Congress to co-sponsor it now. 

Please click on the link below to send emails to your Members of Congress. The AHDA has provided space where you can add a concise description (3 sentences, tops) of why this issue and this research is so important to you. They ask that you please do not make any edits (additions or deletions) to the remainder of the letter that is their explanation of the need for the bill. It is vital that this information reach congressional offices intact. 

Take Action Here

Please share this with your friends, family, co-workers, or anyone you know who is struggling with chronic pain or opioids. Ask them to take action too. The voices of the pain and headache disorders community need to ring loudly in DC. You really can make a difference here. 

15 December 2017

Fail First Policies and How They Hurt Us

Have you ever been prescribed a particular drug by your doctor but your insurance company would not cover it until you tried, and failed, one or two (maybe more) other drugs first?  If you experienced this, it is called Fail First or Step Therapy.  Fail First policies are insurance policies, which require that the patient be prescribed the cheapest drug first rather than the one originally prescribed by the doctor. Fail First affects patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, depression, cancer, hypertension, sickle cell anemia, COPD, asthma, and high cholesterol.

14 December 2017

MigraineX Pressure Regulating Device #Sponsored #Review

"I have been given this product as part of a product review through my blog, The Migraine Diva. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. "

Having migraine is like being a telepathic meteorologist. You can always sense (and feel) a change in the weather before it actually happens.  Weather triggers are really hard to manage because you cannot control them.  One of the most common weather-related triggers for people with migraine is changes in barometric pressure.

Barometric pressure, also known as atmospheric pressure, is the pressure exerted by the earth's atmosphere or the amount of force that is being applied to your body from the air. Changes in barometric pressure can bring on headaches and migraine because our sinuses are filled with air.1

In the past I would just have to grit and bear it when it came to migraines induced by pressure changes.  I would mostly avoid any outdoor activities and try to use essential oils and other non-medicinal tools to counteract any possible oncoming migraine.  They weren't 100% effective in stopping or reducing the severity of pressure induced migraines.  It felt as though I had to just deal with these as they come, no matter what I tried.

22 November 2017

Patient Input Needed for Review of New Migraine Medicine by Nov 30

Photo copyright The Headache & Migraine Policy Forum

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) is assessing the first CGRP submitted for FDA approval. Insurance companies will use ICER’s final report (as well as other information) when determining if they will cover this medicine (and other medicines in this class that are expected to follow), what tier the medicine will be in on the plan’s formulary, and what types of prior authorization or step therapy will be required. 

It is critically important that ICER understands the migraine patient experience. You can help.

Call to Action: Patient input must be received by November 30, 2017. You can access the online submission form here.

This is your story to tell and a chance to be heard and advocate. Join us in showing that we are a strong, united front to be taken seriously. 

Patient Guide: For a preview of the eight questions ICER asks patients and guidance on key points to include in your response, read HMPF's Patient Guide.

Have Questions? A teleconference to educate patients and to answer your questions about the ICER Open Input period will be held on Tuesday, November 28 at 3:00pm ET. Click here to register for this free teleconference.

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