Hi Elizabeth...

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Posted by Robin ( on October 01, 2001 at 21:16:58:

In Reply to: oxygen - does it work? posted by Elizabeth on October 01, 2001 at 15:35:51:

I'm sorry to hear you're having such a rough time. For me, the O2 works wonders. If I get a HA during the day, and get on the O2 RIGHT AWAY, I can keep the intensity down to about a 3 or 4 and the amazing thing is the duration is less than 5 minutes at times. It's great!! I don't know how I ever lived without it. If it's one that wakes me up, which unfortunately most do, I still hop right on the O2 and get good results. Of course, the intensity is greater and the duration longer because I'm already well into the HA before I wake up, but it still helps a lot. I've found the key to the O2 is the flow rate and type of mask. I use a flow rate of 10-12 usually. My neurologist gave me a prescription for the oxygen, mask and the whole nine yards. I took it to a place called Lincare. They are the ones whom I have to go through to get it here in Wyoming, where I live. I would check your yellow pages for Oxygen. If you don't find anything there, check with a nursing home or hospital or something and ask where you might go to fill an O2 Rx. They should be able to help you. Of course, everyone is different. What works for one, may not work for another. Charlie has also told me about a technique that I tried that seems to work sometimes. I'll paste his message at the bottom of this. Whether I'm doing this thing right or not I don't know, but it seems to help lessen the intensity at times. I told someone once that I'm not sure if it's that I'm doing it right, or that I'm just focusing on something other than the pain that helps. Whatever the reason, the outcome is what's important. As for the meds, I'm no doctor so I couldn't begin to give suggestions with that. I do encourage everyone to keep in direct contact with their doctor though. If something isn't working for you, make sure you tell him/her. Possibly another med cocktail will work. We're still experimenting with mine. The important thing is that you have faith in whomever your doctor is and that you find some relief. Please take care of yourself. I wish you a peaceful night's sleep and many PF days ahead. Good luck to you. My prayers are with you, as they are with everyone.
Robin :o)
(whew, I'm outa breath after that one...lol) Charlie's post is below. Good luck!
Dr. Wright's Circulatory Feedback
This is not transcendental meditation, imagery, relaxation, or anything psychic. It's entirely physical and takes a lot of work and concentration. Give this method a good workout. Itís not a miracle, but itís been very helpful to many.
When I was diagnosed, my neurologist said to treat this as a vascular problem. I was told to concentrate on forcing blood-flow from behind my throbbing eye, down my neck and into my arms and hands. This probably isnít exactly what happens, but itís useful. When properly done, your hands will become warm and redder with increased circulation. I also found it easier to concentrate on one hand.
This relieves just slightly, the pressure on the affected vessel, which indirectly causes our pain. We all have this ability but it can be exhausting. I was often able shorten my attacks from about 30 or 40 minutes to no more than 15 or 20. Sometimes, when awake, I could entirely abort the attack IF I KEPT AT IT. I would suffer only minor discomfort instead of excruciating pain. Do not stop just because your hands are warm or redder. Keep this up until you are sure it's subsided.
I learned this from the doctor in a few minutes. He simply told me to concentrate on keeping blood away from the head and to ďredirectĒ it anywhere else. The easiest is the arms and hands but any place that works for you is fine. He said to think of it as "filling your hands" with redirected blood. Anything to retard circulation to the head will help. It is important to keep at it THROUGH the pain. This will be difficult, but it is the only way this technique will work. I like to keep at it a few minutes longer than seems necessary to insure success.
This will not always work, but I think it will always have at least some effect on the severity and duration of the attacks. It can be useful between medications or while waiting for some other drug to take effect. All it takes is a little practice. It was fairly easy to learn and what I'm writing here is more than I got from the doctor, as I've drawn from my own experience.
When awakened in horrible pain, itís very hard to focus, but I think itís always worth a try. This costs nothing but hard work, is harmless, non-invasive, and it gives us a fighting chance.
I wish you the best of luck - Charlie Strand

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