Daith Piercing for Migraines

I have a multitude of health issues, one of them is at least 4 different types of migraines and headaches. I get migraines, the typical type, abdominal (those ones are weird), tension headaches, weather induced migraines from pressure changes typically from storms, cluster headaches and so on.

After much thought and investigating I decided to get my daith pierced, it’s a piece of cartilage in your ear. It is suggested to get it on the opposite side of where your migraines typically occur. For me, my pain is always on the left side of my head, so I got my right ear pierced in the daith area. Some research suggested that it only helps with food related migraines as it is a pressure point for the same, so I was not going to get it originally. Then I realized, I may have food triggered migraines and just not know it because I get about five a week. The only way to be sure is an elimination diet, and let me tell you right now, that will NEVER happen. With my luck multiple foods I love would show to be causing my migraines and then I would have to cry in a corner for weeks.

I went to get the piercing at a tattoo place that I had been to for three of my tattoos and they do piercings with medical grade steel pieces, which means clean and less likely to cause a reaction (I am allergic to medical staples so who knows). The first hole did not hurt at all, the second hole, in the thicker part of the cartilage hurt like hell, but only for a moment and then there was a pleasant feeling that was like pressure was released from my head.

I got the piercing on February 26th, it has been one week now and I have had NO headaches of any kind since (knock on wood). We even got a storm this weekend and I did not get the typical pressure related migraine several days before the storm hit. It is swollen, and when I accidentally sleep on that side it hurts in the morning. It can take up to a year to heal, for “normal” people it is 3-6 months but I am immune compromised and my body takes so much longer to heal then when I was younger.

I will continue to clean my piercing twice a day with a wound cleaning solution from the first aid section of any store. I will ice it with a clean cloth when the swelling really bothers me. I will hope that the piercing continues to help me with headaches and migraines.

Is there scientific proof? No, but I have suffered migraines and headaches since I was at least 7 years old. I am tired of all the medications and pain. If it helps, awesome! If it does not continue to help, I can either have a nifty piercing or have it removed and let it heal.

If you have a health issues like me though, Multiple Sclerosis, and you are required to get yearly MRIs, just know, you will need to time it so you have enough time to heal. You will also need to go back and have them remove it temporarily before you can get your MRI and then after you’ve done it to put it back in. It is metal after all and I can’t imagine that would feel great busting out of the side of your head.

Multiple Sclerosis and Germ Season

One of the worst things about MS treatment is the fact that it has to shut down your immune system to keep your body from attacking the brain.

Due to treatments I have had an uncountable amount of colds that turned to sinus infections since 2014. I had sinus surgery in 2016, hoping that fixing my double deviated septum and small sinus pathways would reduce the frequency of sinus infections from the inflammation caused by colds. It did not, it did however make it so that I was unaware when I had a sinus infection until very far in because my face didn’t start to throb as soon as it had before as a result of all the extra space I had made.

Recently I got sick suddenly and after 3 days of high fever I finally decided to go to the doctor. By the day I went in my fever was up to 102.3 and I was seeing things. Looking back I probably should have went to the ER but I HATE the ER. I spend enough time there already and I was afraid if I went to the ER they would admit me.

Even after taking Tylenol I still had a fever when I arrived at the doctor. They did a Flu test, thinking that was a logical assumption with my comprised immune system and my symptoms. Though I do get the flu shot every year since 2006. 12 minutes later, it was not the flu. It was determined I had “communal pneumonia”.

Even after taking 2 types of antibiotics 3 times a day for 10 days I still felt terrible. My lungs no longer felt like sandpaper when I coughed but my fatigue was worse, the cough and congestion still there. Pain breathing anytime I exerted any type of effort.

Three weeks later and I am still recovering. That is the price of treating MS, everything takes longer to heal. It’s not something you can avoid when you have kids either, they have to go to school and they are constantly around other kids who may or may not be sick. They come home and you cannot decontaminate them fast enough or well enough to catch every possible thing.

So during winter I dread every sniffle and cough, is this allergies or has my child been given some terrible germ that will eventually wreak havoc on my already terrible immune system.

Hang in there, but if you have any good tips please let me know because I am so tired of getting sick!

Service Dog Laws – Know Your Rights

Something that everyone needs to be aware of is their rights under the law. Especially when you have a disability, regardless of whether or not you have a service dog, laws are there for a reason and you should know yours.

Having a service dog is very helpful for me, but it also comes with the responsibility of being aware of my rights as a person and the laws that are in place to protect me. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to inform people what they are saying to me is incorrect and actually illegal. I am writing about this so that you are aware and hopefully you take this information and learn about your rights.

Per ADA.gov below are the requirements for a service dog in the United States:

  • Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA.
  • A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
  • Generally, title II and title III entities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go.

“Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. ADA FAQ

The portion about Service Dogs not being pets is a VERY important distinction because “pets” do not have the same laws protecting them. You must think of a Service Dog as medical equipment, it is required for the handler, much in the way a wheelchair is needed for people who are unable to walk. You would not pet someones wheelchair or tell them they cannot bring it into a store because it’s medically needed.

“When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.” ADA Service Dog Requirements

Legally here the only answers I have to provide the staff of where I am located is “yes” and “brace and balance”. The downside to this is that those questions are rarely the ones I get, I get asked if I am training him a lot. The answer to this question is always no, this is an important question though because legally, service dogs in training are not protected by ADA laws.

You cannot be asked to leave or move due to someone else’s allergy or fear of dogs. This is illegal. This gets a bit tricky and very frustrating when you services like Uber or Lyft. I was in California twice and the drivers in San Francisco were less pissy about my service dog than the ones in San Diego. The driver is legally allowed to tell you they will not take you in their car if they have an allergy, though they have to get you another ride and there is no way to actually confirm they have an allergy or just don’t want dog hair in their car. I had this happen in both locations, once the driver in San Diego told me to keep my dog on the floor of his very small sedan in which his seat went back all the way so my husband had to sit in the front with his knees in his chest so I could put Oak on the floor. It would be helpful if there was a way to indicate on your request that you have a service dog so you could get an SUV with no additional cost so there is a place to put them while allowing everyone to sit comfortably.

Per the ADA laws, you are not required to have your service dog in a vest; I do because I signed a contract with Freedom Service Dogs and Oak was trained to know he is working when wearing the vest so for him it’s important. You are not required to have an ID or paperwork proving your dog is a service dog. Do not let a business tell you otherwise.

I had an issue last year at my youngest son’s school. I was invited to have lunch with him, he was so excited. Oak and I showed up to school and went through the lunch line to get our lunches, I got some dirty looks from one of the women working there. She made a comment about how she didn’t know if Oak was allowed. I informed her he was indeed allowed, apparently later she asked questions about me and my disability to the school nurse who is very much aware of my situation because she’s nice and I share information with nice people. The nurse also informed the woman that my service dog is allowed. After lunch we went outside to play, at a different teacher told me my dog was not allowed on school property. I advised her that he is a service dog and actually is legally allowed to be there. She gave me some attitude at which time I chose to leave because I was getting very angry. I told my son that I enjoyed having lunch with him but was going to leave so I didn’t ruin his recess by getting into an argument with a person who doesn’t know the law.

People who work at schools should be informed of the laws, chances are they may not have to deal with service dogs, but just in case, they should not be ignorant. A few days later, after I cooled down, I gave business cards with ADA law to the front desk and the school nurse and advised them to enlighten the employees because I did not appreciate what I had to deal with that day.

Having a chronic illness is exhausting, I have enough with trying to be a mom, wife and full-time employee. I do not need the extra stress that comes with ignorance, and neither do other people. Knowing your rights is important, standing up for those rights is even more important. While taking on the task of teaching other people the law is not something that I enjoy, I will do it because I am hoping it makes it easier for someone else in the future. If I can help one person from having the experience I did then I will continue to do it.