Rebound headaches

The word rebound is listed in the dictionary as a verb and a noun, and whether it’s used as a verb or a noun, the meaning is rather positive.

As a verb: “To spring or bounce back after hitting or colliding with something. To recover, as from depression or disappointment. To retrieve and gain possession of the basketball as it bounces off the backboard or rim after an unsuccessful shot.”

As a noun: “The act or an instance of taking possession of a rebounding ball. A quick recovery from or reaction to disappointment or depression”

I’m not sure why it’s been attached to headaches caused by the overuse of medication (whether over the counter or prescription) as an adverb, but it has, and that’s what I recently experienced.

I’ve had migraines since I was 12, so I’ve learned a few things about trying to keep them under control. I need to have regular sleep patterns, eat regularly, exercise regularly and make sure I’m hydrated. Doing these things won’t keep me from having migraines, but will limit the frequency and severity.

My rebound headaches started with a stomach virus. All the things I need to do to keep migraines controllable went out the window. I won’t go into the disgusting details of my affliction, but let’s just say that I was not in control of my bodily functions for more than 12 hours. For the next few days I was very cautious of taking in food or liquid. Sleep wasn’t too much of an issue since I was exhausted. Exercise was not even a consideration!

The first migraine hit about 20 hours into my ordeal. I took my medication in shot form. Ah, sweet relief! Eight hours later, another migraine. This time I felt I could keep down the medication in pill form. Again, I achieved my desired relief – for a while. Ten days and ten migraines later I knew I was in a cycle that needed to be broken, but to break it meant suffering through a migraine without medication. I lasted for about six hours before reaching for the shot. The next day I resolved I wouldn’t medicate.

I’d forgotten how painful migraines can get. The prescription drug Imitrex had been a life-changer for me, which I wrote about it in a previous blog. Regardless of the fact that the change in my hormone levels has caused it to be less effective, it still keeps that awful “I wanna chop off this side of my head” pain from fully developing.

Ten hours into the migraine, I couldn’t stand the pain any longer and reached for the shot. However, this time I’d apparently broken the cycle because I didn’t have another migraine for five days. Whew!

Migraine sufferers are taught to take medication at the first sign of a headache. That may not be the best advice. I now try using essential oils, stretching and drinking lots of water before reaching for the pills. I’ve only had one time that I tried that and didn’t have to eventually take my medication, but that’s one less dose I had to take. I see that as a positive!

My pain management finesse level:
Novice     Advanced beginner     Competent        Proficient        Expert

Hair stylist shares practical tips

I don’t know what I’d do without my friend and hair stylist, Kelly Dowhan. A professional with more than 30 years of experience, Kelly is passionate about helping her clients look their best.  She enjoys researching current hair and clothing fashions, and is especially interested in proportion, hair and skin tone, and practicality when it comes to hair and clothing fashions.  I recently sat down with Kelly to discuss how to age with finesse*.

Q: Kelly, what are the most important things women can do to keep their hair healthy as they age?

A: The most important thing a woman over 40 can do to keep her hair in the best shape is to make sure she’s getting all the right nutrients and enough sleep for her body to produce healthy hair and skin. This would also include exercise. Most of the demise of a woman’s hair, once she enters into peri-menopause and menopause, is due to hormone changes. This can cause hair to lose its luster, become wiry and thin, not to mention the obvious: grey. Diet and exercise can often delay and lower the impact and signs of aging and the inevitable decline of hormones. 

Additionally, take a moment and reassess your hair type and make sure you’re on target.  Are you still treating your hair with the same type of products you used in your twenties and thirties? If your hair has changed, you should change your products.

Shampooing tip (this is a biggie): “Wash the scalp, not the hair. Condition the hair, not the scalp.” When shampooing, tip your head upside down and apply the shampoo onto the scalp by going in at the base of the hair shaft. Two shampoo applications will be necessary: one from the forehead and temples working back, and one from the nape up to the crown. Don’t work the shampoo through the rest of the strands; the gentle rinse of soapy water passing through will do the job. Only apply conditioner to the dry ends, never near the scalp or around the hairline. 

Q: What’s the biggest mistake women make with their hair as they age?

A: TOO BIG!!!  Rein that baby in. 


Q: What are your three top tips for looking our best at any age?

A: “Shower, Shampoo and Shine!” Look like you care. Get up. Get ready for the day. Do your hair. Put on a little make up — especially lipstick (not too dark as you get older; it can look harsh). 

Regarding the “Shine,” pick out something cute to wear — not just/only “comfortable.” One thing I’ve noticed is that many people in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s tend to wear the same clothes for years –like ten, fifteen, twenty years. This is certainly noble and very practical, but it’s one of the things that can really make a person look, well, kind of stale. 

Newer fabrics may be one of the reasons people don’t rotate their wardrobe as often as they should. Some people want to wear items until they wear out, but, let’s face it; some of these fabrics are so indestructible they could out live us all. And because we don’t want to give away a perfectly good item, we end up with huge outdated wardrobes.

To avoid this, make a pen mark on a tag inside the garment or on a notepad, noting the date you bought the item — like you might do with kitchen spices. Do an occasional assessment of your small, but wonderful wardrobe, looking for items that may not yet be worn out, but have worn out their welcome. Aim for a small, steadily overturning, current set of clothes (which, by the way, makes packing a breeze).

My hair/fashion finesse level: 
Novice     Advanced beginner     Competent        Proficient        Expert         

 What’s your hair/fashion finesse level?

*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)