The Migraine Miracle You’d Never Believe

Okay I’ll admit it, I’ve been slack keeping up with this blog. I had a few guest bloggers, but I didn’t feel like their content was always relative and it was starting to feel like someone else’s blog. Life has happened big time.

College graduation, engagement, daughter’s wedding, a son graduating and starting at Clemson, a middle schooler entering high school, and the biggest…I became and grandmother (La~la as I prefer. I’m not old enough to be “Grand” anything). I kept thinking I’d post about all of the events and share some pictures, but life just came too fast. If you follow me on Facebook though, I’m SURE you already know.

I honestly can’t promise how often I’ll get back to the blog, but since my blog was elected one of the top 25 migraine blogs of 2018, I though I’d better let you know about my newfound MIGRAINE MIRACLE!

If you know my story you know I had seizures for seven years (then God stepped in and knocked them right out of my life…or my head…however you want to look at it.) Migraines, however, I’ve fought since my first pregnancy.

I’ve been seeing a physician here in Greenville, SC who’s been treating the arthritis in my spine created from all of the falls I had when I was having seizures. He mentioned the injections in my neck may help with my migraines.

The next sentence he muttered softly while typing my chart was monumental. And weird. But I’m always up for trying something new as long as its safe.

There’s an over the counter cream for arthritis called “Zostrix-HP” cream. The generic,  capsaicin .075% cream (which is basically hot pepper cream), may have changed my life. Hopefully I’m not ahead of myself here, but I’ve been amazed. With the hot and humid true-to-South-Carolina weather we’ve had, I’ve been waking up with migraines daily (and who has time for that when there’s a new grandchild around ?!?!?)

The doctor told me to rub the capsaicin cream on the back of my neck and my shoulders before bed each night (and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly so you don’t do something stupid and rub your eyes with hot pepper…not that I learned the hard way or anything).

I’ve been using this cream now for three weeks, and NO MIGRAINES! In 2010 I had a God-given miracle which had absolutely no explanation except a miracle. Now, in this case, it’s a God-given scientific miracle. In case you’re interested in the “sciency” stuff, the capsaicin cream draws “substance-P” from your brain. Substance-P helps transport the chemicals to the brain’s pain receptors which leads to a headache. Less substance-P, less headache.

God either gave someone the idea to try this or it was an oops, but either way I’m thankful.

So there’s your migraine tip for today: Rub capsaicin 0.75% cream on your neck and shoulders, wash your hands, and see if it helps your migraine as much as mine. (Click here to tweet)

I pray that it does!

So there’s your migraine tip for today: Rub capsaicin 0.75% cream on your neck and shoulders, wash your hands, and see if it helps your migraine as much as it has mine.







PS…If you try it and it helps, please leave me a comment below :o)

















My Story~Prescription for Addiction (On video!)

I’ve been awol for awhile now. Miranda got married in May and I spent about 9 months planning the wedding. I’ll show you some pictures in an upcoming blog post 🙂 I’m so proud of Miranda and Jamie and all they’ve accomplished. But it definitely takes a village!

We also spent quite a bit of time traveling this summer and I’ll be sure and send some pics from our trip as well. But in this post I’m getting back to the root of the reason I started this blog initially. Hopefully I can get back to a regular schedule but no promises. Getting back into the blogging/writing groove isn’t easy for me, but I need to do it now before Grandkids come along!

Okay so I’m about to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the miracle God gave me on September 10, 2010. Today, I’m still amazed. And so very thankful.

When He first healed me I couldn’t keep my mouth shut about it! My family got a little tired of hearing the same story over and over, but God gave me the story and I had to share it. No, we’re not in Bible times and don’t experience the miracles God did in the Bible, but miracles happen every day all around us. We just have to keep our eyes and ears open.

Once I began writing, everyone said I’d need to be able to tell my story in front of groups in order to promote my book. So I proceeded to take a much dreaded communicators conference.

I promised God I’d share my story when asked, and I’ve been asked three times to share it in public. The last time was in front of a group of high school kids at church. I’m a small group leader and the church wanted us to share our stories with the kids to allow them to get to know us better. So I actually recorded it, and though it’s not the most professional recording, it’s my story. Hope you enjoy watching and I pray that you get the message from it God would desire for you!

Just click on the link below and know that miracles do happen!

Prescription for Addiction

The Experience of Addiction~Broken for Others (Graffiti Summer)


I didn’t realize it at the time, but God allowed me to be broken for others…for seven years. At least it wasn’t forty years like Moses!

For fourteen years I filled prescriptions for people and while I could tell them side effects, interactions, instructions, etc., I could not understand the desperation they felt for these medications. Prescriptions for insomnia, pain, depression, and anxiety. And then of course the prescriptions to get OFF of those meds. Addiction. Desperation. I really didn’t think it could happen to me. But God allowed me to see things from a different perspective. From their shoes.

As I’ve said before, we stay so busy in our own shoes, we don’t think about what it might look like in somebody else’s.

As I’m joining in with Alene Snodgrass for Graffiti Summer, we are talking about being broken for others through the story of Moses. Just click on the link for a free download of the study, and be sure to check out amazon for her book she cowrote with a homeless man.



(I’ll have an interesting post coming up soon about homelessness that my daughter will have input in…be sure to watch for it!)

So this week for my post I’m cheating a little because I’m posting something I’ve already written, but I’m taking a little risk in that it’s an excerpt from my book that I haven’t really let anyone see yet or even talked about much. But just like Moses, it’s God’s story, not mine. So here ya go…part of my own story of being broken for others…

There are plenty of movies depicting addicts in withdrawal, but I’ve never seen what happened to me. Besides the sweating, shaking, headache, and ears ringing, I started throwing up constantly. Literally. When there was nothing in my stomach to come up, up came green bile. Between bringing me warm washcloths for my mouth and cold washcloths for my head, my mom and David were persistently trying to find the best way to get help.

It was not easy.

Research into medical intervention revealed rehab “resorts” hundreds of miles and tens-of-thousands of dollars away, but the local, affordable options were few. Even if I had $30,000 to spend, there was no way I could physically make the trip. After about three days, I could barely hold my head up to vomit, much less pack and get on an airplane. As I camped out on the bathroom floor with my pillow, blanket, and pile of washcloths, I could hear the hush-hush talk about what to do with me. The shame and utter despair I felt for putting my family through this was as unbearable as my state of health.

We finally found a local physician with an outpatient clinic for drug addiction that was not a methadone clinic. Methadone clinics sprung up in the ‘90s when heroin addiction was at its highest. Methadone is a cheap drug that helps with addiction to certain drugs, but the problem is, it’s just as addictive as anything else. The clinic we found dispensed Suboxone, a fairly new drug on the market I’d only dispensed a few times which is used solely for narcotic addiction. It is a short-term substitute for the narcotic—the Lortab in my case—and greatly reduces the effects of withdrawal, and allows the receptors in the brain to dwindle back down to normal.

We immediately called his office. Of course, it just happened to be Friday morning; they said I could not be seen until after the weekend. I honestly didn’t think I would live that long (although now I know just how much a body can endure). They could admit me to Carolina Behavioral Hospital where they’d give me fluids and medicine for nausea, and begin Suboxone treatment there. That news was music to my ringing ears.

Now you have to remember how I grew up—only child, Christian School, very sheltered. You know…in my ivory tower. I heard “hospital” and “fluids” and I imagined a nice sterile, private hospital room with a television and nurses coming to check on me every few hours and give me medicine. I think Mom and David expected the same.

As David pulled us up to the front door, I lay across the back seat of our suburban with my puke bucket in the floor, continually filling it. The nausea and vomiting was relentless, and there must have been a hammer constantly pounding my head. David went inside to see how to get checked in, and what seemed like days later, he returned with a nurse and a wheelchair.  As they took me down hall after hall and through password required doors to the detox ward, I wanted to disappear. The pain and nausea combined with my shame and desperation took me to a place so low I could have just melted and become one with the floor. Though I wouldn’t have wanted that floor to be my final resting place.

My “hospital” expectations were not even close. As I sat in a wheelchair with my trusty bucket in my lap, David and Mom checked me in, and we proceeded to follow a nurse back to that area. My worst nightmare began to come true as I scanned my new environment. There was a common area with a small television and a few old sofas that looked like they’d been rescued off the street. The “hospital” room reminded me of the worst dorm room on a college campus. The other patients—men and women—were dressed like homeless people coming to a shelter for a warm meal.

As the nurse explained procedure, I could see my mom and David looking around the room in shock and fear at the thought of leaving me. After hearing a bit of conversation from a few of the male residents, they made the decision to take me home.

I was so desperate; I told them to leave me. I had to have some help and there was no other option.

Never had I seen my mom look so helpless. The thought of leaving her baby girl in such a place was more than she could bear. I’ve never asked because my heart couldn’t take it, but I’m sure her eyes were pouring tears as she drove home.

David has since shared with me that leaving me at there was one of only three times in his life he has sobbed from being heartbroken. No one expects or prepares for this type of heartbreak. When he left, he picked up the kids from his mom and took them to the beach. He needed some distance from the situation and the kids needed something to keep their minds occupied. They didn’t know the whole situation at the time, but they knew enough to know something was wrong, that I was very sick.

As a wife and mom, the words “burden” and “failure” don’t begin to describe how I felt. I had done damage to myself physically, but I had hurt my family emotionally and created injuries that would be much more difficult to heal. Scars that would last a lifetime.

Once I was left in the hands of the nurses, the process started. They went through every single pocket, page, bottle and seam of every item that came with me and left me with the bare minimum. No cosmetics, no liquids, no hairbrush, no razor, no earrings … the bare minimum. My environment was surreal. As I lay on the cardboard bed with the questionable blanket, throwing up in my puke bucket, which sat on the nasty blue carpet, I could not believe I actually told David to leave me. The promise of fluids and nursing care was empty. For twenty-four hours, I was left to throw up, unattended.

Other patients left and returned at the sound of the school bell for meals, group therapy, and smoking breaks. I ate nothing. Finally, a nurse came to get me for my appointment with the psychiatrist to begin my Suboxone treatment. He laid out a three-day plan to fix me.

Three days. Now that would be something.

Dr. Psychiatrist wrote orders to start me on the Suboxone and an injection of Phenergan for the nausea. The male nurse on duty proceeded to lead me to the lovely—and oh-so-sterile—plaid sofa to give me my injection. As he was preparing it, the school bell rang and he just sat back and looked at me.

“Is everything okay?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied. “Aren’t you going to go out and smoke? Isn’t that what you people do?”

You people. Are you kidding me? “I’ve never once put a cigarette to my mouth and I have no intention of starting now.”

I was the only patient who did not go outside to smoke. As a matter of fact, most of the staff went with them. Mr. Nurse proceeded to give me the injection and go on his merry way. I remained in disbelief at the stereotypic category in which I was just dumped. I began to see a pattern, though, with most everyone there. When everyone walked back inside, one of the male patients plopped down on the sofa next to me and said, “So, what’s your drug of choice?”

Drug of choice?

I might as well have been staring at an alien. I was definitely in another world.


I definitely walked in some scary shoes. Shoes that gave me an entirely new perspective, which is what Graffiti summer is all about. We don’t realize how quickly our own situation can change, and we find ourselves where we never thought we’d be. Feel free to tweet that 🙂

Have you walked in any unexpected shoes that shifted your paradigm?





Join Me Today at “Inspire-a-Fire” to read A Letter to my Enemy

Join me today over at Inspire a Fire to read “A Letter to My Enemy” if you haven’t read it before.


Satan has so many tools at his disposal, and he is so sneaky in the way he uses them.

Don’t fall into the trap of prescription drug addiction like I did. Sure, I had grand-mal-siezures, broken bones, surgery…plenty of good reasons to need narcotics (Lortab) for pain. But even as a pharmacist, I didn’t realize the physical effect they have on the brain. The brain is physically changed…changed in such a way that is difficult to recover from. Since your brain controls every single part of your body and mind, your state of mind is altered. Addiction can literally transform you into a person you will not like very much. 

Only the grace of God can truly heal you completely. Physically and emotionally. (Click here to tweet!)

Click on the Inspire A fire photo above to read the article. Feel free to leave a comment! (Please?) Kiss



How to Find Your Own Drug Interactions: A Tutorial


Today I’m sharing a tutorial I posted on YouTube on drug interactions. 

As I’ve shared in my last few blog posts, drug interactions are becoming a huge problem due to the increasing number of prescriptions people take.

Take a few minutes (it’s short, I promise) to watch the video and then practice with your own prescription medications to see if there are any problems taking them together.

If you do find interactions, don’t panic, and don’t abruptly stop taking your prescription.

Print off the information (I show you how in the video) and take it to your pharmacist or doctor and let them help you evaluate the results.

Feel free to leave comments and questions and I’ll answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Hope this is helpful!


Seven Reasons to Become Your Own Pharmacist…Well, Sort of…


Working in retail pharmacy for 21 years, I saw the following scenario way too many times. The circumstances and drugs were different, but the result was the same. The patient had been placed in danger due to the pitfalls that can occur when getting a prescription filled. And I’m talking about when the prescription is filled correctly from the first step to the last. These pitfalls go beyond the actual filling of the prescription.

In the busy, prescription-hungry culture we live in, it’s necessary to become our own pharmacist…sort of. (Care to tweet that?)

Consider the following steps we take to get a prescription filled (with a little animation from me):

1. How often do we go to the doctor with the prescription we want already in mind? We are paying. Our doctor typically wants to make us happy, so if the prescription makes sense, we typically get it.

2. When we take the prescription to the pharmacy, do we sit and wait? I don’t know aout you, but the CVS’s, Walgreen’s, and Wal-Mart’s around here are never busy. Right? Ha! I take mine to the drive-thru to be picked up hours later.

3. When we pick up the prescription do we stroll leisurely up to the counter, chat with the pharmacist about the prescription, ask all of our questions, pay, and then leave? Typically not. Often it’s 5:30pm, after work, the line is at least five people deep to the counter, the kids are picking up everything on the shelves, and we just want to get the heck out of there! Are we concerned about the prescription? Only the fact that it will make us better. At the moment, that’s all that matters. Oh…and that it went through on the insurance card of course.

4. We get home, unload the car, take the prescription bottle from the bag and throw everything else away. After all, who wants all that paperwork on the counter? We know we’ll never read it.

5. We look at the directions of the antibiotic and take one. And of course we’ve also taken cough syrup and cold medicine to help us get through homework, supper, and getting the kids to bed.

6. Did we remember to tell the pharmacist that we were on Cymbalta for depression that we got filled at another pharmacy? It was cheaper at Wal-Mart than at our regular pharamacy. But it really has nothing to do with a sinus infection anyway, right?

7. And what about the Imitrex we took earlier for a migraine? We only need it like once a month, so it probably doesn’t even matter.

Did anybody think about what could very possibly and probably happen?

Confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Would  you have ever guessed? The drug interactions in this particular example caused Serotonin Syndrome. How could this have been avoided?

  • IF all of the prescriptions were filled at the same pharmacy
  • IF the physician were aware of all the medications currently being taken.
  • IF the pharmacist wasn’t so busy with the 100’s of prescriptions they fill daily, they would have caught the interaction.
  • IF we weren’t so busy and distracted when we took and picked up the prescription, we might have asked a question or two.
  • IF we carefully read the medication insert that came in the bag with the prescription.

Let’s be realistic. No way all of those could actually happen.

With the help of a computer (our loved friend and dreaded enemy), anyone can determine if there are interactions, side effects, if warnings, etc. It is very important to know your source—make sure the website you are using is reputable.

Here’s what you would find on a search of the prescription drugs used in the example above:

When the interactions for these drugs are searched, there are four pretty major interactions found. Then, be sure to scroll down to the section that says, “Other drugs that your selected drugs interact with.” That’s a real eye-opener. And then there are food interactions to worry about too.




RX for blog pic

Interactions between your selected drugs

dextromethorphan duloxetine   

major inx


Applies to: Tylenol Cold (acetaminophen/chlorpheniramine/dextromethorphan/pseudoephedrine), Delsym (dextromethorphan), Cymbalta (duloxetine)

Talk to your doctor before using dextromethorphan together with DULoxetine. Combining these medications can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

sumatriptan duloxetine  major inx

Applies to: Imitrex (sumatriptan), Cymbalta (duloxetine)

Talk to your doctor before using SUMAtriptan together with DULoxetine. Combining these medications can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

chlorpheniramine duloxetine  moderate inx

Applies to: Tylenol Cold (acetaminophen/chlorpheniramine/dextromethorphan/pseudoephedrine), Cymbalta (duloxetine)

Using chlorpheniramine together with DULoxetine can increase the effects of either medication. If your doctor prescribes these medications together, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take both medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

pseudoephedrine duloxetine  moderate inx

Applies to: Tylenol Cold (acetaminophen/chlorpheniramine/dextromethorphan/pseudoephedrine), Cymbalta (duloxetine)

DULoxetine may increase your blood pressure and heart rate, and using it with pseudoephedrine may further increase those effects. Your blood pressure should be monitored while you are on DULoxetine. Contact your doctor if your condition changes or you experience increased side effects. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

No other interactions were found between your selected drugs.
Note: this does not necessarily mean no interactions exist. ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other drugs that your selected drugs interact with

Interactions between your selected drugs and food

duloxetine food moderate inxApplies to: Cymbalta (duloxetine)

DULoxetine may cause liver damage, and taking it with alcohol may increase that risk. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with DULoxetine. Call your doctor immediately if you have fever, chills, joint pain or swelling, excessive tiredness or weakness, unusual bleeding or bruising, skin rash or itching, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dark colored urine, or yellowing of the skin or the whites of your eyes, as these may be symptoms of liver damage. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Are  you starting to see why it’s necessary to “sort of ” become your own pharmacist? Time to take some responsibility for your health and don’t just assume it’s in capable hands of others.

This post was just a little precursor to wet your appetite for the screen cast tutorial coming up on Monday. There are way too many prescriptions being filled and consumed these days for you not to know how to inform yourself. So check in Monday for the tutorial and I’ll show you how to check all of this yourself.



Drug Interactions~What Your Pharmacist & Doctor Might Not Tell You


Have you ever thought about the number of prescriptions your pharmacy fills every day?

The smaller, independent pharmacies are on the lower end of the scale, but it’s not uncommon for your corner CVS or Walgreens to fill 700-1500 prescriptions every day.

The use of prescription drugs in the United States on the rise and the statistics are staggering. Check out what the Centers for Disease Control reported in 2010:

RX for blog pic

Over the last 10 years, the percentage of Americans who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44% to 48%.

The use of two or more drugs increased from 25% to 31%.

The use of five or more drugs increased from 6% to 11%.

In 2007-2008, 1 out of every 5 children and 9 out of 10 older Americans reported using at least one prescription drug in the past month.

In the United States, spending for prescription drugs was $234.1 billion in 2008, which was more than double what was spent in 1999.

One of the most alarming statistics reported is the rise in the number of prescription drugs used by the elderly population. Working in home health care now, I’ve seen this first hand. Most of the clients I manage medications for take between 10 and 25 prescription drugs. The following graph from the CDC depicts this increase based on age:

What percentage of Americans used multiple prescription drugs in the past month and how did this vary by age?

The use of multiple prescription drugs in the past month varied by age (Figure 2).

Figure 2 is a bar chart showing the number of prescription drugs used in the United States from 2007 through 2008.


There are several pitfalls in the medical system that prevent possible drug interactions from being realized.
  • Patients often use different pharmacies due to price or prescription availability, therefore prohibiting pharmacists from having all of the medications on file being taken. 
  • Pharmacies are often so busy, patients just want to get their prescriptions and get home, not taking the time to talk to the pharmacist about their medications.
  • Patients use different physicians depending on their specialties, and the physicians aren’t always aware of all other medications prescribed.

Due to this increased prescription volume per patient and the pressures of busy pharmacies and doctors offices, it has become necessary for patients to take some responsibility for their

own health, and learning how to discover possible drug interactions can be a life-saving tool. is a reputable website to learn about your prescriptions. Tools available are:

    • Pill Identification
    • Drug Interactions
  • Drug Use Information
  • Side Effects
  • Dosage Information

Over the next few weeks I’m going to provide tutorials to help you learn how to discover what your pharmacist or doctor may not have time to tell you. Some of the information is easy to understand, and some you will need to ask your doctor or pharmacist about.

You know your body—how you feel—better than anyone. And God tells us to take care of that body because it’s his temple. 







You don’t have to be a medical professional to know when something is not right. The tutorials I will provide here about hopefully will educate you about your prescriptions enough to answer some questions on your own, but also to ask your pharmacist or doctor specific questions you want a
nswered. Don’t hesitate to ask. You are paying them, and they are there to answer your questions.

Join me on Mondays for the next few weeks to educate yourself about prescription dr

ugs and don’t get caught in the pitfalls!

And PLEASE feel free to ask questions along the way. I’m a pharmacist. It’s what I’m here for!