Status: Migraine

Dear Gentle Readers:

I need to apologize to you. The rules of blogs according to pinterest, is that I should have a schedule on which I base my blogs, daily, weekly, certain days, etc, and I have not been doing that. So for that, I am sorry.

Medically speaking I am not doing well. In my last post I talked about how I was trying different things for my migraines, and how I thought I was feeling better. That was wrong. I have been in status migraine for the last 15 days, which is very uncomfortable if you think about it. It makes it hard for me to eat, shower, sleep, think, really – do anything. (I feel like a smelly, gross person that is grouchy)

Today I was tutoring one of my students, and he looked at me and asked several times if I was okay because I looked sad.

That bothered me.

I’m not a sad person, I’m a happy smiling person. I remember being little at my parents cottage and the power went out, and I said as a joke “let there be light” and as I said it, the lights turned on, and I was smiling, and my dad said something along the lines of me making the room bright.

I’ve always thought of myself as someone who made the room/world a brighter place. Not because of my great beauty (which is generally mediocre beauty, but these days there is a serious lack of) but because of my bubbly personality. But now, I feel as though people don’t want to be around me.

I am constantly thinking about if I am talking to much about migraines, or anxiety, or if I’m not talking enough and the person I’m talking to thinks I’m rude. I’m wondering if the person who just asked me how I am really cares? Or if they just want to hear that I’m ”fine.” And the sad pity looks. Or the “does she really have a problem” look.

It bothers me sometimes. I’m aware that I don’t have cancer, and I’m not dying or anything (even if it feels that way sometimes) but people who say “just take a pill” or “yeah, I get headaches too” and they wonder why they can take a pill and go back to work, or go back to dancing at a wedding, meanwhile – I can’t.

I read up on Spoon Theory earlier and I wish everyone knew about it. Even though I look fine and healthy – I don’t have an infinite number of spoons. You never know what is going on with the people around you – even if you see them every day, there could be a reason for changing behaviours.

I will Say – I am very proud of myself, I recently had a friends wedding to go to, and even though I had panic attacks almost all day leading up to the wedding, I still showered and got dressed and went. I had a migraine going in, and I knew it was going to be crazy and there was going to be a lot of people there, but I still went. I took my own car, so that if I wanted to leave early, My partner could either come with me, or with one of our other friends – but I didn’t want them to have to leave early, or me to end up crying in the bathroom with a migraine. And the event wasn’t’ as bad as I thought it was going to be. (the picture at the top is me and my boyfriend. Right at the start of the night.  By the end I was a mess… but I made it there with a smile on my face.

They didn’t do dancing until after the speeches (like 10000 speeches each 1000000 min long) and dinner… so I was able to talk to my friends a little, see the bride, take pictures to prove I was there. Then when the dancing started, I tried dancing a little and I was able to dance (well.. bop) for quite awhile before my migraine took me out of the game. I stayed at that wedding until almost 11pm. Which I realize isn’t that late. But considering I then spent the next day in utter agony (I used the spoons for that day, the next day, and a little bit of the day after) and these days I can’t even make it to games night, or dinner, or a birthday party if there are going to be more than 5 or so people there…. The wedding was important. I went, I had a good time, and I was in pain the whole time.

That’s something I working on now. Pain is my new normal. So even though I wake up, and I want to duck my head back under the covers and not wake up until they have found a cure for migraine, I have to get up and do things. And not just tidy my house and get ready to tutor. I have to do something interactive or out of my house. Its some kind of therapy called Acceptance and Commitment. It’s about accepting your life as it is, and committing to find a way to live the best life, even with whatever is happening to you. So I have accepted the fact that I may live every day in pain (well.. I’m working on accepting it… I’ve spent the last 10 years holding my breath for the migraines to stop… and now I can stop holding my breath.. because they won’t)

I’m really not sure what happened with this post… it took many a twist and turns. I guess I just wanted to let anyone reading out there.. that

  1. I didn’t abandon you
  2. It’s okay if you are unwell, and you don’t look it – own it!
  3. I’ve been in status migraine for 15 days, so I’ve been a crazy person in terms of my blog/twitter/instagram. (It almost sounds like something I should be proud of…. Status: migraine.)
  4. I’m proud of myself for going to my friends wedding and enjoying myself, and hopefully hiding my pain

I’m hoping to figure out a regular schedule for my posts. It’ll force me to actually get my shit together and write something, and it will have all you readers going “well…is she going to post??”

When I figure it out, I’ll post it.

Coming up next time

  1. A book review on “The Migraine Miracle”
  2. Perhaps a visit to my many different migraine emergency bag
  3. Possibly a picture of my workspace – because pinterest says that… and we all know how much I love to listen to pinterest
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Why “Journey Back to Normal”

The Meaning Behind my Blog Name, I was also going to use this AMAZING photo as my “featured image” for this post… but I couldn’t find any picture of me really on a journey, so I was going to take one of my sisters (she is currently chaperoning a chef school trip in Peru) as we look enough alike – but thats just lying.  So instead, Here is a picture of a moose, clearly on a journey of some kind

As I discussed yesterday – I’ve apparently been blogging wrong, so I am now following a “your first 30 days” of blogging guide that I found on Pinterest (should I post a link? I never know what the copy write/sharing laws are for the internet and blogs and pinterest) so today, the meaning behind my blogs name.

As you can see, my blogs name is “Journey Back to Normal” although I’ve since thought I should change it to something like “finding my new normal” as I am not sure I will ever be what I was before migraines took over my life.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts – I used to be a star, at least I was the star of my life. I went out with friends all the time, I had multiple jobs, I played in different orchestras, I danced, I was a classroom music teacher, I was close(ish) with my family, and I had a wonderful relationship and I was happy almost all the time.

Then the migraines started.

Now they are the star of my life.

I rarely go out anymore and often have to leave early/suffer in pain when I do, even though I know they would hang out and do something quiet with me if I asked, I feel as though I’ve lost most of my friends because of this.

I hardly work these days – I tutor a few students, I hopefully just landed a supply teaching gig at a private school nearby, I also went back to school to become a paralegal, so that I could hopefully find a job working in a quiet(ish) setting in my own office.

I no longer make music (for me that’s a big blow) but I’ve found that the physical pressure from playing the oboe just caused me more pain, and while there are other things I have done/tried, I often get politely “asked to leave” because I don’t show the same commitment as the rest of the choir (sorry, I was recently asked to leave my shul’s choir because of my lack of commitment… because missing a few rehearsals due to extreme pain is showing a lack of commitment… I’m still bitter)

I used to dance around my house, dance with friends, play “Just Dance” and now – moving hurts.

My family, while wonderful, and my boyfriend, while amazing, have had to make so many sacrifices for me because of my migraines. They have had to stay up with me at the hospital, fill prescriptions late at night, listen to my crying and complaining, my sisters both have beautiful children, and I feel like they can’t rely on me to babysit (which I should see as a good thing – but I don’t) and my boyfriend doesn’t get to go out with me anymore. A few days a week he goes out with other friends and people, but I find I often can’t make dinner, or make it downstairs, forget about a date.

My Migraines had completely taken over my life. They caused me to have anxiety (How can I make plans/take a job/do anything if I could get a migraine, and then the worrying would cause a migraine, which would then cause more worrying, and you see where I am going with this) and the anxiety caused me to isolate myself from my friends, family, and the world… and I recently decided no more.

My Migraines may have taken over the last 10-11 years of my life, but now, I’m taking them back. I will try anything and everything to get my life back. To be able to join an orchestra, or dance around my house while I clean, to see my friends and babysit my nieces and nephews.

I will follow my doctors plan to the letter, and if that doesn’t work (because its been 8 years of me following my neurologist to the letter) maybe that will mean its time to find a new neurologist. I will finally read all the migraine books I’ve bought and see what they say. I will keep a detailed log of my migraines, how they progress, what possibly triggered them and what made them better so I know what to do in the future.

I apologize about my rant “Journey back to normal” Its me. Taking my life back from my migraines, and bringing you all along for the ride.

 

Along with the moose, I’ve decided to share with you some of my own Journeys that I hope to be able to take again.

My sister and I at Canada’s Wonderland,IMG_0436

My other sister and I getting ready to do a 5K walk to raise money for Multiple Myeloma,IMG_0112

and Me – Doing the edge walk at the CN Tower.  All three things I had to miss this year because of migraines (although the edge walk was also due to funds)

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In other news – last night I FINALLY started to feel better. I don’t know if it was the Celfay, the lavender, the peppermint, the heat, the cool, the constant eating or the changing or my medication (I used to take 1200mg of gabapentin around dinner time, now I take 300mg 4x a day… and 200mg of Celebrex 2x a day (at least for the next few days)) but it was great. Mitch and I ate dinner together (I ate gluten… possible reason why I feel the way I do today… guess I should add it to my migraine tracker) and we watched like 10 episodes of some Netflix show (Big Mouth… if you are into dirty humor I highly recommend it. At the same time, as a teacher – part of me thinks that all students should watch this show when learning about puberty, its probably much more effective to watch the “hormone monster” make someone do something, than listen to their teachers talk about hormones.

We had a great time last night. Then we went to bed.

This morning I woke up with a migraine. I ate some protein right away and took my meds. I am now only allowed to take my triptan 2x a week, and I’ve used that up, so I couldn’t take that. I went downstairs and made myself eggs (more protein) and had a coffee (sometimes caffeine helps) and drank a bunch of water (dehydration à possible migraine trigger) but still nothing. So I went and I took an Epsom Salt bath, with Eucalyptus, then after that I put a Koool Patches on my head and lavender essential oils on my temples, behind my ears and neck and on my wrists and started to write this post. Which has apparently become a novel.

I also finally started reading one of the Migraine books I’ve bought (after reading yesterdays post, my boyfriend told me I wasn’t allowed to buy anymore migraine books unless I was going to read them) “The Migraine Miracle” by Josh Turknett, MD When I finish it I think I will write a review and make a “book review” section of my blog. Maybe even a “here’s me following so-and-so’s plan” section. So far I’m a fan of the book. But mostly because he calls a migraine “The Beast” and the cover is green.

Anyways, I’m off for now – going to continue reading my book and see what else might help my migraine… It most certainly will not be me going to see Bat out of Hell the meatloaf musical with my boyfriend and his parents tonight. But that is what I will be doing

Tomorrows episode of my blog will apparently be about “my earliest memory” which if I recall correctly, will have most of you wondering why I wasn’t in therapy before suffering with anxiety.

 

 

 

 

Reblog from “The Migraine Girl”

As per my earlier post, I’m having a shitty, shitty day. Yesterday, I had a nasty migraine. Saturday, I helped Besty move into her new place. The city utility company was unable to activate her power until today, so we moved in the dark. I was supposed to help her yesterday, but I had a […]

via The Migraine Girl — The 20-Something Existential Crisis

 

I’m not exactly sure how to “Reblog” or repost someone elses (is elses a word… my spellcheck says no and to change it to Elsa, but I find that more wrong) blog – but this post resonated with me so well (oddly, even the butternut squash soup part) It put a lot of what I think about in words I could never find, especially the part about co-workers.  Although for me, its not just co-workers, its friends and family who mean well, but don’t

20 Facts About Me

So apparently I have been doing the whole “blog” thing wrong. Everything is supposed to be linked together (insta, twitter, Google+ (who has ever heard of that?) and then posts done in a specific order… at least as far as Pinterest is concerned.

So looking at the article I am reading right now, my first post was supposed to be an introduction post – which you can find here The Start of a Journey. My next post should be 20 facts about me. I guess to give you all more of an idea of who I am, and about me so you are more interested in my wonderful blog.

Some of my facts will be from before I started my migraines, some after.

  1. Until I was in 2nd year university I was almost never sick
  2. I hold grudges against people who forget my birthday
  3. As a kid, I would always be reading, even as I walked home from school – I wouldn’t even notice my dad following me in his car as he drove home from work.
  4. When I was in the 10th grade and agreed to switch from clarinet to oboe, in my mind, an oboe was a bassoon and I was too embarrassed to say anything.
  5. I am a “whoops” baby (My mom says surprise, my older siblings say huge mistake)
  6. Since being diagnosed with migraines I have bought almost every book I could find on the subject, and read none of them
  7. I will re-read the same books over and over again, rather than read new books
  8. Gilmore Girls is my favorite show (although I was not a fan of the Netflix special)
  9. I have played at Carnegie Hall twice (on oboe)
  10. Pride and Prejudice (the BBC version with Colin Firth) is possibly my favorite movie ever
  11. I asked my boyfriend to watch all the Harry Potter with me as a birthday present (save him some money) à he preferred to hire cleaning people for our house.
  12. I have never seen a single starwars movie, but I have seen spaceballs several times
  13. I have an irrational fear of tomato and tomato based products
  14. I have an overactive imagination and am convinced I will win the lottery one day
  15. Every year I re-read the Anne of Green Gables books
  16. I prefer salty snacks over sweet snacks
  17. I hate vacuuming, and once went over a year without vacuuming my house
  18. I worry that my migraines have isolated me so much, that I have very few friends/family that will put up with me anymore
  19. I love having long hair, but I hate washing it, drying it, brushing it – I wish it was all just magically clean and done
  20. I often have fantasies of basically being Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and just being able to point and do things. These are active fantasies I have, and I am now in my 30’s.

 

So now that pinterst is satisfied with my “second post” ’20 facts about me’ I can tell you all, that from 3am until, well, forever I’ve had a migraine. I almost went to the hospital at 3am but it’s the worst place for me to be with a migraine so I sucked it up until my boyfriend woke up and I asked him his thoughts. Then I spoke to a cousin and used the internet to see what their thoughts were.. In the end I used my Ceflay device for well over an hour (way against their 20 min guidelines) took a bath of Epsom salts and Lavender, drenched myself in peppermint oil, put an icepack on my head and a heat pack on my neck and used my Essential Oil diffuser to make the room smell like lavender (apparently good for headaches and very soothing) I ended up taking a nap. I woke up feeling much better, but still – migraine. One day I won’t have a migraine anymore, and when that day comes, it’ll be better then my dream of winning the lottery

Since todays post talked about me pre-post migraines, my features image today is me, before migraines took over my life.  I was at a nightclub for a friends birthday/Halloween, way back in the days that I could go to nightclubs.  I was supposed to be a fairy, but some crazy person stole my wings… and then apparently I borrowed someones cowboy hat. Also – for those that care, the LV bag I am carrying was soooo fake, the strap was held to the purse with staples

Until next time (where according to pinterst I get to tell you about my Blog Name and the meaning behind it)

 

 

The Day it all changed

I wonder how many people can remember the exact moment their life changed… Everyone has changes that they go through, puberty, first death in a family, moving out, etc… but I’m talking about the big one. The change that made them who they are today.

For me, it’s easy. It was a Thursday night in my third year of university. I worked for my school as a “peer health educator” it was a great job, I got paid to go to pub night, hang out with my friends, and give out condoms, candy, dental dams, water, and at the same time, when we were at our booth – provide a well lit place for people to wait for a ride, a phone for people to use, and we would make games and activities for everyone to do to show what drinking really does to you. It was possibly one of my favorite jobs ever. On the night this picture was taken though – that’s the night everything changed.

I had always been a healthy kid – with the exception of strep every summer from summer camp, and the “stomach flu” whenever I didn’t do my homework – I was healthy. The night in question was as I said, a Thursday night. It was one of the nights where instead of staying at our booth the whole night, the people I worked with and I decided to head down into the pub, and pass out condoms, candy, water, flashlights, and whistles there. After about 15-20 min of being at the pub I got a really bad headache. I remember telling my co-workers that I had to leave work early because my head hurt, and they joked that I was really going to my boyfriends. I didn’t. I went home, took two Advil and went to bed.

When I woke up Friday morning to get ready for class, I had to call my dad to help me. My head hurt so much I couldn’t move without causing extreme pain. That day was about 11 years ago.

Not much has changed since then, I still have the migraines (and while I have a boyfriend to help me, I still often call my dad for help) Although I no longer work for the university, and I no longer dare go into pubs when they are playing loud music.

That’s the day my life changed, and turned me into who I am now. A semi-hermit, pessimistic “sick person”

Tomorrow I go for my third nerve block (My doctor does them in 6 weeks, the first week is steroid and something similar to lydiocane, the next 5 weeks are just the lydocane type drug) then I have to go to a school I interviewed at today to do a mock lesson. I was super excited that someone might want to hire me again, until I realized it was for music. But fingers crossed that the nerve block works, and I have no problem with my mock lessons and I get the job.

Happy Monday Everyone.

Migraine

Between the poem and the art – so much resonates with me, I had to share

writing in north norfolk

lights start to crackle
from a pinpointed dull ache
fractal explosions

Kim M. Russell, 2017

Fractal Art created by PSSolutions, found by Chèvrefeuille on Pixabay

My response to Carpe Diem #1237 Fractal Art (by PSSolutions)

Chèvrefeuille explains fractal art as a form of algorithmic art created by calculating fractal objects and representing the calculation results as still images, animations, and media. He says it is a genre of computer art and digital art and that the mathematical beauty of fractals lies at the intersection of generative art and computer art, which combines them to produce a type of abstract art, usually created indirectly with the assistance of fractal-generating software.

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