Tag Archives: depression

What I hate most about migraines…

Everyday is a bit of a struggle for me. Not just because of the migraines… although they are shitty as hell… but I often try to look at the bright side of things – you know, I have an amazing home, a wonderful family, good friends, and a partner who is crazy-pants supportive of me (which I don’t understand. If I was dating me – I would have probably smothered me in my sleep by now – I don’t mean suicide, I mean murder…) but in a lot of ways I am incredibly lucky.

Unfortunately, somewhere in the past 8-10 years I’ve gone from being the optimist sunshine who always thought everything would work out –

(seriously I remember one time when I was like 9 years old my parents and I were at our old cottage and the power went out and all the lights were on, and it was night – and very dark, and none of us knew where the flash lights were (and this is before the time of everyone having a cell phone. I think at this point we still had the car with the car-phone in it… you know those phones are actually attached to the car) and I said “Don’t worry Dad, my smile will light up the room” and I smiled, and the power turned back on. If that wasn’t a sign that everything in life would be exactly the way I wanted it – I don’t know what to think)

To this crazy pessimistic person who on most days can’t figure out what the worst part of having migraines is. I wake up in the morning and say “Ugh, the worst part of migraines is the insomnia.” I wake up feeling still sleepy and gross

Then later in the day the worst part of my migraines is the fact that it is very difficult to have a steady job when you have chronic pain and migraines. I’ve had several jobs, switched careers, lost jobs… you name it – it’s probably happened to me. I actually think I still have a job that I haven’t gone to since September. I was (am?) working for a tutoring place (shitty pay with too many students… it was a terrible job, but it was money) and they just started to give me less and less hours until I was no longer on the schedule… but they haven’t said “don’t come back” yet. Probably because they know if they were to do that, I would probably have the rights to sue them for wrongful dismissal.. and they don’t want to do that… Now I work for a better tutoring place – better pay, 1:1 ratio, and the kids are pretty good. But I only work for 5 hours a week… which is shitty.

Anyways, later in the day the worst part of the migraines is the photophobia (where light actually hurts… it doesn’t “bother” me, and its not a fear (even though ‘phobia’ is part of the word) but lights (sunlight, artificial light, street lights) actually physically hurt my brain)

Then the worst part of my migraines is the lack of social life, or the calling in sick to work because of the pain.

Oh yeah – I also think that the pain is the worst part of the migraine..

Or when I’m making dinner, or sitting with my partner (I don’t know why I use the word partner… my dental hygienist recently asked me if he was my boyfriend or my husband, and I was like: honestly – I don’t know, I feel like I’m too old (31) to have a boyfriend, or we’ve been together too long (almost 11 years) for him to be my boyfriend, but we haven’t had a wedding – so even though he is my common law husband (we have been living together 5-6 years) he doesn’t like it when I use the term husband. And when I say partner (which is basically what I am saying on this blog) but when I say partner, people assume I’m a lesbian… which would be okay if I was – except I’m pretty sure my beau (ooo maybe I’ll use that one) or “male counter part” (significant other?) anyways, he would not enjoy people thinking he was a girl)

Anyways – I’ll be making dinner for us, or sitting with him when he eats… and I think “Nope – it’s the nausea… THAT is the worst part of migraines.

Then later in the evening it’s the pills (I take so many) that are the worst part.

Then I can’t sleep – and I’m back to insomnia being the worst part. And I go through this every day.

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For those of you who have read this far – Congrats – here is a reward.  It’s picture of my dad going through a dumpster.  I was with him and we went for a walk. When we got back to the condo he said “Hold on, let me get my newspaper” his condo has a room near the mailboxes where the newspapers get delivered to because they don’t allow people/delivery people to wander the building. I assumed he was getting the the paper from the newspaper room. He wasn’t. Apparently people throw their already read/half read/never been read papers in the garbage… and my dad won’t pay for something unless you can get it for free from a dumpster?

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I do apologize for the way this is reading. I spent a lot of the day watching The Marvelous Mrs. Masial”… It’s an Amazon Original Series, and it is amazing and the main character is a Jewish woman in her 20s (during the 50s) whos husband leaves her, and she becomes a stand-up comic. And I find I really was able to relate to her.. because we are both Jewish… and women…. And so as I type and I say what I want to write in my head, it comes out as 1950s NYC Jewish woman… so in my head there is this accent that doesn’t exist, and inflections and tones that I would use if talking, but doesn’t always come across in writing

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Anyways – it’s about 3:00AM here in just north of Toronto, Ontario and I am wide awake (Insomnia) which sucks because all the doctors say I need at least 8 hours of sleep (my dad says 10 because I “need more sleep than the average bear”) and I should be going to bed and waking up at the same time every day… only I’m not really sleeping these days – and the lack of routine causes migraines… It’s a terrible cycle.

Did you know in Just North of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.. its possible to go from -15 Celsius to +5 degrees Celsius in the same day?… Talk about things that fuck with you head.

Anyways – all you chronic pain/migraine/depression/anxiety/unemployed people out there… you guys find yourself watching a lot of Netflix? That’s something I wish I could do for money – Watch Netflix or Amazon Prime all day… I could make serious bank if I could do that.

Well, I find I spend a lot of my time “watching” Netflix/Amazon Prime. When I’m in pain, soft sounds are good… so I’ll put the tv on low and watch something in the background of my crying and writhing in pain. The other day I was feeling nostalgic for my childhood… back when jelly bracelets were a thing and Lindsay Lohan hadn’t lost her shit… and so I decided to watch “The Parent Trap” (not the original with Hailey Mills (that’s impossible for me to find online) but the one with Lindsay Lohan) and I had an issue with it.

Most of the time I think what people remember most about the Parent Trap is that these twins switched places to get their parents back together… and as a kid – I thought the story charming. But now – as a grown up/adult/trying to be an adult… I find part of this movie/plot a little disturbing. I don’t have kids – so I can’t pretend to know what its like… but these parents had twins, divorced, and then decided they would each take one kid. I can’t imagine giving birth to a kid, keeping an exact copy, and never finding out what was going on with the other one ever. Everyone just kind of took this custody arrangement as a normal thing… but for me… it sounds crazy. (although my experience with divorce is watching TV/seeing what happens to my friends parents) It just really bothered me… and clearly is still bothering me.

Anyways, that’s all for today… to reward you for reading this far – here is a picture of the squirrel that attacked me when I was in university. I took that picture (and if you look, the squirrel looks a little threatening) and then the animal ran up my leg, torso, and neck  and got into my hair.

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And for those of you interested… the “feature photo” for today is a picture of me at one of the places I worked when I was in university. It was a musical instruments store and we were often allowed to pretty much do what we want (Think Empire Records… only instead of CDs/records/cassettes, we sold instruments and sheet music) I must have done something dumb or lost a bet… so my co-workers made me a sash that said “Dunce” and wrote “Hat” on an envelop and put it on my head. I wore it all day.

I hope you are all having a better time then I am right now.

 

 

 

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There and back again…

Well, it turns out I forgot I had a blog, which would explain the months of no posting.

The point of this blog was to document my journey back to normal, or finding my new normal, and for a while I thought I found it.

My neurologist had me taking all kind of medication that made me feel like I was constantly in a brain fog, but my migraines were getting worse.  Her only suggestion was to up the dosage until I was on double the normal dosage… so I said “fuck it” and I spoke to another doctor about weaning me off those pills.

When I stopped that medication, I increased my water, magnesium, and I also got rid of a lot of my chemical products, so my shampoo/conditioner/soap etc was all natural/organic and scent free (BTW – super expensive) and I was using essential oils daily for my migraines and anxiety.  And then I had a great month.

I had fewer migraines, I had more energy, I was less anxious and depressed and it was AMAZING.. my life was almost back to normal (except for the still unemployed part) My sister had a baby and I was able to help her out the first few days my niece was around (My sister had a C-Section and it was hard for her to move around). I felt like I was being useful.  Then about two weeks ago – the shit hit the fan.

I live in Southern Ontario where the weather is often a crapshoot. We had several days of the weather going from -12 (celsius) with blizzards in the morning to +11 and sun shining in the afternoon, to rain all night. All the changes really messed with my head and my migraines started up again.  I had to miss appointments, and a good friends baby shower (which was today) and now I’m back to where I was before.  Only on less medication, and so more aware of the fact that life just got real shitty again.

Now that I remember that I have this blog, I’ll try to remember to update it more frequently…Happy Saturday Night, hope you are all having more fun than I am…

I also decided to share a picture of my panda trying to do a BINGO scratch card..

Anger

I’m angry.

Anyone else angry with their situation or journey?

Today mine has made me angry.

I do everything the doctors tell me to do (wake up at the same time, go to bed at the same time, don’t skip meals, don’t drink an excess of caffeine, eat protein immediately upon waking up, and take the hand full of pills I am required to take)

I practice mindfulness and I try to keep active and yet still, day after day, hour after hour… Migraine.

I think I might be growing though. Normally it makes me sad/anxious that I have this constant pain that makes it impossible or me to do anything… Today I am angry and furious that I can’t do anything. That its garbage day, but even with my sunglasses and hat its too bright outside for me to take out my garbage.

Today I am angry that once again, my house will remain a mess, because every time I move it feels like my head will explode, and I can’t have that pressure.

So today, I am angry. Anyone else got any feels?

(I couldn’t spend the time to find a picture of anger.. so instead I hope you enjoyed the picture of my teddy bear hoarding the chips)

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.

My old “Normal”

I guess in order for you to see how my “normal” disintegrated, you need to know what my normal was.

10-12 years ago…. I was the baby of the family (youngest of four). I had these amazing parents (I still have them… they are awesome) who despite statistics, are still married, and happily so, after over forty years. I was a music major in University, and the principal oboist for 3 different orchestras, 2 through school, and one is one of the premiere youth orchestras in Ontario. I had performed at Carnegie Hall, and other major venues (mostly around Toronto). I had an amazing boyfriend (still do) and I worked for my University as a peer health educator (handing out condoms, candy, water, etc for free at pub nights) and I also worked for a music store. I was a mostly A student, a Kick Ass Auntie, a quirky friend with a very active social life, until everything changed.

I find depending on who you talk to, they will either tell you the exact moment their life took a turn, or they will say it was a gradual change. For me – I can tell you the exact moment my life changed… But that is a story that will wait for another day.

My “magic handful” (AKA gazillions of pills) await me

The Start of a Journey

If you had asked me 10 years ago to describe myself I would have used words like amazing, aspiring musician, aspiring teacher, outgoing, creative, energetic, happy, loving and words similar to those.

 

If you ask me today to describe myself I would use words like angry, frustrated, hopeless, depressed, anxious, sad, and sick.

 

Sick

 

That’s a big one for me, that’s a new one for me. I’m not sick like the flu or cancer (because those are so similar…) I have an invisible disease – Migraines.

 

For the last 10-11 years migraines and headaches and pain have dictated my life.   They dictate where I go, when I go somewhere – if I even go somewhere, how I respond and react to different scenarios, who I see, even if I shower in the morning.

 

Migraines have brought on other problems for me, depression, anxiety, weight gain, pill dependency, the loss of many friends, the loss of a social life, and the loss of patience.

 

Earlier this year my eldest sister made a comment about me being “sick” and the context of the conversation upset me, so I brought it up with my therapist. She asked “do you see yourself as sick” and I had to think about it – what is sick? And in the end I agreed with my sister, I am sick. I am a sick person. It took me over 10 years to define myself as a “person who is sick.” So I’ve decided – no more.

 

This is going to be my journey back to what my normal was, when I could go shopping, or to a movie, or just hang out with friends. It’s going to delve into my past, and hopefully make my future a brighter one.

 

 

Wish me luck,