Tag Archives: medication

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..

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.