Tag Archives: sick

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.

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

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?

IMG_3827

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

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

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.

IMG_0093

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.

 

 

 

Advertisements

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

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,