Long Overdue Update

Where to begin?

I think I’ll start with the fires. If you have seen any news about WA state lately, you will know that there are numerous wildfires right now. We are in that middle zone of not being close enough to be in danger, but still close enough to be very bothered by the smoke. Both Ted and I have been suffering from it. He is asthmatic and has been having some trouble breathing. For me, the smoke has been affecting my sinuses. Those in turn have been affecting my migraines. Add to that, the wind has picked up. While it drives away the smoke, the wind itself also affects my migraines. It has not been pleasant.

Sleep has always played a factor in my migraines. One of the medications I take is specially for that issue. This past week, I haven’t been sleeping well. I’m not sure why. Going to sleep is taking longer, staying asleep isn’t happening. I’m not staying awake for any length of time when I do wake up, but it’s enough to make my head throb.

School starts in a week. This week, I am getting my girls up at the normal school time to get them started getting used to it. This also means that I can’t at least try to sleep in. I might try going back to bed after I get them up, showered, and dressed, but I don’t feel that is fair to them.

I have also started coloring again. This I am enjoying immensely. It is as calming as Zentangle but easier to put down and take a break if I need to. You can see some of the things I have colored here.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to be better about keeping everyone up to date.

Cheers!

Rotten Weather = Rotten Migraines

Rotten Weather

Rotten Weather

If you have been reading this for any length of time, you probably know that one of my biggest triggers is weather. Well, this week, that has been proven daily. I am now on day 5 of waking up with a migraine. Since I very rarely wake up with one, this is not normal. I’ve also had an aura all week. This usually means that I’ve had more than my normal symptoms. I’ve had a buzzing feeling in my head all week, as well as an occasion ringing in my left ear. I am worn out with fighting it all. I’m am seriously considering testing out the new Outpatient Therapy orders today. Hopefully, Ted is up to driving me.

Migraine Marbles

Migraine Marbles

**All pictures link to original site.

The Devil in My Head

The demon in my head was awake Thursday night. First, I couldn’t get to sleep. I then woke numerous times, one of those because of the pain said demon was inflicting. I finally woke for good, 2 hours before my alarm.  This is not something that my head can handle.  Once the girls were off to school for the day, I had Ted take me down to the ER.  This was one of the more pleasant visits I’ve had since moving to Almira.10603775_10204636137040928_8615781582781815929_n

First off, the nurse turned the lights out before I even got to the room.  Rather than make me repeat everything more than necessary, he only asked what he had to.  Since I had brought notes with me, (I was having trouble thinking and knew I would have trouble at the ER), he took those to the doctor.  It included the list of medications my neurologist wanted me to start with.  The doctor got started on that right away.  We also talked, me through Ted, about how we have been trying to get Outpatient Therapy orders.  Since neither my primary doctor nor my neurologist have privileges at this particular hospital, we haven’t been able to get it done.  She wrote the orders for me!  So now, instead of having to go through the entire ER process, I can now go straight to getting the help I need.  I can go as often as once a week, which I think should be more than enough.10006221_10153143698978154_6638083374621092673_n

The only part I’m not completely happy with is one of the medications.  It’s a steroid called Dexamethazone.  I’ve had this in the past and I’m not fond of the side effects.  Steroids have a habit of making it hard for me to sleep.  This one in particular like to make me sweat, literally.  I woke up at least twice last night just drenched in sweat.  One of those times, I was so uncomfortable, that I got up and changed the clothes I was sleeping in.  Maybe next time, I’ll just have to forgo the clothing completely.

Today, while not feeling 100%, I have been able to do laundry.  I haven’t had to take a nap.  I’m hoping to be able to stay up long enough to tuck the kids in to bed.  They need it and so do I.

Getting Better?

I think the Tizanidine just might be helping. That’s the muscle relaxer that my neurologist prescribed when I saw him a couple of weeks ago. I realized today that while I am still having daily headaches, I am not having daily migraines anymore. I’m still getting them more than a couple of times a week, but that is way better than daily. They have also quit being bilateral and now only happen unilaterally. I think this is progress, though I’m not completely sure. This gives me hope.

Migraine Clouds

Migraine Clouds

As for the outpatient therapy, it doesn’t look like that will be happening. Neither my primary doctor nor my neurologist have privileges at the hospital closest to me. While this may not make sense for my primary, I do understand it. The main office that she works out of is in a different town with a different hospital. This means that I need to talk to the neurologist about a pain plan that I can carry around with me to any ER I need to go to.

I’m still not comfortable driving long distances, but I don’t have much of a choice. My neurologist is 1 ½ to 2 hours away. The father of my children is 2 ½ to 3 hours away, as is the mother of Ted’s children. This makes it difficult to not drive. Someone has to do it, and I am more capable at the moment. I’m hoping that my trips this weekend will go ok.  If they do, that should help with the anxiety about driving.

Migraine Chains

Migraine Chains

I’m still having depression issues, but I know that new medication can take some time, so I’m mostly ok with it. I just hope that it starts working soon. I’m tired of crying so easily.

**All pictures link to original site.

Fear of Migraines

I have become afraid of my migraines. Granted, it’s only when I have to drive, but still. While I’ve never liked them, I’ve never been afraid of them. I blame it on the newest symptom. It reared it’s ugly head while I was driving and still over an hour away from home. It started with the dizzy spells. I’m no stranger to being dizzy with a migraine, however, it’s normally just a quick one and then it’s over for a few hours, if not the rest of the day. This time it was over and over again. I would get a few minutes between each one, but that was it. That’s when I called Ted to have him and his dad meet me to finish the drive. Then came the really scary part. The entire left side of my head started to tingle followed by a feeling of numbness. This scared me so much that I had Ted take me to the ER. I was hoping it was just a symptom of my migraine, but I had to be sure. When the doctor confirmed it, I was relieved and scared at the same time. Relieved that it wasn’t more serious, scared that it would become a new normal. How am I supposed to drive if I’m going to be having constant dizziness and/or numbness? I think I may have to get a medical ID bracelet.

I knew I needed to talk to my neurologist about this, but I was not looking forward to the drive. (It’s about 2 hours to get to his office.) I got lucky; Ted’s dad, Wayne, drove me. That eased my mind a bit. The appointment itself went well. I told him about my newest symptom. He said it’s normal and it’s something I’ll need to watch out for. I talked to him about my appointment with the psychiatrist. We decided to not do the Lyrica since the Gabapentin is working. He wants me to wait on the medical cannabis until we have decided that nothing else is working. He doesn’t do Botox in his office, but another neurologist close by does. We will look into that should the newest medication trial not work. It turns out that the medication I used when my back was spasming back during the winter is sometimes used as a migraine preventative. While I’m not looking forward to adding yet another medication, I’m glad to know that it’s one I’m used to. The only side effect for me is drowsiness. Since I will be taking it at night, this shouldn’t be an issue.

We also talked about creating either a pain plan or outpatient therapy. Since he doesn’t have privileges at the hospital closest to me, he said he would write a letter to my primary doctor to order the outpatient therapy for me. This would me that I wouldn’t have to deal with ER; I can just go to the outpatient therapy and they will treat me with the medications we have decided will work for me. Yay! No more dealing with doctors treating me like a drug seeker. Yes, I understand their reasoning, but at the same time, I’m tired of it.

I know everything will turn out ok. I just want to know when.

Migraines

“Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”Veronica Roth, Divergent

A World Without Migraines

imagesJune is Migraine & Headache Awareness Month. Migraine & Headache Awareness Month (MHAM) is an annual observation in the United States with the goal of building awareness, educating the public and reducing the stigma associated with Migraine, Cluster Headache and other Headache Disorders. The 2014 blog prompt theme is “Dreaming of a World without Headache and Migraine.”

The MHAM Blog Challenge prompt for today is: ““A Whole New World” video from the movie Aladdin.”

If I had better control of my migraines, the world would be new to me. I could once again do all the things I used to. I could try all the things I want to, but don’t for fear of causing a migraine.

More than anything, I want to be able to enjoy my children’s music programs. Right now, they are so painful for me that I don’t even go. It’s not fair to my kids and it’s not fair to me.

Just the other day, Ted and I were talking about going to something like Lollapalooza. I bet that would be so much fun. All the people and the all day concerts.

One of Ted’s friends has a birthday party at Chuckie Cheese every year. I would like to be able to handle that so we could go.

I want to be able to walk out of my house without a pair of sunglasses. I want to be able to see everything in it’s natural color and beauty.

I want to be able to plan a trip without having to worry about my migraines making it impossible to drive.

A world without migraines would definitely be “A Whole New World”.

A Whole New World - One without migraines.

A Whole New World – One without migraines.

 

**All pictures link to original site.

I Am Enough

imagesJune is Migraine & Headache Awareness Month. Migraine & Headache Awareness Month (MHAM) is an annual observation in the United States with the goal of building awareness, educating the public and reducing the stigma associated with Migraine, Cluster Headache and other Headache Disorders. The 2014 blog prompt theme is “Dreaming of a World without Headache and Migraine.”

The MHAM Blog Challenge prompt for today is: ““The Power of Vulnerability” video that will make you laugh, cry, and laugh again.”

This really made me think. Do I really live this way? Do I need to expand my perception?

“If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.” When it comes to migraines, we are asked to measure our pain. Do I need to measure just the head pain or are you asking for my discomfort in general? How do I separate these?

Living life with chronic pain makes you very vulnerable. You have to rely on others for help. You can’t do all that you want/need to. This makes it hard to be kind to yourself, which brings shame and fear. You are ashamed that you can not take care of yourself. You are afraid that those you depend on will not be there the next time you need them. This can make you try to distance yourself from them in order to not be as hurt when they disappear. When they do go, you blame them. It hurts less to think they are not good enough for you than for you to know that you are the reason they left.

It’s time for us to connect with ourselves. We need to know who we are instead of pretending to be what we think we should be. We have to be kind to ourselves instead of beating ourselves up for “mistakes”. We have to remember to feel all of our emotions, or we will feel none of them. If we believe we are worthy of love, we will know it when it is offered to us. When we hurt someone to keep them from hurting us, we have to acknowledge that we are wrong. We have to say, “I’m sorry. I’ll fix it.”

We have to believe that we are enough.

I *am* enough.

Migraine Changes

Migraine Changes

 

**All pictures link to original site.