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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Grateful for Being Able to Drive Today

It's been a rocky week. Up one day, down hard the next, repeat. I hope that doesn't happen and wreck my day tomorrow, but I'll take things moment by moment.

For now, I'm grateful for my husband being home from his work trip, and for the things that I was able to do / accomplish. 

I drove more today than I have in almost a year! I went shopping a little today, on my own. It's amazing how independent I felt to be able to drive, take care of things at the pharmacy, and browse / shop... all on my own! I looked back at a previous post I wrote about a similar experience several years ago, Update: Driving Myself (3/25/13).

I was on the phone a lot today, which I don't particularly like... especially when a lot of it was dealing with insurance companies that can't quite interpret the verbiage of my coverage with them. But, I was able to talk with a friend today, which was wonderful! I hope to be able to talk to another dear friend tomorrow. 

My heart is full of gratitude for the little things that can sometimes feel so big!

Monday, May 2, 2016

I Didn't See This One Coming

Weather changes. Increased pain levels.

A storm front came through last night.
Normally, I keep an eye on the weather and do whatever I can to reduce my controllable migraine triggers, so that a weather change won't take me out.

I didn't see last night's coming.

I had trouble getting to sleep last night. But, that's nothing new.
I had an increase in pain last night. Again, nothing new.
I had a few prodrome symptoms, but they seemed minor and I didn't heed their warning.
About an hour or so after I finally fell asleep, I woke to booming thunder and pain.

Even though the temperature drop and storms have long since passed, the throbbing pain, fatigue, aching, nausea, brain fog, vertigo... they all remain.

I didn't see this one coming.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Migraine World Summit - Order

Get your own copy of the 2016 Migraine World Summit today!
The Migraine World Summit has ended, but it's not too late to have access to information from over 30 world leading migraine experts, doctors, and specialists. If you're interested in finding out more, you can go to The Migraine World Summit

Friday, April 15, 2016

Migraine World Summit

CLICK HERE
The Migraine World Summit started today. I just listened to the first lecture / presentation, and I found it very informative. The presentations are available free for 24 hours from when they are posted online. There is an All Access Pass that you can purchase, so that you can watch / listen at your leisure (part of the proceeds go to migraine research). They have a website and Facebook page, and it runs daily from April 15-20, 2016 - the schedule is available on the website.

*** If you do order the All Access Pass, please use THIS LINK (or click on photo above) so I get credit for referring you!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Heavy Baggage

I've always loved reading and learning. That hasn't changed. But, the time has come to unpack and face the heavy baggage of that love. Let me explain...

I have boxes upon boxes filled with books, binders, and notepads. They no longer seem to have a place in my life. Yet, I struggle immensely with even the thought of getting rid of them... as if, by doing so, it would somehow negate the knowledge and lessons I acquired through them.

One of the professors at my Alma Mater, University of Dallas (UD), said that the purpose of the school's intense Core Curriculum is to learn from many of the great thinkers, and then to formulate our own worldview. The UD website states that:
The Core is an opportunity to inquire into the fundamental aspects of being and our relationship with God, nature and our fellow human beings. The Core curriculum embodies the University of Dallas’ dedication to the pursuit of wisdom, truth and virtue as the proper and primary ends of education.
I feel like I've learned from every book, article, and class I've encountered. I may not have enjoyed or taken something from each one to add to my worldview, but each one taught me something. And, in that, it's difficult to dispose of them.

There's an added piece of the puzzle, though.

I envisioned a life where I would be a professor. I would conduct research, write papers and books, and teach students. I would be referring back to these books, and possibly to some of my notes (if only just to see how my perspective might have shifted over time). They would serve an important role in my life.

But, since my car accident (7 years ago!), a lot has changed. Many of these books have remained in boxes that entire time, while others have only been moved from boxes to bookshelves and back to boxes.

For the time that they were on the bookshelves, I would sometimes feel like they were a visual (and painful) reminder of how much in my life had changed. I haven't been able to read and write like prior to the accident. I felt like I had lost the ability to be a scholar, and that broke my heart.

I was cleaning one of our bedrooms yesterday... the one with half of the closet full of those many boxes of books, binders, and notepads. I felt my heart start to pound quickly in my chest, but I didn't have a panic attack. I'm taking that as a sign that it's time to try to deal with the boxes and the related emotions that will surface.

I'm not sure how to best face all of this, but I think it's time. I'm not going to just dump everything out. I'm going to go through the boxes (when hubby is here to help me safely move them from their resting place): carefully considering what to keep and what not to, thanking each of them for their service and place in my life, and then either donate, sell, or recycle.

I know that this is going to take some time, but it's time.

Monday, June 29, 2015

30 Things About My Life With Migraine

Kerrie Smyres started a "30 Things About Your Life With Migraine" meme to encourage others to share their experience with migraine. Migraine and Headache Awareness month is a great time to share, so here we go.
  1. My diagnosis is: chronic migraine with and without aura.
  2. My migraine attack frequency is: I have some level of head pain daily. 
  3. I was diagnosed in: 2002 with migraine, becoming chronic in 2008.
  4. My comorbid conditions include: depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia.
  5. I take one medications/supplements each day for prevention and four medications/supplements to treat an acute attack.
  6. My first migraine attack was: I'm not sure. The more I learn about migraines, the more I believe that I've dealt with them since childhood.
  7. My most disabling migraine symptoms are: pain, fatigue, cognitive difficulties, aphasia, sensory sensitivities (to light, sound, smell, taste, touch).
  8. My strangest migraine symptoms are: olfactory hallucinations.
  9. My biggest migraine triggers are: weather changes, lights (especially bright and/or flashing), odors / fragrance / smoke, foods / food additives (bananas, artificial sweeteners, nitrates / nitrites, MSG).
  10. I know a migraine attack is coming on when: I have difficulty controlling body temperature and moods, my ears feel hot and achy, increasing visual disturbance, certain cravings, aphasia, inability to focus.
  11. The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: being suddenly unable to function well, and not knowing when one will hit or how long it will last.
  12. During a migraine attack, I worry most about: how well my migraine treatment will work, and how long I'm going to be out of commission.
  13. When I think about migraine between attacks, I think: please don't worsen today.
  14. When I tell someone I have migraine, the response is usually: kind, but often indicative of the lack of public awareness of what migraine truly is.
  15. When someone tells me they have migraine, I think: that migraine is so much more common than most people think. I also think about how I might be able to help them cope with migraine.
  16. When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: how far we have to go (and how important it really is that we do so, every chance we get) to inform and raise awareness of migraine and the potentially debilitating affects this disease. 
  17. My best coping tools are: my faith, distraction (often involving Netflix).
  18. I find comfort in: my husband, my dog, my house, my support system (family and friends, both in person and online).
  19. I get angry when people say: "It's just a headache," which is sometimes followed by,"Just take a pill and keep going / move on" and/or "It can't be that bad."
  20. I like it when people say: a sincere, "You're in my thoughts and prayers."
  21. Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: allow me to escape to a dark, quiet place. Ask if I need anything (water, food, blanket, pillow, to be alone, etc) to help make me more comfortable. Be patient with me, as it can be difficult for me to think, speak, and move.
  22. The best thing(s) a doctor has ever said to me about migraine is: "I won't give up on you."
  23. The hardest thing to accept about having migraine is: that it is unpredictable.
  24. Migraine has taught me: to recognize the strength that I DO have. It is teaching me to have more patience, and to trust God more.
  25. The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through an attack is: "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).
  26. If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: to prepare for things to be beyond difficult, but to never give up hope.
  27. The people who support me most are: my husband, my support system (family and friends, both in person and online).
  28. The thing I most wish people understood about migraine is: it's a genetic neurological disease for which, there is currently NO cure.
  29. Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: I feel that we need to speak up/out to raise awareness, increase research, and help correct misinformation.
  30. One more thing I’d like to say about life with migraine is: that it's hard, but find yourself a support system and be your own best advocate to getting the care and treatment you need to live the best life possible.