Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's Always Darkest Before The Dawn

I was watching a sad episode of "How I Met Your Mother" and the song "It's Always Darkest Before The Dawn" came on. It got me thinking...

Right now, I'm defeated because in 8 weeks I'll be moving to Tampa to live with my parents. My financial situation is out of control, I'm still single, my career is taking a screeching halt, and my pride is bruised.

Even with all that piling on, I can still smile. I'm on the hunt for a new job/career, well be living rent free, and have my parents with me for emotional support. Things will be getting a lot better and I'll get back in my feet.

So just like the song says, it's the darkest right now but it's always darkest before the dawn. Things will be better and dawn is coming someday.

Keep your chins up, friends! Things seem bad now but it'll get better.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tough Choices

This week I've been thinking a lot about my future. My current financial situation has gotten to be more than I can handle. After a tearful conversation with my parents, my greatest supporters, we all decided that I'd move to Tampa with them.

Thankfully, my apartment allows a 60 says notice which is plenty of time to get everything in order. So I won't have to stress about getting out quickly.

This year in Kansas City has been great, but I think it's time to be with family of some kind. I've been so alone this past year and the crazy Midwest weather is one of my many triggers.

Once I get everything settled and save up an emergency fund, then I can get back out on my own.

I see this as a way to chase some dreams I couldn't go for in the past. I'm applying to jobs like crazy but this also gives me an opportunity to try theater and singing as a profession, a big passion of mine. I don't know if it'd work out or not, but I don't have anything to lose.

This is a hard decision mostly because of my pride. I've been completely on my own since 18 and now I'll be a 27 year old "loser" living with her parents. The extent to my medical and personal bills, however, leaves me no other option.

This new adventure could inspire more writing for sure. Until then, I'll be organizing what I'll take/leave/give away and work hard to get as much as I can I'm good ole KC.

How have other adult spoonies handle going back home to catch up on the financial burden of chronic illness?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Migraineur and the Mall

It's been a while since I've been to the mall (mostly because I don't really have money to spend there). However, yesterday I had a crisis: my favorite pair of cheap sunglasses broke. Every migraineur knows we need sunglasses on a sunny day. My backup pair was too small.

As I walked in, I tend to always start at Macy's, I noticed some amazing outfits and handbags I'd dream to own. Them the dreaded section full of migraine triggers was I'm been me and the rest of the mall: the perfume area. I tend to hold my breath and run out without sniffing too much fragrance. I'm sure many other migraineurs agree with me. I feel awful for looking rude, but I've been stuck in that section before and ended up with a painful attack.

Another migraine trigger present at the mall: noise. Being in customer service since I was 26, I've learned how to tune out screaming children and yelling parents. However, since I'm wanting to be a parent within the next five years, I haven't been able to tune it out. So now I just try to run into a store when it starts getting loud.

Third migraine trigger in a mall: food. Mall concessions and food courts are full of food triggers like MSG, dairy, and yeast. I always tend to grab pretzel bites, which are full of yeast and MSG. Today, I got a healthy smoothie to curb my appetite. The move thing was the menu had shown which smoothies contained dairy. I thought that was amazing. At an I've cream cart, I found a daily free mango passion fruit gelato to take home for a snack tonight.

How do you avoid migraine triggers at the mall?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Back to Reality - and it SUCKS!

Well, vacation is done and over with. I had a great time visiting with family, not having a care in the world, and being free of any stressor.

Now I'm back and the woes I had when I left are still here. Did I think they would magically disappear? This week has already been challenging thanks to some body aches (weather & hormone triggers) and migraine. I had to cancel my MRI yesterday because I physically could not get out of bed. Tomorrow is my GI consult so hopefully we can do some testing in that area to see what's going on with my body not absorbing essential vitamins.

The other day, I saw a person follow me on Twitter that claimed he "cures" migraines. Sorry, but last I knew, there is no cure. Unless there's some new scientific breakthrough that the spoonie community doesn't know about, then I'm not buying it. I see so many products and even a smoothie that claims to "cure" migraine. If there was a real cure, it'd be extremely expensive, not something you could get at a drug store.

Okay I need to stop ranting. Can you tell I'm in a poor mood today? :)

This week I'm working on the format of my next writing project. It's a guide to the headache diet I keep blabbing about and I think it'll be a good resource to those who want to eat cleaner and reduce migraine dietary triggers. I'm working very hard on it and hope to have it out in print and digital (yes, I'm doing both this time) by the fall. I'm trying not to work on multiple projects at one time because that will slow down my goals. So once this one is out, I have my next one to do! I'm a busy bee but I definitely have been taking proper breaks for rest/relaxation.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Vacation is All I Ever Wanted!

Guys, I need to tell you that taking time off from work to actually relax is a blessing. So much less stress, being with family, and having less pain.

Don't get me wrong, I still have my pains. They are so much less though. My parents and sisters understand so when I need a nap, they let me go with no questions.

Yesterday we went to the zoo and I was doing fine until the end. My knees, ankles, and feet were aching. So when I got back to the house, after sleeping in the car, I took a muscle relaxer and recharged the body battery.

Today begins my ebook's free promotion! Please download it, read (it's a short one), and right me a short review to let me know what you think. All criticisms help me become a better writer for my other projects.


Monday, July 8, 2013

My Mind Gets the Best of Me

Oh man sometimes when you look over your own situation, it doesn't look pretty. I did a short entry about the cost of migraines and I'm really feeling it now. I haven't even received my hospital bill or gone to Mayo yet!

Today, I'm doing my budget and things aren't panning out like they should. I'm going to start calling debtors and try to work things out before I look at other options. Sometimes when these situations happen, you just need to cry. So that's what I'm going to do: cry the frustration out.

So many questions are unanswered, yet I don't have to means to have them ALL answered. Anyone else feel that way? I make too much money to get any help, yet I don't make nearly enough to pay everybody. So what do you do? Do I accept defeat and consider moving back with the folks? Do I look at bankruptcy if everything else doesn't work? Do I just hope for the best and try to keep a roof over my head, food on the table (might be eating spaghetti noodles and sauce for a while), and a phone for contact?

So how do you decide which bills are worthy of panic? How do you decide what gets shut off and what dings your credit even more than it already is?

What's next?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dogs are our Children

I just had a moment with my dog today that pretty much describes a toddler or young school aged child:

When I came home, with a migraine, she cuddled with me for a while then proceeded to tear up a cardboard box since I wasn't looking. This is a popular occurrence because when Mommy isn't looking, the rules don't apply right?

She'd do the potty dance (which is running around in circles by the door) and we'd go out. Sometimes she becomes a little rascal and "fake pees" just to be outside to see if there are people to jump and lick. She faked potty time twice in 20 minutes so she got to be put into time out aka her kennel.

While she was lying with me for a second time, her tummy kept making loud noises. I noticed her bowl was still full from yesterday so she was obviously hungry but refusing to eat. She just got a huge rawhide bone the other day so I could have some quiet time and she forgot to eat! I know that feeling because sometimes I forget to eat while working so much.

I kept trying to get her to eat, but she wasn't having it. So I took her bone and hid it. I told her she couldn't have it until she ate. This is equivalent with telling your child they can't have dessert until they finish their vegetables. They whine and cry, but with some coaxing, they'll eventually give in.

So I had to make a game out of eating. I would throw the food scattered on the floor and she'd suck it up like a vacuum. Then, just like when she gets treats, she sat all pretty waiting for the next round of food. Finally, after I was satisfied, she got her bone back.

Dogs are definitely good training for children, especially the hyperactive ones like boxers. I've learned so much about potty training, structure, and keeping items out of reach. Bridget constantly keeps me on my toes and life isn't boring at all.

Friday, July 5, 2013

I Wanna See The World!

Every think: what if one day I sell all my belongings and live out of a suitcase? What experiences will I have? Could I afford it? What if I have a migraine attack?

I went to El Paso a couple months ago and had some moments of "I gotta lie down." Luckily I was with my friend and she understands completely.

So if I want to travel the world out of a suitcase how could I do it? Could I take my dog? How will I pay the bills? Who would be my primary doctor?

Obviously at this time in my life I can't do that, but you never know what the future might hold. Some ways to save money while traveling are: house swapping, using sites like LivingSocial to get a deal, going with a group and pulling I'm the hotel room, and using credit card rewards.

For a spoonie, you never know when you're going to have an attack so be prepared. Keep your emergency meds with you at all times. Mine are always I'm my purse. Consult your doctor about your trip and ask their advice for what to do if something happens during your flare up. Take a friend or family member that understands your symptoms. Last, try not to stress because that'll trigger an attack on itself. Relax and enjoy your time. Be distracted by your worries and fears.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I Miss the Me I Used To Be

My doctor told me to go on 30-45 minute walks (or some kind of exercise) every day. Well, today I went on my usual trail and only got about 3/4 of a mile because for some reason, the trail was spinning. It felt like someone was shaking me while I was walking. I had to stop a couple times. This is so frustrating so I quickly took a pen to paper and wrote this poem. Hope you like it

I miss the me I used to be
the girl who danced until her feet bled
the girl who kept her promises
I miss the me I used to be

I miss the me I used to be
the girl who juggled a vibrant journey
the girl who seldom said no to anybody
I miss the me I used to be

I miss the me I used to be
the girl who accepted great challenge
the girl who always saw the silver lining
I miss the me I used to be

I miss the laughs, loves, and being free
But most of all...
I miss the me I used to be

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The 'Ole Switcharoo

Today was a follow-up with my neurologist about these new symptoms. For those who aren't aware, I have been having entire body aches and pains, constant vertigo, and annoying nausea. I have a small notebook I keep in my purse that I write down how many hours I leave work, my medications list with prices, symptoms, and notes for what to research or do for the future.

I did an EMG on my right wrist and left leg because of my "pins and needles" problems in all extremities, which resulted in a diagnosis of carpal tunnel in both wrists. So now I have pretty wristbands to wear when I sleep to help reduce those symptoms. Don't worry, I'll keep writing!

Sometimes it takes all your energy not to cry when you explain what's going on with your doctor. I don't know why, but it happens. As I fought back some emotion, I asked to rule out some common auto-immune disorders such as MS, lupus, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis. My doctor immediately dismissed MS, which is a HUGE relief. She decided to dismiss lupus as well due to my recent blood work, and I agreed. The two that we are now going to investigate are fibro and RA. I've got some more blood to take and hopefully either an answer or clarification. She did seem like a myalgia would be possible, but since my aunt has RA, she wanted to completely be sure I don't have that.

Since my vertigo has been increasing and constant, she made a referral to a physical therapist in a nearby hospital. They will be working on my ears, which is the powerhouse to your balance. I've had problems with my ears before so it seems like a good idea. Plus, it might help before I go to Mayo in August.

We also discussed disability, and she was very open and honest with me. At this time, she didn't believe my case would be approved and she wants to help me stay that way. One thing I truly love about my doctor is she listens and understands what you are saying. I explained I WANT to keep working and eventually advance in my career. Hopefully all the testing I'll be going through for the next couple months will get a final diagnosis completed with a treatment plan in time for grad classes to resume in the fall.

The ole switcharoo that I'm talking about is my medications. We discontinued one and will be trying another. Luckily the office had several samples and a free trial coupon to use before I have to start paying for it. That's what I love about my doctor's office: they normally give the samples to help take the stress off paying for a fully script that might cause a reaction.

It's now raining, which I used to love. I began writing a poem that I'm working on structuring to share soon. It's amazing what can give you inspiration. After writing, I started to feel better about my pain and outlook for the future. It's going to be a rough summer, but I'm strong enough to handle it. I'll be with my family next week to celebrate my father's retirement so it'll be nice to have that time.

Inspiration in the Fog

Do you ever get an inspiring story through a dream while under the migraine coma?

Today I have been stuck in bed with extreme pain. I took a painkiller and got some good rest. While I was resting I had the strangest dream that could actually become a great fantasy young reader's novel/series. Did I just dream up the next Twilight/Hunger Games sensation? I have a notebook near my bed to write down as much as I could remember.

Anyone else get some good inspiration in the fog?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Saturday Night Live

I'm casually fitting in the last three MHAM blog challenge posts.

How does humor help you cope?

They say laughter is the best medicine, or at least I think it is. I know when I went to a comedy club for the first time, I had the time of my life and felt GREAT! Humor is a great distraction from pain and causes an endorphin release. This chemical raises our ability to ignore pain. It's also released during exercise, excitement, and sex (not that I'm saying you should be a huge slut to relieve pain). Oh man that came out wrong (that's what she said).

Okay back on topic: This last month has been hell for me because I added whole body pains and joint pain on top of my already pesky migraines. So I decided that no matter how I felt, I was going to see the new comedy, "This is the End" in hopes that I'd feel better. I always liked those stupidly funny movies because they make me laugh no matter how crude they are. At the end of the movie, I was feeling pretty good. It wasn't to a point where I was able to climb a mountain, but at least I got to relax before the next day arrived.

So how do we keep laughter in our life? Here are some good tips:

1. YouTube - I'm pretty sure the funniest videos I've seen were on YouTube. People upload the craziest stuff. When you're feeling sore from working all day, take a break and check out a few good videos on YouTube like "Charlie Bit My Finger" or "David After the Dentist." Get those chemicals working!

2. Movies - There are endless amounts of great comedies that will leave you slapping your knee. Any Judd Apatow film is recommended. I don't know how he does it, but he makes films that just make you shake your head and smile.

3. Vine - This new app is a 6 second sensation that has kept me giggling for hours before. Many comedians use it to keep us all entertained while they search for inspiration for larger bits.

4. Friends - Having a night with friends can lead to many laughs. Whether someone has a horrible date to share or their kids did something nuts, you can be assured that you'll be chuckling. Guess what...it's free! That's the great part about laughter among friends! You might not be feeling the greatest, but invite some friends for a nice dinner and share the "war stories" to get some endorphins going.

I hope you keep laughter in your life even though it seems hopeless. Today's picture was on Facebook and I died laughing. Well I better scan YouTube for some good Key & Peele videos to chuckle before bed. Give me some ideas of good videos in the comment section.

My Birthday Wish

Today is my 27th birthday and there's only one thing I want: to have my friends, family, and flowers go to the site listed and learn something about migraine. It's more common than you think and more undiagnosed than you think! Please just take 5 minutes to check it out. Let me know what you learned!

Have a great day!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Low Grade Pain = Productive Until Migraine is Triggered

This morning I had a bad migraine, which gave me a stiff neck so I had to wait to go to work. Man, I love when that happens. When I got to work, my vertigo was at a minimum and pain was just at "light switch level" (turns on and off in an instant) so I was able to get a lot of work done until I triggered a migraine and had to go home.

I made sure to buy my dog a new bone and toy because I felt I'd be able to conquer the world this evening and I was RIGHT! I've been organizing paperwork, dishes are done, laundry in progress, dinner is probably going to be quick, and now I can do some writing! I have a bad feeling all this productivity will trigger a migraine though. Does anyone else have this issue?

Here's what I've tried to minimize it:

1. Pace yourself - Take breaks when you can and keep hydrated. Remember, water is always your friend. When you live with chronic pain, simple activities are like running to "normal" people. Keep a good pace and don't rush.

2. Distraction - I love music and tend to play my 90's Pandora Station while accomplishing my tasks. Not only does each song bring a new inspiration and emotion, but the music itself distracts me from the throbbing pain in my hands/head when I try to work.

3. Smile - Ever notice that things don't seem so bad when you just take a moment and smile? Sometimes I need to stop, force a smile, look in the mirror, and I've fixed myself for at least five minutes. Each moment of relief is a blessing.

4. When your psychic ability tells you it's time, then stop - We can't overdo our activities and cause more pain than intended. You know when pain is coming (although sometimes we don't) so when that "feeling" hits you, then it's time to call it for a while.

I hope you all have low-grade days! **Virtual Hug** I made this e-card today to describe this feeling.

My first published work

Check out my first self published ebook through Amazon Kindle! Let me know what you think!