Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
How The Grinch Stole Christmas: I love this holiday classic so long as it is the book or this short animated version. As much as I would love to have this in my DVD collection I won't pay $24.99 for less than 30 minutes of show. Instead I make sure to catch it on network TV, commercials and all.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is the only other animated classic I take in each year. Luckily I got this one for Christmas one year so I can watch it at my leisure.
The original Home Alone is another great holiday flick. I don't know that it can be classified as a classic but I sure enjoy watching it around this time.
A Christmas Story: This movie is good clean fun. I used to have it on VHS but it was destroyed long ago. TBS usually will runs it back to back for 24 hours on Christmas day but since we don't have cable I'll have to order it from Netflix.
Jingle All The Way: Now I'll go ahead and admit that this is not a great movie but for some reason I like it. Well I like the first hour or so of it. I like it for two reasons. First it was filmed in Minneapolis an area I'm very familiar with. Second, Phil Hartman's character is fabulous. He doesn't have a big part but he is seen throughout it.
The Red Shoes is an old movie but I don't know that it would be considered a classic. It certainly isn't a Christmas movie but it is something that I saw several years in a row on Christmas day when I was very young so it feels like a holiday to movie to me. It is sort of weird and a little dark - maybe this is why I like weird and dark movies. Moulin Rouge: Okay this one isn't a Christmas movie either but it is my absolute favorite movie ever made. I limit myself to only viewing it once a year so I don't grow tired of it and I choose to watch it around Christmas or the New Year because that is when I first got it on DVD.
How about you? What movies do you like to watch this time of year?
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I'm feeling relieved to be back home with my husband and dog. Looks like the snow followed me here - not what I wanted to see. I'm so sick of snow and cold.
The longer I'm home the more sleepy I'm becoming. Part of me just wants to get stuff done around here things have gotten rather messy since I've been away but the rest of me just wants to nap. My brain is already starting to slow way down, which means I really should stop blogging.
I'll be back to blogging regularly now that I'm back at home. How are you all doing?
Sunday, December 12, 2010
I hate to put this off another day but along I 80 from Indiana through Ohio the land is very flat and the forecast is calling for both snow (90% chance) and wind. I've lived in Minnesota long enough to know that even a light snow with wind can be super dangerous on these long flat interstates. Better to be safe and wait another day.
Maybe I can squeeze in another visit or two with friends.
Boy I sure do miss my husband and dog. Darn snow *sigh*
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
We have decided that my chest symptoms are most likely the result of anxiety. What's so interesting about this is that I was not at all aware that I was experiencing anxiety - and enough of it that it is causing some pretty dramatic physical symptoms. Dr Garza explained that it is a medical condition like any other where you feel the symptoms of anxiety even without a stimulus. It makes more sense now and I've been thinking to myself that perhaps the early sign of this anxiety creeping into my life is all the spasms in my muscles and tensions in my neck. The doc is going to seek the opinion of someone in psychiatry to see if I should be medicated for this or if I may just respond to mediation and such.
Overall I'm very pleased with the new plan and am hopeful that relief may be on the way by March. I'll wait until I get back home before starting the new plan. There is still so much going on here and I have that long drive home.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
It was the Mayo neuro. He got my message about the no from my insurance company and he was mad. We had a short conversation about what happened when I called and then he announced that he had some time right now and he would like to call them and "see if I can find a human being."
I wanted to cry.
I never felt like I had a true ally in a doctor before. I never felt like my doctor was so invested and dedicated to my health.
He called me later that afternoon to report that despite spending a 1/2 hour (!) on the phone with my insurance company he was not able to talk sense into them. He spent a 1/2 hour of his time advocating for me. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting my new favorite person - Dr Garza! *cheers and applause* I don't even care that botox is still a no. He says there is still plenty we can do.
I have my follow up with him this afternoon - during which time I will do everything I can to see if he will manage my care from a distance. Wish me luck.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
My driver side door window froze in place on Friday and then fell into the door. Now it moves up and down but it is clearly not in the right place and so it doesn't close entirely. Thankfully my mom has a garage and offered to let me park there and put her car on the street so when the snow fell it didn't fall inside my car. I have an appointment with the VW people later today - hopefully it won't be an expensive fix.
In the meantime my mom starts PT today. We still don't know how many times a day/week she'll need to go. I really want to make my way up to the Mall of America to go to the Gap Body like I tried to do over the summer when I was here.
Today I'm also expecting to hear from my doc that I can start up the Imitrex again. I'm hopeful for a good day. And I hope that your day is good too :)
Friday, December 3, 2010
He was able to determine the problem was not with my lungs and sent me for a stress test to induce the pain and see watch what happens to my heart. As luck would have it, I was able to have that done today too. The tech indicated that things looked pretty normal so I'm very optimistic that I'll be able to start treating my migraines again.
The question remains - what is going on then. They wondered aloud if this was an anxiety response and I'm afraid I wasn't much help. I could tell them that I've been very stressed and anxious since this all started because of the traveling and needing to feel okay to take care of my mom and her dogs. I don't think I felt anxious before...can you have a panic attack without knowing it? Well, if that is what is going on here then at least it sounds easy to treat.
What was most interesting about the appointment is the revelation that I have not been taking my preventative correctly. He says that not only was the dosage not adequate but he said none of the preventative meds will work when I'm taking so many rescue meds. Have I seriously spent years of my life in pain and trying all kinds of preventatives in a manner that was ineffective? Years!
He suggested botox as a preventative because it works faster than the meds. Unfortunately my insurance said no to that idea.
I don't know what to do with that. Maybe it is time for a new neuro back home. Maybe this guy can be my doc...can I make that work from this distance?
I'm too tired, sore and in pain right now to give it much attention.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I did get a call from the Mayo neuro's office a couple hours ago. He had a cancellation for tomorrow morning so they gave me that appointment. For the first time in more than a week the intense panic and fear that has taken up residency in my gut has gone down a bit. I just pray that he'll be able to help get me through these next couple weeks so I can take good care of my mom and drive myself back home.
The guy who did my occipital nerve decompression more than a year ago has offered me two more procedures during which he can disconnect the nerves above my eyes, on my temples and behind my ears. I had been putting it off because I wanted to find the cause, tackle it directly and avoid more surgery. I'm over it. I don't care what has caused my pain to get so out of control, I just need the pain to stop. Especially now that I don't really have a way to treat my migraines. As soon as I get back and can sit down with my neurologist I'm going to push to have it done ASAP. Even if it means doing it over the holidays.
I don't like this feeling of desperation and urgency.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
This situation continues to get worse. I can't manage without a rescue. I don't know what to do here. I'm so scared.
Today I'm going to try to get an appointment with the neurologist I saw back in July at Mayo. At least he is here and maybe can offer some help.
Monday, November 29, 2010
My migraine returned yesterday about noon and with no rescue medication it was a very long day. I had considered going to the ER but feel so guilty about my previous trip to the ER earlier in the week. I don't know how justified I am in this, but I live in fear of my insurance company. Probably because I depend on them so heavily.
Anyway, in another half hour my doctor's office will reopen after the long 5 day holiday weekend. I'm counting down the minutes. I've had a good deal of soreness in my lower legs the past week or so and can't help but wonder if it is related to the chest tightness. I hope it is, that way it will go away with the chest tightness once all the meds are out of my system and I've found a new rescue medication. The last thing I want for Christmas this year is another physical problem to deal with.
My mom's surgery is tomorrow so I'm going to spend the day today getting a few things done. I still have a bit of a migraine but since I forgot some basic stuff at home I really need to make these errands happen. If I get to feeling much worse I can always stop by the ER and treat the migraine. Of course the hope is that my doc will be really responsive and I'll have a new rescue to try yet this morning.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
It was a tough trip because of the reactions I've developed from my rescue medication. In the meantime I've missed so much of what's been going on with my fellow bloggers and have been neglected making posts myself. But now, at long last, I've arrived in Rochester and I'll have the time and energy to give attention to blogger again.
A quick update: Yesterday my chest pain finally started to feel better. That is, until I tried the new rescue medication. It did a satisfactory job with the migraine but it also made the chest pain much worse - just as I feared. The search for a good rescue will have to resume on Monday when my doctor returns from vacation.
I hope you all were able to enjoy your Thanksgiving. I'm super thankful for all of you!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
First, I honestly don't know what I would eat if I had to eliminate wheat and gluten from my diet. Obviously people follow such diets and I would be happy to make such an extreme change in my life if it meant relief but (secondly) I don't really know that we have grounds for such an action. I don't know that I have an allergy or sensitivity to either of these things and wouldn't I go to an allergist before spending the next year of my life eliminating one thing at a time to see if that's the problem?
Have any of you had experience with this kind of thing?
Friday, November 19, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
While I wasn't expecting another road trip so soon after my summer Mayo trip I'm really excited to get to see my family and friends again. I just hope that I'll feel okay so I'll be able to go out and do stuff.
Preparations for the long trip are already underway because my body will only allow me to do a few things a day and I still need to keep up with things around the house. And since I'll be leaving right after Thanksgiving and returning pretty close to Christmas my husband and I have already started working on our Christmas cards.
The first Christmas we were married we put a picture of us, our dog and our rabbit in the cards we sent out. The second year we did picture cards. Last year was a tough year and we decided to do something a little more fun so we used photoshop to place us in front of the capital building and to put our dog up on one of the balconies. It was a big hit, so naturally this year we're going to be using photoshop again.
I don't actually know photoshop but fortunately my husband is a wiz. I mostly help with concepts, finding and taking pictures, and asking "can you..." It's actually pretty fun. We have the background done and hopefully this weekend we'll be able to get our faces and our dog placed.
All of this feels premature two weeks before Thanksgiving but is it ever really too early to start thinking about Christmas? Without this advance planning I wouldn't have the time to relax and enjoy my holidays so I'm not the least bit apologetic about it. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Right now I'm wanting to just snuggle up in bed and nap the worst of the pain and ickiness away. But I really do want to get a couple things done first so I'm taking a few minutes to blog about my nap day dream. I found this picture of an Ikea bedroom that I think is fabulous.
I love the dark rich colors. I love the window in back of the bed so at no point will the sun peek through and shine directly in your eyes. I would use room darkening window coverings and would not use so many lights but you get the idea.
Okay, I should get back to it. But I'll be thinking about this picture later tonight as bedtime grows close.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
1. Being done with grocery shopping for the week - I hate grocery shopping and now it's done.
2. The election is almost over - meaning the hateful ads will stop for a while.
3. Hot chocolate :)
4. Jon Hamm on SNL a couple days ago.
5. My dog snoring beside me.
6. Time with my husband.
7. Netflix - and all the wonderful shows it allows me to see.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Every time I would think that to myself it would immediately be followed by thoughts of the crushing crowds, the jammed Metro, the smokers and drinkers, the summer heat or winter chill or bright sunshine and I would come to the obvious conclusion that I don't want to see or do anything bad enough to put up with that kind of crap. But for some unknown reason I thought it might be fun to go see Stewart and Colbert and so did my husband.
So we got up early, packed lunches and a blanket, bundled up and drove to the Metro station. We counted ourselves lucky to be locals with Smarttrip Cards that allowed up to bypass the outrageously long lines to purchase fare cards. But that just got us underground, where the subway platforms were so packed people were waiting in line to even get on the escalator. This was not the furthest station out so by the time the trains arrived they were already packed with people. Fortunately most cars had at least one or two people getting off so at least a couple more people could get on. But you can imagine how slow this made the entire process.
I wanted to turn around after we saw train after train come and go with little to no progress being made to get on one. But my husband wanted to go and get pictures and some video and maybe put together something for his work. And I really wanted to be there for him as I often feel like my migraines limit our activities. So we managed to get on a train and were downtown in no time after that.
We walked through the huge crowd that had already formed and found a patch of grass to sit on and eat our lunches. The rally was to start at noon and it was about 11 ish when we arrived. People brought dog, and they weren't supposed to. People were smoking. People got drunk in advance as no alcohol was allowed. And the crowd just grew and grew and grew. By 12:30 we had spent a 1/2 hour listening to a band we didn't care for a loud group of drunk people were invading our space I asked my husband if he was having a good time. He said no so I told him I wasn't either so we packed it up and headed home.
As we were leaving we saw that the crowd was still streaming out of the station and down the sidewalk. The trains were still packed and the lines at the fare card machines were just as long. We were both SOOOO glad to be headed home and away from the madness downtown. I honestly don't know what we were thinking. I'm still in rally recovery mode.
We won't be making that kind of mistake again.
Friday, October 29, 2010
I know this is just a matter of perspective. A case of glass half empty or half full. When I'm down it feel like that's where I spend most of my time and boy is it difficult to claw up out of it. But once I am out of it I feel hopeful, energized and my glass is half full again.
Sometimes I wonder how much control I have over the ups and downs. It seems to be largely dictated by my level of pain and discomfort. But at the same time I believe that our thoughts and our state of mind are powerful influences in our lives. Plus I really want/need to have steps I can take when I'm down. Here are some of the things I do to try to pull myself up.
1. Make time to think about the many blessings I have. This really helps to put my mind in a thankful and more positive position.
2. Spend as much time as possible consuming comedy. Obviously, laughter is one of those really important things in life. I happen think it's actually critical in the life of someone with chornic pain - it is in mine. When I'm down that's when I need it most. Again, this is about putting my mind in a more positive position.
3. Try to have conversations with friends. I've lived far away from my support system almost the entire time I've struggled with this chronic pain. Sometimes just having a phone conversation or online chat with one of my friends back home can remind me that there is more to me than just the struggles of pain.
4. Pray and be still. I'm working on getting the hang of meditation so I can add that too.
5. Snuggle with my husband.
The way I see it, we don't have a choice. When we're down we have to find our way back up. What do you do to pull yourself up when you're down?
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
This time of doing very little has me thinking about how close we are to Halloween and how I'm not feeling it. Normally when the holiday season gets started I feel an excitement for each approaching holiday. With Halloween less than a week away I still haven't achieved that excitement.
Perhaps I spent so much time this month looking forward to our mountain getaway and the Rally to Restore Sanity (coming up on the 30th) that I just haven't had the chance to focus on Halloween. Maybe PT is the distraction. I don't know but I want that feeling. I want to think about costumes and decorations even though I won't be purchasing or decorating for Halloween this year. Maybe a trip to the store to look at these kinds of items would be enough to stir up some of the desired excitement.
Do you get excited about the holidays? What are you doing to celebrate Halloween?
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
The cabin was pretty nice but it was more remote than I had anticipated. We were in a pocket where there was no cell phone service from any provider, which I wouldn't have minded if there had been a land line in the cabin. There were no street lights so if you were needed to go out after dark you were pretty much on your own along the poorly marked windy mountain roads. The only lock on the door to the cabin was one of those push and turn locks and it was installed in such a way that a simple credit card could have released it. Yep, more remote than I had anticipated and more remote than I was comfortable with.
I was fine during the day. We explored the area, played games, had lots of fires and general merriment. But when we laid down to go to sleep with the lights and the music off, oh boy. That's when my imagination would run wild. I felt so vulnerable that I just wasn't able to relax enough to sleep more than a few hours each night. If anything went wrong we would just be stuck there until light.
Don't get me wrong, I actually really had a good time outside of the poor sleep. The mountains were undergoing peak foliage and were absolutely gorgeous. Oh well, live and learn. Next time I'll verify access to the outside world.
As you can imagine I'm now in vacation recovery mode, tired, in pain and way behind in my household duties, not to mention my blog.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
You can't imagine my extreme disappointment when he told me he doesn't think what's going on with my jaw is contributing to my migraines. He says my disc is displaced and that it is very common. Sometimes causing pain and sometimes not. I don't understand. My jaw and head pain always go hand in hand. When I have a bad migraine I have a super painful jaw and vice versa. Neither ever happens alone. How can the jaw have nothing to do with it?
I'm crestfallen and want to just cry. Of course I can't because it hurts too much to cry. I'm not sure what to do next. I was so positive addressing this jaw issue would provide me some relief. I don't want this to be my life. What else could it be? Honestly, what else could it be? None of the preventive medications have worked. Doesn't that have to mean there is something else contributing? Oh this is so frustrating! I want answers and every time I turn to another idea I come up empty.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I never got on top of yesterday's migraine and after waking up with another one this morning, I suspect that I'm moving into a block of days with that pattern. It happens. In the meantime I think I may need a thankful list:
1. Our king size bed giving my husband and I plenty of room to stretch out.
2. Clouds, rain and cooler temperatures - finally the relief of fall
3. Great new and old comedies in prime time
4. Shelter, food, shower, laundry and other creature comforts.
5. Wonderful husband
What are you thankful for today?
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
By the way, Lone Star on Fox is fabulous! I highly recommend you catch it on hulu if you missed it last night.
Of course today I woke up with a migraine and plenty of soreness from yesterday's activities. Mostly I've been resting to prepare for tonight's premiere's and PT again first thing in the morning.
Have you been watching the new shows? What have you liked? What are you looking forward to?
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I've been going through the stuff in our storage unit and repacking the squished cardboard boxes into plastic containers. It's a big task and it has started to take over our living space. I'm kind of at the point where I'm ready to start stacking my containers in a corner and out of the way but need to wait for my husband for that task.
I'm already looking forward to this project's completion. It will be a 2 or 3 weeks I think before our living space normalizes again. Of course this is so slow because of my limitations.
Going through all of this stuff has me thinking about things I haven't in a while. Mostly inconsequential stuff like miniature gulf - I haven't done that in years. Then I found that we own video tapes of movies that we can see streaming instantly on Netflix for free. We even still have 2 or 3 of some of our movies - why do we still have more than one of anything? Some of the stuff we own is just silly.
Have you ever found crazy stuff in your home, not really sure why you have it still?
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
We have planned a short trip to the mountains in October where we and our dog will stay in a cabin. The more coverage I see the more concerned I get about this trip. We'll be smart about it of course and inspect everything before we actually stay. Last night I actually had a nightmare about it. The thing that is stressing me is that we will actually be there before we know if this is going to be a bed bug free environment or not. I don't know what we'll do if there are bugs once we get there. We had to prepay for the stay and I'm certainly not going to stay if there are b.bugs. I don't want to ruin our first vacation in 3 years but we can't afford to just search out and pay for another place to stay.
I'll have to give a call to the rental place and see what their policy is for handling this kind of situation. Better to be prepared...I think that's the only way my mind will be eased. Well, eased about the upcoming trip anyway. I understand that they are a traveling bug, but hopefully that doesn't mean if my neighbor brings it home with them that they could travel into our apartment on their own.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Over the past couple of month 4 of my wonderful followers have gifted me with blogging awards. I wanted to take a minute here and thank Wendy Burnett of Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired and Jamie Valendy of Chronic Migraine Warrior who have both given me the One Lovely Blog Award.
Part of the reason it has taken me so long to address these awards is the passing along aspect. I follow a number of blogs and was a bit overwhelmed by the task. I think what I want to do is pick 5 blogs to recognize for each award. I follow and really enjoy all the bloggers who have nominated me but they have obviously already received these awards so I will pick different blogs to pass this on to.
Here's a list of the blogs I would like to give One Lovely Blog Award to:
Here's a list of the blogs I would like to give the Versatile Blogger Award:
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
I got a disturbing letter from my insurance company late yesterday in the mail. Here's a portion of the letter:
"Because you enrolled in your plan on or before March 23, 2010, your health plan is considered 'grandfathered'. This has certain advantages. For example, your plan does not have to adopt some of the requirements of health care reform. Your plan's 'grandfathered' status allows you to keep your current health plan.
If you want all of the health care reform benefits, you can move to a different health plan after September 23, 2010. However, if you change plans:
- a personal health history may be required
- the new plan may have a higher premium (due to health care reform benefits)
- you will no longer be in a 'grandfathered' plan"
What the hell?!? I had no idea some of the health care reform benefits didn't apply to existing plans. Obviously I can't change plans. I can't imagine they would even give me insurance knowing what they know about me now. If they did I certainly wouldn't be able to afford it. I can barely afford the yearly increases now.
The language in this letter is irritating. Talking about the advantage of the "grandfathered" policy being that I don't have adopt some of the health care reform benefits. Seriously? They call that an advantage - for me? I see how it could be an advantage for them, but I fail to see how that could possibly benefit me.
The thing is, I don't even want to change plans. Considering my current health situation I'm in an ideal plan (in relationship to other plans out there). It is pretty expensive but there is a yearly cap that I always reach in the first quarter of the year and then I'm covered at 100% after that. Additionally, there is tremendous flexibility in where I can go and who I can see. I wish it included mental health care and infertility treatments but overall I'm glad to have the coverage I have.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
So I'm here at home, getting all my PT paperwork together and resting up for the Primetime Emmy's tonight. Since I spend so much time these days watching shows I get more excited about seeing these award programs. It's more interesting when you are familiar with most of the programs and actors. I might even enjoy a 1/2 hour or so of red carpet hoopla beforehand. This is what you would call an unintended consequence of chronic pain. A good nap in the near future will go a long way toward helping me stay awake until the end so I'll go ahead and add that to my agenda.
What are you up to today? Are you going to be watching tonight? Did you have a good weekend?