Monday, July 30, 2012

Good Fences

Good fences make good neighbors. Yes they do. Life in a condo with shared walls doesn't really give us the opportunity to build any kind of fence. What's funny is that I really don't mind hearing the people upstairs walk around. I don't even mind hearing the muffled sounds of the TV next door. What I do mind, what I really hate, is being able to smell the neighbor's cigarette smoke. 

I can't be sure but I think it is coming in through the ventilation system. Even though we all have our own duct work, heating and cooling systems the smell must be getting into the walls and then into our duct work. I always know when they're smoking, and if the A/C kicks on during that time - ufda!

We hadn't anticipated this as the smoking neighbor wasn't here when it was our grandma's place. In fact she didn't have a smoking neighbor. These people are new. To make it worse the smoker is home all day too. 

I've tried putting dryer sheets in all the vents but that really hasn't stopped the stink. I figure our next step will be getting some expanding foam to fill all holes under the sinks and such. Then have a conversation with some professionals to see if there is something we can do to block the smell in the duct work. 

I'm determined to make this work for 2 or 3 years so we'll figure something out to keep the smoke out.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Recluse Drama

I have a very serious phobia of spiders and most other creepy crawlers. They are small, quick, insidious and they appear to know how scared of them I am. My fears are unreasonable and way out of proportion to any actual danger they present. Unfortunately knowing this does nothing to quell my intense fear.

Having recently moved and having seen 4 large spiders in the new place already my husband decided to take a picture of one so we could determine what kind it was. Now, one large spider in our living space is enough to weird me out but four! The only thing that could make it worse was learning that the spiders I've been seeing are brown recluses. 

I won't even horrify you with a picture of one of these scary beasts but believe me when I say they are very creepy. Even if you don't share my fear of all spiders you will likely agree that sharing a home with these poisonous ones is not ideal. I'll have to worry about every shoe, every sleeve, pant leg and blanket as any one of them could be a hiding place for the brown recluse. 

Time to call the professionals. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Taking it Easy Today

My energy and pain levels has take a big hit over the last 24 hours. The rate of packing and cleaning has followed suite. Deciding to take it easy today I've been going through some old papers I've been saving from my school days. Upon graduation the school district I did my K-12 in handed over this file of old report cards, school pictures and samples of my writing.

Each move has found me questioning why I continue to hang onto these papers since I really never look at them. Today is the first time I've really looked at them since first receiving them some 16 years ago. What a trip. It was sort of fun to read what the teachers said about me back them and sort of get an idea at what I was good at and not so good at. There were even test results from the standardized tests I had to participate in.

It doesn't take up that much room, I guess I'll hang onto it for just a little longer.

Happily I have put together about two boxes worth of stuff that we'll donate. Stuff that I just don't know why we've continued to hang onto and store.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Couple Simple Pleasures

I've actually made some good progress over the past couple days of unpacking. The more that gets unpacked the more this place feels like home. I'm actually beginning to get a taste of the relief that will wash over me when its all done. But there is still plenty to do yet.

Even though all of this has been stressful and very draining there are two things that have given me a great deal of pleasure. One has been watching little Rupert explore and acclimate to his new home.

He is naturally a very curious little guy so he was ready to leave his enclosure and start exploring less than 12 hours after arriving. When he finally got the chance I got to watch as he methodically explored new areas, returned to his enclosure before moving onto another area and back again. After he had explored all the areas he has access to he started repeatedly exploring some running routes. It's just been so fun to watch his mind make sense of the new place. He is so smart.

The other pleasure I've had is seeing all the things that have been packed up for more than 3 years now. Some of this stuff I actually forgot we had and other stuff I just missed seeing and using. 

It really is the little things in life sometimes. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Moved. Again.

The long moving weekend is happily behind us now. It was actually over on Saturday afternoon but, as you can imagine, I needed some time to recuperate before plugging back in. Now that we're finally here with all our stuff my days can ease up a bit. Not to discount the mountain of boxes that surround us in every room, there is still a ton of work to do, but for the most part the unpacking can happen at my pace (slow).

No matter how hard I try to keep up with my usual routine and minimize my tendency to overdo it when we move I never seem to succeed. In hindsight, the only realistic way that could happen is if I didn't have to be involved in the actual physical move. Whether that means we hire movers or we can round up enough friends/family to help so that I don't have to.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't exactly do a ton of the actually physical labor of moving. Unfortunately, any amount is too much. Especially since all of the packing and unpacking is on me, which is actually pretty labor intensive. Add on all the stress of the move and I'm left with a perfect storm of pain.

I think we're both kind of reached the award age for moving. When you're in your early twenties you (and your peers) do a lot of moving and basically for the cost of a pizza you have all the help you need, and in my case all kinds of energy to keep up with everyone else. Now we're in our mid thirties and our peers are married with children, most of whom have had a more traditional health and career paths that has left them more settled and financially able to hire movers. I actually don't know anyone my age who has moved as much as we have. 

Our path is our path and I don't mean to try to draw a comparison here. But all this moving just becomes increasingly difficult because of where we are in life. HOWEVER, we have moved into a situation that will allow us a unique opportunity to save a good amount of money up for our eventual purchase of a home where we will settle in.

I must get back to it now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Some Thoughts

My muscles are in revolt. Against what? Well, I have yet to figure that out. All I know is that without the aid of the Bachlofen they have been furious with tension. This is making it very difficult to sleep and in conjunction with the triple digit heat and stress of moving my head is not fairing well.

Today I have a new medicine to try and with any luck it will help my muscles at least as much as the Bachlofen did. Tomorrow may just be better. Ah, hope...

A little hope goes a long way. That and something to look forward to on the other end. As for me, well I'm looking forward to watching the women's gymnastics competitions in London from our new condo once the move is complete. I love watching women's gymnastics!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Some Smiles for Today

I'm stressed, tired and in pain. Yet, there are still things that are making me smile today:

This little guy for one

The new show Dogs in the City

Listening to Nora Jones while packing

Watching old Saturday Night Live reruns on Netflix

What's making you smile today?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Playing it Cool

I'm trying to play it cool, trying to not let fear take over, trying to not freak out. The Bachlofen from Watson Pharmacies that I've been taking for the past several years, the one that took my daily migraines down to 18/month, is no longer being manufactured. Even though 18 migraines a month is still a crazy number to be having, it's a heck of a lot better than daily.

I've tried several other brands but none of them have worked the way Watson's product did. These ones felt like a completely different drug.

Until I can get to my doc I've been taking another brand but I have to take a much higher dose than was prescribed to get any kind of benefit. The side effects have been worse and the benefit isn't as great.

I guess it's time to try something new entirely. This prospect is daunting. Backsliding into daily migraines would be scary and disheartening. With the PCP appointment a week away, I'm trying hard to just play it cool. Everything may turn out just fine. Heck, trying something new may allow me the chance to respond even better right?

Monday, July 9, 2012

July Headache Blog Carnival

The July Headache Blog Carnival is now available! This month's topic is all about Fun in the Sun.

Stop by and check out all the great posts.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Just Around The Corner

This is moving month. By the end of July we'll be fully moved into the condo across town. The slow process of moving had sort of lulled me into a perpetual state of feeling like we had plenty of time. Today we are just two weeks away from moving the majority of the furniture and the remaining boxes. Suddenly that sounds like it's just around the corner.

With this new frame of mind I am going to be spending more time preparing for the move. Of course that means fewer other things will get done. Such is life. I just hope the weather starts cooperating a bit.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Bummer

Moan, groan, complain, slump and drag; this is about all I can manage after 7 days in a row of triple digit temperatures. The heat is making me cranky and sucking what little energy and motivation the migraines, fatigue and fibromyalgia have left with me. Right now I'm just hiding out. If I have to run errands I wake up early and get it over with as quickly as possible so I can return to the shade and somewhat cooler temps in our apartment.

We have central air but our apartment is on the top floor and the windows and doors are full of cracks and holes that allow all kinds the outside oven temps in. Most of the time the a/c can keep up but not when it's this hot. I honestly don't know what to do other than hide out until the heat breaks a bit. 

I hate summer. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Doctor Drama

Drama is never in short supply when you live with chronic pain. Right now it's doctor/medication drama. The headache specialist I've been seeing since November and have just gotten used to, has taken a job at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. The clinic here at Washington University will be replacing him with two neurologist, but neither are headache specialists. His 400 plus patients simply can't be absorbed by the other specialists in town.

I tried to get an appointment with other docs but quickly started to feel frustrated and overwhelmed at the prospect of starting over AGAIN with someone new. Fortunately, I have another option available to me. A simple call to the doc I was seeing at Mayo in my hometown of Rochester and I have doc again. The only thing is that I need to wait until the end of November when I'm traveling there for Thanksgiving anyway.

This long wait creates some medication drama. I had been waiting for 6 months for this appointment and really needed to get some refills and needed to talk about changing one of them. Hopefully my PCP will be able to help me out with this stuff.

It's always something...I guess it's a good opportunity for me to learn to be flexible, patient and stuff.