Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guest Prep

I've had a migraine for the last week now and I need it to stop soon. My mom will be arriving tonight for a long weekend visit and I would really like to be a good host while she's here. Of course she is mom and there is no real pressure to put on a brave front if I'm struggling, but still I want to do all I can for her. After all she is mom.

I've laid out fresh fluffy towels, I picked up a lavender scented candle for her room (her favorite scent) and am washing the sheets as I type. It's been a while since we've lived in a space large enough to have her stay with us so I'm quite excited. I think it will make all of us more comfortable and allow our visiting to be more relaxed.

Speaking of relaxed, I've invited the rest of the family that lives in the area over for dinner on Saturday (8). For some reason this hasn't caused a panic in me as I would expect. They can come and if I feel good I can cook, if not we'll get take out. If I feel okay I can sit out and visit with them. If not then I can hide in my room and they can manage without me.

Don't know why I feel so relaxed about the whole thing. It's sort of freaking me out a bit, proving that no matter what I can find something to stress about. I just hope that come Saturday I still feel this way.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Migraine: The Reality Show

Seems like anything can be made into a reality show these days. There are shows about couponing, moving large objects, having big families, chasing down critters, haunted animals...the list goes on and on. Some are actually kinda interesting to me while many others I can't imagine watching. Something for everyone I guess.

This got me thinking, what if there was a reality show about living with chronic migraines? Would it be interesting? Would there be an audience for such a show?

I can't imagine having cameras and people around all the time. When I'm not going out my attire is functional but not terribly aesthetic. I just want to be as comfortable as possible and that means no bra, no makeup, no tied shoes and not messing with my hair. Not exactly camera ready. Plus, I imagine I would get annoyed with all of that hoopla.

But it would be nice if people had a better understanding of what it's like to live with chronic pain - invisible pain. Perhaps some of the many misconceptions could be cleared up and general awareness could be raised. I think it would be a really positive thing. But I wouldn't want to do it myself.

What do you think about it?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thank You Thursday

Dear Workmen,

You have been drilling, banging, beeping and creating general ugliness right next door for 2 weeks now. I can't seem to tell how close you are to finishing up over there but I know you are headed here next where surely the dust and din will be louder still. Then you'll be onto the condo on the other side. I shudder to think about how long you will be disrupting my days.

I know, I know. The work you are doing is necessary and I'm glad it's being done. I just wish it could have been done before we moved in. You see, all that noise and smoking you think nobody can see you doing is super hard on my head. Not to mention I have no intention of picking up your spend cigarette trash when you are done. Trust me I will be watching.

Dear Brown Recluse Spiders,

I'm coming for you. The bug man will be by in a few days. The glue traps will be set. And all holes will be plugged. You dirty, creepy, insidious, dangerous selves will have to move into someone elses unit. Preferably the smokers next door, but really anyplace else is okay by me. We will not tolerate your presence here. Period.

Dear Migraine,

I'm putting you on notice. My mom will be here in less than a week. Do what you need to right now but know that I expect you to be at least a little cooperative during her stay so we can do some fun stuff. That's not asking for too much, is it?

If memory serves me, you were quite ornery during her last visit, which neither of us appreciated. I'm not asking to let me stay out all day each day she's here. Just allow me to do something fun with her each day. If you cooperate with me, I'll cooperate with you and take it easy each day.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fall Tease

The Halloween decorations and even some Christmas decorations have made their way into the stores. School is gearing up as all the back-to-school products dwindle from shelves. If I didn't know better I would think fall was here. A simple walk outside and the weather quickly reminds that summer is not quite through torturing me.Seeing fall in all the stores just feels like a huge tease. 

This month has been mild by August standards and almost cool at times by comparison to June and July but it's no fall. Despite my best efforts I've actually begun dreaming about the wonders of fall and the stuff I want to do to enjoy it. No doubt all this dreaming will lead to many moments of disappointment as summer marches it's final parade. 

Monday, August 20, 2012


I seriously over did it yesterday. This crash of activity, which would only wear out the average person, has completely taken me down. With all of my ailments screaming at once it's been near impossible to get much done. Today is a day for medications and snuggling on the couch with Gypsy, who frankly wants nothing more than to do the same.

It seems she is not only a loyal little lap dog but she is also small, dainty, easily overwhelmed and quite exhausted after yesterday's activities. She's like me, only without all the pain issues. So the couch is where we will spend our day, napping, watching TV and taking short breaks to eat or drink.

I'll leave all the punishing thoughts of, why did I let myself overdo it again, until tomorrow.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thank You Thursday

Dear St Louis Senior Dog Project,

Thanks for being a great rescue group and hooking us up with our sweet new doggy baby girl. Even though we are still getting to know one another she has already brought us many wonderful moments of "oh cute" and smiles.

Dear Showtime,

Thanks for finally releasing the latest season of Dexter on DVD. Even though it's been some 9 months since you originally aired the episodes and a full year since we saw last season's DVDs it was, as always, worth the wait.

Dear Vinegar,

You are such an amazing cleaner. Despite having a rather unpleasant smell, you are quick and effective, ultimately saving me all kinds of time and pain from scrubbing. I'm actually becoming quite accustomed to your odor and making positive associations with it. The only thing that vexes me about you is how you can be such a good cleaner AND be an ingredient in many dishes.

Dear Cold Front,

I can hardly even believe how reasonable you are making the weather. You have actually left me with a big enough window of time to do a long awaited project that requires both the ventilation of the outdoors and temps below 85 degrees. I thought I would have to wait for late September to see a block of days this nice but here you are in August of all months. You are welcome to stick around for the rest of the summer if you want. Please.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August Blog Carnival

The August Migraine Blog Carnival is now available. Check out all the great posts and find out how to participate in next month.

Monday, August 13, 2012

New Addition

Our little family grew by one on Sunday when we adopted this sweet little girl Gypsy.

We had been looking for just the right dog. One who was low-key and willing to be a bum with me on the many days when I don't feel well. He or she also had to either not care about the rabbit or be easily redirected when becoming inappropriate with him. With more than 2000 available dogs in the area I was certain we would find one and on Sunday we did.

We brought her home to do an introduction with Rupert and to our relief she just didn't care that there was a rabbit running around. They got to sniff each other but that was all either of them wanted from the other. Perfect :)

She's a snuggle bug and I think that she'll make a perfect little companion for me and my husband. I'm feeling very lucky today.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Keeping Up

I like things to be fairly tidy. My stress level goes down, my energy level goes up, I can think more clearly and be more productive when things are in place and there isn't too much visual clutter. It's just how I am.

This was a pretty easy thing to achieve when I was single, working full time, participating in an active social life and before chronic pain came along. Life's vicissitudes have brought me an amazing husband, chronic migraines, fibromyalgia and have taken away my career. Now keeping things neat and clean is a struggle. I can't even imagine trying to do any of it and work.

Truthfully, it's hard. As soon as you dust, the dust starts to build back up. As soon as you do the dishes, we eat and more dishes need doing. As soon as you do the laundry, more laundry is produced. All housework is like that. There is always more to do. BUT, I've found that by doing two, not so simple, things I can manage fairly well.

1. I pace myself, trying not to do too many things each day. "Too many things" is a fluid concept. Some days doing anything besides a couple loads of laundry is too much. Other days I can do 3 or 4 things. The idea is to just not overdo it and end up paying the price the next day. Sounds easy enough but I've found the practice is both challenging for my type A personality and an art that takes time.

2. I must try to be more flexible. I'm fortunately that my husband doesn't really care how things look at home (which is a double edged sword) so on days when not much gets done, or if things pile up he honestly doesn't care and likely won't even notice. The good news is that all the pressure I feel to make things nice comes 100% from me so I know that someday I'll actually be more flexible. I'm working on it - baby steps.

Like all things in life, I guess it's all about the journey.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thank You Thursday

I wanted to try something new: Thank You Thursdays. A time for me to reflect on the week that was and express gratitude sometimes with sincerity and sometimes with sarcasm. So here goes my first installment...

Dear Weather,
Even though you have been excessively hot this summer we have actually had several overnight storms and even a rainy day this past week. This much needed rain has been more than welcome during this drought. Please bring more of that in the weeks to come.

I've spent several hours looking through your 98 pages of available dogs in the area. So many homeless dogs, just in this area and you really do make the searching process much easier with all your pictures, links to websites and easy navigation.

Dear Migraine,
You have been a big ol' pain in the rear this week. You have gotten in the way every day making things much more difficult than necessary. Despite your efforts to the contrary, I've managed to have a fairly productive week (well productive for me) and even had some fun. Take that!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Getting Back To It

The past several days have been tough as I've had one of my bad migraine cycles. The kind where I wake up feeling bad and am never really able to get on top of the pain. As expected I'm exhausted, nauseated and gettin' pretty crabby. To cope I've just been hanging on and doing what I can when I can - getting very little done.

This morning it occurred to me that with all the craziness of the move and such I haven't been doing all the things I usually do to try and manage my pain. I haven't been practicing my relaxation techniques, or doing my exercises, or even stretching. No wonder my body is in an uproar.

Starting today I'm going to get back on track and get back into routine. To kick things off I took some video of Rupert wearing himself out washing his face:

So here's to reestablishing good health practices...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Hint of Optimism

Today's my birthday. With all the craziness of moving, unpacking and such I had basically forgotten about my coming birthday until Monday night when my aunt asked what my plans were. Hadn't even thought about it. Not being terribly concerned about doing much celebrating my husband and I made plans to out for dinner.
Having woke up this morning with a migraine already taking hold, one that I've been unable to get on top of the plan has changed. I've decided as a special birthday present to myself I'll go ahead and be kind to myself today. I'm taking it easy and trying to relax as much as possible. No doubt I've seriously overdone all week long. I'm so worn out and am really paying the price here. 

It's not all that unusual for my plans to require alteration. Frankly, I just can't count on my body to always cooperate with plans. But I do feel like it's important to still make plans with the hopes that I will be up to it and the understanding that I may not. Chances are better than 50/50 that I WON'T feel good but there is still a chance and if I do feel up to it I'll be glad to have something fun to do.