Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Very Migraine Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!

I'm a big fan of Halloween. I love the colors, costumes, decorations, candy and even the scare factors. We don't have kids so we don't go out and do the whole trick-or-treat thing. Then again, that was always my least favorite part of Halloween. Growing up in Minnesota it was ALWAYS super cold by the end of October and usually raining, sleeting or snowing on the day. It almost didn't matter what you dressed up as because you ended up covering up with coats and such. But inside it was all kinds of fun.

These days my Halloween celebrations are much more low key. I like to decorate a bit and snuggle with hubby while watching scary shows or movies. My favorite Halloween flick is Edward Sissorhands. I guess it's not really a Halloween flick but it's what I like to watch this time of year. I've actually been celebrating most of October. We carved a fake pumpkin and watched all kinds of shows about ghosts, vampires and the history of Halloween. We don't hand out candy because our dog will just bark the whole time and frankly my head can't take that.

The only thing I miss is dressing up. I loved dressing up. And I'm not talking about the sexy costumes women are expected to wear these days. I'm talking actual characters or scary make-up and such. It's fun to pretend for an evening. Even if I had an adult party to dress up for the process of getting ready would wear me out. The party would be more than my head could handle. It might be worth doing once or twice. Maybe someday I'll have a reason to dress up again.

Do your migraines or other pain conditions impact how you celebrate or don't celebrate Halloween?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hello, My Name Is...

Hello, my name is Emily.

This is me. Well, me and our little dog Gypsy, who you've seen before.

I've been meaning to do this for a couple months now. I guess I wanted to be a little less anonymous to all my readers. So here I am. You now have my name, my face and my continued promise to be open and honest here.

Thank you go everyone who has been following along. I appreciate your care and support. Looking forward to many more years together. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurry Up

Is this election over yet? I don't know how much more of this din I can stand. Between the signs, the constant commercials and news coverage it seems like I'm swimming in the lies and half-truths of political campaigns.
For the most part I try to tune it out except for the humorous coverage of it all on SNL, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. This is the only palatable way to consume this madness for me. 

I have my moments of fear. Afraid of how the outcome will impact health care and social programs. This quickly leads to feeling overwhelmed. There is only so much I can do. I have write legislators, I can vote, I can educate those around me about how these issues impact me and others like me. In healthier days I was involved with the League of Women Voters and a campaign volunteer. But I don't exactly have much control over the outcome of these election or what happens after.

I'm left with my prayers and hopes that things will be okay and that this final week before election day goes quickly. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thank You Thursday

Dear Dryer,

Thank you for breaking down a mere 3 months after being purchased. While waiting to see if the receipt can be located, laundry must go on. With only enough room in the condo to hang one load at a time, only one load can be done a day. Once dry they are wrinkled and stiff, despite the fabric softener.

Hopefully that receipt can be found this weekend and we can get someone out next week to repair it free of charge. After all, a 3 month old machine should not be breaking down.

Dear Color,

Thank you for your transformative powers. No matter if you are on a wall, furniture, pillow, blanket, or other decorative item you can really change the mood in a room. Even better you can change yourself when paired with other colors. You can be muted and subtle. You can be intense and loud. You can be calm. You can be fun.

If only you could make my pain go away...

Dear Nail Clippers,

Thank you for making nail trimming so much easier. It may sound trivial but I honestly don't know what people did before nail clippers. My nails grow so fast and even though I hate clipping them I'm always glad that I can just clip and file them, instead of...what? I can't imagine.

Thankfully we have nail clippers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Saving Money

I've always considered myself pretty frugal. Some might say cheap. Either way there are skills that I've developed through the years that help me be this way: watching sales, using coupons, using washable towels instead of disposable ones, etc. There are probably more things I could do but I do tend to draw the line - mostly as a result of growing up with a step-mom who is a hoarder.

Recently I've been drawn into the show Extreme Cheapskates. Originally because I thought I might be able to pick up a couple workable techniques to save more money. These people are not flushing their toilets very often, they are washing their clothes in the shower, they dumpster dive for food, they don't use toilet get the idea. What I've found is that this is too extreme for me. I've not yet picked up a single new idea that I could see myself doing.

Yet, I can't stop watching. I am so curious about who these people are and what makes them go to such extreme measures to save a couple dollars. But it did get me wondering if anything I do to save money others might consider to be extreme. Perhaps the most "extreme" thing I do is turn glass jelly jars and such into glasses for drinking out of.

What about you? What the most extreme thing you do to save money?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Migraine Mack Truck

I got hit by a migraine Mack truck this morning. Was doing fine and then all of a sudden BAM! So much for all my plans. Scraping plans is nothing new of course, after all I am a migrainista. There is one thing I will force myself to do this afternoon: measure.

We have figured out a super cheap way to redo some of our floors and have been waiting for the fake wood, laminate stuff to go on sale. Yesterday I saw some for $0.68/sq ft. Score! I want to get it before it's gone so I need to measure so we can go get it tonight.

Measuring could actually be a challenge in this state and accurate measuring, well we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thank You Thursday

Dear Me,

Thank you for standing up for yourself and not feeling a bit bad about it. Something has begun to switch inside me and I'm suddenly feeling empowered. Increasingly I'm unwilling to be pushed into doing something I don't want to or feel up to just to be polite. Suddenly being kind to myself is a higher priority and, this is the biggest part, I don't feel guilty about it.

For years I've been hearing that women tend to come into their own as they age. It just takes years to unlearn the gender etiquette and such that we are brought up with. I guess, for me, 34 years of age is when this process has begun. I'm so thankful, grateful and excited about these changes in me.

Dear Cardinals,

Thank you for bringing it during the post season. I'm not exactly a big baseball fan and certainly don't watch many of the Cardinal games during the regular season. Let's face it, the games go on way too long and so little of the time is actually play action. But come post season suddenly you guys are playing with a little magic and charisma, which makes watching your games with husband (the big Cards fan) palatable and even a little enjoyable.

You may not win the World Series again this year, or even make it that far. But you have made the October road an interesting one. I really do appreciate it.

Dear Mad Men,

Thank you for finally coming out on DVD. I can hardly wait to get all caught up on season 5 so I can watch season 6 on AMC when they are finally ready. I can't get enough of you. My only real complaint is that we have to wait so long between seasons.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More Downsizing

In a continued effort to downsize and simplify I'm starting to consider getting rid of some of my wall hangings.  For years now I've had more things ready to hang on the walls than I've had wall space to hang it all. I have my favorites that always make the cut to the wall and others that never do. 

I'm not quite sure why I've hung onto all these for so long, why it has never occurred to me to get rid of some before. Don't know why, but I can't blame this one on the migraines or the fibromyalgia. 

I plan to give some away, rescue some of the frames and maybe try to sell a few. The very thought of getting rid of some of these items has given me a sense of freedom. Each time I realize I don't need, want or enjoy some of the stuff we own a little weight is lifted. 

My final goal is to own nothing that isn't useful, beautiful, or productive. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Too Many Meds

I want to stop taking a couple of my medications. Seems like I spend way too much time taking pills, too many pills. The rescue meds are the rescue meds and I'm not ready to part with any of them. The "preventative" meds on the other hand have never done a single thing to help me. All they do is make my mouth drier, mess with my energy, generally making me feel funky in a number of ways. There is no point as far as I can tell.

I'm on an SNRI that, of course, isn't making any real difference. I think I was put on it to help with the fibro pain and possibly with the migraines a bit. My Bachlofen used to be the only thing that allowed me to get some sleep (poor in quality as it may be) but recently the only manufacturer who made a version that worked  for me stopped making them. 

My gen doc doesn't want me to stop either but I want to stop both. She thinks I should just do higher doses, which has only made me feel funkier. I feel like she just wants to push more meds on me when the problems don't improve. I guess that's about all I can expect from a doctor. Their tool boxes are limited. 

I get that the fibro management is all on me and I'm cool with that. I just wish the chronic migraine prevention and management was a little more clear cut. Nothing I've tried has made any real impact. I don't know that there is much left to try but I guess I'll have that discussion with the migraine specialist at Mayo in November. 

In the meantime I just want to stop taking these other meds. More is not better. My body is saying no. 

If only I could find another kind of healer to help guide me through these issues. I wouldn't even know where to begin or how to tell the good from the bad. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thank You Thursday

Dear Clueless,

Thank you to all those who made the very funny "90s movie Clueless. Comedy Central has been airing this classic recently and I have been watching. Even though I know it backwards and forwards because I watched you more times than I can count back in the day, you still make me laugh.

It's been years since I've enjoyed your silliness and sarcasm. Thanks for being funny enough to make me laugh despite all this time.

Dear Bean Stew,

Thank you for being so good. You are a healthy, tasty, one-pot comfort meal. I'm trying not to make you too frequently for fear of growing tired of you, but it's hard. Your yum factor is so high and once made you feed us for two days. Your leftovers being just as good, if not better.

I can hardly wait two weeks to enjoy you again.

Dear Brain,

Thanks for failing me again today. I don't know what you have done with my ability to recall basic things. Well done, I can't seem to find it anywhere, even when I can see it. Words don't seem adequate to describe the frustration and chaos you leave in your wake. Heck, even if there were words, I wouldn't be able to recall them anyway. So I leave you with a simple thank you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October Migraine Blog Carnival

The October Migraine Carnival is now available. This month's topic is Venting About Migraines. Check out all the great posts.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Small Comfort

At times the most mundane tasks bring me satisfaction, comfort even. I've had a couple of bad weeks here and during this time I've been doing some small tasks around the house: dusting, vacuuming, laundry. All the while paying special attention to the doing, noticing how I bend, which muscles I use, how the task is coming together, etc. Of course, any time I can get things done and make things look nice is satisfying, but the satisfaction is greater when accomplishing tasks despite feeling so bad. That all makes sense.

What's surprising is how these tasks seem to bring a little comfort too. Perhaps it's the familiar motions of household chores, the small sense of normalcy they imply. I'm not entirely sure, but am very thankful for any bit of comfort.

Does anything in your days make you feel this way?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thank You Thursday

Dear Antique Mall,

Thank you so much for every one of your 50,000 sq. ft. just one exit down from our condo. Even though I only had a few minutes to walk around earlier this week I happened upon a real gem - this mirror for just $27. Okay so it wasn't an antique, who cares. It's beautiful and affordable. I totally wasn't planning to buy anything, just walk around and check it out. But there it was.

And there you are - so close to home. I can head down any day and just walk around, taking in all the wonderful old stuff. It's like going to a museum, only you get to touch everything. It's been far too long since I've lived near a cool antique mall. I can't believe I didn't stop in sooner.

Dear Brain Fog,

Thanks for making writing so difficult. Without you I might be able to actually put together some thoughts. You are forcing me to wrap up early because you have decided to shut down.

Yeah, thanks.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I'm dealing with a big question. Better said, my husband and I are dealing with a big question. We want to have a baby. The natural way is not going to happen. I am not willing to put my body through fertility treatments because my poor body is going through enough. We've been thinking about adoption but that has been financially unrealistic - until recently.

Since moving into this condo a couple months ago we're finally in a position to save some money. We want to save money so we can buy a house and really settle in. We can stay and save as long as we want so we got to thinking perhaps we can also save for an adoption.

Now that it's a more realistic possibility I'm feeling very torn. Having a child is something we both really want. There are so many reasons we want to do it. But I'm also so scared about it. Something inside me tells me that when a baby comes into my life I will rise to whatever challenge out of love. I feel that sometimes with our pets. Besides I know my in-laws are close and I'm sure they will be a wonderful support for me when my husband is at work. Plus, with time, a baby becomes a child and becomes increasingly independent.

But what if a couple years in he or she develops autism - I don't think I'm capable of dealing with that with all the pain, brain fog, fatigue, etc. Or what if he or she has colic - another situation I don't think I could deal with.

What if no matter how much I love him or her, I'm just not able to be a good mom because of the migraines and fibromyalga?

Even if I can - who would choose to give their baby to us. I wouldn't, when there are other "healthier" couples to choose from. So what right do I have to even ask?

I go back and forth. I just don't know what the right thing is here.

What do you all think?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Top Ten

Here are the top ten reasons October is the best month of the year:

1. The leaves are painting the landscape with all the warm fall colors.
2. I get to switch out my warm weather clothes for cool weather clothes.
3. It's the start of sweet potato pie season.
4. Halloween is the start of the wonderful holiday season.
5. Oct. 13th is our 5th wedding anniversary.
6. The smell of pumpkins, spices, leaves...
7. Bubble baths ;)
8. Time to fire up the fire place.
9. Big comfy blankets to snuggle under.
10. Mums are in bloom.