Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thank You Thursday

Dear Christmas Decorations,

Thank you for making home feel all the more cozy and warm. Pain is still very present and my days are being spent much the same as before, but now I get to go through it all while looking at the festive wonderfulness of the tree, wreath, garland and nick-knacks. My baking is even enhanced by Christmas music playing in the background. I especially appreciate how you take up a space in the dining room I otherwise have no idea what to do with.

Now if only I could find a way to capture it on film. Since that doesn't seem to be happening I will just have to sit and drink it in as much as I can between now and January when you will have to all come down.

Dear Migraines,

Thank you for ruining yet another week. You always find a way to remind me that my life isn't normal. Take me down a peg, if you will. You try so hard to make me believe you will never leave me. You hang on so tight, keep me so close. Then, you start to loosen your grip for a day, sometimes two. And just when I start feeling downright upbeat, you pull me close again. You reassure me of our strong bond and smother me with your affections.

You've ruined so many of my week, this is just one of them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Just For Fun

After more than a week of migraines my brain has become quite scrambled. So I thought today I would share a great clip from Saturday Night Live. 

I couldn't find it on YouTube but this link will take you there. Enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Annoyances

As much as I love the holidays there are parts of it that are pretty annoying to this Migrainista.

- LED lights are obnoxiously bright compared to the soft glow of traditional Christmas lights. While I can control what lights shine in my own house I don't have any say over the rest of the world, who seem to be moving more and more towards this energy efficient option. Not so good for the head.

- Salvation Army bell ringing. Don't get me wrong, I fully support the Salvation Army and their annual Christmas campaign. What I hate is being forced to walk through the ear assaulting ringing to get into the grocery store when my head is already pounding. Not so good for the head.

- Scented candles and such EVERYWHERE. Seems like everywhere I go this time of year strong scents are are there to assault my nose. It used to be just the mall but now it's at the drug stores, grocery stores and even big box stores. I'm sure they intend to get shoppers in the mood with this simple tool but it's not so good for the head.

Basically the holidays present a full on assault of the senses, which makes going out in public an even bigger challenge than it usually does for me. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Change

What a relief to be home again. My husband, our dog and I traveled up to Minnesota to be with my mom and sister for Thanksgiving. Going to Rochester always feels like going home. It's all so familiar and comforting. But, with the blessed passage of time, things inevitably change. We all live in different homes. We all have different animals. We continue to get older and change.
For the first time in my 34 years I'm feeling like the whole traditional Thanksgiving meal is, well, played. I've always loved our holiday meals; turkey, homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, gravy to top it all and pie to end the meal. Preparations are quite time consuming and require a good deal of time management. Normally I enjoy the preparation process is just as much as the consumption but this year was different. 

Obviously, since I no longer eat meat, turkey doesn't have the appeal it once did. But that has been the case for the past 3 years so doesn't explain my reaction this year. I love mashed potatoes in any circumstance so that wasn't it. I guess it was really about the stuffing. It's a very Thanksgiving thing this stuffing, tasty and special because of it's rarity. Perhaps my taste buds have changed or perhaps living with chronic pain have changed how I view a meal that requires so much time and prep. 

I feel like I would be fine with holiday meals that are tasty, healthy and full of beloved people coming together to laugh and eat no matter what the meal is. It's special to me because I was with my family and would have been just as special if we ate take-out from Noodles & Co. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thank You Thursday

Dear Readers,

Thank you for being readers. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by. I wouldn't have kept up all this time if not your support and kindness.

No matter how hard I've tried to come up with words to describe what you all mean to me I have been unable. Let me just say, I appreciate you and look forward to many more years together.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thank You Thursday

Dear Hubby,

Thank you for leaving for work today with my keys. I was going to run several errands but without keys to the condo or my car I won't be going anywhere. Since I'm not actually feeling so good, errand running wasn't something I was looking forward to doing. What a relief.

The plan for today is now much simpler and more relaxing. A welcome relief for this tired body in pain.

Dear Gypsy,

Thank you for spending your days so loyally by my side. You are such a comfort. Always excited to snuggle and take a nap when I need to. You follow me around, just waiting for your opportunity to get back on my lap. You seem to find great comfort in me but I don't know that you realize how much comfort you bring me.

You are so cute and so sweet. You bring me so many laughs. You even remind me to relax my muscles. I couldn't have asked for a better doggy companion.

Dear Skype,

Thank you for allowing me to both see and talk with my family and friends online. It's hard being so far away and talking on the phone just isn't the same. With your help I can see their body language, pets, and can even have multi-person conversations. It's almost like I'm sitting down and talking with them.

Maybe the best part is that it's all free. Precious few great technologies are free to utilize. This fact makes you all the better. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Preparing for the Big Day

With Thanksgiving just a week away I'm bursting with excitement for Christmas. I can hardly wait to start putting up my decorations and listening to festive music. Fortunately, I'll actually be fairly busy until after next Thursday getting ready to travel to Minnesota, my appointment at Mayo, a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving meal with the in-laws and such.

It is my preparations for the actual Thanksgiving dinner that are perhaps the most complicated. We'll be at my mom's house with her 3 dogs, our dog, my sister and her friend from work, and perhaps a couple of neighbors and an old family friend. The potential for all the non-family members being present means that I need to put more into my preparations.

Now if only I could figure out a way to control my migraines and ensure that they won't be making an appearance. But since that's not one of my skills I'll have to make due with what I do have.
 - rescue medications
 - the ability to opt out of meal preparations
 - sunglasses and a hat
 - comfy clothes
 - my sweet little lap dog
 - understanding family
 - time to rest in advance

These are my only ideas but I'm open to any suggestions. What will you be doing to manage your pain and optimize your fun over Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November Headache Blog Carnival

The November Headache Blog Carnival is now available. This month's topic is Giving Thanks. Check out all the great posts.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Blessings and Distractions

Life with chronic migraines is hard - very hard. It has taken so much from me, but I still have plenty to be thankful for. I still have so much.

I have a wonderful husband and a couple super cute animals. I have clothes on my back, food on the table, shampoo in the shower, a roof over my head, blankets on a bed and Internet under said roof. I even have projects to keep me occupied. 

Finding things to be thankful for is the easy part. Finding a way to focus on my many blessings is the tough part most of the time. The pain can be so big that seeing past it is a real challenge. On my worst days the best I can do is distract myself. The rest of the time I can usually talk myself into remembering my blessings. The trouble is that it's just so easy for that mountain of pain, confusion, nausea and such to pop back up and block out those blessings. 

Distractions are great for taking the focus off whatever pains and such that I'm having but they don't do much to help me focus on all that I do have. I guess the very nature of distractions is that they are not discriminating. They distract you from both what you don't want to think about and what you ought to think about. I guess I ought to find more tools in my toolbox so that I don't have to lean so heavily on distracting myself. 

Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thank You Thursday

Dear Voters,

Thank you for turning out to vote and re-elect President Obama. I can't say that all the results turned out the way I wanted but I certainly feel a sense of relief that the health care bill is not going to be overturned. This was honestly a source of anxiety for me since I now have two preexisting conditions that would make health insurance a real problem for me in the future. Obviously the system is still broken but I can hardly wait to be able to join up with others to get a lower premium rate.

Beyond all of that, I can't imagine someone with such little understanding of us 47% of Americans being the one representing us. No thank you.

Dear Luck/Intuition/Divine Intervention,

Thank you for stopping me from walking head first into a spider in its web. I was looking down while walking to avoid stepping in a pile of dog poo left by one of the many irresponsible dog owners in the neighborhood when suddenly I stopped walking. After a beat, I looked up and directly in front of my eyes was a web between a couple low hanging branches and right in the center was a thick spider bigger than quarter.

If I had taken one more step that spider would have been in my hair. IN MY HAIR! My spider phobia would have made that a very ugly scene. I don't know if it was luck or intuition or divine intervention, but I am so thankful that I stopped when I did and saw the web/spider so I could change course and avoid that area in the future.

Dear Standard Time,

Thank you for finally returning. I know most people are huge fans of daylight saving time (DST) and the "extra" hour of sunlight you pretend to give us but I love returning to standard time and most of all I love that the sun is going down earlier each evening. I honestly feel like DST is an unnecessary annoyance in this day and age. How I wish we could do away with it entirely. After all, no matter what name we assign to an hour we cannot impact the amount of sunlight in a given day.

As a migrainista I always look forward to this time of year because the sunlight causes my head so much trouble and because I love having more dark hours to use candles and such to light our home. This kind of lighting is a real kindness on my eyes, plus it carries a certain romantic/cozy feeling with it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day Ditty

My vote has been cast.
My part is done. 
Unfortunately the ads continue 
and the coverage has just begun.

If you haven't already, please vote.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The "Busy" Weekend.

This past weekend was rather exhausting. We had plans on Saturday with my husband's side of the family so I showered, did my hair, put on some light make-up, got properly dressed and had lovely food and conversation. After which I was quite worn out and in pain. 

Sunday we went to Penney's and had our pictures taken. We actually had intended to do it last month for our 5 year anniversary but the timing just didn't work out. So again I showered, did my hair, put on a little more make-up, got properly dressed, had our pictures taken and had to make all kinds of decisions about which poses and how many, etc. After which I was quite worn out and in pain.

I feel such a sense of relief that the pictures are finally done and now I'm just excited to get them back. We've never really had our pictures taken before but I think we'll start doing this every year from now on. It might be fun to look back and see how we change over the years. 

Waking up this morning I was relieved to not have any plans. I took a shower, put my comfy clothes on and am doing what I can around the house and recovering from the busy (for me) weekend. The word busy has taken on a whole new meaning over the past 6 years. I think most of the world would see my weekend as slow and relaxing. Heck, I would have seen it that way back in the day.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thank You Thursday

Dear Lush,

Thank you for making such wonderful products. I can't necessarily afford a buy much of them since they are all hand made from natural ingredients but sometimes I'll grab a little something for a special treat or receive you as a gift. Your products are a special luxury and often make me smile to use. I especially love the shampoo bars and hand lotions.

Part of me wishes you were more readily available and at a price point that was more accessible. However, I'm well aware that in order to do that you would have to be mass produced and made with cheaper ingredients, which would defeat the very thing that makes you so special. Besides, there is something nice about a luxurious treat and that is what you are to me.

Dear Oddities,

Thank you for being so delightful. After Netflix recently made you available to watch instantly I started watching. What a wonderful surprise. You are like an odder, slightly darker version of Pawn Stars. I hadn't even heard of the Science channel and I certainly hadn't been watching it. But there you are. All odd, interesting and full of surprises. I hope more people learn of you and you are on for years to come.

Dear Migraines,

Thanks for putting a real damper on my Halloween last night. I was so excited about snuggling with hubby and watching TV and even though I still did those things, it wasn't quite the same with you there. You may not realize this, but you're a third wheel and you wore out your welcome years ago.

 Can't you just let me enjoy the plans that I make once in a while? I think that's a reasonable request.