Monday, December 29, 2008

A New Migraine Mascot?

I was thinking about adding The Nail Figure, who I saw at the art museum, to my list of migraine mascots, but I'm not sure how well he applies. Apparently, he did serve as some sort of doctor because he was carved to capture the power of spirits who were necessary for healing and judging disputes. The large cowrie shell in his stomach held strong medicines which gave him power, and the nails were driven into him when an agreement was made to seal the oath.

The haunting part comes from the rumors that several security officers, who work the afternoon and midnight shift at the museum, have reported that when the lights are out, they have seen him performing a tribal dance.

I checked him out for a long while and I did get some heebeejeebee vibes off him, but he didn't move at all. My head didn't feel any better while I was near him either.

Do you think he makes a good migraine mascot?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Modern Art Migraines

I think I’ve narrowed down my migraine trigger problem at art museums. I went to The Detroit Institute of Arts to see a show called Monet to Dali: Modern Masters from the Cleveland Museum of Art. I really wanted to see this show because my favorite aunt, who has passed away, used to work at this museum as an editor for years, which means she saw many of these paintings and she probably edited the catalogs for them.

My head behaved during the exhibition, and I was feeling halfway human until I decided to go upstairs with my friend to try to track down this African Nail Figure sculpture, which is supposedly haunted. Well to get to the African American Art,(where we thought it was) we had to go through the modern and contemporary galleries, where my head starting popping off, and I realized something. It is not the paintings that bother me so much. It’s these huge modern and contemporary installation art/sculpture things that do it.

We ended up asking a security guard where the Nail Figure was located. Turned out it was downstairs in the African only section. I really needed a sit down at this point, so we had lunch in the cafeteria where some Mac-n-cheese and carrots helped me feel better.

Afterwards, we found the Nail Figure, a quite scary dude, and we stopped at another exhibition called Jane Hammond: Paper Work. In this gallery, I practically forgot my head was hurting me for twenty minutes because it included all sort of provoking mixed media like stamping and collage.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Migraine Barbie's Christmas Cookies

Migraine Barbie decided that buying store made Christmas Cookies was far less stressful than making her own!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Migraine Mascot

I was trying to find a good Christmas Migraine Mascot for this year, but I was having a heck of a problem. First, I tried to find some artwork of grumpy elves, but I couldn't find any. I didn't like the Scrooge ones, but then I found some reindeers with lights in their antlers, which to me represent an aura kind of thing and the lights flashing inside my head at times. What do you think?

Friday, December 19, 2008

I dream about migraines

I had a dream about migraines the other night, so I made this collage about dreaming about migraines. I tried to go for a vintage look. I found the antique photo of the girl at a flea market, and I felt a little bad about putting the migraine hat on her, but even pretty girls get migraines. The "M"s are typewriter keys.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Battling Holiday Depression

I know I've been nattering on about Holiday Depression for weeks, but the dreaded monster will not go away, just like my freaking migraines. Here is a list of things I've done and not done so far with the holidays. It's become a balancing act. Also, I've really been trying to do the "one day at a time" type thinking when I feel overwhelmed.

I put up a small fake tabletop Christmas Tree instead of a real one.

I did manage to get my Christmas cards addressed and mailed in a timely fashion.

I skipped the Christmas reception in the lobby of my work building thrown by the building's management company. It was after work and I was too knackered to deal with it.

I did all my holiday shopping online.

I'm deliberately not listening to Christmas music in my car.

I only brought potato chips to my work's Christmas potluck.

I'm still not sure about baking Christmas cookies this year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Woes of a Migraine Bear

I was just reading about the lovely Nap products on Migraine Community, and I was totally agreeing that they are something a migraine chick cannot live without, when I decided to go to the Brookstone website to see if there were any new products.

I came across The Dream and Cuddle Bears. I've had a Dream Bear for a couple years and it has been my constant Migraine companion. I've still yet to come up with an original name for her. She is still just called "Migraine Bear." But the shocking thing was the contrast between my bear and the new ones. I've mangled this poor thing to death!!

Here is proof what a migraine chick can do to a poor teddy bear. I'm surprised she hasn't reported me for teddy bear cruelty.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kitty Christmas T-shirt

It wouldn't be the holidays if I didn't try to make my cat wear something festive. This year I bought him a small dog Christmas t-shirt from Target. The first time, I tried it on him was at night. He actually walked around in it for fifteen minutes before he collapsed in shame. Then the next morning when I wanted to take a picture of him wearing it, he acted like he was lame from the get go, like it was strangling him. He must have forgotten his performance the night before where he was walking around in it, so I knew he could move. This is the best shot I could get.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Laundry Detergent Migraine Cure??

I've been noticing that the longer I have migraines, the more bizarre things I dream up for possible migraine cures. This is my first attempt at a 4x6 collage.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Migraine Barbie VS Christmas Barbie

Migraine Barbie views Christmas Morning Target Barbie with some skepticism.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Christmas Haggis

Since I've been suffering from Pre-Holiday Dread, I've been a little bit of a Grinch and a Scrooge so far this Holiday Season, but a good friend of mine is tired of my grumbling. She said that even with my migraines I still need to celebrate Christmas on some level, and she said that if I don't cheer up she is going to buy a Haggis from a local Scottish Bakery and make me eat it for Christmas. Nothing against the Scottish people or Haggis Lovers, but a haggis to a vegetarian is a terrible threat. I can't even write the description here because it is making me nausous.

So I've been trying to drum up some Holiday Cheer. I actually bought myself this year's Christmas Barbie from Target and I put up my small fake Christmas Tree yesterday. I'm still not sure about baking cookies, etc...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Do You Smell Something?

Since reading all the comments on my last post, I've realized that shopping in Bright Lights/Big Stores aren't the only culprits in ruining a Migraine Shopper's experience. Smells are a huge factor. I'm not sure if there is a nicer way to say it, but the trigger happy scent farms often send me running too.

Here is my list so far of stores that break the odor barriers.

Bed, Bath and Beyond
Bath and Body Works
Crabtree and Evelyn
Body Shop
Yankee Candle
The baby aisle in grocery stores-diapers and baby powder combo
Used Bookstores-the old musty books

Does anyone have anywhere else to add to the list??

Monday, December 1, 2008


I managed a full day of shopping on Saturday with a medium pain level migraine, but I figured it was easier to just get it all done in one shot. One thing I noticed was that Target was the least migraine friendly store. Maybe it's all the red and bulleyes and bright lights, but my head definately was pounding by the time I left. It reminded me a lot of the experience I had at the art museum with the modern art.

I didn't have the same reaction at Borders, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Petco, Dick's Sporting Goods or the mall. Has anyone else noticed this Target=Migraine effect??

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

What Migraines Have Done

Feeling quite blue about the state of the union in my head. I really want to write more things like essays and articles and short stories, but migraines are making it nearly impossible, so I tried to convey what's happening in my head with this collage. The blond girl is me before migraines and the dark hair girl is me now. Look what has happened to the words.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Why My Head Hurts! Reason #113

Here is my latest Migraine Chick comic. I've been having a rough week with a hormone hell migraine and exasperated PHD.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Rise and Fall of The Migraine Diary

I would like to be able to say that I'm a good migraine diary keeper, that I write down every fluctuation of symptom and pain with precision, and I have managed to show some doctors my efforts, but as a rule I suck at keeping a migraine diary.

Recently, I was rummaging around my office and I came across a couple migraine diaries. As I flipped through them, I realized there seemed to be a trend. I would start out the diaries in an orderly, well documented fashion, but eventually everything dissolved into chaos. I would forget entries, become fed up with the repetition and basically becoming sick of hearing myself whine.

So I made this migraine diary collage to show my struggles in keeping an ongoing migraine diary.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pre-Holiday Dread and Migraines

I know this is going to come across like a Scrooge, but I think I have the worst case of PHD (Pre-Holiday Dread) that I’ve ever experienced. I know last year I was dreading the holidays because of my migraines (Christmas Klutz), but this year, I can’t even take looking at the Christmas stuff yet. There are neighbors on my street who already have their Christmas lights on! Even the sale flyers from the local drug stores are filled with stuff on sale for Christmas. Radio stations are playing 24 hours of holiday music and it isn’t even Turkey Day. A friend has already completed all her Christmas shopping!

I usually love the holidays, but just the thought of dealing with my migraines and family events, including the guilt of canceling or going with a bad flair up of pain and looking like a misery guts the whole time, makes me groan. Then there is the stress of Christmas shopping, getting a tree and decorating it, putting lights on the house and making cookies. It all seems too monumental.

Is anyone else feeling like this? Am I the only one afflicted with PHD??

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dog Music for Migraine Brains??

I posted a new Migraine Chick Comic on Stripgenerator called Why My Head Hurts #132. It's about my stressed out/desperate housewife mother maybe taking too much Valium when I was in the womb and that's maybe why I have migraines, when the lovely Dorota left me a link for this relaxation music. I love it. It's so relaxing. It made me feel instantly better. I could feel the tension draining away, but there is a catch.

It's relaxation music for dogs. Check it out The Dog Whisperer Band. My favorite song is Relax and Calm, followed by Toy Dog Relaxation.

I found the songs to download through I-Tunes and Amazon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stinky Coat Situation

I don't know if anyone remembers the girl with the massive hygiene problem at my work. She was the one who made me nauseous in a meeting because I had to sit beside her. Well since I've moved my desk across the room, I'm sharing a coat closet with her.

Plus, there is another issue with the closet. There is a middle aged hippy man who has a smelly situation, too. He smells like body odor, cigarettes and that Patchouli stuff. If I'm ever in the elevator with him, I have to hold my breath. He keeps his coat in the closet as well.

This may sound childish, but I really don't want my coat next to their coats in the closet. With my senstivity to smells due to my migraines, I want to avoid potential problems. I've tried to figure out if they keep their coats in the same spots, but I can't do it without obviously watching them (the coat closet is behind me.) I don't need hippy man thinking I have a crush on him.

So far, I've been stashing my coat under my desk. No one has noticed, but I'm waiting for a supervisor to say something, and I don't want to go through another big deal, like when I had to get permission to wear my visor due to the bright lights.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More Distraction!

I've found something else that can distract a migraine girl from her pain. It's Daniel Craig, my major crush right now, and I'm so looking forward to the new Bond movie next weekend Quantum of Solace.

I know another migraine chick who has a crush on him as well, so I'm thinking that he should be made our official poster boy for migraine distraction.

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Migrainelupe Collage

I don't know why I keep returning to the image of Migrainelupe with my collages. I think it's because I so desperately need something out there to believe in, someone who is dedicated to praying for us migraine peeps.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Driven to Distraction

I was just reading a really good article on ChronicPainConnection. com about how Distraction is the most powerful pain reliever. The article is called The Most Powerful Pain Reliever Revealed.

Since I've been working on my collages, I've noticed how with the distraction theory works. While I'm slicing and dicing magazines, my pain does seem to back off. It's like this action occupies a different part of my brain. I'm not really thinking verbally, but more visually. I used to find surfing Flickr for photographs had the same effect, but when I stop, the pain comes thudding back.

The problem is that I cannot keep the distraction up all day and night. What about when I go to bed? As I'm trying to go to sleep, all I can focus on is the screaming inside my head.

I think Distraction is a good tool for trying to manage your pain, but I don't think it's the final solution.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Battle with the Squirrels

I've been trying hard to get some things done on my To-Do list, especially the items which seem to have been languishing forever. It seems like I can get everyday things done, like doing the dishes, feeding the cat, etc...but with my migraines, other tasks seem to take forever like doing battle with dust bunnies, etc...

My time was running out with getting some flower bulbs in the ground before the first hard frost. I had been meaning to buy bulbs and plant them for weeks, and finally I managed to get it done. I was so proud of myself!

Then the other morning, I noticed there were odd holes all over my little garden along with clumps of dirt. It took me a minute to figure out what was going on. The local squirrels had dug up my freakin bulbs and ate them. After all that agonising over my To-Do list, feeling guilty for not planting the bulbs sooner because of my migraines, and finally getting it done! I should have just left the bulbs on the side walk with a free dinner sign next to them.

First there was Migraine Squirrel Chuck causing chaos in my head and now this!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fear Factor

Yesterday at work, they were having a Fear Factor contest for Halloween. They had six covered bowls and you had to stick your hand in each bowl and guess the contents. I don't know if my brain was working exceptionally well for a change or if my relationship to food has been altered because of the vomit factor in my life, but I was the only one who guessed all the bowls correctly, so I won the contest.

The contents of the bowls were peeled grapes in cold water, cold spaghetti noodles, warm rice, rice pudding with gummy worms, pumpkin guts, and jello with plastic spiders.

For my prize, I won a set of Halloween Cookie Cutters!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Guillotine Type Day!

I was having a truly awful migraine pain day today, with lots of prayers to Migrainelupe to save me, and I was seriously thinking about building a guillotine in my back yard, when I came across The Princess's Daily Life blog where she had posted her own cartoon about a guillotine, so I decided to make my own comic about it, too.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Migraine Brain Works

Have you ever noticed how your brain works differently with varying levels of pain during a migraine? Most mornings, I feel as if my brain is a wonky computer with an unstable virus, and I have to figure out what is going on with it today. Sometimes as my pain level increases during the day, I can actually feel my intelligence dropping to a lower wattage.

Here are some of the variations for my Migraine Brain Works

Full Fledge Shut Down-I can’t even think. This is the face in the pillow type of day where I don’t even know what day of week it is.

The Zone Out-This is where I find myself staring at something like my computer screen at work and I have no idea what I’m doing or how long I’ve been sitting there staring at my screen.

Scatterbrained-I feel as if I have severe ADD. I have to check to see if I put my bra on in the morning or I might put on deodorant twice because I’m so distracted that I cannot remember doing it the first time.

The Substitution-I find myself saying words wrong. I say “Bed and Bath” instead of “Blockbuster Video.” I also have a problem with typos and spelling errors if I'm trying to write something.

No Short Term Memory-I have trouble learning something new at work, but doing something I’ve done for ages isn’t a problem at all.

Forget Me Not-I’m plagued all day by the feeling that I’m forgetting something important. This is tied into the scatterbrained type of day.

Do you have any different types of Migraine Brain Works?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Losing Your Grip-Collage

I made this collage to convey the sense of chaos that migraines bring to my life.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Good Voodoo Dolls!

I found some good voodoo dolls to counteract the Guatemalan worry dolls which I believe are hanging out in my head with Migraine Squirrel Chuck and giving me migraines. It's getting crowded in there.

They are called Charm Voodoo Dolls, and they are handmade from one piece of string. They even have a health series, where I think I found the best doll for migraines. She is called Nalani The Hula Girl. Here is her blurb:

"WHAT NALANI CAN DO FOR YOU - I will help you find that relaxed place in your mind so you may have peace. My translated name is "calms of the sky" and I come from the beaches of Hawaii."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Princess Who Lost Her Crown

I must not be much of a princess because I swallowed my temporary crown on my tooth. I was eating spaghetti for dinner Sunday night when I noticed something felt different in my mouth. My temporary crown had vanished and it was no where to be found. Thus, I deduced that I must have eaten it!

Now my poor ground down tooth was exposed and it was hurting! Luckily, I had some Anbesol for during the night, but when I woke up, I had a fresh bout of migraine-laria and a throbbing tooth. I called the dentist straight away and they were able to fit me in at 4:30 p.m. That meant I had to go to work, where I was completely useless.

After I initially swallowed my temporary crown, I considered making myself throw up. I throw up all the time with my migraines, but the one time, I needed to throw up, I couldn't do it! What type of migraine skill is that??

At the dentist, they had my new permanent crown, so they stuck that on. (I was supposed to go in Saturday for the crown delivery) This morning, my tooth is still pretty sore, but my new crown is looking pretty good. My dentist said my temporary crown is probably not lancing my internal organs, either.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Migraine Haiku-The Book

I finally put together my migraine haiku book. It is a collection of 100 haiku all written during a migraine about having migraine. It is the biggest writing project I have tackled since this disease has taken over my life, and I’m proud of myself for completing it.

These are bad/pseudo haiku, only following the 5/7/5 syllable rule. The rest of the haiku rules were thrown out the window because to me that is what migraines have done to my life.

I really wanted to capture what it’s like having migraines and how it impacts so many areas of your life, including the full range of emotions. I also took the photos for the front cover (above) and back cover (below).

So if you're interested, check out Migraine Chick CafePress.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Migraine Haiku Collage

I tried to find some vintage collage materials at an huge antique mall over the weekend, but I came up empty handed, so I came up with the idea of a haiku collage, where I use a collage made from magazine clippings to illustrate one of my migraine haikus. I've still been working on my migraine haiku book idea and it's finally starting to look like I'm going to be able to put it together.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Honey Addict!

Sometimes, I’m sure that my migraines are changing me for the worse. Since I’ve been relying on chamomile tea to get me through rough days, I’ve become a severe honey addict.

I’ve discovered local Michigan honeys are beyond yummy and I’ve been buying them every chance I get, like when I go to street fairs or cider mills or farmer’s markets. I keep telling myself I need to stock up for winter because they are hard to find during the cold months, but I looked in my cupboard the other day and I realized I have a problem.

Look at how much freaking honey I have! I don’t even bother with honey bears. I go straight for the jars. I should have enough to last me for the winter, plus some. I guess the only good thing is that it never spoils.

Is there something that you are addicted to because of your migraines?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stressed Out Week

I've been having a bad week at work. First, I learned my employer is changing our health insurance next year to a Health Savings Account. They had a seminar about how good it is supposed to be, but I've learned that the more they try to convince you that it's a good thing, the worse it is going to be. It looks like if you only have to go to the doctor a couple times a year, it won't be a big deal, but if you have a chronic illness with lots of drugs, you are basically screwed.

On top of this, they moved my desk across the floor, so now I have to get used to a whole new group of people.

Plus, I'm traumatized by Holly Madison breaking up with Hugh Hefner.

And my head is killing me because Aunt Martha is late for her visit again, the bitch, and my hormones are going nuts! So I made this new collage to express my mood this week!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Too Many Migraines

Here is a new collage. I was trying to capture the different personalities of migraines all within the same head.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Worry Dolls??

I rented a really bad horror movie during the weekend. It was called "Dangerous Worry Dolls" and the plot sounded intriguing. It was a woman in prison movie with a twist. The lead character is a young women in trouble, who is trying to turn her life around, and she is a nervous wreck. During a visitation, her daughter gives her some Guatemalan Worry Dolls to comfort her.

"Children of Guatemala believe if you tell one worry to each doll when you go to bed at night, when you get up in the morning, your worries will be gone."

Well, the woman tells the dolls her worries(she has a lot of them from the warden to the guards to a girl gang tormenting her), puts them under her pillow, but they don't comfort her. One of them ends up crawling into her head through her ear and possesses her. Then the evil revenge mayhem begins!

The plot was a mess! The acting was bad! The continuity was abysmal! So why did I keep watching it. Because I could really identify with the main character. The worry doll was giving her a great deal of pain in her head, and it was starting to make me wonder whatever happened to my Guatemalan Worry Dolls. I used to have some really little ones glued to a barrette a while back and I have no idea where they are.

Are they in my head????

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Migraine Mascot!

I think I may have found an even better migraine mascot doll besides Barbie and Dawn. She is called Blythe. Look at the size of her cranium. That has got to be a migraine brain for sure. Plus, her eyes are super expressive. The only bad thing is that she is expensive. On Ebay, she is going from $100.00 and up! So I will just have to make due with collecting pictures of her for now. Maybe I can find a cheap one at a flea market some day.

This picture is from dolli*fever on Flickr.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crown Me!

I finally got my butt to the dentist for my crown on Saturday, after rescheduling two times. I woke up that morning feeling not too swift in the melon department, but I decided to stick it out.

During the procedure, I wore my sunglasses again. It helped a great deal. I think dentist office's should just offer them in the first place! In between x-rays, numbing, drilling and molding, I had the assistant sit me up, because I was hanging out in verp city with a nauseous tummy. There was a scary moment during my last molding where I thought I might chuck and my mouth was basically glued shut. I did some relaxation thoughts like "relax, release and let go" and I managed to get through it.

Afterward, I had a chilled ginger ale waiting for me in the car. I think next time I might listen to an affirmation or relaxation cd in the car during the drive there. I should have my final crown in three weeks. Hopefully that appointment will go better.

Here are my tips so far for a migraine chick getting through a dental appointment:

Wear sunglasses.
Use relaxation techniques.
Ask the assistant to sit you up during pauses.
Try not to spew on the dentist.
Have a ginger ale waiting in the car for afterwards.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Migraine Barbie Goes Black and White

Recently, I realized that I haven't made any new Migraine Barbie photos in a while, and I saw some cool B&W photos of fashion dolls on Flickr, so I thought I would give it a go. In honor of my migraine related insomnia, Migraine Barbie has been having sleepless nights as well. It could be because of her migraines or her watching zombie movies all the time or a combination of both.

The first picture is called "Night of the Living Migraine Barbie."

The second picture isn't technically a Barbie. She is a Dawn Doll that I picked up at a flea market, so her picture is called "Dawn of The Dead."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Toaster Did It!

Since I haven't been able to medically prove there is a devious squirrel living in my head, who is giving me migraines, I've been rummaging around in my childhood memories for reasons. The toaster part is true. My mom told me not to stick a butter knife in the toaster to retrieve a broken piece of toast, and I did it anyway. I ended up on the floor! Zap!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"I feel like s**t!"

At work, I use my own notebooks for scribbling down stuff during client calls, like doing math, etc. My place of employment only supplies scrap paper and it’s a hassle to go looking for it, and I like having lines on my paper. It’s easier to focus for me. I stock up on a bunch of notebooks every time I go to the dollar store, so it doesn’t cost a lot.

Anyway, I occasionally vent in my notebooks as well, if I’m having a difficult call or a difficult day at work. The other morning, I came into work, barfed, and started my day, but not before I wrote “I feel like shit” in my notebook.

Well, my computer was having problems and I had to call over my supervisor to help me. He had to call the tech desk from my set, so he was sitting there on hold looking around at my desk

“I feel like shit?” he asked.

I stared at him for a second, not registering what he was saying until I looked down at my open notebook. I hadn’t closed it.

“Well, I do,” I said. “I just vent in there sometimes.”

He paused. I thought he might ask me further about feeling like shit or say something like “poor baby,” etc…like maybe we could connect on a personal level, but no such luck.

“Is there anything bad about me in there?” he asked, jokingly.

“No,” I said.

I did really consider writing something bad about him after he left my desk, but I didn't want to waste my time.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Making Paper Collages

For a while I’ve been pursuing finding a craft that I can actually handle on a regular basis. Crocheting went horribly wrong. Making stuffed mouse cat toys was a huge failure. I couldn't even get into coloring.

Lately, I’ve been working on more paper collages, which I guess could be called paper crafts. I’ve been making them from magazines, using scissors and a glue stick, and it’s something I can actually handle.

I don’t know if it’s the cutting action, but I actually feel better doing them. It’s like a mild level of distraction and I don’t need a lot of focus. Most of them are migraine focused, so I can take out some of my frustration on them.

I've also discovered that people actually put their collages in things called art journals.

Here is a cool article about it. How to Collage in Your Art Journal.

And here is my favorite collage that I've made so far.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Girl with The Marshmallow Brain

I don’t know why I set myself up like this. Recently, I watched a movie called That Forsyte Woman with Greer Garson and I really liked it. I found out it was based on the novel The Forsyte Saga, which I decided I really wanted to read.

Last night at Borders, I tried to find it, but I couldn’t remember whom it was by, so I tried the search computer at the information desk. I couldn’t remember how to spell “Forsyte.” I tried every variation I could with no success. A clerk tried to help me, but she couldn’t spell it either. Then I got the notion to find the movie by Greer Garson and go from there. Finally I found the author’s name, John Galsworthy, and I headed to the literature section.

And guess what. It was this frigging thick book with teeny tiny print that I could never read with my migraines in a million years. I was so frustrated that I exclaimed, “My brain is a marshmallow” out loud right when another clerk was walking by.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

Only if you reverse my marshmallow migraine braininess, I thought, but I told her no.

I ended up in the humor section where I picked out a book called Appetite for Detention by Sloane Tanen, a humor picture book about chenille chickens.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Blogging for Invisible Illness!

Here is my post for National Invisible Illness Week.

Gold Star Envy

One of the hardest places for me having an invisible illness with my chronic daily migraines is the workplace. I work in a highly monitored environment that is the call center where they score everything you do from how long it takes you to complete a phone call to how long you were away from the phone to go the bathroom on an unscheduled break.

It is a lot like being graded in school and just like in school, good grades are rewarded, even with gold stars. They actually hang paper gold stars over employee’s cubicles.

I have never gotten a gold star at work and it is because of my invisible illness. I want to excel at my job, but I cannot because of the difficulties of my migraines. Some days, I’m barely making expectations, which is being a “C” student.

I would have to say at least 90% of my huge office isn’t aware of my migraines, and even those who know about them don’t have any idea about the struggle that I face every day at work just to get through it.

Who knows what my co-workers think about me. I’m sure they think I’m some sort of slacker, but they don’t know my frequent trips to the bathroom aren’t because I’m goofing off. It’s because I’m throwing up. I’m not closing my eyes at my desk because I’m sleeping or lazy. I’m closing them because the light is killing my eyes. My frequent days off work aren’t because I’m going shopping. I’m home sick, trapped in my bedroom in the dark, wondering if this is going to be my last day on earth because the pain is so bad.

So how do I combat this gold-star envy? I have to tell myself to put it into some perspective. In the end, how much of this stuff really matters. Do I even remember who the valedictorian was in my high school class? No. I don’t have a clue. My work scores aren’t going to go on my tombstone either. It’s not going to read, “Migraine Chick got a 77% on her last score.”

I just have to tell myself I’m working on a different playing field. Could any one else even work with my migraines? In addition, if I didn’t have my migraines, I’m sure I would have gold stars galore.

It is hard to hear co-workers being recognized all the time for a job well done at work, but I’m going to give myself an invisible star for managing so far to keep my job with an invisible illness.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pain Game Buttons

I definitely needed some new buttons for work this week. I was having a very bad pain week, and I throwing up at work like crazy. Thursday, I did it twice and Friday, I did it three times. Also, I had to reschedule my crown appointment at the dentist today. (for the second time) I just couldn't deal with getting a crown with this much pain this week.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Non-Chocolate Treats

Sometimes, I don’t even want to deal with the stress of wondering whether chocolate is going to be a migraine trigger or not. I just want to eat something sweet and enjoy myself. During the years, I’ve discovered some non-chocolate treats that I want to eat even if I’m not avoiding chocolate, and I probably wouldn’t have discovered them if not for my migraines. Here is my list so far:

Goetze's Caramel Creams

Fralingers Salt-Water Taffy

Boyer Smoothie Peanut Butter Butterscotch Cups-like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup sans chocolate. Usually find them at retro candy type stores.

Penuche and Maple Pecan Fudge

Whoppers Reese's Peanut Butter

Zagnut-crunchy peanut butter and toasted coconut bar.

Pralines-my favorite ones are from Aunt Sally's in New Orleans.

Divinity-a fluffy, air like candy with a crisp outer layer.

Does anyone else have any other non-chocolate treats that I can add to my list??

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Invisible Illness Week!

Invisible Illness Week is next week.

"Nearly 1 in 2 people in the USA have a chronic illness and according to U.S. Census Bureau about 96% of illnesses are invisible. So it comes as no surprise that with hundreds of thousands of people on the Internet searching for health support and information, thousands of people now post daily blogs about the emotional trials they experience while facing chronic pain on a regular basis.

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is being held September 8-14, 2008. Part of their outreach includes over thirty days of guest bloggers as well as bloggers all over the web posting about invisible illness issues."

So I made this invisible illness comic at Strip Generator for Migraine Chick Comics.

Monday, September 1, 2008

State Fair Chickens

I managed to get myself to The Michigan State Fair this weekend, and once again, I found myself arguing with the chickens in the poultry exhibit. My goal was to get some good chicken pictures, but the darn chickens would not cooperate. Every time, I tried to take their pictures they would either show me their butt or dart around the cage. I think the butt thing was more insulting.

I kept telling them I was on their side. I wasn’t going to eat them! I wasn’t going to use their feathers! But would they listen. I must have taken a couple dozen pictures only to get a couple decent ones.

Here is my best photo. I can't remember if this was a girl or a boy chicken. Now all I need is a good migraine chick tag line. Does anyone have any ideas??

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Sunglasses Saga

I thought finding a floppy hat for my vacations was a trying quest, but I’ve recently found out that finding sunglasses when you are a migraine chick is even worse. All this summer, I've been trying to find a pair of sunglasses that work for me. I’m on my sixth pair right now. Every time I buy a pair something seems to be wrong with them, and I swear in the store that they seem fine at the time, but then during the following week, I learn that they aren’t dark enough or there is something pinching me over the ears or squeezing my head, and when you have migraines, all these factors seem to come into play on a bigger level.

Right now, I’m trying a pair of polarized faux DG sunglasses. They are big ones like from the sixties. With all the money, I’ve spend I just should have gone and bought expensive ones, but I think I still have the mind set from when I was in my twenties and a five dollar pair from Target would last me for years.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Migraine is like love...

Over at Strip Generator, people can leave comments on your comics like a blog. There is a wonderful artist called Dorota who does amazing things with the strip generator and she is sweet enough to leave comments on my comics. I really loved the comment she made on this strip, which falls under my "Why My Head Hurts" theme.

She said "Migraine is like love, she doesn't let think about nothing else."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

More Cancelled Plans!

Well, I was supposed to go to Cedar Point Amusement Park, which features over 60 rides including 17 roller coasters, today with some friends, but I had to bail because of the whole occipital neuralgia thing.

I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to handle any coasters or spin and puke rides with my migraines, but I thought it might be nice to hang out with my friends, eat some awesome french fries and frozen custard, ride some easy rides like the gondola(see above picture), play some carnival games, etc...but alas, I'm still feeling pretty rotten.

Instead, I've been camped out on my sofa, eating mini vanilla Oreo cookies and watching The Olympics, and trying not to have a pity party.