Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"My Words" on Wordle

Thanks to Leslie at Getting Closer to Myself for this great link to Wordle. Here is what the site did with My Words from my blog. Click on "My Words" to view it full size.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Adventures in Vomiting

I’m sorry for the gross title and if you are feeling nauseous, you might not want to read this. While I was at work on Friday, I had to run to the bathroom early on my break because I was going to get sick.

After I was finished, I stood up and flushed, feeling quite shaky, dizzy and disorientated when my elbow knocked off a small toilet paper roll that was sitting on top of the dispenser. The cleaning people like to leave these baby partial rolls when they refill the dispensers. I suppose they are being green and they want all the paper to be used up.

To my surprise, the baby roll shot straight into the flushing toilet. I froze as it was sucked down with the water. There was a gurgle. The water took its sweet time refilling, but there didn’t seem to be any adverse effects.

Whew! I went back to my desk.

Twenty minutes later, a co-worker returned from her break and announced to the floor “Some hog backed up the third stall.”

She went onto say there was water everywhere and it was even coming outside the bathroom near the elevators. The carpeting was all squishy.

Holy crap. Was it because of me? I had been in the third stall. Was it the baby roll? Visions of water mains bursting and police tracking down the culprit danced in my head. I was nearly paralyzed with fear, and I couldn't think straight because my head was hurting so bad. Should I confess? Then I would not only be known as the girl who scams off time from work with her migraines, but the hog who backed up the third stall.

I managed to glance around the floor for my supervisor, but he was nowhere to be seen. I overheard someone saying that management was in a meeting, and someone else had already called maintenance about the bathroom.

Then I told myself technically the third stall was fine when I left it. Maybe some other hog did the damage.

I kept my head down until lunch, figuring if it was still catastrophic, I would confess to my supervisor when I saw him, praying that he would be discrete, but when I came to the elevators to go downstairs, everything looked fine. The carpet was slightly damp. I peeked in the bathroom. There wasn’t even a sign that anything had happened. The order of the bathroom universe had been restored.

So I guess the moral of this story is to try to keep an eye on your surroundings when you are yaking at work, so you don't cause any more chaos than what you are already going through.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What's New With Chuck??

Migraine Squirrel Chuck has been up to all sorts of evil in my head this week. Here is some proof of what he's been up to!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Previous Lives of a Migraineur

I think some people in a certain amount of chronic pain start to wonder at some point what they did in a previous life to deserve this. I know I do. Although, I don’t believe in reincarnation as a rule, I find myself with these questions as well. Here are some of my thoughts about my possible previous lives, which could have brought this level of anguish to my current life.

I was a crazed 1950’s beautician. I wound socialite’s curlers way too tight and I tortured housewive's heads with perms from hell.

Perhaps, I was a young widow in the old west and I ended up squandering my late husband’s money on laudanum for my blinding headaches, thus leaving me destitute and turning me into a pickpocket, stealing good people’s money to survive.

I was a tattooed woman in a sideshow carnival, and I shaved my head so I could have it tattooed with horrifying sea creatures. Then small children snuck into the tent to see me and it scared them for life.

Maybe I was a clumsy stewardess who cracked too many people in the head with the overhead bin doors during transatlantic flights on Pan Am.

So if you're suffering from chronic pain, who do you think you could have possibly been in a former life to be tortured like this in the here and now?

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Fudgie Dilemma

During my vacation, I was tempted to try the chocolate fudge on Mackinac Island. The island is know for it’s fudge, and there are a bunch of places to buy it, including Joann’s Fudge, May’s Candy Shops, Murdicks, Murray Hotel Fudge and Ryba’s. The locals even call the tourists “fudgies.”

Last year, I tried a little piece of chocolate fudge during my vacation with no adverse effects, but this year I didn’t want to tempt the migraine monster. Still seeing all the fudge being made in the windows and smelling it on the sidewalks as you passed by the stores was too great to ignore. I finally went into Joann’s Fudge where I was pleased to see that there wasn’t only chocolate fudge. Some of the non-chocolate flavors included: Maple, maple pecan, butter pecan, penuche pecan (brown sugar flavor), peanut butter and vanilla pecan.

In the spirit of trying new things, I tried a sample of the penuche pecan and the maple pecan, and I fell in love. They were both wonderful. I would eat these anyway even if I wasn’t avoiding chocolate. I bought slices of both.

Just think, if I wasn’t trying to avoid the migraine monster, I would have never tried them!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Life Disrupted Book Review

Living with my chronic pain from migraines, I was really looking forward to reading Life Disrupted: Getting Real About Chronic Illness in Your Twenties and Thirties by Laurie Edwards. I’ve been a big fan of her blog A Chronic Dose for a long time, and in this book, she not only shares her experiences, but the experiences of others.

Laurie helps you learn to be your own advocate, gives you practical advice, and she even delves into emotional truths. She teaches you how to manage your own health without letting it take over your life and how to find your identity outside of your illness, an issue that I’ve been struggling with myself.

I liked how she not only touches on dealing with doctors, but how to deal with significant others, the workplace and friendships. There is a great lesson to be learned here how chronic illness touches all aspects of your life.

I wish I had this book when I first started getting migraines. It would have made life so much easier as I tried to navigate the unknown territory of living with a chronic illness.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Migraine Monster Vacation Report

I’ve made it back alive from the great upper peninsula of Michigan with mixed reports on the migraine monster sightings. I was doing pretty good for my first couple of days in Mackinac City and Mackinac Island with low to moderate migraine pain. The weather was great at 68 degrees. On the island, people were even wearing jeans and hoodies, so the heat definitely wasn’t an issue. I still followed my migraine plan, making sure I drank plenty of water, wore my floppy hat, took plenty of breaks, etc...

The next day we went drove further north to see Tahquamenon Falls. It was warmer outside with more sunshine. The walk to the falls from the parking lot was only a quarter of a mile, so that wasn’t a big deal. The big deal turned out to be the 91 steps down to the viewing platform. I was feeling pretty confident after beating the migraine monster in Mackinac so I did the stairs. Big mistake. My head started pounding like crazy on the way back up. At the top, I was sure I was going to drop so I took a break with my remaining luke warm water before we went to see the lower gorge.

After the lower gorge, which was beautiful, there was a sign that said nature trail back to the parking lot or we could go back the way we came. Stupid me thought the nature trail would be the shorter way. Bigger mistake! It was an uneven, winding trail. My head was hurting so bad that I was lumbering along like the living dead the entire way. I was pretty sure my friends were going to have to leave me. I wondered what would get me first, the coyotes or the termites. Just like in the movie The Evil Dead, the evil monster got me in the woods!

Eventually, we made it back to the parking lot. Thank goodness, there was a brew house restaurant. I sucked down three glasses of cold water during lunch. My bad migraine never did back off that day after those stairs and the nature trail from hell.

So I guess it might be true that migraine monsters can’t follow you to islands, but they sure can attack you in the woods.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Change of Plans

There used to be a time when I thought nothing of jaunting around the U.K. and Europe on my own for two weeks at a time, when I was in my early twenties, but I didn’t have migraines back then.

Now I’m facing my trip to the west side of Michigan next week, and I found myself dreading trying to deal with Saugatuck, Holland, Grand Haven and Muskegon, all places I've never been to. Every time I thought about my vacation, I found myself wishing I could just go back up north to Mackinaw. It so peaceful and quiet, and I know where everything is. All I want to do is sit on the hotel balcony facing the beach with some fudge and a magazine and chill out.

Therefore, like a big chicken shit, I bailed on my west side of Michigan trip and I booked a hotel for Mackinaw again.

I am disappointed in myself. Vacations used to mean challenge, exploration and brand new adventures. This may not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it represents how much migraines are changing my life. Now I’m just longing for the familiar because I’m so stressed out about living everyday life with chronic pain.

I’m still going to take my migraine plan on my vacation and I know I should be thankful that I’m not canceling this trip all together. Plus, I’m sure there are things in Mackinaw that I haven’t seen yet. I just miss the girl who thought nothing of taking off to Brussels without even a hotel booked.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bad Day/Bad Migraine Haiku

Still no monthly delivery from Mother Nature. Twelve days late! And my head can't take it. Yesterday, I toughed it out at work, but I needed some serious venting, so I tried writing bad migraine haiku to let out my feelings before I ran out of the building screaming.

(please remember these haikus were written under the influence of pms, pain, stress and a good dose of being a drama queen)

I'm wound up so tight
but no caffeeine inside me
migraine pounding loud.

I can barely work
my head is hurting so bad
soon to be fired

dancing little lines
float in my vision like ghosts
aura need to die

so close to screaming
brittle brain seeps cries of pain
must put it on hold

just another day
inside my head, migraines roll
I verp in my mouth

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Debbie Downer??

At work, we have to work one holiday a year. Fourth of July was my holiday. I choose an early shift 6:00 AM to 2:30 PM, thinking if I got off early, then I would at least have some time in the afternoon to do something. What I didn't think about was getting up at 4:30 AM with my head acting up so bad. My monthly gift from Mother Nature is ten days late (due to my crazed perimenopause hormones), so my head is going into hormone over drive.

I used my car's cruise control almost the entire drive into work. I was hoping once I got there, I could just collapse on my desk and not get any calls too early. I needed some peace and quiet if I was going to get through this, but the night shift had other ideas. Their Fourth of July potluck was in full swing and they were serving food right at their desks, sans supervisors. There were grilling hot dogs on an indoor grill and sloppy joes were away bubbling in a crock pot.

Ugh. 5:45 am and smelling cooking meat, which for me, being a vegetarian isn't a good thing in the first place, but this was ultra bad with my throbbing noggin. Plus everyone was hopped up on food, festivities and music playing from a radio, so it was loud.

I choked down a verp, turned down the offer of a hot dog with freshly cut onions and fired up my computer, feeling like a right grinch, when everyone else was having so much fun. I really hated feeling like such a negative person on a holiday and then I thought about that SNL sketch with Debbie Downer. Was I becoming her?

To take my mind off the grilling meat and my nausea , I thought about other negative nick names I could call myself besides Debbie Downer: Negative Nelly. Peeved Polly. Grumbling Gertrude. Nauseous Nancy. Sad Sally. Moaning Migraine Chick.

Can you think of any others?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Why I could survive a zombie attack

I frequently try to find the good side of having migraines, such as developing new skills, and recently I figured out that having migraines might just help me during a zombie attack.

Here are some of the reasons why I think I could survive a zombie attack.

1) I’ve read The Zombie Attack Manual, The Zen of Zombie and The Walking Dead graphic novel series.

2) I’ve watched dozens of zombie movies, including my favorites, such as Resident Evil, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Zombie Honeymoon, Fido, Slither, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, and Night of Comet.

3) I’m used to living in adverse conditions because of my chronic migraines, such as still having to function while in extreme pain.

4) One of my hobbies used to be target shooting so I’m sure I could manage a head shot.

5) I’m a vegetarian, so I’m already used to being grossed out by people eating meat. (sorry carnivores)

6) I don’t think a zombie would want to eat my brain anyway. Although I’m corn fed, I’m sure the amount of the drugs I’ve taken for my migraines has pickled my brain, thus making it unappetizing to zombies.

7) I’m most likely to be the unconscious person during the initial zombie attack, because I will be home sick with a migraine, so I will survive the initial chaos. Then I will wake up and commence to kicking zombie ass.