Saturday, December 26, 2009

Migraine Moods


I took this picture outside a gift shop. I really liked the way the cars reflected in the glass, giving it the distortion.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Migraine Moods


I took this photo at a hairdressers in a mall and then I altered it with Photoshop. I like how the window reflection puts bars across her head.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Worry Dolls!



I actually found some real Worry Dolls over the weekend. They are so cute, and I'm going to try them on my migraines. Nothing else has been working so far. I'm a non-responder to the Botox and my appointment with the migraine specialist at University of Michigan isn't until April 10!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Migraine Mascot!



I've been having a severe case of blogger/writer's block for the past few weeks. I don't know if it's because of too much stress in my life right now, but I will entertain you with a new migraine mascot that I doodled. His name is Nail Gun Pete.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How Big?


My latest doodle about my migraines.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Migraine Barbie-The War on Migraines Continues


During her battle against Migraines, Barbie was attacked by another splitting Migraine. She was sure she had packed her migraine meds somewhere in her gear, but she just didn't know where.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Migraine Marshmallow



Here is a cute character that I doodled by hand and then I colored him in with photoshop. His name is Melvin Marshmallow and his migraine hurts so bad that his head feels like it is on fire. My head frequently feels like this!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Angela's Auras



The other day, I tried a new technique for altering a copy of a vintage photograph for my collages where you take a bleach pen and use it to lift the ink off the photograph. I thought these circles came out looking a lot like migraine aura.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Invisible Illness Week



Invisible Illness Week is next week. I tried to do the 30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know questions, but my brain would just not cooperate. Even with my new glasses, I'm still having a heck of a time concentrating on text, so I decided to do some Migraine Chick Comics featuring the Invisible Illness theme.

"September 14-20, 2009 is National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. The theme is “A Little Help Gives a Lot of Hope.” It is a major public awareness campaign sponsored by Rest Ministries, an organization that offers a supportive environment for those who live with chronic illness or pain.Sept 14-18 NICIAW features a free virtual conference with 4 seminars each day available to listen to live or download later."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tomato With A Migraine



I was picking some of my tomatoes in my garden when I noticed one of the tomatoes looked like it had a migraine. I'm not sure what this green mutation thing really is, but it sure looks like a migraine to me! What do you think?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wreck This Journal-One Word "Migraine"


For my Wreck This Journal-Write One Word Over and Over page, I had to choose the word "migraine." I wanted to show how this word has invaded my life and my head. Also, I wanted to illustrate how it started with a migraine here and there, and then how it just took over everything!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

State Fair Chickens




Over the weekend, I had a great time at The Michigan State Fair, although I didn't have such a great time at the chicken display. It was the second day of the fair so the chickens weren't used to people hovering around them yet. Every time, I tried to take their photos, they went nuts squawking and jumping around. It was a real challenge to get some good shots!

The weather was fairly cool, but I still ended up leaving the fair with splitting head pain. Sometimes, I feel like my brain is a temperamental 3 year old kid who freaks out with too much stimulation!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Vintage Headache Ad



I found another vintage headache ad. This one was in True Romance in 1966. I bought the magazine at an antique mall for collage fodder. This magazine is a scream. Apparently if you were reading about True Romances, you were also very concerned about your bust size. There are several ads for bust enlargement throughout the magazine!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Migrainella



A new drawing of mine inspired by the artist Suzi Blu and what goes on in our migraine heads.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Migraine Barbie-War on Migraines!



I went to a gun and knife show recently with a male friend, and I found this Army G.I.Joe type doll outfit for sale on the cheap. I thought it would be perfect for Migraine Barbie. She is really getting fed up with her migraines and she feels a war must be declared on them. I think she is really rocking those shades, too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Miss Boo Boo Skull



I drew another migraine mascot. This one is Kawaii inspired and I'm calling her Miss Boo Boo Skull.

Friday, August 14, 2009

something isn't right



I've been feeling pretty down all week and I think this collage sums up my feelings with being overwhelmed with migraine. The Botox isn't working. Everything seems too bright, busy and confused.

Monday, August 10, 2009

New Migraine Mascot



I've been still using doodling a lot lately for pain distraction from my migraines. I'm still doing zentangles, but I've been also trying to tackle drawing more in general. I really like the Kawaii characters out there, and I designed my own little migraine mascot Kawaii character. Her names is Migraineeko.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Migraine Moods-Cloudy Day



Another photo that I took in Ann Arbor. I really like how the clouds seem to divide her head and how the reflection from the windows across the street seem to go up her spine.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Migraine Haiku-The Story Continues

twenty-four more shots
botox crown of prickly thorns
everything hurts worse

blistering brain cells
they pop, sizzle and crackle
bacon fried migraine

I look at my words
they flatten like pancakes
and slide off the page

screaming burning pain
it lives right behind my eyes
making me crazy

my head exploded
brain bits splattered on the walls
such a drama queen

Monday, August 3, 2009

Botox Times Two

I think my migraines are warping my sense of judgement because I went in for another round of Botox shots on Friday. The neurologist's office had a cancellation. This time the doc did my head with 24 shots! But no neck or shoulders. I just felt like I had to try one more time. He said if I don't respond this time, he is going to refer to me a headache specialist through the University of Michigan.

Now my head feels like someone put a bar of soap in a sock and beat me over the head with it. I can hardly sleep because I can't rest my head fully on the pillow. Every injection site is throbbing along with the migraine pounding in my head. I can barely comb my hair. There are bruises all over my forehead.

Sorry to be so whiny. I know I did this to myself. I'm just hoping and praying that this gives me some relief in the long run.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Migraine Moods



I took this photo recently at The Kerrytown Farmer's Market in Ann Arbor. I really like the rain in the foreground and the track lighting next to her reminds me of a migraine aura.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Words and Botox

I'm still having a problem with reading and writing. I look at the words in a book and I hope this doesn't sound insane, but the words seem to flatten out and they slide off the page. I haven't been writing much at all either, so instead I've been concentrating on collages, doodling and photography. Writing a migraine haiku seem like a huge accomplishment to me right now.

I feel bad that I haven't been writing long, flowing posts in my blog, but I figure that since my blog is supposed to be a documentation of the consequent craziness that has invaded my life with having a full time migraine, these new developments should be reflected here.

Also, I'm thinking about going for another round of Botox shots for migraine, with more injection sites and more units. I must be a sucker for punishment. My neurologist wants to rule out that I'm a non-responder before we try another treatment. He says that some people respond to the second round and not the first. If I don't respond this time, he will not continue the Botox and we will move on.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Migraine Aura Club-What Do You See?



This is a set of twinchies that I made. I doodled the backgrounds, cut the girls from vintage mags and labeled them. This isn't an aura club just for black lines aura. I know a lot of people see colors and stars, etc...but I was trying to incorporate my doodling into a collage.

So what kind of aura do you see? I tend to be a squiggles kind of girl.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Migraine Marie Antoinette



Here is another doll that I found at The Shipshewana Flea Market. This picture really reflects how I feel about my head sometimes when I'm wishing for a guillotine!

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Migraine Barbies



During the week, I took a couple days off work to go to Shipshewana, Indiana. There is a huge flea market there, along with a big antique auction, as well as an Amish Community.

My migraine monster pretty much was maintaining a medium level of pain until I actually went into the auction where there were several auction rings going on at the same time. Talk about pandemonium. The noise was deafening, sending my migraine brain into overdrive. Still, I stuck it out long enough to bid on some vintage photos which I won.

At the flea market, I found these Barbies for sale. I thought the three Barbies in the middle all looked like they were definately having a bad migraine day.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another Pain Distraction



Since I've been having so many problems reading lately, I've been focusing more on learning how to doodle, collage, and keep an art journal, etc and I came across this book called Wreck This Journal.

"This book was created for anyone who has ever had trouble starting/keeping or finishing a journal/sketchbook. By forcing ourselves to wreck it on purpose, the “journal as an object” loses it’s preciousness, and allows us the feeling of completion."

The great thing about this book is that it's a great pain distraction for me and I'm getting to take out some of migraine angst on it as well. You don't need any art experience to start wrecking it either.

Check out the Flickr Group How to Wreck a Journal to see what people are doing with this book.

I wish we had our own book called "Wreck This Migraine."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Migraine Haiku Comic



I am having a huge problem with reading right now. I think my migraines are burning up all my brain cells that read and write.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Living in Migraine World



I took this photograph while I was making some contact paper transfers for a collage. You stick the image on some clear contact paper, use water to dissolve the paper off, and the image stays stuck on the contact paper. These girls were floating in the water and I liked the way the lights reflected off them. The image really looked like a migraine to me.

Monday, June 29, 2009

This is my brain!



I wrote this haiku the other day because it felt like my head was fire.

blistering brain cells
they pop, sizzle and crackle
bacon fried migraine

and I tried to make this doodled collage to go with the haiku. I'm not sure what a shrink would say about my interpretation of my brain cells.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Migraine Haiku-The Sequel

who is this stranger
walking in my shoes each day
migraine for a crown

pain transforms my words
thin wisps of dark filaments
floating in my eyes

a toxic harpy
she tries to bite my head off
co-worker from hell

pain flutters its wings
its constant chirping so loud
a bird on the head

I lurch and stagger
pain brain sloshes in my head
zombie in training

migraines steal my words
and sends them to outer space
leaving me speechless

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Migraine Doodle



I'm trying to use some of new doodling skills to make a migraine doodle. The girl is from Dover Clip Art. The Migraine part is how I feel today.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Are You a Migraine Zombie?

A dear online friend suggested to me, after we wrote some migraine zombie haiku, that perhaps we should rename Migraine Disease to Zombie Migraine Disease and then perhaps there would be more understanding in the world, but how do you know if you have Migraine Zombie Disease?

I have used my extensive zombie knowledge to come up with the following questionnaire. If you answer yes to any of the following questions during a Migraine Attack, you might be a Migraine Zombie!

1) Do you often lurch and stagger around?

2) Do you emit low and guttural moans from time to time?

3) Do you have decreased motor function in your hands and fingers?

4) Do you have an unhealthy obsession with brains, such as "what is wrong with my brain? Why does my brain hurt so much, etc"

5) Do you have an increased sense of smell? Zombies can smell something from miles away.

6) Have you awoken from a nearly catatonic state? This could be The Migraine Zombie Coma.

7) Have you lost your vision capabilities? Another zombie symptom is degeneration of the corneas.

Remember one of the first signs of being infected with Zombie Migraine Disease is headache or migraine!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Migraine Stories at The Migraine Research Foundation

Two of my migraine collages are being featured at The Migraine Research Foundation under The Migraine Stories Section.

"Almost everyone either knows someone who has suffered from migraine, or has struggled with migraine personally. For many sufferers, migraine interferes with their ability to function in everyday life, whether that is going to school or work, caring for family or attending social functions. Here are some of their stories."

Migraine Chick uses her artwork to express her experience with migraine.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Book Review-A Brain Wider Than The Sky

I really liked how Andrew Levy used his book A Brain Wider Than The Sky to capture the struggles of living with migraine along with a historical journey of migraine treatments of the past. He also writes about artists and personalities throughout history who also had migraine such Virginia Wolf, Van Gogh, Freud, and even Elvis.

Living with chronic daily migraine, I was interested to learn about how migraine has influenced literature, music and even religion. I had no idea how migraine had permeated the realm of artists like Van Gogh and writers like Emily Dickinson, nor was I aware that the book “Alice in Wonderland” was about migraine symptoms experienced by the Louis Carroll.

On a personal note, Levy explores the effects migraines have on relationships, exposing the range of emotions one has to go through in trying to maintain a relationship with a loved one when you are in chronic pain.

This book really expanded my knowledge of migraines impact on the world, and it made me feel not so alone with living with this illness. It also gave me hope that there can be life and positive creativity even when you have migraines.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Comics in Neurology Now


Neurology Now magazine is featuring Migraine Chick Comics in their May/June issue under the Speak Up section. They selected three of my comics and they are using one of my collages for the author bio picture.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Migraine Monster



I visited the Toledo Zoo recently where I snapped this picture of a gorilla. I really like how the glare from the window transformed his head. It reminded me a lot of how a migraine can feel sometimes. I think he also makes a good migraine monster don't you?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Migraine Barbie and Her Aura



Although Migraine Barbie's aura always looked like candy, she knew a migraine was sure to follow after she saw them.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Headache/Migraine Online Tool

There is a new online tool to help headache and migraine sufferers. It's called Headache U

"The National Headache Foundation has developed an online tool that allows each individual to become a student of his/her own headaches and to seek and find resources that will be especially helpful, given his or her experience. "Headache U” was developed under the guidance of an advisory panel of physicians who specialize in headache care, and people with headache."

It looks like it is fairly easy to sign up for, and there is a great "The Complete Headache Chart." There is also a good section that explains aura.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Zentangle

I totally find that making collages is a great pain distraction for me, but it's hard to work on them in some places like lunchtime at work etc, so I was so happy to find another crafty type distraction called Zentangle, where all you need is some pen and paper.

Zentangle is drawing elaborate patterns in a form of meditation. It's like doodling on purpose, and even if you can't draw, like me, you can make them. I never realized before that you can teach yourself to doodle, and the great thing is that I'm hoping to incorporate these designs into mixed media collages.

Here are some links about Zentangle.

Zen Doodle

Zendala How to Draw a Mandala

Zentangle

How to Start a Zentangle/YouTube Video

Crazy Art Girl's Musing-a newbie Zentangle

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Migraine Heroes Book

CureTogether is releasing the first Introducing the First Crowdsourced Book on Migraine. It's called Migraine Heroes: 271 People Share Their Experiences and Treatments by Alexandra Carmichael and 271 CureTogether Members.

This looks like a great resource for migraine sufferers. Inside the book, 271 people share stories, symptoms, and triggers. Also there is information on data on co-morbid conditions, and detailed comments on treatments by real patients. All proceeds from Migraine Heroes go to fund the Migraine data community at CureTogether.org.

What I really like about the book is the Comments On Symptoms section, where migraineurs discuss things like excessive yawning, short-term memory loss, excessive urination, and trouble concentrating. It's such a relief to know that I'm not alone with these other symptoms during a migraine, and it's not just me!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Botox Follow Up

I saw my neurologist for my follow up appointment with the Botox shots. I'm still not having any results from it, and he said that I maybe a "non-responder," but he would like to try again in two months with another series of shots. This time with more units of Botox and more locations. If that doesn't help, he said he would not continue with the shots and we would try something else.

As for the side effects that I've been having with stiff neck and sore shoulders, he said they were typical side effects and I can use heat and massage now to try to get some relief.

I'm not sure if I'm going to get the next series of shots. With the cost and the discomfort and no relief from my migraines, I'm not sure if it will be worth it, but then again what if the next series of shots help. I'm going to have to give this a long think in my noodle.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Even Plum Jam Couldn't Help



I was going to post this collage on my art blog, but I thought that I might scare away some of the arty people who don't have migraines. I think it turned out a little scary looking, but then again, migraines are scary. This is my first attempt to use acrylic paints in the mix.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Comic is One Year Old!



I just realized the other day that I've been writing my Migraine Chick Comic for a year now.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Migraine Chick's Day Out



Yesterday, I made the mistake of thinking I was a "normal" girl and I ran around all day and boy did it catch up with me last night. First, I went shopping with a girlfriend in the morning. In the afternoon, I went to a Civil War Remembrance at Greenfield Village. It was very cool with all the tents, soldiers, campfires and women wearing long dresses with hoops, etc. In one tent, I found these hats, and I thought I sure wouldn't want to be wearing one of those during a migraine.

Then afterwards when I came home, I wanted to plant the little evergreen tree saplings that a green organization was handing out at the exit. I decided to plant it in the middle of my wild flower garden. It was then my migraine really caught up with me, and not to be gross, but I got sick in the middle of my wildflowers. Not a great moment.

Luckily, I missed my saplings and I was able to get them planted.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Migraine Chick Comic


Sorry that I haven't been writing more on my blog, but this Botox stuff has really gotten me down.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Botox Mascot?





I'm still not having much luck with my Botox injections. My migraines are still exactly the same, but now I have a stiff neck and painful shoulders to go along with them. My forehead does feel a little weird, but everyone says I look the same.

I was looking for a "Botox for Migraine Injections" mascot. These are my favorites so far.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Botox

I decided to try the botox shots for my migraines. To me the experience was nothing like what you see on Dr. 90210. First off, the shots were quite painful to me, even with the fine needle. I think the neurologist gave me about 25 shots patterned around my forehead, temples, back of the head, back of the neck and shoulders.

Secondly, there was quite a lot of blood when he gave me the shots in the forehead.

Now everywhere he gave me the shots is inflamed and painful. My neck is super stiff and my shoulders ache like someone hit me with a baseball bat. I cannot tolerate my head even laying on my pillow, so I've been sleeping with my nose and chin wedged into my pillow.

I called the neurologist's office and they told me that someone people feel far worse before they start feeling better. I haven't noticed any change to my migraine pain. In fact, things are far worse with the migraine and all this extra pain and discomfort. I'm hoping and praying there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Vintage Headache Ad



I found another cool vintage headache ad in the back of a True Story magazine from 1947. I remember my aunt having aspirins in these little metal boxes!