Thursday, January 29, 2009

State of the Migraine Nation

Here are some recent developments in my migraine land.

1) When people ask me “How are you?” in passing, I get so tired of answering “fine” or “good” when that is the farthest thing from the truth. I’ve learned that if I just say, “How are you?” right back to them quickly, they don’t even notice that I haven’t answered them. I’ve been doing it all the time at work, and it works.

2) I’ve given up napping when I’m home sick from work with a migraine. My napping nightmares are far too stressful to even deal with anymore, so I would rather stay awake and just watch crap TV with one eye open.

3) I’ve been eating really well since the New Year, with lots of servings of fresh fruit and veggies, and I’ve been eliminating overly processed foods, too, and I don’t feel one smidge better.

4) I’ve learned that if I feel like screaming at work, because of my migraines, and I go out to my car at the end of the day and actually scream, it makes my head hurt far worse.

5) So far, due to my migraine fog and general loss of concentration, I have lost three pairs of gloves. I think I need to start buying them in bulk.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Migraine Squirrel Chuck Exposed!

I think I may have discovered where Migraine Squirrel Chuck has been getting all his bad ideas about terrorizing the inside of my head. Outside in a tree next to my house, I spotted him having a secret meeting with another squirrel, who I believe is an evil dark squirrel, much like Darth Vader. I captured this nefarious exchange with my trusty camera!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another Migraine Work Saga

At work, they recently decided to send out a daily staffing email, letting everyone in the office know who was out of the office that day, on either paid time off or sick time or a FMLI (family medical intermittent leave) day.

I really felt like this was an invasion of my privacy. I don’t need the entire office knowing that I’m taking an FMLI day. I get enough friction from my immediately co-workers on the topic. Therefore, I wrote my team leader an email about how I felt this is personal business between the company and me, etc...

Well, he wrote me back a huge email about how this wasn’t an invasion of privacy, that only if they gave the details of the FMLI day it would be an invasion of privacy. He felt if everyone is provided this information on a daily basis it would showcase the time available and how it was being utilized, positively and negatively. In addition, he forwarded this email to the big boss in our office.

Not being daunted, I replied to him that if this was the case, why were the names still being used. Couldn’t they simply list four employees out on paid time off and exclude the actual names?

I didn't hear anything back that day.

All this took place on Monday. Then of course, I was out sick with a huge migraine attack from Aunt Martha, who decided to kick my ass for two days in a row.

When I got back to work on Thursday, I found the daily staffing email had changed. Now it just lists names under Paid Time Off and Out Other. Apparently, I had caused a kerfuffle while I was gone, and at least there was a compromise.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Notes on a Migraine

Recently, I saw the movie Notes on a Scandal for the first time. I love Judi Dench. She is one of my favorite actors. After I saw the movie, I learned it was based on a book by Zoë Heller, and I was interested in reading it.

The last time, I went to search for a book from a movie was That Forsyte Woman, which ended badly. This time, I checked out the book at the library. I was pleased to see it wasn’t a huge English Literature tomb with tiny print. It was a normal sized book with normal sized print, so I checked it out.

After a week or so, I gave up trying to read it at page 68. I had to put the book down for two to three days in a row due to head pain and I couldn’t figure out where I was at in the story when I picked it back up. This shouldn’t have been a problem since I saw the movie, but it was still giving me concentration problems.

Ugh, I became so frustrated. Sigh.

Most days, I feel like someone has done a Freaky Friday on my brain, and I’m left with a tween brain that only wants to read trashy teen novels with huge print and all of my emotions are controlled by my rampaging hormones, but at least, I’m not plagued with zits!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Operation Cheer Up

I really tried to beat The Winter Blues this weekend with some of the lovely suggestions in my comment box from my last post. I went to Barnes and Noble, and I picked up some new magazines. Then, I went to Whole Foods where I bought some summer time salads, like macaroni salad, coleslaw and potato salad. Next, I picked up an inexpensive bouquet of flowers to cheer up my house.

Also, I called a dear friend, who I haven't seen in a while, and I made a lunch date with her in the near future. Plus, I looked into taking Vitamin D supplements for my migraines, but I learned I was already taking it because of the calcium supplement I've been taking.

So overall, I think I was rather productive. I'm feeling a little better, but then this morning I woke up with a real head banger. Ugh, I thought, not another week of this! Why is there no escape! This is really like fighting a constant up hill battle!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Beating The Winter Blues

I think this is the most snow we have gotten in Michigan in a long time, and it’s doing my head in. Every time a snowstorm comes through the area or the temperature drops, etc… my migraines go whacky.

Not to mention, the snow started early this year in November. Usually, we are wondering if we are even going to have a white Christmas or not, and this year, we were already wearing winter coats and gloves before November ended.

I think I’ve transitioned from Holiday Depression into The Winter Blues. I’m trapped in this cycle of winter weather patterns and unstable hormones. In addition, I think hardly ever seeing the sun isn’t helping.

Does anyone have any tips on how to beat The Winter Blues when you’re a migraine chick? I’m trying to come up with a list. A good friend suggested trying to find glimmers of something good each day. Any other ideas?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Not Quite Right!

The other day, I was trying to come up with the words about how my brain was feeling. My holiday depression is still lingering and now it's been joined with some anxiety issues along with my migraine pain. I felt like my head was going to pop! So I tried to collage the sensation. I think this image conveys it. I'm calling it "Something not quite right in the brain."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Migraine Not Listed!

I went to the Ann Arbor Reuse Center the other day to look for collage materials. This place is awesome with "with more than 20,000 square feet of retail space, accepts donations of reusable household goods, office supplies, and building materials that it resells to the general public at affordable prices."

For my collage making, I found some old valentine day cards, music sheets and a deck of old maid cards. Also, I found an elementary dictionary from 1986. It's called Webster's Elementary Dictionary and its described as "a brand-new dictionary designed for children in the elementary grades." I really liked it cause the text was big and there were lots of pictures that I could cut out for collages.

Guess what I discovered when I got it home. It didn't even have Migraine listed in the book and under headache it only says "pain in the head" and "something that annoys or confuses." I don't know why the lack of the migraine definition bothers me, but don't elementary kids get migraines, too??

Here is a picture of the headache definition.

I do quite like the picture of the headdress. It looks like how my migraines feel sometimes with pressure stacked upon my head.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Haiku or Senryū??

I learned something about my bad migraine haiku through a friend on Myspace. They might not actually be haiku, but more of a form of Senryū.

"Senryū (literally 'river willow') is a Japanese form of short poetry similar to haiku in construction: three lines with 17 or fewer "on" (not syllables) in total. However, senryū tend to be about human foibles while haiku tend to be about nature, and senryū are often cynical or darkly humorous while haiku are more serious."

But then I was reading further into the Wikipedia definintion and I became even more confused because it said "any genuinely personal experience would be haiku and not senryū in the classic sense."

My poems are all about personal experience. Trying to figure this out was making my head hurt worse, so I just gave up. They are what they are. Bad poems about migraines.

Here are some new ones:

Leaving my work sick
I push through air to my car
Pain jet streams follow

Banish the hormones
Then will migraines retire
Who in the hell knows

After the pain wanes
Picking up fragments of life
Shell shocked battleground

Skull might be worth more
If covered in rare diamonds
And sold off as art

As I child I thought
That only true pain lasted
As long as a scab

My poor tattered brain
I used to write love stories
Now it’s bad haikus

Looking for my mind
Pain has made it a stranger
Where did it go?

Would my head hurt less
If I was a Barbie doll
Nothing but plastic

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pets and Migraines

I’ve been meaning to write a year-end round up about my Migraines in 08 and what my Migraine Plan is for the coming year, but then my hamster died over the holidays and it’s totally derailed my intentions.

It’s amazing how even a little hamster can make a difference in your life, especially when you have a chronic illness. Pets are so important. They don’t judge you. They always listen. They are happy to see you with or without a Migraine. They accept you for who you are.

I think hamsters are a good Migraine Sufferer’s pet. They are quiet. They are not high maintenance. It doesn’t take much to make them happy. They each have a distinctive little personality. They are not too stinky. In addition, if you keep a hamster, you are rescuing them from the clutches of possibly evil children, who might not appreciate them like you do.

I was trying to think what makes the best pet for someone with Migraines, but it is so subjective. My cat and my guinea pig seem to fit the bill for me, and so did my little ham. What do you think makes the best pet for Migraineurs?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Monthly Visitor

I've been having hate/loath relationship with my period for quite some time now, and I've been calling it Aunt Martha since all this perimenopause migraine stuff started, so I decided to make a collage about her.