headache

I was so close!!!

Oh man. So close to going one year without having a migraine. I was so looking forward to that milestone.

May 5, 2016 – March 29, 2017

Not a bad run. But my head hurts so I’m not celebrating that length of time gone without a migraine right now. I will soon. 

I will also lay off the Easter chocolate, which could have been a trigger. Or a plethora of other possible triggers. 

Day 1 of a new streak starts tomorrow.

I am winning my migraine battle. No, for real, I am!

I have had one migraine in the past year.

Let me repeat that.

I have had ONE migraine in the past year.

If I would have written this yesterday, the number would have been two.  So, I was patiently waiting out yesterday, so I could say those awesome words of one migraine in the past year.

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I had one on September 7, 2015, following a fun, partying weekend which I believe the migraine was the payment for the fun.  See here.

And I had one on Cinco de Mayo of this year.  See here.

I have no special secret sauce, no explanation for this.

In terms of typical migraine triggers, I’ve had above my fair share.  My stress level for a large portion of 2016 reached levels that I don’t believe I’ve seen before.  That resulted in lack of sleep, lots of wine, chocolate, and definitely not eating as healthy as I have in past years, yet a decrease in migraines.

So, what’s working for me?  The constant continues to be my daily anti-migraine smoothies, Butterbur with feverfew, and B-2.  Same as the year prior where I had 9, and the year before that was my most migraines logged at 23.  The year of 23 resulted in having multiple migraines per week.  Each of my migraines last from start to finish: three days.  So, you can see why having one in the past year, that’s pretty freaking awesome.

Maybe I’ve grown out of them.  Maybe the lovely hormones that have come with me in my mid 40’s have assisted with keeping my migraines at bay.  If so, I’m hoping those same hormones aren’t resting me up for some huge whopper of new crap in the future. Trying not to let myself get too anxious with that though.

My second birthday of my little blog here just passed yesterday.  It’s definitely become somewhere that when I’m not writing about migraines, I’m expressing everything from my love of my cat litter box, to challenges with my kids, Pokemon GO, and a plethora of other stuff that no longer takes space up in my head once I write about it and click “post.”

Thanks for all the support I’ve been given over these past years!  I’ve loved it, and I really appreciate when some of my words strike a chord and relate with others!  Hope I’ve even gotten you to laugh a time or two! 🙂

Over the past two years, I’ve written 127 posts, and as a combination, those posts have been viewed 7,764 times.  That’s wild man.

Here are the top five posts viewed over the past two years:

  1. Thoughts on my 17th wedding anniversary…
  2. My husband is my best friend…NOT
  3. 3 tough questions my kids asked me over the weekend.
  4. Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb.
  5. Atta-Boy Migraine!!!

And the one that started it all:

‘Winning’ (Charlie Sheen reference of course) the endless game of migraines (for this quarter at least)

One migraine in the past year.  I am definitely winning!

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Barely holding on to day 233…

A few times this last week, I’ve hit the panic button.

I felt a little dizzy, a little off, and then the panic dialog started inside my head:

“Oh no, this is it.  This is where the streak ends.  It was a good streak.  It will be ok.  What do I have going on the rest of the today…tomorrow?  I can handle it if it comes.”

Then, thankfully nothing.

Battling though.  Battling.

The weather.  What. The. Heck.

Rain one day.  Sunshine the next.  Thunder and lightening the next.  Then wind like the house is going to blow away.

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Weather is said to be a migraine trigger.

Honestly, at this point, just throw anything out there, it can be a migraine trigger.

Chocolate?  Trigger.  Wine?  Trigger.  Weather?  Trigger.  Dinosaurs?  Trigger.  Roller coaster?  Trigger.  Looking through a window?  Trigger.  Grocery shopping?  Trigger.

Obviously, sarcasm is involved, yet, if you google anything and migraine trigger, I’m sure it will be found somewhere.  Migraines are not choosy.

That leads me to my anxiety induced panic filled web search and phone calls of this afternoon following a regular visit to my natural foods store where I get the arsenal of my anti-migraine potion.

When I went to purchase Butterbur, they were out.  Not only out, but not sure when they will be getting any more in.  Apparently, there is a problem with the butterbur crop or something?  What the what??!!  Ok, how about Feverfew?  Nope, out of that too.

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Looked online, found my brand easily on a website….out of stock/backorder.

Called around and found a store that carried Butterbur about 15 miles from me.  I’ll be going to pick it up tomorrow.  I’m nervous if it is a different brand.  I’m certainly a creature of habit, and I don’t need any slight change to create a reaction in me.  But more important, I don’t want anything to change in my anti-migraine potion, along with my daily anti-migraine smoothie.  Because 233 days migraine free is amazing.  And I’m not sure which cog of this machine is making it work, but I’m not going to screw any of it up.

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Representing 209

Yes, my area code is 209, but I’m more focused on representing day 209 of no migraines.

I was super nervous to celebrate day 200, or even really acknowledge day 205, which is where my largest migraine free streak up until now had ended.

Yet, here I am.  Day 209.  No kaleidoscope eyes, no dullness for 48 hours with the fear of standing up too quickly for reasons other than a fire due to the extreme headache pain for TWO HUNDRED AND NINE DAYS!  Anti migraine smoothie?  Butterbur?  Feverfew?  B-2?  Plain luck?  Don’t know the reason.  Just thankful.

I wrote on day 197 that I was nervous about going to Vegas, that partying like a rock star (although, let’s be honest, my version of partying like a rock star is likened more to that of a 90 year old rock star these days), but honestly, I was nervous that enjoying multiple cocktails for a couple days in a row may bring on a migraine.

A couple days before our trip, I woke up in the middle of the night and told my husband I didn’t want to go to Vegas.  Not because of my fear of it triggering a migraine, I just wasn’t feeling it.  When I booked the trip months ago, which was anchored by purchasing tickets to see Billy Idol, I was in a Hell Ya! mood, a kick ass Let’s Do This! mood.  I haven’t been feeling that mood lately.  And the more experience I have at this living life thing, the more I have to listen to that voice that says “I don’t want to do this” and go with what feels good.

So, we went to Tahoe.  Familiar, relaxing, beautiful, with some cocktails mixed in there too.  The gambling gods even gave me a shout out to let me know that I was right to listen to my inner voice and go with what feels good by giving me this:

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Thank you Royal Flush.

Catch ya’ on the next one Billy Idol.

Rock on 209.

Take the Butterbur.

I’m on day 155 of no migraines.

Yesterday, my son just had his second migraine in 19 days.

I’d trade places with him in a heartbeat.

No almost 16 year old should have to deal with this shit.

Hey, look at what you got from mom!  Migraines!  Happy birthday, oh no, wait, that screws up birthdays and events.  My bad.  Sorry man, I wish you didn’t get that part of me passed down to you.

Thankfully, it didn’t seem as heavy as the last one.  He had the kaleidoscope eyes last night, and a migraine hangover today, but not as bad as the last one.  I am thankful for that.

I had him take one of my Butterbur supplements this morning.  He was not too willing, telling me he didn’t want to take my ‘weird stuff.’  Good Lord child, I’m not drugging you up, take the Butterbur.

My good friend asked if he’d drink my anti-migraine green smoothie.  I laughed and said no way.  She asked ‘even if it would help him?’ Nope.  It’s referred to as green algae by him and his sisters.

Going to go with Butterbur in the mornings, and maybe some B-2 at night, part of my anti-migraine potion.  I hope that makes the difference he needs for these to not rear their ugly head any more.

Migraines just reached a new level of suck.

I’m on day 135 migraine free, which is awesome.

What’s not awesome?  I watched one of my kids get a migraine tonight.

“Mom, I think I’m getting a migraine.  I have spots all over my eyes, and I feel dizzy.”  About 1/2 hour later, killer headache.

This sucks worse than when I get one.

It’s happened about twice over the last 8 years or so that one of my kids has gotten a migraine.  Good odds actually.  But really?  Why is that something that I need to pass down?  Hey, here ya go kid, a big batch of crap, with the name migraine, all for you!

Ironically, I’m happy that I do know what a migraine is and how disabling one can be sometimes.  I’m happy that if tomorrow is a day that my kid tells me they need to stay home because their head is killing them, that I can totally understand and not second guess them.

I hope that migraines do not become a regular occurrence with my kids.  I hope that if they do get one though, that their teachers and coaches can somehow understand that this is not a made up thing to get out of a responsibility, yet a temporary, painful pause button on life as you want it.

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60 days BABY!!!

And, just like that, it’s been 60 days since my last migraine.

The main change…I’ve switched my anti-migraine smoothie to the morning rather than the afternoon.  Don’t know if this is a factor, but it’s the main difference.

My primary doctor also has me taking naproxen sodium for about 7 days per month (guess which 7).  Not sure if that’s doing anything for migraines at all.  He had prescribed it three times a day.  Ya, as I wrote about in the past, my body does not like meds (see Imitrex Fail!)  Therefore, after taking the second dose of the day and feeling shaky, numb, and ‘weird’, I only take it once in the morning now for those 7 days.  Although, it leaves me with a dull headache by the evening.  Not sure if that is “winning” enough for me quite yet.

So, the main constant in my life is still my anti-migraine smoothie, B-6, Butterbur, and Feverfew, aka my anti-migraine potion.

I thought the other day again, about how many times I have made my anti-migraine smoothies (see anti-migraine smoothie perfected), and it’s pretty crazy that I’ve only missed drinking one maybe 5 days tops in the last year and couple months.

One thing I have learned, and I almost weep for have lost out on so many opportunities, is that the small amount at the bottom of the blender that doesn’t fit into my two cups?  It could have been saved.

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My anti-migraine smoothie is kind of like liquid gold.  (Although, the true liquid gold is breast milk.  Any mother that has ever had to pump, knows this.  And any mother that has had to toss away some of that milk for one reason or another, knows it’s like pouring liquid gold down the sink.)  As much as I appreciate my smoothie, and really feel that it helps me, it’s a pain in the a$$ to make every other day.

So, I’ve come up with my brilliant plan to save that little bit at the bottom of each blender batch that I make, and freeze it into bigger portions.  Taking it out of the freezer and layering the little leftovers as I make them.

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I must say, I really do feel like I’m “winning” with this idea.  I just went away recently on vacation, and just brought along frozen containers to thaw rather than all of the ingredients and a blender!

Yes, I’m totally nerdy for feeling like this is a score.  But, whatever makes things easier man!

Happy 60 days!

Migraines Suck.

Damn I hate migraines.

I hate that they interfere in peoples lives, and truly shut down aspects of their lives while they visit.

Yep, in case it wasn’t crystal clear.  Got another one, yesterday.

Walking into a lovely little restaurant for lunch with my sister in laws while on an overnight trip away….kaleidoscope eyes to look through at my delicious lunch. Dull and nasty feeling the rest of the day, headache started last night, didn’t feel like waiting until today which would match normal protocol.

Odd, the last two migraines I’ve gotten (both in the current month), have happened before 12:00 noon, which is a shift from my ‘norm’.  Usually my migraines come in the afternoon.  Going to tweak my smoothie time from between 2-3 pm to about 10 am and see if that makes any difference.  And I know, 2 in one month, still very manageable, and pales in comparison to the two per week I was getting last August.  But when you get to celebrate over 200 days migraine free, as much as I’ll keep my positive outlook, it still SUCKS.

outoforder  Too bad that’s not realistic!  🙂

Migraines suck.

Let it go, the King is dead. You’re 200+ days of no migraines is gone.

The number 205 seems to have now taken on a ‘glory days’ effect in my mind.

Problem is, I want it back.  I want to go over 200 days between migraines again.

And I don’t believe I’m going to lie down and settle for less.

There are times that I laugh when I hear my husband or others talk about their sports glory days.  And how is it that they can remember specific plays in great detail from 20+ years ago?

Will that be me?  Day 200 when I blogged about that celebratory day, will I remember that day with great details?  I just may.  Because I most certainly will remember walking into stupid Raley’s for stupid dinner stuff and getting a stupid migraine.  Dumb grocery store.  And I will certainly remember the nail salon, and most recently, a whopper migraine in Michael’s.  All stopping me from getting back on track to 200+ days migraine free.

I have to keep my glory days in the front of my mind though.  It happened once, it can happen again right?  And still, I can’t be too miffed about having broken my 200+ day migraine free streak.  Because the fact is, I’ve only had 6 migraines in one year and 16 days.  That may be some glory days there in itself, second only to my 200+ day streak.

Onward.

Still faithful to my anti-migraine potion, because 6 migraines in 381 days, I can glorify that!

A day in my (not so) glorious migraine life.

My most recent migraine included Caillou, Michael’s Craft Store, Jay Z, ‘Dances with Wolves’, and See’s Candy to name a few…all in a day of my (not so) glorious migraine life:

‘Oh my god, I’m going to throw up right here.’ Is what I thought in my mind for about 30 seconds in the aisle of Michaels.

Disclaimer:  This post may or may not contain some swear words in it.  Although,the probability for them is high.  Consider that your warning if you’re easily offended…

About 7 minutes prior to having the urge to vomit, I had walked into Michaels to shop for work and to look at frames.  Silly Rabbit, you can’t look at items like frames that have glass in them under the full lights of a retail store.  Rookie move.  Full kaleidoscope migraine eyes set in within the first two minutes in the store.

I did not end up vomiting in Michaels.

Way to keep it classy migraine.

I did however stay in Michaels, wandering up and down every single aisle putting more and more crap in my cart waiting for my kaleidoscope eyes to clear up for over 40 minutes.

By the time I got to the check out, I had to tell her I wasn’t buying about 5 items that I had placed in the cart.  I have no idea what the hell I was looking at, or why I put those things in my cart.  Obviously my eyes weren’t seeing the objects too well!

My husband kept texting me during my 45+ minute visit to Michaels, and wanted to know if I was going to go home and relax. At that point, the worst for day 1 of 2 of my migraine had already passed, I could see again.  Day 2 is when there is no way I would have gone on to the mall and Old Navy as I did, because that is the day for the headache that feels like someone has hit you over the head with a frying pan each and every time you stand from a sitting position.  And don’t ever lean over to tie your shoes or anything.  Having your head below your waist, you may as well just call it a day right there.

So, on to the mall and Old Navy.  Because for some reason, my children still do not have enough shirts for school.  Not too sure where those disappear to.

Even though I clearly wasn’t there to shop for myself, I found a couple of things to try on, and went to the dressing room.  There was a parent with a small child in the fitting room next to me watching a show on a device of some sort.

And then I heard it.  It was Caillou.  “Are you f*#cking kidding me right now that I have to listen to Cailou?” was what I think I said inside my head and not out loud.

I heard enough to know that Caillou in his atrocious voice was scared of the dark, and his dad said that he’d get him a music box to play for when he’s scared.

I found this shaky video, but that doesn’t matter, just listen in horror to the voice:

And that was when I reconfirmed what my sister in law stated a few months ago that I laughed ridiculously about:  Caillou is a little bitch.  Agreed.

On to a department store to get Adidas or Nike t-shirts for my son, I saw this sign and it intrigued me:

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I’ve mentioned before that my 2 day migraine events leave me in a sort of foggy, dull feeling.  Thankfully, I was able to reach out of that fog and realize that my enjoyment of Jay-Z music may not transfer to my son’s preference in clothing.

As I was walking through the mall on the way towards my car, I was welcomed with loving arms by this:

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I love See’s.  I’ve proclaimed my love in the past for See’s officially here.  Migraine trigger or no trigger, I’m having See’s.

California Brittle, I love you.

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I finished off my outing by picking up a Papa Murphy’s Pizza for dinner, only to be accompanied by the delicious cinnamon dessert pizza.  Because let’s face it, I was already gone.  Might as well throw in another possible trigger that I’ve read about in the past, pepperoni.  I was at the point of just needing things that made me feel good, because day 2 of my migraine life is going to be straight crap.

As I drove to pick up my 3 kids at 3 different schools, on came “Stairway to Heaven”, by Led Zeppelin.  It’s like the migraine gods were looking down on me.  This was the perfect song to hear.  And thankfully, it ended before a child got into the car and asked me to change the channel.

Amazingly, we didn’t have anywhere to be after I picked them up from school.  So, the kids and I finished off the day watching the rest of ‘Dances with Wolves’, as I watched them act out ‘tatonka’ on all fours walking around with a pillow on their backs.

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That was my day with a migraine.  Day 2 will bring pain, which is a different challenge than today’s navigating while not being able to see, and dealing with an overall dullness of my brain.

Today was a good day.

Although, not in the cool Ice Cube way in which I referenced it.  More in the ‘this could have been much worse than it was, at least I got See’s’ way.