migraine headache

Active, not athletic.

This week while at work, three high school boys came up and were selling cookies to create funds for their cross country track team.  I asked them about their mile times, and they were totally excited to share them.

The night before, I watched Becoming Alex Morgan about the soccer star with my daughter.  Very cool.

I’ve never really had a huge athletic piece in my life.

I’ve always said that I’m active, not athletic.

‘I play real sports, not trying to be the best at exercising.’  Classic Kenny Powers.  Yet, I don’t even try to be the best at exercising.  I’m like, average, and ok at exercising.  I just go through the motions to get it done.

I’ve done a handful of 1/2 marathons, and one full (bucket list, done.)  Each and every race I’ve done, my husband asks if I’m going to ‘smoke’ the people I’m running with in the race.  And I’ve always replied, “I’m staying with my friends!”

Being an athletic and competitive person, he looks at me like I am truly speaking a different language than one he can understand.

A perfect example of me being active, not athletic (which, by the way, I see no problem with, and in no way do I state that about myself negatively), is my husband’s family reunion volleyball game.  I’m a tall person.  Active.  I believe tall and active were misconstrued for athletic.  Half way through the first FAMILY volleyball game that included kids, and adults, I was pulled aside by not just one of my husbands uncles, but two of his uncles to point out where I needed to be moving, and when, and how I needed to improve. Sorry guys. Active, not athletic.

I like walking, biking, mountain biking (without much uphill, I’ll whine loudly if there’s a lot of uphill), at times running, and I can hold my own working out at the gym too.  Those work for me.  Although, I’m not good at classes at the gym.  Some of my friends love their classes.  I’m ok with admitting the main reason I don’t like classes:  I don’t like being told what to do.  “Push it harder.  Go faster.”  No thanks.  I’m good.

Being that I like biking and mountain bike riding, I tried a spin class.  Once.  Hated it.  Why?

  1. Being told what to do and when.  (I know it’s not a good quality, but at least I’m admitting it.  That’s worth something right?)
  2. I couldn’t walk for about 2 days.  I now know why people bring their own seat cushion things.  Horrendous.

It has been 6-1/2 years now that I have kept a twice a week crazy AM commitment to working out.  My good friend Timaree from http://thenutritionprofessor.com (just about to publish her first cookbook http://foodiebars.com, it’s awesome) and I have met each and every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:00 AM (sometimes even earlier!) since May of 2009.  The only times we have missed a day is if one of us is pretty darn sick, or we are out of town.  I have people ask me all the time ‘Do you still work out with your friend in the mornings?’  Yep.  The other days of the week, we do our own things to stay active and healthy.  The early Tuesdays and Thursdays, it’s basically just auto-pilot.  And it is a pretty great feeling to hit about 2:00 PM and realize that I’ve already worked out for the day (because is seems like it had been yesterday being so early in the morning!)  I’m no hero though, the times that she hasn’t been able to make it, I thankfully reset my alarm for two hours later and roll over!

Being active and working out always has the benefit of being able to fit into the clothes in the closet.  But over the past few years, it’s become much more than that.  When I don’t move, when I’m not active, my emotions and my mental health are affected.  I can physically and emotionally feel when I haven’t been active enough.  For me,it helps with anxiety, and all that comes with that lovely quality of mine.  I wrote how exercise can help change my mental state in a past post, Bad Mood Mama.  The quick fix of endorphins, it usually is the key.

I’m on day 45 of being migraine free, so migraine related anxiety is asleep for now.  Still heading towards that 200+ glory mark though!!!  I’ll take what I can get for now and feel good being ‘ok at exercising!”

🙂

Too much fun = migraine.

I had a blast this last weekend.

Went to see Sammy Hagar with my husband, family and friends, it was a great show. Kids with the parents (thank you), and a night away, it was on.

I was trying to tally up how many times I’ve seen Sammy Hagar, whether solo or with Van Halen, and I’m thinking it has to be  around 10 times now.  And this show up in South Lake Tahoe this last Saturday, was definitely one of the best I’ve seen.

I was so happy, and kept moving for the entire concert.  Which I’m thankful for, because it’s been a long while since my body has experienced the number of beers it did that night, and I’m sure my constant motion helped me the next day!

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I thoroughly enjoyed the entire night, his solo stuff, Van Halen, and a super awesome surprise, a few Led Zeppelin gems.  (The drummer he tours with is the son of the late John Bonham, drummer of Led Zeppelin.)  That was the coolest, my middle brother was one of the people in our group of friends/family, and he’s a huge Zeppelin fan, so it was pretty clutch.

Back home today, and back to reality after being with family for the weekend which included our one night get away to the concert.

While going to Target and Safeway for necessary items with my youngest, a full migraine set in.

As I navigated through the aisles of Target with half of my eyesight blocked by kaleidoscope designs and swirls, and a overall feeling of nausea, I replayed the weekend in my mind.  Not so much sleep, much beer, good food, some quality chocolate, and a sore body from a mountain bike fall on some good sized rocks…I’m not going to say I deserved a migraine, but I understand it.

🙂

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.

Tatanka

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.

My Anti-Migraine Green Smoothie, perfected!!!

It’s been over 11 months since I began my anti-migraine potion which includes Feverfew, Butterbur, B-2, and green smoothies daily.  And over that 11 months, I have had 5 migraines.  Which pales in comparison to the up to 2 a week I was experiencing prior to my anti-migraine potion.  My original post which details the supplements and the original recipe for my green smoothie can be found here.

Below is what I have concocted to create my tweaked version of the original green migraine smoothie recipe, and this is my favorite to date.  Details are below with an updated recipe at the end.

First, the greens.  Pure kale is really good for you, but it seems bitter to me.  After many trials with many greens, my favorite greens to use in my smoothie are these below:

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Spinach and baby kale, the only place I’ve found this particular brand is at Safeway, and it’s the best in my opinion.  A close second is this:

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Power Greens, it’s available at Costco. The trick to either bag is to try and get as much air out of it as possible before you store it back in the fridge. The original recipe called for 2 cups of greens.  I basically lightly pack the blender until it is about 3/4 full of greens, then add the rest of the ingredients. 1/2 – 2/3 of a cucumber, 2 stalks of celery, organic if possible since I drink these every day.

3/4 cup of coconut water, I buy this:

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It comes in a pack of 6 I think at Coscto.  It lasts forever.

Lemons…I now peel 2 lemons and just throw them in the blender.  I used to juice a lemon and add it to the smoothie, I found I really like the lemon taste, so I added another to make 2, and peeling them and throwing them in is easier than juicing them. If you’re lucky like I have been, you’ll have a friend with a lemon tree and she will bring you bags at a time of delicious, fresh lemons!! 🙂

Ginger; this has become a larger and larger portion as the time goes on.  I put about a 2″ x 1″ piece of peeled fresh ginger into my smoothie.  Looks about like this:

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(So, I’m not a professional photographer, but you get the point…)

And, lastly, about a cup of frozen pineapple.  I use the kind below from Costco:

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Blend all that up until it’s nice and smooth.  I separate mine into two portions, one to drink that day, one in a container in the fridge for the following day.  On a migraine day, I’ve been known to drink both portions in a day, splitting it between the morning and afternoon.  These can be frozen also.  I make an extra batch or two and freeze them in Ziplock gallon bags when I go on vacation and I don’t want to have to bust out the blender every other day.  They defrost real well, I pour mine into a cup with a lid, give it a good shake, and they are good to go.

Again, I’m not sure exactly what it is in my anti-migraine potion that seems to be working for me, but I’m happy that I’ve had a lot of relief over these past 11 months.  I know there is not a one size fits all for the treatment of migraines.  If what has helped me helps anyone else at all, that is so wonderful.  I hope that everyone’s unfortunate journey with migraines can eventually bring them some relief!

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