Tag Archives: Health

Taking The Journey Home

Me a long time ago, before being an adult really got to me!

A long time ago, before being an adult really got to me!

This post marks one year of blogging, and this is my one hundredth post!  The last twelve months have been turbulent, so I am grateful to still be here, writing. Life is a journey, but until recently, I didn’t realize that so often the journey is about renewal and rediscovery.  Yesterday was my birthday, a significant milestone in life, and I feel as though I am once again ready to begin a new chapter.  Last October, when I began blogging, I believed that I had it all figured out.  Feeling fine, I had my life organized, with everything in its place, and a nifty master plan for the future.  I was beginning to think I had discovered the secret to that elusive Wonder Woman Syndrome.

This spring, a bizarre illness knocked me down, hard.  The illness seemed to come out of nowhere, and didn’t make any sense, and to make matters worse, I had a very difficult time getting the medical care that I needed for swift recovery.  Without an official diagnoses or even satisfactory answers, I did what any tenacious and frustrated housewife would do: I tried a vigorous detox cleanse and blogged about my symptoms.  All summer I attempted to purge my body of toxins and negativity, but by autumn, I just felt angry, vulnerable, and exhausted.  I was grieving over something that had been lost, and though I didn’t know what it was, I really wanted it back.

When my children went back to school, I did not miss returning as an employee, nor did I regret my decision to stay home and focus on my health.  I did, however, feel a little stab of guilt for failing to hack it in the “real” world.  I worried about being seen as unreliable, and I was reluctant to make plans lest I’d have to cancel due to illness.  This continued to feed the guilt cycle.  After my husband and I quarreled about how difficult it was for us to attend social gatherings, I began to see how my illness affected him.  He was tired, he wanted things to be better, just like me.  So now a great question loomed in my mind.  Would I spend the rest of my life in a cage , or finally break free?

Three weeks before my birthday, I visited with a medical professional about my concerns.  All my recent test results were normal.  On paper, I’mm a perfectly healthy person.   In her opinion, my symptoms are in my head; I simply have anxiety.  “You bitch,” I wanted to snarl at her, but instead I agreed to explore her theory.   After all, I was the one who had requested a referral to a counselor at the beginning of the appointment.   I did make one statement in my defense.  ” I got sick this spring but couldn’t get the care I needed, so of course I feel anxious! No one ran any tests on me seven months ago, when I asked for help.  I don’t want actual physical symptoms overlooked just because I have anxiety!”  We agreed to meet each other halfway; she promised to check into my symptoms  for legitimacy, and I took the first step in reclaiming what I had lost.

The first step in my journey began with kickboxing.  A friend talked me into it.  “I’m probably not in adequate shape to even try this,” I balked, but she insisted.  “You’ll be fine.  The class isn’t that tough, and it’s fun!”  I puked and nearly passed out halfway through my first class.  But my friend was right.  It was fun, and I made an extremely important decision that day.  I must take better care of myself, because I am worth it.  Kickboxing is more than just an incredibly addictive treat — it has reminded me that I deserve to grow and develop.  I have spent most of my life encouraging others, and now it is time to encourage myself.  I deserve to invest in myself as much as I have invested in the lives of those around me.

Me now.  Still adorable!

Me now. Still adorable!

We stay at home parents often discount our capabilities , perhaps believing that since we are not breadwinners, we have less intrinsic worth to offer our families through support and service.  When we minimize ourselves and put our needs on the back burner, we suffer, and then the family suffers.   I have been a wife and mother for one decade.   I got married at the age of 23, just months after returning from a long deployment to the Middle East.  Barely an adult myself, I hardly knew what I wanted out of life when I married a career soldier and became a young Army spouse.  I threw myself completely into my family, doing and being everything for them.  I was trying to be Wonder Woman, never quite living up to the standards I set for myself.  That my friends, is the recipe for perpetual frustration.

Once I started to treat myself with the kindness that I deserve, I began to also give myself room to grow.  I also began to forgive myself of my faults and understand that I am not the sum of my thoughts or limitations.  It is no coincidence to me that this transformation has happened around the time of my birthday.  Every new chapter of life is traveled on a new trail.  While reflecting upon renewed life on the day of my birth, I had to ask myself what is really important.  I may never know why or how I got sick, or the real source of my illness.  I may even continue to battle illness for my entire life.  Perhaps that is but a small detail of my bigger journey.  Why waste any more time on fear and anxiety when life is out there to be lived?  The only thing that matters is today, and what I want to do about making myself better — more kind, compassionate, loving, and adventurous — than the person I was yesterday.

After spending my entire life putting the needs of others ahead of mine, I essentially have no idea who I am.  I have been angry because I miss being who I once was.  Although I really can’t go back in time, I’ve been mourning the loss of a person who hasn’t existed in years.  It is time to break out of the brittle old cage and make the journey home, to reclaim my identity and rediscover who I am by simply living my life.  Yesterday I went to the school to pick up my daughters, and one of my favorite students recognized me.  I hadn’t seen her since spring.  She has a disability that makes her speech difficult to understand, but when she stepped forward, she spoke very clearly, asking where I had been, what was going on with my hair, when would she see me again?  And she hugged me tight, three times.  I could see that I was not the only one who had given myself room to grow, and it felt very satisfying.

~G

 

 

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My skin has been breaking out in swathes of pimples and streaks of rashes, thanks to my ongoing Mirena cleansing process.  With buckets of toxins and bad hormones oozing from every pore, hair and skin has taken the worst beating.  Coarse and wild, my hair resembles a horse’s uncombed tail.  But my face!  Oh, the horror.  I used to look in the mirror and say “Hey, not bad.  I can leave the house without makeup”.  Now I resemble someone slapped across the cheeks with a hot waffle iron and then squirted with olive oil for good measure.  Yuck.  I pamper my skin, but lately every well intended product just scatters more red welts across my cheeks.  Even the most gentle of moisturizers has left my face dry, itchy, and pitted, with pores large enough for someone to dive into.  Gross.  I couldn’t wear makeup, much less wash my face, without inducing yet another flare-up.  My skin has never been so sensitive or so irritated!  What to do?!

 

2014-07-03 09.28.42Fortunately, I remembered a special purchase during my recent trip to South Dakota.  I visited Prairie Edge, one of my favorite shops, in Downtown Rapid City.  Tourist attraction, souvenir/gift shop, Sioux trading post, history center and art museum rolled into one gorgeous historical landmark, Prairie Edge is nestled on the corner of Main Street and 6th.  The best is the Sioux trading post.  While my rowdy children fingered sumptuous fox tails and exclaimed loudly over the price of bison sinews and leather pieces (and I pretended they weren’t my offspring) I stared at the herbs and prairie plants.  One whole corner was dedicated to medicinal plants and herbs used by the Lakota.  Sage, the predominant healing herb, took up much space, but many other fascinating products caught my eye.  One was a small tub of salve labeled Ha Pejuta, or Skin Medicine in Lakota.  The ingredients are natural — wild bergamot, arnica, calendula, lavender, garlic, tea tree oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, and locally sourced beeswax — no chemicals.  The label states “This salve stimulates circulation and heals”.  I purchased it and a bottle of sweetgrass hydrosol, a distilled liquid smelling of the delicious water grass.

On the first night using the salve, my skin was so sensitive I could hardly cleanse without crying!  Gently dabbing the sweetgrass hydrosol over my face with a large cotton ball cooled the irritation.  Next came a few drops of tea tree oil on my T-Zone, then I rubbed a little Ha Pejuta over my face.  My skin was still very sensitive and at first the salve stung, but within a few minutes my face felt warm — the salve was living up to its claim!  The next morning my face looked clearer.  Cleansing still proved uncomfortable, but I followed the same pattern; soap for sensitive skin (the only part of the routine that included any chemicals), sweetgrass toner, tea tree oil, and Ha Pejuta salve.  I then added a dab of moisturizer with sunblock.  The salve created a barrier over my skin so I could add sunblock or moisturizers without causing further irritation.

For one week I followed the same regimen and tried not to wear makeup if possible.  The dryness and oiliness has resolved and my pores have shrunk.  The raised red areas smoothed out and disappeared.  My skin has even started to glow again!  I also made my own facial mask: a cherry tomato plucked from the garden, a dash of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of rolled oats, all pulverized in the blender with a bit of water.  I spread the mixture on my face and let it set up for 5 minutes, just enough for my skin to feel tight.  I will continue to use my Ha Pejuta salve to protect and heal my skin, and keep my fingers crossed for better facial health this summer!

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Just pulse in blender or food processor with a few drops of water and you have a homemade facial mask!

Update: After going back to my former skincare routine, my face started to look kind of blah again.  My chin broke out and I noticed dryness as well as oiliness on my nose and forehead.  So I believe the Ha Pejuta salve made an improvement.  Not wearing makeup for several days also didn’t hurt.  If you need a facial overhaul, you don’t have to buy Ha Pejuta, but try tea tree oil and a salve based on natural ingredients and try to avoid products with chemicals.  See if it helps.

— G

 

Medical Misfit

Nurse uniform in the 1900's.

Nurse uniform in the 1900’s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday a phone call from an endocrinologist’s office left me seething. An administrator — she didn’t offer a name or title — indicated in a polite but vaguely superior manner that I was not requesting services at the correct clinic.  There was an icy undertone, as if the fact that she had to contact me to explain all this was putting a huge strain on the clinic’s resources.  It took me a good ten minutes of  cajoling, conniving, convincing, and just plain bullshitting to get her to understand that it wouldn’t be a complete waste of the endocrinologist’s precious time for me to come in, but it wasn’t until I uttered the magic word ‘fibromyalgia’ that she granted me status as a legitimate patient.  What is this place, anyway?  Am I creating such an inconvenience that I cannot be seen by this doctor unless I successfully pass vetting by a bureaucratic toady with a list of secret code words?

I was not surprised that the doctor at this clinic was reluctant to take me on as a patient. My referral, sent weeks ago from my PA at Fort Riley, had been rejected on the grounds that  my “specific” needs did not “encompass” the doctor’s specialty.  It was a possibly a coding error made by the insurance company making the authorization for services. The nurse from my referring clinic spent several days making phone calls to the clinic as well as my insurance company on my behalf, smoothing over the misunderstanding and pleading my case. I don’t know if that is even part of her job, but she knows that I am sick. She has seen me too many times over the last few months to not want to help. And she must have deduced from the cryptic, noncommittal responses coming from the endocrinology clinic that I would need a champion.

It’s been difficult to get good medical care in Kansas.  My tiny local Veterans Affairs clinic seems to always be bogged down and overwhelmed; I can’t get in but once or twice a year, and that is just for routine blood tests or ‘Well Woman’ visits.  God forbid anything goes wrong in between!  When I lived in the Black Hills, I had the best VA care.  If a non-emergent matter arose, chances were I could get a same day walk-in appointment, and the staff listened to my needs.  Here the story is different. During a non emergency episode when I needed immediate advice (which happened in between my allotted visits), the local VA staff either misunderstood or misjudged my situation, leaving me to seek medical attention elsewhere.  After the incident I plan not to return to the clinic.  Luckily I can still turn to the clinic at Fort Riley, where I trust my physician and nurse.  The problems arise when they have to refer me to specialists.

I realize that it’s a Me Problem.  It’s not the world that’s strange, it’s me.  I’m the misfit.  I take supplements of turmeric and holy basil and treat hormonal breakouts on my face with a salve made from an old Native American recipe.  I use cabbage poultices and rub herbal oils on my forehead  to fight off migraines.  I am treating my current ailments using natural remedies instead of chemicals and drugs.  I abhor drugs.  I am probably a traditional doctor’s worst nightmare. So if/when I go to a specialist and invariably open my big fat mouth to spout things like “I am researching home remedies and the use of ethnobotany for possibly treating my migraines and hormonal imbalance” or “I really don’t want to take any more pills” I run the risk of being written off as a crazy jackass.  Even the mere mention that I take herbal supplements and seek chiropractic care results in odd looks, as if I am lapsing into an unknown language during the dialogue.

Yet my specialists don’t seem to take the time to actually read the medical records my referring clinic is required to fax to them.  Instead I am interrogated with rapid-fire questions, in a patronizing tone.  If they had read the records, they wouldn’t have to ask me the questions, and we would have time to discuss the most important part of a visit to any doctor: what type of treatment is truly best for the patient?  I am sure these specialists are brilliant, and with limited amounts of time in their work days they have to make quick decisions based on what information they gather from patients.  I probably don’t help with my rambling history of odd symptoms intermingled with home remedies and Native American medicines.  But damn it!  They are supposed to be highly educated professionals with vast stores of knowledge about various types of treatment.  Why are they so single-minded about ramming more pills down my throat?  And when did practicing medicine medicine come to include treating patients, and potential patients, like children, or worse yet, like criminals who have to prove their validity before receiving care?

Maybe I am wasting their time with my herbal supplements and quackery treatments. But it’s my body.  I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want better quality than the living death sentence my very first neurologist prescribed, something to the effect of “take these pills every day  for the rest of your life and pray for early menopause to ease the pain of your migraines”.  The nerve!   Certainly that can’t be the best option, for anyone.  If the care I am receiving here is so laughable, there is at least one thing that I have taken from my experience, and I do consider it a blessing.  I, and only I, am completely and unequivocally responsible for my health.  Doctors don’t know everything.  Medical professionals can and will do their best (I hope) for me, but it is ultimately up to me to take care of myself.  I can make decisions about my body and my health, because sometimes there will be no one else willing to take the steps to ensure my health.  If it takes being a medical misfit, then so be it.

I am my own best doctor, nurse, and patient!

— G

First Mirena Detox: Wrapping It Up

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My vibrant purple detox smoothie. Secret ingredient? Red cabbage!

I had promised to keep better notes for the remainder of my Mirena detox, but I failed to do so (life and all…) However, I did make observations that may be beneficial to others thinking of doing a detox, for whatever the reason.  Here is what I learned while doing my first detox.

  1.  A high quality detox is what your body deserves.  Do research and planning, make broad as well as specific goals for yourself, and be willing to invest in the best possible plan for you.  Mine was expensive, but overall I am happy with the results and plan to detox again.
  2. Don’t beat yourself up if something goes wrong during the detox process.  Case in point: during mine, I spent a week with severe stomach flu and then ended up with bronchitis! Getting my body to simply accept Pedialyte  and rice became the highest priority for several days, so I had to put detoxing on hold.  Be flexible with the process; it is all about listening to your body.
  3. Get the most out of it.  You are going to spend money (presumably) on this, so don’t counteract the positive effects by eating double bacon cheeseburgers and fried pickles the whole time.  It doesn’t work that way!  DO treat yourself to the best fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates.  Your body will respond.
  4. Get plenty of rest, drink a lot of water, stay active, and do things to reward yourself.  I like to make homemade cinnamon rice tea and stir fried vegetables to treat myself after a long day.
  5. Listen to your body during the process!  As toxins are released and the healing process accelerates, your body may begin to send more signals to indicate what it needs from you.  Go with it. Take naps, go for gentle walks, start doing yoga, try new and healthy foods for dinner.  Be open to the detox process and keep notes if you want to remember specific circumstances.  Above all, be patient and accept the fact that detoxing can take time and effort.

— G

 

Mirena Detox: Days 4 Through… I Lost Track

 

Dr. Schreiber of San Augustine giving a typhoi...

“At least I don’t have typhoid — yet.”  Dr. Schreiber of San Augustine giving a typhoid innoculation at a rural school, San Augustine County, Texas.Transfer from U.S. Office of War Information, 1944. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first three days of my detox “diet” went well enough, but on Day 4 I managed to contract severe gastroenteritis, or stomach flu, which demanded all my time and attention through Day 11.  I wasn’t able to eat real food, much less do a body flushing detox.  Hell, I was barely able to get any liquids down for most of those days!  Apparently stomach flu is going around along with bronchitis, which I also now have. Great way to start the summer!  So I don’t really know what detox day this is supposed to be.  I consulted with my nutritionist and he encouraged me to get back on the detox horse, but half strength, until I feel fully recovered enough to go full throttle.

I visited my regular physician (again) because I had to get a doctor’s note to go back to work.  I was pretty cranky about having to drive an hour out of my way for permission to go back to work (and, more likely, proof that I was actually sick) when all I really needed was some rest and Pedialyte.  Ah, the bureaucracy of being employed!  I explained to my physician as much, and we had a good laugh.  He was interested to find out how my detox helps in treating and preventing future migraines, so I promised to keep in touch.  If I have to go back in for my bronchitis, it may be some kind of record.  I have visited this guy about five times in as many weeks!

Since I don’t have day to day notes on my detox, I can share a few noticeable changes.  While I am considerably weaker from being sick, I do feel better just from the initial few days of detoxing.  I am not trying to lose weight, but have lost about five pounds.  My hormones seem to be stabilizing and I’m not nearly as, well let’s just say it, bitchy as I was a couple of weeks ago.  My head is clearer, with sharper focus.  One notable disappointment is that I still feel as though I have no energy, even after a great night of sleep.  However, I am hopeful that with the return of my strength, my energy will also return.

The only changes made: starting the detox (clean food based, no chemicals or drugs) and stopping most if not all consumption of OTC drugs for my migraines.  I do still take daily prescriptions and vitamins, but nothing else if at all possible.  While I am not yet ready to sing the praises of this detox program, it would appear that using food to heal my body is beginning to work.  Hopefully I can get back on track with better notes in the weeks to come.  I am supposed to be doing a 21 day detox after all!

—G

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Mirena Detox: Days 1 – 4

Whether or not this ends up helping anyone else going through the same nightmare known as the Mirena Crash, I wanted to document my detoxing experience.  If nothing else, it should prove highly entertaining.

Day 0

Starting weight is 156.  My nutritionist  advised me to stop eating corn and any foods containing corn, because it is a sneaky migraine trigger.  He suspects that I have a corn sensitivity.  He also encouraged me to start eating as much cabbage as I can stand, since that is a ‘known’ treatment for migraines.  Huh, I didn’t know that.  Bye bye cornbread I love so much; hello cabbage in my salad.

 

Ross The Dog photo bombing my attempted close up of my smoothie powder.

Ross The Dog photo bombing an attempted close up of my smoothie powder.

Day 1

The Smoothies taste terrible, but between them and the dozens of highly concentrated food based pills, I feel full.  I lost about 5 pounds of water weight, cried all day, and was terribly cranky.  I wasn’t very nice to my children, but to be fair, they were kind of acting like assholes too.  We had to get groceries at the commissary.  It was a death march up and down each aisle, and I required a long nap after all the food was “put away”.  Some of the non-perishables are still on the kitchen floor.  I don’t care.  Although the detox specifies that protein shouldn’t be consumed, I could not make it past 10:00 a.m. without withdrawal hysteria.  I also realized by late afternoon that I’d neglected to consume enough calories to support a shih tzu puppy, much less a medium-sized human.  Oops!  It is hard to keep eating when those pills make me feel so full.  I will have to try harder tomorrow.

Ending weight 151

 

Day 2

I still struggled to eat enough calories.  Fighting a nasty head cold and especially cranky, I cried while making coffee, while fixing lunch, and while angrily cleaning my house.  I say angrily because while cleaning, I was stewing over my husband’s ‘insensitivity’.  The bastard didn’t even have the decency to call me last night and check up on his poor, sick wife.  Who ACTS that way?!  He was probably bar hopping with his brother all over the California coast, not giving me a second thought.  About twenty minutes later I felt guilty for thinking such mean thoughts about him, because he probably will bring back all sorts of gifts from California and present them as a gesture of his undying love and support.  Probably?  He BETTER.  Another twenty minutes passed and I was crying into my green tea while panicking over my phone logs, which indicated that it was I who had to call him two nights ago, PROVING that he didn’t care about my illness or my crazed hormonal state at all.  Ah Ha!  Is it any wonder he has been avoiding me?

And, hot flashes, cold flashes, sob, sob, sob.  My husband did call (and apologized for not calling the night before) and I was mildly icy to him, then I cried after we got off the phone because I miss him.  And, hot flashes, cold flashes, sob, sob, sob.

Ending weight 149

Day 3

The girls goofing around in the exam room during another visit to see my physician about my headaches and illness.

The girls goofing around in the exam room during another visit to see my physician about my headaches and illness.

My weight is 149 again today, so I think I leveled off a bit after the initial toxin dump.  I feel tremendously better today.  In fact, I feel so much better that I harbor a feeling of goodwill towards the general public — a huge change!  I don’t feel like crying, I don’t have hot or cold flashes, and my stomach doesn’t hurt. Hey, neither does my head (aside from a mild protein withdrawal headache)!  I feel…like myself for the first time in months!  And do you know what I want to do, folks?  Change the batteries in my weather radio and do a supply inventory in the tornado shelter.  It’s that time of year!  Yep, I am starting to feel much better.  The girls went with me to another follow-up for my migraines, and I got a referral to see an endocrinologist.  My physician is interested in the results of the detox and asked me to keep him posted.

Day 4

Sick, sick as a dog!  I have some kind of virus running rampant through my body.  I had to halt the detox for a day of chills, thrills, and frequent visits to the porcelain throne.  It was uneventful other than a very sweet card made by my youngest child, wishing me speedy recovery.  My ending weight is 148, mostly from dehydration and lack of food.  I can’t even think about food right now, much less the detox…maybe tomorrow.

—G

 

A Get Well card from my daughter -- so sweet!

A Get Well card from my daughter — so sweet!

 

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Oh, How I’ve Missed You!

I took a short break from blogging — and life — due to severe illness (and panic attacks/hysteria). During that time I thought about what has been missed, and what is important in life.  This is the story.

At the end of February a friend from my childhood approached asked if I would be interested in joining a fitness group on Facebook. Over the last six months I had lost around twenty pounds, but I am not what you would call “in shape” unless that shape is defined as “floppy”.  So, thinking this might be a great way to reevaluate some old habits and improve myself, I said “Sure!”.  The rules were simple: since we are all geographically scattered and have various weight loss and fitness goals, we could check in throughout March with ideas, thoughts, milestones, and even complaints.  I liked the concept because I needed a reason to start taking better care of myself.

1-20140226_130515At the beginning of the month, we were encouraged to take a “before picture” to motivate ourselves to firm up those muscles and shed those extra pounds.  I wasn’t thrilled about the idea, but I figured what the hell, why not be honest about myself?  So I took a selfie showing my abs, or lack thereof.  Ironically, this is one of my better selfies.

So after my “before” pic was out of the way, it was time to get the ball rolling on other fitness goals.  I started making homemade smoothies chock full of spinach, kale, frozen fruits, ground flax and chia seeds, and almond milk.  I planned meals for the family so we were all eating better, and I made sure I was sleeping exactly eight hours each night.  I started to think about an exercise plan — maybe Insanity again…I was feeling motivated and ready to roll!

And then, the unthinkable happened.  My migraines started to take over my life.  Before I knew it, March whizzed by in a blur of ice packs, Ibuprofen bottles, and fragmented memories that may not have actually happened.  My brain became so poisoned from the kindling (a term for repeated attacks of migraine that are not adequately controlled or treated) that I started to lose cognitive function.  After several weeks of torture, the migraines broke me.  On Tuesday, crumpled up on a chair and in tears, I voiced to my husband my resentment and fear that my migraines were shutting down my life.   I would have to quit my job (the one I just started) and live out the rest of my days on the couch, in my bathrobe.  Tears streamed down my cheeks as I fumed that I didn’t understand why a disease so brutal could exist, why so much time had been robbed from my life for no good reason.  As I cried, I felt better for releasing guilt and anguish, but worse wasting what little energy I had left.

Exhausted and dejected, I cried all the way to the clinic, absolutely certain there was nothing that could be done.  My husband had warned me that there wouldn’t be a magic pill waiting there to fix everything.  But I have got to stop doubting my physician!  After all, the man cut a skin tag off of my armpit so that I could shave it, he entertained my food sensitivity ideas (when they seemed to be keeping the migraines at bay) and he has never dismissed my concerns with condescending remarks about “women’s issues” like some male specialists I’ve dealt with.  So when I showed up in his office with smeared makeup and a bitchy/dopey expression on my face, he said “Those are some nice shoes.  Let’s talk about the headaches.”

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Okay, I still made a point to photograph my fabulous Zara shoes while hanging out in the doctor’s office.

I will spare you all the gory details because you don’t need to know everything, but: hormonal imbalance was (mostly) blamed, so we implemented a simple solution without a trip to the Army hospital (why I love my physician).  Also, a shot of high potency anti-inflammatory in my right butt cheek killed most of the pain in my head, once the drug traveled through my system. I did squeal like a five year old getting immunizations, just for the record.  By the time I left the clinic, I was still a bit loopy, but feeling better, and so grateful to have been taken seriously and offered a solution that was not invasive to my body or degrading to my sense of self respect.

I stopped at the mailbox on the way home and that turned out to be a brilliant decision. Van had ordered a special device for me from the Canadian company Cefaly, and it had finally arrived.  I couldn’t wait to try it out before picking up the kids from school!  I read the instructions and carefully placed the electrode on my forehead.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The Cefaly uses an electrode to send electric impulses into nerves that transmit pain sensation, particularly during a migraine.  While using the device I thought about things.  What had I been missing in life?  What was important?  What had I moved away from and traded for thing that weren’t as important?  What did I want back?  And what was I willing to work for, and even fight to regain?

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Using my Cefaly for the first time!  This picture is ridiculously huge, sorry! Seriously, WordPress…

Having chronic migraines is infuriating.  When I get sick from them, I get really sick,  and I feel like I become a super paranoid, slightly psychotic version of me.  For the last few weeks the headaches were so bad that I couldn’t turn on my computer and type, or even read another blogger’s post.  I missed you  Jamie Ray, and can’t wait to read about Gracie’s adventures (got the e-mail and saved it)!  I struggled to get dinner on the table for my very patient and loving family.  You guys are awesome for caring and being kind to me while I was a basket case, and I owe you strawberry rhubarb pie.  The Facebook fitness group really didn’t know about my struggle, but was just there as a motivating and supportive force of nature, so thank you!  I wish you all the best and hope to see you all accomplish your goals.  And a big hug to Ross the Dog, who never left my side the whole time I felt ill; love that furry buddy!

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Ross the Dog, snuggling against my legs when I didn’t feel well.

 

Because of how my illness has affected my life just recently, I have had time to think (and do little else) about what I want out of life. If my migraines have taught me anything, it is to never take for granted the time I am given.  I must take advantage of the life that I have and live it as best I can!  Oh, how I have missed so many things, but there is still so much to do!

— G

 

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