Archive for the ‘Migraine’ Category

…a bit belated. I hadn’t realised it had been so long since I updated, but the holidays will do that to you.

I barely know where to start, really. We had cycles of very cold (for my region) and then unseasonably warm weather which played havoc with my arthritis, in particular my hands (not to mention things blooming unseasonably, so allergies are in full swing already). The tendinitis “trigger thumb” in my right hand has been very painful and even with wearing a splint at night it still wakes me up at times. In fact, my overall pain got so bad that I went on a ten-day taper of steroids to help put it in check (which I loathe doing). It helped, for the most part.

All this has been a bit more hectic since my rheumatologist has left the practice and relocated outside of my area. I haven’t met my new “temporary” doctor yet, but had to get bloodwork done to renew my prescriptions. Thanks to changes in my supplemental medical coverage this ended up being a three-way paperwork fest which was finally resolved as of this morning and resulted in me missing only one week of medication. It has been stressful, to say the least, in addition to trying to dodge round after round of colds and flu at work. I had actually managed to accrue some sick time at work and then had to use it all on a chest cold that took out half of my team (luckily I had a light variant, but I am constantly wiping everything down with antibacterial cloths).

Without going into too much detail, I also began seeing a women’s doctor again. With the medications I take it’s not safe if I became pregnant, but the medication I was taking was having significantly bad side effects. Just as I get a referral and have an introduction appointment I’m notified that the new doctor’s practice and my health insurance have not renewed and the end date is alarmingly soon, so I was in a rush to get my meds changed before the cost-off. I was able to my medical appointment done and now am adjusting to the new medication, but I feel like it’s a taste of the direction that women’s medicine has been going in this country for quite a while now. I’m not going to go into politics here, but it added significantly to my stress, which I did not need in the least.

In good news my left foot is much better with just a little stiffness in the early mornings, which is probably the new normal. My Christmas gift to myself was a reclining bicycle, and hubby’s gift was cleaning up the spare room to make space for it. I only used it twice last week, so my goal for this week is three times. I have had to start much slower than I expected (10 minutes 30 seconds and 12 minutes 30 seconds respectively) but I am still adjusting settings. Building up my thighs will help my right knee not overextend, so it’s better not to push too hard. I feel like it is already helping my lower back which has been particularly bad this past week- so any progress there is welcome.

Not much else going on, really. I haven’t seen The Black Panther yet thanks to an unfortunate migraine yesterday, but will definitely see it this weekend- I’m so excited! It looks gorgeous and everything I’ve heard has been glowing so far.

One other gripe- I am still trying to adjust to diet to help avoid kidney stones. Hubby asked for a list of what I *can* eat since the list is getting so short. I really wish he was joking. It’s frustrating to say the least.

Oh- and I received all my medical statement summaries for last year. Without insurance I could have covered my prescriptions and had $5,000 left of my income. Which means that with my medical bills I would have been $35,000 in debt. I am grateful every day for my insurance- I honestly don’t know how I would be able to work full-time without it (which of course is it’s own source of stress, since I need to keep working to qualify, not to mention that hubby is covered under my insurance).



Read Full Post »

I saw the podiatrist and it looks like my plantar fasciitis is totally cleared up. The spiral fracture is healing, and he showed me a different way to tie my sneaker so it will put less pressure on the break (I wish he had showed me that sooner). Oh, and walking barefoot is bad which is… something I do a lot. I don’t know that I can commit myself to a 50$ pair of fancy (and ugly) “recovery” flip-flops to wear in the house. I probably will eventually, but hopefully I can find a sale or something. The tendon in my heel is getting better, and I only need to wear my night splint 2-3 nights a week now. Yay! I do have to keep up with my icing and topical treatment, which I am not as religious about as I should be. Argh.

Wednesday night about 6:30 I started getting a frighteningly familiar pain in my side. I checked the pharmacy hours and ran out to fill the pain prescription the hospital gave me. Sure enough, it was another kidney stone. Thankfully, I did not start throwing up this time (which would have landed me back in the hospital), and I was able to doze fitfully between cramps until it passed around 3 am. I slept in the next day, but I did manage to work four days that week, which is probably the most I’ve managed in over a month. If you factor in all my doctor appointments and lab tests I’ll be short a day this week and next as well.

Saturday night I fell asleep with a headache and woke up with it still in the morning. I fought a migraine most of the day until I gave in and took the prescription med for it. I really dislike the nerve buzzing I get from it, but it kept things down to a dull roar when our friends came over with their 2-year old. I hadn’t seen them in weeks and really didn’t want to reschedule again or have to hole up in my room and not socailize.

Oh, and I have a cold. And menstrual cramps, which is just adding insult to injury, really.

Mostly, I am badly fatigued. I’d like to blame it on cutting out all sodas but it’s not caffeine withdrawal. I’m worried it might be related to my liver issues. I get my follow-up bloodwork done on that today and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Read Full Post »

…but Jenni’s ChronicBabe community has gotten me through some tough times over the years, so I’m thrilled to support this project! If you’d like to chip in, please read below:

hi friend! i hope you’re having a great day.

i hope you’re familiar with my passion project: chronicbabe.com. it grew out of my own experience of learning to craft an exceptional life in spite of illness. (it’s part of why i went into business for myself 13 years ago.)
this month, i’m running a kickstarter for my chronicbabe 101 book, a project that will put valuable lessons in the hands of thousands of folks. with 24 hours left, we are fully funded and made all our stretch goals, which means i will give a digital copy of the book to EVERY backer, regardless of their pledge amount – as low as $1. (a big portion of my audience is unable to work, so this is a big deal for them.) the book will be published in july.
here’s a quick link to the page – packed with details: http://kck.st/1MREwha (it ends friday, march 27 at 10:30am central time.)
in these final hours of the project, i’m hoping to create a big swell of support that ensures tons of people who could benefit get the chance to participate – and i could really use your help. i teach my chronicbabes to ask for help when they need it, so today i’m walking the talk once again: please consider spending five minutes in the next two days doing one of these things. it will make a meaningful impact:
– make a pledge to the project (even $1 helps!)
– post a link to the project on your facebook profile or page, with a sentence about why it’s important to you
– tweet a link to the project
– post a link to the project on your linkedin page
– email someone you think might be interested
– posting a link at a forum you frequent
– tell someone you know face-to-face (weird, i know!) about the project
thank you so much! your support means the world. and as always – if i can be of any assistance to you, please say the word.

Be AWAP (As Well As Possible) – Jenni

FINAL HOURS: Back my Kickstarter for a ChronicBabe book. It’s going to be a blast!
+ Join nearly 4,000 people with chronic illness who get our free weekly newsletter packed with tips, humor and inspiration.
+ Check out our forum, where nearly 3,000 folks support each other with grace and creativity.
+ Watch dozens of hilarious, insightful and powerful videos at our YouTube channel.
+ Connect with us: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ | LinkedIn

Read Full Post »

Migraine Day

Well, today was almost a total loss. Woke with a migraine and went back to sleep for five hours. It’s the rainy season in my part of the world, and the afternoon thunderstorms have been fierce. Add in all-over body aches and I mostly puttered on the computer and read (with a little dishwashing and dusting thrown in). I did wake with both cats on the bed, and Pilot was thrilled to have a captive audience for 20 minutes of dedicated snuggling. I am still pretty wrung-out and slightly hungover from the migraine. Ick.

Read Full Post »

…both for blogging and for other things!

Life has been a bit crazy lately, and since hubby and I are playing a new game most of my downtime has been exploring exotic lands and fighting strange creatures (fun *and* cathartic!). I did want to make an update, though, on my most recent doctor’s visit.

Good news: waist circumference is down

Eh news: I am still gaining and losing the same five pounds

Bad news: my cholesterol spiked *way* up

Not sure why, especially since it has been going down somewhat previously. Also, my blood pressure (which is usually on the low side of good) is creeping up, so I’m focusing on cholesterol and sodium to see if I can determine what changed. Last time my sodium was high my ankles swelled up. My left ankle has been a bit swollen, but I honestly thought that I was doing better than this. I am still off-and-on with Trendy Health Management Company, but unfortunately their tracking system isn’t customizable, so now I’m keeping a digital spreadsheet in addition to tracking on their website for effectively double the effort. I’m not super-pleased with this, and am dallying with the thought of letting my membership lapse (again). No decision made yet, though.

I do need to get into a regular schedule with the treadmill. I received the replacement part and installed it myself (yay me!) and it is now fully functioning again. Yesterday was a major grocery store haul and housework, but I plan to hop on the treadmill today and hopefully make that a regular thing again.

I had a funny encounter picking up a sandwich for lunch today- the woman at the register admired my medical bracelet and bemoaned the fact that she has friends with serious allergies who don’t wear one. I talked about the company I use (Medic Alert) and she liked the more fashionable look, so hopefully she can talk her friends into some “useful bling”.

Overall, my health has been fairly good. I was hit with my first serious migraine in a while last week and left work early when I started to see trails. Again, I’m not sure what the trigger was, other than a poor night’s sleep, stiff neck, and heavy air pressure from storms moving through (granted, some days all it takes is just one of those, so maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised…)

I have an appointment coming up with my endo in couple weeks and I’m hoping that everything is okay there… sort of. I’ve run into this before, when there is a general malaise or odd things are acting up and I don’t know why, and I kind of hope that I could blame it on my thyroid levels being off because that’s a clear explanation and an easy thing to adjust. Sadly/thankfully, that’s rarely the case.

I’m working on a separate post about recent advocate activities- I really need to work on documenting better. I kick myself for not being more involved, and then realise that I’ve actually been involved in three or four separate events in the past month. Go, me?

I also realised that I didn’t actually talk about motivation yet, have I? I’m trying to find a goal or reward for sticking with tracking until my next physical in a couple months, and I have been drooling over a camping hammock. I really miss camping, but sleeping on the ground is pretty much off my radar at this point, even with an inflatable mattress. I have heard really positive things about hammock camping from others with back or hip pain. I was thinking of gifting myself one for my birthday, but if I can keep up on my tracking until my next appointment (and see an improvement in cholesterol/weight), I might make that my reward. I always have a tough time finding a reward that I want enough to maintain motivation, but this might be it. (Plus, once I have it, maybe I can talk hubby into another camping trip!) Obviously. losing some weight will make the hammock more comfortable as well.

(This is another reason that I might ditch Trendy Health Management Company- I have a hard time finding other folks in the community with my interests, to say the least.)

Read Full Post »

…and the second, since I didn’t post this yesterday.  ;}

The medical device rep came by the house and walked me through all the parts, care and use. I already had a pretty good idea between online research and that my sister was able to give me a tour when she was visiting (we have the exact same machine). One little detail I wasn’t prepared for, though- it’s a “for her” model, so, of course, it’s pink. He thought that I might like it. ‘Cause I’m a girl. Although he conceded that not all girl like pink. *sigh* I suspect they have more than they know what to do with so they’re not giving new folks on option. I’ll survive, but I am considering covering it with removable stickers, heh.

I am using the “nose pillow” mask. This is the least obstructive, so I can read with the mask on if I want. I also like it since is has the most minimal straps. The fuller nose version put pressure on the bridge of my nose, right where I broke it in my teens. Since my sinuses are one of my migraine triggers, I really didn’t need to risk aggravating that as well. Sadly, I have had a headache for 48 hours that is just barely under my migraine range. I really can’t tell if the two are related or not. I did increase the amount of humidity last night and that seems to have helped a little.

I am currently using the “extra small” nose pillow size. I have never been more aware of my deviated septum than when wearing the mask. There is definitely less air flow on the right side than on the left. I may move up to the small tonight and give that a try so that I don’t feel quite so constricted.

The first night I managed less than five and a half hours with the mask. The second night, it took me two hours to fall asleep (yay, insomnia!). They would prefer that I not take melatonin to help me get to sleep, but I really can’t afford to lie awake for hours on nights when I need to work. Thankfully, I was able to sleep in this morning, so I actually ended up wearing the mask for 9 hours even though I only slept about 7. Both mornings I took the mask off when I got up to take my early- morning meds. Once my schedule settles down, I expect to wear it 9:30 pm – 5:30 am most nights. There is a chance that once I have better quality sleep I won’t need as much, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. My minimum compliance requirement is four hours a night, and technically I can have a night or two without the mask, but I want to use this consistently for the best results.

So what else? I’m not doing a formal product review yet since I’m still learning the machine, but overall it’s very easy to use and the programming is straightforward. I might need a larger nightstand or to add a small table next to the bed so I’m not knocking things over and can read my alarm clock without the tube in the way. I will keep tweaking things while I learn the system better and become more comfortable with it- updates will follow.

I will say, despite very poor sleep the first night, I woke up feeling more rested than I had without the machine. Sadly, today my headache is overwhelming everything else. I have moved my allergy pill back to earlier in the day, which I hope with help the sinus headaches and keep things down to low roar.

Read Full Post »

Had one of those days that didn’t at all turn out the way I expected. I started by waking up exhausted (no surprise there), but I got to work just fine and got a fair bit done. Unfortunately, our air conditioning unit had starting speaking in tongues on Friday.

(Now, for those in more northern climes, the lack of a/c in November may not seem to be much of an issue, and while Saturday was warm (mid-80s F), Sunday was cool with lovely breeze. That said, we did need to have it fixed before the three Cold days we have each winter when just throwing an extra blanket on the bed isn’t enough.)

Back to today.

We had been leaving messages with our usual appliance repair person but hadn’t gotten a call back and were beginning to wonder if he was gone visiting family for the holiday. I tried the actual a/c company and not only could they get someone that afternoon, but he called an hour and half earlier than I expected so I zipped out of work and got to the house just as he arrived. I have to say, that kind of responsiveness is pure luck, but I appreciate it.

I ate lunch while he worked, tried to keep the male cats out from underfoot (Navi was hiding, of course), and (since I can’t have someone visit my home without being terribly self-conscious about the current state of cleanliness, or lack thereof) I caught up on some housework. The final cost wasn’t too bad, it was a logical issue, and it was not something I could have fixed myself without a whole lot more knowledge about electrical systems than I possess, so I feel that the cost was justified. He was very nice and gave me some suggestions on how to prevent it from happening again (and that would probably also lower our energy costs).

By that time I only had three hours left in the work day, so I called out and went to do grocery shopping. I chose wisely. Between poor sleep, fierce allergies, stiffness from yardwork and heavy air pressure due to the afternoon front, I am not feeling well at all. I can tell that I am somewhat sick by looking at the items I bought at the grocery store and recognising just how random they are and the high percentage of comfort foods. *blush*

This is the time of year when I am finally resigned to Christmas items for sale everywhere and I start looking forward to the holidays. I bought stamps for my holiday cards and a few supplies for cooking seasonal goodies. I finished up a few crafting projects (left over from last December *cough cough*) and wrapped a few gifts that I already have on hand.  We’ve had some beautiful sunsets lately and it’s nice to see the ducks back on the pond again. The cool, gloomy weather is lovely for blankets and sweaters (albeit light ones) and the cats are extra cuddly and loaf-like, which I adore. There’s many family phonecalls this time of year, we have a family dinner to look forward to and a long weekend to relax, catch up, and relax some more.

There’s a lot to be thankful for.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »