Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A Day in the Life

It was uneventful, but i blogged a migraine day on twitter.

I unrolled the thread as well, click here for accessibility <3

Monday, September 17, 2018


I meant to update here a few weeks ago, if nothing else than to maintain my lovely exercise recording streak, but i have failed. FAILED.

So we're missing a few weeks from the record. There was nothing phenomenal in there anyway. This summer has been a struggle physically.

I've been using the elliptical machine when i can't deal with the hills or the weather, but I still only managed 37 days out of 90. That's the lowest I've recorded since I started recording, and that makes me sad, but everything waxes and wanes, so I'm not going to dwell on it.

I'm starting school back up in ONE WEEK! I'm so excited and nervous, I'm having anxiety dreams every night but that might also be because I've got a big family gathering coming up that spans an entire weekend. I'm super apprehensive about that too, but I know I'll be surrounded by people who care about me and I will also have my own room, earplugs, and the freedom to medicate myself as needed, so I'm aiming for optimism.

The anxiety is a pretty normal thing lately, like I've been dealing with it my whole life but never like this. I've been really proactive about naming it when I feel it, which gives me a little control and lets people around me help me if they can. My depression on the other hand, is 99% better. I have rare bad days, but mostly I am feeling back to my earnest, overdoing-it self.

Symptoms-wise, The nausea's been less, but still flares up with an increase of triggers, or car rides. I've been dealing with allodynia more. My scalp has been super tender with bruise-like spots, and yesterday I realized my face hurt. It often aches with the rest of my head, but I tried using a thc:cbd roll-on (topical cannabis) and it HURT to roll the thing over my cheek and eyebrow - intolerable, holding your breath, face-squinching pain. So that was new. Putting it on with my fingers was less painful, I think because the roller was cold. The topical did help, though!

On that topical: since cannabis was legalized in CA for medical use, the products that have come out are amazing! But now that it's legal for recreational use there have been arbitrary limits put on thc content that have made getting the good stuff impossible. I get that people are using it to get intoxicated too, but they have alcohol and all kinds of other drugs to turn to if you take away the harder cannabis products, so it's just making it harder for patients to medicate properly.

My head is the same, despite having a round of botox last month. Of course, it takes several months to take effect, and I did feel somewhat of a difference in the nature of my head pain but not its consistency or effect on my ability to person. It's been less throbby, more stabby. I've had perhaps more stamina but the repercussions of activity remain the same.

Another possibility for the stamina increase is supplements I was recommended for what the infectious disease doc thinks is chronic fatigue. I'm supposed to actually get tested and I haven't because I never leave the house, but in the mean time I've started turmeric with black pepper extract 500 mg/day. I also took ubiquinol at 100mg/day for a few weeks but I think it was disturbing my sleep. It was expensive so I'm going to try it again at some point.

And that's what's up with me I guess. :)


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Latest

It's been a difficult few months and it shows in my exercise log.

Only 43 out of 90 days, and most of those were in the last few weeks. I've had some familial upheaval and the stress wore me out. The stress is still happening but I've been able to take a bit of a break from it and with any luck it'll be resolved soon.

I got an elliptical machine! I managed to tuck it in my kitchen, which has huge windows that overlook the forest, so that's been great for when I can't handle the hills, the heat, the mosquitoes, etc. Anything that keeps me moving is worth its weight in gold.

I just discovered a program that allows me to go to school completely free, at least until I get my AA. It's online, I can take one class at a time! It seems too good to be true, but it's through my mom's union and it all looks legit! I'm so excited! But getting all the relevant paperworks to them is such a pain. I gotta get with my high school, my old college, my doctor, but it's like a warm-up for academia so I'm trying to take it in stride.

I've got a garden going again this year, but it's small. A few herbs, squash plants for the flowers, and some begonias and marigolds the critters have already had a munch on, but that's why I always buy the cheap plants, because I live in the forest and hongry herbivores abound. I've also started collecting succulents, so that's new.

My mental health has improved MAJORLY you guys. Zoloft has been amazing for me, and I was so skeptical because I'd had a previous bad experience with antidepressants, but I'm really glad I got over my fear because I was stuck physically and mentally and it was awful. I'm still kind of stuck, there's not a whole lot of unsticking when you've got daily migraines, but at least I can see the light again. I've got my optimism back, and it makes a world of difference.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Vag of Steel

I started pelvic floor therapy.

I've been having increasing trouble peeing, and from the interstitial cystitis groups i'm in i'd gleaned it was an issue with my pelvic floor. So I asked my gyno and she referred me to a therapist.

Within 10 minutes of meeting her she had her hand in my vagina. I'd expected a thorough internal massage so I was gung-ho, anything to not end up in diapers or needing to self-cath any earlier than I have to. I have the strongest vagina she's ever seen.

She directed me to practice diaphragmatic breathing and at our last appointment I was shown some massage techniques and it's already made a difference. It's invasive and weird for me, but the therapists are caring and professional so it's easy to get past my own hang ups.

It's time for my exercise chart update,

55/90 days - i think, my eyes are crossing trying to count. More than half, but it's frustrating how often I want to work out (every day) and how often I can. When I can run I feel almost normal.

My head's been pretty consistent lately. I wake with minimal or no pain, with increases as i'm active or exposed to triggers throughout the day. The nausea's died down for a while, so that's nice. Dizziness is frequent, memory lapses normal, fatigue constant. My neck and shoulders are frequent triggers. My doc thinks it's arthritis, as i'm starting to feel it in my hands too. Yay I'm collecting chronic illnesses like they're worth more in a set.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018


I made it through the holidays with the usual amount of joy and pain. I'm lucky to have a loving family, but the migraines didn't make anything easy.

This last year has been a year of self-protection and rebuilding. I'm trying to be better about recognizing where I'm self-defeating and one of those ways I'm working on is my tendency to pillbug.

I think I made this term up, at least I can't recall hearing it used like this before, and it came to me on one particularly migrainy morning when I just couldn't seem to get myself out of bed. Pillbugs, or potato bugs, are those small armored-looking insects that roll themselves into a tight ball as a defensive mechanism. And that's what I was doing that morning, tucked snug in a shell of my own making, hidden and still, waiting for the danger to pass. I should have gotten some water, medicated, stretched, listened to a little music; I was feeling bad but a little self care would likely make me feel better. Instead, I lay under the blankets, curled up and letting my mind drift away from the pain and nausea. I lay for nearly an hour before I came back to myself. Once I wrested my achy body from my cozy bubble, got up and did a few of the things I knew would help, I loosened up a little and could begin my very quiet day.

Now that I have a name for my pillbugging tendencies, I seem to be recognizing it earlier and doing it less! So that's good.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Listen to The Head Stabbings

Cardio updates bring me here at least once every three months and every time I'm like... already? I miss when I used to write here every day, wish I still had that mental focus, but I have a physical strength now that I never imagined I'd have again then, so let's pretend it's a trade-off.

Per the chart, my frequency and endurance have both decreased.

I managed to get out 40 days out of 90, but I'm struggling to make it any more than twenty minutes. I upped my antidepressants a week or so ago, I'm hoping that will help me get moving more regularly. What stops me frequently is head pain, but also body aches and exhaustion. The former is good to listen to, head stabbings don't respond well to cardio in my experience, but the aches and the fatigue can be helped by exercise, if I can get over the initial hump.

I can do 30 half-pushups, not sure if I've recorded that yet here. I'm not trying to increase them to full pushups, it's just too much strain on my head, but I do push it to 40 when I can.

The weather's been cooler, which is so great for cardio. It takes much longer for me to get hot, which means I have more freedom and can go for longer. Though, I think the changing weather has been hard on me in other ways, so I don't know how much I'm really getting out of the cooler temperatures in the end.

One step, one day, one breath, one migraine at a time. :)


Monday, November 6, 2017

Distraction is a Coping Skill

Hey all. I don't have much going on lately. I'm still really focused on exercise, which takes up the majority of my energy.

One new thing is I've started wearing earrings again. It's been years since I could tolerate them - I guess that's part of allodynia? - between the pokey backs and how irritated my ears get from anything not stainless steel, I'd always take them out within minutes. But having short hair always makes me want to femme things up, so I decided to try something new. I found some thin, short, stainless steel barbells and they are perfect! No irritation, they just look like simple studs, and the backs are totally no-poke. I've been wearing them for weeks and couldn't be happier with them.

My uterus has been given the all-clear for a year! I had to go in and have another hysteroscopy, which was fine but the anesthesia always makes me SO SICK. But it was only a two hour vomiting extravaganza this time, instead of my usual six, so hey improvement! And my ute being hunky dory is pretty much all I was hoping for, so thank you cancer cells for not coming back. Appreciate it!

I'm having a neck spasm right now and it's no fun. I finally went and got xrayed, they say it's just arthritis. It's not great for my migraines, is all I care about right now. I just can't move. So I'm using my dusty bottle of muscle relaxers and ibuprofen, also stool softeners cause I would like to poop again within the next week, liberal cannabis, and loads of tv to keep me distracted. Stranger Things was great, also enjoyed Halt and Catch Fire. I'm trying to get into Penny Dreadful but it might be too gory for me. I will take any recs you got, distract me migraine fam!


Friday, September 22, 2017

Cardio is my Salvation

Hey it's time for another exercise chart!

Not bad, not amazing, but for someone in a constant state of migraine this is not terrible at all!

What I'm not tracking is how much better I've been at keeping my house clean and how I've added strength exercises to my routine. I'm doing pushups, situps, and using weights nearly every day I don't have to focus my energy elsewhere. I'm developing biceps!

As a result I've been needing more of a challenge for my shorter hikes. I always start out going uphill because if I get sick it's much easier to slowly make it back downhill than up. But my jog back downhill is too easy most days I have to keep it short (my body's capabilities far surpass the stamina of my head at this point) so I've started doing it backwards! It felt so strange at first - and dizziness does stop me sometimes - but it's a fantastic leg workout, it's good for my balance, and there isn't anyone around to see me anyway, so it's my new habit.

I've become one of those people who loves exercise, I look forward to my daily cardio and am disappointed when I can't work out. I like my blood pressure readings at the doctor and how much my stamina has increased. I feel so free when my body is working and my mind is relatively quiet, it's been more than worth the years of work to get to this point.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sporadic Subject Changes - Look Out

I've spent a few weeks with my parents over the summer. I had to medicate way more than I would prefer to be able to do it, but it was worth it to spend the time with my mom. I also pushed myself more than I have in a while, so that was good for me, to test my limits. In the past I've struggled with visiting them because they all tend to play music or watch tv loudly and I melt down with a swiftness, especially when they're happening at the same time in adjoining rooms. Well, my mom must have really laid down the law at some point because there was NO music while I was there, and limited, quiet tv, and they had learned to use captions! I took naps when I needed to, my brother let me use his bed, and I really felt cared for while I was there, and like I was safe enough to push myself and have a little fun. So, that's good!

I went for my EMB (endometrial biopsy) a few weeks ago and I wasn't too nervous about the results but the lab is taking their sweet time so now, yes, I am freaking out a little.

My garden is somewhat of a disaster this year, yet I continue to water it. The marigolds I bought that were flowering are doing great, continuing to bloom like champs. However the one I got that had no buds never developed any, just got leggy and huge. I chopped it by half to try and salvage the sun for the peas it was cohabiting with and replanted the top when it rerooted in water (i stick things in water like it's a compulsion), but no blooms, on either plant. Speaking of the peas, it's so sad, rats ate them, I think I got two pea pods all season. The kale also got chewed on, so most of the plants still look like starters. We've had a bit of a rat massacre here over the last two weeks, so I'm hoping things'll bounce back a little before the end of summer. The wild strawberries are leafing out nicely, no blooms on them yet, and the cilantro I planted from a starter bolted AND got eaten. A few of the seeds I threw down finally took, but not many, I'll put down more and baby the pot, it would be nice to have cilantro on hand. ALL my lettuce has been mowed down, most a few months ago but the last of it was taken out by a deer last week. That same deer also munched on my pot plants, I've only got three left out of six. Critters took out my mints a few times, they're hardy plants but can never get a good foothold, I should really set up a plant light and move them indoors. The nasturtiums gave me two or three blooms, not enough sun for them. The squash, on the other hand has given me fairly regular blossoms, I wish I'd gotten more plants! There was a mystery plant that my boyfriend brought home, I'd determined it was a bean of some sort and lo, it's created three pods. So now we know beans don't grow for shit in the shade. I got a chamomile starter that has been blooming steadily. I've been picking them off and letting them dry in a bowl. I'll have enough for tea soon! Radish seeds were a great idea, even if they don't produce any roots of decent size, the greens are really nice in sandwiches, and would be in salads if I had any lettuce! The sage is growing, as is the oregano, both seem to be less than palatable to the critters, hooray! So, I've gotten some good things out of the garden this year, but less than half of what I've planted has produced so far. It's all a learning experience.

I've been sleeping poorly, waking frequently to pee, and waking in the morning with back pain that I sometimes have to take ibuprofen for. When I sleep fitfully, my head is guaranteed to rear up on me, so I'm hiking as much as I can, but my ability waxes and wanes. I'm using ginger candy for nausea lately, and when that fails, ondansetron or the transderm scop nausea patch have been helping.

Emotionally I'm really feeling better. I'm still dealing with anxiety, but I've been able to get a handle on the bills and cleaning my house. My bad days are still really frustrating, and I struggle with not pushing myself to the breaking point at times, but mostly I'm maintaining a pretty good balance.

Writing is still really hard. This post feels like a miracle. It's because I wanted to tell someone about my plants in excruciating detail, which - hey use whatever motivation you've got!


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Progress and Hope

I'm exercising more frequently, and though my stamina still isn't quite where it was, I'm really pleased with myself.

YES look at that consistency in the second half there! That's what I'm talking about. My cardio of choice is still hiking, with as much jogging on the flat and downhill bits as my head will allow; though now I've added dancing to my routine, because I like having music most mornings and there's no one out there to see me wiggling my butt to Beyonce. Only the deer will judge me. And now I guess you will, but that's ok.

I learned a few tai chi moves last week, let's see if I pick that back up this summer. It's hot right now and everything feels like warm mud and frustration, so I'm not making any promises beyond hiking in the mornings and getting out into the world as much as I can. It was a long winter, and I don't just mean the weather, so it feels like it's time for a celebration of life.

Let's party.

Quietly, of course.