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.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fun, Insecurity, and Sadness, All in One Post!

Being invisibly ill on social media is a whole thing, I guess.

A few weekends ago I went to our local pride event. I missed the parade but we went and had a snack at the small gathering, people-watched, spun a wheel for prizes (i got nipple pasties omg), and then walked around the little downtown area for a while, had a proper lunch, and then came home. It was a few hours of fun, so much more than I usually do that I was medicated to the gills to deal with it all. But being out with friends was well worth the subsequent migraine and days of exhaustion, because if I stay inside all the time I will lose my mind.

So I posted some pictures of my friends and I at pride on my various social media outlets and shortly after started feeling very insecure. While my profiles are all friends-only, some of those friends are people I don't see much, some are people I'm related to and have only met a handful of times, and a few are people who judge me unfairly for being chronically ill and unable to work. I very rarely talk about migraines on social media. I despise pity and don't at all enjoy receiving unsolicited advice about topics in which I am a reluctant expert, so I stick to posting about politics and happy things, mostly politics lately. But should I be more open?

I don't owe anybody anything, but I do enjoy honesty, and don't feel I have anything to be ashamed of, but I do prefer being private, to avoid those aforementioned helpful suggestions. Like, if one more person suggests the daith piercing I don't even know what. Maybe I'll just ask them to pay for it, hah.

I've got some sad news while I'm here. We buried our 11-year old puppy on the mountain a few days ago. She'd been struggling for a while, with lyme, and possibly something neurological towards the end. We're going to miss her so much, she was a huge personality in a little furry body, very communicative, sweet, and stubborn. We feel lucky to have known her.

Hug your fur family, friends. <3

Friday, May 5, 2017

Blueberries, Maybe

The worst of my depression has officially lifted, thank zoloft. I'm still struggling with less serious symptoms like fatigue, lethargy, and negative thinking, but I haven't had a legit suicidal impulse in months, so that's pretty great.

I went to a wedding a few weeks ago. I only attended the ceremony, and went out to dinner with friends after instead of attempting the reception. I was still completely spent for more than a week after, but it's worth it to be in the world sometimes.

I'm aiming to get the garden going this week. I'm definitely planting kale and lettuce again, and snap peas! I want to plant starter pea plants once a month if i can to keep the harvest going all summer, I love sitting in the garden and snacking as I check things over. I didn't have a single pea make it into the kitchen last year, I ate them all straight off the vine, sharing only a few with my boyfriend and dogs. Selfish, I know, but it's my garden I do what I want!

This year I'm going to experiment with blueberries, maybe. I have some ideas, and a list, but we'll see what they have at the nursery and what the employees will be able to talk me into!

I'm still getting speech therapy for my memory and focus issues. I'm not sure if it's helping but my therapist seems to think so, and it's definitely good for me to be flexing the old brain muscle as much as possible, especially when depression makes me tend towards disassociation and passivity.

I'm really angry about what the republicans want to do to healthcare in this country. People will be sicker under the latest proposed plan, they will die, but the republicans don't care about the human cost - only their own coverage and tax rates - and their lack of humanity is tragic and infuriating. I feel powerless.

I need to keep hoping we'll get to the star trek utopia I imagine could be our future, we're just taking the long route.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017


My latest record of exercise has me out exactly 45 out of 90 days, when I aim to get out every day. Not bad for a sick person, but not nearly my goal. :/

Of course, I don't track the days I skip exercise to do housework or socialize or have appointments or grocery shop. Especially lately, having therapists come to my house three days a week, it takes a toll on my ability to do anything else. Today was the first day I've been out hiking in a week, and I went to the store with my boyfriend a few days ago - it was the first time I'd left our property in months! I'm working on being more in the world; spring is here so there will be more in-town festivities to attempt, and I'm planning on attending a birthday party and a wedding in the next month. Though they'll both likely be brief appearances, it means something to be places and see people.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Oh My Barking Brain

I started getting in-home medical visits about a month ago, and it's been amazing.

I had a nurse for a few weeks, just to evaluate me and hook me up with the other medpros i need to see. A social worker came - she's going to refer me to IHSS for help in my daily life, which can include housecleaning. I've also seen an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, and a physical therapist. OT is going to get me a shower chair, and has been making suggestions for gentle stretches for my neck. PT gave me some more advanced stretches that are focused more on my lumbar, and corrected my squat form, which was incredibly helpful. But it's the speech therapist who is the true mvp.

She treats a lot of people with traumatic brain injuries and sees my symptoms as being very similar to theirs, only instead of one major event making dramatic changes in the brain, for us chronic migraineurs it's an ongoing trauma. She's been working with me on memory and cognition with distraction. Eventually she wants to add sound to our meetings, which I'm worried about, but it'll be good to try. I would love to get back into the world one day.

I've had a cold for two weeks now; though the worst of it was over after week one, the lingering cough is making my head bark back.

My depression is loads better after upping my antidepressant. I still have some mood swings, and when I get sad I can still spiral, but it's is SO much less that it was.

Our washing machine broke a few months ago. We couldn't afford to replace it until this month, and honestly idk if that was the best choice financially, but I can't do laundry at the mat without being very sick from the noise and the driving to and from, PLUS last time we went we spent $60 and only washed about half our stuff. And half of it came out smelling like other people's detergent, and I'm sure you can guess how that went over with my brain.

SO we spent about the last of our cash on a new-to-us one today! I can't wait to have clean clothes again.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

I'm Tired

I'm afraid I am still writing from an abyss of depression. I haven't fallen completely in, but I am clinging to the wall about halfway down. I'm experiencing increased head pain, fatigue, and nausea overall - which could also be from my birth control or maybe I'm anemic again... I got some blood drawn yesterday so we'll see if it shows anything. But besides the head pain, I just have no motivation whatsoever. I watch tv and read all day to distract myself, am trying to keep up with my hiking, but waking in pain nearly every day isn't making it easy. Since I posted a chart a few months ago showing my frequency of exercise, I might try to make it a regular thing. Here's the last update I downloaded:

but I've unfortunately fallen off a bit since then.

Next week I have a uterine bibopsy to make sure nothing hinky is going on in there since the iud install. I don't enjoy having a doctor all up in my looky loo but I do look forward to receiving the good news that all is well in my endometrium.

I've also had this nagging cough for months, it waxes and wanes and is most likely due to all the pot smoking I do, but I don't have an alternative pain management, so I've kind of let my lungs deteriorate. I just need to take a week off and suffer, but that's really an awful prospect when I'm already depressed and struggling.

However, there are Good Things. I just ate a really nice bowl of hearty chili mixed with a mashed sweet potato. I got to go to the fungus fair for my birthday, that was some mycological fun. My doc said she's going to refer me for in-home physical therapy. A neighbor lady who works at the food bank has been bringing us leftovers after distribution, like pounds and pounds of oyster mushrooms, kale, potatoes and carrots. I'm only halfway through the massive amount of strawberries she gave us toward the end of summer. My freezer is full and it makes mealtimes so much easier. I've been making more of an effort to be of the world, whether online or in real life, and it's paying off. I've found some facebook groups I enjoy being a part of, and have actually made some new friends.

So things are rough, but there are silver linings.


Sunday, January 1, 2017


Like a lot of people, this last year left me feeling pummeled.

After the election, I let myself wallow. Now I've got to figure out how to move forward. I've got to find some peace with my fear.

As usual, exercise keeps me tethered. I've got routines I keep and I can gauge how well I'm doing by how well I've kept to them and while I've lost some threads, exercise and brushing my teeth remain constant, so I'm still on this side of ok.

Trying to be more social during the holidays has blown up in my face. I'm constantly torn between wanting to be with people and needing to protect myself from them.

If I don't hit publish on this half-formed post, who knows when I'll come back to finish it, so


Friday, October 28, 2016

Pills Pills Pills

It occurred to me the for the first time recently that I am dependent on pills for my life.

If civilization ended tomorrow, and I had no more access to birth control or anti-depressants, I would die. I would bleed out through my uterus, or cancer would grow, or my depression might win. It's not uncommon at all for people to depend on medication of course, but it's the first time in my life, besides having an asthma inhaler, that I've felt this sense of vulnerability.

There's my mortality, dosed out in a monthly supply by our friendly, local pharmacist.

I've been thinking about it every morning when I take my meds; sort of blessing each pill as I lay it out carefully to be taken in a group. There's the birth control, which is keeping my uterus from bleeding out and anything unwanted from growing. There's the anti-depressants, which have helped me climb out of that miserable hole I was stuck in. I'm not all the way out, I'm still having some desperate thoughts on my bad days, but it's like 50% better, which is enough to give me a life again.

Then there's the vitamins, which are maybe not essential for life, but they're pretty important to feeling like anything is worth anything, so I take the D and the C, the iron if I'm feeling peaky and a probiotic if my stomach's been weird, which it is only rarely now. I take them all together, one big gulp of a life affirmation. With that swallow, every day I choose to be here, I participate in my own wellness. And while the action is small, it's significant to me to be moving forward, to be getting better, to be caring for myself.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Typing Into the Wind

The good news is I've been exercising frequently, the bad news is that's pretty much all I'm doing.

I have been social with new people in the past month, I suppose that's new and exciting. I've been keeping up with learning spanish, y lo disfruto mucho. (I am so sorry spanish speakers, if that was a butchery of the language. I didn't say I was any good at it, I just said I'm enjoying it. Well, at least that's what I was attempting to say.)

I'm having this new visual thing where words get mixed up. It's an occasionally normal thing to read a word wrong, I'm sure everyone does it, but this is becoming more frequent, and it's got to be a migraine thing.

Writing is still a struggle lately, as is evident by my absence. I miss the outlet, but I don't have the mental energy. My depression has definitely improved -thank zoloft- but hobbies continue to be difficult.

My anxiety, which I'm realizing more and more I've had since I was a child, is getting slightly worse. I have to talk myself down from ridiculous obsessive thoughts and am concerned for the time when I might not be able to talk myself down. Panic attacks are rare, but they are awful, I certainly don't want any more of them.

My head's been pretty consistent through the last few months of iud and antidepressant adjusting. The usual symptoms persist; nausea, fatigue, irritability, throbbing head pain, stabbing head pain, dizziness, body aches, and confusion. Besides reading words wrong, I'm also having increased short term memory loss.

My garden has been growing well this year, and I'm plotting how to carry it into winter. I've got some pics up on instagram (username smpomg), if y'all want to be friends on there let me know.

But the exercise has become my favorite thing, it's the only time I feel normal. I don't get out every day, but I go every day I can which has been more and more often since my periods stopped trying to kill me. Check out my progress in just the last three months:

So, I may be tired all the time and in pain but at least I get 20 minutes a day of bliss, I can be grateful for that.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Wonky Socks: Better Than No Socks

Summer is kicking my ass as usual.

I've regained my exercise regimen, though I'm nowhere near as fit as I was this time last year, but I just checked myfitnesspal and 20 workouts in the last 30 days is pretty good, so I'm feeling positive about it. However this morning, I started the uphill trekking part of my routine and it was BAD. Straight away I had mild nausea, disorientation, irritability, and total exhaustion. I knew what the problem was, the heat. No matter that it was only 8am, the sun was shining and I was overheating, fast. So, I came inside and finished up in front of the fan. I still feel sick but it's going to happen eventually today anyway - summer guarantees me an existence of barf by 4, every day, without fail - but at least I got a workout in.

My mental health is a little improved, but I'm still struggling. When I realized this morning that my workout was sending me to migraine hell my brain automatically went, "ugh you suck, you can't even jog for 5 minutes without feeling like shit and now the rest of the day is ruined." Like, I'm already feeling bad, wtf brain?? But I've been trying this new thing I saw going around on tumblr, where if I catch myself doing negative self-talk I turn it into trump's voice and then whatever it is sounds absurd and obnoxious and I can rightly tell that voice to fuck off, like I would Donald, if I ever had the pleasure. I sincerely recommend this ridiculous-sounding tactic, it has literally helped me turn depressive cycles of self-despising into giggling fits.

My uterus is dealing well with the mirena and pills combo. After the procedure and insertion I bled very lightly for about two months, with sometimes severe cramps. The bleeding stopped for two weeks, and now has started again, with milder but still some prominent cramping. I have yet to get my follow up scan; money, my health, and the hassle that is the radiology dept have impeded me, but it's a priority. I mean, you can't screw around with cancer.

My IC is holding steady with dietary restrictions, which are still pretty liberal. In daily meals I avoid acids, sugars, and soy, but not all the time. I eat soy every day some days, but I am also very conscious of my body's reaction and adjust my diet accordingly if I feel even the tiniest twinge. Ginger ale has been the only thing that really pushes it for me; when I'm feeling pukey, I love a cold Canada Dry, but if I don't push plenty of water with the soda, my urethra can become angry. And I really don't like it when it's angry.

I've been trying some new things. Pokemon GO is barely usable in my rural area, but it's still a good time. I downloaded a coloring app, and it's so relaxing, and gives me a little feeling of accomplishment after completing a design. I've been crocheting some slipper-socks and the first one came out... ok, but then I lost the pattern I found online (srsly can't find it anywhere in my browser history, i'm convinced it's been lost to the berenstein 'verse) so I'm trying to wing it from memory and the second sock is coming out... ok-ish? I'm sure they'll be usable, but they certainly won't be pretty!

And that's all. :) I hope you all are doing well. <3