Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I think it's very important to have a life separate from my headaches. They may always be there, and they may hinder most of my life, but I am determined to have some parts remain as unaffected as I can. Besides, if don't distract myself, I'll lose my mind sitting at home all day.

I have a small plant window, filled with green. Watering my plants, checking them for unhealthy spots, speculating which needs a bigger pot and which could use a good trimming. Even if I ignore them for a few days, they remain lush and alive, cleaning the air and giving me a sense of accomplishment in even my bleakest hours. I've kept them alive. Their soil is damp and rich, their leaves are the loveliest shades of green. I have purposely purchased the heartiest of the indoor plants (a ficus, some spider plants, a cactus) to avoid the disappointment of death. I am not always reliable, so I make sure my plants can survive a little neglect. Also, I purchase them at Orchard Supply Hardware because they exchange dead plants, no questions.

My dog is a constant source of entertainment and comfort. She cuddles with me when I don't feel well and walks with me when I do. She can get me to play with her even when my head is awful, a few minutes of smiling and being silly is worth the pounding punishment that follows. I've enjoyed training her from the first moment she came into our lives, and continue to, just less adamantly since my headaches started. She knows her basic commands, and we have a general rapport. She obeys. I am the pack leader, despite my disability. Cesar Milan would be proud. It makes me proud of myself, which can sometimes be difficult. I'm grateful and lucky to have her.

I want to start doing more home crafty things, like knitting and quilting. I've been hesitant for a few reasons, financial investments and general intimidation being the two biggest. Cooking has always been fun for me, but it can be physically tiring which will, of course, trigger a migraine.

I read when my head allows it. Books have always provided an escape from painful realities, emotional and physical. I can get absorbed by a good story, completely swallowed up and I have little awareness of anything else but the written word and where it is taking my imagination. However, sometimes reading triggers a headache, so I can't always escape into a book.

I watch a lot of television. I try to watch shows with substance, education based documentaries and intellectually charged dramas. I do indulge in some serious mind-melting frivolity, though. I love America's Next Top Model and Top Chef, I keep watching Ugly Betty, even though half the characters irritate me (possible trigger!), and I occasionally zone out on whatever happens to be on, infomercial or foreign language soap opera, it matters not. All that matters sometimes is getting my mind off the pain in my head. If I am having an earplug day I turn on the captions.

I have a few good friends and family that I see regularly. I make sure I leave the house once a week, whether I feel good or not, otherwise I start feeling like a crazy hermit. The warmth of the sun and the tickle of a breeze feel foreign and surreal when you don't leave the house for a while.

I surf the internet. I am constantly googling a number of headache related buzzwords and phrases, I have several blogs and medical websites I frequent that address migraine and headache issues, and of course, I blog about it here and in my private journal. I also check out possible employment opportunities (part time, telecommuting? Anyone?) on craigslist and read about the news and entertainment gossip, to keep myself connected with the outside world. I email. It happens to be my favorite form of communication. Like letters, but more instant.

I'm really wanting to take classes, for college credit or fun, but I don't feel ready to commit. Just getting all of my disability situation straightened out is taking most of my focus, and I'm not even moving that fast on it. It makes me sad to think about how limited I am, so I try not to. Maybe not the best way of coping, but it's all I've got for now. Ignoring what is too horrible and dealing with what I can.