Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Day After Thanksgiving

We did Thanksgiving a little differently this year.

I decided I didn't want to battle other people's perfumes this time, so I asked my mom if we could have dinner the day after thanksgiving. I was afraid I would cause hurt feelings, or that they would have plans and would feel put out that I was being difficult. The initial conversation was emotional, but not because my mom thought I was being a pain. She kept automatically defending people who don't think about how their actions affect my migraines. She was right, of course, most people aren't intentionally triggering my migraines, and aren't aware of how their scented products, car stereo, or bright, blinky holiday pin affect me neurologically. While my mom is sympathetic to my pain, she asked me to forgive them their transgressions, cut them some slack.

I snapped a little.

It's been five and a half years since these migraines started, and every member of my family has been well aware that I'm sick, and that I have triggers. They've had five solid years of holidays with me in hats and sunglasses, five years of me being scent sensitive (scentsitive?), and five years of me wearing earplugs and running from anything noisy. When are they going to start caring enough to change their behavior a modicum? If you love someone, don't you want them to avoid pain? I'm not sure why I'm expected to constantly forgive other people their continued carelessness, and they aren't expected to change their behavior at all. I'm tired of pretending these people care about me, they obviously don't, and that makes me care less and less about them.

My poor mom was not prepared for this rant, and I made her cry. I apologized for my timing, she was at work and would have to go back in somewhat tear-stained, but I couldn't apologize for my meaning. I'm sick of it.

So, we did a separate thanksgiving on friday, we drove down early and spent the day with just my immediate family, ate leftovers for dinner. It was wonderful.

I'm hoping christmas will be similarly simple. Avoiding family might just be my new holiday tradition.


Friday, November 16, 2012


School has been intense, hence the sparse updates, but I'm keeping up. I'm not getting the 100% I always strive for in either of my classes, but I still have a good chance of getting an A in both.

The poetry class is a lot of fun, and a lot of work. I really like breaking down the poems and discussing them, analyzing them for every little iota of meaning, but it can also be tedious, and emotionally draining, in a way. I'm exhausted after every essay I write, it takes all the energy I have to make my brain function like it used to so easily.

Luckily, the photo class has been energizing, if anything. I get to stretch my creativity without too much pressure, since it's a rather slow-paced class, and the feedback I've gotten from my teacher and classmates has been encouraging. I've turned out some images that surprised me, and I'm starting to take myself more seriously as a photographer. I don't know if I could make it into a living, but it's something I feel good about exploring and I think this will always be at least a hobby. I've got my store up (looking for a unique holiday gift? One-stop shopping!), and I've also got a facebook page, but I haven't sold much, and I have no idea how to market myself. Uploading to the facebook page and sharing when I post new images is anxiety-riddled enough.

I finished my xmas shopping online this morning! I'm just doing real presents for immediate family, and everyone else will get a homemade gift. I feel really on top of the holidays so far, though thanksgiving is weighing on me a bit.

The drive to the city -where my parents live and will be hosting turkey day festivities- is always hard on me, and then it's likely that stinky relatives will be coming. When I heard that, I really wanted to back out, I have no desire to put myself through the pain of perfume. But, I don't see my family much since we moved, and I miss them, so very, very much. Maybe I'll just dress warmly and hang out in the backyard? That's depressing, but I'd probably survive better.

Head wise, I've been ok. I've been struggling, in pain, and nauseated about as much as is usual, but I've still been productive and kicking ass, so I don't have much to complain about.

I've even gotten some crafting done lately. I sewed a hat from crocheted scraps; it looks a little odd, but it's cozy warm. I also took the hood off a knit zippered sweater and re-purposed it into pockets! I'm a little obsessed with having pockets.

I cut my hair off again, and it's so liberating. I'm hoping I can afford another cut before xmas, because it would be fun to shock my family with even shorter hair. But, my neck is kind of cold, so maybe this is short enough for now.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Resting Days

I've been in my robe going on two days.

I'm under the heating pad this morning, it doesn't seem cold enough to fire up the wood stove, but my feet are still chilly. I'm always colder when I'm migraining, though.

I woke with foreboding head pain this morning, and the nausea started as soon as I got up. At least it let me sleep well enough, I can migraine hard for days and maintain my calm pretty well as long as I get sleep, so I'm still optimistic for today.

It's been a year since we moved into the mountains, and I still marvel at the freedom I have in being able to walk outside my house on bad days. The quiet, the shelter of the trees, the clean air, and the solitude are shaping my life quite differently than it was last year, and I find it difficult to complain, even when I'm migraining so hard I can't talk. It used to be so much worse, the struggle was my whole existence.

I had a busy several days last week, which is likely the cause of this dramatic downturn in my health. A few trips to town, and not one, but TWO social outings have tapped my reserves completely. I expected to be knocked down afterwards, but not this hard or for this long. I've gotten cocky, in my happy bubble of quiet, and I nearly forgot how sick I am.

Of course, I experience daily pain and neurological disorder, but I've gotten so used to them and the routines I've built for myself to cope, that I don't notice many symptoms anymore unless they actively impede me. Since I've adapted my life so much to accommodate my migraines, that doesn't happen much at home.

I mean sure, doing dishes is still a daily battle, but there's rarely an insurmountable pile anymore, since we've gotten the dishwasher. And the laundry does pile up, but once I sort it, I can have my ever-helpful honey take it down to the machines for me. They're just under the house, anyway, I can usually handle that haul on all but my worst days.

So today, I'll consider it a great accomplishment if I clean the kitchen, and the day will be a rousing success if I manage the pot pie recipe that's been taunting me from my blogroll for the past hour. Sans chicken, of course. And my boyfriend will have to roll out the dough, my head can't take the manual labor. So maybe we'll make two so he can have a meaty one.

Or maybe I'll just stay curled up under the heating pad and watch some episodes of Downton Abbey.