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.

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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!



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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.



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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
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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.


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Activing

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.




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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.





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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.


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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Gauging

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

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