Starting school, making friends and my hopes for my children’s future

As the school year begins, I have been thinking about my childhood a lot.  I actually have a friend who I have had since I was 5 and a neighbor that became family when I was in 4th grade.  Since then, I have gathered a great group that have made me who I am today.  My “oldest” friends are the ones who know a little piece of me that no one else knows does. They have been there since the beginning.

As the school year begins I think about how my children are starting their “beginning.”  When they go to school they hopefully will find forever friends like I did.  All too soon they will be listening to those friends more than they listen to me and that is terrifying.  Other influences will guide them through school, sports, nights out, big dances, academics and everywhere in between.

These are the people that they will laugh, cry, and grow with.  They will think that the world has ended with a break up and think that missing a party will ruin their lives forever.  They will lie to me, hide things from me, and grow in a blink of an eye.  I just pray that we have raised them well and that their choices in friends have had the same.

They are growing up in a world that is filled with so many more challenges than I ever had to face.  I think we are the first generation to say, it was easier when we grew up.  Social media didn’t run our lives.  Our bullies said it to our faces.  As cruel as it was, it wasn’t the massive amounts of people who can hide behind a screen to say words that crush someone’s soul.

Our football players fought with their fists.  Now they fight with guns.  I wasn’t fearful for my safety.  Columbine shook our lives with the unheard of massacre of many.  Now it’s a part of life that you can’t fly, go to school, the movies, work or a playground without being on high alert.

We didn’t sit at home searching the internet.  We were out riding our bikes and playing endless hours of baseball.  My neighbors watched me and an army of adults were in contact with my parents.  I was held accountable for my actions by everyone.

If I got in trouble at school, I would be sure to hear about it when I came home.  Being a teacher, my student’s parents would blame me for their child’s actions.  They had  little follow through with accountability thus raising an entitled generation with little remorse.

I trusted the teachers and coaches that I spent countless hours with to strengthen and make me a better person.  Are teachers even allowed to do that anymore, or do they just hand them standardized tests?

The only person taking pictures of me was taken by my mom to be put into a family album, not spread on the internet for the world to see.  I grew up with privacy and felt safe.  I have happy, happy memories of my adolescence but remember it not being easy.

My children’s lives will not just be uneasy, it will hands down to hard.  And as a mom I’m so worried about it all.  Right now their tiny hands fit in mine when we cross the street and I pick their play dates.

Some day they will be embarrassed of me and go places that I’m not sure exactly what that they are  doing.  At that point I will rely on the way that we have raised them and their  forever friends that they have chosen.

My babies will always be my babies and they will be thrown into a grown up world well before they will be ready.   As my daughter stands before me in her princess dress I can practically see it as a homecoming dress. I can only hope she wants a beautiful ball gown that makes her glow from the inside out instead of a skimpy dress that she feels appropriate in this overly sexualized world.

As my son runs around in his super hero shirt, I pray he will be safe and this world won’t need saving.  He thinks he can fly and has super strength.   He already has made everyone’s lives better that knows him.  I just hope his ambition and spirit never fades.

I see their innocent smiles and I just want to freeze these moments in time so I never have to see them cry.  I just want to hold them and keep them with me forever.  But I know I can’t do this.  I want and need them to find those forever friends to be something that I can’t.

I need my daughter to understand that although boys are great, every girl needs really good friends.  Men try their best to figure us out, but friends don’t need to.  They just get it!

Their friends will get them through things that really matter when they really matter.  I want them to accumulate all of the wonderful memories that I had and continue to have with my friends that I love so much.

I don’t feel old enough to say that I have friendships almost 30 years but I do.  I’m not sad about my age.  I am proud that I have achieved so much and created so many important relationships during this time.  I’m so happy that I am secure, confident, loved and stable in so many ways.

I no longer have people in my life that are unimportant and as a girl it takes a long time to be happy with yourself and I am.    Life can be so hard yet so wonderful.  I can just pray that my children find people to get through the hard parts of life that I can’t be there for and make the wonderful memories all that sweeter.

May they grow to be happy and healthy.  May they find forever friends who guide them to make good choices and as they guide others.  May they laugh and value people for who they are inside.  May they teach others while they learn so many lessons.   And please God, may they be safe!  As they leave my nest of safety I trust you will watch over them and that the good people of this world will do the same.

Axon Optics and Shades for Migraine

FullSizeRenderJune 21st is World Migraine Solidarity Day! It’s a great social media campaign that is meant to raise awareness for Migraine and what better way to express it than in SUNGLASSES?!

With that said, let’s talk about my favorite indoor and outdoor glasses!!!!!  I am an affiliate of Axon Optics because I truly wear their glasses and love to spread the word of how they help.  If you order their glasses I will receive a small compensation for my recommendation.  Thank you!

“Axon Optics has utilized the latest research exploring the pain pathway associated with migraine and photophobia to develop the SpectraShield FL-41 migraine glasses lens. These lenses may help to reduce exposure to certain types of artificial light, particularly blue light and green light, which may exacerbate light sensitivity in those who suffer from migraines.   Both indoor migraine glasses and outdoor migraine sunglasses are an option.” Axon Optics

 

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Wearing my indoor glasses on a partly cloudy dinner date on the patio

 

Personally, I use the indoor glasses almost everyday.  I have both the indoor and outdoor and love them both.  I recommend going to the website and looking what may be best for you.

The reason I love the indoor glasses is the tint.  I am a teacher and mom so I spend a lot of time in fluorescent lights.  I teach in them, go grocery shopping in them and make dinner in my own home with them.  On cloudy days, I wear my indoor glasses outdoors because the glare still hurts my eyes yet regular sunglasses are too dark to wear.  I can not recommend enough Axon Optics Migraine Glasses!!!!

Check me out on: Instagram, facebook, and twitter

I’ll be wearing my Axon Optics for the Shades for Migraine campaign and more.  Remember to participate in the Shades for Migraine campaign and tag me in your sunglasses #shadesformigraine

If you’d like to purchase a pair of Axon Optics, they are generously offering My Migraine Life readers a discount for Migraine Awareness Month!  They are a company that truly cares about migraine sufferers and not just selling a product.  Their customer service is amazing, their return policy is comforting and the founders are people invested in helping!

Use code mymigrainelife to receive 15% off your order

You have nothing to loose but light sensitivity pain!

Migraine and Allergies


Several years ago, I had sinus surgery.  I have suffered from sinus issues and infections my whole life (just like Migraines).  After many sinus infections, this year I decided to look for more answers on why I’m still suffering so much from allergies.

The first doctor I went to I had seen as a child with the same issues.  He dismissed me after speaking at length because I was “too knowledgeable” about my migraines and triggers stating that allergy testing wouldn’t teach me anything.

I wasn’t surprised, so I moved on to an immunologist that a friend and fellow migraine sufferer had suggested. He stated that allergy sufferers are 33% more likely to suffer from frequent migraines and he was incredibly interested in helping.  I was pricked with lots of allergens and waited in his office wanting to scratch my arm off.

Once the results came in I received a lot of feedback that I found helpful.

1.       Food allergy- I found out that I was allergic to corn.  For those of you that don’t know, corn is in EVERYTHING processed.  I asked “how allergic” I was and how careful I needed to be.  As always, it depends and he suggested to experiment with foods and how I felt.   This was an “ah ha moment” for me being I feel sick 95% of the time I eat.  I have never known why but corn is a good clue.

2.       Indoor allergies- I found out I’m allergic to dust and mold.  I like to think I keep a clean house but with a Golden Retriever, 2 small children and a busy life, a dust free home is not possible (is it for anyone?). 

3.       Nasal allergies- This year I have suffered from endless sinus infections.  My doctor told me that I had not been receiving the correct treatment.  I had been going to a “Minute Clinic” when I had a sinus infection and couldn’t stand it anymore.  The medication that was given was, according to my doctor, was not strong enough or for a long enough time to rid the sinusitis.  Therefore, my sinus infections just kept cycling because they were never really gone.

Going forward the things I am implementing are:

1.       Reading food labels more carefully.  Looking at them, it seems corn is in everything so I’m trying to eliminate foods that have it as the first 5 ingredients listed.

2.       I got allergy pillow cases, mattress cover and installed a new air filter in my house.

3.       I took the medication to rid me of my sinusitis and now have preventative medication to take at night to hopefully help with the migraines I am waking with each morning.

4.       I now have an appointment for my son to be allergy tested for his chronic breathing and upper respiratory issues.  He is currently on preventative medication and breathing treatments.

5.       After playing outside, we are showering my son and changing his clothes before nap and playing in the house.  We were told that the allergens stick to his hair therefore leaving the allergens around the house.  We have always washed hands upon entering, don’t wear shoes in the house, vacuum a lot and dust.

Follow up:

1.       I will now be going to my immunologist for my sinus infections.

2.       I will be learning more from my son’s allergy testing and be able to accommodate both better once the results are back.

3.       I will be posting a review of my new air filter

Do you suffer from allergies and migraines?  What are you allergic to and how do you treat them?  The more ideas to live preventatively the better!

Disney World. My migraine

 

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This picture is intentionally blurry.  I may have been smiling but this is a small sample of the blur I was looking through that day.

 

There is no way I expected to make it three days without getting a migraine.  My day at Magic Kingdom had been perfect and low pain which meant for sure I was getting one the next day.  Sure enough, I woke up sick.  I immediately took my rescue meds, drank water and rolled around my bed in pain and anger.  I was really angry and not willing to miss the day that I had planned for my family. 

So when it was time to go, I loaded myself out of bed and got on the boat to Disney Springs.  With the experience I have, I had prepared our bag and stroller the night before and all my husband needed to do was get them dressed and lead us all to the dock.  At Disney Springs we got breakfast.  I sat outside of the busy crowded, loud, disorienting restaurant to save a table and hang my head in pain.  Everything around me was in slow motion and my body clenched.  I was barely able to stomach a sandwich and caffeine to hopefully speed up my meds. 

We next proceeded to the boutique in which my beautiful daughter would be turned into Cinderella.  As I approached, I  instantly felt fear of this magical place.  Picture a room filled with lights from every direction with air packed with hairspray, sounds of women talking in pitches I can only imagine a dog could hear and parent’s pushing you to get out of the way of their photo op.  Basically a Migraine’s hell.   I can still smell it just writing about it. 

As my son and husband were leaving to go to the Lego store,  my husband asked me if I was going to make it.  Let me tell you about the motivation of a stay at home mom watching her daughter turn into a princess.  My daughter had told me the day before that she wished on her “wishing star” that she could turn  into a princess.  I may not get money for what I do but watching my sweet girl’s wish come true is my salary. 

As I was very aware of the seats around me and garbage cans (I tend to throw up with my migraines) I decided to stay and immerse myself in the experience.  Let me tell you, if I had been one bit of a higher pain level I would have had to tap out.  Don’t think I’m telling you I can do anything if I’m motivated enough, but this was an exceptional occasion.  I should have been in bed and am not sure how I did it, to tell you the truth. 

Anyways, I decided to ask our “fairy Godmother” about some special occasions she has seen there.  She began to tell a story about an engagement but the story that moved me was this…...

A little girl Skyped with her father while he was deployed in Afghanistan so he could see her transformation.  I listened with tears in my eyes.  Tears of pain, tears of heartache for so many and tears of gratitude. 

I stood there with a smile on my face yet close to passing out and I thought of how thankful I was.  Yes, I was pained in every inch of my body yet I was thankful.  I was thankful to that dad, his daughter, her mother, and to everyone who sacrifices for our country.  I was thankful that I knew my husband and baby boy were safe next door.  I was so thankful to all of the men and women who put their lives on the line so I could stand there and watch my child’s wish come true.  It was a very profound moment to remind myself that my pain may have been all consuming but I’m not the only one suffering.  I think it’s a moment I will never forget!!!

So with this all said, let me say THANK YOU to all of the men and women in our armed forces.  Not only thank you to you, but thank you to your family and friends who also sacrifice while you protect us.  Thank you to generations past, present and future.  The job you do is something that is not acknowledged enough.  You allow the American dream and little girl’s wishes to come true.  Thank You!

Disney World. The Good, the Bad, and the Migraine

Disney World

Disney World!!!!!!

 

I went to Disney World for 3 days and I could probably write a book on it.  Instead I’m going to focus on three things. The good, the bad, and my migraine.  So let’s begin with the good……

Where to begin. Disney World is called the happiest place on earth for a reason.  If you’ve been following me from the beginning, you know this is not the first time I have written about a Disney princess (A Whole New World?) I have loved all things Disney since I was a child and have been so happy to see my children fall in love all the same.  We spent an entire day at Magic Kingdom.  I had planned and saved like most families do and was eager to see how my dreams would come true for my family.

My personal favorite thing was to ride the rides.  I used to love rides but now enter them with a bit more trepidation.  I fear flashing lights, jerking motions and all those other triggers that come along with my migraines.  I also feared the weather, my diet, the stress, dehydration, and exhaustion.

But Tinker Bell sprinkled her fairy dust on me that day and I lived in a fairytale land.  I did however, prepare.  I had water bottles for all of us that I filled at every water fountain I saw.  I didn’t care about how many bathroom breaks we were going to stop at, we all were staying hydrated.  I also brought portable fans for my family that tends to sweat and me who tends to overhead.  I had snacks galore that were healthy and filling enough to stop us from stopping at every food stand we saw.  I had hats and sunglasses for everyone while we waited in the sun.

I didn’t stress at all because we were on vacation, we were together, and somehow I was feeling OK.  OK for me means super duper terrific on a day like our day at Magic Kingdom.  One of my highlights was watching my children meet the characters and waving to them at the parades. IMG_4327IMG_4332

Is there anything sweeter than a tiny hand waving at floats singing to music?  I found myself waving at everyone also, it was contagious. IMG_2246IMG_2186

I actually got to feel like a normal person that day.  I spun around in tea cups laughing and only feeling dizzy.  Feeling dizzy from your kids joyfully spinning you verses feeling dizzy from standing up on an average day is very different.

I felt shaky from my daughter “steering” a car on a track slamming from side to side and laughing from the depths of my gut.  This shaky is wonderful compared to shaking from pain masked by medication yet not masking muscle contractions.

At the end of the day I felt truly tired.  Not exhausted from fighting a migraine, tired from a long glorious day.  I was able to sing with Ariel in her grotto, the way I love to sing (Feeling better makes me sing)IMG_4360

I flew like I could fly

I flew like I had wings.  I took selfies without thinking how my smile was a mask for how I really felt.

The laughs, the joy, the magic was all from a low pain day.  From the opening song that made me feel butterflies in my stomach to the last firework that gleamed in my eye, I was feeling low pain.  Whatever it was; the adrenaline, the preventatives drugs, the preventative living, or  the intoxicating bubble of love and joy, I call it magic!

I could go on and on and on about how our day at Magic Kingdom was one of the happiest I can remember in a very long time (and I consider myself to live a happy life) but I will stop at saying it was perfect. For those of you who can’t relate to a perfect day, I thought it was impossible for myself.  But just like every perfect day comes reality.  Stay tuned for the bad and migraine party of my trip.

Axon Optics Migraine Glasses, natural relief

*This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you buy and click from this post I will be compensated by the  affiliate.  This in no way alters my opinion and I only recommend things I use.  I use these often!  I was given a pair to review and have used them often since.

Natural Relief

Before I had children I was a special education teacher.  The years after college; I was teaching, coaching, tutoring, and getting my Master’s degree.  That was all? ha.  At this point my migraines became chronic and pretty much elevated to a new level.  Stress, lack of sleep, noise levels and inconsistent diet triggered me daily.

Along with these were the lights!  I taught in very harsh florescent lighting during the day, coached in a bright gym and sat in front of a computer doing homework or lesson plans.  My eyes were so stressed that I sat in the dark during my free period and had the monitor brightness turned as low as possible.  I didn’t have a smart board at that time but if I had worked with one, I know I would have been pained every time I used it.

This was all before I was given a pair of Axon Optics to review.

I wish so desperately that at that time I had Axon Optics migraine glasses.  They have FL-41 lenses that block  blue-green light which was developed to reduce sensitivity to fluorescent lighting.  They sell a range of products that can fit many eyewear needs.  I found working with the Axon Optics staff easy and simple.  I appreciate this greatly!

I now use them to blog (I’m wearing them now!) and when my photophobia is heightened (which is everywhere!).  I use them everyday.  I wear them making lunches and dinner, doing homework, reading books, doing computer work, going into stores, starting my day (anywhere) and more.  If you see me, I’m wearing them!

Use code:Axontweet

Check them out….. Shop our best-selling migraine relief glasses and sungasses.

 

 

What’s your diagnosis and where does that lead you with Migraine?

migraine label

Millions of people are diagnosed with migraine and every case is different.  So what’s your diagnosis?  What’s my diagnosis?  What does it mean to be diagnosed and how does that help?  Here’s my non-medical opinion.

I have my Master’s degree in special education.  It has been really helpful in understanding how the brain works, fails and where diagnosis and treatment can lead.  I think an example that I can best use to describe the migraine spectrum is comparing Autism to Migraine.  

If you have ever met someone diagnosed with Autism, you understand that that person is an individual and like no one else (and aren’t we all?).  Although, these individuals possess some similar factors that place them onto the Autism spectrum.  Does every person with Autism look the same, act the same, react the same, learn the same way, and have the same health and reactions to treatment?  The answer is an obvious no.  Where one person may seem to have some slight social issues and not much more, another individual may need 100% care for various extreme behaviors.  You may have a full conversation with one person and another may be completely nonverbal and ambivalent to personal interactions.  While one person may see improvement with dietary and behavioral therapy others may require heavy medications and need full time care with little improvement.  Everyone is different!

I have seen my neurologist for many years and I decided to ask her what my diagnosis was recently.  I knew the answer was a Chronic Migraine sufferer with neck and shoulder issues caused from migraines which is called Torticollis.  At the beginning, it was important to be diagnosed with something.  It gave me great relief that I, indeed, was sick and not making it up issues as I was led to believe by so many.  With my diagnosis I felt vindicated and believed since I was diagnosed, I would be cured.  Years and years later, I know better.  My diagnosis is no longer as important as my journey.   I have been through so many medications, therapies, and procedures that I’m not as concerned about my diagnosis versus my treatment now.

So why ask about my diagnosis?  Like I said, at the beginning it was huge!  It provided me a starting point and that is what seems to be the best place to start.  Just like people diagnosed with Autism, it’s only the beginning and an idea of where to begin with therapies, tests, treatments and more.  It puts me into a category that I need to find where I fit.  I no longer go into my neurologist to look for a cure.  I don’t think she is going to hand me a script for a pill that will make my disease go away.  I was stuck in this mindset for years! 

I now know it takes work!  Just like in teaching,  I know I can help  at school but work needs to be done at home.  They can’t come to me to solve their shortcomings like I can’t expect my doctor to help me without putting in the work myself.  My diagnosis has become the place I started and the road that I have travelled. 

I helped with the process of diagnosing students and I had parents fight putting a label on their child.  All of us have labels. My diagnosis doesn’t define me.   I think it’s what you do with knowledge of your label and what you do with it.  You have a choice to ignore it, to get more opinions, follow your path, and problem solve along the way.  Once I realized I wasn’t going to be cured and that I needed to fight with a well-rounded approach of many therapies and life style changes, I was empowered.  My label is just part of who I am.  I am a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a teacher, a blogger, a dog and chocolate lover, a travel enthusiast, a Chronic Migraine sufferer and so much more.

What’s your diagnosis? 

How do you feel it defines your journey?