Top 10 Gifts for Migraine, Chronic Illness and Self Care

Top gifts for Migraine, Chronic Illness and those in need of Self Care. (1)

1.Fight your migraine and step into the light with Axon Optics glasses.

Use code: MIGRAINELIFE for 10% off now until Dec. 16


Natural Relief“Axon Optics’ therapeutic lenses help over 90% of customers achieve some level of relief. Most migraine sufferers who have worn Axon Eye wear to treat their light sensitivity have found them to be highly effective, with some sufferers reporting more migraine relief than others. ” See  Review

2. Headache Hat Cold Therapy

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“The Headache Hat is a unique, wearable ice pack for migraine headaches and more. ” If you benefit from cold therapy, aka ever need an ice pack, this is the product for you! I LOVE Headache Hat and it has helped me so much! See Review

3. Organic Aromas— Aromatherapy

“Quiet and effective nebulizing essential oil diffuser for professional aromatherapy.”   Diffusing oils is an easy way to calm and change mood.  Oils can be used in countless ways and combinations. See Review

4. Sensacalm– Sensory integration therapy (touch)

“Custom weighted blankets and other products (that) can be therapeutic for anyone with Anxiety, Insomnia, Autism, ADHD, PTSD and sensory processing disorders.” Laying under a weighted blanket helps ease discomfort and provides relief.

5. Migraine Magick-“Super electrolyte spray-on migraine pain transformer

Use coupon  code mymigrainelife for $22 off an order through you.

“The Magick Brand™ incorporates principles of eastern medicine focused on balancing energy within the mind, body and soul as fundamental to nurturing energy and well-being. ” I use this spray on my shoulders, neck and face to relieve pain.

6. Aromafloria-Aromatherapy (unscented products)


Inline Rectangle“Aromatherapy products both smell luscious and are highly effective through the use of pure essential oils, therapeutic herbs, exotic botanical extracts, vitamins and minerals from around the world.” These unscented products can be mixed with your personal preference of essential oil or left completely smell less.

7. Original Sprout-“Organic Vegan hair care, bath, and styling products for the entire Family” Low fumes and chemicals

$10 off your order now!

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“Clean, non-toxic, all natural hair and skin products that every parent can be proud to use on their entire family.”  I am sensitive to smelly hair products and the organic extracts are gentle and natural. See Review

8. Om-Self care packages, products and information

Use code MyMigraineLife for 30%off Zen Nectar

Zen Nectar Migraine Relief #zennectar

“The Community provides holistic support to  reduce the frequency & severity of migraines for people around the world, with the fundamental belief that healing starts with self love. ” See Review

9. EnviroKlenz-Allergy relief

“Effectively eliminate odors and chemical pollutants from indoor air spaces, surface and laundry” Allergies are a common migraine and headache trigger. This may not be the most glamorous gift but I’d rather get a gift I can use and will make me healthier than something not useful. See Review

10. Barometer or Weather prediction device

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 See how Weather hurts

Good luck for find what fits you and your loved ones life. To health and happiness!

Happy Shopping!

*These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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How Disney World switched to Original Sprout products that reduced Migraine triggers and headaches

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*This post contains affiliate links. My referrals are my own opinion. I only recommend things I truly love and use for myself and family. I was given products as a review. See disclaimer for more

Recently, I went to Disney World with my family.  I love Disney World!  My family, the adventures, the magic and the fun.  It all was a dream come true.

After my last experience at the boutique that turns my daughter into a princess, I feared the hair spray smell. The last time we went, the lights were really bright.  Beyond the lights was the smell.  Oooooooooh the smell.  I had started my day with a migraine. Standing in air that was saturated with strong hair spray made me really sick!

This time, I was prepared.  I had my Axon Optics in my purse and wore a scarf that I sprayed with my favorite essential oil to cover my nose.  As we were called back and I entered the room, I was confused.  Where was the smell?

As we settled in, I asked our fair Godmother what was different. The air was breathable without trigger and I felt much more relaxed.  The answer was Original Sprout.  She then explained to me how their last hair spray was so stiff that it was giving little girls headaches.  My ears perked up when she said the word “headache” because I live to prevent headaches in my family.

Disney World switched to Original Sprout products to give the little girls a more natural and less stiff hairstyle.  I was so impressed with their response to give families a “soft, strong, healthy hold” that provides thicker luscious locks all day & night. The Natural Finishing Mist is “for all hair types & textures with organic extracts & plant proteins to help strengthen & smooth.”  The soothing organic extracts made a huge difference as a migraine trigger and breathable air.

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The experience was so much more enjoyable with using Original Sprout products.  Thank you to Disney World for making the responsible switch to Original Sprout and thank you to Original Sprout for the products to try after falling in love with your line.

Want to try Original Sprout for yourself and children?

Use this link for $10 off your purchase

Monday Munchies and Meals: Pumpkin Muffins

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I love to cook!  I don’t always follow the directions, I use what I have, I avoid trigger ingredients and I go from there.  It has become part of my family’s lives.  My children love to measure, get out ingredients, mix, taste and see the results of their hard work.    And I love all the math, science,  reading, social, fine motor and even cultural lessons it provides.

Although cooking deliciousness is my goal, the process sometimes seems like  so much!  It’s a commitment to shop, prep, cook and clean up.  Often times it takes way longer than I’d like and uses way more energy than I have which is frustrating.

So I’ve decided to start a Monday Munchies and Meals series.  I hope to post a recipe each week in hopes of inspiring you to make something healthy and feel good about, being a  a snack or meal.  Why am I posting on Tuesday then?  Because life happens and I’ve been in bed with a killer migraine for the last 36 hours.  I wrote this post on Saturday after making  it last Monday and I couldn’t even open a computer to press “publish” for 2 days.

It isn’t always possible to cook everyday with having Migraines and living a busy life.  One recipe a week will be enough to share, make and encourage you to do the same.  So whether I post on Monday or Friday, you can make it whenever it fits your schedule and health also.  It’s meant to inspire, if you have an ok day, try it!  If you don’t, try again another day. 

If you like the recipe, please make it and share it with me.  I’d love to see your results and adaptions to Monday’s  munchie or meal of the week!!!  Post on facebook, twitter and Instagram and comment on the post to inspire others.

I do not follow a strict diet.  I avoid trigger foods but have not cut groups out of my life (gluten etc.).  I try to find recipes that are clean, real ingredients, that are anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense.  I am not a nutritionist and fully admit I eat way too much sugar.  I hope to share recipes that make me feel better and taste good.  If you have one you’d like me to try, please email me at mymigrainelife@gmail.com

This month I’m focusing on pumpkin.  Everyone loves pumpkin in the Fall and the benefits of it are great!

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Here’s the recipe I followed:

http://www.makingthymeforhealth.com/healthy-flourless-pumpkin-muffins/#_a5y_p=4349482

We ate these for breakfast, in lunches and as an after school snack.  Easy and great for grab and go.

Pumpkin Muffins

 

 

13 ways to survive working with Chronic Illness

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I have been a full time teacher with Chronic Migraine.

I have been a full time stay at home mom with Chronic Migraine. 

I am a full time mom and part time teacher with Chronic Migraine. 

They all are difficult jobs and adding a chronic illness makes life even more complicated and difficult.  

So the questions remains, how do you work while having Chronic Migraine?  How was I able to return to work

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  • Work part time

I only work a few days a week and seem to have letdown migraines on my days off.  I save time for self-care during those day.

Tip: Know time off policies and if a substitute is available

 

  • Find coworkers who support you

At my job that I missed a lot of time off, my boss was arrogant and my coworkers were judgmental.  With my new job, my coworkers are like a supportive family and my boss is loving and understanding.  This benefits the group because I’m not motivated to work out of judgment or consequences but out of commitment and love for the job and workers I call friends. I really have fun at work and love to be there.

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  • Ask for and learn how to accommodate your needs 

I requested that my classroom be on the side of the building that does not get direct sun or heat.  I also have control over the lighting.  Heat and lights (fluorescent) are especially big triggers.  I use Axon Optics glasses on days I need extra light protection for my eyes.  I use other lotions, oils and natural products to treat myself topically.

  • Understand clients

I found that when I disclosed that I had Chronic Migraine to my boss at one job I was judged and at my current job she understood me better.  The same goes for clients.  As a teacher who was missing work, I sent home a letter explaining my chronic disease.  I found that the parents were very open and appreciated my honesty but I was unsure what the feedback would be.  Understanding the children and families I work for has allowed me to personally connect more.  I feel like my families want the best for me as I want the best for them and mutual respect once again motivates me.

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  • Low stress, high reward

With a part time position, my stress has decreased tremendously.  I am able to focus on myself, my family and other aspects of my life other than my job.  Stress was my main factor in turning episodic to chronic.  I now have a handle on how to deal with stress and my priorities are different.  As a teacher without children and now with children, my views on teaching are very different. I have always had a passion for teaching and love children.  The reward is huge!!!  Being someone who is making a difference every day and seeing growth in my students is so rewarding. 

It gives me pure joy and joy is great medication! Find joy in your job.

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  • Set realistic goals and expectations

Putting pressure on myself to be something I’m not only raises stress.  I have realistic ideas of what I can do, what I want to do and how I’m going to attain those goals.  Setting myself up for failure will only derail my treatment.  I set goals I know I can reach and am proud when I meet them.  A positive attitude and learning from the past allows me to move forward.

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  • Commute

Driving is extremely difficult with even a low grade migraine.  At my old job I had a longer commute and found that many days I was throwing up on the side of the road before and after work.  At times I liked it to decompress but most of the time was pained from the drive.  I now have a short drive that I can drive to with my eyes closed (don’t worry, I don’t but I could).

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  • Water, coffee and snacks

Caffeine can be a benefit or trigger.  Coffee  is beneficial to my migraines. During my morning of teaching, I drink coffee before the students arrive and drink a huge water bottle throughout my day.   As a class, we have scheduled potty breaks and snack time so we all get time to refuel. 

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  • Sleep schedule

I wake up the same time every day whether I’m working or not.  I stay on a consistent sleep schedule in order to be refreshed and ready for my day.

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  • Take breaks

When I feel a migraine raising, I get a bit panicked.  During my students specials I have the ability to take a break, focus, drink more coffee, or water.  Just allowing 10 minutes of quiet and focused breathing make a world of difference to my rising pain.

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  • Use flexible work time if possible

I am able to get a lot of my work done outside of the classroom.  I am also a busy mom and find that planning and prepping can be done once they go to bed.  Instead of staying late at school, I bring a lot of my work home and also plan ahead.  By being over prepared I am able to relieve stress.  If I’m sick in bed and worrying about work, I get sicker.  When I have everything done, being sick for days doesn’t stress me out about work because I know I’m prepared.  Planning and being prepared makes my life, in general, much easier.

  • Moving my body and distraction

There are days I go to school feeling sick and am completely consumed by my students.  The minute my students leave and all is quiet, the pain comes flooding back.  I’m so distracted and filled with endorphins while I’m at school that at the end of the day I’m punished more.  There have been days that I work till lunch and am in bed until the next day.  The distraction of a job that I love helps me get through many mornings.

Having a job that I am active in helps.  Stretching, dancing and moving keeps my body active.  I would not be unable to sit at a desk staring at a screen all day.  My body needs to move and my brain needs a break from technology.

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  • Money vs time

As a part time employee in the teaching field, you can imagine I’m not a millionaire.  Working salary and full time was not something I could keep up with.  Working part time, I do not make a lot of money but am able to do what I love with people I care for.  Sometimes money isn’t everything (although it pays for my medical expenses, so I really need it).

 

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 With all of this said, I found a dream job.  Not everyone gets to work part time (either financially or in their field of interest).  Disability is difficult to get as a migraine sufferer and most jobs it is difficult to find balance.  Time off isn’t always possible without consequences and substitutes are not common. Falling behind on work is inevitable.  Finding coworkers that are friends is not a choice but a lucky draw.  The same goes for bosses.

All circumstances and lives are different.  I encourage you to find something you love.  Find a part time job, a job online, a job that can be flexible and a job that makes you happy.  Migraine is the definition of pain and unhappiness…..find something you love and makes you better.  Easier written than done, I know!!!

I, honestly, was not sure if I’d ever be able to go back to teaching with how severe my disease is.   I took a chance and it paid off.  I was very aware that it may not be possible, but I never let that deter me.  I tried it and it worked.  Not every job works but I’m so glad I took that leap.

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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!