Chronic pain is too much for too long and too often

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The last 3 weeks I have been in a migraine cycle from hell. Hell is the only place to describe it. I suffer from chronic migraine and even this rattled me. Here’s the thing I’d like to tell you about chronic pain, it’s too much for too long and too often!

You never get used to pain. I have found ways to mentally deal with it better, to alternatively treat it more naturally and ways to adapt my life but the reality is it hurts….a lot. With my migraines, I get insane pain (on all sides) that resonate throughout my entire body like a lightning bolt that never goes away. I throw up constantly (well, my body tries but at this point my stomach clenches so hard to keep any food in me that it’s basically violent painful heaves each time I sit up.) I have auras that consist of black dots, lines, zigzags, white light flashes and tunnel vision. I clench my teeth/jaw, fists, toes and thrash my body to the point I bruise. Light and sounds puts me at risk of passing out. The list of pains goes on and on and on while the minutes, hours, days and nights pass by.

When I was in labor, my nurse was able to tell me “Your contraction is at its worse, it’s getting better and going now.” The biggest battle besides the pain is not knowing how long the migraine will last. With this last cycle, I had points that I did not see the light at the end of the tunnel. The fear of living at a level 8/9 for the rest of my life was and is my reality. After an unending migraine, I don’t remember ever feeling better, can’t do anything to find relief and no one can tell me it’s going to be better soon because they don’t know that.

In comes the anxiety and depression that most chronic migraine sufferers experience. Anxiety about doing something to make it worse, about how long it will last, about missing out on life and about what will be missed in the future. Depression about being locked in a dark room alone for hours and feeling so alone. Alone. Alone to fight my pain because no one else can help. Feeling worthless and sad that this is my life and the way it will always be. Sadness from the things I can’t do and won’t ever do. The feeling of pain being the only feeling that I feel because nothing else can enter my mind is exhausting and unfair.

In fact, everything is exhausting and unfair. Even once the pain lowered, I was exhausted. Exhausted from fighting the pain and little sleep after days and days in bed. Looking at social media was too trivial. I can’t stand seeing moms complain about their kids when my children are my inspiration for everything and give me a reason to fight! Those moms are so ungrateful. In fact, the only reason I got out of bed was to go see my daughter for one hour at her school for an end of the year reception. I had spent the entire morning heaving from pain and used every bit of my energy to be there. One hour. One hour is where I spent all my energy in one day just to make my daughter smile and to make me feel human while other women are complaining that their kids are being kids….ugh, exhausting! (*Note:  I’m planning on writing a series on how my children are shielded from these episodes….**spoiler alert** lots of help and preparation!)

Once I emerge from a cycle, I always find it difficult to enter back into the real world. The world outside of my pain, outside of my room, outside of my head. I look in the mirror and don’t even recognize myself. My face is broken out and I look so weak and pale. My list of to dos is a mile long and the cognitive damage and physical weakness make it difficult to multitask like I normally do. I have trouble with just one task and focus on that alone. The anxiety stays with me because I never know when my migraine will return. I walk on egg shells and give myself credit for doing even the smallest things.

Chronic pain is too much for too long and too often. Before this 3 week cycle, I had made it 4 days at a level 5 pain level. This was good, but 4 days since my last major migraine? It’s not like I got food poisoning and thought, “Wow, glad that’s over, I’m never eating there again.” I’m going through this dramatic traumatizing event and thinking, when will it come back? Not if, when. Will it be tomorrow once I eat a normal meal again, will it be when I leave the house, will it be when my children scream and my stress raises, will it be when I try to get my list done and push myself too hard, will it be in a few days with my menstrual cycle, will it be when the weather changes AGAIN, or will it be for no reason? It will always come back….and soon.

I questioned if I should write this post. I like to be optimistic and show my readers hope. But the reality is, I suffer. I suffer a lot. Hopefully I help many with writing MyMigraineLife but there is no cure and I live with that every day. This is not a post to make you feel bad but to remind you that you are not alone. That maybe someone has it worse and to show gratitude for everything you can do today. To remind you that you never know what someone is battling with and to be gentle and kind. And to remind you that someday it will get better. My better does not mean I’m ok, it just means I’m out of my dark room today and I’m writing! That’s better! I still have a long way to go and am very aware that tomorrow it could be much worse. All I can hope is that it gets better…..

Weather Swings and Migraine

I wish weather swings were as fun as real swings.  The way my kids laugh going up and down, back and forth looks fun.  Instead, the temperature goes up and down making my head sway back and forth.  

Weather is a huge trigger for me!   Living in Cleveland is not ideal for this!  From what I’ve read, it happens most places though, so I’m not going to blame it fully on location.

This week we had a 30 degree shift in two days!  There goes my head.  The barometric pressure squeezes me like a vice.  I have a barometer in my kitchen but I don’t need it because I am triggered before it registers.  My allergies kick up and my head gets so much pressure in it I feel like my eyes are popping out. 

The wind, hail and lightning against my windows gave me generalized pain EVERYWHERE.  The migraine, my joints, my stomach, the fatigue all revolved around the weather.  I’m so much better when it just stays the same.

So how do I stop the weather?  I haven’t been able to figure that one out.  I have no ideas on how to even prepare for the swings when I know it is coming.  I don’t like to take meds to prevent them because I would be doing that several times a day with the amount of triggers I have and the pain state I live.  

So how do I help myself during the swings?  I drink lots of water, keep my rescue meds close by, eat anti inflammatory foods, stay on my sleep schedule, try to take stress in stride and continue to do what I can to brace the not so fun swing I’m about to ride.

Where do you live?  

Do do these weather swings trigger you too? 

How do you deal with weather swings and shifts?

I know I’m not alone! 

Letdown Migraines from Stress, Weekends and Events

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I get letdown migraines, have you heard of these?   I get migraines from the down slope of the week landing on the weekend and from stressful events.

During the week, I have a schedule.  I run things like clockwork in order to keep my children and me on track Monday through Friday.  Being on a schedule is huge for children and good for my migraines.  We know what to expect, are able to prepare and we all go with the flow.  But on the weekend, it’s a free-for-all.  Free-for-alls are sometimes fun but usually end in meltdowns and migraines in my house.

I am a  teacher and at some point during the  weekend spend time  in bed with a migraine.  I also get spikes during the week after school and in the evenings before bed.  These are letdown migraines from school and in preparation for the next day.  This happens to me most days.

Once the weekend comes, I get freedom, let down my guard and spend most of my time with a migraine.  My sleep schedule is off, I go to bed later, try to sleep in but mostly am thrown from too much or too little sleep.  I eat unhealthy and at different times than I do during the week.  I go to events with my family that often trigger me through light, sound, and activity.  Everything adds up to a migraine.

Along with letdown migraines from the week, I get migraines from the letdown of stress.  This means, when I am stressed, I can get through the event relatively well but once it’s over, my migraine spikes and I’m bedridden.  Think holidays, vacations, work events etc.

When my husband travels, I get a migraine both before and after his trip.  I get one in preparation of being on my own for a week with two small children and have one once he gets home for the same reason.  During the week, I go into what I call “turbo mode” and face life as it’s thrown at me.  I am super scheduled and exhausted but typically can make it a few days before the migraine letdown of stress. Even if I’m not worried, had a typical week and have no issues during the week of travel, a letdown migraine occurs.  Even when I think I have things handled, my body still punishes me for pushing through “turbo mode.”

Letdown migraines come from life’s many ups and downs.  A spike in life results in a spike of migraine pain.

Do you get letdown migraines?  

Monday Munchies and Meals: Pumpkin Oatmeal

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This week I was sick! I mean, really Migraine sick! It lasted an entire week and fluctuated from a 6-10 on the pain level scale. For anyone who has not lived at a 6 (feeling good) for a week and spikes of mostly 8 and 9, it’s not only hard physically but mentally! No matter how much I slept, I’m still exhausted. I spent most of the week in my dark room, throwing up, missing work, missing the Indian’s game, time with family and time from my life. It was miserable!
When I’m in a cycle of pain in a Migraine cycle, I also cycle my eating. I go from eating and craving everything in sight to not eating at all or throwing up what I eat. This is a harsh cycle because I’m triggered by food that I eat yet crave it horribly when I’m sick. I get so nauseous that I allow myself to eat whatever tastes good. Then I either throw up or my migraine spikes without getting physically ill  which in turn makes me sicker. It’s a loose loose battle.
So when I woke up on Sunday morning, I prepared my Monday Meal, pumpkin oatmeal. What better way to ease myself into food than this nutritious and easy recipe? I liked the idea of starting my day out, motivated to finally defeat this cycle and get ready for a new week. I was excited to spend some quality quiet time with my babies and so were they.
We gathered the ingredients and it only took about 10 minutes to make! I wish I would have made a double batch so we could have had more the next day for breakfast also (school days I do quick breakfasts and keep it moving).
After we made the oatmeal with pumpkin, I laid out some toppings to give each child more ownership and incentive to eat what they just made. They chose walnuts, craisins, and maple syrup. I have to say, it was delicious!
So for those of you who are struggling this week, this one is for you. Remember that different foods trigger different people and only you know what ingredients are best. This is an easy meal or snack that only takes 10 minutes. 10 minutes is enough for this week. I’ll take what I can get and hope for a better week. So far so good……

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Here’s the recipe: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal 

Headache Hat Ice Halo GIVEAWAY

 

Here it is……another GIVEAWAY!!!!!!

I have been given an Ice Halo to Giveaway.  I have not been influenced by The Headache Hat in any way and my opinions are my own!

I don’t know about you, but I have been in a migraine battle lately!  My meds have stopped working, the weather is swinging and I can’t seem to get any relief!

Because of this, I live in my headache hats and ice halo.   I have several because I NEED them. If you read my recent post about having fun in my own way with migraines, you can see that it’s part of my rescue.   If you benefit from ice while having a migraine, headache or have small children who bump their heads and more, this is the  product for you.

I have partnered with The Headache Hat to give you a chance to win one choice of two new Ice Halo in pink (pictured above)  or black.  I use the Halo for low grade migraines and on the go.  It’s light enough to wear wherever and cute enough to do the same.

To enter for a chance to win, go to the LINK BELOW for many chances to enter.  It is mandatory to LEAVE A BLOG POST COMMENT through the LINK BELOW.  There are multiple ways to have additional entries outlined in the LINK BELOW.  Giveaway starts 9/29/2016 12:00am EST and ends 10/6/2016 12:00am EST US residents only.  This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram or twitter.  By entering, entrants agree to a complete release social media.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck my friends!!!!  I really wish we could give you all one, but I feel lucky enough to give one lucky person a tool that I use in my migraine tool box each day!

Thank you for reading and follow along for MORE GIVEAWAYS  SOON!

Zecuity for Migraine treatment

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Recently I shared my experience taking Zecuity, a new medication, with New Life Outlook.

It’s an informative experience that you can learn from.

Check it out and tell me your thoughts.

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Zecuity via My Migraine Life

Living with pain haze, brain fog, mommy brain and Migraine

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Sometimes, things just look a bit hazy

 

Call it mommy brain. Call it pain haze. When I have a migraine I’m a bit fuzzy to say the least.

I got a migraine after the 4th of July (which was not a surprise, I get a migraine at every holiday) that lasted a few days and was severe. I spent the remainder of my week recovering. So when I woke up again with another migraine I was totally frustrated.

My husband had left for a trip before I woke up and I went directly into survival mode. I took my meds, iced and drank coffee before my kids got up. By the time they got up, I was able to put on a happy face and told myself I was going to make it through the day and to keep on fighting. I talk to myself and my migraines a lot!

So I decided to continue on with what I planned for the day and started addressing thank you notes that I had written for my daughter’s birthday. As I did this, I responded to a wedding invitation. The invitation already had a stamp on it and at this point I realized I had addressed my envelopes backwards. I had reversed the stamp and return address and would not have noticed had I not seen an example of the correct way to address an envelope. Uh, how frustrating.

Was it the end of the world, of course not. It was just an honest mistake but it frustrated me. When I was on preventatives I made mistakes like this a lot (See why I don’t take preventatives). Now that I’m not, I try to keep my head as clear as possible but controlling the pain is a priority. I have many friends who do not suffer and tell me they are the same way with “mommy brain”.

Call it what you will, it’s mommy brain, pain haze, migraine hangover, busy life and fogginess. The problem with suffering is that I never know what’s normal. What is normal anyways? Knowing how to address an envelope is normal, so maybe I’m a bit hazy. I guess I could be called worse.

What have you done in a pain haze?