Puppy Alert….We’ve Added to Our Family

I have an announcement to make……..

We have added to our family!  After loosing my best friend, migraine warrior and therapy animal, Lucia, we decided to add some love to our home.  Remember Lucia and Sammy here

Meet Charlie……

 

Charlie Red is a Golden Retriever.  He has brought happiness and puppy energy  into our house.  He is our new normal and such a good boy.  He loves to play outside and eat mulch, dress up and cheer on his sister’s swim team efforts and fully supports my writing and blogging career.  He eats a lot, plays a lot, and sleeps a lot.

 

Thank you to everyone who has supported me during my greatest loss.  Many people remind me that he’s not a replacement.  My answer to that is, OF COURSE NOT.  Charlie is a different life time for all of us and there is no comparison.  It has been the most difficult summer of my life after loosing Lucia, 13, and Sammy, 20.  Charlie has made the house less quiet, less lonely and fills it with new memories.  His sweet face and curious eyes  makes us smile!

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Wet ears=happy puppy post walk and big drink

Charlie plans to make his Instagram debut  @mymigrainelife

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Don’t forget to endorse my nominations for WEGO AWARDS.  WEGO awards many bloggers from a variety a conditions.  Let’s let Migraine be represented and supported.  Thank you!

ENDORSE HERE

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To the Dog Who Helped Raise My Kids and Watched My Illness Grow

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I have this picture in my room.  One day, my daughter asked me, “Mom, is that the day you married Lucia?”  My answer was, “No baby, Lucia and I were already together forever.”  You see, my dog and I began it all….

I bought my dog to celebrate my first job out of college.  I had been lonely from leaving my college town and thrust into real life and big responsibilities.  It was love at first sight.  After I brought her to the vet, I was told she would most likely die from Parvo.  That fluffy little ball of fur proved them all wrong.

My Golden Retriever was my life.  She was part of my engagement, watched me get ready for my wedding and moved to an apartment and 2 different homes over time.  She was our first child.

When our first human child arrived, she didn’t feel pushed out.  My sweet dog thought our baby was hers.  She had paced the floors with me and pregnancy insomnia.  She sat with me during round-the-clock feedings.  She was there for me as I had meltdowns about being over tired, over worked, underfed and overwhelmed.  It was years of blurry joy and hustle and she was there through it all.

 

As a stay at home mom with a husband who traveled, Lucia was my constant companion during some lonely times.  I had days where I spoke to no adults.  I spoke to my babies and my dog.  Conversations can be had without words and my dog was always my biggest cheerleader and best friend.  Her tail, ears and eyes spoke volumes to me.

 

There was no better big sister for my humans than Lucia.  She was patient while they played vet and poked her in the eyes.  She was smart when she learned how to stand under the high chair to avoid flying sippy cups while reaping the benefits of fall out food.  She was even ok with squeezing hugs and the occasional ear tasting.  She was sensitive to yelling and was always a reminder for us to use our talking voices.

She was the emotional equalizer.  As I walked into the house with 5 bags on my arms, screaming children chasing behind me from the car and everyday chaos we entered a home of love.  Our Golden Retriever always came running with a stuffed animal in her mouth, a wagging tail, and an attitude that said ”Leave it at the door.”  We all changed when we saw her sweet face.

 

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Do you know those moments before Tick or Treating and everyone is melting down?  I  always had someone to laugh with

 

She put my children to bed every night without fail.  She’d lay on the carpet as I read to one and get up and move to the next room as I did the same.  There was never a night she missed tucking them in.

 

As my oldest became school aged, my dog started picking her up from school.  Everyday when my alarm went off, she went running for the door.  She knew it was time to pick up her girl and go for a car ride.

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Over the years, my dog had 2 knee surgeries, many teeth pulled, growths cut off and more.  Even as she was recovering, she still took care of me.  (link)

As she grew, so did my struggle with migraine.  She became a therapy and emotional dog to me that no one will ever fully understand.  She got to a point that she sensed my pain spikes.  She learned how to comfort me and held my hand very early on and never let go.  Her eyes were always on me.  No matter how many humans we added to our family, I was her number one.

 

Feeling like number one when I give my full self to my family was priceless.  I don’t even put myself first, yet she always did.  She followed me from room to room.  My shadow and my protector.

Over the years we spent countless hours in a cold dark room with my chronic migraine.  There were many nights where I collapsed to the bathroom floor and she slept pressed up against me.  She spent hours unmoving from my bed while I thrashed in pain.  I’d be covered in ice and wiggle my fingers to feel her little kisses on my tips.  She’d do anything to make me feel better and she did.

 

In her last days, our only concern was making sure she wasn’t suffering and that we showed her all the love that she provided for us over the years.  I had a vet once tell me, “Goldens will wag their tails and eat until 3 days after they die just to please their owners.”  On her last day, she did just that.  We bought her lots of treats and threw her an early 13th birthday.  She wagged her tail and cuddled us while we knew it was time for her to go.  She knew and her eyes told us so.

Saying goodbye was, without a doubt, the most gut-wrenching moments of my life.  I feel so blessed that it was in her best interest, we didn’t allow her to suffer, she went without panic and pain.  As I laid with her, I felt God take my best friend, my four-legged soul mate, my first child and migraine warrior.

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The days after, I saw her everywhere.  I heard her everywhere.  I felt her everywhere.  My son was sick and I was trapped in my house and grieved over every hair, nose smeared window and inch of my house.  My house was no longer the home I was at ease in.

She went to God on May 8th.  On May 11th my turtle of 20 years passed away.  He has lived in my family room of every home I’ve had since I was a teenager.  My pets passing away in 3 days was extreme! The numbers 8 and 11 are hugely relevant.  I was born on 8/11.  My favorite numbers have always been 8 and 11 along with being my numbers in sports and more.  It was not a coincidence that these were the dates they went to the rainbow bridge.

A week exactly from the day we said goodbye to Lucia my baby boy graduated preschool.  I thought it would feel totally different, but it just felt like a tremendous loss.  I’ve dedicated my life to my children and animals  and it just felt like everyone was leaving me.   It was as if my pets were saying, “We started this family and raised your babies and now it’s time”.  It felt like an end of an era and one I was not ready to say goodbye to.

I’ve heard the phrases:

  • Our pets don’t live long enough
  • When it rains it pours
  • You’ll never get over her but someday it will hurt less

I’ve been told to get another dog not to replace my four-legged soul mate, but to find another love.

I’ve been told that another dog can learn to be a therapy or emotional support dog too.

Here’s my answer to all of this:

This next dog will have a distinct difference from Lucia.

  • My family belonged to Lucia. We started it all!  I was her number one.  Our children were hers.
    • The next dog will belong to them. They will see her as their childhood dog when I will forever know Lucia as the dog who gave my babies joy and me sanity.
  • Lucia watched my migraine become chronic and she evolved as my therapy and emotional dog.
    • The next dog will hopefully see me get better. Her focus won’t solely be on me.  She is coming into an already made family and connections will be totally different.
  • There will never be another being on this earth that can complete me.  Right now I feel this painful hole in my body that physically hurts with every breathe.
    •  With Lucia went a piece of me that I will miss forever.  Yes, I will love another dog, but I know I won’t get that piece back.  She will be missed each day! I know it will get easier but everyone has been honest with me in saying, it will never go away.

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Saying goodbye to my dog

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This week I said goodbye to my best friend, my migraine fighter, my heart and my soul.

Words can’t express the painful, excruciating grief I feel wandering around my home without my shadow. I see her, I hear her, I feel her everywhere.

On her last day, we celebrated her 13th birthday a few weeks early. She left with a smile on her face, a belly full of treats and her tail wagging.

I will be pouring my love out for her when I’m ready.  I have so many things to say about this magical creature that blessed my life.

As for now, I could  use support.

There is a hole in my heart and everyday life. She made me a mom and has walked with me through the best and hardest years of my life.  If you’ve followed me or known me at all, you know Lucia was my smile, my healer, and soul.

If you have any advice on how to take steps forward or support, I sure could use it.

National Puppy Day 2018

Happy National Puppy Day!  Every year I post a picture of my dog.  She is my nurse, my therapy, my medicine and my first child.  As I was locked in my room with a 3 day Migraine from hell, guess who slept beside me?  Guess who kept me company in the middle of the night while the pain was raging?  My dog.  She’ll always be my puppy!  My almost 13 year old puppy!

 

Here’s more on her endless love and support:

How we doctor my dog and she doctors me

My dog with Migraine. Therapy, service, comfort, support and treatment. Pets can help heal

National puppy day 2017

Rockwell Pets Pro review of natural dog shampoo

National dog day

How we doctor my dog and she doctors me

This is going to be a short and sweet post. I’ve been sick since Christmas and my brain is feeling less than creative. In fact it’s down right stuffy, pained, exhausted, a bit sad, stressed and frustrated.

So I thought I’d share a fur baby and girl baby story that I think many of you will appreciate….

As I sat with a sinus infection, while experiencing side effects from new meds and my son being sick with constant meltdowns I watched my daughter “doctor up” my dog yesterday.

All she wanted from Santa was a pet vet clinic, she loves animals! I watched my dog wait in the waiting room (yes, that’s my SensaCalm weighted blanket on the couch that I have been hibernating under while I’m sick! Affiliate link)

Then she was seen by the doctor

That evening I missed a big traditional family dinner. As I sat in my dark room, my dog held my hand and kept me company for hours.

The head pain of Migraine is really extreme! All of the other things really suck! And there are a lot of other things (body aches, nausea, cold hands/feet/nose, etc)! One of the hardest things is being alone and missing out though! It’s really hard!

My dog is more than a dog, especially during these times. She is my sanity and a soul that is literally by my side during dark times. Anyone who has cried holding their pet can understand the depths of this bond.

I’m so proud that my daughter is such an avid animal lover. She gives and receives love in the biggest way and has the biggest heart. Seeing her show the love and compassion that my dog shows is something really special! ❤️❤️

Anyone else spending extra time with their fur baby being sick this Winter break?

Am I the only one fighting being sick while having sick children?

Rockwell Pets Pro review of natural dog shampoo

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Everyone knows I love my dog Lucia!  She is my support animal, best buddy and first child.  I treat her the best because she gives me her best everyday and deserves the same!  That’s why I was thrilled to partner with Rockwell Pets Pro.   I reviewed their non toxic natural dog shampoo on my two favorite dogs with my 4 favorite little ones.  It was a great summer day to wash, rinse and shake.

Although I was given the product to review, my opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.  If you buy a product from my recommendation I will receive a small commission for sharing my love of Rockwell Pets Pro.

The creator of Rockwell Pets Pro was tired of having to use normal potentially toxic products for her dog and she found there was nothing natural readily available. Therefore, she created a product line of non toxic products for everyone who is in the same situation.

I had the opportunity to try the “safe nontoxic pet shampoo made from Aloe Vera, Hemp Seed and Argan Kernel as well as Natural Willow, Meadowsweet, Chaparral and Olive Extracts. Without synthetic detergents that could be toxic and harmful specifically for pets with sensitive skin. Re-moisturizes dry skin for better health and well-being.”

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The benefits are:

  • MOISTURIZES AND SOOTHES
  • PROMOTES NATURAL SKIN FLORA
  • COMFORTS DRY AND ITCHY SKIN
  • ECO-FRIENDLY
  • MADE IN THE USA
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE

 

 

 

I had plenty of small hands and two very willing Golden Retrievers to receive a spa day.  From young (1) to old (12) our dogs enjoyed Rockwell Pets Pro shampoo.

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It smelled great

Lathered and cleaned well

And best of all, was a natural wash for my girl who loved the extra attention and rub down.

Thank you Rockwell Pets Pro for making a product safe for my dog!  If you love your dog and want to treat her to nontoxic safe products, this product may be for you!

I am Thankful Despite Migraine

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Happy November and welcome to the month of gratitude

My chronic illness has made me a thankful person in general.  I’m thankful when I’m not in my dark quiet room.  It doesn’t mean that I’m not in pain, but if I’m good enough to be out of bed, I’m thankful.

I’m thankful for many, many, people who love me for just who I am.  I have had to weed out the people who don’t understand but isn’t that life and maturity?  I’m at an age now where my confidence is at its highest.  I know who I am and have surrounded myself with people who truly deserve my time.  I can be knocked down and dragged out by my migraines at any moment so I don’t waste my time with people who don’t make me happier or feel better.

I’m thankful for cuddling with my husband and eating dessert while we watch our favorite TV show.  It’s the small things in life that count and I’m so thankful that I get to spend my life with him.  Waking up to his face allows me to put one foot in front of the other during my worst days and if I can’t walk, he’ll carry me.

I’m thankful for my kids more than words can explain.  I’m thankful for my body that carried those babies and fed them.  I had never been thankful for my body before my two children. Not many girls are in love with themselves due to way too many unrealistic expectations.  With that added to being chronically ill, I never gave myself credit for what it can do.  It’s easy to focus on how much my body restricts me but  I’m now grateful that my body gave me children that motivate me every day.

I’m grateful for my third child, who came to me first, my amazing dog.  She’s so much more than a dog, she gives me love that a human can’t and is one of my strongest therapies. (My dog my nurse my love)

As always I am thankful for my family.  My parents, my in laws, my sister and beyond are my rocks.  You don’t get to pick your family, but if I had the choice, I’d choose them.

The people that I have chosen and am so thankful for are my friends.  They are people who could have walked away from our friendships because of my illness.  Most of my best friends have seen me in a lot of pain, throw up, packed me in ice and have had me cancel plans due to my migraines.  But they love me, dry heaves and all.   I’m thankful to have the most loving, supportive, funny, intelligent and amazing women as my friends. They are great examples to my children on what true friendship means.

Up until last year I had been a stay at home mom and it was the most challenging and incredible experience.  I now have the opportunity to be a full time mom and part time teacher.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to join the work force again but mostly how I was received.  My boss and coworkers instantly became friends and confidants in life.  They are aware of my Migraines and not only are judgement free but are supportive.  They either have Migraines themselves, have a spouse who suffers or see Migraines as more than a headache and how it alters my life.  It is an accepting group and one that wants the best for each other.  My students and their family’s are people I go home each night feeling grateful that I get to be a part of their lives.  I love teaching and being able to go back while keeping my migraines in check during school hours has been a blessing. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to go back to teaching and it fills a void I had while being at home.

I’m grateful for the Migraine community and MyMigraineLife.  My life and confidence, once again, changed when I began my blog.  Fellow sufferers are so powerful in their words and encouragement and I am confident that it has saved and improved lives.  We have laughed and cried together while sharing stories, advocating for foundations and making steps towards greater health.

My list of thankfuls and gratefuls can go on forever.  I am so blessed!  I guess I can complain about migraines, and believe me I do, but being thankful is way more fun and productive.  Migraines are depressing and many people get sucked into the pain hole that seems too deep to come out of.  Remembering my blessings keeps me mentally battling with pain, nausea, aura, weakness, fatigue etc. in a more positive way. The mental battle is incredibly difficult and I’m so thankful I have so much to be thankful for and motivated to fight for.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and commenting on my blog and thoughts.  I’m thankful for you!!!  Without your feedback there would be many days that I would not be able to continue my blog.  It is difficult and uses spoons I may not have.  Your comments, likes and shares motivate me because I know I’m helping you or someone who may stumble across this page.

Please add to my Thankful list.  I will compile the answers and post the list for Thanksgiving. Come back everyday and add something you are thankful.  Showing gratitude, even for the smallest things, gives strength.

What are you Thankful for?