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.

Bright Snow Glare Triggers Migraine

Braving the blistery winter and snow glare

Braving the blistery winter and snow glare

bright sun and bright snow makes me want to hibernate

bright sun and bright snow makes me want to hibernate

I live in the snow belt of Cleveland.  We currently have mass amounts of snow.  It’s crazy cold out but oh well……I’m used to it.  So we hibernate.  But unlike those cozy, dozy bears, in a dark cave, I am forced to face the dreaded snow glare.  I have windows all over my house.  While they look beautiful, they torture me.  The windows frame a world of gleaming light reflecting bright white snow.  This week we ordered blinds for our windows because when I walk in our kitchen I feel like someone is stabbing me with an ice pick through my eyes extending out the back of my head.   I wear sunglasses in the house most of the time but it still doesn’t touch the nausea and aura the glare forces upon me.  When my children nap I am forced to retire to my room which has blackout shades and curtains over them to provide me the cave I require.

Leaving the house is obviously torturous.  I’m prepared, as always, with sunglasses and a big hood to block out peripheral light.  Driving escalates my pain instantly and without fail.  There’s nothing more I know to do.  I am not a bear and need to take my daughter to school, buy food for my family and do other humanly tasks.  It’s not realistic for me to hibernate.  I’m counting the days until I can make my castle a bit more cave like and for this snow to melt.  Cloudy days, at this point, are my friends and this is not a statement I make often.  It’s a difficult situation when it’s best to stay home yet my home and the snow’s glare make me sick.  This has been a very difficult winter, migraine wise, and this snow needs to go.  Snow, No!  You need to go.

Wondering what my favorite indoor and outdoor glasses are?

*Axon Optics is an affiliate and favorite product of mine.  If you click and purchase from this link you will give me credit for my recommendation.  And I highly recommend it!!!

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! 

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!

Cold vs Migraine

I rarely get colds. I jokingly say that it is too small for me.  I am allergic to viruses and get very sick when I contract one.  I react harshly to medications so colds just seem not that bad to me.  I have been burning my candle from both ends, so to speak, lately and got a cold.

The first day I was wiped out with no energy, lost my voice, and was overall down and out.  The following days I continued to cough a lot and have other various cold like symptoms.  I have to say, colds are no fun and I’m glad I don’t get them often.  It really is more annoying than anything else though.  I was just ready to be over it.  I could continue on with my life but slowed down a bit.

Here’s the difference between a cold and my everyday life….migraines!  I tried not to take a lot of over the counter cold meds because I really don’t like to take OTCs in general.  I lived a period of my life getting rebound headaches not understanding the repercussions of OTCs and I have not taken them since.   So med free, I had a coughing fit one night.  This fit triggered a migraine and I immediately went into abort migraine mode.

I actually thought to myself, “wow, a cold is annoying but a migraine sends true fear through me.”  The proverbial trick or treat.   A cold is no treat, but with a migraine looming I took it as one.  My trick being pain, pain, pain, and I wasn’t falling for it.  I had  balking at taking meds all week but once the migraine hit I immediately took what I hoped would be effective.

With the coughing, lack of sleep, stuffy head/sinuses and so on, I knew a migraine would not be far away.  So why can’t I just get a cold?  Like I said, it’s no fun at all (especially with 2 children that take advantage of not hearing my voice) but I almost felt normal.  I actually got a normal thing that everyone gets and was having a normal reaction.

But back to reality.  Luckily for me my meds worked and I avoided a head banger of a migraine and throwing up pain.  Yea for me because my throat was already stripped.

Bottom line being, colds are ok, migraines are not.  I actually felt relieved in the morning when I didn’t have a migraine yet my voice was gone, my stomach was crazy nauseous and my body was weak.  How was that a relief?  I was relieved that my normal migraine life was more miserable than a cold  and all I had was a cold.

Oh the life of a migraine sufferer.  Only I would be ok with having a cold.  Not happy, but ok, and I’ll take that for today.

Migraine is a neurological disease

Migraine is a neurological disease caused by genetics and a hypersensitive brain.

IMG_6688

Photo by Karen Eh, content by Teri Robert

This is an especially important fact for me.  My mom and grandmothers both suffered from Migraines.  I remember my grandpa being very sensitive to me suffering after he saw my grandma suffer on the couch with a wet cloth for so many years.

I  am a mom that worries daily about the fact and  possibility of passing it on to my sweet babies.  It was one of the first thoughts I had when I found out I was having a girl and knowing her chances would be higher.  I observe her constantly for signs of Migraine.  I make sure my children eat well, have a constant sleep schedules, show them stress relief techniques and more.  I try my best to teach them the importance of health but am fully aware that I can not change their genetics that I passed on.

The hypersensitive brain is something that makes me feel sane.  For many many years I felt crazy for the ailments I have.  I always thought it was an abundance of different things, the idea that I wasn’t truly sick or that everyone else felt that bad and it was normal.  Once I learned about the scope of migraine and that it is my brain being hypersensitive, I was able to understand myself.

When I get asked why all the treatments I have tried don’t work, the answer is clear…..I can’t change my genetic makeup.  I can try to control it, prevent it, treat it, and live with it.  I won’t be cured.  This is a fact that many need to understand.  I suffer and many generations suffer.  It’s genetics and a hypersensitive brain.

I am hypersensitive to light, sound, touch, smell, heat, cold, weather, stress, hormones,  and more.  I get triggered by things people would never notice.  Once I’m triggered my brain becomes more sensitive.  Once I have had a migraine, I am at a higher risk for another one since my sensitivity is heightened.  This often throws me into a cycle because of medication rebound and my hypersensitivity not calming down.  It is very complex and difficult to deal with.

The brain is a very tricky thing.  A migraine brain seems impossible!

Disney World. The bad

I think it’s easy to take your health for granted. Remember that your health and the health of your children is precious! Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy life the best you can. You never know when things will change!

My Migraine Life

IMG_4147

Every good side has a bad side. I was happily surprised that I saw little bad while I visited Disney World.  The bad thing that I did see was ungrateful people.  My experience with meditation didn’t go well but something I find easy and beneficial to do every day is to show gratitude.  It comes easily being I have a disease that keeps me in a cold dark room and even the littlest bit of relief allows me to be grateful.  I also was a special education teacher for children with severe needs.   I can tell you that when you’ve worked with a child that is severely Autistic or is multiply handicapped you see the world in a different way.  So here’s the bad about Disney World….ungrateful adults.  I have always been able to work with difficult children because of the reminder that they don’t know any better.  I don’t give…

View original post 588 more words