Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Finding Peace in Glitter

 I am interested in so many things and try my hand at so many things, that I stress myself out because I want to do everything my absolute best--from parenting, to writing, to scrapbooking, to Tae Kwon Do--it has all been so overwhelming! The other day, my daughter asked me how come I never watch T.V. I looked at her, perplexed. I do, I said. No, she pointed out, you kind of listen to it, but you are always on your laptop or your phone or writing something or reading or doing laundry or something. It hit me--she was so right! I almost never allow myself to do one thing at a time! Why? Why in the world am I doing this to myself?! I realize that I do this because I am so afraid of not getting something done because of the migraines that I force myself to get everything done as quickly as possible. I understand now why I do it. But, I gotta tell ya, this is no way to live! I thought I had gotten past this, I thought I had evolved and was accepting my limitations. I was fooling myself. Now that I know this, I pledge to myself to do better. No, not do more things. I have had to cross some things off my "have to do" list permanently (eek!) and others I have moved to the "will do if/when I have time list." I have decided that I will do one thing at a time as much as possible and try to be "in the moment," as they say. I am freaked out about doing this. I have been trying it the past few days and it is weird and it is scary, but I know it is best for me. And, I have actually had time (and the energy) to do some cool crafty projects, with glitter, of course, and it relaxes me and the sense of accomplishment completing a project brings me is an awesome feeling! So, I will glitter on! And rest when I am tired and stop making so many damn lists!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pushing the Limits

Since the last post, I have begun taking Tae Kwon Do classes. I was very hesitant, at first, because I was so afraid that doing TKD would trigger a migraine. But, I pushed myself. I pushed myself for three reasons, one--I need the exercise and the gym is getting way too boring, two--TKD is a great sport for fitness as well confidence-building and self-esteem and, after being locked in the house in pain and depression for so long, I need something to help me get back to myself and to become stronger, and three--I am so sick of living in fear! I have done that for so long--too long! I have closed myself off from my friends, my family, my life...I don't want to live like that anymore. I can't. I won't.
So far, Tae Kwon Do has been wonderful! The work out is awesome and learning the moves and forms is challenging and fun. And ya know what? The migraines are still attacking daily, but they have been for many, many months. However, now I just don't lie down, pop some pills and suffer the pain. I keep moving as long as I am able. And, if I have to lie down, I do it knowing that I tried, that I am doing what is best for me, that I did not just surrender.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Know Your Limitations

Being a disabled person, I hear this, "know your limitations," or "don't try to do too much," and similar pieces of advice all of the time. Good advice, I suppose. But, it is easier said than done for someone like me who has always tried to do my best, be my best and who has incredible responsibilities in my four children and aspirations for a better future for myself. I want to get well; I do not want to give up my former life of teaching forever. However, when I push too hard, I do get sick, then, I get sad and angry with myself, because I should know better. I should know that I cannot do all things that I want to do or that my kids want me to do. And, painful, as it can be, I have to live with it. I have to accept it. I can help myself by saying, "no" more. For example, to my preschool child's teacher, "No, I cannot volunteer to help in the classroom." All that fluorescent lighting and the shrill voices of a bunch of small children will trigger a migraine for sure. Do I want to help?  Sure, I do. But, it's okay if I don't. Class will go on. Life will go on. An open audition at a theatre a town nearby was brought to my attention. And, I really, really wanted to audition. I planned on it. The evening of the audition arrived, and I was planning to go. Then, I paused. I paused and thought about the long, possible late-night rehearsals, the blaring stage lights, and the stress.  I realized that, at this point when I am still getting the migraines every day, that I just could not do it. It was a sad thing for me, and I was quite bummed the rest of the night, but I knew I had made the right decision for me. I know my limitations. Sad, but true.

Friday, August 24, 2012


The other night I attended my two oldest daughters' middle school Open House. At the Open House, the parent(s) follows the child's schedule and gets a chance to listen to the teacher discuss his/her class and his/her expectations for the child. During the lunch slot of the child's schedule, the parent's congregated in the cafeteria to feast on cookies and bottled water and to chit-chat. Well, I nervously ate a cookie, even though I should not have as I am trying to eliminate sugar from my diet. I didn't need the water as I'd brought a bottle of coconut water. Why was I nervous?  I guess I wasn't exactly, nervous, but self-conscious, maybe. I felt awkward, much like I did for many of my junior high and high school years, because I didn't have anyone to talk to. As I looked around the cafeteria, through my sunglasses, of course, some of the people looked vaguely familiar. I knew that I had seen the some of the same faces at a Choir concert or a soccer game, and, yet, I did not know any of them well enough to approach them and begin a conversation, and I, certainly, did not count any friends among them. I felt sad about that. I realized that I really don't have very many adult friends, meaning friends that I have made in years since college. One reason for this--chronic migraines. The chronic migraines have kept me so shut-in that I haven't made any connections with other people. I have not been able to work for four years, so I have not made any co-worker friends, as most adults do. There are no lunch dates or work Christmas parties on my social calendar. I do not go to church, mainly because I usually cannot function on a regular enough basis to join a church, so you can cut out church picnics and prayer groups. So, I looked around and watched other parents who were also friends, or at least acquaintances, talk about their kids, church, town events, and so fourth. And, I just prayed for the bell to ring, so I wouldn't have to stand there like a loser, sipping on my coconut water all alone. There are a myriad of ways that having chronic migraines impacts my life, but this particular side effect, so to speak, did not really hit me until that night. So, what can I do?  I, unfortunately, do not see an end in sight for my chronic migraines, so there will always be missed sporting events, concerts, birthday parties and other potential friend-making events. The only thing I can do is try to make a real effort to spend my good days among other adults and not be afraid to approach people. I have to stop feeling ashamed of my disease and its impact on my life and simply accept my fate and celebrate the good days. A lot of the time, I don't want to make the effort to talk with others because I hate explaining why I am not working or why I have to wear sunglasses inside. It's time to let that go, to stop feeling bad about something that I cannot control, and, instead to try to "put myself out there" more and make new friends. Easier said than done, I know. However, I am up to the challenge, it cannot be harder than dealing with migraines, right?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Lovely Bunch of Coconut...Water

Staying hydrated is absolutely essential in the battle of the migraine! I always thought I was getting plenty of water to drink. I drink my 8 glasses a day, so I figured that was enough. It isn't. I was taken to the ER about a month ago when I got really dizzy and my limbs felt heavy. They told me I was dehydrated. I was shocked! I didn't think being dehydrated could cause heavy limbs, and I really thought I was getting enough fluids. Since that day, I have been making sure that I never get dehydrated again. I drink tons of water and have started drinking two to three coconut waters every day. Coconut water tastes nasty, it is a wonderous thing! It hydrates much better than Powerade or Gatorade and contains massive amounts of potassium and magnesium! Since, adding coconut to my daily regimen, I have noticed a decrease in the frequency of killer migraines (I still get them, but, overall, the intensity is not that bad). Furthermore, I have noticed a reduction in feelings of nausea and dizziness. Pretty remarkable...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Let Them Eat.....Flaxseed and Bran?

In the past few months, I have done a lot of playing around with my diet. I've experimented with dairy-free and dabbled in a pseudo-elimination diet (meaning, I couldn't quite pull it off, I didn't always recall all the foods I couldn't eat and, admittedly, sometimes I ate foods I knew I shouldn't). I did manage to stay almost completely tyramine-free this summer and greatly reduced my sugar intake, trying to ingest only natural sugars from fruits and juices. I did eat sweets on occasion but not nearly as much as I was wont to. Okay, now, what have I learned?  First, that sticking to any kind of diet is hard, annoying and, often, incovenient. Second, that it helps if you think of it as a lifestyle change and not a diet. And third, that caffeine, dairy and sugar are definite migraine triggers for me. I figured out that dairy is a huge trigger and one that I never noticed in all these years of keeping food diaries because I simply just never thought of it as being a possible culprit on the list of migraine triggers. I found that I can eat a little bit of dairy and not get a migraine. However, if I eat more than about one serving of dairy in a day, I will most certainly end up with a bad migraine! This has changed the way I eat very much. I rarely eat cereal anymore and skip the cheese on sandwiches and avoid adding it to pasta, soups, salads and so on. This has taken some getting used to for sure! Caffeine affects me in much the same way as dairy--a little is okay but only a little. No more venti lattes for me! Sigh...   Lastly, sugar, like dairy and caffeine, is okay in limited amounts, but  I have had to severely limit my intake of it. I try not to ingest any sugar aside from the natural sugars in fruits and juices. I love Coke, so, when I go out to eat, I will allow myself to have one, but I never buy it anymore and do not keep any sweets or sugary snacks in the house. I have the occasional candy bar or Twizzlers at the movies or with my kids, but that is it. I didn't even eat cake on my birthday! I ate flax-bran muffins (trust me, they are way more delicious than they sound), which I made myself; the only sugar in them was a small amount of light brown sugar. No migraines after enjoying a few of those!...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Migralex, now that's some BS!

Have the rest of you seen the ads for Migralex?  It is a supposed "break-through" drug created by a supposed "renowned neurolgist.....it is actually aspirin and magnesium oxide!!! Are you kidding me?! Most of the migraneurs I know are taking large amounts of Magnesium every day as a preventative and some have it injected or given intravaneously to treat migraines...so, since when was magnesium and its effect on migraines news?  And, aspirin!--how freaking long has aspirin been around?! I can guarantee that we have all, at least once, reached for aspirin to treat a headache! If aspirin actually worked, we could have solved the migraine crisis ages ago! Does this quack Migralex creator really think that migraine sufferers are really that gullible? or desperate? or stupid? It really pisses me off!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Elimination Article

Here's a link to a very interesting Huffington Post article about elimination diets and migraine:

Eliminate This (and that..and this...and this, and that...)

Well, I failed at my dairy-free diet I mentioned a month or so ago. I did really well for a week or two, then, I just gave up. I figured it was not really working, so, I said, "eh," shrugged my shoulders and reached for the ice cream. Not my most shining moment... In any event, I have come to the conclusion that I need to, seriously this time, look to my diet for any insight into what is causing these daily migraines. So, I have decided on an elimination diet, where I will eliminate ALL common migraine triggers (including caffeine and chocolate--yikes!) for a full two months. During those months, I will continue to keep a food diary and, of course, a headache calendar/diary. After the two months are up, I will slowly add foods back in, giving each food a one-week trial to see if it is a trigger or not. Eventually, I should be able to identify some triggers and, then, I can avoid them in the future. This will take a long time, but, I'm desperate, I have to be willing to go the distance, right?  This is going to be difficult. No, not difficult. This is going to be friggin' Hell. But, I cannot take the pain any more. I have to do something...

If you would like to take this turbulent journey with me, here is a link to a list of the foods that I will be eliminating (including, gulp...coffee! Lord, help me!): http://altmedicine.about.com/od/popularhealthdiets/a/migrainediet.htm

Also, if you have done or are doing an elimination diet, I'd love to hear about it....please feel free to comment here or e-mail me at: chelle8178@gmail.com or on Facebook at Migraine Awareness.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

In Patient

My hospital stay this time was 5 days. During that time I was mostly comfortable, though not pain-free. The first night was hell-I had a killer migraine and could not stop throwing up! To add insult to injury, the nurse was not at all pleasant, sympathetic or accommodating! I had to practically beg her to bring me something to throw up in because I was getting to weak to run to the bathroom every five minutes! She finally did bring me a container and emptied it angrily throughout the night. Very late in the night (or very early in the morning), I asked her to give me IV fluids, since, at this point I was throwing up bile or dry-heaving as I had not eaten in several hours and couldn't even keep the tiniest sip of water down.  She snickered and informed me that I did not need the fluids. I insisted; she begrudgingly obliged. And, ya know what?  I stop throwing up when I was about half way through the bag of fluids! As Dr. Phil would say, "This ain't my first rodeo!" I have been here many, many times, I knew the fluids would stop the vomiting. The migraine was still there, but, at least, I could now rest. After that first night, things got better. I skipped the classes that I had attended during my last two stays, and, instead, got a lot of rest. The sleep, even in that uncomfortable hospital bed, was blissful. I needed it. I did attend some of the more interesting classes and activities. The arts and crafts class was fun and relaxing, and I enjoyed Biofeedback, as well. I received three nerve blocks in the left side of my neck, and, at this point, I cannot say that I have noticed an impact on my migraines; however, my neck does feel a tad less stiff. The best thing is that I left there with the contact information of three new friends! I also left with a brand-new list of meds, both preventative and abortive. So far, I don't think they are working all that great. I am back to daily migraines, though, I have had less throwing up and nausea, in general. So, we shall see.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Facebook Lashing

For those of you who may not know, I have a migraine page on Facebook, Migraine Awareness. It is basically an extension of this page with more of a conversational tone to it and some informational content thrown in. If you haven't checked it out, you should...(I had to throw that in--no more plugging, I promise..).  I have been so delighted with the page--it's growth is steady, many regulars comment and connect with me and with each other, valuable and interesting information is shared, stories exchanged, moral and emotional support is being given and so forth...I figured everyone who visited or who has been a part of the page was happy with it, too. Little did I know that there was a hater is the wings!  A woman and a migraine sufferer to boot basically ripped me a new one, to put it bluntly! She criticized me for not having enough information on the page. She called me narcissistic and a whiner! I could not believe it! I have been criticized by non-migraine sufferers who do not understand what having a migraine or living with chronic pain is like, so when this happens, it does not surprise me. But, I have never, until now, been so thoroughly insulted and dismissed by a fellow migraineur. My first thought was to tell her off...how dare she treat me like that?  Who the hell did she think she was?! But, then, I thought about it for a bit, and I realized that maybe she just needed to be steered in the right direction. So, I kindly pointed out that the page was not intended to be wholly (or even mostly) informational, that it was designed to be a page where migraine sufferers could share their stories, struggles, experiences and support one another, and, if that was not what she was looking for, then, she did not have to return to the page---seemed pretty innocuous and quite obvious to me. She did, in fact, return to the page after several of my regular posters defended me and my page (thank you, my friends!), still accusing, not only me now, but others on my site of being whiners! I guess one cannot assume that just because another is engaged in a similar struggle that she is automatically an ally. I have learned my lesson.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cloudy Days

Yesterday was a hard day. While eating lunch at home with my kids, I got really dizzy and my vision began to blur. My kids were worried. I was worried, but this phenomena was not new to me. I knew that this was the precursor to a killer migraine. Luckily, my oldest was able to keep track of my younger kids so I could go lay in bed for awhile. I only had time to lay down for about two hours before I had to get up to take my son to his baseball game. At that time, thankfully, my vision had returned to normal, but the head pain was severe. I took some meds and just pushed through it. I'm always pushing through it. It's one thing for me to miss out on life, but I cannot let my kids miss out on theirs. I hope one day I can enjoy life with them out from under a cloud of pain...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Just Say No...to Dairy

My next experiment in the struggle for migraine prevention: dairy-free. I have tried many diets and have kept countless food diaries, but I have never really been able to pinpoint food triggers (with the exception of aspartame). A poster at the migraine forums I frequent shared a story about giving up dairy after being sick with food poisoning and inadvertently discovering that not consuming dairy products helped reduce the frequency of his migraines. So, I figured, I should give it a whirl. Why not?  What have I got to lose?  I don't enjoy milk anyway, though, cheese is going to be a hard one to give up. And I realize that I'll have to study food labels to weed out any hidden dairy or milk additives. But, I will do anything to get some relief, so here I go again...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Herbal Schmerbal

I am getting really discouraged. I've tried just about every pharmaceutical migraine preventative on the market with no results. And, now, I've been taking several herbal medications that are "known" to help with migraine prevention for awhile, and I am still getting migraines every day. I just don't know what else to try. I hate being sick all the time; I feel like I'm missing out on my life.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Botox and Heart Palps

The two months or so I have been experiencing heart palpitations several times a day, lasting up to 3-4 hours! Pretty scary! I saw my cardiologist about it, and he assured  me that as long as I wasn't experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain or other related symptoms that the palpitations were nothing to worry about. This eased my mind a bit, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about the cause of the palpitations. What had I been doing/eating/taking that I hadn't been three months ago?  I thought maybe it was the Butterbur but I quit taking it and the palpitations did not go away. I wondered if it had something to do with going off the Topamax. Then..

Today when I visited a migraine forum, I clicked on a link to a Botox support group page and discovered that tachycardia (rapid heart rate, palpitations) was a side effect of Botox injections that many people have experienced! Reading that floored me--my increased palpitations started shortly after my first round of Botox and I just received a second round on the 4th of April and the palpitations have been really bad all month!
Now, though, I feel a bit relieved that I think I found the reason for the tachycardia, I am royally pissed off! Why didn't my neurologist warn me that this was a possible (and fairly usual) side effect of the Botox?! If I had known this, I would never have gotten it done! So, now, what?!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Co Q10 for Migraine

I have added CoQ10 to my daily regimen. I had heard about it being used for migraine prevention, so I asked around on the migraine forums and received some positive and some neutral feedback about it. It is also good for the heart, so, I figure, if it doesn't help for the migraines, at least it has other benefits. And it's better than choking down Fish Oil pills. I have yet to find one "with no fishy aftertaste" as they all claim.

Check this article out about Co Q 10 and migraine prevention: http://www.helpforheadaches.com/articles/CoQ10-Migraine.htm.

Another One Bites the Dust!

I think I had written weeks ago about considering finding a new neurologist...I have to say that I am now not just considering it, I am definitely moving on from the one I have now! At last week's visit, he insisted I go back on  the Topamax, even though, I told him it didn't work and that the side effects were horrendous..um..HELL-O!  Furthermore, he is condescending and overall unsupportive! I would NOT recommend him to anyone!

Why is it so freaking hard to find a good neurologist?!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Butterbur and the Chiropractor

Butterbur is an herbal supplement that a lot of folks use to help prevent migraines. I don't know if I mentioned this before or not...migraine brain is a little dysfunctional lately...Anyway, I was thinking about giving it a whirl after reading several posts on my migraine forum  discussing the positive results a lot of people were having with it, and, then, I called my neuro and he actually recommended it. I have been taking 150mg of it for about two weeks now. So far, I am still getting the migraines everyday. I am not giving up on it yet, since "they" say that you have to give it a good three months before you know if it will work or not. So, we shall see...

I have been seeing the chiropractor again, 3 times a week for almost three weeks. I notice that when I have a migraine and he works on me, the migraine pain usually lessens afterwards. So, that is a plus. However, the days that I don't see him my neck and shoulders hurt like hell!--even more than they did before I started treatment with him! Also, several people on the forum shared some real horror stories about chiropractors, so I'm a freaking a bit! Again, I think I will give it a few months, and, if I'm still not seeing any real results, then, I will discontinue treatment and maybe try acupuncture.. I plan on seeing an herbalist soon, as well. I have had a few people recommend one to me, my chiro actually recommended I see an herbalist in conjunction with the chiropractic care. So, I will definitely be doing that, at some point in the near future.

I have been reading about some surgical options, as well. Pretty scary. But, I will discuss with my neuro at April's visit..

Monday, March 12, 2012

From the Mouth of my Babe

Tonight my 4-year old son was playing with his trucks and Army Lego guys, and he showed me that two of the Lego guys were sick. One of them was laying flat on his back (well, as flat as a Lego guy can get) on a semi-trailer and the other guy, well, it wasn't a guy, just a guy's head, but to my son, it was a whole guy...the other "guy" was next to the one laying down and my son explained, "They are sick and they can't do anything anymore, so the truck has to take them away until they are better." "Oh, I said. What happened?" "They got a migraine." my son very seriously, very matter-of-factly stated. I think that says it all...

Boxed In

This weekend has been pretty rough. Particularly, Friday night and Saturday--all day. I think it's partly due to the change in weather. It went from cold to warm here in Indiana in the time is takes to flip a light switch! And just as quick as that, the pain took hold, and I've been fighting it ever since. The Zomig is barely taking the edge off and I have not been able to sleep much, either. And, yesterday, during the highest hours of pain, I had strangest the visual disturbance/sensation....I felt like I was literally being boxed in. That is, it began with a feeling of vertigo. No big deal, that's normal for me...but, then I felt like I was growing smaller and smaller and that the room was too until it was no longer a room but a box with a lid that I was now in! I've had auras and a few hallucinations and other visual disturbances with migraines before but this one was the strangest, I think, especially because it felt so real!...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Outta Body

The past two days have been really difficult as far as fatigue, dizziness and tingling sensations all over, particularly arms, feet and around mouth for some reason. I can barely move around without feeling like I am going to fall or lose control of my limbs. I cannot stand for too long without having to grab on to something. I do not get why this is happening. My meds have not changed. I could not make dinner last night because of this, and, tonight, is not looking very promising.. ugh..

Date Night Success

Saturday afternoon, the Hubster and I went out for a much-deserved, long-anticipated date. My girls were with their dad, and my dad had taken my son for the night, meaning all four of the kids were gone, a very rare event, indeed. Even though, I wasn't feeling the greatest, we had to seize this opportunity. I made sure I had my Zomig and Ibuprofen, slapped my sunglasses on, actually put on makeup and nice clothes, and we headed out to a movie, just the two of us. Hand in hand, we crossed the parking lot, and I ignored my tingling limbs and did my best to block out the strong smell in the foyer. Hubby bought popcorn and pop while I visited the ladies' room. I took a Zomig while in the ladies' room. Whatever the smell in the foyer was (stale popcorn? stale perfume?)  had triggered a migraine, it was a 4 already, I didn't want it to get worse. I did not tell my husband about the migraine or taking the Zomig, why ruin his fun or have him worry? Armed with our refreshments, we located our theatre and settled into our uncomfortable chairs. Luckily, the movie we had chosen was rather dark, so I didn't have to worry too much about bright lights exacerbating the migraine, and the Zomig did a good job of knocking it down. It was pretty much gone by the end of the movie. However, I was feeling really nauseous, dizzy, tingly all over and really, really tired.  Pretending not to be disappointed, Hubby hit the drive-thru on the way home rather than us going out for a nice dinner together. I felt a little guilt about that but could not wait to get home and lay down. The house was so quiet when we arrived home, it was surreal. We both enjoyed the silence immensely.  It may not have been a traditional "Date Night," but, in my book, given our challenges, I'd say it was a definite success.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Freaky Fluke?

Yesterday, midmorning, I felt a migraine coming on and my nose was really crusty and dry and stuffed up, as it has been for months it seems (TMI??). Anyway, I grabbed the ole Neti pot and, well, ya know..
I could not believe it.. that migraine I felt coming on, disappeared! Later that day, the migraine did return and Ole Neti did not take it away. Ole Zomig had to come to the rescue, but Ole Neti did buy me a few hours, so I am vowing to use it at least a few time a day every day and see if regular use may actually make a difference in my migraines. I am hoping that it will, that yesterday's experience with it was more than just a freaky fluke. Time will tell.

Interestingly enough, there are other people out there who swear by using neti pots as part of their migraine treatment or prevention regime. Check this article out from the Chicago Trib:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sc-health-0817-pharm-20110817,0,1218533.story

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Guest Blogger!!--Lisa Cheatham

I met Lisa on a migraine forum, and we soon discovered that our migraine journeys are very similar.  Lisa is a mother and a long-time migraine-sufferer, like me, like a lot of us. Talking with her on the forum, knowing that she understands exactly what I am talking about, and having the opportunity to share our struggles, experiences and stories has been a real source of inspiration and strength for me. I knew that I wanted her to share her story on my blog and was super-jazzed when she agreed. So, I'll stop blathering on now. Here is Lisa's story...

The first time I ever got a true migraine I was 12. I was with a sitter while my mother worked and all I remember was that entire day my eyes kept going a little weird. That there, was my aura.

As the day progressed, I became increasingly sensitive to light and sound, and was very nauseous. I remember the babysitter's daughter was listening to music as we rode in her van, and with every beat of the song I felt like I was going to die. It sounds dramatic, but at the point the migraine was in full force and it seemed as though the music couldn't get any louder . Eventually we arrived back to her house and I found solace at the foot of the toilet. I don't remember anything after that.

I started getting these migraines a few times a year after that. I cannot pinpoint exactly when they got worse.

A few times a year turned into a few times a month.

A few times a month turned into a few times a week.

Eleven years later, I am a 23 year old single mother and suddenly what I thought to be "my normal" has turned into one long drawn out cycle of a chronic headache. I do have pain free days, don't get me wrong, but it is short lived and I am back to being in pain and all of the other symptoms that go along with it. I am always thinking about head pain, and scheduling around it... just in case.
My migraines can last from a few hours to a few days, and since I get multiple migraines a week they tend to run together. It becomes a constant battle to break the cycle. If I don't have a migraine, there is a decent chance I have a low grade headache for the heck of it... I guess that's my body's cruel way of reminding me it has the upper hand... and that a bad one could be lurking at any time. The joke is on me at all times. 

Nowadays they start with blurry vision and a tired eye feeling. This sign could very easily be overlooked if I haven't become such a pro at this! I get flashes of light in my peripheral vision, like streaks of city lights, that would be captured in a photo from a moving car.  

Pounding pain. Every noise I hear will coincide with a severe thump inside my head, and bright lights make it feel like someone is pressing their thumbs into my eyes. I will have some numbness/tingling in my arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. This is my normal migraine, give or take the vomiting because if I am lucky and medicate in time then I can beat the vomiting.

As if my normal migraines weren't pleasant enough to deal with I also have what I call my "monster migraines". These have trickier symptoms in addition to the above such as stumbling when walking, slurred speech, passing out, my left arm becomes VERY heavy. They are almost like stroke symptoms.

As of now I am on the preventative Topamax. I was against it for years but after seeing a neurologist I figured I would kick the tires, so far I don't feel that it has helped my headaches. 

I go through my abortive drugs in no time at the beginning of the month, and am left begging at the doorstep of my family doctor for samples. Good thing my family doctor is the most wonderful and caring doctor I have had yet, he usually helps me out no problem. I use the triptans maxalt, imitrex, or relpax as an abortive. Due to their cost, insurance companies only cover 9 pills. Nine pills are only enough typically enough for 4.5 migraines. For a chronic migraineur, it doesn't go far. Many times I take a triptan with 800-1000 mg ibuprofen.
For the migraines that stick around and do not go away, the next step is a toradol IM injection from my family doctor's office. If their office is closed, urgent care centers may be open. If urgent care centers are closed then I sit around at home until it is bad enough to go to the ER and then they give me IV fluids, toradol, and compazine.                                                  By, Lisa Cheatham


Knight T

The other day, mid-migraine, I was walking into the kitchen to pour my 4-year old some more apple juice. Very unsteady on my feet, I slowly made my way to the fridge, my son bouncing along ahead of me. He, of course, reached the fridge before me. About a step or two behind him, I stumbled, lurching forward a bit--without missing a beat, my Little Man reached out his tiny hand and grasped my hand, as if he was going to steady me or catch me (luckily, I was close enough to the counter to grab ahold of it). This event touched me deeply, in a lot of ways. I thought it was just too cute, that he thought he could catch me or hold me if I did actually fall.  I felt pride in my son for behaving in a caring, chivalrous manner.  I felt loved and valued.  My little knight.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

You Don't Really Expect Me to Read This

Last night, while sitting up alone, writing, battling insomnia, again, I started thinking about the parade of doctors that have come in and out of my life, GPs, neurologists, psychologists and so forth and the reasons why I left them. Usually, I did not choose to leave them. Most often I switched doctors due to referrals, moving or insurance issues. Anyway, my point is that I was thinking about my current neurologist, the one that I blogged about a few days ago. The one that would not acknowledge my opinions, resistance or fears and insisted I stay on Topamax and give Botox another shot (yes, pun intended--I like puns : D ) --yeah, he's the one. It dawned on me, during my musings, that I had forgotten to mention in my post that at my last visit he had flat-out refused to look at my migraine calendar (the one I posted on here). More specifically, he laughed and said, "You don't really expect me to read all of this, do you?" At the time, I was stunned, but I was not insulted. Why was I not insulted?  Because I realize that he is a busy man, and it is a kinda long calendar, blah, blah...
Last night, thinking back on it, I was a little disappointed and angry in myself for demanding that he not look at it. No, of course, I don't expect him to read every word, but he is my doctor, my caregiver, he should have, at least, perused it! It is kinda long--and why is it long??--Because I am sick, I have migraines every single day and I am anxious and depressed and I have auras and vertigo and dizziness and a plethora of other symptoms that he should care about if he cares about treating me properly, right?  I don't think that is too much to ask.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Migraine Diary


Migraine Management/Pain Diary
Date: ___________
Hrs of Sleep: _____ 
Quality of Sleep:  ______________________ 
Overall Health Today:  1  2  3  4  5  (1=Excellent, 5=Poor)                   
Migraine Pain Rating: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 (1=Mild, 10=Debilitating, Worst Pain Ever) 
TIme Migraine Began: _______________________   
Time MigraineEnded:____________________
During Menses (y/n) _________
Weather Today: ________________________________________
Any Food/Drink Triggers Consumed Today:_______________________________________
Location of Pain:  __________________________________________________________
Description of Pain:  ________________________________________________________
Symptoms Associated with Migraine: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Activities Done Today: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Activities Eliminated Due to Migraine/Physical Health: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Feelings Today:  ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Off the Hook

On the migraine forums that I visit and garner support from almost daily, a fellow migraineur brought up the topic of guilt. One that any migraineur is all to familiar with, and is very frustrating, disheartening, and, overall, just plain sucks! I have to talk myself out of feeling guilty all the time. Yesterday, when I made it to my daughter's basket ball game, I felt very good, but when we got home and I had to lay down afterwards, I felt guilty. Last night, when I was still in bed donning my face mask and ear plugs, and I couldn't make dinner, I felt guilty. My husband assured me that he didn't mind making dinner...again..but I still felt guilty. I know this isn't my fault. But, ya know, sometimes knowing that, understanding that this is not my faulty doesn't make me feel any better, it just pisses me off! It isn't fair to have to constantly make sacrifices and for those around you to have to pick up the slack because a migraine ambushes you. One who knows this struggle, a migraine-sufferer, like me, Jewishmother from the site, migrainepage.com writes:

I think guilt is a common emotion for a lot of us. I feel guilty because I: can no longer work and contribute financially, have to cancel plans at the last minute, wake up my husband in the middle of the night so he can massage my aching head, and even though I spend all day at home some days I still can't get done basic chores due to my migraines. We need to remember that the migraines are not our fault.........we are being bullied by our bodies and we are not choosing to be sick.

I constantly have to remind myself of the things that I am able to do and that I am doing my best. I think we all push hard to go out and do things when we should be home - I think that is human nature - and it is okay to do that now and then. We need though to take care of ourselves and let ourselves off the hook when we do have to cancel. We are not our illness but we do have to make room in our lives for it. My husband and my best friend are very supportive and understand when my migraines get in the way......they are by my side when the pain is at its worst and bringing me drugs, ice, heat, whatever I am asking for to help.

Guilt is a normal response but please don't pay too much attention to it when it raises its ugly head.......

Good advice, Jewishmother, and I think that is the key, having those around you who will be there to pick you up when you need them to and to choose to ignore that guilt when it comes around because it will. Yes, it will, again and again. And, for me, I have to let go of the anger. I know this isn't my fault, and like, my friend, Jewishmother, advises, I have to let myself off the hook.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Time for a New Neuro?

Short update:  Still feeling like a whino...I have been stumbling around in a Topamax-induced haze since going back on the stuff. It sucks! I can't feel my limbs and, now, even my lips and around my mouth are numb! I can't go anywhere, and, if I stand up for too long, I feel like I'm gonna pass out! I cannot go on like this. I don't know why the doc insisted I stay on this drug?! It doesn't help the migraines, and the side effects are unbearable! I think I will be looking into switching neurologists....again!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Visit to Neuro

I saw my neurologist yesterday. It didn't quite go as planned. I had expected to leave there not sticking with Topamax and not rescheduling for Botox. Wrong again, Ronald! My blood pressure was really high, 172/120 and the doc said that it being so high was probably adding to the migraines, not to mention the fact that I haven't been sleeping and have been severely depressed, both of which, he reminded me can lead to more headaches. "Yes, Doc, I know," I said, "but, the Topamax isn't working, I'm still getting migraines everyday! And my whole body hurts, is that the meds or because I'm depressed; I'm just so sick of being sick!" He indicated his understanding and explained that I was still on a lower dosage of the Topamax, and he didn't think we should abandon it yet; I could still go to a higher dosage. With some reservation, I agreed. As for the Botox, Doc explained that it could take up to three rounds of Botox before the patient notices any reductions in migraines, so he scheduled me for my second round of injections in April. Honestly, I do not know if I will keep this appointment. He also gave me enough blood pressure pills to last me until I see my cardiologist in two weeks and told me to talk to my psychiatrist ASAP about getting back on an antidepressant. That is something I am really trepidatious about; I don't have a  good track record with antidepressants, but I will talk to my psych about it.  So, when I got home, I took my 200 mg of Topamax and my blood pressure pill (hydrocholrothiazide 25mg) and stumbled around like a drunk until my family insisted I go lay down.  I hope the heavy limbs and drunk feeling will go away....

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mission Accomplished

Yesterday I went grocery shopping. I wish I could say I drove myself there, but, no. My husband dropped me off and picked me up about an hour and a half later. But, I achieved this. I went grocery shopping. I had to take a Zomig and an Ibuprofen 800 in the midst of my shopping to squelch a burgeoning migraine, but I did it. I successfully went grocery shopping, alone. When did my life become this?  When did grocery shopping become a Herculean task worthy of celebration upon completion? 

Friday, February 17, 2012

If Only it Were Just a Headache

Being sick all of the time and having no control of it or over your life is not only frustrating and infuriating, but it is also depressing. I try, of course, to keep a positive outlook and count my blessings. Lately, though, I've been in a funk, I guess, is the way I know to describe it. I feel so depleted. It's like I don't have the energy to be positive. All my energy is spent being sick, worrying about being sick, and, mostly, worrying about my kids and how they are doing with all of this.  They seem happy, but my girls are worried about me, and I have a lot of guilt about that. They shouldn't have to worry about me.  My middle daughter probably asks me at least three times a day if I'm okay, the sweet thing. She has a basketball game coming up next week, her first one. I know she is worried that I will be sick and not be able to attend. I am, too. I know that I will be there, raging migraine or not. I'll fake it if I have to. I've done that a lot for my kids so they don't have to feel bad or worry; it's not their job to do that. I'm the Mama.
Anyway, I don't know if I've conveyed what I wanted to in this snippet of my life or not. But, I'm getting more down just thinking about this and reading it myself, so I really don't want to dwell on it anymore for now! Migraine is something that a lot of people don't understand. All of the pain, sacrifices, suffering and so forth that affect the migraineur and her family most people don't even realize, and I hope that this blog will help people to begin to understand some of these things.  

Double Whammy

Yesterday was rough. After waking up with a migraine and dealing with that most of the day, I was finally able to get some relief and cook a simple dinner for my family, catch up on laundry and even visit the local pharmacy for eyeliner and hair dye.  After the kids went to bed, Hubby and I had a good talk about how I've been feeling. He's really trying to understand the funk I've been in, emotionally, lately.  He doesn't quite get it, but I love him for trying. After all that, I was feeling pretty good. Hubby went to bed, and I retreated to the living room for some quiet "me-time." Then, the bees! An aura. First, flashing red lights (the bees), changing into zig-zagging wavy lines, pulsating, changing colors, then a loss of peripheral vision in right eye. This lasted only a few minutes. But, then, came the migraine. A searing, intense pain. I spent the rest of the night and wee hours of the morning on the living room couch suffering this migraine. I was finally able to sleep about four o'clock this morning.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Morning Malaise

My frequent companion, Insomnia, kept me company last night. I was up till almost four in the morning; at first, lying in bed, trying desperately to sleep, wiling my racing thoughts to halt; then, I was planted on the couch watching episode after episode of Teen Mom on Netflix--a show I had never watched before and one that I feel a little abashed about admitting to having watched. I just could not sleep. I had to do something. I tried reading, but my eyes would not focus, so that cut out writing and drawing--two of my other favorite nocturnal pastimes. So, bad TV it was. Anyway, after spending....er...wasting the night this way, I was not at all surprised that I woke up this morning with a killer migraine. Also, it is really foggy here, and the weather plays a big factor in my migraines. Any noticeable fluctuations in temperature of barometric pressure and I am sunk! The pain this morning is about 8/10. It is located on the left side, primarily, this time and my neck is stiff, my whole body aches, I am extremely fatigued, dizzy, I have puked a few times already and feel nauseated still. Luckily, the Maxalt dissolves under my tongue, so I don't have to worry about keeping it down.  My poor son, I wish he didn't have to see his mother like this. He is too young to understand. All he knows is that Mommy is too sick to play cars right now...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Damned if I Do, Damned if...Well, you Get the Cliche..

Right now I've got a level 4/10 migraine pounding on the right side of my noggin, radiating down my neck. No aura preceded this one; it just appeared. My vision is a little blurred, I'm dizzy, my limbs are tingling, I've got my shades drawn and my shades on my face in the house to block out all possible light; my ears are ringing; I'm dead-ass tired and nauseous as hell. I haven't eaten today. I know that is part of my problem. The doctor is always telling me not to skip meals, but when you are nauseous all the time, that makes it really hard. So..eat and probably hork? Or not eat and probably make the headache worse?  Also, take meds now or wait to see if it gets worse? If I miss my window, the meds won't work at all, and I may end up with a level 10 killer migraine from hell and in the ER!  But, I'm trying to be good and not overuse my meds...

Ditch Dopamax?

Two questions for today:

1.)  Should I stop taking Dopamax...uh..Topamax? As I mentioned before, the stuff doesn't work, and the side effects suck. So, why keep taking it? There really is no question of if, I suppose, the real question is, how? Do I have to wean myself down off of it or can I just quit it cold turkey like a cheap date? I'll have to do some research and put in a call to my neuro today...

2.) The second question of the day is:  Will I be able to make dinner for my family tonight??  Unfortunately, the answer to this question cannot be discovered through research or by making a phone call. Only The Migraine (yes, The Migraine)  knows the answer to this one. I haven't been able to cook a meal for my family in over a week! I know to some moms, this may sound like a vacation, and for a day or two, I wouldn't mind it, or at my choosing, I wouldn't mind it. But, that's the kicker, I have no choice. I have no control. I'm the Mama. I'm supposed to be in charge. I pride myself on cooking delicious, wholesome meals for my family, and whenever The Migraine decides to take over, all my plans go out the window, and I am grounded--sent to my room, in pain, without supper, so to speak. So not fair! Yesterday, I do have to say that I probably could have pulled off dinner but the hubby wanted Aurelio's pizza for his birthday. This was the first day I was physically able to cook since the 4th!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We Meet Again

I managed to make it till about 4 this afternoon before the migraine hit, no aura this time. It just hit me out of nowhere. On the 1-10 pain scale, 10 being the worst pain ever, this one is only about a 5-6, so not too bad. Bad enough to make it difficult to deal with kids and complete my necessary duties, however, especially with the accompanying symptoms. Sensitivity to light and sound, ringing in the ears, nausea, blurred vision, vertigo and dizziness, as well as tingling limbs joined the party. Hubby brought home Maxalt for me, my old friend. I had been taking Zomig in lieu of Maxalt because it is stronger than Maxalt and I only need half a Zomig at a time, so I can make it last. And, since Maxalt and Zomig cost the same with insurance and insurance only allows nine of each a month and the Zomig I can cut in half, the Zomig is a better bargain--I am such a savvy shopper--I know! Anyway, I decided to take the Maxalt tonight since I have been taking the Zomig for about two months straight. It worked pretty well. My migraine was down to a level 2-3/10 in less than two hours, the others symptoms cleared up, too, except for the tingling limbs, especially in my feet, but I think that's the Topomax. The dizziness also remained, actually, it increased, the Maxalt will do that. The sensitivity to light and sound is always there; I have to be really careful about that. Bright lights or sharp noises will send me into a migraine in an instant!  About twenty minutes ago, I felt the migraine creeping back, so I took an Ibuprofen 800mg. That was enough to knock it back down, at least for the moment. I am feeling really tired and dizzy; hopefully, I can go to sleep soon and won't have to repeat the Maxalt.

Fish Tank Blues

I have a 20-gallon fish tank. I love it. It has beautiful little guppies in it. I breed them and sell the little guppy fry on eBay. Yes, you can sell live fish on eBay. Anyway, I love a fish tank. It's peaceful, tranquil, the gurgling sound of the bubbles, the soft light. Not with a migraine, it's not. Migraine makes you despise things you normally love, like the sun. Migraine has turned me into a vampire, I only go out at night, if at all. Anyway, yesterday afternoon, I was just about ready to start dinner. I was excited to try a new recipe, then, a migraine hit, and I was flat on my ass. I collapsed onto the couch, clutching my head, waiting for my husband to get home to give him dinner instructions so I could go lay in bed, another night lost to migraine. As I lay on the couch, I was assaulted by two things, first, the deafening noise coming from the freaking fish tank! I asked my daughter, "Is that fish tank always that loud?!" She said, looking at me kinda weird, "It's not loud, Mom." I figured she was probably right, but this thing sounded like a damn whirlpool! Second, the couch smell. It smelled very strongly of....couch! I know it sounds ridiculous! I feel absurd typing this now, but that couch smell was overwhelming! I could not lay there anymore. After instructing my 13 year old to look after her younger siblings, I retreated to my room and lay in my bed with my sleep mask on and my ear plugs in to await my husband's arrival.

Medicine Du Jour

So what am I doing now? A lot of people ask me that. "You're not teaching?? So what are you doing?"  We are so defined by our jobs in this world, aren't we? Anyway, I have applied for SS disability. I am awaiting a hearing date, should be any time now! Fingers crossed! My girls are in school and my 4-year old son is home with me during the day. I am trying to be the best mother and wife I can and taking it day by day. That's all I can do. I'm doing all I can to get better. I saw a chiropractor for a few months with limited success. I will probably give that another whirl here soon. I have a great shrink as aforementioned in a previous post. I may try acupuncture at some point and I have plans to see an herbalist within the next month or so. I keep a journal where I write down everything from what activities I did on a particular day, activities I had to give up, when the migraine hit, when it went away, meds taken, my feelings, food I ate and so forth. Many migraineurs have food triggers. Many don't. I have been on many diets (including vegetarian, gluten-free and tyramine-free) and have (and still do) kept food diaries to try to pinpoint any food triggers I might have.  The only food trigger I have been able to find is aspartame. Give me a Diet Coke, and I'll have a raging migraine within minutes!  I am on my fourth neurologist;  I even went to the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, which has been referred to as the "Mecca" in migraine/headache care. Maybe I will blog more about my experience there at a later date. I will say, now, that they almost killed me! I wish I had never gone there! I stopped making monthly trips to that hell in Chicago in December and have a new, local neurologist. (In order to avoid getting sued, let me just say, that I am not a medical professional, so I cannot say with certainty that they almost killed me, nor do I believe that all of the doctors at this clinic are the devil. I know that some of the doctors there help some people. I, personally, had an awful experience there). I have tried just about every drug out there for prevention with no success. I am currently taking 150 mg of Topamax daily for prevention, though, I will probably not be taking it for very much longer for two reasons: 1.) It doesn't work. The migraines have not lessened at all since I started taking it. I am still getting migraines every single day. 2.) The side effects are too unbearable. The Topamax makes my limbs tingly and numb (this occurs with migraine already, Topamax makes it worse!); it makes me forget words or lose my train of thought (which also occurs with migraine already!); it also makes me very tired; the only "good" side effect that it makes Coke taste gross, so I've been able to give up pop. I also take Maxalt (good old Maxalt), Zomig and Ibuprofen 800mg as abortives. The Ibuprofen is used in conjunction with either the Maxalt or the Zomig, whichever the abortive du jour is. The Ibuprofen gives it the extra kick it needs to work. The Maxalt and the Zomig cannot be taken on the same day and neither one are supposed to be taken more than two or three times a week because they can cause rebound headaches--ooops! I cannot help it; I take them more than I should, I know. I try not to take the Ibuprofen as much because it can cause bleeding and ulcers, as my mother, a nurse pointed out.I had Botox treatment done in January (18 injections in my forehead and head!). It has made no difference in the migraines so far. My right eye is still droopy, though! Isn't that great?!

The Migraine-Anxiety Circle

Once I turned thirty, the migraines became chronic. They went from a few times a week to semi-daily/daily. I had to stop working. A typical migraine for me begins with an aura, sometimes, but not always, then a migraine. Migraine pain is hard to describe; it is the worst pain; I've had four children, and when the migraines are bad--they are worse than that, than giving birth (if you can even fathom that!)! For me, it is usually located on one side of the head of the other but not always. Along with the migraines, I experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, vertigo, lack of concentration, confusion, ringing in my ears, extreme sensitivity to light and sound, tingling in my limbs,  blurred vision, sometimes, double vision or loss of vision in one eye, fatigue, moodiness, sensitivity to smells, crying jags, disorientation, and uneasiness. My migraines last from a few hours to a few days. Yeah, it sucks. It sucks really bad. I feel cheated out of life. I miss out on a lot of things, and it's just not fair. I can't work. I cannot even drive. Drive, for Goodness Sake! I am 33 years old, and I cannot even drive myself and my kids around! It can get really depressing, sometimes. I also struggle with anxiety. I have always had some trouble with anxiety. But, when the migraines got worse, so did my anxiety. I have been in the hospital almost as many times for panic attacks in the last four years as I have been for migraines! It's the anxiety of having migraines and what I am going to have to miss because of them that is driving this vicious circle! I have a really good psychiatrist that I am working with and a great support system at home, so I'll make it through. It's not easy, though. I wake up every day wondering when I'll get the migraine and what I'll have to miss that day. Like today, for example, is my husband's birthday. Will the migraine strike and keep me from making his cake?  Will I be unable to celebrate with him?  Will his birthday be ruined?

Maxalt Pause

In my 20's, the migraines progressively got worse. I couldn't just keep moving like I used to. I started to get them a few times a week instead of a times a month. I saw a neurologist. Nothing wrong with my brain. We tried several preventatives, like Depakote and Bistolic, nothing worked. I did discover Maxalt, an abortive, and that did work, so that got me through for a few more years.  I stopped trying preventatives and just popped the Maxalt whenever a migraine came along. Until they started coming more and more often and I found out that the Maxalt was causing more headaches. Groan...

The Sting

My struggled with migraines began almost, gulp, 20 years ago, when I was 14 years old. I remember being at play practice in the school gym. In between being on stage reciting lines, I was lying on the gym floor next to my friends, pressing my head against the floor, trying to get some relief from the the coolness of the hard wood. I had never felt such pain before. I had experienced headaches before but not like this. I felt dizzy, nauseous and my vision was blurry. I could not wait for practice to be over, which was saying a lot, I lived for Drama Club, in those days. My dad picked me up, and on the way home, we had to pull over, so I could throw up on the side of Hwy 30. And so it began...
After this, I would get migraines consistently about two or three times a month. I would always get dizzy and nauseous and vomit from them. My friends and my sister started calling me the Barf Queen. Sweet, huh? I took Excedrin, Ibuprofen, nothing helped. I just closed myself in a dark room and rode them out. Sometimes they lasted for hours; sometimes a day or so. I was young; I just kept moving. 

The Buzz

I know I need to explain the bees, right? If you have migraine auras, you may already know what I mean by "fuzzy red bees." It's my way of describing the clusters of blurry, red dots that I see sometimes. They plague me. These bees. They start out fuzzy and red and gently moving, pulsating slowly, then quickly, hundreds of them, they change colors, sometimes, from red to green to blue, sometimes they are all the colors, sometimes they look sparkly. Usually, these bees come first, then a full-blown scintillating scotoma follows. I can best describe this as zig-zagging, circular lines of glittering colors flashing in front of my eyes in which part of my vision is blurred or absent altogether. I imagine it is somewhat like being on psychedelic drugs, though I have never done any. Though, like Carrol (or at least like many believe him to have been), I have certainly been "down the rabbit hole," and I continue to frequent this spot. This lasts for about five minutes or so, then, the migraine hits. And with it, everything else. More on that later..
Back to the bees. My first experience with the bees occurred when I was about six of seven years old. Of course I had no idea what an aura or a migraine was at that time nor did my parents or my brother, who was babysitting me at the time of the bees' appearance. I was supposed to be going to sleep. I slept on the top bun, my little sister on the bottom. My eyes were closed and the bees appeared, hundreds of red, glittery, flashing fuzzy red bees in both eyes. I was scared. I opened my eyes, sat up and looked at my closet door. The bees were still there! How could this be? I called for my brother. I told him what I saw and that I was scared and I couldn't go to sleep. He looked at me kind of funny and told me to think of something good, and I would fall asleep. I sat stiff, looking at the closet, watching the bees, closing my eyes tight, then opening them again, each time, hoping the bees would disappear, eventually, they did. They just disappeared. I finally did fall asleep. I dreamed of my boy and girl Cabbage Patch Kids dancing in front of a little cottage on a cobblestone street. Thanks, Bro.
A migraine did not follow that night and wouldn't for several years, but the bees would visit me many more times throughout my childhood leading up to my first experience with the dreaded Migraine. I just ignored them, really. I figured it was just something everybody dealt with but didn't talk about or it had something to do with my poor eyesight. It didn't hurt, so I didn't really worry about it.