Monday, March 25, 2013

Being Mindful

Mindfulness...being mindful...I took a class on this during my stay in the hospital last week. Well, it wasn't so much a class as a talk, since I was the only one who showed up for it! Even so, I enjoyed learning about the concept of mindfulness and have tried to be more mindful every day. So, what does mindfulness or being mindful really mean? Well, I'm no expert, but from what I understand it means, really being in the moment, experiencing every thing at a particular moment. For example, if you were being mindful right now, you would understand and note the smells around you, what exactly you are doing, the sights that you can see, the feelings or emotions you are experiencing, any experiences of taste and touch you are having right now. Furthermore, mindfulness means understanding the fact that the only time is now--the past is just a concept of a certain time because it's over and the future is just a concept of time because it hasn't happened yet, the only thing that is real is now. Right now. So, focus on the now. This makes so much sense to me, and, as a person who stresses easily and doesn't handle stress well and is prone to anxiety and panic attacks, this really makes sense to me. Since being home from the hospital, I have tried mindfulness exercises several time and find it very soothing, even cathartic, at times. I think continuing to practice mindfulness will help me with the anxiety and maybe even make me a better writer, as I force myself to be a better observer of my world. Here is a link to a wonderful video on mindfulness: I hope you will try it!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Guinea Pigs

This is Night Two of my hospital stay. Yes, you read it right, hospital stay. I'm back in. This is my fifth or sixth time admitted because of migraines! During my first stay here, I met others like me---people who had returned to this place four, five, six, twenty...times! I remember thinking, "What the hell?! Don't they get it right the first time around here?!" I knew very little then, though, I, of course thought that I knew it all. The truth is, with migraines, there is no getting it right the first time (well, maybe, for a very lucky few). Migraines are extremely tricky. There are several different types and several different symptoms that go with each of these types. Likewise, migraine sufferers experience their migraines in a myriad of different ways. Furthermore, since migraine has only fairly recently been recognized and, thus, researched, there are not a lot of treatments out there for migraine. In fact, there really are no drugs, specifically for migraines. All the preventatives started out as something else--antipsychotics, antiseizure meds, antidepressants, and it just so happened that some of them helped people with chronic migraine. And the abortives are basically the same way. So, you can see that undergoing migraine treatment is much like being a guinea pig, as they say, trial and error. So, here I am again. I tried to be a good girl and not take too many Zomigs, but, as before, I failed. What am I gonna do?! I just can't lay there and take the pain, and I hate going to the ER for a migraine! Anyway, to the point, I am here because I need to get off the Zomig. I don't know what the doc is going to replace it with. Truthfully, I am pretty scared. Also, I have been having a lot of anxiety lately and that needs to be addressed. So, fellow migraine ninjas (yes, you read that right--ninjas are awesome!), I am going to retire for the nigh, I can feel the Klonopin kicking in...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Stick around, Maybe You'll Learn Something

I am disabled. I can walk, and I am not blind. But I do have a debilitating condition. I am disabled, even though you cannot tell by looking at me. I have chronic migraines. The pain I live with is intense and affects every aspect of my life. So, why do I feel embarrassed or even ashamed to tell people that I am disabled?  There is no shame in this, right? So, why do I always feel like I have to explain myself? Because I do. People don't get it. Unless you live with chronic migraine, you cannot possibly get it. So, when I meet a new person, I have to explain what a migraine really is--it's so NOT a headache--and how a migraine can debilitate you, how a migraine can disrupt your whole life. Sometimes, I get tired of explaining it. But, I just swallow my pride and realize that when I have to explain myself, I am teaching somebody something not just about migraines but about acceptance and about not making assumptions. So, maybe all this having to explain myself is really a good thing. Well...I like to look at it that way, anyway.