Why does this keep happening

Over the past 3 months I’ve only had a couple of days of breakthrough migraines. 

Until 18 days ago. 

Fucking “breakthrough pain”…migraine pain. The mother-fucker…it hit me nearly 20 days ago.  The fucking beast is back, despite my hopes and prayers that I’m healed. I have too remain hopeful. Although not feeling so right now. This migraine, migraine, like most I’ve had, included a trip to the emergency room. I’ve been on steroids, and steroid injections, IV fluids, narcotics, anti nausea medicine/therapies. Since my ER visit I’ve drank nearly 400 ounces of migraine specific, chamomile and ginger tea. I’ve been using the Celafy device religiously and now on my second dose of Prednisone. Yes, this one is really bad and I’m up in arms as to what to do about it…

When seeking treatment at the ER, back in the day, they use to give me a heavy narcotic to STOP the migraine pain in its’ tracks. I would leave feeling fine- no more headache. Not anymore. Times have changed. Even though the local ER staff know me and what helps me they only give me steroids and Tylenol. 

I’m sorry, but if I leave the emergency room with the headache still remaining, I know there’s nothing I can do at home to help. If I leave ER with a pain level of 6- I know I am doomed. I cycle between hope and faith and discomfort and tears.

Migraines interfere in my life for weeks at a time and months a year. I do so well, managing pain and symptoms, then it will hit me out of no where…what the hell, is this madness? One day one medicine will help and the very next day, it won’t. I’ve been in bed, in my dark room with my own air conditioner, for nearly half the month. Ice, cold showers, aromatherapy, chill music, stretches, breathing exercises and of coarse eyelid kisses from my man, all help me creep along the way. 

I know a lot of people who suffer from migraines find they eventually just go away. A lot of women sufferers find that their attacks are associated with their period and that the migraines stop for them after menopause. Not me. 

So when will this miraculously go away? (haha! Let’s laugh about that)

After 12 years of dealing with this totally life changing, debilitating disease, and thus 12 years of spending a majority of my time on the sofa, I can’t imagine that my migraines will just miraculously go away. They are such a big part of me, a huge part of my life. I feel like I have an extra limb that’s attached to my body that Is awkward and unusable. I have to make adjustments to my care, daily. It is a full time commitment to keep me out of pain. 

To think geez,  what would my life actually look like without migraines- Total freedom of pain?… I think I’ve earned that. We all deserve peace. 

I pay my respect to all migraine sufferers. We are a strong group of people. I’m pretty bad but I know there are thousands of people that have my type of migraines. 1% of all chronic migraines suffered have the type I do. 

I lift all of us up. 

This pandemic has been good for my well-being, and maybe for you too. Or you could be feeling worse due to all the changes we’ve had to make, those being our natural comforts. 

Much of my work is done online. So I can still develop my business while I have this time so when we do reopen the economy I’ll be prepared to meet the demand of self healing. Being creative stimulates me and working on things that I enjoy is all more of a plus. 

I am on social security disability and get a check every month. (Thank you God). This is what I’m living on. It’s no where near enough but I’m grateful for all the assistance I’m given. Having my disability check and Medicare with supplement coverage… I feel very secure that my needs will be met, unless my health declines as I fossilize or circumstances change (Who knows, I may win the lottery!)

I’m spending this time on my needs and wants! Investing in my well-being. I’m much less stressed and I’m starting a new adventure. Life after Quarantine. I’m doing things I enjoy that I’ve never had time for. And during this time, focusing on things that make me happy. I’m promising myself that my new hobbies will not go away as the world moves forward and we “open up”. 

My neighbors and I have started a huge garden full of veggies and fruits that will hopefully grow and grow enough food for 7 people. My neighbors are a family 5 than there’s us, a family of two. This garden is about 500 square feet and it’s packed. In addition to the garden itself we have planters full of tomatoes and lots of flowers. I’m in love with this garden!! We spend have spent countless hours on it. To sow these baby seeds, inside, then to anxiously watch them flower until they are ready to go into the ground. I can tell you, at this moment, the garden is ALIVE. It’s so satisfying to see our hard labors come to life. We’ve been blessed with growth, and l hope that continues. It’s something that I love having in my life. 

Here’s something exciting which I couldn’t wait to share is that I’m soon starting physical therapy for my migraines. How cool is that?! And something I would have never thought of. None of my doctors have suggested this and why not? I’m going to try it. My posture is far from good. Yoga this last year has strengthen me and has lengthened my spine. (So yes I’m taller now!) My hips are unbalanced, one shoulder is higher than the other and I carry stress in my neck and back…. this could be causing or at least attributing to the migraine pain. So shit! I’m going to go for it! Why would that not help?

Have any of you had physical therapy for your migraine pain? And if so, did it make a difference? 

An update:

I’ve been on the Ajovy injection preventative treatment since January and it has worked WELL!  Well, not so good these past 3 weeks. It works with my other medication to help stop the migraines from developing. But I’m all too disappointed that this current migraine has broken through. I’m not giving up on Ajovy.

I tried the Emgality injections last year and it had no affect on me. 

I also just purchased a Neck Sling which uses traction to eliminate neck pain and stretch the muscles. It is also suppose to be good for posture and relieves tension headaches. I bought mine on Amazon. I’ll let you know how I like it. 

But I kept the battle going by having continued hope and having a positive attitude to try something else and thus my doctor recommended Ajovy. These past few years has brought much hope for migraine sufferers. We have more choices than ever before. 

Now is the time. KNOW YOURSELF AND YOUR DISEASE. 

Are you thriving or surviving? 

God bless all pain sufferers and for the support you give me by reading my posts. 

Chao for now. 

Sunshine

Ps- the last time I posted I had action steps to do where you determine your top 5 most important priorities? 

Now-look at your upcoming schedule then discover what actions in your future 2-week schedule are not within those priorities. Delete at least one scheduled event. This could be the start of your transition and willingness to commit to a calmer more fulfilling life with your focus clear. 

Become aware of your needs and enrich your life in all areas.

I wake to write today in a pitch-black travel trailer. It is 4:00 a.m. and we are now livening on our new property. I call it “property” bc we have a few acres and have no house yet. We have been living in my husband’s Brother’s travel trailer for the last week. It feels great to finally be living on our land. The problem is all the systems in the trailer itself are failing. In the last 72 hours, we have lost hot water, heat and, most electricity. We have one electric outlet that has power but cannot use both plugs at the same time. The electric heater we bought keeps shutting off and setting the breaker off. The only thing we do have, now…is the Internet. :). So I can finally write again. But without lights and heat, it’s no fun!

A few days late and with no more internet. Living on our property, in the trailer, has proved a no-go. We don’t know what’s wrong with it but we do have an idea and the owner needs to fix it.

We have just made our 4th move since May and have one more move to make…We are again in temporary housing at a friend’s home…gosh are we so lucky that everyone has been so hospitable. We’ve not had to worry as to having a homestay in. But we are unsettled and have been since May. It has been rough and very stressful. Having chronic, status migraines does not condone itself to not having a warm bed to call my own, or my own home to draw dark has been challenging to say the least. WTF…when will this be over. I’ve gone through all my pain pills…they are supposed to last me two months and they only lasted one 5 weeks. (It’s important to note that I am on a low dose of pain meds of which I do not take often. Except when there is a lot of stress in my life then I get “breakthrough” pain. I always have a migraine (lucky me), it hasn’t gone away for the last 12 years. Despite that and the bleak outlook that I will ever recover, I am still hopeful. It’s all about attitude. With a positive attitude, you can make it through any situation. Trust me.

On the positive-we are supposed to move into our mini-home the third week of December. At least that’s what they tell us. We were supposed to move-in September 1st!! omg. So my hope of this happening in the next couple of weeks is not great.

It seems my migraines have become more frequent but a bit less severe. Thank God. Although, I seem to be nauseous every day, all day. Yesterday I threw up all night but had no headache pain. My lifestyle is working to keep my migraines at bay as much as it can, but I am aware what we are going through is stressful. It seems life itself is stressful for most of us who are just trying to survive each day. A migraine can be so easily triggered that even those that can point to their migraine triggers still have attacks that come out of nowhere. I don’t yet believe I am getting better, bc I have had hopes before. I will take what happens to me, in stride and with a positive attitude, whether I am improving, in a holding zone or getting worse. I go through phases. For a few months I can stay out of the hospital then boom, for another couple months I am admitted much too often. I have months where my pain is controlled and I can be productive (or as much as I can be) and other months where I can do not a single thing but take meds, keep quiet, stay home, cry and cringe, vomit and suffer through the pain. I get nothing done during these times. I can’t be the wife I wish to be, the friend or I can’t be there for my family like I’d like to. I feel less than…of a person. ”

Faith has become one of my natural pain control methods. I believe in something bigger than us humans. I believe in “your kind” of Spritritualness and being calm and at one with myself; always being true to self and following where my needs lead me. I have attended over two dozen churches usually non-demonization churches and I do love the beauty of the more traditional Catholic churches. I was raised Catholic, my aunts and I joke that we are “recovering Catholics” lol. …still trying to come to reason with the guilt and often frightening way of the Catholic Church can leave fear and shame in you that stays with you forever. It makes you question your faith. Am I comfortable in this place? Does this place bring me joy? Do I grow here or am I being stagnant? Once I moved to Sedona, AZ I tried, but could not find a church I felt “right” in. Where I could be myself and a church that would accept all. I now find what I call my “glory state of spiritualness” here in Sedona. The beauty here fosters what most people call their Heaven. Regardless if they believe there is a Heaven. Most people feel the word “Heaven” refers to a final resting spot where we are at peace and joyful. Does that happen, that’s your opinion. My point being is that I have found my higher power in nature. And if I can do so, so can you. Daily walks (when I am not in bed), sitting in a park, watching the animals and feeling the sun on my body. I absorb even the smallest natural environments and much of that starts in my own home.

Is your home your safe space? If not-figure out why and choose to make changes for you to become more comfortable and worry-free. I always say you have to “clear the clutter” to make room for new furniture. This is a metaphor for organizing your home to be simple and easy to maintain and of course comfortless and what will bring you calm. You must have your “escape” to be in place before focusing on a new project,..including investing or improving your health. This is not possible for everyone and I get that. I shouldn’t speak. We are so unorganized right now, after being in so many temporary homes, we don’t have all of our stuff, and we are living in chaos with boxes and bags and it’s hard to find something.

Do you feel your home has good energy? If not-Sage your home or have it cleared by an Energy Professional. Does your home relax you? It is your sanctuary? It should be. The colors in your home should be light and uplifting, such as purples, blues, yellows, creams. Not brown or darker colors and bright colors such as a stimulating red or depressing black. Your home and what you put in it should refresh you after a long day. Do you have too much clutter in your home? Your home should provide you with good rest and it should provide as a place or rejuvenation.

Does your home hold-up? Ask yourself the above questions and be real. Take charge of your environment.

What is your spirituality like? Do you have faith? Most people refer to the word “faith” with religion or even organized religion. But there is a different kind of faith. Faith can be believing in yourself such as “I have faith in my strong body to fight for a better life”. “I have, within my body, the means to heal”. The more positiveness you bring into your life and your attitude, the more joy you will feel. Do something for yourself each day, even just for 5 minutes…this has been proven to enhance people’s lives in their career, relationships, self-love and so much more. Bring even a small dose of pleasure and joy to yourself will teach you to better take care of your self and truly, joy will saturate all areas in your life. That your situation could change for the better. If you believe whole-heartedly in hope and “your kind” of faith, you will carry it with you going forward. Yes, we all have depressed days and more of us have a lot more of it, but if you can maintain a positive outlook, you are more likely to reap positive circumstances in your life and your health. If you believe…it can happen. And the more positivity you infiltrate into your life, the more positives you will be rewarded with.

I have been told that I have a great attitude when it comes to my debilitating migraines and how it affects my life. My husband has said if it were not for my great and hopeful attitude, dealing with chronic migraines and what that entails, he would have not been able to continue to care for me and may have left me if I just crawled under a rock and be constantly depressed. I know this and it pertains to everyone in my life. So I do try, most of it comes naturally but not for all of us. I guess I’d have to give credit to the life I do have even with migraines. I am real with my healing. It may never get better and I may suffer for the rest of my life. I’ve had to come to terms with that. My life may be shorter than my husband, friends and my family, due to the medications I am on and their side effects. THAT’S OK! And my husband agrees. I would rather live a happier and freer life and enjoy what I can while I am living. I would much rather be on drugs (and plenty of natural therapies) than to have no life at all and be in bed 247- 365. THAT would kill me.

Do you have a calming home?
A calming bedroom?
Do you have faith and what do you believe in?
Become in touch with what you need to make yourself as comfortable as you can. This will not happen for you…you must take control.

One of the things I do when I am having an attack, I take my meds (I cannot drive on them) and I organize my sock drawer, cleaning out my wallet, maybe some light dusting. I have had this disease and felt this severe pain for years. And honestly, I have the meds to control most of my pain. I am so fucking tired of being stuck in bed and living in a dark room. I can’t take it any longer so I try and do light projects, then I will go back into bed.

Find what works for you, but please don’t stay depressed all the time. Have faith and hope, take control of your healthcare. Know what you need. Organize your lifestyle and life to do the things you can. Having a routine has helped me immensely.

That being said, I wish you the best I possibly can.

Until next time and with love and care for all those who have chronic pain.

-Kimberly (Sunshine)

Find the Sunshine in your life- you have it within you!

Anxiety Attacks

– a peaceful me

It is morning now and the house is still. It is 3:00 am and I work in a panic. I could not breath and my heart was pumping rapidly. I was nauseous and my vision blurred. I was having a full blown debilitating panic attack. 

The day before I was helping a friend at her house. That morning I had 2 Starbucks coffees (instant) and 2 cups of tea. I admit that is a lot of stimulus at once but I had low energy.  Out of the blue, I am cleaning and BOOM it began. I started to get hot and began shaking and throwing up. I had to get home to take my natural medicine and a Kolopin. When having anxiety my medicine is 2 cups of chamomile tea and two cups of Sleepy Time tea; I smoke cannabis and prayed for the best.

I raced home and could barely hold the steering wheel still. I was frightened. 

I got all drugged up and I calmed down a little. I ultimately took my sleeping pills and forced myself to sleep. So today…at 3:00 am, I woke temporally paralyzed and I was not sure to do. We live in a casita at the moment and it’s a studio. So getting up to turn a light on or make tea was something I preferred not to do as it would have woken my husband and dog and my husband needs his sleep. So what to do? Wide awake and I can’t get out of bed. I thought “this sucks”.

I laid in bed until 3:30 and then my hubby woke up due to my tossing and turning. I felt I had to get up because I could not stay still. I got up and made tea, I got my computer and thought I’d write a little. I went into the bathroom, closed the door, turned on the light and played on facebook. I got only a little writing done because I could not focus. James woke at 5:00 and finally I was free to leave the bathroom!  

It is now 1:05 in the afternoon and I am back drinking my calming tea (in fact, I drank this all day). I did some stretching, went for a walk as it is beautiful here today, I did some yoga and prayed for a while. Now I am writing to release my thoughts and feelings.

Anxiety is no joke. SO many people suffer and plenty of people suffer in silence. By recognizing your feelings and doing your best to feel better, perhaps your actions will encourage someone else to do the same. Perhaps making lifestyle changes will allow you to focus on what it is your struggling with. This will help reduce the attacks.

If you feel anxious, talk it out with someone in your tribe (your support system). BREATHE… go outside for some eco-therapy, exercise, take time to mediate or pray or try to talk yourself into relaxing. Speaking of breathing, the longer you exhale (take a big breath), the quicker your heart will stop pumping so hard and you can become more relaxed just from taking big breathes and slowly exhale your breath. 

One of the other medications I take to help me achieve less anxiety is an antihistamine called Hydroxyzine. It helps to decrease itching due to allergies, however it has relaxing effects and can be used for acute and long term anxiety. I use to manage my anxiety with this drug and only this drug. I stared taking Kolopin last year as I found a new doctor who would subscribe it for me. Most of the time my anxiety occurs when I start to feel a migraine coming on…I am afraid of the unknown. I think to myself, “How long will this last, how bad will the pain get, will I throw up, what meds do I need and do I have them? Will I have to inconvenience James or a friend to take me to the emergency room”. The anxiety just builds and build the more frightened I get. 

Migraines always scare me. Thinking about having them is a big pill to swallow even after 11 years of having them.  My migraine doctor will not prescribe anxiety medication even though most of my anxiety is due to getting and having a migraine. Note: I am on a low dose of Kolopin because I am on several meds and I cannot have interaction.  I listen to my doctor clearly and follow her directions. I never ever take more meds then I should…even if the means suffering a little more. Overdose is a big issue, but accidental overdose can usually be prevented. 

Since I am on pain medication my doctor has subscribed me the medication Naloxone and I have that on hand. It will reverse an overdose from pain medications. Something good to have and tell people about incase they need to help you. 

Our current move is going well, we will be cleaning the old place this weekend. I am excited to be house-hopping until our home is ready. I will be living in the country-side and I cannot wait to grown my own food, have a pig (as a pet) and two goats!  Our neighbors have 67 free range chickens and small farm animals is just behind us.  I am moving further from the city for a more simple and peaceful living. Country pumpkin here I come!

I hope some of what I wrote can help you with your own struggles. 

I will repeat:  The practice the Art of Living, by sustaining inner peace”…find yours today!

With love and care,

-Kimberly