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!

Holding on or is it better to Let-Go?

Yesterday, evening, around 4:00 pm, I started to feel anxious, irritable and my nose became very stuffy, and I knew then that I was in trouble. It was happening again,…my migraine-headache pain is breaking through my medications and I felt it would hit me hard overnight. I went to bed and just asked God to please let this one pass….

I took a Maxalt, Phenergan (for nausea), 2 pain pills and 2 Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is my go-to anti-inflammation OTC medication. I am also given Toradol and will take that after a small dose Ibuprofen wears off if the Ibuprofen hasn’t helped. Sometimes Ibuprofen and pain pills will do the trick. I take a probiotic every day and surly each time I take an NSIAD, to protect my stomach lining. I also take Prednisone when my pain is at a #6/7 as my first line of defense to see if it takes the migraine away and if not-that is when I go to the hospital. I normally go to the hospital when my pain level is a #7. I am too afraid to wait for until my pain rises higher. It takes time to check in to ER and get back into the room and wait for the nurses, then the doctor. So usually by the time I am given medications, my pain is at an 8 or 9.

I have been bad.

There is something called ‘Self-sabotage’ where one can think, ”I’ve done so well, I deserve a little more, or I deserve to be bad or I deserve a treat” …these are the type of tricks that your brain will play on you. And it got me this time.

I was doing so well, and posted about it in previous posts! I have done exactly what get’s a lot of people in trouble…and that is I felt so good, I stopped doing the things that keep me from having break-through pain and was living life like I do not have Migraine disease. And damn that felt awesome for the last week! Not to have to worry about the maintenance my life takes just to have a some-what of a normal day (normal for me). Looking back on this past week, I went about my business if I was not sick at all and f&*k it has felt great! I have not worn Celafy in a week, only have done yoga once in the last two weeks, have not been meditating intentionally (although I’ve been writing and creating a lot recently and that is a form of meditation for me) and have not been sleeping well at all.

I do have a support system, here in AZ and back home in MI. I lack support from 2 of the most important people in my life, or rather they are tired of supporting me (it has been 11 years for peets-sake, I sort of get it). My Brother does not ask how I am feeling. I don’t even tell my family when I am having an episode much less when I have to the hospital. They have no idea how sick I am, how many down days I have and how often I have to seek urgent medical care. They are men and perhaps they can’t be bothered. My Brother pretty much told me he “could not be on this roller coaster with me”…sad but true. Thinking back I am really hurt he said that to me. That conversation broke my heart. That was 1.5 years ago and I’ve not said anything about my migraines since. My Dad, his wife, and my brother and his family came to visit last year and my conversations with my Brother were very shallow like or I guess you could call it “small talk”. I feel so far away from my Brother. We are very different and I hurt him when I moved out west when he was 18. Our Mother had recently passed and I think he felt abandoned. So there’s that. 

My BFF is sick with alcoholism. And I feel like I am giving and giving. Yes, she is a great person and I love her like a sister, but she has a disease she does not want to cure. Lots of drama and I find myself carrying her secret and making excuses for her when she behaves irrationally or stupidly. Her choices have led me to develop space between us and I have made new friends who have values and likes similar to mine. I needed too to bring joy into my life. 

I have lost a few of my close friends because they either can’t handle loving me when once after I got sick than did not get better or have moved on because I am not on the same page (I am referring to income mostly) nor do I have the connections or even cool stories about my old career anymore. Or they don’t agree with the medications I am taking…it’s an endless list. My friend told me I was using “drugs” to mask my pain so why should it be any different from her using alcohol to soothe hers…but sadly she is a full-blown, life falling apart, about to hit rock bottom, alcoholic and it kills me to see her like this. I don’t particularly like smoking medical cannabis. I like it because it has taken my pain patch doses down from 275 mcgs-50 mcg to date since I started smoking the flower. I have gone off the patch before and my pain is quickly there to show it’s ugly face. I don’t like how it makes me feel (sometimes like a Zombie and I can get silly). Medical cannabis compliments my medical and alternative care routine that I and my doctors have all agreed on and have prescribed. This medication is helping me feel less stressed and have fewer episodes and also have less headache-migraine pain. Medical Cannabis helps to keep me out of the emergency room.

Have you lost people you cared about or thought they’d be there for you or you thought they were a good friend,..then one day…poof…they are not in your life as often, then even less and less? 

Any disease is hard for an outsider to understand much yet be around. It scares people about the possibilities of what can happen to them. Some people are confused and will need help as to how to help you. Explain to your tribe how you’d like to be treated when you are ill and how to support you…even if that means them leaving you alone. They need to know how to help or else they will feel helpless and will create distance from you. 

“When someone is ill you feel sorry for them. But we’re all busy,” Dr. Feinberg says. “We say we care and things like that but the reality is, except for our immediate family, we don’t want to be reminded of our own mortality.” Source health.com

Migraines are not an aging disease, it attacks people of all ages in various degrees. You don’t get older and get migraines unless you do. And God be with you if you do. My point being, you can get sick with chronic migraines at any age. No one is protected a100%. 

I wonder how many people I have become acquaintances with or I’ve met a friend of a friend and have wanted to get to know that person more, have not been interested in being my friend due to me having a chronic disease…

On the other hand, I do have much support in my life and I know I am very lucky. I am not wealthy money speaking, but I have a wealthy life including an amazingly awesome husband and a well trained cuddly soft doggy, both bring me comfort and support. And I love where I live. 

My clients and friends and some of my family are all always there for me,…without judgment. People share with me an article they read that could be helpful to migraineurs or a new drug that helped a migraineur they know or a new technique or therapy. This could happen a few times a week to once every couple of weeks and to be CLEAR…I am grateful for everyone’s input and suggestions or sharing their stories with me. I feel very loved. 🙂

Who do you desire support from the most? Is it possible for them to give you what you need? Can you make revisions of your requests if needed, could you spread out the support you need and get it from several people, so it’s not on all one person? A church or religious or spiritual organization, specialized groups (card clubs, book clubs, hike with friends who are on your level) are great ways to get involved with the people in your community and meet some nice supportive friends. Usually, people want to help and groups want to help. I participate in online bulletins and blogs for migraineurs to talk to each other, no matter the location. I also attend a church and a yoga class that is very supportive and it’s social time which his very important for people with an invisible disease. Always share your experience so others can learn from it, good or bad, we all need help and we should be open to that. I listen to stories and read stories of other’s sufferings and people’s success with chronic disease, especially those with migraines. 

I am not grateful for how some of my family is still punishing me from moving away when I was twenty-two (24 years ago). As I said above, my Mother passed and she was loved by so many. She was an Angel and surely is one after death, wherever she may be. When I moved away it was another loss for my family, quickly after she passed. I moved to Colorado where my BFF lives and she had also just lost her Mom. I moved in with her and her fiancé and we all supported each other dealing with grief. I needed to get away from my family which leaves me feeling g overwhelmed. I felt immense guilt about that leaving but I was figuring out who I wanted to be and also trying to meet my own needs..trying to live and heal, where I felt the best. I think I still have a lot of guilt. But I needed to go where I could grow, plant roots and create a life for myself as a young woman. I moved back to Arizona about a year later and have been here for 19 years. I found my peace here and I very much enjoyed backpacking in the backcountry or finding new adventures and experiences. I knew I needed to be in AZ, I could/can feel it in my heart and soul. This place is beautiful…far from what Detroit could offer. 

I am so glad I traveled and took risks in my youth because I am restricted now. It’s too late for anyone to do the things they love and if it doesn’t happen perfectly, as you play it out in your head, it can be uniquely perfect for you! You have the power to be who you want to be, be creative,… be British for a day and have an accent (I have done this and it’s great fun!).

We lose people throughout life. There’s that saying…friends are for reasons, seasons or for a lifetime. Remember that …it’s not always about you and what you did wrong. And changes like this to happen in our lives on the regular. 

I found that my tribe (my supportive friends and family) better supported me once they understood my limitations, and it is truly imperative to tell your support group what you need when you’re in chronic pain. Tell them what type of support you need. Be clear and sincere that “this” is what you need. “People want to help, but when it comes to the relationship between the non-sick and sick can divide you if the non-sick is confused or even afraid of knowing someone with a chronic illness.” Dr. Feinberg says. Source Health.com 

My friends and I plan things to do earlier in the day because they understand I run out of energy early in the day. They have no problem with that. They know I am asleep around 2:00 p.m. so they don’t call, and I am grateful for that. They know I can’t go to loud places and I am afraid of sunlight (I love the sun and how it makes me feel, but only for a short time). We will go for morning hikes and walks, meet for coffee, turbo shop at thrift stores, we create things and do projects such as Vision Boards or setting goals and creating accountability. They don’t expect more than I can handle. 

“Many people with chronic pain, myself included, look to others for validation and understanding,” says Rebecca Rengo, 52, a St. Charles, Mo., resident who suffers from several pain conditions, including fibromyalgia, and is the author of Beyond Chronic Pain. Source Health.com

Most people are caring and giving but if they are not sick they cannot understand what it is like to be chronically ill. It takes a lot of energy to get people to understand and that is very tiring. If you don’t have the support you need from others, turn that around and give the support you need to yourself! Give yourself credit, validation, support, empathy, and strength. Hug yourself and tell yourself “I love myself” Be your own cheerleader (I am always cheering myself on!).

Be kind to yourself, find your tribe. Invisible illness does not have to be isolating. 

Be the best you, you can be and you will be richly respected…we all can be someone who seeks opportunity, remains joy-full, fighting for love and life and start living life on YOUR TERMS!

Thank you for sharing this sacred space with me. 

With love and care for all those suffering…

-Sunshine

Note* I usually post my new blog entries every Tuesday/Wednesday, so I apologize it’s Friday and I am just getting this one out. I was a busy week but I will focus on being consistent. :

Kimberly Fisher

Note* I usually post my new blog entries every Tuesday/Wednesday, so I apologize it’s Friday and I am just getting this one out.  It was a busy week but I will focus on being consistent. 🙂

Wait- there’s two more natural remedies that I failed (forgot) to mention and they are very important! Please read!

Hello!

How could I forget to mention two of my favorite and recommended natural remedies to help decrease and manage my migraine symptoms….

  1. Magnesium-critical for head pain management. I take 400 mg, every morning, without food. (Read directions on your bottle).
Magnesium

2. Medical Marijuana— I smoke medical marijuana every afternoon and evening. It is legal in AZ, but not recreationally. 

Cannabis Plant

Cannabis has allowed me to drop my pain patch dosage from 225 mcg to 50 mcg. No, I am not kidding!  It has been a miracle in my life.  It not only cut my dosage of pain meds, smoking the cannabis is the best way for me and it immediately calms my brain and relaxes me. This helps to manage and lower my stress levels, each day. When I smoke in the afternoon, I know I will be ok and then when I smoke in the evening, I know I will probably not wake up with break through pain the next morning. When I am in migraine state, cannabis helps to lower or rather mask the pain. The pain is still there but it’s in the background and does not bother me as much. I can sleep this way. 

I have headaches every day and when the pain breaks through my medications-that’s what I call a migraine and I usually end up in the ER. I have migraines every day. 

Cannabis makes me feel chill, which is huge relief from the anxiousness and non-stop chatter that is continuous in my brain. Replaying conversations, dreaming and thinking out loud, new ideas and creativity, new desires and wants, new needs, I want this or that and must get working to get it, regret, shame, guilt,…it all is on repeat in my head and it turns into a lot of headache pain. 

I go to sleep after I smoke. I like flower and the kind that makes you feel chill and sleepy (Indica). Sleep is a migraineurs greatest tool. I do not drive or really even go out after I’ve smoked. I do not party-I gave that up when I got sick. I rarely drink and I do not use my cannabis as a “party drug” ever. Never. I do not abuse it and I don’t feel I need it all the time, only after my day is done. I do not smoke while working, driving or in the morning (unless I am having an episode and I need to be in bed all day). I do feel dependent on the drug, but not addicted. I am dependent on cannabis simply because it works so well so me. It is one of my greatest pain management drugs and also a prevention drug. Because it relaxes me so, it helps to decrease my episodes and thus ER visits. 

Cannabis has been a life saver to me.

Everyone’s needs are different. Some may prefer the cannabis type that gives you energy (Sativa), which most people take during the day to “get through the day” and I get that. People use cannabis for all sorts of medical conditions.

If you think it could help you-go try it! Get your license, or drive to a legal state to get your meds. (Be safe). 

The next time you see a petition to make cannabis legal or even to make medical marijuana legal…please think of how this drug/medication has helped so many. Please help by signing the petition. It could be a life-saver for you someday and to many others. 

Please help to heal people of all conditions

Really, think about that.

I hope these 2 additional natural remedies are helpful to you!

With love and care for all those who are hurting.

Until next time,

Sunshine

Kimberly Fisher

Migraine pain? Natural remedies and therapies…read here.

A bit of facts to start with…

Migraines are a common problem seen in doctor offices or the ER.  They occur from changes in the brain and the blood vessels surrounding it.

Migraine treatment can include natural or home remedies, over-the-counter drugs, and prescription medications used to prevent or subside the migraine headache pain. 

Migraines are not the same as ‘regular’ headaches, Nor is cluster headaches, sinus or tension headaches. 

If you have a migraine and are trying to figure out what type you have- read below. Or else scroll below to My Natural Remedies. 

Migraine headache, on average, last 4-72 hours and can occur from daily to less than one a year.   Common Migraine, also called absence migraine, accounts for 80% of all migraines. There is no “aura” with a common migraine.  Classic Migraine headache, which is with an “aura” also called ‘migraine with aura’, experience an aura or visual disturbance before as a symptom that the migraine headache is coming on. Classic migraines are much more severe than common migraines.   Silent or Acephalgic Migraine headache is migraine without head pain, but with aura and other visual disturbances and nausea, photophobic (light sensitivity) and phono phonic (noise disturbance) can accompany the aura.  Hemiplegic Migraine is where you feel weakness on one side of the body, loss of sensation, or feeling on ‘pins and needles’. Head pain may not be severe. A Retinal Migraine is a migraine that is accompanied by vision loss in one eye. The loss can for a few hours to months. It is usually reversible but this is a sign of a more serious medical issue and if you have this you should seek care and see your doctor.  A Chronic Migraine is a migraine that lasts for more than 72 hours and 15 days per month.  A Status or Intractable migraine  is especially severe and last beyond 72 hours. Emergency room visits and 1-3 day hospital stays (to manage pain and nausea) are common for stays migraine. Status migraines affect less than 1% of people with migraines. 

I have chronic, status migraines…Lucky F&*cking me.

A

My Natural Remedies and Therapies

After years of being on so many medications, all sorts, every kind in my blood stream and it became flooded.  My brain has changed, my memory is poor and it can be hard for me to focus. As well as prescribed meds, I have developed a repituar of natural remedies and  therapies I can do that will help in some way. I do a lot of these, a lot of time, and others not so often. I feel that the natural remedies I use, could help with decreasing most types of chronic pain. You can use these ideas and customize them in a way that works best for you.

Some of the natural remedies that work for me are:

–  Turmeric supplement- 1200 mg per day (great for any inflammation in the body)

-Vitamin B2- 400 mg (this is suppose to be a big help in reducing migraine pain)

  • Vitamin D 1,000 IU (keeps me from feeling low or stressed)
  • Sun exposure (I try and get 20 min of sun a day, while not wearing sunblock. Sunblock will mostly prevent the absorption of  Vitamin D)
  • Aromatherapy (I use a lavender blend and a Stress relaxing blend which are both very healing. You can either inhale by sniffing or putting it on your upper lip or oils can be taken orally, but not all types are edible so do your research)
  • Drinking stress reducing tea (I sip on Chamomile, Ginger (a natural pain reliever), Tension Tamer and Lavender tea’s…this mix I drink 2-3 a day) 
  • Healthy eating (I consistently try and eat organic, non-GMO, un-processed food, fresh fruits and veggies, wild caught fish high in Omega’s, organic chicken and eggs, nuts and grains. I don’t eat dairy, sugar and very little gluten. 
  • I count chemicals, not calories
  • I use all natural personal products (deoderant, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, lotion, etc.)
  • I use only non-toxic, natural cleaning products and laundry detergant 
These use these products to clean my home
  • I make a Flax seed cocktail to help with constipation, a side effect from pain medications. (recipe for a flax seed cocktail: 2 Tablespoons of ground flaxseed mixed in 8 ounces of water, stir quickly, drink quickly and follow up with another 8 oz of temped water. Do this as you first drink in the morning. Store ground flax seed in the refrigerator)
  • I have a healthy bed time wind-down routine. (You should always turn off electronics 1 hour  before bedtime. I get in my pj’s, have tea, smell and apply aromatherapy, will write a bit and put on my Celfay device which is numbing and helps me to fall asleep)
  • I go to sleep at night and wake in the morning, the same time every day. 
  • I practice yoga 2-3 times a week (have gained 3/4 of an inch in height in just 6 months, from doing yoga. Yoga provides me with over all relaxation and clarity and my brains likes learning new things. It is also social which is important)
  • I practice deep breathing exercises daily
  • I do tapping on myself (repeating out-loud  “I love and accept myself”) 
  • I practice Eco-therapy (being in nature as much as possible-I love long walks or hikes, enjoying the views and animals)
It’s in scenes like this that I feel the most FREE…
  • Being active (If I am having a good day then I try and move all day and this can build the feel good hormones we have)
  • Listening to Affirmations (I listen and repeat ‘Health, Wealth and Lifestyle affirmations’ – available on youtube.com or other apps)
  • I put myself in peaceful soul enriching situations (I go to various church’s to pray, walk the Labyrinth path to pray and set goals, or I’ll visit the Buddhist Stupa to walk and think. Absorbing the positive energy in these places is restorative)
Carrying joy everywhere I go
  • I tie jeans around my head (when I am having a lot of pain I will wrap a pair of thick jeans around my head and tie the legs tightly at my forehead and this creates pressure, which is an aversion to the migraine head pain)
  • I wear earplugs out in public (when I know I am going to be somewhere noisy I’ll wear my earplugs so the noise does not give me a migraine)
  • I wear hats and sun glasses to keep the bright light away from my eyes.
  • I blackout my house (I put cardboard on my windows or use black out curtains to have a dark house)
  • I where a eye mask to bed (this helps me to not wake up as much and it helps to keep me asleep longer in  the morning light)
This helps me to have restful sleep and I sleep longer
  • I meditate in stillness and while moving (I ask the Universe “what is it I need to know” and answers come. I love to mediate while walking or stretching)
  • Celafy. -This is a device made for specifically for migraine suffers. (There is an adhesive you put on your forehead and connect a small electronic device with electrodes that manipulate nerves in your head. This device has been proven to very helpful to me)
Celfay device
  • Sleep or rest (I rest as much as I can and even put rest time in my calendar. When I see it there, that’s what I do; I rest as it’s so critical to decreasing migraine break pain and symptoms)
  • Massage (specifically on neck, shoulders and back)
  • Chiropractic care
  • Energy healing therapies such as Reiki and Acupuncture
  • Hydration (I shoot for 3 liters a day or 100 ounces. I also drink tea, coffee and sometimes     coconut water because it’s great for helping dehydration)
As much as I can
  • Ici (an ice pack on my forehead)
  • *** Lifestyle change*** (this has significantly changed my life for the better, 100%)
You can find this within you

I have had Botox therapy injected into my head and neck and I think that worked pretty well.

None of the ‘preventative’ subscription medications for work me, but Celafy does the trick (it is a device not a medication). celafy.com

These natural remedies I have learned, mostly on my own. If you have tips to help pain and symptoms, you should share them in the comments section. It is important for us to share things that help or or not because most often migraneurs suffer in silence and so much is not-known about migraine disease or ways to treat it. Please share. 

All migraines have similar symptoms such as:

-nausea

-vomiting

-phonophobia or sensitivity to sounds

-photophobia or sensitivity to light

-hyperosmia or a heightened sense of smell

-changes in Vision or aura

Some other symptoms a migraineur may feel during a migraine include:

-Throbbing pain

-Drilling

-Ice pick in the head

-Giddiness

-Burning

-Nasal Congestion

-Nausea

-Vomiting

-Insomnia

-Anxiety

-Feeling depressed

-Neck pain and stiffness

Some of the Prodrome symptoms- those that come before the migraine attack-include:

-Irritability 

-Depression

-Fatigue and stiffness all over the body

-Difficulty speaking and reading

-Yawning

-Problems concentrating

-Dizziness

-Food cravings

-Photophobia

-Increased urination

What symptoms can you feel after the head pain is relieved or has stopped- or called Postdrome symptoms? 

-Severe fatigue

-Diarrhea

-Inability to concentrate

-Depression

-Euphoric mood

-Lack of comprehension

My longest migraine lasted 3 months…I’ll never forget…it started just before my birthday on September 10th and lasted until after Thanksgiving. I missed the holiday celebrations that year but mostly just missed being with my family. For me, after my head pain was gone, I had Postdrome symptoms or what I like to call the ‘recovery symptoms’ for a full month…then life started to go back to my normal life. Well, normal redefined.  

I am pretty isolated here where I live, in Northern AZ. I live in beautiful Sedona AZ however it is 2.5 hours from Phoenix which is where my doctors are and most of the support groups and classes. We have no local news, so I do not hear about trials or see ads for new meds, support groups or here from local activist. I also have commercial free TV, as the commercials were driving me nuts! I’ve had to be creative and learn a lot on my own. Shit- it’s only been since I’ve started this blog that I am now opening up channels of learning from others. For years I was in the dark; literally. 

Trying to survive

If you have migraines or chronic pain, I encourage you to seek out others like you. Join a support group or create your own with a couple of people who can relate to what you are going through. Join with those who have similar struggles. It is important to share information because you never know what could help someone else cope, even if it did not work for you. Share your tips and tricks. Having a support group will help provide you will acceptance of your disease. You know, you are not alone and you will have people to call on when you need help.  Ask yourself “who do I most desire support from?” And create that relationship. Asking for support is often the only thing you need to say..people naturally want to help (well, most people, but not all). 

People want to help you

I would have to say that I was in isolation. One of the reasons I am so excited to write this blog is because it puts me in touch with the outside world. I feel like my story matters and that my life can be an experience that others can learn from.  I have a great life and I am very fulfilled. My disease does not run me, I manage my disease with lifestyle solutions. (I wrote about lifestyle change and how it has worked for me, in my last blog post).

I am in the 1% of migraine sufferers with the worst type of migraines….and I am in control of my life. I am happy with all that I’ve been able to do, while being sick.

Celebrate your small steps forward…and sometimes you have to take 3 steps back. BUT, keep moving forward and discovering all you can about yourself. Be creative and think outside of the box. YOU are stronger than you think you are and YOU are in control. 

Your life is what you make of it. Find joy in things you wouldn’t normally notice. 

Do a pleasurable thing for yourself each day…enrich who you are. People who have a passion and engage in pleasure each day are less stressed and have happier, more content lives.

I learned this long ago and it has worked for me.

I hope today’s post was helpful in someway to you. As always, thank you for sharing this space with me.

Thank you for reading my thoughts

I write with love and care for all those suffering from chronic pain.

Until next time,

-Sunshine.  (my fondest nick name 🙂

Kimberly

Lifestyle change? Can it work? Read it here.

I have tried A LOT of different things to manage my migraine disease.  For the first 5 years of being sick it seemed that nothing helped. I had tried all the medications and med cocktails…steroids, “Abort” pills, preventables, pain meds, supplements, drugs for other illnesses that may have a side effect of decreasing head pain and Botox. I tired acupuncture, massage, Reiki, had a Psychic clear any negative energy from myself and my family and I’ve done energy work.  I had Chiropractic care, tried Chinese herbs, aromatherapy, I would pressure wrap my head and of coarse I went no where without my ice bag. I had a bag always with me containing all sorts of medications to take when the pain came on; all mentioned above.  They came with me everywhere…cling cling of the pills as I walked.

Me, in the early days of my migraines

 

And….Nothing helped. The ONLY thing that would help me were strong, strong narcotics. After being ill and trying all these techniques, I’d start with hope, and as each method failed me, I became depressed and discouraged. At no time did I ever want to give up trying but for a while I stopped trying and decided to just let the pain meds work and see how I do….The meds worked well as much as they could and I on the other hand could barely function. For years I slurred my words, could not drive or work and my behavior was not very becoming. I was drugged to live and lived to be drugged. When in the rest room I would fall asleep on the toilet and after I am not out of the bathroom for a bit, my husband will come check on me. And in public restrooms…that posed a bigger problem. A few times James caught me asleep as I was laying over the sink with my hands under the running water. That was enough of that. 

Drugged to live and lived to be drugged

The doctors have always told me that my migraines are caused from stress…well OK, now what?  

I looked at my life and new I had to decrease my stress and live peacefully, or find my “Zen space”.

This is how I wanted to feel, joyous and calm

I made a plan to do only what is a priority to me. Frankly, I have no time for extra’s. I needed a daily plan for me to follow as best I could so that I could prevent a migraine flare up.  And that’s where lifestyle changes came into my life. 

My lifestyle changes are quite possibly the most profound impact I’ve had on decreasing the amount of episodes I was having (or having break through pain). Once I started making changes it was like an epiphany.  I had heard it from professionals, as back then “lifestyle” was not addressed like it is today. For me, when I do not rest and move too quickly; rush or have too much to do or I can’t stop my brain from twirling on repeat and even too much stimulation,…could send me to the ER in screaming head pain.  I knew I needed more rest. I knew I could not rush each day or any day, any longer. 

I needed to be and remain calm and slow down. I had to stop the stressors of living in such a modern century society where the hustle and bustle mindset was creating stress in my life. I also knew I had to make my eating and activity more of a priority. All of this could help me feel better… and all of this needed to change…and at first that was frightening to me.

Ultimately, after a few years of becoming aware and learning what I needed, I had to change my career, work different hours, I deleted negative relationships, I added new ones that were positive and inspiring, I made my eating and knowing when and what to eat and being prepared became top priority and increased my physical activity by practicing Eco-therapy, yoga, strength training and spiritual practices. I will go walk the local Labyrinth path or visit and pray at the Buddhist Stupa. I don’t watch violent tv shows or movies and listen to calming and soothing music. Yes, I still “rock out” to music and get my groove on, but only when I feel the urge. 

I am a Phoenix rising

I kept thinking how can I do this? What will life be for me if I change so much? Who will I become? Will I still like myself? Will my husband still love me? What about my friends…what will other’s think?  These thoughts ran through my head. WHO WILL I BE with a new lifestyle? What will my daily life look like?…

Well,…it came down to; I either do the work to change my lifestyle to enable better health or stay in the miserable place I was. I was broken, but beautiful. If you know me, you know I do not give up or in give in easily. I have always been a go-getter. In a time of desperation, this was my greatest test and fight yet. I was broken but still had fight within me. I knew I had to change things or I would end up taking my life.

Slowly,…I started to make changes. It took me several years to get to the point where I am today and I am still making changes. I know that will always be the case.  AND that’s OK.

Some of the changes I made are revealed in my statements below. This is who I am now and I am proud of my words. It took love, courage, acceptance, and forgiveness for me to change my lifestyle 180 degrees. 

The light within me is shining bright now

-I now sleep near 16 hours a day.  AND I’ve learned to be OK with that.

-My day ends between by 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm.  AND I’ve learned to be OK with that. 

-I am now sick to my stomach most of the time. AND I am OK with that. (ginger tea and medical cannabis help a lot) 

-I have a horrible short-term memory; a side effect of the meds I’ve been on for years. AND I  am OK with that. (people remind me)

-I now work part-time. AND I’ve learned to be OK with that. 

-I don’t make the money I use to make. AND I am OK with that. 

-I have spent all my savings and had to file for Bankruptcy because of the cost of my medical bills. And I am OK with that.

-I cannot work-out as hard anymore. AND I am OK with that. (I do different activities now)

-I am pudgy. AND I am OK with that.  (I love my curves)

-I don’t see my friends or family as much. AND I am OK with that. (we visit via phone calls and texts)

-I have to always be prepared with meds, earplugs, eye masks, a pair of jeans to use as a pressure wrap, CBD cream, aromatherapy and anything else I use to treat a migraine and bring this with me everywhere I go.  I always have to know where the closest hospital is. AND I am OK with this.

-I may not be able to achieve all I want to achieve. AND I am OK with that. 

-Some of my dreams will have to be revised. AND I am OK with that.

-My life will not be what I had planned for myself. AND I am OK with that.  (I am making, what I feel are funner plans!)

-I am different now; then who I use to be. AND I am OK with this. 

*I believe in myself and I will persevere….THIS I KNOW!!!

I am growing tall and reaching the sky

I am simply trying to put a positive spin on everything. Remaining positive, optimistic, and having hope is a huge part of my healing and I think it would be for most people. I may not go back to school to get my master’s in Psychology (a dream of mine) but I can continue to invest in myself by taking classes that enrich all parts of my life. That’s what I needed…balance and fulfillment in all areas of my life. 

Foot loose and flying freely

I try, as much as I can, to not get involved with the distractions that life can swing our way.

In this modern world,  75%-90%,  of all doctor visits are from stress related conditions and disease. Stress affects 4 out of 5 people in the US. Stress can cause all sorts of debilitating and terminal disease that are common from too much stress. Some of these include; heart disease, cancer, stroke, lower respiratory disease and accidents…to name a few. 

This is serious.  Have you suffered from stress or a disease related to stress?  If so, I can tell you that you might need to change your lifestyle to enable LESS STRESS for yourself. If you don’t do this you could suffer from major disease not to mention anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia can be side effects of stress. And if you can relate to my story-get help and do the work to save yourself.  

Being in an environment like this, I learned
has profound negative effects on me

I developed a lifestyle that meets my basic needs and this provides me with a foundation to build from. My foundation is the healthy soil and my attitude is the water that my dreams will grow beautifully tall from and reach the sky. Like a beautiful old Redwood trees or Sunflowers. 

You must have a lifestyle that fills your needs. Rearrange, change your work and home schedules to better support your needs, be creative and make sure you are investing in yourself and your priorities. If we don’t know our priorities or if they are not clear then we don’t become aware of what we actually need and what is important in your life.  Or rather our true needs will not be met. We will just keep marching forward with upset faces..doing the only thing we know to do…Stress out!

Stop the chaos.  Focus on you and your needs. Fight for what you need and want. It’s your life…make it the best it can be!

At peace and feeling joyful!

Thank you for sharing this space with me.

Until next time…with love and care,

-your friend “Sunshine”.