Posts Categorized: Life Well Lived

Living with Chronic Migraine is NO FUN

June 4, 2015 Life Well Lived 8

living with chronic migraine

There have been times that living with chronic migraine has made an indelible impression on my life.  One Christmas Eve a migraine came on like an angry bull seeing red and felt a bit like that bull was running around in my head.  I remember sitting on the floor in the living room wrapping presents with the lights dim, fireplace going, Christmas tree lit and barely making it to the bathroom to be sick.  I went between the living room floor and the bathroom about three times before finally giving into the pain and going to bed.

One of the very worst times that living with migraines affected my life was when I was in charge of a fund raiser.  We were having a 50’s style dance and casino night and as the director I was expected to give a speech + have my best game face on. . .the medicine I was taking at the time did nothing to ease the knife slicing through my brain in waves.  Smiling while the band played, dancing to the music, engaging with potential donors in between trips to the bathroom to be sick or hide made the evening one I will never forget.  To this day, I’m not sure how I got through that evening! {but it was a very successful fundraising campaign!}

[Tweet “What treatment have you tried for chronic migraines? Did it work?”]

If you know someone, or if you have the unfortunate experience of having chronic migraines, then you know the plethora of treatments that may or may not work and may or may not last even if it does work.  I’ve done everything from acupuncture to changing my diet to having ice picks shoved up my nose and in the back of my head. . .desperation will have you trying anything 😉  Ok, maybe it wasn’t literal ice picks, just straws with some nasty-tasting numbing agent that was supposed to deaden the nerve. . .it didn’t work.

Nowadays I have a trio of things I do to prevent a migraine from coming on AND to ease the pain when I do get one {although I still keep the Emergency Room number close by}.  My main triggers are stress, weather changes and heat ~ all unavoidable things in life!  It’s ironic that the very things that trigger a migraine are the same things that trigger an MS relapse.  Aargh!  My solution is to move my entire family to the coast of San Diego where the temperatures stay around 72 degrees and the storm fronts are rare. . .they just haven’t bought into packing up everything and road tripping out west. But I’m still working on them!  Hmmm, that would be my kids and their families, my two brothers and their families, my mom and step-dad, my kids’ dad & his family. . .oh geez, the numbers are growing! Watch out San Diego ~ your population is about to explode!

So why talk about migraines on a book review blog?  One, according to statistics at migraine.com over 37 million people in the United States alone suffer from migraines.  Two, June is Migraine & Headache Awareness Month and three, education leads to understanding.

So what makes someone qualify for the chronic migraine label as opposed to simply having a headache every now and then? Ah, I’m glad you asked!

Chronic migraine is when someone suffers from a migraine for 15 or more days per month.  But what does that mean?

A migraine is characterized by severe head pain often accompanied by other symptoms, which can be disabling in nature.  My symptoms include

  • head pain on one side {I typically call it a knife being shoved over and over into my right eye}
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • light sensitivity {sunglasses & LED lights are my friends}
  • sensory aura
  • weird, metallic taste in my mouth
  • stiff neck

Living with chronic migraine means changing plans at the last minute, canceling important dates, hiding out in quiet rooms, trips to the ER, disappointing family and friends, not being able to get everything done and a lifetime of avoiding stress, weather changes and overheating.

It also means finding the courage and strength to smile through the pain, laughing with my kids while waiting in hospital rooms because what else can you do, and learning that taking it easy on myself, loving myself, is the only way to survive.

With this month of Migraine Awareness, my message is this ~ find the little things that make life a joy because dwelling on the problems only leads to more problems.  Wishing you a month of happy days.

Have you suffered from a migraine or know someone who has?  How do you cope?

[Tweet “Find little things that make life a joy cause dwelling on problems only leads to more problems”]

 

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20 Things You Might Not Know About Me

September 5, 2014 Life Well Lived 11

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Confession time!  Yes, secrets are revealed here in this very post.  And with thanks to my dear sweet friend and fellow Inspy’s Advisory Board Member, Lydia from Overweight Bookshelf, you, Lovely Reader shall know all.   I will admit that it’s taken me a week to finally finish what I thought would be quick post – who knew talking about yourself could be so stressful! Still it’s always fun to learn more about our friends which is exactly what I tried to keep in mind while playing 20 questions!  So without further ado, I bareth my soul . . .

Question 1: How tall are you?     5’1 & 1/2  otherwise known as short; however, I’m one of those short people who always liked being short. . .ensures I’ve always got a dance partner.

Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?  I make a mean cat-head biscuit from scratch.

Question 3: What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve?   Having to jump through hoops in order to leave a comment. Also making mountains out of molehills. . .some things are just a non-issue and don’t need an entire blog post rant.  Which also brings up what happened to if you have an issue with someone you confront that person directly?  Ok, ok.  I might have a few pet peeves.

Question 4: What’s your biggest non-blog related pet peeve?     Rudeness.  It’s simply not necessary and escalates any situation.  Kind of goes along with question 3.

Question 5: What’s your favorite song?  depends on the day, depends on the mood.  Today I will go with Never Been to Spain by Elvis ~ ahhh, what a song – kind-of sexy, bluesy and one of those songs that makes you dance.

Question 6: What’s your favorite Etsy shop that isn’t yours?   I avoid Etsy at all costs ~ it’s one of those ‘down the rabbit hole’ shopping sites that I’m not sure I’d ever escape.

Question 7: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time when you’re alone?     well, I kind of like to read 😉

Question 8: What’s your favorite junk food?    fruit, especially grapes and cantaloupe

My sweet baby Obie

My sweet baby Obie

Question 9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?     My standard poodle, Obie, is the biggest baby. {it’s Obadiah when he’s in trouble!} In the winter, when his hair grows out, he looks like a black bear.

Question 10: What are your number one favorite nonfiction and fiction books?     non-fiction – Glimpses of Grace by Madeleine L’Engle; fiction – Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon or possibly The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo or could be The Lord of the Rings series by J.R. Tolkien or……….well, you get the picture.  It’s like asking me who is my favorite child – impossible to answer!

Question 11: What’s your favorite beauty product?     Happy by Clinique.  It’s my signature scent.  {be sure to use a honey-sweet Southern drawl on the “sig-na-chure scent!”

Question 12: When were you last embarrassed? What happened?   ha! just this past weekend at The Decatur Book Festival! I was so giddy with excitement about meeting Karin Slaughter and Chelsea Cain that after my volunteer shift I bought a hot dog with ketchup and mustard then ran about four blocks so I could get a great seat {note the great, not just good!}.  I was thrilled to be in the third row, front and center at the edge of the pew {the event was in a large church}.  I sat down, got out my program and felt something icky. . . and smelled ketchup, lots of it.  It was all over my shirt, shorts and program!  But I still got my picture taken with Karin Slaughter, ketchup smell and all!  {and to that poor lady who had to sit beside me for the entire talk I am so sorry! You probably never want to smell ketchup again!}

Question 13: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?     sweet tea.  Yup, I’m a through-and-through southern girl!

Question 14: What’s your favorite movie?  toss up between Armageddon and Independence Day {do you see a theme here?}

Question 15: What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?  kind of combination of dance squad/colorguard-go-my-own-way-kind-of-gal.  I got along with most everyone.

Sunset at La Jolla Cove ~ 2009

Sunset at La Jolla Cove ~ 2009

Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?  finally! an easy question! if I could get my family to come with me it would be La Jolla, San Diego County, California; I’d also need a boatload of cash but it’s a nice dream!

Question 17: PC or Mac?    MAC forever.  Once you’ve had a Mac could you ever go back???

Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?  My sweetheart took care of my dog last weekend while I went back and forth to The Decatur Book Festival.  He even drove Obie home in his prized car {Obie is notorious for getting car sick at the most awful times}!  His romantic gestures are incredibly thoughtful and giving which only makes me love him more!

Question 19: Favorite celebrity?  At this very moment probably Jennifer Lawrence.  She is saucy, classy and appears to retain her sense of self.

Question 20: What blogger do you secretly want be best friends with?  There’s quite a few I would love to hang out with IRL.  My Inspys gals from the Advisory Board are the coolest kids on the block; the originator of this blog tag experiment, April from Blacksburg Belle; and Aussa Lorens from AussaLorens.com aka Hacker. Ninja. Hooker. Spy.   Just try reading only one of her posts – I promise you’ll end up reading about her ‘mistakes too good not to share’ for awhile!

It was a challenge to pick just a couple of bloggers to tag for this “get-to-know-you” experiment so I went with two that I thought might play along.  If you haven’t been tagged yet and want to play along {and I certainly hope you do!} then please, please join in and leave me a comment with the link or hit me up on Twitter or Facebook!

So Katie from Words for Worms and April from The Steadfast Reader I’m tagging you Lovely Ladies!

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If any of you would like to participate, here are the rules!

1. Copy and paste the questions below and then answer and turn them into a blog post. Or, record a video answering these questions and upload it to your blog post.

2. At the bottom of your post, tag anywhere from 2-10 bloggers you want to see answer these questions. (I also suggest hitting up your tagged people via social media just to let them know you tagged them to do this tag challenge.)

3. Use the title: 20 Things You Might Not Know About Me Blog Tag. Once you’ve hit publish, leave a comment with the link to your post.

4. Use the hashtag #20ThingsBlogTag when sharing on social media so we can all find your awesome posts!

Question 1: How tall are you?
Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?
Question 3: What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve?
Question 4: What’s your biggest non-blog related pet peeve?
Question 5: What’s your favorite song?
Question 6: What’s your favorite Etsy shop that isn’t yours?
Question 7: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time when you’re alone?
Question 8: What’s your favorite junk food?
Question 9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?
Question 10: What are your number one favorite nonfiction and fiction books?
Question 11: What’s your favorite beauty product?
Question 12: When were you last embarrassed? What happened?
Question 13: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Question 14: What’s your favorite movie?
Question 15: What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?
Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Question 17: PC or Mac?
Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?
Question 19: Favorite celebrity?
Question 20: What blogger do you secretly want be best friends with?

**This blog post is a part of the ’20 Things You Might Not Know About Me’ Blog Tag started by April from Blacksburg Belle. She began this blog tag experiment to build community among creatives, help us bloggers to connect more and get to know each other better. This month’s topic is all about sharing just a little too much information about yourself. If you’d like to participate or want more info, check out the beginning post right here.**

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Saturday Snapshot: Lil’ Blue Eyes

June 14, 2014 Life Well Lived 17

I LOVE this photo.  I’m not sure how I was able to capture The Little Monkey’s Lil’ Blue Eyes or all the sand-covered spots – sometimes the stars align and the almost-perfect photo jumps out.  Of course I cut off part of his head, but I’m happy I captured the expression and the eyes, oh, the eyes!  Can you see his freckles?  I’m always asking my sweet grandson if I can bite his nose and have his freckles. . .for some reason he always says “no” then runs away giggling!

The Little Monkey

The Little Monkey

 

Sending you wishes for a fun-filled weekend with water and sand and family!

With blogging love,

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Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads found here.  

To participate or to see the fabulous photos other bloggers have posted, please visit Melinda’s blog.

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Saturday Snapshot: No Matter What You Step In. . .

May 10, 2014 Book Talk, Life Well Lived 9

Isn’t it wonderful when your children or grandchildren start “reading” to you?  The Little Monkey is obsessed with Pete the Cat right now, in particular Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. {see review here}  This past week I read that story 7 times in one sitting!  Each time we would get to the end “will you read it again pwease YaYa?”  Awww, who could resist?  

So when The Little Monkey grabbed the book and started reading it out loud to me I tried to capture him on video.  Alas, my technical skills are lacking.  I did manage to capture this photo.  Our favorite part? and the line he walks around repeating with a bit of groove and attitude ~  “No matter what you step in, keep walking along and singing your song. . . .because it’s all good!”   It is just too too precious. {Do I sound like a doting grandmother?!?}

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Saturday Snapshot was started by the lovely Alyce at At Home With Books. Now hosted by highly efficient multi-tasker, Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads, please visit her site for more great blogger pictures!

Happy Weekend and Happy Mother’s Day!

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V-Day, Conservative College & Daughters Who Make Me Proud

March 29, 2014 Life Well Lived 4

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When people hear that 1 in 3 women will be physically or sexually assaulted, the typical response is “no way! that’s just an overblown statistic!”  And when you consider I have two daughters the statistic becomes oh too real.  Between the three of us. . .well, you get the picture.

My children are my world and to think of anything bad happening to them just makes me physically sick.  You see, to me, my girls are pretty phenomenal.  For quite a few reasons {bear with me while I be a proud mama for a sec}  Both are smart, unique, beautiful, compassionate, adventurous, and all around pretty darn amazing.  And . . .

Both are involved with agencies that serve women who are victims.

Erica {oldest & mom to the Little Monkey} is a senior at University of North Georgia.  She is also President of the Latin American Student Association and former intern/current volunteer at Rape Response.  She came up with the idea to host a V-Day event at the conservative military college ~ The Vagina Monologues will be presented next weekend, hopefully to a sold out crowd.  Which, by the way, if you’re in the area April 3rd or 4th come join us!

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l-r: Erica, me, Gabrielle

Gabrielle is a junior at University of North Georgia and works with NOA – No One Alone, the local battered women’s shelter.  All of the proceeds from The Vagina Monologues event at UNG will be donated to NOA.  As you can see, I have so much to be proud of ~ my girls are dedicated to serving others and making the world a better place.

So what exactly is V-Day?

 A global movement to end violence against women; inspired by the stunning Eve Ensler with her award-winning The Vagina Monologues.  

Please consider making a donation.  Today is the last day it will be featured on Kickstarter.  Your gift would make a tremendous difference in the lives of the young ladies dedicated to bring about awareness and change to the way women are treated the world over AND will help support our local battered women’s shelter that does so much to bring about lasting change to battered women and their children.

Thank YOU dear Lovely Reader for your compassion. . .and for humoring me a moment of proud mommy hood.

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