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My Hopeful Brain

By Roni Jones

I Feel Good!

“Wo! I feel good, I knew that I would, now
I feel good, I knew that I would, now
So good, so good, I got you
” ~ James Brown

For the first time in two years, I can say, I feel good! Getting out of a two-year cycle of intractable migraine, is like winning the lottery to me. Two years of never-ending pain that kept me in my cave, for about ninety percent of that time. The isolation was almost unbearable, without the support of my husband and my dear migraine friends, who encouraged me, through texts, phone calls, cards, special little gifts in the mail, on Messenger and on Facebook, I don’t know if I would have made it!

Definition of intractable ~ from Merriam-Webster

1 : not easily governed, managed, or directed

  • intractable problems

2 : not easily manipulated or shaped

  • intractable metal

3 : not easily relieved or cured

  • intractable pain

My last hospital stay changed all of this, I was inpatient August 6 through August 12. For this admission I asked about adding IV Steroids, along with the DHE Infusions I always get. I’ve always been very leery of steroids, my Mom had to take them after her kidney transplant and I saw what havoc they played on her bones. I know that long-term and short-term steroid use, are two different animals, but it was still very hard to get the imagine out of my head. When you see someone you love so deeply, suffer so horribly, that just doesn’t go away!

I did four days of IV Steroids, the side effects were not too bad. Hot flashes, mood changes, I cried very easily, stomach cramps, oral thrush and the worst for me nausea, even though I was getting IV Zofran. Being nauseous is more debilitating for me, than the head pain! I would have to lie very still, to keep my tummy more happy, thankfully I slept a lot. By Friday I could tell that I had made a turn, as bad as the nausea was, I would do IV Steroids again!

I feel like my old self before the intractable migraine, I am out of my cave, getting up and dressing like a normal person, jewelry and all. While I still have chronic migraine, I’m being realistic also, I know that I will have my bad days when the cave will be needed. But my hopeful brain, says never again for any long stretch at a time! So yes, I feel good!

“Wo! I feel nice, like sugar and spice
I feel nice, like sugar and spice
So nice, so nice, I got you” ~ James Brown

For your enjoyment, James Brown singing “I Feel Good”, feel free to bust some moves, I did!

 

 

Live with hope,
Roni

 

 

A Tea Break

“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.”
  ~ William Ewart Gladstone
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I have found of late, that some of the simplest pleasures in life, bring the greatest joy, the best source of relaxation and an excellent way to soothe anxiety. Having a tea break is one of those simple pleasures. The easy rhythm of getting everything together to make a pot of tea, is relaxing in itself. Choosing the flavor you want, boiling the water, getting your tea-cup and saucer out, honey at the ready. Then finally taking your first sip of tea, the warmth flowing through your body. Somehow letting you know, all is right in your world!
On days that I am feeling especially anxious and depressed, during a migraine cycle, taking a tea break helps to focus my mind on the ritual of the process. And off of the feelings of impending doom, that comes with anxiety for me. I can feel my heartbeat slowing down, the knot in my stomach loosening. Dealing with the head pain, sensitivities to light, sound, smells, touch are in themselves, a lot to handle without worrying about having a panic attack on top of them.
The tools we find to help us through a migraine attack, don’t have to be huge, over the top actions. In fact simple is often the best, our brains during a migraine attack are already on overload. Having our migraine kit packed with comfort measures is key, when a migraine hits, the last thing you feel like doing is looking for everything!

I hope you have enjoyed taking a tea break with me, it is ever so relaxing! As I was looking for quotes to go with my blog, I ran across this short piece about Irish tea. I found it most amusing and totally correct.

“In Ireland, you go to someone’s house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you’re really just fine. She asks if you’re sure. You say of course you’re sure, really, you don’t need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don’t need a ting. Well, she says then, I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn’t mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it’s no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting.

In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don’t get any damned tea.
 

I liked the Irish way better.”
  ~ C.E. Murphy

I have to agree, I like the Irish way better also!

“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.”
  ~ Bill Watterson,  Calvin and Hobbs
Live with hope,
Roni

My Place in This World ~ Social Media Challenge Day 11

“You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality.”
~ Walt Disney

For me I found my place in the world, when I began blogging. It became a way to be creative, reach out to others living with migraine, share my journey, tips and tricks and was also very cathartic. A positive way to turn frustrations into something good and rewarding. I like knowing that those who read my blog, come away with useful information, but am delighted when I am able to make them laugh!

Hope and humor are my constant companions living migraine and I try very hard to inject this in each blog. Hope is so very important, if you lose your hope, you will lose the battle with migraine. And it is very much a battle, why else would we be called Migraine Warriors?! Hope changes everything! Humor helps the rough days go down a little easier, “laughter is the best medicine”! You will feel better about where you find yourself, if you can see any humor in the situation. 

I love blogging, I might not be able to blog as often as I would want to, but I always want to make sure that I have a good topic, for a well-rounded piece. And am not blogging just for the sake of putting out a blog. That doesn’t have a place in my world. I would like to thank all of you, who have encourage me, been my cheerleaders, and have given me positive feedback! I am blessed to have you in my world!

 

Live with hope,
Roni

 

 

 

 

Migraine Warrior ~ Social Media Challenge Day 6

“Whatever you are physically…male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy–all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.”
  ~ Cassandra Clare
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My migraine journey began at age 16, with what I thought were sinus headaches and have since learned that many people think this exact same thing. After finally seeing a doctor I learned they were indeed migraine and was started on Propranolol, with hardly ever a break through migraine. Propranolol worked beautifully for several years, until my body decide to play a trick on me. In early 2001 I developed Adult Onset Asthma, Beta Blockers such as Propranolol, exacerbate asthma symptoms. I had to stop taking the Propranolol at once, which caused several unpleasant side effects, due to the number of years I had been on it.
The worst thing that happened was that my migraine, became out of control and turned chronic, a state that hasn’t changed in eighteen years. In fact in the last eight months, I have swung back and forth, between chronic and intractable migraine, I will touch on this again. It took much trial and error to find the right headache specialists, they are not all created equally!! And more trial and error finding a preventive that would work and I didn’t have allergic reactions to. Thank goodness today I have a doctor who works with me on my treatment plan. Is kind and caring, totally gets me, and has a great office staff, sometimes that can be almost as important as having a great doctor.
The last eight months or so have been a real battle, dealing with intractable migraine and weather triggers, which also cause my fibromyalgia to flare, leaving me exhausted by pain. The fatigue can leave me with a foggy brain, problems with spoken or written words, which is so very frustrating! I began to have nightmares, waking crying, punching and kicking, from the pain. The doctor gave me Amitriptylin 25mg to take at bedtime, this helped for a short while, but the nightmares returned. My poor husband, he can tell I’m crying and talking in my sleep, but my words make no sense. I always wake myself up. Yes migraine is more than a headache, but it is also so much more than a migraine. It touches every part of our lives. It is truly a daily battle for me and one I want to win everyday! Do I always win? No in the sense that the pain is still there, but yes because I’M still here. I take this journey/battle one day at a time! I might not win every battle, but I will win the war! I am a Migraine Warrior!
In the picture at the top, is my WARRIOR bracelet, I wear it everyday to remind myself of what I’m capable of. The stickers I added sunglasses, rain clouds, help, together and love, are symbols of my migraine life. Sunglasses ~ my eyes are super sensitive to light, Rain Clouds = migraine, Help ~ even warriors need help, my husband is super supportive, I am very blessed. He gets upset with me, If I say that I feel guilty about him pitching in and cooking or doing laundry. He always tells me that they are his chores too, he’s retired and that does make a difference. Even so, he is very special! Together ~ Migraine Warriors need other warriors, to share support, encouragement, inspiration and hope! Love ~ I love my fellow migraine sister’s, I never could have made it this far without you!
“Courage, above all things is the first quality of a warrior.” Sun Tzu                 
Live with hope,
Roni
* Special Thanks to Michelle Tracy for showing me where to buy my Warrior bracelet, love you girl!

Family Tame The Beast

“I sustain myself with the love of family.”  ~ Maya Angelou

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Welcome to the fourth and final installment, to the series Tame The Beast. I am sharing today, someone I couldn’t live without on my journey with chronic migraine, my husband Rick!  Though when he see’s his picture on Facebook, I might have to hide for a while, he really hates having his picture taken, and putting it on Facebook even more. Oh well, in this case he deserves having it there!

I am blessed with a husband, who is very supportive! We’ve been through a lot together, on my journey with migraine. I would even say, he has walked along with me on this journey. Imagine if you will, a journey that takes you along a wide winding road. As your walking part of the trip is in sun, bright and cheerful, no cares in the world, we hold hands happy as can be. Then all of a sudden a storm breaks over our heads, lightening cracks, thunder roars, but he keeps holding my hand. The storm moves on, it’s sunny again. Before we realize it, we find ourselves walking through, very dark and gloomy woods, they are frightening. Still he holds my hand,  even putting an arm around me, as to protect me, we pass through the woods, into the sun again, and continue walking. Feeling relief that the ugliness is behind us. Out in front of us pops a strange creature, called Crabby, who hits me with his wand and now I’m Crabby! Taking little pot shots at Rick, but still he holds my hand. Soon Crabby wears off and I apologize to Rick, he understands, all is good and we continue our journey. Now imagine taking this journey, again and again, because that is what it is like for a person living with chronic migraine. 

You may have guessed what some of the imagery stood for. The storm was a migraine attack, which lately have gone back and forth, from chronic to intractable. Causing me to spend more days in my cave, than I would like to. During these times, Rick never complains, he just picks up what needs to be done and does it. I’m fortunate that he really enjoys cooking, and is great at. I get tickled at him looking on Pinterest for new recipes. He gets upset with me, when I feel guilty for him having to do my chores. He tells me, this is not your fault and they are as much my chores as yours. He’s retired and actually likes to stay busy.

The dark gloomy woods, are days when depression and anxiety get the best of me. Even with medication, chronic daily pain takes a toll, and it can be frightening to feel that way. Especially when you feel anxious, I fear a panic attack coming on, and I do not want that. It’s these kind of days, that I am more likely to cry at the drop of a hat. Rick understands this and gives me extra hugs, making me feel safe.

Crabby, well what can I say about crabby? I tend to get crabby, during a migraine, or when I’m in a lot of pain from fibromyalgia, or the bad disc in my back, or all them combined. Poor Rick being the only one around, ends up on the receiving end of my crabbiness.  As it often is with families, we take things out on them, that we wouldn’t on anyone else. I always apologize and he understands where it is coming from. He is my rock in every sense of the word. I would be utterly lost without him and am thankful everyday, for his unconditional love and support.

Without Rick’s support, it would be much harder to fight the beast everyday! But he has stuck with me through thick and thin, since the chronic migraine started seventeen years ago. Countless hours in the ER, until I finally got a good headache specialist. Many trips to Chicago, a six-hour drive one way, when I was seeing a specialist there. Many trips to the hospital, where I go now, thankfully only about forty-five minutes away. And he drives over everyday to visit with me. He is my soul mate, my best friend, my rock, and I love him dearly!

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. ~ Desmond Tutu

Live with hope,
Roni

Calm To Tame The Beast

“The ideal of calm exists in a sitting cat.”
― Jules Renard

Welcome to my third installment, to the series “Tame The Beast”. In this series I am sharing some of the coping mechanisms, that I found to be useful on my journey with chronic migraine.

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Calm at Daybreak

Calm is an app that can be download to your cell phone, and has some striking differences, compared to other mediation apps I have seen. First it does offer guided mediation, for several different areas in your life. But not just your life, there are guided mediations for children as well.

  • 7 Days of Calm
  • Mindfulness at Work
  • Breathe
  • 7 Days of Sleep
  • 7 Days of Calming Anxiety
  • Deep Sleep Release
  • 7 Days of Managing Stress
  • Relationship with Self Series
  • 7 Days of Self-Esteem
  • Winnie the Pooh Series
  • Calm Kids
  • And many, many more!

There are several different pieces of music that you can choose from for self mediation. They use a lot of nature melodies, which I find extremely relaxing. On first opening the app, it starts playing sounds of drifting water, birds calling, insects chirping and the peep of little frogs. When I find myself feeling anxious, I will open the app and just listen to this for a while. Paying attention to my breathing and any tension I may be holding, if I find tension I focus on releasing it. This is where my biofeedback training is so very helpful!

Another wonderful feature of Calm, is their bedtime stories! Yep, that’s right bedtime stories. For adults and children, they are simply amazing! The readers have the perfect seductive, relaxing voices. Get your mind out of the gutter, they are not those kind of stories. That is the best description I could think of, there voices draw you in, making you feel so relaxed, you’d think you had just stepped out of a day spa! The children’s stories are just as amazing, there are some for nap time and others for bedtime.

I absolutely adore Calm, it is well worth the price I paid for it. When I have a migraine attack, I often get anxiety. Having another tool to use to tame the beast is always a good thing, you can never have too many! Being prone to panic attacks, I like to be able to nip them in bud, before they become full-blown. Calm helps me with that, it really is an amazing app, totally different from anything I’ve seen before. I still like Headspace for guided Mindfulness Mediation, and will continue working with that. But Calm is my go to, well, when I need to be Calm, and tame the beast!

“If it comes, let it come. If it goes, it’s ok, let it go. Let things come and go. Stay calm, don’t let anything disturb your peace, and carry on.”
― Germany Kent

Live with hope,
Roni

 

 

Photo: Credit Storyblocks.com

 

 

 

The Beast & His Two Traveling Companions

“Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It’s the fear of failure but, no urge to be productive. It’s wanting friends but, hate socializing. It’s wanting to be alone but, not wanting to be lonely. It’s caring about everything then caring about nothing. It’s feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzing numb.”  author unknown

As I listened to Dawn Buse, PhD, this week during the World Migraine Summit, I was struck first by her, kindness and caring, for migraine patients who also suffer with depression and anxiety. Her entire being radiated her passion, for what she does, and how very much she cares for her patients. I would love to have her for a therapist! Then as she began to talk about the correlation, of depression and anxiety, between those with migraine. It quite boggled my mind! The stress of chronic daily pain, upon the body and the mind, should really be of no surprise to me. I have clinical depression, as well as, anxiety disorders. Yet the statics, where mind-boggling, more than fifty percent of those with migraine, have with either depression, anxiety disorders or both. In patients with chronic migraine, those numbers go up.
This is her web page for anyone interested, in seeing what she has to offer online, and there is quite a lot!
http://www.dawnbuse.com/

I have dealt off and on, with depression and anxiety, since my migraines went chronic in 2001. At this time, I lost my job, our best friends moved away, our oldest son moved out on his own, I had a Total Hysterectomy and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, in the space of six months. It was a very stressful time in my life, I was in constant pain and hadn’t at the time found a headache specialist. So I was being treated by my PCP, his advise for the fibromyaligia was to take hot showers! One can only stay in the shower so long. I felt so hopeless and alone, I had no one to turn to for support. Thoughts of suicide began to enter my mind, to the point that I made a plan. In doing that, it scared me so badly that I called my physicians office, and spoke with the nurse practitioner who was in the office at the time. He was a voice of calm, in the middle of my storm, and set everything up so that I could go directly to our inpatient intake counselor, to admit myself. One of the best things I’ve ever done for myself! I stayed there a week and learned so much, no it wasn’t easy, it is very hard to open yourself up to a complete stranger. Tell them all your fears, sorrows, pain, emotional and physical. But that psychiatrist did more for me, than my PCP had been doing. He treated my emotional, anxiety disorders, as well as my physcial pain. At that time, in the moment, that was what I needed, and he got that. I believe with all my heart, these actions saved my life.

I wish I could say that depression and anxiety, is no longer a part of life, alas I cannot. I have clinical depression, which runs heavily on my mother’s side of the family. So I got the double whammy! My mother also dealt with anxiety disorders, and what nasty little buggers they are. Panic Attacks are the worst, sneaking up on you out of the blue, with a big knot in your belly, you need air, where is the damn door I can’t breathe! I think my heart is going to gallop right out of my chest! Dawn Buse suggested a one minute breathing technique, when you feel a panic attack coming on. Take a deep breath in, then exhale, forcefully, repeat for one minute.

These are diseases and disorders that travel with the beast, we cannot will, wish or pray them away. We can learn coping mechanisms, to make life more bearable with them. Relaxation techniques such as, biofeedback, mindfulness mediation, and therapy. Whether it be talk or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT), which I will be starting very soon. Living with migraine requires us to do, everything we possibly can, to make life somewhat better. To live it to its fullest and keep hope alive.

“In the dead of night at dawn or in the depression or the emotion of any afternoon, whoever you are, respect your own changes and transitions, it can be painful to know that you do not please everyone, but it is refreshing to realize that you honor yourself.” author unknown

Live with hope,
Roni

 

Reading To Tame the Beast

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
― Stephen King

I am super excited to welcome you, to the second installment in my series, “Tame The Beast” This is a subject I could talk about for hours! I hope you enjoy reading it, as much as, I did writing it.

 

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My Beloved Kindle Fire

I have been an avid reader for many, many years, way back before chronic migraine became a part of my life. I spent summers reading whole series of novels, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Little House on The Prairie, Dana Girls, the list goes on. When I got a little older my Mom, let me read some of the authors she liked at the time. Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Mary Higgins Clark, but it wasn’t long before I was branching out on my own, looking and trying on genres, until I found which niche I fit into. 

Which turned out to be historical romance(or hysterical romance, according to my hubby)and mystery/thrillers. Which my hubby is sure that I am boning up on how to do away with him! Isn’t that just like a man, can’t be satisfied with either genre. He’s not a reader like I am, he didn’t grow up reading, more of an outdoors kind of person. He likes to read now and then, but when he does it takes him forever to finish a book, because he’s really absorbing every little detail of the book. My son’s are both avid readers, not as much now as they used to be, with work and such. I started reading aloud to them when they were about one month old, and continued this until the were in elementary school. Being strong readers was a real plus for them in just about every subject, during their school careers.

These days I stick with mostly mystery/thrillers, except for the occasion historical romance series that I’ve been following for years. Even then they are not boring, kissy, kissy, content only, but lots of action and adventure. From high sea adventure, pirates, kidnappings, tale of the old west, plenty of suspense and mystery added in. I don’t do boring!

Okay I know what you are thinking, how does this tame the beast? Anyone familiar with the old commercial “Calgon Take Me Away”? That is what reading does for me, it takes me away. Away from the pain, the depression and anxiety that creep in despite medication, the guilt, despair, loneliness, hopelessness, and feeling of loss. No, I don’t have all of these feelings, except the pain, everyday. Thank the Lord, but they do creep in, and I believe that is normal, for those of us who live with chronic migraine and chronic pain. We cannot be UP all the time, we’re only human, DOWN times are going to come. We just need a way to deal with them, so that we are never overwhelmed to the point of giving up. Of losing HOPE!

Reading is a solace, escape, an adventure, a journey, you never know where a novel is going to take you. An underwater adventure perhaps, to a restaurant where the meal described has your mouth-watering. Into a life and death situation, that has you toes curling, until you get to the conclusion. Maybe you journey to India, and you can almost taste and smell, the spices so popular there, cloves, cardamom, cumin, coriander, and nutmeg. Be there during The Festive Of Colors, when gorgeous vivid dry colors are tossed in the air to land on everything and everyone. All of this you see through your mind’s eye, experience through reading. It is magic! For the time I am able to read, it takes me away from the pain and transports me to another time and place.

Yes, there are times that I am unable to read, when the pain level is too high. Most of the time if I am at an eight or below, I can read. But you must remember, everyone’s tolerance is different. My baseline pain level is between a three to a four, you have to decide what is comfortable for you. Reading with my Kindle Fire, makes a lot of difference. It has several features that makes it easier to read on, while having a migraine. As with the Paperwhite Kindle, you can change you text size, as well as font, and brightness. With the Kindle Fire you can also change the color of the page, white, black, sepia, and green. I use the sepia, it is a creamy taupe color and much easier on my eyes. If that gets to be too bright, I can turn on the blue shade, making it even more comfortable to the eye. When you are in migraine mode, comfortable is the key word! If you love to read, but can’t do so during a migraine the traditional way, with a good ole book in hand. Think about investing in a Kindle Paperwhite or a Kindle Fire, the prices are virtually the same and if you are upgrading from a Paperwhite to a Fire, all of your books will transfer. Since they are stored in the cloud. Here’s to happy reading and taming the beast!

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
― C.S. Lewis

Live with hope,
Roni

 

Smells That Tame The Beast

“Aromatherapy is a caring, hands-on therapy which seeks to induce relaxation, to increase energy, to reduce the effects of stress and to restore lost balance to mind, body and soul.”  Robert Tisserand

Welcome to the first installment, of the series I am calling “Tame The Beast”! Simple things that I do to cope with chronic migraine. I have no rabbit to pull out of a hat, not at all, just little things, that I have learned over an eighteen year period. So buckle up, here we go!

I have been experimenting with essential oils, in a diffuser. I did an experimental run, a couple of years ago, trying different essential oils, mixed with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil. None of the standard oils, normally known to help migraine, such as peppermint oil, clicked for me. I was very lucky to have a family member who sells doTerra, and she provided me with samples to try out.

I did like doTerra’s Deep Blue rub, the smell can be a tad strong, but I am using it primarily on my back, neck and shoulders. Once rubbed in it is covered up with a shirt, or nightshirt, blocking out the smell. It works very well for my fibromyalgia pain.

Back to the diffuser, I have always loved Lavender for its natural relaxing, soothing, sleep aid properties. I will use it during a migraine attack, to help me relax more fully. This helps in aiding my medications to work more effectively. One of my migraine sister’s uses, Lavender oil along with Epsom salts, for soaking in the bathtub.  Helping her fibromyalgia when it flares up, sadly I haven’t been able to try this, any perfumed additive to bath water, causes me to get a vaginal yeast infection. So I’m a shower gal. I also like to use Tides Lavender infused detergent, Downy’s Lavender infused fabric softener and Unstoppable Lavender scented products, to wash my bed linens in. They smell so nice when I put them on the bed! When I was researching more about Lavender, I read of Mothers who made their own “Sleepy Cream” with essential oil, that they rubbed on their children at night. The children liked the scent, and the Mothers swore by its properties, to help their children get a more restful sleep. So it’s not just for grown ups.

Eucalyptus is known for its stress relieving and overall good health benefits. Excellent to use when you have a head cold or sinus infection. Eucalyptus works as an expectorant and helps cleanse your body of toxins and harmful microorganisms that can make you feel sick. One of the most effective ways to utilize eucalyptus for colds is to drop several drops of the essential oil into your diffuser before going to sleep so you can take advantage of the healing benefits all night long. As an air cleaner, try putting a few drops into your vacuum and clothes dryer filters to freshen them up and sanitize them. Also, it’s great for killing mold in your home, and you can mix eucalyptus with other oils like clove and tea tree oil to cleanse the air and maintain a mold-free home. Who knew Eucalyptus could do so much! I love its lovely clean smell.

Peppermint, well peppermint is beloved by many with migraine, not only as a tea to help with nausea, but also applied topically, after being mixed with a carrier oil. To your temples, behind your ears, back of the neck, and even the sinus area of your face. Taking care that your mixture, isn’t too strong, the flumes can burn the eyes. Peppermint oil works well in the diffuser also, during a migraine attack. But it is not my favorite, nor was it one of my husbands! Peppermint tea on the other hand is. I keep a stock of Twining’s Peppermint Tea, K-Cups for my Keurig at all times, and drink it with raw, unfiltered honey.

Never use pure essential oils directly on your skin, this can cause burns, they need to be mixed with a carrier oil first, such as fractionated coconut oil. Another very important thing to remember, if you have pets, be very careful where you use your diffuser, some essential oils are toxic to animals. I use mine on my bedside table, a place Belle does not get on, I don’t think her highness will fit. lol Belle also has a very sensitive nose, just like her Mommy, and shy’s away from smells like these. But this is not the same for all cats or dogs, being curious they want a closer look. Even using a diffuser in the same room, as your pets for an extend time, can cause them harm.

I bought my diffuser and essential oils from Amazon, there are many types of diffusers, at a variety of prices. When it comes to the essential oils, you are better off, paying a little more, and getting a higher grade oil, that you will need less of, in the end you save money. What woman alive doesn’t like a bargain or to save money? One thing you must keep in mind, migraine is not a cookie cutter disease, that said, aromatherapy is not for everyone. One essential oil scent may be wonderful for me, but for another person with migraine, send them into a migraine attack. Scents are very personal, experiment with them, you may find one you like and is beneficial for you. Or you may not be able to tolerate any scent all. Diffusers with just plain water are still good for you, year round. Putting moisture back into the air, if you take medication, that dries your mouth out, they also make your eyes, skin, and lips dry. Moisture from a diffuser is awesome for helping in these areas.

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View of the mist

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Lovely light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The diffuser has a breathing exercise mode, when I made this video, the light moves like a shadow, as if there is a ghost inside it. I assure there is not, it only did that during the video process. Otherwise that would be very annoying and not relaxing at all. I added some background music, to make it more interesting. What’s a video without music? I’ve really had the most fun putting this blog together, trying out the different essential oils, and getting to share it with all of you! That’s really the best part, sharing! I hope you’ve found it informational and fun at the same time.

“Healing begins with an aromatic bath and daily massage” Hippocrates (c. 400 BC ~ c. 370 BC)

Live with hope,
Roni

 

 

 

 

 

When Love Hurts

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The other day on Twitter, I came across a tweet from a young lady who was, clearly upset that she was unable to have anyone hug her, because it caused her pain. She has Fibromyalgia, as I do also, it is one of my comorbidities along with chronic migraine. She stated that she came from a very huggy family and desperately missed that connection with them. That really got me thinking about my own experience with fibromyalgia and how it has impacted my life.

I’m going to be quite frank and open on this subject, I feel that there are a lot of people who can relate to this topic, or have had the same experiences, but have felt uncomfortable talking about them. During a flare, which always comes with a migraine attack for me, every muscle in my body hurts. Not one is exempt from pain, including my breasts. I’ve had chest wall pain, that I thought was chest pain, and being home alone I had to call 911. After having a stress test, that was normal, the cardiologist diagnosed it as chest wall pain due to my history of fibromyalgia. In cases like this it is always, better to be safe and have it checked out, than to ignore it, and miss a serious problem. I’ve had flares so painful, that I could hardly move without wanting to cry from the pain. Even when I’m not in a flare, I still hurt, just not as badly.

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia eighteen years ago, in the beginning it was really, really, rough. Sleep was almost impossible, I was given Cymbalta which didn’t help, then Lyrica that I had a horrible reaction to, and finally Savalla which caused my blood pressure to bottom out, making me to pass out. These days I use Tizanidine, a muscle relaxer, to help with the pain, and take a sleep aid so I’m able to sleep at night. Even with that I still have nights that pain, migraine and fibromyalgia, keep me awake.

If you could just image with me for moment, all your muscles are burning, it feels like the nerve ending are too close to the top of your skin, you move the wrong way and pain shoots outs, you get leg cramps at night, certain fabrics against your skin are irritating, you have overwhelming chronic fatigue, you don’t dare do too much in one day, doing so could cause a flare. Then there is the worst part, at times simply being touched causes pain. Being hugged by your husband and children causes pain. Having sex with your husband causes extreme pain, so you are forced to give that up. Love hurts! You find yourself feeling more isolated than ever, and you deeply miss the physical contact.

Not a very pretty picture, but neither is fibromyalgia. Not everyone may have pain at this level, and many people are able to use Lyrica, or medications like it, to control their symptoms and that’s fabulous! I wanted others with fibromyalgia, to know that I understand, care about you, and to let you know, you are not alone! There is always hope in any situation. I am blessed with a caring and supportive husband of thirty-five years, we’ve been through a lot together. We love each other very much and not making love isn’t going to change that. There is so much more to a marriage than sex, though the younger audience would probably disagree. lol Never give up or lose hope!

 

“Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.”     

Mary Tyler Moore

Live with hope,
Roni

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