The Dark Side


2013-09-20-11-09-27[1]

2-17-14

Chronic Diseases bring out The Dark Side in everyone. The person suffering one or multiple Chronic Illnesses (until they recognize and correct their attitude-if and when they do) family, friends and significant life partners-loved ones, co-workers, bosses, clients (customers) health care providers (nurses, receptionists, doctors, PT therapists, nurse practitioners, massage therapists etc). Anyone and everyone in the public and those in support groups-Facebook, Twitter (etc).

Egos are at play, how people are raised are a major key issue. Were they in a loving, stable, emotionally secure family situation. Or was it unstable, emotionally lacking in love, emotionally abusive by one or both parents. Was one parent an absentee parent-always missing to avoid the other parent due to issues in the marriage-lack of a true loving emotional bond, or to avoid confrontation to the dysfunction family situation due to their “own” dysfunction family upbringing. Or missing due to being the sole bread-winner, death, divorce or non-traditional marriage/relationship as in the past year status quo? Some dynamics in relationships and personalities in people make them seem almost emotionless, backstabbing, unloving, unstable or downright evil.

evil

So why do people act this way? Why do people reject those who are chronically ill? Why do they choose to disbelieve those who are chronically sick? Why do they always put those who are sick to the test time and time again, and yet those who are NOT sick seem to get away with anything like calling off sick from work with hangovers or trivial things, while those who are truly sick are discriminated against enough for employers to legally get away with it. Sometimes to the point of pressuring employees to quit so they don’t have to fire them, getting away with not having to pay unemployment and thus not having to come under fire with breaking any discrimination laws.

That was how I “forced” to leave my job. That and I was indeed becoming more chronically ill at the same time. I do believe my cesspool of a job was triggering my illness to come on at a rapid speed. Not that it wasn’t there before simmering and boiling and occasionally acting up on occasion giving them fuel to toss onto the slow burning fire. But I was a longtime loyal, dedicated, hardworking employee with morals and standards. I did not believe in what had become the new “norm” called brown-nosing instead of actually working. The so-called “team leaders” got their jobs that way instead of actually earning their jobs, and they kept their positions that way, making us peons do the dirty work and they took the credit while they shopped online at Amazon, eBay and checked their own Facebook and Twitter accounts, or texted on their cellphones to each other or their then boyfriends who became husbands or live in significant other half. occasionally we’d have to work out-of-town on “jobs” and on the way home after injuring my shoulder I started to complain of pain. The “team leader” was so busy trying to text her boyfriend whom she must have been afraid was doing something other than what he said he was doing (she was texting him during the “job” too but was I allowed to say anything afterwards-NO) and on my other side was the mother of another team leader who had to stay “mum” as to “protect” the business you know. Well the next business day (this job was on a Sunday) I reported my injury to HR. Well later in the morning I was told that since I didn’t report it ASAP as soon as it happened I could NOT file workman’s comp for on the job injury. When I stated I did complain I was told that lo and behold “no one recalled my saying anything”. Then HR said she had to quote “do what she had to in order to protect the company”.

evil-eye

So goes to show when someone wants you out of the job, out of their lives or make it as hard for you as they want (intentionally or not) there may or may not be much you can do about it. As for my job as the pressure on me was increased I had my doctor put me on FMLA then Temporary Medical Disability which was extended. I then filed for SSD. I was denied. My husband was against my going on temporary disability and FMLA. I got NO emotional support from him at all as my disease progressed from episodic to intractable daily occipital migraines and panic attacks. He did not and would not understand. Stems back from the childhood he was raised in. This was really brought home again this weekend after he was gone for a week in Florida.

I got a Total Gym Platinum Plus with 8 attachments & 4 DVD’s to duplicate the pulley exercises I learned in PT last year. I have bad Fibro, CFS, Peripheral Neuropathy as well as long-standing Occipital Chronic Migraines, Occipital Neuralgia, DDD, Cervical Osteoarthritis, etc. I CANNOT do strenuous exercise as I’ve told him time and time again. Someone else in his family has fibro and it’s always poor so and so. She doesn’t do anything major around the house-her poor hubby who is a saint does, w/o complaint or thanks does and his health is not that great does so-does he get credit. NO. Does he drop the F bomb when he does so w/o being asked. NO. I have several issues and several food intolerance/allergies and I cannot help it I have chronic diseases that prevent me from doing things-like mowing almost 2 acres-granted I could not do for most of last summer, but SHE has NEVER mowed. But I get hell for not doing a lot and when someone “else” around this house (he) has to do something the “F” bomb goes off like crazy as well as a slew of other blue words and negativity galore. Of course in that household as they were growing up chronic illness was NOT tolerated as 1 child was blacklisted and outcast due to a serious illness (life threatening asthma) by her own mother who raised 2 of her children to hate the 1 who had the asthma, and turned them against the sick one & still to this day blames her OWN daughter for disrupting mommies life with being so sick as a child!! She blamed her for everything-for things that went missing-she must have taken it-even as an adult when she moved out of the house and was never allowed a key, somehow she mysteriously vaporized into the house and took valuable rings (that mother dearest misplaced & later found but no, no that could not be bad sick daughter that disrupted her life took them & must have come in when she wasn’t there & put them back, geese) It’s a wonder she let her live to adulthood! Anyway I’ve been made an outcast also, just to give you and idea why giving you a “taste” of the family history. Anyway my Total Gym isn’t good enough for him so it’s just not good enough so I have to send it back I was told as it was “junk”. Well Bull flipping #hit!! NO #ucking way am I sending it back!! It’s set up on 6 month easy pay. It’s in the convenience of my home so with my CFS I don’t have to worry about falling asleep like I did w/PT on the way home or during my sessions and if I get too fatigued during my workout I can pause and start-up later! I’m tired of making some thick-headed insensitive dense people understand. I will continue and try NOT to be bitter, but I do need my outlet and to vent. Thank you for letting me do that here on my safe haven. But it still feels like a daily battle of good vs. evil.

good angel bad angel

As for social media you come into that as well unfortunately. There is a pecking order sometimes and you come across those who may feel jealous or feel more superior to you and want to push you to your limit or others that you have come to love and admire. And a few years ago if you had asked me if you can build real lasting friendships on Facebook I would have laughed in your face and said hell no. But now I’m here to say you most definitely can. I have met some really amazing people on Facebook through some support groups I have been a part of and I’m still in. One I can speak of as its public but restricted as you can only be invited into is Chronic Migraine Awareness-CMA. A couple of others I’m just a member of are Migraine related are private and by invitation only and I cannot mention those names. They are pretty awesome. 2 groups I am co-administrator on and they are private. There are some really amazing people in those groups and I have made some really super amazing friendships there and some really close bonds the past year or so. I have also had a few clashes with a person or 2 that were not solely about building people up, but about power struggles, superiority, ego bashing, back stabbing-it was almost like my toxic work situation all over again but in cyberspace. Just when you think you find a safe haven……………………………………………… Moral of the story is you can trust but at the same time watch your back and always, ALWAYS trust your instinct. If your gut is telling you something is amiss, trust your gut-it is rarely wrong. Save yourself from an ensuing bloodbath and free-for-all that will be up for public display that is out of your control.

2013-09-20 10.34.46

Values

Until next time sending you all blessings, love, hugs and prayers. Julie

DISCLAIMER:

Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and I enjoy sharing experiences and news about Chronic Pain Conditions. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your own unique situations and do not take any information on this site as a Diagnostic Tool or Procedure for your signs or symptoms. I will not be held liable for any misinterpretation you may misconstrue from any presented information on this informational only page.

Do you know if your food is making you sick and you don’t know it? Do you know how your food is processed? Do you know how it’s grown? Consumer Beware.


Migraines and Potential Food Triggers in Chemically Sensitive Individuals:

 Other hidden food dangers: the truth in MIS-Labeling:

The Danger Lurking in our Food Supply-the FDA is not protecting the consumer:

MSG_2

MSG is a known Migraine Trigger:

Chemically altered and manufactured Glutamate, known as MSG, can be a common trigger for migraines. MSG has been labeled one of many ingredients as an “Excitotoxin” that when consumed in large quantities along with natural Glutamate can create the brain to become over stimulated and can have long-term implications. Natural Glutamate is an amino acid found already as a naturally occurring substance in fresh food that is safe as it passes through the blood/brain barrier. MSG is an altered form and does not cross that barrier and as a result it builds up in the brain and becomes toxic over time.  This trigger had been well researched by Dr. Russell L Blaylock who is a Boar-Certified Neurosurgeon is his book titled “Excitotoxins, the Taste that Kills”. MSG as a trigger has also been recognized by Berkeley University of California, NOHA, NHF and the American Nutrition Association as a few examples:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7arAcj-ZP6U&feature=youtu.be

http://uhs.berkeley.edu/home/healthtopics/pdf/triggers.pdf

http://www.headaches.org/content/news-know-readers-mail-2010

http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/review-excitotoxins-taste-kills

http://www.sota.com/files/pdf/life_excitotoxins.pdf

In her review of Dr. Blaylock’s book NOHA Honorary Member Beatrice Trum Hunter concludes:

Excitotoxinsis a valuable contribution to the understanding of the brain and the need to protect it from assaults that result in various health problems and diseases. It is a book that should be read by all health professionals. The work is understandable for concerned laypersons, too. The extensive reference list will serve as a useful tool for those who are laboring to have toxic substances officially banned, not to be permitted as intentional food additives. As noted by Richard C. Henneberry, PhD, “I consider it ironic that the pharmaceutical industry is investing vast resources in the development of glutamate receptor blockers to protect [the central nervous system] neurons against glutamate neurotoxicity in common neurological disorders, while at the same time, the food industry, with the blessing of the FDA [Food and Drug Administration], continues to add great quantities of glutamate to the food supply.”2

MSG is difficult to eliminate from the diet as it has many hidden sources. The manufacturer will say on the label “No MSG Added” but 99% of the time it will be on the list of ingredients in hidden forms like yeast extract, yeast protein, Glutamic acid, etc. Here a couple of links to identify hidden sources of MSG:

http://rense.com/general92/hidename.html

http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/psychology/health_psychology/msg.htm

To know for sure if MSG is your trigger you would need to do a food elimination diet and this should be done with the approval/supervision of your health care provider. A few examples of what is done in a food elimination diet if you have not done one before:

http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/docs/trigger-foods-workbook.pdf

http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/a-natural-approach-to-migraines

aspartame-poison

Artificial Sweeteners can also be a Migraine trigger:

Aspartame, Splenda and NutraSweet may also be a potential trigger for those who are prone to Migraine Triggers as noted by Vanderbilt University, NBCI PubMed.gov as a few examples. In fact all artificial sweeteners have been linked as triggers as they too are classified also as an Excitotoxin:

http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/aspartameWebpage.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16942478

Gluten

Gluten can also be a Migraine Trigger:

Gluten may also play a role and trigger Migraines in those sensitive to it. You don’t have to be allergic to Gluten but can have sensitivity to it. Gluten as well as MSG have many hidden sources as well and are also as hard to eliminate from the diet. Like MSG the manufacturer can label the food item as “Gluten Free” but looking at the list of ingredients there will be a hidden source:

http://www.celiac.com/articles/121/1/Migraine-Headaches-Gluten-Triggers-Severe-Headaches-in-Sensitive-Individuals/Page1.html

http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/hidden-sources-of-gluten/

What makes some people more sensitive to chemical reactions?

IgG Antibody study is a landmark in studies for some people that are highly sensitive to food additives and chemicals. IgG antibodies are found in all body fluids. They are the smallest but most common antibody (75% to 80%) of all the antibodies in the body. IgG antibodies are very important in fighting bacterial and viral infections. IgG antibodies are the only type of antibody that can cross the placenta in a pregnant woman to help protect her baby (fetus). (From ncbi.nlm.nih.gov):

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20647174

http://www.biomatecfd.com/images/pdf/No_36__2010_Pascual_in_CEP_IgG_and_migraine.pdf

 histamine

Histamine can also be a Migraine trigger. 

Apart from the body’s own production we consume histamine with food. It is found in almost all foods, especially in those which have been fermented with the help of bacteria or other micro-organisms such as sauerkraut. People that are sensitive to weather changes are especially prone to this allergen. That would explain why as part of a Migraine Treatment plan an anti-histamine would be prescribed which in many cases is Benadryl.

Foods which contain significant amounts of histamine:

– fish (e.g. tuna, mackerel, anchovy, and tinned canned fish)

– cheese (hard cheese, Emmental, camembert, Roquefort, Brie etc.)

– processed meat (salami, raw ham etc.)

– vegetables (sauerkraut, spinach, tomatoes etc.)

– alcohol (red and white wine, champagne, beer)

Biogene amines are also in chocolate, nuts, eggs, milk, pineapple,

papaya, strawberries etc.

An overload of the body with histamine causes health problems,

though not only if it is taken in orally from foods or breathed in, but the lack of

break down mechanisms also causes symptoms. Excessive amounts of

histamine can cause health problems in all people, and in individuals

with histamine intolerance even small quantities can lead to problems.

http://www.candidatest.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/HistamineEngl1.pdf

http://www.histamineintolerance.org.uk/about/the-food-diary/the-food-list

http://histame.com/histamine-rich-foods-substances

http://www.allergyuk.org/common-food-intolerances/histamine-intolerance

 parmesan-cheese-chunks

Tyramine can also be a Migraine Trigger:

Tyramine is a normally occurring amino acid found in all foods. Some foods contain a higher degree of Tyramine and can be a trigger in those who are sensitive to this. Aged and fermented foods and wine fall into this category as well as foods that are leftover for longer than 6-8 hours and are not consumed immediately or frozen before that time frame is up. To see if Tyramine is a trigger you would also need to do an elimination diet for the highest level Tyramine foods then slowly reintroduce them back into your diet. A Low Tyramine diet is endorsed by the NHF:

http://www.headaches.org/pdf/Diet.pdf

http://www.nmh.org/ccurl/504/151/Low-tyramine-diet-08.pdf

 caffiene

Caffeine can also be a Migraine Trigger:

Excessive caffeine consumption may or may not be a trigger for some people. On the NHF Low Tyramine Diet they state to use it sparingly but some Migraine Abortive medications contain caffeine to speed up the delivery process of the medication into the system, and also some Headache Specialists advise some patients to use caffeine at a minimum to speed up their pain medication response time. It depends on the individual and how they respond to caffeine as to how they use it. But it can be a food trigger as well.

As with everything else related to Migraine Disease, it is a process of elimination as to what will or will not alleviate Migraine pain when it comes to food additives. Food additives have and always will be a source of controversy and avoidance if one does not wish to pursue this avenue as a natural and safe way to try to alleviate some of their pain. Eliminating all chemicals is hard and again it’s not a guarantee it will cure Migraines, but it may alleviate the severity or duration in those that are chemically sensitive to the ingredients-not all Migrainers are that sensitive to these chemicals so it is based on your doctors recommendations and your own personal experience if you want to investigate further the role food additives might be contributing.

I have a real issue with those who say Soy is healthy and that there is “good” Soy and then there is “bad” soy. It is a marketing ploy used by many manufactures of various food and so-called “Health Supplements”. Research is growing and shows Soy linked to the growth of hormone induced cancers, especially breast cancer (treating oncologists will tell women with aggressive forms of breast cancer to cut out all Soy-hint there that it’s bad for you) it’s linked to bowel problems especially Irritable bowel Syndrome (IBS) Autism, Sexual altering of our children during their formative years due to Soy Formula, and links to Migraines and a few other cancers and diseases. If you take Soy and manufacture and process it in any way it becomes MSG which is a worldwide recognized trigger for many conditions. Current “processed” Soy is a GMO and has been since 2011 but is just now coming to light and the consumer is now being informed and hopefully becoming educated about the dangers and risks involved in consuming Soy products, as well as other potentially hazardous food additives.

soy

Soy can also be a Migraine Trigger, but also potentially a health hazard:

There is a risk of consumption of soy in those who have had breast cancer or the genetics for cancer that eating any form of soy can increase the cancer cell production. Leading again to the argument that soy is no good and there is no such thing as “good” soy or “bad” soy. Soy is soy and it contains extra estrogens that multiply breast cancer cells:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/expert.q.a/01/19/breast.cancer.tofu/

Some Oncologists ask patients to cut way back on the soy foods, saying the jury was still out on its safety for women with a history of breast cancer. “They’re thinking was that a little was probably safe, but said some other oncologists on the staff told their patients to avoid soy completely,”:

http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/features/soy-effects-on-breast-cancer

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070516133004.htm

Supplements may contain high doses of concentrated sources of soy. These include soy powders, soy protein powders and isoflavone supplements. Genistein and daidzein are specific types of soy isoflavones. They are often sold as dietary supplements. We recommend you avoid these supplements due to the potential estrogen-like effects and lack of safety data:

http://www.oncolink.org/coping/article.cfm?c=464&id=1239

If you have soy sensitivity, your body has trouble breaking down the proteins and sugars in soy. Any undigested soy sugars and proteins move through your digestive system. Eventually they get to the colon where they begin to cause you problems like diarrhea; cramping and trapped gas .Your bowels can be sensitive to the soy proteins themselves, which can cause the IBS symptoms:

http://solvingtheibspuzzle.com/soy-sensitivity.html

There is a distinction between soy allergies and soy intolerance. Soy allergies affect around .4 percent of the population while soy intolerance may affect many more. Persons with intolerances to soy may develop symptoms associated with irritable bowel disease. The best way to determine whether a food is affecting the digestive tract adversely is to do an allergy elimination diet.

Several published studies, confirmed by CFSAN (Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition) director Dr. Mike Shelby, have concluded that soy is an active estrogenic endocrine disruptor. Proper functioning of the endocrine system, especially during developmental time-frames must not be jeopardized. Overwhelming numbers of published studies conclude soy repeatedly jeopardizes developmental health. The fact that soy can feminize males and masculine females is evidence of soy targeting the brain:

http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert/why-babies-should-not-be-fed-soy

“It appears there is a direct correlation between GMOs and autism.” –Arden Anderson, MD, PhD, MPH:

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/autism

http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/what-is-soy/

“When you process the protein in soy, you liberalize MSG,” Buchholz says, “so you’re basically manufacturing MSG when you make a product like tofu or miso or protein bars.”

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5364970

Finding your food intolerances for Migraine triggers-including Soy:

Option #1 involves an elimination that lasts from 2 to 6 weeks, followed by a challenge. (and no one said it would be easy-because it’s not)

The elimination involves managing your diet based on the following criteria.

Eliminate all suspect foods:

• Wheat products – pasta, breads, processed foods, faux meat

•dairy products – milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, etc.

•corn products – tortilla, chips, polenta, cornstarch/thickeners

•peanuts – peanut butter, peanut oil

•soy products – tofu, tempeh, soy milk, soy protein powder, faux food, soy oil

•glutinous grains – rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut, seitan, hops

•beef – this is usually more a problem with additives than with the protein itself

•chocolate

•sugar

•NutraSweet/aspartame

•food colorings/dyes

•pesticides and chemical spoilage retardants (especially sulfites):

http://www.apsfa.org/migraines.htm

Soy is contradicted in children w/allergy to cow’s milk-no soy formula or milk (Soy is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used as an alternative to cow’s milk in children who are allergic to cow’s milk. Although soy protein-based infant formulas are often promoted for children with milk allergy, these children are often allergic to soy as well)… Also Soy use is contradicted in the following Diseases/Illnesses: Cystic Fibrosis, Breast Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Kidney Disease, Urinary Bladder Cancer, Hypothyroidism, Asthma and Hay Fever as well as Migraines:

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-975-soy.aspx?activeIngredientId=975&activeIngredientName=soy

 GMO companies

What is a GMO?

GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

High-Risk Crops (in commercial production; ingredients derived from these must be tested every time prior to use in Non-GMO Project Verified products (as of December 2011):

  • Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
  • Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
  • Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in      2011)
  • Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop;      approximately 988 acres)
  • Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in      2010)
  • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash      (approx. 25,000 acres)

http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/what-is-gmo/

http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/05/gmo-labeling-bill-voted-down-in-senate.html

http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/02/fda-approves-first-gmo-flu-vaccine.html

GM crop industry and its supporters claim that GMO foods are safe and more nutritious.

On the contrary, the report shows how the majority of scientific and nutrition evidence discredits pro-GMO claims and instead reveals:

•GMO crops “are laboratory-made, using technology that is totally different from natural breeding methods, and pose different risks from non-GM crops.”

•They “can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts.”

•They “are not adequately regulated to ensure safety.”

•They “do not reduce pesticide use, but increase it.”

•They “create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant ‘super weeds,’ compromised soil quality and increased disease susceptibility in crops.”

•They “harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems and reduce biodiversity.”

http://www.wnd.com/2013/06/chuck-norris-puts-the-hurt-on-gmo-foods/?cat_orig=health

http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/03/ungary-destroys-all-monsanto-GMO-corn-fields.html

http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/03/obama-signs-monsanto-protection-act-written-by-monsanto-sponsored-senator.html

http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/05/800-scientists-demand-global-gmo-experiment-end.html

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/list.php

http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/04/shock-findings-in-new-gmo-study-rats-fed-lifetime-of-gm-corn-grow-horrifying-tumors.html

http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/05/peru-joins-the-list-of-countries-banning-monsanto-and-gmos.html

The devastating effects of GMO production:

This report not only brings together the scientific evidence for the health and environmental damage caused by GMO soy, but systematically documents that in GMO soy-producing areas of South America, a human tragedy is unfolding on a massive scale, with escalating rates of birth defects and cancer linked to heavy spraying of glyphosate and other chemicals. In the past, farmers had to use moderation in herbicide spraying for fear that it would kill the crop as well as weeds. But because GMO soy is engineered to tolerate glyphosate, the herbicide can be sprayed in massive amounts, often from planes, near homes, schools and villages, resulting in massive increases in cancer and birth defects. In addition weeds have responded by acquiring resistance to the herbicide, forcing farmers to use progressively more glyphosate as well as mixtures of other even more toxic herbicides:

http://www.earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/12-gm-soy-sustainable-responsible

If this doesn’t open anyone’s eyes to the truth of GMO’s I don’t know what will. They are slowly and systematically poisoning us and all just for profit-making us sick to see more doctors, more hospital bills, doctors bills and in the end more pharmaceutical bills. Is this why the public isn’t told these truths:

http://earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/GMO_Myths_and_Truths/GMO_Myths_and_Truths_1.3b.pdf

http://www.earthopensource.org/

 farmraisedfishchart

The difference between farm raised and wild caught fish: 

A study published this week in a leading scientific journal found significantly higher levels of cancer-causing and other health-related contaminants in farm raised salmon than in their wild counterparts. The study, published in Science and by far the largest and most comprehensive done to date, concluded that concentrations of several cancer-causing substances in particular are high enough to suggest that consumers should consider severely restricting their consumption of farmed salmon:

http://www.albany.edu/ihe/salmonstudy/pressrelease.html

Farmed fish may contain high levels of contaminants like PCBs, and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE). According to research published by the Environmental Working Group, PCBs found in farmed salmon (at levels 16 times higher than in wild salmon) in U.S. grocery stores are in levels high enough to pose an increased risk for cancer.

Antibiotics and other drugs used in fish farming sift to the sea floor and seep into open waters. As with antibiotic use in feedlots, there’s serious concern that overuse can create drug-resistant strains of disease that can wipe out wild populations. A dye called canthaxanthin is also used to color farm salmon, which would otherwise be grey. (Salmon in the wild absorb carotenoids from eating pink krill; this contributes to their naturally pink color.) This dye has been shown to adversely affect sight when consumed in large quantities:

https://www.ncga.coop/newsroom/fish

 Free-range-hens

If you try to purchase “Free Range” vs. “Cage Raised” meat and poultry, you may not be getting what you’re paying for: 

USDA utilizes informal working definitions for animal care labeling claims such as “free range” and “grass fed.” These terms currently have no regulatory definition. USDA-FSIS pre-approves product labels based on producer testimonials only. The agency does not check on-farm compliance with meat and poultry claims. USDA-AMS neither preapproved nor verifies label claims for shell eggs. Thus, compliance with labeling claims is not verified, with the exception of claims associated with third-party certification programs. It is likely consumers grossly over-estimate the animal welfare significance of

these claims.

http://sustainability.universityofcalifornia.edu/documents/farmsanctuary_appraisal.pdf

This article is very disturbing, and like me you may want to stay away from chicken and eggs for a while. So very sad, cruel and again-misleading the public.

http://www.upc-online.org/freerange.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/12/story-of-an-egg-film_n_2862282.html

 organicmap

When buying Organic vs. its counterpart, are you really getting your money’s worth for nutrition and pesticide control?

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/getting-healthy-now/201210/organic-vs-regular-food-whats-best-eat

When I first started working on my article it sort of snowballed, as you can tell. From food additives to how our food is raised and marketed. The Truth in Labeling law has not been enforced which we know that all too well. Especially those of us who are very sensitive to food additives-the manufacturer can put “hidden” sources and get away with it. And there are too many “hidden sources” to memorize. One has to take a couple of index cards to the grocery store to double-check to make sure they are buying safe foods. As for farmers the FDA has readily and freely admitted they cannot investigate and inspect every farm and slaughterhouse to see if they are in compliance, nor can they visit the farms to make sure their produce is indeed “organic”. There is a lot of money to be made in the food industry and it’s at the consumers expense both monetary and health wise. There are a lot of lobbyists that pay major money to have these chemicals, fillers, additives and harmful farming practices allowed into our food chain. And we sit back and wonder why cancer, autism, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Migraine Disease, MS and other autoimmune disorders are on the rise. And why too we are getting more antibiotic resistant and superbugs are on the rise-they inject our food with it from day 1 and of course as a nation we are anxious to rush to our doctors and get antibiotics when we have a sneeze or sniffle that annoys us. And we need to wonder too why our children are all of a sudden in this century are all of a sudden disoriented to their sexual orientation at such a young age, and why girls are developing at an alarming rate, and the children are getting taller than in the past few generations before this modified and altered food system took root and skyrocketed out of control. The FDA is not out for our interest-the consumer, they are out for the Lobbyists and Special Interest Groups, and Washington will not step in as Congress and the House are practically run by Special Interest Groups. Or should we say “bought and paid for”. We as the consumers have to dig and research and become ardent label readers and try to make the best choice we can when it comes to grocery shopping. And if you buy organic your best bet to get the closest thing to the “real deal” is buy from local farmer’s market-farmers you can build a relationship with, because what you buy at your grocery store is not always “organic”. And that my friends is the sad part of why we are all becoming a very sick, obese and diabetic nation with illness abounding in an alarming rate and why our children are becoming so very sick and obese as well. And there is no one willing to step in and put a stop to the madness.

Of course this is just my opinion, but after checking out the provided links that I used as research guides I’d like to hear any valid database counter arguments. I could have put in more links but that would have been overkill I think. It’s a starting point for you to check out on your own and to start you on your own research if you choose to do so. After all if you don’t have your health you don’t have much to look forward to so you better fight for it while you can and fight for your children, and grandchildren, etc……………………. A well educated consumer is a well educated patient. When you suffer from Chronic Illness with Comorbid Conditions it would only make sense to investigate all avenues and eliminate all possible triggers. Why add fuel to the fire that is already ablaze in your body?

Until next time be a safe, happy and healthy consumer and patient. Blessings to you all. Julie

Short answers in questions I get on this WordPress Layout (this is a very short post)


5-14-13

I get a lot of questions on what theme and layout I’m using. I am using the free version and this theme is Dusk to Dawn. When you go in to set it up you can select layout options to where you can have the menu on the LH or RH side and the background color. Then you select the widgets that are available for the free version and you drag them to the RH or LH menu position you chose. You can also go into settings and customize the background picture and status picture from what you have saved in your pictures folder or downloaded from the web. This makes the site more custom and unique. You pick out your blog name 1st before it lets you go into any themes to set up, and set up your account and username along with password. When your done for the day save all your work and be sure you log out-if you stay logged in even with the browser closed it could open you up as a target for hacking if anyone can get past your firewall and virus settings.

For getting comments to show you have to go into the actual settings of your blog each day and sort through what was caught by spam and see if you want to approve them. Once you approve them you can go to that page and reply. Also you will get an email to notify you of any new comments to moderate that were not caught by Spam. I have over 3,000 messages caught by Spam and I’m debating if I want to continue to go through them all and sort them as it’s very daunting task.

You do not need any programming experience to do this free version of WordPress. It’s pretty easy to set up and customize as they guide you through it. I’ve not had much experience on this as I’ve only been doing it since late fall 2012 and I have no prior writing experience other than way, way back in high school. I would often get marked down on book reports because I made them too long-I just loved reading books and got a lot of information from them and didn’t want to leave out anything I thought was important. So I reluctantly learned to size them down to get my better grades. When I worked on the then small town ambulance service I was always stuck doing the paperwork to write up all the information that happened on each run. Everyone liked my attention to detail and I admit I got carried away and made them too long. But in life and death situations and not knowing if one call could turn into a lawsuit down the road (not saying we were bad, just that people around that time were getting sue happy) so more detail was better than less detail.

That is really all I have to share on information on the layout, the template, the customization, comments and blogging/writing experience.

Until next time Blessings for a pain free day. Julie

 

About Me (5-4-13)


Julie Head Shot (2)

I have got a lot of questions about myself and my experience that contributes to my blogging. I am the sole writer on this blog and any links or quotes I may use from other sites I will indicate so.

So this post I will dedicate to the boring aspects of my life that have led me onto this journey of blogging about a subject I am very passionate about. Passionate because it is a major part of my life-Chronic Migraine Disease, Depression, Panic Attacks PTSD, OCD, IBS, SAD, Fibromyalgia and CFS. I write about subjects I know because I suffer from them and I have done exhaustive research to learn as much as I can to be a better educated patient and in the interim in return I’ve had to educate some of my doctors along the way as they are not as well-versed in Daily Intractable Migraines. I was just recently given the official diagnosis of FM/CFS in the winter of 2012 so I am still in the process of trying to gather information and learning materials to be better educated on that. But an educated patient is a better patient. It teaches you how to manage your disease, how to manage the doctors that care for your disease, and along the way you pick up tips, tricks and ideas from fellow sufferers and some I just picked up on my own. I am the sole writer for this blog and I admitted from the beginning in the fall of 2012 that I am a novice to this media and I am still learning-a work in progress. I try to use the spell checker that is available in this blog editor for WordPress but it’s not as efficient as the one I’m use to in Microsoft Word. So if my spelling seems off at times I try my best, but suffering from daily Migraines where the lowest pain level might reach a 6 the Migraine Fog and the Fibro Fog kick in and I’m not 100%, but I feel it’s still important to communicate and to share what I know and what I learn, as we chronic pain sufferers rely so much on media for their information and interaction with fellow sufferers alike. So bear with me as I learn to blog better and hopefully write better content.

I was born in a very small town in Missouri called Ste. Genevieve. Most of my family originates from Missouri. Due to my dads job we relocated several times and I have been to about 4 different schools when we arrived in New Buffalo Michigan in 1974 for good-our last move and I was currently in 5th grade at the time. I did have a long bout of stomach ailments for that year due to the yet again unsettling move. It seemed that as soon as we got settled into a place and made friends it was time to move yet again. So it was nice to hope that this would be the last move. We were a close-knit family and we were not raised in any particular religious preferences, but we were taught the ethics and morals. We were taught right from wrong and got a paddling when we did wrong to reinforce it so we would not do it again. But it was done in love. Every night we got hugs and told we loved each other and when we went to school, off to work or moved out of the house it was likewise. When we became adults and lived on our own and came over for visits there was always hugs and the I Love you’s said. Never take those moments for granted. So we were raised very strict. I was not allowed to date until I was 16. As was my younger sister. I’m the 3rd in line of 4 children my parents had. My mom did have a stillborn before she had me but refused to talk about it. I have 2 older brothers. The family relationship is strained for various odd reasons. It became more apparent when my mom passed in May 2003 from a sudden stroke at the age of 69. She was diagnosed in 2002 with stage 4 colón cancer that spread to the lymph nodes. She had Alzheimer’s and CHF. The stroke was an end result of the colon cancer. My dad was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes in 2001 after almost losing his leg to cellulitis. He had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He had a sudden hemorrhagic stroke in April 2005 just shortly after turning 77. Watching him in the nursing home struggle for breath as he held on for 3 weeks until he passed was agonizing.

I turned 50 years old late last summer of 2012. I have suffered from infrequent Migraines for over 25 years but on May of 2010 they became daily Intractable Migraines-that was how it was diagnosed at that time. My panic attacks also became unmanageable through will power alone as I was not officially being treated for them at that point. I had IBS I was suffering from since about 2000 and I learned on my own to control it through restricting or refraining totally from dairy and soy based products. At that time there was not a lot of education, or rather should I say, there were not educated doctors that would tell you how to control IBS on your own. They were just ready to get out their prescription pads and write you out a quick fix instead of digging into the problem as most doctors do. I had suffered from an arrhythmia problem called SVT around about that time as well and it was mostly controlled by medications as I was too leery to have the than older version of the Catheter Ablation they used to go into all 4 of your major arteries and insert a 5th electrode into your heart to kill part of your AV Node natural pacemaker. So I struggled with that for years trying new medications as the current ones my body adjusted to and would not longer work. I’d have spells of uncontrollable heart racing that would have to run its course until it decided to stop. When I started having problems with this the doctors at first said “your drinking too much caffeine, cut down”. So I would and problem persisted. Then I was told it was exercise induced so I cut back on my strenuous aerobic exercise and that didn’t curtail it either. Then they decided to try one of those 48hr Holster Monitors to monitor heart rate and function. Wouldn’t you know it of course it wouldn’t act up in that 48hr time frame. Then they started hinting I was a hypochondriac. I had to argue with them and reason with them I was having a real problem until they finally decided to put me on a 30 day monitor. So here I’m going about my regular routine and I didn’t change anything more and I was getting distressed because it wasn’t occurring. I was beginning to question even my sanity when the month was almost over until on day 28, remind you it was 28 days until I got a flare up. And it’s a flare up I will not soon forget. It started at work (I was working in an elementary school at that time as a Head Cook) and the monitor kicked in. I was trying to slow down my pace at work hoping it would go away like it usually did. Well, it didn’t. I was starting to get really weak and jelly legged as the adrenaline was rushing through my veins. I eventually had to call the doctor who dialed into my monitor and said I needed to go to the ER for intervention as it was not going to stop. They said I had an arrhythmia that will not correct itself. I had to call my husband to come get me as I was not able to drive and called my boss to tell her what was going on.

In the ER they hooked me up to IV”s and started pushing meds into me that I cannot remember to try to halt the arrhythmia. It was not helping and I was panicking and the nurses as well as the ER doctor attending me were getting quite worried kept trying to keep me calm. It was into about 8hrs of non-stop heart racing and I was weak, clammy and getting nauseated. I cannot remember what last med they used but they were getting ready to get the shock paddles out to shock me back into rhythm. I remember praying so hard for the medicine to work as I didn’t really want to get electrocuted into a normal sinus rhythm, or worse. Thank God the medicine worked. They kept me there for a while to make sure I was under control before they’d release me. Then I was referred to a Cardiologist that I didn’t like at all. His bedside manner was horrendous and I fired him after 2-3 visits and told my GP to refer me to a better one. I got a nice, elderly, very patient gentleman who came with a good referral by my husbands then boss. I stayed with him until he retired and my GP took over my medicine care. I would get regular stress tests and EKG’s once or twice a year. He informed me about that procedure but I was still to chicken. I didn’t want my 4 arteries compromised and all the listed complications that they listed that could happen w/the procedure. In 2008-2009 they arrhythmia started getting out of control and occurring at more frequent intervals and medication was no longer working. I had actually ran out of medication options by that chance. I was referred to an amazing Cardiologist in Memorial Hospital. He’s the head of the Cardiovascular Institute and I immediately like and trusted him. He told me I basically had no other options but the Ablation procedure. They had perfected it by then and would only go into 1 artery instead of all 4. So I agreed and had the surgery as outpatient on Sept 11 2009. Problem corrected so far-knock on wood.

All this time I was still having the migraines, chronic upper back, shoulder and neck pain. The shoulder pain didn’t help when I had taken a fall down our narrow and steep basement steps and put a slight tear in my rotor cuff. I had PT and Cortisone shots through South Bend orthopedic and it did help for a while. When I re-injured my shoulder at work they repeated the Cortisone shots but to no avail. I would not have surgery to correct it because A. it was too small of a tear and B. a close friend of ours had the surgery, was laid up for 6 months and had just as much trouble with his shoulder afterwards than he did before. So nix that option. I said “no way Jose”. I also had infrequent bouts of panic attacks but they were not uncontrollable at that time.

Up until 2010 I had several alternative treatments to try to help my Migraines and these were options I started back in the late 80’s and they were not doctor recommended or approved-at that time GP’s thought alternative treatments were bogus and not credible and these were the treatments I found online as I was constantly searching to find my own answers as I was not getting them from my doctors. But I have tried:

  1. Chiropractic Manipulation
  2. Acupuncture
  3. Acupressure
  4. Massage Therapy
  5. Vitamin Supplements
  6. Herbal Supplements (discovered I cannot take Feverfew due to a reaction)
  7. Water Therapy-Jacuzzi
  8. Binaural Beats Meditation Music
  9. Guided Imagery
  10. Progressive Relaxation Therapy
  11. Moderate Exercise
  12. Elimination Diet-I did this on my own to find food triggers and I’m aghast it was not suggested to me prior

Then when I went to Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago in 2006 through 2007 I tried the following therapies, some were at their recommendation and others I still found on my own:

  1. Biofeedback
  2. Meditation
  3. Relaxation/Stress Therapy
  4. Specific Stretching Exercises
  5. Elimination Diet-again to pinpoint more food triggers
  6. Migraine Diary
  7. Low Tyramine Diet

This in addition to the medications they experimented on me. After a year of traveling in horrible traffic 2 hours there and 2 hours back and spending countless hours in the waiting room to be seen behind schedule-they were always behind schedule when I was there-and the hassle of my husband and I having to take off work as I would not drive myself into Chicago traffic. Are you kidding? Me with Panic/Anxiety issues drive in bumper to bumper traffic? It didn’t bother my husband as he is from that area so he was in favor of it to begin with as he was the one that suggested it. But after a year with no real results I quit going and asked my GP to take over if he was able and at that point he said he could. So my status as a profession un-paid lab rat continued with the medication trials, and in the meantime I continued to search online for answers and to see if there were any new treatments. At that time of course there was not much in the way of Migraine treatments. My Chiropractor did write a letter to my then manager to ask to have my work station altered to be more friendly to my neck stress which she thought was adding to my Migraines. So my PC monitor was put on a stand so it would be eye level. I asked several times at my former job to have the stereo sound lowered above my desk-each speaker in the ceiling had an adjustment knob where it could be turned down. After a while those requests went unheeded. I was becoming a nuisance to them and during that time I think is where the Red Bulls-Eye was put on my head and they were going to pressure me to quit as they could not legally fire a person w/a disability, at that time the Bush administration included Chronic Migraines as a disability, little good that did at that time or today as people who suffer migraines are still discriminated against.

My then current boss would deliberate walk by my side of the cubicle doused in a whole bottle of cologne, strutting his stuff (of stuff he thought he had worth strutting which was nothing, trust me) to make my work situation more unbearable. I do have to say that boss was as intelligent as a pea pod. I called him a Baboon silently and away from work. He was not smart enough to manage a banana cart out in the parking lot, so how he got this job was retarded. He only got it because he was married to the owners daughter, who also works there. It’s a family run business and past history shows that most family run businesses end up running themselves into the ground if they don’t have the qualified management team in place. And he was fast on his way to running the company down, honestly. Why else would be have all of a sudden left that job a little over a year of my leaving? My then Team Leaders who were all part of a close-knit group of friends in high school were conspiring to put pressure on me. I was criticized all of a sudden for work I had done the 12 years prior with no complaints until now all of a sudden. All my calls were monitored. I know they are to monitor calls from everyone in the call center from time to time but mine were ALL the time. Two of them were even making a point of talking about me behind my back, over their phones which they were just one cubicle apart, but making sure I could hear it. They would call in sick for no reason and of course never be called into account. One girl often had hangovers as to why she called in and the boss even had a running joke about it, but then she never was held accountable. A lot of them did personal online shopping and checking of personal email accounts, but my computer was closely monitored for any of these actions because then it would be grounds for termination.  For a few years when I had to call into work and call off I would be the only one required to bring in a doctors excuse, but no one else was. It was out-and-out discrimination and I finally filed a complaint with the manager and then of course I was made out to be in the wrong! I knew then my days were numbered. But I didn’t know it was my health that would ultimately pay the price but at the same time come to my rescue. The pressure got so bad that a week prior to my leaving work on FMLA and then Temp Disability I was having frequent panic attacks. On my last drive home from work my panic attack was so bad I didn’t think I was going to make it home. How I did is a miracle. My last day of work was May 10 2010 when my FMLA was put into effect and I left that toxic hell hole. In hind-site that was the best thing that ever happened to me. The worse was of course my health suffered for it.

My GP at that time put me on Temp Disability, where he’d been trying to do for the past couple of years but I held off thinking, stupidly, that things would get better. Of course they didn’t. He started trying different medications on me and raised my Topomax to 300mg per day. He put me on Xanax and another anxiety drug I cannot remember the name to save my soul. But after being on it a couple of weeks I had hallucinations that scared the holy crap out of me. I’d see moving black ink blobs moving on the wall in my peripheral vision. I hear semi-trucks blaring their horns at me when none were around. I imagined things missing and blamed innocent people. Of course later when taken off those meds I discovered what I did I apologized for my behavior and at least one member of my family has yet to forgive me for. Resentment runs high in my family they tend to harbor grudges than to forgive and forget and move on. That is the same in my husband’s family as well-hold those grudges until the day you die. How productive and healthy. NOT. So not only was my workplace toxic so too my family life. I had it coming and going and I didn’t know which end was up. All I know was panic attacks were frequent and the Migraines now became daily. I was put on a waiting list to see a neurologist because my GP said he was out of options and didn’t know what more he could do. My best friend and patient advocate was with me on my last few appointments as I was not able to drive myself. The Migraines had gotten so bad they affected my vision and made me a danger on the road. Besides the doctor wisely banned me from driving. I had to wait 3 months to get into seeing this Neurologist who’s last name starts w/an A so I named him Dr. A-Holio. His bedside manner was non-existent. He was a jerk. Plain and simple. He made me feel like I was wasting his valuable time with my “trivial” complaint. He said on my 1st visit which was my referral consultation that I was not disabled and to go back to work! WHAT?? I cannot see straight to drive a straight line, horrible Migraine pain daily and everything that accompanies that! My IBS was flaring up again but I was not eating dairy or soy so I had contributed that at that time to the stress I was undergoing.

And stress is a mild word. I was sinking into a deep despair. My best friend came over to check on me and I walked her out to the car when she was leaving. I cannot remember exactly how it happened but I was leaning onto her car door for dear life to keep from falling flat on my face. I almost blacked out. She had to physically guide me into the house and made me sit down and she ran out to the pole barn to get my husband for help. I was having issues with Hypoglycemia as it turns out. It would run in the AM low 50’s and after I’d eat it would get up to 90. At that time believe it or not I was borderline “UNDERWEIGHT” I was so sick I could not stomach anything. Well the Neurologist took care of that real quick. When he tried a new med and it didn’t work he’d order a steroid to break my cycle. Now mind you I have not NEVER abused my medication. I’ve never overused it. In fact I could be blamed for sometimes not taking it at all because it scared me first off and I didn’t want to get used to it and have to go to something stronger. I do not react well to steroids. I pack on the pounds fast and I’m a witch on wheels (broomsticks are outdated). I lost track of how many times I was given steroids when he would run out of solutions. But it was too many because by the end of the year I had gained a lot of weight. And it was December 2010 when I got my 1st round of Botox for Migraines. It had just been approved for that type of therapy in Sept of that year. The insurance at first approved it, then denied it. We appealed with them 3 times, the doctor’s office appealed 2x. I appealed to the state of Indiana Insurance appeals to no avail. We, or I should say my spouse paid the then $1500.00 out of pocket expense for this treatment that did not take effect. My spouse has always resented “me” for this, for some reason, instead of the insurance company where the fault lies. But this remains a sore subject with him as he kept stating all along I couldn’t all of a sudden be that sick I need to get a job. But when I did have a job and had to call off he’d tell me I better not call off or I’d lose my job. My mind was spinning-make up your flipping mind, but no matter what I was in no shape to work. I could barely stand up w/o falling flat on my face.

In the meantime I went online and did exhaustive research on food additives and all the hidden names that these poisons go by. I’m sensitive to just about every food additive there is but what appalls me is that manufacturers are allowed to put the names of “hidden” sources for these additives but can boldly put on their label “no MSG added” when yeast protein, or glutamic Acid (the list is too long to name each one but that is just 2 of many) is listed in the ingredients and they are hidden sources of MSG!! Same goes for Soy and Gluten. See these sources I have bookmarked for more information:

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_geneticfood01.htm

http://www.balancedconcepts.net/3moprog/soy_sources.pdf

http://rense.com/general92/hidename.html

http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/hidden-sources-of-gluten/

And go to my Face Book Page-I have a lot of links to food additives, red dye and the likes and the hazards related:

https://www.facebook.com/Julieg350dayinthelifewithmigraines

I found out on my own all the toxins I needed to avoid that were migraine triggers. I also purchased a book (one of many) that became my food additive bible: Excitotoxins the Taste that Kills by Russell L Blaylock MD who is at that time of the books publishing a practicing board certified neurosurgeon. He points out these Excitotoxins (MSG, Soy, etc) have led to the epidemic of Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s and many other diseases including Diabetes. And while your at it get this book as well: The Whole Soy Story, the dark side of America’s favorite health food but Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN. A real eye opener. It was after this I decided I can only eat fresh prepared foods made from scratch. Nothing canned, pre-mixed, frozen, prepackaged and no fast food.

During this time my friend had to intervene because I was so depressed I didn’t want to go on anymore. And a very nice pastor came once a week to counsel me until he got to the point that he professed I needed professional help. Finally by May 2011 I asked the nice nurse who worked for Dr. A-Holio to refer me to a therapist I found online who specialized in women’s issues and pain management therapy. During several sessions and after voicing my dislike of my current Neurologist she recommended one that specializes in Migraines and she had personal experience with him through her father’s illness. So in Sept or Oct of 2011 I got into to see my new and still current Neurologist. He has been a Godsend. He also has empathy for what I’ve gone through and what I suffer because he too suffered Migraines. He vowed he will try every trick in the book and find new ones and he will not give up on me. My Professional non-paid lab rat job was still intact. I have always and will continue to be willing to try new treatments and drugs to try to find a solution that helps.

All this time during Oct 2010 I filed for permanent SSD. Of course my spouse was not supportive. He said I won’t get it, don’t bother with it, it’s a waste of time and then of course his famous line during this period “go get a job”. In May 2011 I got denied as I knew I would. They always deny you on the 1st try to try to discourage people from appealing and to get benefits. Of course my husband delighted in telling me “I told you so, now go get a job”. I didn’t give up. I can be a stubborn as he is if not more. I appealed and got a good appeals attorney that wouldn’t take a fee unless he won. He worked long and hard to gather up all my old medical records dating past 2006 to present and he said I had a good case because I had a lot of medical documentation. I repeated this info to my hubby and he was his usual gruff non-supportive self. He was non-believing, as usual. he gets that from his mother’s side, sorry to say, being very negative, non-supportive, borderline hateful, resentful, nasty, non-trusting and hording grudges. As he gets older he gets more like her. It’s pretty scary at times but the sins of the parent fall on the child and it is oh so true in his case. Why do I stick around you ask? Well, like my parents I take the vows I made serious-always have, always did and always will. I’m not a quitter. In fact when faced with a challenge sometimes I fight harder. I almost gave up the summer of 2012 when I again hit rock bottom and my best friend had to intervene again and this time hospitalization and intense personal and group therapy had to take place. Of course I was blamed for that too-it was my fault, all in my head, it’s you not me-on and on, yada, yada, yada. But anyway to finish the story of the SSD appeals I had my appeal hearing in April 2012. My Neurologist submitted a letter on my behalf per the request of my therapist. My therapist even showed up at my hearing and testified on my behalf which just blew me away. She believed in me and my case so strongly that she wanted me to win my SSD appeal. The appeals judge was impressed by this and declared me totally disabled on the bench that very day, Friday April 13th 2012. My husband’s reaction was he told me it was just “good luck”. My best friend was ecstatic for me as was my therapist and attorney. I was in a fog as I was fighting yet another migraine and had to take medication right after my testimony to the judge, when I was allowed to leave the chambers. During my hospital stay was when I was diagnosed with PTSD stemming from a past childhood memory that happened to me at the age of 11 by another family member. I had repressed it for so long it was coming back in night terrors that I found out later were causing my severe insomnia.

Since that time I have tried more alternative therapies that I have come up with my own and some I learned in the hospital and from other bloggers, as I was starting to get involved in blogging late 2012:

  1. Guided Meditation
  2. Meditation Music Therapy
  3. Subliminal Music Therapy
  4. Winter Light Therapy for SAD
  5. Nintendo Wii for hand to eye coördination (recommended by PT Therapy staff at hospital)
  6. Aromotherapy
  7. Cupping
  8. Journaling
  9. Individual Therapy
  10. Pets as Therapy (I already knew this from past experience)
  11. Elimination Diet-yes, again. I tested negative for Gluten but could be intolerant to it and it was expanded that I cannot eat any leftovers more than 6-8 hrs old. If I was going to have something as a leftover it had to be frozen immediately and once thawed heated immediately and then eaten right away. I joke that pretty soon I will only be allowed organic home grown grass and drink distilled water. So my diet got even stricter.
  12. Bible Study Group-as social interaction is vital to ones overall health and well being.

In the fall of 2012 I got into blogging after I was journaling for a while. I got turned onto it by http://www.terirobert.com/ and http://somebodyhealme.dianalee.net/. Every month this is a Migraine Carnival Blog where you create a post that fits that months theme and out of all those that are submitted (the number I’m not sure of) they select about 6 posts. Of course you must have a blog to send a post and so I got started. Prior to that I was an almost daily regular on http://migraine.com/blog/ and would learn more about Migraines, treatments, medications used and at that time I found a blog from Dr. Dawn Marcus on co-existing conditions that can occur with Migraines. It was this link in particular: http://migraine.com/blog/migraine-comorbidities-fibromyalgia/ That is when I started putting 2 and 2 together. Through the years I was developing Fibromyalgia because all the pieces started to fit together in a jigsaw puzzle. Slowly it dawned on me as I thought back all these past years as my health started to take a nosedive. The light bulb went off! Are the Migraines part of the FM. Is the non-stop neck and shoulder pain along with the back pain related to the Migraines or the FM?? I took this newly learned info to my new GP where blood tests were done to rule out Lupus, Lyme and Thyroid along w/a slew of other things and I passed my Tender Point Test-I had all but 1 that responded. But now that 1 that didn’t respond before has now been responding. Figures. This cartoon sums up my history thus far with doctors when I have to take them the information to be diagnosed:

Doctors

So I take Cymbalta and Lyrica along with my other Migraine preventives and abortive. We’re still in the experimenting stage and my next appointment with my Neurologist is this May 6th. This will be to the follow-up of the 2nd Botox treatment for Migraines I had on April 16 2013. I got major eyebrow issues and eye dropping from this session that I did not get before. Still having the Migraines but was told can take a min of 3 wks to kick in and up to 4 wks to see results if it’s going to work. So on this coming Monday I will find out if we yet again change medications as it’s been 3 months on Cymbalta and Lyrica-at the same dose I started. I think it’s time to change it up again as the Lyrica doesn’t seem to be helping with the constant muscle spasms. That is a real bothersome pain and prevents me from doing a lot of lifting and a lot of the exercises I want to do.

But I will still continue to experiment with items I find online on my own or as suggestions by a great online support group I have acured over the past few months. I keep searching for pain relieving gels and liniments, pillows (just now got a buckwheat pillow and so far neck not hurting as bad but jury still out as I will not rate it yet) my bed of nails for at home Acupuncture treatments, my Breo-eye massager. I have yet to find a really dark pair of sunglasses for outdoor use. I’m trying to do Gentle Yoga but the poses you get on your toes sends my feet into major cramping and spasing. I have learned to be more organized in my Migraine Rescue Regimen. I put together a large kit on my bedside table with everything I need during a major Migraine attack. I have that featured on an earlier blog. I then decided I had better duplicate that kit in a smaller scale and carry with me in my purse because I’d borrow a med from my kit to take with and forget to return it or visa versa. It’s a bad, bad situation to be stuck out away from home and needing your abortive and pain management meds. So I have learned how to organize and streamline that to make things easier for me. Well, as easy as they can get.

Through therapy I have learned to be more calm and at peace with myself and my disease. To be angry, bitter, resentful and upset makes more stress which in turn makes muscles stiffer and does add more to the chronic pain. I lean more on Meditation and prayer to see me through the rough spots and my meditation music. I’ve made my bedroom my fortress-where I can seclude myself and be in the dark and quiet with most everything I need. I only need to leave to refresh and Ice pack or reheat a heating pad. Those Bed Buddies and those Bed Buddy Booties are great but don’t stay hot for long. I like to share new ideas and tips when I come across them and I just love getting ideas in return because I’ve said before and I will say it again-I’m always willing to try something new and see if it helps. And I owe a lot to Teri Robert, Diana Lee, Dr. Marcus, Ellen-all those on Migraine.com and the fellow sufferer’s I’ve encountered as well as to my FB support group CMA-Chronic Migraine Awareness and The Coolest Fibro Chicks around town for Support and Love. Without all those wonderful outstanding members on all these groups I’d be lost. Social Media does play a key role in Chronic Illness. I wish I had it to have tapped into it earlier in my disease but better now than never. Always try to stay positive. That is my goal and to get well. I also plan to connect with as many as I can that suffer the same as I do. If I can help ONE person it’s worthwhile.

I hope this answers everyone’s questions about me. If you have anymore please feel free to ask. You can also go to my FB page and post a question as well. I do have Twitter and I don’t know why I’m having so much trouble with it. I try to update to get current tweets and it crashes. I reload it and try again and it still crashes. I’m trying to get to the bottom of that so in the meantime if you send me tweets and I don’t respond right away that is why-technical or user error problems. But I will get to the bottom of it. Again I apologize if there are any spelling errors that irritate any of you. I am using the Word Press spell check and it is not as good as Microsoft Office but this is all I have to work with. And I cannot yet afford to add media to this site. In the late fall when I upgrade this site I will be able to do so then, but I cannot do so now and I hope you understand why.

Until next time praying you all have a Blessed and pain-free day. Julie

Encouraging-Quotes

Healthier Gluten Free Carrot Cake


My healthier Gluten Free version of my carrot cake went live on this Migraine support site. They are gathering Migraine and Gluten free recipes to make a Migraine safe cookbook. If you have a recipe to submit you can do so-there is a link at the bottom of the page how to sign in and proceed from there.
(PS-if you don’t suffer from Migraines or have a nut allergy, add 1 cup of chopped walnuts to the cake batter when you mix in the additional ingredients.)

When you suffer from Chronic Migraines it’s hard to find ready to eat items at the store. I have been finding ways to alter traditional recipes to make them healthier and Migraine friendly. I added the gluten-free because my husband has Celiac, and the Gluten free flour mix I use is Red Bob Mills All Purpose Baking Flour Mix. I think I got that title right-I’m trying to type w/o my glasses. Fibro and Migraine Fog double time today. I cannot find my glasses anywhere nor can I remember where I last had them. So I’m typing this 1/2 blind. But instead of using vegetable oil I use unsweetened applesauce. For the sugar sometimes I will use raw sugar. I make sure everything I use does not have a hidden source of Soy or MSG as it’s a trigger, as well as nuts-that is why I omitted them in the original recipe but if that is not your trigger adding walnuts makes it tastier and I will finely chop some and cover the top of the frosting before serving. Then I know I can’t have any or leave a section clear of nuts so I can. Nuts have a high source of natural occurring Tyramine and if you follow the NHF or Diamond Clinic Low Tyramine Diet for migraine prevention nuts is on the list of no-no’s.

But even with the applesauce this cake is moist. I use an oblong cake pan with a clear lid when storing. It must be refrigerated after the 1st day as there are preservatives or chemicals in there to give it a longer shelf life. I hope you enjoy it. My husband and daughter do as does my best friend.

http://www.relieve-migraine-headache.com/carrot-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting.html

 

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When you get a chance check out this site and get my recipe.

Until next time be happy, healthy and have a pain free day.

My tricks and tips for dealing with unexpected changes in day to day life due to Migraines


purple stream

First and foremost I make sure I stay hydrated each and every day by drinking a lot of water during and cut back on caffeine. Dehydration is a #1 cause of most migraines and if your dehydrated I found out personally it can take longer for your medication to kick in and take effect and compounding the situation. Other than that I have found the following my best way of trying to cope in a day to day basis that is so unpredictable:

I have a few tools that I use to keep ahead of the weather, as some of my migraines are weather related due to changes in the barometric pressure. On my iPod I have three go-to tools: Migraine Mate which will let me know if my risks for that day are elevated based on weather patterns due to my GPS location-I can add my pain rating and it will keep a Migraine Log that tracks your Pain vs. Temperature; Barometer which will give me the constantly changing pressure, temp and wind speed based also on my GPS location; and ecoHeadache paid version so I can customize with all my medications and alternative therapies-this is my migraine log and I can print a report to take to my doctor based on my documentations and settings. I downloaded those apps from Apple online store and they are very helpful in helping me keep track of migraines and triggers. On my cell phone I have a paid app through Google Play Store called My Pill Reminder: I have all my meds listed with the doses and times and it will sound an alarm that will not stop until I shut it off so that I do not forget to take my preventive meds on time. Missing doses or forgetting the times and not being on schedule is another big trigger for a Migraine to take root. You must take your meds on time and the same time every day and if you take the same med twice you enter it in twice and have the times set. The night before I have a pill box where I put my doses for the next day so I can have them ready when my timer goes off, that way there is no confusion and no forgotten pills.

With those techno tools I can try to keep ahead of any of those migraines that are weather created by taking my abortive at the 1st sign of an attack to hopefully prevent a devastating migraine. Along with watching the weather updates on TV there isn’t much more I think I can do in that department.

And then I make sure that my Migraine Survivalist Kit on by beside nightstand is replenished often-after each and every use. I will do an inventory and pre-fill any anticipated RX’s in advance regardless if I need them at that moment or not. It’s best to have them on hand so that I do not run the risk of running out in the middle of an attack, which would be a nightmare and unimaginable.  I also ordered a couple of those old fashioned ice caps, the kind my mother use to have years and years ago. The bag you fill with ice cubes and it has a screw on cap and the outside of the bag is cloth covered so you don’t have to use a hand towel with it. I found these last longer than the gel filled and cost around $6.00 to $10.00 depending on where you buy them. I got mine on Amazon for about $7.00 each. Any freezer gel packs I have I will often check to make sure they have not developed a leak. After repeated use of thawing and being refrozen the plastic weakens over time and I have had some of the gel ooze out and get on my dark navy sheets. Plus with a dog around I’m sure it’s toxic and I won’t have to worry about my dog getting into it 1st If I don’t catch it in time.

If I try to make any plans with friend or family I always leave an opening in advance. I will tell them I’d love to have them over or go with them, but I forewarn them that if I get a Migraine that will prevent me from participating to not get upset and be prepared if I have to call or tell them I cannot make it the day of so that they are not caught unprepared. I know no one likes to be cancelled on last minute, but my family and remaining friends have known me long enough and know what I go through and they have learned to expect a possible last minute no-show. Family might get a little upset but friends are more understanding. So on that point I try to maintain and keep open lines of communication with everyone I relate to on a day to day basis and keep them informed of medication and therapy changes as that can play a role as well. Communication is key.

When I actually do get to make it out of the house, I have learned to carry a couple of pairs of ear plugs in case I end up in an environment that is too loud since I’m really sensitive to loud noise. I have also learned to carry with me at all times, regardless of the weather, my sunglasses because I can even use them indoors under that terrible florescent lighting. I might get some odd looks if I use them but it’s to my advantage and not those passer-bys. I always make sure I have back-up medications with me as well and even have a pair of my Sumatriptan injections w/alcohol swabs just in case. In my cosmetic bag that’s been changed to my medication bag I also carry a printout of my current medications, OTC supplements, current doctor information and contact information-just in case an accident should happen it’s in print so that there is no lack of communication or confusion when the occasion occurs. In an emergency who can remember the names of the meds, doses and all their OTC items-or those of their doctors contact info or who to contact in case of an emergency? I sure couldn’t. I also carry a mini tablet and a couple of pens to document when I take meds away from home along w/a few short notes so that I don’t lose track of that information. And I will have my mints as well that will soothe my stomach and a pair of Sea Bands for the nausea if it should hit me all of a sudden. And I do a last minute check before I go anywhere that I have my driver’s license and insurance cards and a method of payment in case I end up in the ER to pay the co-pay, so my checkbook or debit card is always with me as well. I’ll have some portable wet wipes with me as well, just in case……….

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(My cosmetic case that I have made my Travel Migraine Emergency Rescue Kit)

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(As you can see it’s stuffed to over capacity w/anything I can think I’d need away from home to abort a Migraine)

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(These are the essential items as I had listed them out for display-a duplicate set of my backup abortive meds and the rest-medical info printout, etc)

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(My billfold clutch that contains checkbook, coin and paper money along w/ID’s, insurance card, medic alert card and debit card & store discount cards)

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(Once this items are loaded into what I once thought was a good sized purse it’s bursting and any extra room for anything is pretty sparse)

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(I add my sunglasses and by the time I’d put my eyeglass case and cell phone in there I can barely zip it up. I guess it’s time for purse shopping, UGH)

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(The front zipper pocket barely has room for lip balm and house keys. I hate to purse shop because I’m so picky about what I get)

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(this is my new purse, or should I say “suitcase” to carry my On the Road Migraine Kit. I’m already catching jibes about it-hey Julie, couldn’t you have picked out something a little bigger-sarcasm abounds. I’m not too happy w/it myself but I need the size and it’s leather and it was under $30.00. Sold)

I make sure my cell phone is always on a full charge and I have my contacts phone number information updated. I have my most important ones set on speed dial and I love the feature where I can put my important contacts as a direct dial app on my home screen, so then I just click on their picture and it will automatically dial them up. That would be a great life saver when you can’t think of a name off hand-you turn on your phone and your screen lights up, you see a picture of a face and you select that picture and it direct dials. Because oftentimes when a migraine strikes confusion sets in and you cannot think too clearly, so this is a good tool I like to use even at home. Technology is so amazing this day and age we need to take advantage of every tool as well as the tricks learned on these amazing devices to our advantage. And I make sure in my phone settings I have my GPS turned on so that it’s track able.

If I leave the house I will always let someone, spouse, daughter, and friend-know where I’m going and what route if possible. And I’m learning that I need to take the GPS with me so that in case if I get confused if a migraine hits and I cannot find an alternate way home, that I will not get lost and if I have to call someone for help the GPS will show where I’m at. In the past when I’d get lost on my way home I’d call and I’d be embarrassed to say I didn’t know where I was for sure. That is just not a safe place to be-it’s terrifying and could be life threatening if something else should happen like if you get too dizzy to drive or your vision gets too obstructed w/an aura. When you’re out on your own a GPS device and a cell phone are a must have. And if you think you may be gone longer that a couple of hours take along a cell phone battery charger that plugs into the cigarette lighter. And make sure someone checks out in advance the cigarette lighter actually works so that you know you can use it if your battery runs down. You don’t want to be stuck out away from home with a dead battery. And I make sure I have a bottle of water to stay hydrated and of course in case I need to take pills.  And I try to concentrate on staying focused, calm and not to panic.

If I get a migraine at home and need the quiet and silence I will put a sign on my front door that will state a Migraine is in process and please do not disturb. Many people have been very courteous and have not knocked or rung that God awful doorbell when I put that sign out. So that is a good way to deter unexpected would-be guests or solicitors when you’re in a not so hostess friendly mode. And if I’m home I retreat to my bedroom that I have made a dark and quite fortress, I will shut off the ringer to the phone, turn on the fan for white noise and use my iPod with meditation music and have turned down low, and I now have an aromatherapy humidifier on my side of the headboard w/soothing essential oils to calm and soothe me.

My Comforting Blend Recipe:

5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
5 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
4 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil
4 drops Tangerine Essential Oil
2 drops Vetiver Essential Oil
2 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
1 drop Marjoram Essential Oil
1 drop Sandalwood Essential Oil
1 drop Myrrh Essential Oil

I combine these oils in a European dropper bottle and keep in a dark, dry cool place-my bedside stand drawer. I will add 8-10 drops in my diffuser because it can take that amount. Some diffusers take less and some might take more. But I found that the pure unadulterated essential oils do not irritate nor do they trigger a migraine. Only the commercialized, manufactured scented items will trigger me. This will not abort my migraine but it will soothe, comfort and relax me so that I can better endure and ride it out.

All the essential oils I use are pure therapeutic oils. They are not pre-blended nor are they perfumed oils-those would trigger a migraine, so stay away from perfumed oils.

(I will carry a small vial of pure essential Peppermint oil as well to sniff if needed when a migraine starts to flare up)

And I avoid my triggers: food, beverage and atmosphere like the plague. I eat freshly prepared food and stick to the NHF Low Tyramine diet guidelines where 1 restriction is to not eat anything that is more than 6-8 hours old-so no leftovers. Protein the longer it sits the more Tyramine builds up and is a major migraine trigger. And of course I avoid my other triggers: MSG, Nitrates, Nitrites, Diary, red wine, aged cheese…..

I hope some of these tricks and tips will help out someone. If you have a few of your own to share or add to this list please let me know. I’m always on the lookout for new tools and tricks to use for my own intervention.

Check out this months Migraine Carnival Blog postings listed as of 5-13-13 for other bloggers tips and tricks and coping with Chronic Migraine Disease:

Coping with Change May 2013

DISCLAIMER: THIS SITE IN NO WAY GIVES MEDICAL ADVICE OR DIAGNOSIS. SEE YOUR OWN PHYSICIAN FOR ANY CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE THAT ARE MEDICAL. THIS SITE IS TO JOURNAL AND BLOG ON MY “OWN” PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND WHAT WORKS FOR “ME”. THIS DOES NOT INDICATE IN ANY WAY THAT I SUGGEST THAT OTHERS MUST FOLLOW MY THOUGH PROCESS OR MY WAY OF DEALING WITH CHRONIC PAIN. THIS IS WHAT I HAVE FOUND TO WORK FOR “ME” IN THE 25 YEARS I’VE BEEN DEALING WITH THIS CHRONIC CONDITION AND HOW I FOUND A WAY TO COME TO TERMS WITH IT. YOU MAY OR MAY NOT AGREE-THAT IS YOUR CHOICE. BUT I AM STRESSING THIS IS WHAT WORKS FOR “ME” AND I’M ONLY JOURNALING TO INFORM MY PROCESS ALONG THE WAY FOR “MY” BENEFIT AND FOR ANYONE THAT WANTS TO LISTEN. NOT INTENDED TO BE A LECTURE FOR HOW OTHERS SHOULD DEAL WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS OF ANY SORT.

May 2013 Headache Disorders & Migraine Blog Carnival: Theme-Practical tips & tricks for coping with the changes brought about in our lives by Migraine & Headache Disorders. Posted 4-8-13

Unexpected Lessons Learned and Old Ones Renewed


long road into the sunset
Who would think that suffering with a chronic disabling Migraine Disease, and other invisible Illnesses, that during the course of time you could find any good to come out of all the pain and suffering. Let alone to find any blessings in any of the chaos-with all the conflicting diagnosis, tests, trips to doctors offices, being yanked from one specialist to another, and trying all different concoctions of medications as well as a slew of alternative and holistic approaches, to try to find some sort of relief of any sort! Some people would not blame you if you just walled yourself up, shut yourself off from the outside world and wallowed in  your own pity, crying day after day “why me”. Some people actually do that for a while until they wise up and too fortunately others still stay stuck in that self-pity mode. If you stay in pity mode for too long you end up living a life on your own. My Blessings are my Lessons learned because as you go through life and your given a task or a lesson, you work on it, trouble shoot it and overcome it,  and then apply it positively to your day-to-day life I consider that a Blessing-to take a negative and make it a positive to live by, follow and hopefully inspire others.

Human nature is self-preservation. It’s in our genetic makeup and being human and all we cannot overlook that flaw we all have built into us. We can however change our perspective and relearn a new thought process and coping mechanisms if and when we get out of the initial grief process given a diagnosis of a disease that has no cure. Of course the process is far, far worse for those with a terminal illness. But pain is pain no matter which way you slice it and to live in it and with it day in and day out not only wears out the body but the mind and soul as well. NOT to minimize those with terminal illness, I would never do that. BUT you do have a way out by learning to put others first and not focusing on your own pain so much but by putting empathies’ on others above yourself. In the process this makes your suffering seem less catastrophic and gives you a better mind-set makes for a more peaceful transition into a balancing act of normalcy, or what we can come close to in the Invisible Illness Community. You take the hand you’re dealt with and make the best of it. Oh sure you can moan and groan and have a little pity party and bombard friends and family with daily or weekly emails of how sick you are and how hard it is to manage. And it could be very well true as we all know. But after a while those people that you moan to and complain to after a while will turn a deaf ear to it all and become desensitized by your plight and minimizing your illness and you as well. And that as a result will diminish the plight of all chronic pain sufferers everywhere in the long run.

I have seen over the years waiting in the doctors or specialists waiting rooms people worse off than I am on an outward appearance and I feel empathy towards them. I’d go out of my way to open doors for them when entering or exiting the building,  or letting them get ahead of me in line-no matter where I am: at the store, the pharmacy or at the check in desk at the clinics. And then I would get to wondering about the people that didn’t show any outward sign of distress (as it can be easy to hide sometimes in public, based on the severity of pain that is) and I would silently wonder what demon (s) they are dealing with and I’d feel empathy for them. Not many “well” people wait for an hour in the neurologist waiting room for the heck of it if they feel well, let’s put it that way. And I’d marvel at how composed some people were that they’d keep their pain hidden from the public. Other times some people would persistently go up to the desk and demand to be seen sooner than the others that came in ahead of them. I would not know their situation fully so I would not sit and judge unless on a few occasions they carried on because they had an audience. But again you cannot judge that person’s circumstances like they cannot judge yours. I’m sure if I allowed myself to be taken to the hospital with a full-on horrible migraine I would not be a pretty picture, so one could only imagine.

I do admit at first I was in the denial, weepy, self-centered “why me” phase for a while and I moaned and groaned and went on about the injustice of it all. Then you look and see newborn babies born premature or with devastating birth defects then you start to feel foolish. Then you see people have strokes, get cancer and die of Diabetes and you feel more foolish. Pain is pain and sickness is sickness. It does not discriminate-we are all destined to be grasped by its devastating effects. I have learned this humbling experience along the way and slowly I learned to put others first and to pray for others first. Because in the end we are all in the same boat one way or another-suffering and trying to cope. And when I’m struck down with another debilitating migraine and as I do my meditation in my dark room with my  Migraine toolkit and fight it out,  I take a moment to remind myself that there are others out there less fortunate that I am and who have it worse.

I have learned that there are people who cannot afford the medical care and medications I receive and that is unjust.  I feel blessed that I do get good care and pray that others can have access to even better health care. I will always try to think the best and wish for the best of others as I fight through my attacks. I learned I am blessed to be provided for as I look at people in line at the grocery store, and especially the senior citizens. I see them digging in their purse or billfold to pay for their groceries and I wonder what hard time they are having and say a silent prayer for them. Or if I see a handicapped person I give them the immediate right of way or help them reach for something on the shelves if they appear to have trouble. Any kind of helping hand is better than none at all. I often wonder if they sacrifice food for meds or visa versa and what a terrible predicament that is. Then I’m humbled and shame myself not to complain. Then I will be at the deli counter and someone has waited longer that me, so I let them go ahead of me. Also if someone is in front of me in the checkout line and lacking some change for their purchase I will offer it if I have it not judging, but with empathy that they are having a hard time making ends meet-do they have to spend their life savings on food and/or medicines I often wonder. I do not judge but I have empathy and I realize that after all these years that yes, I suffer horrible pain, but I will recover and continue on. I have shelter, food, medicine, family and good medical care so for that I have learned my pity party is No More. And I interact with people online that are more ill or as ill as myself, and I put the focus on them-not me. I will share my experiences if it feels right and maybe that is why I have this Chronic Invisible Illness-to help others with my experience and insight.

We don’t know the master plan of why this and that happens, and we are not supposed to know why, but we can do our best to conquer, survive and thrive. I have also come to realize that yes indeed there are others that have it worse than me and how dare I whine and complain about what may be trivial as compared to someone who may be terminally ill or have a more chronic condition that I do. It is not a contest of who is the sickest and it’s appalling when you see that play out in life, the “I’m sicker than you are because of this or that” or make a competition out of it. Come on, grow up people and see the bigger picture. It would do no good in the end and would only end up adding to my suffering and make me or someone else lonely, bitter, and resentful ole hag. And who the heck wants to be around that? NOT me! Attitude is half the battle and if you win that you’re on the home stretch. Life is what you make of it, as it’s been often quoted but so very, very true. And your attitude impacts your health-mind over matter. It’s been proven and from what I’ve tried to practice I’ve found it to be true. I’m human and I slip up from time to time, but then I will catch myself and put it all back on track. It’s a constant learning experience. I’ve learned doing a daily gratitude journal is a great way to reinforce this mindset, and to practice writing daily what I have to be grateful for. It’s all about keeping things in perspective. And also by doing daily Bible Devotions as well and incorporating them into my journaling and remembering while meditating through the pain or even on tolerable days-it doesn’t matter what the circumstance remember what I have to be grateful for and how fortunate God gave me the gift of another day so I make the best of it as best as I can.

I have learned to be a better patient as well. To research online before my appointments and take any documentation with  me and especially make sure my information sheet I make up and take with me is better organized and updated with current medications, supplements and symptoms I’m having trouble with. I learned a valuable lesson from a pier online how to make a better patient form and my last visit I took my draft and the doctor was very appreciative. They see so many patients in a day that they don’t have the  time to go through the electronic files and remember everything about each patient. I keep mine to two pages max as not to overload him/her and I update it as soon as my medications are updated and/or changed so that I don’t have to do it last-minute before my next appointment. I have come to be more organized in some areas but a work in progress in other areas.

**These are by far the best lessons I have learned-to be unselfish, compassionate, , patient, calm, focused, forgiving, dedicated, spiritual, humble and self-sacrificing. I have finally learned to stop fretting and worrying about tomorrow or the future-it’s out of my hands to an extent as God has the master plan. So I take each day as a present and consider tomorrow a gift.  I have learned to love unconditionally even if it is  not returned, to let go of past grudges-let it go and don’t fester on it-it only hurts you not the person your grudging. And to live each day like it’s my last. To not hold material possessions as more important than family, friends and life-you can’t take it with you and it’s only temporary while we walk this earth. We didn’t grow up with much and mom and dad always told us you came into this world without a penny and you will leave without it, so don’t put value on meaningless material things-God first, family second and friends. It helps too that my parents raised me this way-to do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. We were constantly told that as we grew up. It was actually hammered into us as well as to respect your elders and to always say please and thank you, and to always be humble. And it’s not worth it to fight-who cares who’s right or wrong. Usually the person you’re arguing with will not change their outlook or perspectives, so why waste your breath and time. But to stand up for friends and family and lend a helping hand to others  in need when possible.  It hammers home the practice of turning the other cheek, which for people as a rule we are prideful and do not want to turn the other cheek and let any insult or wrong-doing pass. No, we want an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.  We want punishment-we want revenge. It eats us alive over time because we let it, and that negativity also feeds to chronic pain. We are not in general forgiving people. I have worked hard to overcome that thought process and have forgiven a past horrendous act against me physically and emotionally. My attacker did not ask for forgiveness, but I gave it after years of repressing it then seeking help and dealing with it to get my PTSD in control.  I do feel freer to have done this and talking about it helps-that in and of itself if anyone takes away anything from this post it should be that-FORGIVE any past grievances, work on it with a counselor if needed like I did, talk to friends and pray, pray, pray on it. With work you can let it go and that too improves your outlook on dealing with chronic pain. There is truth in mind over matter. Practice and believe it because it’s true. Again, it will not cure you but makes the whole situation more tolerable. It’s ok to have bad days and slip, but recognize it, correct it, and get back in line.

I have also learned over time and research there is NO cure for this disease and have come to grips with it. I have made peace with it and even when I have sometimes well-meaning family and friends say I need to work harder and go places to be “cured”, it’s fruitless to try to re-educate them that this is cureless, I let it now go over my  head and pass by me like the breeze and not upset me anymore. I have learned, the hard way, that they will never get it even seeing reports in print and online so why fret over it and stress over it. I’m at peace with it and let it pass me on by. That is a Blessing that I can come to terms with the disease and almost make friends with it by letting it be my teacher.

Well, mom and dad, it finally stuck and yes I did learn something after all. As they are watching down from heaven I can only hope I’ve done justice to their lessons taught. You cannot take Southern manners out of a Southerner, even when I’ve been transplanted to a Northern location 🙂

Sometimes Chronic Illness can be a blessing in disguise with all the lessons you learn along the way. Especially for me as these are my experiences and what I have learned and can attest to. You can learn how to be a better person and leave a positive footprint in the lives of others. I think that being so ill and struggling with chronic and most times excruciating pain daily, and focusing on being positive, peaceful and calm-meditating and praying through it with my calming mediation music, my darkened sanctuary, essential oils and my best puppy friend. That along with my parents teaching has made me a better person. At least I like to think so.

 

DISCLAIMER: THIS SITE IN NO WAY GIVES MEDICAL ADVICE OR DIAGNOSIS. SEE YOUR OWN PHYSICIAN FOR ANY CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE THAT ARE MEDICAL. THIS SITE IS TO JOURNAL AND BLOG ON MY “OWN” PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND WHAT WORKS FOR “ME”. THIS DOES NOT INDICATE IN ANY WAY THAT I SUGGEST THAT OTHERS MUST FOLLOW MY THOUGH PROCESS OR MY WAY OF DEALING WITH CHRONIC PAIN. THIS IS WHAT I HAVE FOUND TO WORK FOR “ME” IN THE 25 YEARS I’VE BEEN DEALING WITH THIS CHRONIC CONDITION AND HOW I FOUND A WAY TO COME TO TERMS WITH IT. YOU MAY OR MAY NOT AGREE-THAT IS YOUR CHOICE. BUT I AM STRESSING THIS IS WHAT WORKS FOR “ME” AND I’M ONLY JOURNALING TO INFORM MY PROCESS ALONG THE WAY FOR “MY” BENEFIT AND FOR ANYONE THAT WANTS TO LISTEN. NOT INTENDED TO BE A LECTURE FOR HOW OTHERS SHOULD DEAL WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS OF ANY SORT.

Migraine Carnival April 2013 Theme: Unexpected Blessings that have come out of our experiences living with Migraine Disease and other Headache Disorders.
(Submission 3-27-13)

Unexpected blessings that have come out of our experiences living with Migraine Disease and other Headache Disorders.