It’s Been Awhile, a song made popular by the rock group Staind


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Happy New Year

Well hello there. Sorry it’s been so long! It’s been a long and very hard time last year. I’ve had some major set-backs that have made some chronic illnesses more severe, and then I’ve had intensive cervical nerve blocks followed by a couple of rounds of ablations to control my Cervical Osteoarthritis and Degenerative Disk Disease which in turn has toned down my Occipital Neuralgia a few notches. Now that has not cured my Occipital Migraines. Not in the least. It just keeps me less suicidal that when I was in 2010-2011 and keeping me from bashing my head in the wall to try to either dull the pain or end it. That idea always sounded like it would make it better for some odd reason. I think fellow Migraine sufferers that have this horrific pain that starts in the back of the head and feels like Satan himself is drilling relentlessly out your eyeball thinks sort of along the same lines. I’ve had 4 rounds of Botox for Migraines this years + the 2 the prior year. I do not think they are being effective. Along with the medication trials, those I’ve had since 1996 since the present time I had a week long migraine 2 weeks ago. Not a really fun time over the holidays.

Migraine-eye pick pain

 

And the Fibromyalgia and CFS has really been deteriorating into the severe mode. My PCP started letting me do Vitamin B12 Injections at home, 1ml every 2 weeks. Then just 2 weeks ago he changed it to every week. He’s hoping this will help for the CFS. If not he was talking about trying a low dose of Ritalin but I don’t want to go that course. My Cymbalta was increased from 30mg to 60mg and added Lyrica back 50mg 3x a day. That helps with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain.

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I have been trying to stick with therapy but have had medical issues and medical crisis interrupt my schedule. I hopefully plan on 2015 being a better year as my PTSD and Major Depression are not getting better. And my therapist helps with pain management. My Diazepam was changed from 5mg to 2mg. I take 2mg in the am and 4mg in the am. Helps with my PTSD and Anxiety/Panic Attacks. Yep, those still plague me.

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My SSD comes up for review this coming December 31, 2015. I just happened to come across my SSD Court Decision papers and I emailed my SSD Appeals Attorney what I do. So I’m waiting to hear back. I’m still in constant pain and the severe Fibro pain, CFS and Migraines make it hard to even work at home. I try but I need some help every so often from my BFF of over 30+ years. Very depressing to need so much help.

Migraine zombie

I belong to CMA and a few CMA branch FB support groups. I started my own FB support group: Making all Invisible Illnesses Visible. There are really awesome members in all groups, especially mine. I have pretty cool fellow co-administrators. If not for ALL these groups support this past year, my BFF and my Bible Study Group, I would have lost my mind and ended up hospitalized again. Normal people just don’t understand how bad Chronically Ill people feel. We don’t make this stuff up. We’d give ANYTHING to be more productive!!! It is NO FUN being sick all the time!! We hate this way, WAY more than you normal’s hate it!!! And all we ask for is a little compassion and empathy! Not hatred, sarcasm and spite.

This is all I can write for today. I’m exhausted. The Insomnia has been acting up again. I wish you all Peace, Love and many Blessings. Julie. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

http://youtu.be/oT8awm90zl8

“Hard times build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. Instead of getting angry nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers because by creating such trying circumstances they provide us with invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience.”
Dalai Lama XIV

The Dark Side


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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”.

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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.

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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.

#MHAMBC Migraine & Headache Awareness Month #25: Lincoln: Who’s your favorite historical figure who lived with Migraine/Headache Disorder?


June Migraine awareness month

I would have to say my favorite historical figure is Charles Dodgson, who went by the pen name: Lewis Carroll.   who wrote “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass“. It is amazing all the historical figures in our past and present who suffer from Migraine Disease can be as influential and popular as they are and all they accomplished: http://www.migravent.com/blog/migraines/top-30-most-famous-migraine-sufferers/

He was very well educated and won many academic awards through his schooling. He was born to a Clergyman and raised in the rectory. He was the eldest of 11 children.  He had a stutter but would be able to communicate with children fluently, so he targeted that audience with his most famous book “Alice in Wonderland” and in doing so put some of his Migraine Aura‘s to use with the characters that he came up with during his era. He was born in 1832 in Daresbury, England. He died in 1898  Guildford, England; http://www.biography.com/people/lewis-carroll-9239598

Carroll did keep a diary and mentioned some of what he called hallucinations and often complained about the vision in his right eye. He did seek professional treatment for it and was told to not read as much and keep by a bright light to reduce eye strain. But there are striking similarities to what Migraine Sufferers do experience during the Aura stage that proceeds the pain: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(05)74368-3/fulltext

Since I have always loved to read and love books I had to pick Lewis Carroll out of many famous Migraine Sufferers. He was a talented writer that took a disease and made it to his advantage and he still lives on in his books.

Learn more about the MHAM Blog Challenge and 

Other MHAM events by visiting:

2013 Migraine & Headache Awareness Month Information Page

June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is issued by FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

#MHAMBC Migraine & Headache Awareness Month #23: Bruce Almighty: How does spirituality and/or religion help you cope?


June Migraine awareness month

I was not raised in a quote “Religion” but I was raised w/Christian beliefs and morals. My dad was a Baptist and my mom was a Catholic. They were not in favor of each religion stating they were the “only” religion and one was better than the other-or the age-old belief “If you don’t believe in the way we do your destined for Hell“.

I am a Christian and was Baptized later in life, but I am non-denominational. I do not preach any particular religion is the “be all” and “end all”. I believe that as long as you believe in God, profess your belief, read the bible and practice in a loving Christian matter then you have nothing to fear.

I use prayer a lot when suffering with chronic pain. But I also Meditate as well, as was taught to me by my Therapist and by a former Chiropractor I had seen years ago who is no longer in this area 😦  There are quote “Christians” or other “Religions” that frown on Meditation saying it’s not practicing the Christian Faith. I brush that off as ignorance and often brain-washing, as when people are brought up in certain “Religions” they are repeatedly told what they are supposed to believe in and what they are not and they are not given free will to choose their own way and they refuse to see any way but their way. I think that is so wrong!

But I will look up verses, read them, repeat them and pray. Then I will use Meditation to try to make it through the pain-sometimes I will silently chant a favorite verse over and over and focus on the meaning of it, and other times I will use visualization instead. But I do think that one is entitled to their own beliefs and thought process and I will not bash those who don’t believe the way I do.

But I do think that using these methods is not wrong and I believe that whatever helps someone cope and make it through the pain is a must-needed component to this Chronic Disease. You need something to give you guidance. And I do often send out prayers to those in my support groups who are suffering so and I offer up prayer for them, as well as in Bible Study Group. I do think prayer is important and how you practice it is up to you-each individual.

Blessings to you all.

Learn more about the MHAM Blog Challenge and 

Other MHAM events by visiting:

2013 Migraine & Headache Awareness Month Information Page

June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is issued by FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH-STOP THE CYCLE OF EMOTIONAL PAIN AND ABUSE FOR CHONIC PAIN SUFFERERS


crying and anguished face

5-17-13

 

This past week has been trying and most difficult. After years of being treated as a doormat, having my feelings, emotions and illness stomped on and disregarded as trivial and non-important, I blew my top. I’ve turned my cheek for too many times and I admit I am partly to blame for letting this cycle continue as long as it has. If I had known years ago what I was getting myself into I would have run the opposite direction. I would have run so hard and long I’d probably still be running to this day, and avoiding all emotional entanglements PERIOD!

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I do not and cannot understand why some humans treat others like they are worthless, useless, and insignificant, with malice and total disregard for another’s feelings, pain and distress. Even when you point it out time and time again all it does is fall on deaf ears. My problem is when I love, I do so without condition. I guess that has made me an easy target over the years to be treated the way I have allowed myself to be treated. I always give others the benefit of the doubt, especially those who are the closest to me. But oftentimes in return I do not get the same consideration or the same treatment. I’m not in by no means painting myself to be a saint or an angel, but when you are suffering in daily chronic pain where your lowest pain level on a lucky day might be a 5-6 and can spike up to a 8-9, and on a few occasions even up to a level 10-when your mind and body is under constant assault, my option of the past 3 years is to avoid conflict, confrontation and arguments as it just tosses gas on my pain and gets the fire roaring. I’ve been the one walking on eggshells as to not “rock the boat” and be considerate of the other person and not even “nag” them about one flipping darn thing, and to what avail? I might have just been making myself sicker. Who knows?

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What is even more exasperating and frustrating is that I am not taken at my word when it’s physically clear as the nose on my face and the nose jutting off the other persons, how much pain I’m in and that I’m suffering. It’s not fun being shut up in a totally dark bedroom, isolated from the world, in total silence with ice packs, heat pads and medication on your bedside table with your log of when you took it, and when to take again so that I don’t lose track and accidentally double-dose. Any medium to loud noises send the pain sharper behind the eye that I have partial blindness during an attack-they call it Ice Pick Migraine but I call it The Jackhammer. And any strong smells also send me over the edge and add more to the pain. When I’m in the most extreme pain, movement or exertion will exacerbate the it even more and add to it the nausea that sometimes comes in full throttle, and then I’m worshipping the porcelain throne, or it takes spells as dry heaving. My scalp is painful to the touch and I often get ear popping to the degree sometimes that it too is painful along with ringing in the ears. Then the Fibro pain will flare up and I get the muscle spasms that will go from the back of my neck, along the top and backside of each shoulder-blade, center of back down through my lower back and hips. Sometimes I will get throbbing and tingling in the hands, feet and knees. Sometimes it’s almost like a burning sensation. This is no way for a person to live, nor does this person wants to live this way! I’d give anything to have my old life back-no pain, being able to work and not be treated with quite as much disrespect.

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What really gets my goat is that those closest to me see my pain and suffering and disregard it. I’m told it’s either in my head, my imagination, I’m making out to be worse than it is, if I got out and did some mowing or yard work I’d feel better, if I did something with my life I’d feel better, if I just stopped taking all my meds I’d feel better, and the list just goes on for all the BS I hear. But the point is that they always blame ME for having apparently inviting these diseases into my life! Like HUH! Are you kidding me? What planet did you just land from and where is your return address and I can ship you right back! Who would want to live this way day in and day out? Certainly not me and I have been VERY active in my healthcare trying to get better. I’ve seen several GP’s, Specialists and Neurologists to no avail. All they can do is experiment on you as there is not ONE medication on the market that is designed for and made specifically for Migraine prevention. All the meds that are available to treat you are second-hand meds used as “off label” which means a medicine use for epilepsy or heart problems for example; over the course of time they found they helped with SOME people’s Migraines to lessen the severity and duration. But the stickler is that everyone has their own unique set of genetics, neurological mapping and chemistry, so what works for one person will not always work for the next person. So they experiment with a whole range of medicines to try to find the right “cocktail” that will hopefully make a person’s life with Chronic Migraine more tolerable and manageable. But they will not cure nor prevent the Migraines totally.

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As of today’s date I’ve tried over 60 different medications for Migraine Preventives since 2006. I hate taking medicine more than the next person and I hate having to take a pharmacy along with me to be “prepared” for an attack that is getting out of hand. I also have a little larger version on my beside table. I hate paying for these medicines as well, and I’m totally DISGUSTED with the side effects that I DETEST this all with a passion! If the side effects get to be too much we move on to another one. Or if after 3 months that certain combo is not working its revised and another new regimen added with yet more medicines to adapt to. And so it goes, on and on over and over. Wean on new meds, wean off to start new ones. And so the medication merry-go-round goes and my hamster wheel keeps spinning.  I hate it more if not as much as the next person but I have no option. If I went medication free like I’ve been told before by a so-called loved one I’d be in much worse shape than I am now. I probably would have had a Migraine induced Stroke and lie comatose or 6’ under years ago. Maybe that is what they want. I don’t know and I can’t think any other way because of the way I’ve been treated-with no empathy and a total lack of support-emotional support. And I go out of my way to do extra things to be nice and helpful, even when I don’t feel up to it to make it “easier” on the other person and what do I get in return? Nada. Zilch. More of the same.  All I want in return is respect and love. I’m not asking for Mt Everest to be climbed , but you’d think that was what I was asking for due to the lack of compassion and support I get in return.

 depression

 

I was told last year that they are just “too tired” of hearing the same thing and tired of it not going away. THEY’RE TIRED!!! I’M FLIPPING EXHAUSTED AND TOTALLY WORN OUT FROM IT ALL. PITY POOR THEM-THEY HAVE IT SO TOUGH! Well guess what, like I told them then and telling them now-it will never go away. It’s here to stay. If the Migraines do eventually go away somewhere down the road it will be on its own terms, not mine. And Fibromyalgia, well there is no cure for that either so that is something else to have to learn to work around and deal with. But guess what-medication is part of the picture and it’s not going away anytime soon. I wish it could but it can’t and that is my reality. That and the constant non-stop pain. So the emotional pain and the physical pain are wearing me down and I cannot find my positive place that I use to be able to find and release the tension. My positive has turned into the negative that has surrounded me for so many years and it’s wearing me down on top of everything else. So a little over a week ago I snapped and had a breakdown of major proportions. Things have to change or I’m out of here! And I mean it. I am not going to be treated like a door mat anymore! I already have too much to deal with as it is and it’s not fair more is being added onto me, through NO fault of my own! And  if you think I’m just whining and being a big cry baby just to have my own pity party,  I’d pay you to walk in my exact shoes and live my life and bear my pain for one whole week. I dare you to. You wouldn’t be able to do it. So don’t sit there and judge me for feeling the way I do or thinking the way I do or for what I have to deal with day after day continuously. If you don’t experience this kind of pain you have no right to judge someone who does! No one can empathize but for another fellow sufferer!

 

purple angel

Sad thing is that I’m not in this boat alone. My FB support groups CMA and Fibro Chicks, a lot of the members go through the same exact thing. They get no understanding, support, empathy, consideration, love, compassion or a helping hand. If we were dogs our so-called “owners” would have had us put down by now because we are being such a “burden” and such a “drag” and “not being productive” and not bringing in “our share” of the money. And the sad thing is that sometimes when we get to the bottom of the barrel, we actually start to think we’d be better off is someone would do us the favor and put us down, or a few of us have thought about doing it on our own. But then we’re told we’re “retarded” or “psycho” if we think or feel like that. Well you tell me how are we suppose to feel? When you’re always being put down and your feelings and emotions are made to feel like it’s OUR fault and we “asked” for it or we’re “not trying hard enough” and your being berated all the time. How is someone suppose to feel when they get that kind of treatment day in and day out?

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I’m in PT now to try to get some help to cope with and live with the physical pain. As there is no cure for Migraines nor Fibromyalgia PT is an alternative option as I have tried just about everything else. We are trying to fix my very weak neck and shoulders, especially the LH shoulder that was injured a few years back during a fall down the steep basement steps. I got a small tear in it but it wasn’t considered big enough for surgery, so they just did cortisone shots and PT the 1st time around. The 2nd time I reinjured it was during work and because it was so late at night on the weekend and couldn’t report it to HR “immediately” (well everyone was in bed and it was a late Sunday night-I couldn’t tell them until that Monday morning-DUH) that was their reason to refuse to acknowledge it as a work related injury. HR had the NERVE to tell me to my face “sorry, but I have to protect the company”. She was a long time friend of the family that owns the business and the biggest back stabber that I have EVER known! I still had to undergo another round of cortisone shots and I will do no more as that last round just about did me in. I hate needles to begin with and that last one hurt like a son of a hockey puck! But I hope the PT I’m taking now will help me so I can learn to work through the FM pain. The neck treatments they are doing they hope might help a little with the Migraines, but it won’t take them away. And the FM pain could be adding to the Migraine pain. They don’t know so they can’t tell me. They are still trying to learn what makes Migraines tick and what causes FM and how to better treat that. So even the so called professionals are drawing a blank.

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But telling a Chronic Migraine and FM sufferer to “snap out of it” is like telling a paraplegic to get up and walk on his own-he doesn’t need a wheelchair, he’s just faking it or using it as a crutch. And no offence to those that suffer paralysis. Just to show how retarded some people’s thinking is when it comes to Chronic Daily Migraines and FM. A lot of the fault goes to drug companies and their commercials-they add more stigma to this disease. If only it were that easy to take an Excedrin and the pain would go away. If only. I’d be eating those things like M&M’s if it would work. But no enchilada baby. Those things do NOT touch the severe pain of Chronic Migraine. Been there, done that-tried and only made me sicker to my stomach. They will help with tension headaches but not severe pain that is only a small part of the Migraine Attack.

ExcedrinMigraineFAIL

If you are as horrified by Excedrin Migraine minimizing migraine and treating women as a superficial, please express your outrage on Excedrin’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

 

And with that I end my vent. I’m still trying to release my anger by venting as I have on my support groups-we all have. There we can talk about our symptoms, what we’ve tried, what’s worked and what hasn’t, but mostly we talk about the lack of support and being shut out and slammed down constantly. If it wasn’t for my best friend, the help of my daughter and my support groups I would have gone insane long before now. So a big THANK YOU to my support system that I have set in place. And a big THANK YOU for my online support groups that have invited me in and for once I am not judged.

 

Until next time Blessings to you for a pain-free day, and love hugs and support for my FB Support, daughter and best friend.

Julie

 

People Test

I just don’t get it! (update 5-4-13)


Homer Confused

The more I think of it the more confused I get. Why is Migraine Disease to Stigmatized and why is it not recognized as a the Chronic Disabling Disease that it is? Those of us that suffer this horrible disease know all too well how it affects the mind and the body and how it attacks every fiber of our being. Living with migraine is a challenge, to say the least, and to get others to recognize it as more than “just a headache” is even more of a challenge to say the least. Migraines are rated in the top 20 most disabling diseases in the world and it’s been described as more crippling than having a broken bone. But yet “healthy” people still ignore the statistics and demoralize the illness as being trivial and all in one’s head. Well, it starts in the head but it does affect every part of a person’s body. The pain and suffering people experience with this disease can and has led to cases of people committing suicide because it is too much to cope with-the pain, the stigma and the lack of emotional support from those who are closest to them-spouses, siblings, parents, friends and other loved ones. The isolation alone is enough to drive a person over the edge and then top it with what Migraine does to a person and it’s no wonder that Severe Depression is also a contributing factor. But yet Migraine Disease remains to this day a trivial and non-issue to the public as a whole. A lot has to do with the commercialization of OTC medications that tout being able to stop and cure your migraines. Well, if it were that easy don’t you think we’d all be storming the stores and buying this junk up like crazy? It may work for mild headaches that are brought on by tension and stress, but Chronic Migraine is a complex and neurological disease that to this date is still not fully understood by the medical community. And treatment for Migraines consists of second-hand or “off label” use of many prescription medications that were originally designed for dementia, Alzheimer’s, cancer, blood pressure, seizures, depression, bi-polar-just to name a few. There are no Migraine drug specific medications designed solely for Migraines as preventives.

How does Migraine affect the body you may ask. Here are just a few examples of what a Migraine Attack does to a person as a whole in the 3 stages of a Migraine Attack:

Phase 1-Prodrome:

  • Temporary vision changes that usually go away after 30 minutes (but not always)
  • Temporary loss of vision in left eye or right eye, usually one spot or on one side
  • Temporary blurry vision
  • Seeing bright spots
  • Seeing floating lines
  • Seeing shimmering, colored or flickering lights
  • Seeing zigzagged lines or different patterns
  • Changes often occur in just one eye
  • On very rare occasions, the vision change is permanent
  • aphasia: difficulty finding words and/or speaking coherent sentences
  • constipation or diarrhea (IBS flare ups are common)
  • difficulty concentrating and remembering
  • excessive yawning or sudden fatigue
  • food cravings and insatiable appetite
  • hyperactivity
  • increased frequency of urination
  • mood changes — feeling depressed, irritable, etc.
  • neck pain
  • sleepiness

Phase 2-Aura:

  • Alice in Wonderland Syndrome: a rare form of Migraine aura where the distinctive symptom is a type of metamorphosing, a distortion of body image and perspective, which Migraineurs know, while it’s occurring is not real. “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome can occur at any age, but it is more commonly experienced by children.
  • allodynia: hypersensitivity to feel and touch  to the point that what would be “normal” is painful
  • aphasia
  • auditory hallucinations: hearing sounds that aren’t actually present
  • confusion
  • decrease in or loss of hearing
  • increased sensitivity to hearing-unable to tolerate loud sounds
  • dizziness, clumsiness, unsteady on ones feet-running into things or falling down
  • hemiplegia: one-sided paralysis (occurs in hemiplegia Migraine only)
  • olfactory hallucinations: smelling odors that are not present
  • being more sensitive to odors that are present
  • one-sided motor weakness (occurs in hemiplegia Migraine only)
  • paresthesia: prickling, stinging, burning, numbness, and / or tingling, usually of the extremities or face
  • vertigo: sensation of whirling or spinning, not to be confused with dizziness
  • wavy lines (sometimes described as “looking like heat rising from pavement”)
  • “blank” or tiny blind spots
  • blurry vision
  • partial loss of sight
  • increased sensitivity to light-especially fluorescent lights and bright sunshine
  • unable to tolerate fast movements made on a movie or TV screen
  • phosphenes: brief flashes of light that streak across the visual field
      • scotoma: an area of decreased or lost vision. Some people describe scotoma as being like having tiny blank spots in their vision. Some compare it to tiny snowflakes.
      • unilateral (one-sided) (occurs in retinal Migraine only)

Phase 3-Migraine Attack:

  • headache
  • frequently unilateral (one-sided). The headache can shift from one side to the other, become bilateral (on both sides), or be bilateral entirely
  • often pulsating or throbbing
  • worsened by physical activity
  • duration of four to 72 hours in adults, one to 72 hours in children
  • Because the trigeminal nerve becomes inflamed during a Migraine, and because of its location, pain may occur around eyes, in the sinus area, and the teeth and jaw.
  • confusion
  • dehydration
  • dizziness
  • depression, anxiety, panic
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • fluid retention
  • hot flashes and / or chills
  • nasal congestion and / or runny nose
  • nausea and / or vomiting-or dry heaving
  • neck pain radiates to shoulders and upper back
  • osmophobia-heighted sensitivity to odors
  • phonophobia-heighted sensitivity to sound
  • photophobia-heighted sensitivity to light
  • vertigo
  • intense stabbing behind one eye (occipital Migraines) radiates to temple. Occurs on one side only

Phase 4-Postdrome, or the “Hangover”

  • fatigue
  • lowered intellect levels
  • lowered mood levels, especially depression, or feelings of well-being and euphoria
  • poor concentration and comprehension-may still have trouble finding words or making coherent sentences.

(Reference material obtained by Migraine.com)

Some migraine symptoms mimic the signs of stroke. That is why it’s vitally important that all Migrainers keep a Migraine Diary and know the pattern of their Migraines. Any Migraines lasting over 3 days is considered a Medical Emergency if the Migrainer hasn’t experienced a Migraine Pattern like that before, and immediate medical attention is required. Migraines can be life threatening as they have in the past caused a Migraineous Stroke in otherwise healthy people.

Chronic Migraines are classified when Migraines occur more than 15 times a month and aggressive preventive as well as abortive medications are sought after and applied to the Migraine Sufferers regimen. Chronic Migraine is diagnosed when the following criteria are met:

Has at least two of the following symptoms:

1. unilateral location

2. pulsating quality

3. moderate or severe pain intensity

4. aggravation by or causing avoidance of routine physical activity (e.g. walking or climbing stairs

And at least one of the following

1.  nausea and/or vomiting

2. photophobia and phonophobia

Treated and relieved by Triptans or ergot for at least 8 of the Migraines per month.

Here is quote direct from Migraine.com stating the impact of Chronic Migraine Disease

The burden and impact of chronic Migraine

Studies have revealed data about Chronic Migraine and the difference in the impact of Chronic Migraine when compared to that of episodic Migraine (EM):

  • Based on the MIDAS questionnaire (The Migraine Disability Assessment Test), the impact of Chronic Migraine is significantly greater than that of episodic Migraine EM.
  • Over a three-month period:5
    • 8.2% of those with Chronic Migraine reported missing at least five days of work as compared to 2.2% of those with EM.
    • 33.8% of those with Chronic Migraine reported at least five days of reduced productivity at work as compared to 2.2% of those with EM.
    • 58.1% of those with Chronic Migraine reported at least five days of reduced productivity in household work as compared to 18.2% of those with EM.
    • 36.9% of those with Chronic Migraine reported at least five days of missed family activities as compared to 9.5% of those with EM.

Chronic Migraine and stigma

In a study designed to “characterize stigma in patients with chronic and episodic Migraines, researchers found:6

  • Participants with Chronic Migraine scored higher on the Stigma Scale for Chronic Illness scale (SSCI) than participants with EM.
  • Participants with Chronic Migraine also scored significantly higher on the SSCI than a mixed panel of patients with chronic neurologic diseases; stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s disease.

The more I think the more confused I getSo given the facts and statistics of the impact of Migraine on the sufferer and on the economy I’m still confused as to why people just don’t get it? People see us suffering and so ill we can barely walk or talk right, and when we cannot tolerate light, noise or smell and cannot keep food down, yet they question that this is a real illness? These are the same people that don’t question the validity of a cancer patients illness when undergoing chemo and radiation and the effects it has on them. You sure don’t see people barking at those patients telling them to get out of bed and stop lying around all day and get a job, now do you? You don’t see cancer patients or quadrapaligics being bombarded with requests to do this or that, to get outside and they will feel better, or if you exercise you will feel better. You don’t hear people telling them to stop taking all their meds because it’s not making them feel better fast enough to meet the others expectations now do you? They see us at our worse and knowing full well we feel bad we cannot participate, but yet they continue to guilt us. I just don’t get it. Do you? Do you see them being told to “snap out of it” or “it’s all in your head”? Well heck no. Cancer is an Invisible Illness but it gets a lot more respect than Migraine Disease. Migraines can be more painful and debilitating than Cancer, not to downplay the seriousness of Cancer, but a lot of people recover from Cancer. There is as yet no cure for Migraines so the Migraine Sufferer continues to be in chronic, debilitating pain and with no empathy, respect nor validation from the public that it is indeed a true disease. And then you wonder why we suffer such severe Depression and repressed anger towards those who don’t get it and don’t want to get it. I just don’t get it-why people act this way. And if you do offer words of encouragement to a Migrainer I’d see this post first on what NOT to say: http://ohwhatapain.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/what-not-to-say-to-someone-in-chronic-pain/comment-page-1/#comment-825

I told you to stop bothering me-frustrated kid in bed

We go to any and all doctors imaginable to seek help, to seek adequate treatment. Some of us run into brick walls as there are not that many well-educated doctors well versed in the treatment and prevention of Migraine Disease. More and more lately patients are being “under-medicated” making their Migraine attacks worse by prolonging them and as a result increasing the pain and suffering of the patient. We the patient have to go online and search out the latest treatments and therapies and take them to our doctor to be given a new potential Migraine therapy regimen because the doctor hasn’t tried it or know of it.

Doctors

The insurance companies restrict our Migraine Medications and limiting to what we can get monthly through our insurance, totally overriding a Doctors express written prescriptions when we are prescribed the right amount of medication, and that too results in more Migraines because we’re not allowed to have our allotted prescribed dose because the Insurance Companies are now into the act of playing doctor. Or rather playing God to where we have to have our doctors contact them and plead our case so that the Insurance Companies can “consider” increasing our monthly rations of much-needed medications.

frustrated-faceI get so riled up when I hear of a fellow Migraine sufferer being treated as a drug addict or drug seeker! It makes me want to go ballistic! This is a chronic on-going pain condition, and pain needs to be treated with medication, and OTC medications don’t cut it for us who have Chronic Migraine Disease. We are being constantly experimented on with a mix of different cocktails to see what will work. We have to give it a 3-month time frame for a medication to reach its highest potential to see if it will prevent or reduce the frequency and intensity of the Migraine attacks. If that med doesn’t work it’s on to the next. It can take up to 25-30 years to find drugs that work because there are thousands of “off-label” medications that can be tried as preventives. As for the abortive medications they can become more complicated. For some people Triptans are life-threatening and they cannot be used. So here is where the Opiates come into play. And these medications are used as a last resort because of their addictive shall we say “history”. NOT ALL MIGRAINE PATIENTS ABUSE THEIR MEDICATIONS! Migraine patients know all too well if they use their medication too often and too frequently they will get caught in the “Rebound Migraine” syndrome in which it will take a course or 2 of steroids to break the cycle. But they also know if they overuse the Opiates that they will become addicted, so therefore they are only used when needed. This is where some uneducated doctors and those in the Emergency Room see that when a Chronic Migraine patient comes in for intervention because their medications have not worked and they are in excruciating pain and suffering, many are treated with disrespect as well as treated as drug seekers and get poor if any care. This is where Depression grows by leaps and bounds and can add to the risk of suicide when a chronic pain patient is not taken seriously nor treated correctly and with respect. This will rebound into a vicious cycle-the Migraine sufferer not taken serious by family, friends, loved ones, co-workers and the Medical profession and therefore leads the Migrainer into a deeper Depression that can and often does spiral out of control and if no intervention is enacted it can and has led to tragic consequences.

http://ohwhatapain.wordpress.com/being-treated-like-an-addict/

crying-tearsDepression and Chronic Pain go hand in hand. And it’s not just those who suffer Chronic Migraine that know this all too well. This goes for those who suffer PTSD, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Aids, Lupus, Autoimmune Disorder-just to name a couple as there are so many “Invisible Chronic Illnesses'” to list. Depression has been widely stigmatized due to the recent tragic events in Sandy Hook and Colorado. But not all Depressed people go on random killing spree’s. Instead they harbor these feelings inside, they repress them as to not embarrass family, and they end up taking it out on themselves. Sometimes with tragic consequences-they take their own life as they feel they are not valued and not taken seriously.http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/23/severe-headaches-tied-to-suicide-attempts/    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/03/migraine-headaches-sufferers-therapies/1609505/It was estimated that in the year 2012 that up to 70% of suicides were a result from chronic pain. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/national-strategy-suicide-prevention/full-report.pdf The Human Psyche can be very vulnerable when it’s constantly under attack and there is no escape route that they can see but the ultimate one made by too many people.http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/5949/130560/fibromyalgia/ Suicide is on the rise and people need to wake up and see this as a serious Disease and stop Stigmatizing people. Suicide rate has risen for our veterans who come back and feeling out-of-place and often misplaced and they oftentimes suffer PTSD. They are not being treated properly and a lot as a result commit suicide. According to US News the Rate of suicide for military personnel for 2012 hit a record high-349. During 2012, there also were 60 suicides among active-duty members of the Navy, 59 in the Air Force and 48 in the Marine Corps. Throughout the U.S. military, suicides increased by nearly 16 percent from 2011 to 2012, figures show. The Department of Defense has been issuing annual reports that track suicides since 2008, said spokeswoman Cynthia O. Smith. Only 176 (which is 1 too many) died in active service-combat. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/14/16510852-military-suicide-rate-hit-record-high-in-2012?lite

crying and anguished faceChronic Pain is no laughing matter. It’s not to be taken lightly nor disregarded or disrespected. Given all this evidence I still have to shake my head in bewilderment and say again “I DON’T GET IT” and why don’t people get it! The public needs to wake up and recognize that not all Chronic Pain Illnesses need to be VISIBLE and to stop stigmatizing these diseases and treat the sufferers with respect and better treatment plans. Doctors need to be better educated in long-term Chronic Pain Management so we can benefit from less pain and lead a more productive life. I belong to a couple of Chronic Pain Support Groups on FB: CMA-Chronic Migraine Awareness and The Coolest Fibro Chicks Around Town. I also follow several blogs and websites where everyone has the same chief complaint-they are not taken seriously, they are not treated properly, they are scorned, disrespected, demoralized, dehumanized, stigmatized and in a lot of pain both physically and emotionally as a result. They are cast aside by loved ones, family and friends who chose not to understand or just don’t get it. I just don’t get it when you try to educate those around you to what is going on all it does is go in one ear and out the other! It’s so frustrating to talk to a brick wall-it bounces off and smacks you right in the face as a result. Your then labeled a whiner, a crier, a complainer and lazy. Totally inexcusable way to treat another human being. It makes me want to pull my hair out. We already feel bad enough as it is-with the pain and all the symptoms that go with it, and we lose friends as a result, we are often left isolated, abandoned and beyond misunderstood. We want to contribute to society and be productive. We want to attend family functions and not have to cancel. We want to go on family vacations, family gatherings, on shopping spree’s and have parties and go to parties. We want to do all this and more but for reasons beyond our control we are stuck in bodies that are Chronically Ill and we fight it for all we’re worth and sometimes it’s a losing battle. WHY WON’T PEOPLE LISTEN TO US AND UNDERSTAND US? I JUST DON’T GET IT.

Frustrated_girl1All we ask is what others give freely to those who are not ill: To be treated w/empathy, kindness, respect, understanding and to LISTEN to us and try to understand what is going on in our life and what is going on. Stop standing on the sidelines and judge us-jump in and help us. Even a small gesture like lending a shoulder or an eye can have amazing results. And to offer to do something without being asked like picking up something on your errands, offering to refresh an ice pack, or bringing a fresh glass of water to keep us hydrated w/o being asked, or reheating a heating pad, picking up after yourself as to not add to the burden, dividing up household chores when the ill person is down and out for a while until they get better, offering to cook a meal and bring it over. There are many things you can do to help out those who are Chronically Ill. But the most important thing would be to understand and not to belittle, criticize or ostracize the person and treat them as a leper and an outcast. We as humans need to have love, nurturing and understanding. And don’t bark orders at us like we’re healthy and expect us to do everything you can do and more because it’s just not possible-not without a high price to pay-more pain.

http://ohwhatapain.wordpress.com/pain-is-not-pretty/

sad20face puppyCall me crazy but I thought to attempt to put out an article explaining things a little better from a patients perspective might have some impact on regular people-that is if they read this blog. Those who suffer as I do will just nod their head in agreement, at least I think so, and they will say “been there, done that, I’m right there with you”. If everyone makes an attempt to better understand those who are chronically ill and come to a better understanding then maybe we can have a harmonious life, or at least be a little more compatible and hospitable towards each other. We don’t need to dehumanize people as that is not the way we were intended to treat our fellow humankind. We are to be loving, gentle, accepting and accommodating, Can we please try to be that way for the betterment of not just the Chronically Ill, but for all mankind in general. And PLEASE stop judging people. Learn to walk a mile in their shoes if needed to get a grip on reality. On the reality of a person who suffers Chronic Pain on a daily basis that is.

happy_faces dog and babyI want to get along with others and be happy when I’m not in excruciating pain. And I will NOT stop fighting these Diseases and I will continue to work with my doctors for better treatments. Until a cure is found, if there is that is, I want to be treated with love and respect. I don’t think that is asking too much. Do you? Don’t you want to be treated the same way as well? We’d all be so much happier wouldn’t we?

In closing I pray for more pain-free days for us-the Chronically Ill and I pray for more tolerance and understanding. Peace and Blessings to you all.

Julie

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Update 5-4-13

 

This is not intended as a Medical site and this does not constitute Medical Advice in any shape or form.

Please consult your family doctor or a medical professional if you or a loved one is going through Chronic Pain and Illness and is showing signs of Clinical or Severe Depression so that they may get the appropriate treatment needed. Speaking from personal experience, when you enter the deep dark abyss of Depression it’s hard to get out on your own. You need help if not by way of Clergy by qualified Therapists who can help you navigate your pain management strategies and therapies. I have been fortunate to have had an intervention not once but twice by a dearly loved close personal friend. On the 2nd time I was so low I needed drastic Medical and therapeutic intervention. If it was not for the intervention of that dear friend I would probably be 6ft under pushing up daisies. Depression is not to be taken lightly nor to be ignored. Those who are in the deep throes of it usually cannot recognize nor want to, the deep trouble they are in and the slippery slope they are trying to navigate alone. DO NOT let this happen.

An do not trivialize the importance of online support. I have met MANY amazing people online who have been a true blessing and a Godsend. I have made many a good friend. I support those that need it and when I’m down I get the support in return. I wish I had turned to online support groups sooner, but better now than never. Thank you to all my online supporters-you are indeed amazing.

God Bless you all.

With much Love, Hugs and Prayers, Julie

Gardening is theraputic for the mind and soul-Getting your mind off your Disease by finding a hobby.


I discovered the love of gardening last year when I was at my lowest point in life. Depressed and in despair over the constant migraines, body aches and pains and you name it-it was bogging me down. I had yet to fully learn the coping skills I have in place now, so looking back at that time last year, this garden actually saved me! It made me feel productive even when I’d forget things constantly, I’d never forget each morning to go out and water my newly planted babies and take care of my established plants from prior planting a couple of years ago by my best friend Heidi. She planted Mum’s for me and the Daffodils and Crocus. Those plants are all lined up between the sidewalk and side of the garage. I think that’s why my Mum’s have come back each season for about 5 years now. But I had a purpose. I wanted to make the front more inviting as I had let it go. It basically became a mulch garden a few years ago by my husband and I hadn’t touched it since. After my mom passed in May 2003 I bought a concrete Angel statue and it was randomly placed in this area not knowing at that time what to do with it. When my dad passed in April 2005 I went to the same place I got the Angel and I got 2 large concrete stepping-stones. I had them willy nilly in the garden with no real placement.

Front Garden before mulchFront Garden in process024

(Pic#1 this is the front w/old mulch)

(Pic#2 Mulching in process)

(Pic#3 My garden stepping stones)

So in the spring of 2012 I decided I was going to do a Memorial Garden to honor the memory of my loving parents that I miss dearly. Their ashes are buried in the very southern tip of Missouri and to drive from this location in Michigan to there takes about 11 hours one way. And that was with my husband doing his heavy petal to the metal. We went down there on Memorial Day Weekend 2005 to bury their ashes in the family plot. That was their request and I was the executor of the Estate and I followed all of their verbal instructions they drilled into me for years to the letter. My Aunt that lives down there had already purchased their headstone at my dads request and he paid her. I thought it was morbid at the time him showing me the picture of the headstone in place with mom’s info filled out. It made me feel sad and empty. So when dad passed my Aunt said she’d fill out dad’s part instead of sending a card or flowers. It’s a very nice headstone, if you can call them nice. It’s black granite.

Front GardenProgress in front garden036

(Pic#1 The garden w/new mulch and new plants)

(Pic#2 Another view looking from the South)

(Pic#3 My Mums in early Sept after pruning all summer)

Anyway to move out of this morbid train of thought. It was just to give a little background to my garden planning. My mom loved the color pink and my dad loved red. I am partial to red, but I love blue and my best friend and sister like purple. My friend always loves my lavender I planted many years ago. It needs some major tending to now that I’ve learned after the fact you need to prune it, because now it has some woody growth to it. It needs a major pruning and I pray I can do it correctly w/o hurting it. I have always loved Lillie’s, especially the Asiatic ones. I like the Day Lillie’s too with all the different colors they have. So along the garage side I added 4 different sizes and colors of Day Lillie’s behind the Mums and near my Honeysuckle. That is where I put my Angel as well. I needed something there that would bloom after the Daffodils and Crocus but before the Mum’s. I’m still pondering if I should add anything more there….

Memorial Garden 019037

(Pic#1 My Memorial to Mom and Dad-Completed)

(Pic#2 My Angel Illuminated at night)

(Pic#3 Late August things really started to grow, Yeah~!)

On the other side of the garden, the North side, I planted 20 mixed Asiatic Lillie’s. To my horror all summer I was battling a mole varmit! He came and ate all but 3 bulbs by August, but by the end of the month those 3 were gone! I did all I could think of-traps, grape bubble gum in his tunnels and I was also told to place moth balls around the base of the bulbs. To no avail he still gobbled them up. I was ready to take my gun out there and shoot him. Sometimes I’d be out there and he’d zip from my lavender, across the front edge of the garden to under my Mum’s. I’d race to try to stomp him but being as uncoördinated as I am I missed and almost fell all the time! But to continue on with my saga: I planted 4″ potted Little Princess Spiraea, in the corner on the other side of the picture window I planted 2 Black Beauty Elderberry (I know I need to keep it pruned so it won’t outgrow that space, but it looked so cool) and in the front of the bird bath I planted Veronica Georgia Blue (sad to say of the 6 I planted only 3 have survived).

Yellow daylillie Christmas Red Daylillie

(These are the Day Lillie’s that are on the garage side wall-survived the mole invasion)

It had been a few years since mulch was put down and it was worn down and worn out. I was crazy to think that by buying 6 bags of beautiful red mulch I’d have enough! Hah, it barely filled in the section by the North wall! By the time it was all said and done, the whole area re-mulched, I was 20 bags into it!! Quite expensive but there was no truck available to get any in bulk and to get the color I wanted-Red. Vivid Red.  I then on a whim found some fantastic Bronze finished solar lights I put alongside the sidewalk to illuminate the way to the front door. They were on sale and a set of 8 which I considered quite a steal (until I realized why when getting the garden ready for winter-the finish was coming off and they started to rust 😦 )

Just planted Little Princess Spiraea

(The top picture is my baby Spiraea at just a few weeks and on the bottom it has doubled in size in just 1 month)

Around the Angel it looked incomplete and I was figuring out what to do with it. I came across the idea to get 2 solar lighted memorial markers to put on each side and a small bag of white marble chips. I got through a craft store a small bag of white stones to put in the Angel’s bowl she was holding. Then I got to thinking after I saw an advertisement banner searching online, I got 2 personalized stones that represent my mom then my dad. Then it seemed to come together for me.

garden visitor

(one of the other many visitors that came to my garden-we have many rabbits and as a result many Coyote in the middle of the night)

I made a point of it each morning to go out and water my new plants, I called them babies actually, and the older plants as well. I’d weed and put down more Preen. Preen became my best friend as well as Miracle Grow. But while I was out there every day, even when it was hot but the sun didn’t hit that side of the house yet as it faces West, I’d forget my worries and concentrate of making my plants thrive and grown. Plus fighting that varmit! It turned out to be a hot and dry summer so I had to tend to my garden every day. And since it was in memory of my parents that was extra motivation. I plan on adding more to the garden this year, a vibrant red plant (Perennial is a must) to surround the Spiraea and fill in the blank spaces. I’d like to do Lillie’s again now that I got a great hint on using chicken wire to cage them in when I bury them. Wish I had known of that last year. Oh well I got those bulbs on sale so it’s not like I lost a lot of money for them to turn into mole food. It’s just the idea of it.

This part of gardening I detest

(This is one garden visitor that freaks the crap out of me-the other one was a small garter snake slithering under the lavender-I stayed away from that for the rest of the season-no weeding around the lavender!)

So along with gardening that I discovered took my thoughts off my problems, I also did journaling and then blogging. But my best friend was right. And so is my new blogger friend Steven. Gardening is very therapeutic, when you don’t have rodents and creepy crawly things to scare the crap out of you, but it still gets your mind off your problems, you’re doing something productive, you’re getting out of the house, your improving your atmosphere as well as the appearance of your yard, and you get to sit back and watch the fruit of your labor thrive and grow. Doing this and being able to interact with some pretty doggone amazing people online through blogging, Face Book and Twitter, all of these avenues are great coping mechanisms. I would highly recommend a flower or vegetable garden. I’m trying an indoor herbal garden with Rosemary. That is slow going but Steven said it would be so I will be patient. I will get it a buddy so it’s not alone in that pot. And I will do another container planting on my back deck. I can’t do any landscaping because that is where the dogs go and they eat and tear up stuff. But I am going to involve my mind more by planning what to add and where to put it, therefore distracting myself from my burdens.

I will post some updates to my project in the future. I hope all of you have a hobby you enjoy that you can find joy and happiness from. If you don’t have one by now please find one and immerse yourself into it fully and reap the rewards.

Until next time wishing you all a Blessed and Pain free day.