Stress? Who’s stressed?

I swear if I hear one more person say that something that is wrong with me is due to stress I will scream!  I have felt this way for many years.  When I was having vertigo daily they said it was made worse by “stress”.  When my asthma went crazy, they said “stress”.  When I had severe GI issues for months, I was told I needed to reduce my “stress”.  You know the last time I looked stress does not cause Meniere’s Disease, or allergy onset asthma, or fructose malabsorption.  Don’t get me wrong, I know stress can do a number on you, but I feel like it’s a catch all.  If they don’t know, then it’s stress, after all if they can’t fix it then it has to be MY FAULT.

Finally, I am having issues that I think may actually be caused by stress.  I will be the first to admit the last few months have been pretty stressful.  My mother-in-law was placed in long term care, we moved across the country, I left my sister with the understanding that we may never see each other again, Stuart started a new job, I’m finding new doctors, I have to have surgery on my wrist on TUESDAY, I don’t know how long to expect to be out of commission to recover from said surgery (I hate being so dependent, not having use of my dominant hand is hard), we’re looking for a house (and not finding what we want), we’ve been looking at cars (for me),  I’m starting to drive again, we’re living in a small house that I can’t get organized because we don’t want to get too settled since we will be moving again soon, I’m suddenly surrounded by family (some of that’s good, some not so good)…………….WOW. writing all of that out was stressful, and I haven’t listed everything.

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This is me with a migraine, the right side of my face gets all numb and droopy.  #realmigrainepose

For over a month my migraines and cluster headaches were much, much worse, is this because of the stress, or is it causing more stress….short answer, Yes.  I must say though, for the past week they’ve been getting better, I think it’s because of the medical marijuana I’ve started using (more about that soon).  I’m having some GI issues that just don’t want to stop.  (it’s even waking me up at night, and I haven’t made it to the bathroom a couple of times…is this all from stress, who knows, but I doubt it’s helping),  I’m irritable, quick to anger, and just plain grumpy.  I’m overwhelmed and in pain, and I’m taking it out on everyone else.  I don’t like myself right now.  My anxiety has increased, but it’s not too bad, yet.  I’ve been a little depressed, but it’s not all consuming.  So, there’s a lot to be stressed about and it’s kind of taking it’s toll.

I’m trying to meditate every day, but it seems the more stressed I am the harder it is for me to meditate.  I feel like I’m not being very mindful either.  I’m living too much in the future.  We are buying our forever home and I keep thinking things like, “I don’t want a pool because I don’t want to keep it up when I’m 70”, “I don’t want any stairs because I might get sicker again, and I also we might now be able to climb stairs in a few years.”, and my personal favorite, as I’ve been going though things and deciding what to keep I keep thinking, “will anyone care about this when I die?” ….I just turned 55, I’m not that old, but I sure am living like I am.  (except I want a cool yellow car, that will keep me young)  I worry about how M’s condition will advance.  I worry about Dad, he spends all his time at the home what M, and she’s beginning to have moments where she doesn’t remember who he is exactly.  How is he going to handle it when she no longer knows who he is.  Then I think about what M’s daughter said, she told me about another relative who had Alzheimer’s and how they told her that they may not know who she is, but they know they love her.  I think Margaret will always know she loves Dad.  It breaks my heart every day though to see this amazing woman slip away.  (she just turned 77)

I really want to get back to focusing on living in the moment and simply not worrying about the rest.  Why worry about the now? It’s going to be gone in an instant.  I want to invite joy in my life.  I want to step away from the drama that I’ve found myself dropped into.  I need to nurture my inner self.

Little update on me: My surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, the 7th.  It is a minor surgery, I’m not even put under general anesthesia.  They just put a little incision on the inside of my wrist below the thumb (on the side, not the palm) and snip a little to release the tendons.  When I saw the doctor in Charlotte, NC, he told me that often when the injections don’t do anything that there are actually 3 tendons running through the sheath instead of 2.  He said they don’t know why but it often doesn’t show symptoms until middle age.  This is even more probably since I have it in both wrist, luckily the injection worked pretty well in the left wrist though.  The doctor here didn’t mention it, but he did comment that the orthopedics department at Atrium Health (formally known as Carolinas Heathcare System) is one of the best in the country.  (right now they are ranked number 3)  So I kind of believe the doctor at CHS.

My migraines have improved some since I started using medical marijuana.  Most of what I’m taking is a very high grade of CBD oil.  I will write a post soon telling you all about my journey through getting a card, learning what to buy, and my experience in the dispensary.  The gammaCore has still not arrived.  The doctor’s office dropped the ball when ordering it, then they didn’t put in the request for the free trial for the first month.  (they did change offices this month, and my doctor is new and has been the only doctor in the group to prescribe the gammaCore, all of those factors led to the good up)  The gammaCore company called Stuart last week and told him that it should be no problem getting it approved by my insurance.  If that is the case, why haven’t I received it yet?  I sure could have used it this past month, the cluster headaches have been killer (literally, if I thought I had to live in that kind of pain all the time, I’d kill myself.  Cluster headaches are called Suicide Headaches, because of that very reason, people will kill themselves to get relief.  I start Botox in about a month; I was supposed to start on Thursday, but that was my original surgery date so we cancelled it.   The monsoons are causing a lot of severe barometric changes almost daily, I’m sure this has been one of the reasons my migraines have been so bad, so hopefully they will get much better in a month of so, when the monsoons are over.

 

It’s late and I have a headache, so this post was not even read over to check for errors, please forgive any typos, grammar errors, or other atrocities.

 

 

 

 

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Not Just for Wrinkles….

Botox is now used to treat migraines.  I know you saw me post that I was getting my shots on October 3rd….and I did…more in a moment.  However, isn’t it amazing that Botox will help migraines?  Or at least I hope it will.  I’ve been reading about it, and it seems to, I know someone who has been getting the shots for a while now and she has had wonderful results.

Botox is for people who have tried many other treatments but still have 15 or more migraines a month.  In trials it prevented about 9 of those headaches.  Having half as many migraines as i do now would be amazing.  However, I also read that people who took the placebo reported having 7 fewer migraines a month….a difference of 2…not so great.

There are a number of side effects you could have, but I haven’t noticed anything.  On the Allergan site (they make Botox, I found that funny since they are known for contact lens stuff) it says, “It may take several weeks to see a response. In clinical trials, patients showed a response at their 4-week evaluation. After 2 treatments (at 24 weeks), BOTOX® was proven to reduce headache days each month.”  I was told by my doctor (and I know others have been told this too by their doctors) that you will notice a difference in 4-7 days, normally about a week.  I hope the doc’s right, I’m ready for relief. Also, considering I won’t be able to get my second injection for about 5 months I might have waited until then for my first treatment if it takes 2 treatments to be proven to reduce the number of headaches each month.   (We will be in Tucson, AZ for the winter, so I can’t get my next injection until March 7th).

I’ll keep you updated on how my headaches are doing.  Allison, from Taking Life for a Spin, recently had her first treatment and after about a week she reported she couldn’t lift her eyelids.  You can check out her story here: Unresponsive Eyebrows.

So, how did the treatment feel you ask…what exactly did they do???

I had 31 injections….here are photos from the Allergan site showing the injection sites.  One of mine was a bit different, Cochlear Implant in the way.

Injection sites sides.
This was a bit different on my left side due to my CI.
photo from http://www.botoxchronicmigraine.com/botox-treatment-expectations/

Injection sites back of head and shoulders
photo from http://www.botoxchronicmigraine.com/botox-treatment-expectations/

What did it feel like?  My doctor told me it would feel like little bee stings.  Well I’ve only had big bee stings so it was much less painful that I thought it would be.  The needles are tiny, but the solution does sting a bit, and some of these areas were pretty sensitive on me, but it wasn’t bad.  I’d do it again.  : )   It went really quick, my doctor really knew what she was doing, just a few minutes and it was done.  I spent much more time waiting on her to come in the room.  : )

So like little bee stings, yeah, but remember I got stuck by the whole hive!  hahaha.  No…I promise it wasn’t bad at all, it was nothing like some of the other procedures I’ve had!!

After I got the Botox injections, I also got an injection for the migraine I had right then.  (one that had been going on for nearly 2 weeks)  So after my visit we got a bite to eat and I came home and slept for 6 hours!  What a way to spend the day…a good way actually.  The shot in the butt helped my head pain, and he shots in my head will hopefully help me to have less head pain, and I had a good 6 hours of sleep straight through.  I did feel like I wasted the day, then I thought, “What else would I have done?”

Oh….I forgot the funny part of the story! But beware…this is Way Too Much Information!

I had been having cramps and all the symptoms of having a period, with no period, for over a week.  That morning I woke up and felt fine, I thought….hmmm, guess I’m not having a period this month.  (I am 49, I’m expecting to start skipping some periods)  So I got dressed, and left for the doctor’s, we get half way there and I’m hit with a horrible cramp.  I thought….no, no, no…I didn’t bring a thing.   Of course, when we got to the office I go to the rest room and yep, I started.  Well, If you are a woman, I’m sure you’ve all had this happen at some point in your life, and what do you do?  No dispenser on the wall….so…Toilet Paper to the rescue…and pray it’s good enough for the time being.  So I went and waited and waited for the doctor, and had all my shots and 2 hours later we were leaving…and I forgot, yes, I forgot about my makeshift protection.  So we go out to eat lunch, and go home and I walk in the door and remembered.  How could I have forgotten?….well the shot could have had something to do with it, but, but, ewwww.  Luckily, it wasn’t that bad.  But I will never again assume I’m not having a period!!   Lesson learned!