Mindfulness Monday – Shadow


“Don’t chase after your thoughts

as a shadow follows it’s object.

Find joy and peace in this very moment.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh


“Put your thoughts to sleep,

do not let them cast a shadow

over the moon of your heart.

Let go of thinking.

~ Rumi


“If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts,

happiness follows them

like a never-departing shadow'”

~ Buddha


** photo by W. Holcombe. My shadow.  all rights reserved.




Am I getting worse?


For the past year  I have been much less symptomatic than I have in years (not counting my trials with my medication side effects).  I was certain that I was prepared if this came to an end.  I’m not.  Right now, I’m scared.  I don’t want to end up like I was a couple of years ago, or what I was like from 2008 – 2016.  I’m trying hard to be okay with my life no matter what.  I got to the point that I was okay when I was sicker, but it’s so much easier when I’m not.

Before you think that all of this is because of the stress of us possibly moving to Tucson and worrying about our family, my increased symptoms started before my mother-in-law’s accident; I’m not saying stress doesn’t make my symptoms worse, but it didn’t cause it.  Although, it may be contributing now.

About 3 or 4 months ago I started having some new gastrointestinal symptoms.  I’m having excessive and extreme belching, the feeling that there is something stuck in my chest, and alternating constipation and diarrhea. Oh, and we can’t forget the excessive smelly flatulence, I really wish we could forget that, and I’m very sure Stuart wishes he wasn’t subjected to it.  I’ve been put on acid reflux medication, something I was finally able to get off of early last year.  I tried 3 different kinds of reflux medication and I’m still having symptoms, they are reduced, but they aren’t gone by a long shot.  I had an endoscopy on Tuesday, and it showed…..nothing.  A little redness, but that’s it.  She did take some biopsies but it’s not expected to show anything.  I’m kinda hoping it does.  Nothing serious, but something that can be treated and I can get off this medicine, that isn’t taking care of things anyway.  A few years ago, I was very sick with gastrointestinal issues and after over a year of testing it was found that I have fructose malabsorption.  (I already knew that I was allergic to wheat and I won’t even get into my experience with gluten)  All I could think yesterday when I heard they found nothing, was oh no, another year of testing, and possibly finding nothing.  Since I’m not throwing up, losing weight unexpectedly, or passing blood; this really isn’t a high priority to doctors.  I’m already on a low FODMAP diet and I don’t really want to make another major change to my diet, but I’m guessing that may be what’s going to happen.  Damnit!

With the crazy weather we’ve had this winter my migraines have gone out of control!  They were a bit better, but recently I’m having migraines every day.  It’s driving me crazy.  The pain goes from a 5 to a 9, sometimes all in the same day.  I’m only supposed to take medication 10 days a month, as of the 12th I’d already taken medication 8 days this month.  Crap, crap, crap!  They say to take migraine meds at the first sign of a migraine, if I did that, I’d be out of meds in 10 days, instead I wait until it either gets to a 7, or it’s been non-stop for a few days.  That really sucks.  I will be taking meds a few more days this month.  I’m going to start a DHE regimen to see if I can break this cycle.  That’s means getting a shot 3 times a day for 3 days.  My butt is going to be so sore, and these shots hurt, but hopefully I’ll feel better next week.  DHE is not a preventative, but it does a good job at stopping a migraine, and it often works on cluster headaches too.  Doing the 3 day regimen is to break the cycle, not to prevent new attacks.

I do start Botox next month.  I tried it a few years ago and it helped for a while, but it stopped working.  We are hoping I have a better response to it now.  My doctor is willing to prescribe the new GammaCore, but insurance won’t cover it and it’s really, really expensive!  Hopefully they’ll cover it in the future.  It’s shown to help with both cluster headaches and acute migraines.  It doesn’t prevent migraines, but it can stop them, and since it’s not a medication I wouldn’t be limited to the 10 – 15 uses a month.  There is also 2 new medications coming out later this year for migraine prevention.  I hope insurance companies will cover them as soon as they come out, a new migraine prevention medication is desperately needed.

I’ve also been much more dizzy.  My balance is worse recently, and the world often spins when I move my head too fast.  Last night I kept having vertigo every time I looked up.  Just moving my eyes to look up made me spin.  That was new, and I hope it never happens again.  I think this increased vertigo is migraine related, but I can’t be sure.

Today I had a confrontation with someone and I didn’t handle it as well as I’d have liked.  It left me shaky and full of anxiety.  When I tried to explain it all to Stuart I got so upset I started to seize.  I haven’t had a seizure in a very long time, luckily this was very minor, but it scared me.  I am happy to say that I calmed myself during this by deep breathing and chanting with Stuart.  Sometimes this mindfulness thing really works.  🙂

Now if I can just take each day as it comes and not worry so much.  My worrying isn’t going to make it better.  I think it’s time to get serious about my meditation practice.


Anyone out there go from feeling better to feeling worse again?  How did you handle it?

How do you deal with it when you know something is wrong, but the tests come back normal?

Anyone trying or planning on trying the GammaCore?

How are you guys doing?  Any news?  I haven’t been able to read many blogs lately, or be on social media at all, so many things going on.  But I want to keep up with all of you, so please, how are you?



Mindfulness Monday – change



“Some changes look negative on the surface

but you will soon realize that space is being created

in your life for something new to emerge.”

~ Eckhart Tolle


“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.

Don’t resist them;

that only creates sorrow.

Let reality be reality.

Let things flow naturally forward

in whatever way they like.”

~ Lao Tzu



**photo by W. Holcombe.  Tulip Magnolia in my backyard, the beginning of Spring 2018

All rights reserved.  Please do not copy without permission.



Mindfulness Monday – How to


“Respond; don’t react.

Listen; don’t talk.

Think; don’t assume.”


~ Raji Lukkoor



“Begin at once to live,

and count each day as a separate life.”


~ Seneca



“The way to live in the present is to remember that

‘This too shall pass.’

When you experience joy, remembering that

‘This too shall pass’

helps you savor the here and now.

‘This too shall pass’

Reminds you that grief, like joy, is only temporary.”


~ Joey Green



** Early Spring Daffodil photo by W. Holcombe.  All rights reserved.



Mindfulness Monday – Self Love



“Maybe the reason nothing seems to be ‘fixing you’
is because you’re not broken.
Let today be the day you
stop living within the confines
of how others define or judge you.
You have a unique beauty and purpose;
live accordingly.”

~ Steve Maraboli

“Be nice to yourself.
It’s hard to be happy when someone
is mean to you all the time.”

~ Christine Arylo

“View your life with kindsight.
Stop beating yourself up
about things from your past.
Instead of slapping your forehead and asking,
‘What was I thinking,’
breathe and ask yourself the kinder question,
‘What was I learning?'”

~ Karen Salmnsohn

Always remember, you are doing the best you can; be gentle with yourself.

**self portrait by W. Holcombe. Please do not use without permission.





Mindfulness Monday – walking


“Step outside for a while –
calm your mind.
It is better to hug a tree than
to bang your head against a wall continually.”

~ Rasheed Ogunlaru



“Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk without
thinking of arriving anywhere.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh



We’ve been having some nice days here, which means I’ve been able to get out of the house and walk a bit more.  The photo above shows something I saw on my walk.  It made me happy.

Come, walk with me.  Oh the wonders we shall see.  From the mountains to the sea.


*photo  by W. Holcombe.  All rights reserved.  Do not use without permission.


Mindfulness Monday – animals



“When I look into the eyes of an animal
I do not see an animal.
I see a living being.
I see a friend.
I feel a soul.”

~ A.D. Williams


“Petting a dog can be one of the most
and spiritual
moments you can have.”

~ Nicholas Montemarano


“I have lived with several Zen masters –
all of them cats.”

~ Eckhart Tolle


*all artwork created by W. Holcombe.  Please do not use without permission.  All rights reserved.