Migraine Update: New Neurologist & New Preventatives

Migraine Update - Chronic Migraines and Headaches - Trokendi XR

Hey friends!

After my last update about feeling discouraged in my migraine journey I have finally found a new source of hope, a new Neurologist! This Neurologist has his own practice separate from the hospitals. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to be seen by a small practice instead of a hospital. I have seen this new Neurologist a couple of times now and he listens to what I have to say and is open to trying different treatment ideas when others fail. 

During my initial consultation I explained to him how frustrated and hopeless I was feeling because of my migraines and headaches. I always cry when I’m explaining how I’m feeling because I just feel so depressed about the situation. I think he could tell how desperate I was for a solution and started coming up with a treatment plan right away.

He prescribed Trokendi XR which is an extended release version of Topamax, an anti-seizure medication. I want to do a full post about my experiences on Trokendi at some point but the short and sweet version is that I spent the next six weeks or so pretty miserable. Trokendi can be a lifesaver for many people with migraines and I was really hoping that it would work for me. Unfortunately, it also has nasty side effects that left me feeling worse than normal. 

I went back yesterday afternoon to see my Neurologist to discuss Trokendi and my next steps. After explaining to him just one of the many side effects he immediately decided it was time to wean me off. I was so anxious to visit him yesterday because I so badly wanted to stop taking Trokendi but my old Neurologist would have wanted me to keep trying. This new Neurologist listened to how miserable I was feeling and decided to try something else. I honestly think my old Neurologist scared me away from doctors and now I have this fear of telling them how I feel. 

The new plan is to try a beta blocker and a round of steroids to break this headache cycle that I’ve had for almost a year. I also have to wean off of Trokendi too. I’m a little nervous to start the steroids but I’ve read that they can be miracle workers for people suffering from rebound headaches. 

I’m feeling hopeful because this new Neurologist is willing to try new things to lead me towards a pain free lifestyle. He listens to what I am saying and how I’m feeling and never rushes through my appointments. If I have questions I can always call his office between appointments and talk to him. It’s been a whirlwind to get here but I think I am at least headed it the right direction now. 

The hilarious part is that the other hospital in my area is finally willing to take me as a patient and has graciously booked me an appointment for January. I’m planning on cancelling. I think I need to be done with hospitals for awhile. 

What I’ve learned through this whole process is that sometimes you just have to learn to be your own advocate. I’ve been fighting for a pain free quality of life for eight years so far and I will continue to do so for as long as it takes. This journey isn’t easy and it will never be easy. It’s going to be painful, annoying, and depressing but the goal is to one day be able to travel and have a family with Brett. To me, that goal is worth it. 

Thanks so much for reading!

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Life Update

Life Update - You Got This - Chronic Migraine

Hey friends!

It’s been awhile since my last blog post and I have started writing this so many times but have never hit publish for one reason or another. The last you heard from me I was in Italy with Brett enjoying a much needed vacation. I want to do a full recap on our time in Italy AND Paris very soon because it was amazing but first I wanted to go over a couple of things that I have happened while I’ve been away.

The first big thing that I celebrated was my 25th birthday! My birthday always causes me to reflect on the reason why I started Life of Hayley. This blog began right after my 20th birthday as a way to document the 25 things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. With that said, Life of Hayley is turning five! I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for five years already! A full recap on my five years of blogging will be coming your way very soon.

I also want to give a quick health update which is the main reason why I had to take a break from blogging. I did start seeing a new Neurologist in October and he started me on a new medication. I will probably do a full migraine update at some point but let’s just say this new medication say not agreed with me at all. I’ve been very sick for the past six weeks and it’s been taking a toll on my mental health. I hate that my health has once again impacted my blogging because I was really starting to grow this space but sometimes I have to take a step back and take care of myself first.

I promise that there will be more to follow soon. I don’t want to drop off the face of the planet again.

Thanks for reading!

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Image via Unsplash

5 First Time Puppy Tips

first time puppy tips

Hey friends!

It has been about six months since we adopted our dachshund puppy, Oscar, from the animal shelter. We did a lot of research about puppies before adopting because this was our first adoption as adults. We both had pets growing up and we currently have a cat but we weren’t the ones adopting the animals before now.

I went into puppy motherhood knowing that there would be accidents, chewing, and lots of early morning bathrooms breaks. I really talked the whole puppy thing up in my head and made it more difficult than it is. Having a puppy is hard work but it is so worth it. When we rescued Oscar he was underweight and ecstatic to finally have a home of his own. It has brought Brett and I so much joy to give him the love that he deserves. Yes, sometimes it’s annoying when he shreds his brand new toy or has an accident in the house. But it’s 100% worth it when he’s cuddled up with Lucy and we feel that our little family is complete (for now).

Here are a few first time puppy tips and tricks that I learned along the way!

1. Set a schedule and stick to it! This is easy for me because I wake up at the same time Monday through Friday and have trouble sleeping in on the weekends.  Oscar is used to waking up at the same time everyday, going outside, and eating breakfast. At night he gets to lay in bed with Brett while I take a shower and then he’s happy to go to his crate to sleep.

2. Decide early on if you want your dog to be crate trained. Some people are very anti-crate but the dogs that I have had in my life have always had a positive relationship with their crates. For Oscar, I put in a memory foam bed, a cozy blanket, and a couple of toys in his crate. The first night we brought him home he went right in his crate at bedtime and fell asleep. His crate is in our bedroom and it feels like he views it at his own personal space. When he gets tired he goes in and falls asleep. Starting him in his crate right away really helped the transition and got him used to it.

3. Take your puppy outside every two hours in the beginning. This might seem like overkill but your puppy is still getting used to his or her new environment. There are so many new smells and it may take time for your puppy to feel comfortable going to the bathroom. We have a fenced in yard but we took Oscar out on a leash for the first week or so to get him comfortable.

4. Positive affirmations are key! Oscar loves a good tummy rub when he does the right thing. He’s not super into treats and would much rather hear that he’s a good boy. I talk to him a lot and he seems to know whether or not he’s being good based on my tone. Dogs seem to want to please their owners so it’s important to let them know when they do!

5. Have lots of things for your puppy to chew on. Oscar was teething when we got him and he wanted to chew on everything. So far he hasn’t chewed anything that isn’t his but I think that’s because we keep him busy with non rawhide bones and puppy teething rings. If he wasn’t busy with his toys I’m sure he would get into way more trouble.

Adopting an animal is super rewarding but is also a huge responsibility! It’s important to go in knowing that there will be challenges.

Do you have any puppy training tips?

Thanks for reading!

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The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

Book Review - The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

Hi friends!

A couple of weeks ago I read The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith. I had read the first two chapters online and really wanted to know what ended up happening to Eden. I knew this would be different than the other books I have been reading recently.

I will start off my saying that I didn’t completely love this book. It was tough to read at times but the message is so important. After reading this I feel compelled to have others read it too. It may not end up being your favorite book but it might give you perspective and understanding of what other’s are feeling.

Here’s the description:

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year—this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, all while learning to embrace the power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

If you have been through high school you can probably relate to Eden in some ways. High school is about finding yourself and Eden lost her way for a reason that was completely out of her control.

The book follows Eden through her high school career and gets darker as time goes on. I was mad at her for not telling her mom right after it happened and it hurt watching their mother-daughter relationship falter as the years went on. I wanted her family to understand how she was feeling so badly but completely understand why she felt that she couldn’t say anything.

The Way I Used To Be was a powerful book with a strong female lead. I actually hurt for Eden and it opened up my eyes to how people feel in her situation. It may not be based on a true story but it shows the victim’s perspective after being raped.

Have you read any insightful books that changed your way of thinking?

Thanks for reading!

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Travel Playlist – A Week In Italy

Travel Playlist - Italy

Hello from Italy (hopefully)!

I am scheduling this post a week in advance but *fingers crossed* Brett and I are currently in Rome!

The most popular blog post that I have ever written was my Study Abroad Playlist in 2015. I am still blown away by the number of views that I receive each week on this post! Music is so important to me and I love having a playlist for each trip that I take. This trip to Rome has been one that I have been dreaming about since I was in Elementary school. I’m so grateful to get the chance to visit!

I should also mention during this trip I will be living out my Lizzie McGuire movie dreams so of course there will be songs from the movie soundtrack. 🙂 I hope you enjoy this little taste of Rome.

Volare – Vitamin C

Pompeii – Bastille

Walking On Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

Learning to Fly – Tom Petty

Go Big Or Go Home – American Authors

Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root

New Soul – Yael Naim

What Dreams Are Made Of – Hilary Duff

Here I Go Again – Whitesnake

Where The Streets Have No Name – U2

The Nights – Avicci

Have Love Will Travel – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

I Love This Life – LOCASH

What are your favorite songs for traveling?

Thanks for reading!

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Hello From Somewhere!

travel blog

Hi friends!

It’s the beginning of a new week and I have no idea where I am. I’m writing this post ahead of time because Brett and I are traveling this week. The goal is to make it to Europe, preferably Rome, but we will take a what we can get!

My husband, Brett, works for an airline which means that we get flight benefits to fly standby. We aren’t guaranteed a seat on the flight and a lot of times we get stuck places. But I guess that’s part of the adventure!

This week we are trying to make it to Rome and hopefully by the time you are reading this we have made it. If you want to know where we ended up make sure to follow me on Instagram (@lifeofhayleyblog). I’ll be posting to my stories as often as I can.

I am so excited for this new adventure with Brett and can’t wait to share my travels with you when I return.

Thanks so much for reading!

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Five On Friday #4

Five Things on Friday

Happy Friday, friends!

Once again, I thought I’d share five things that have been on my mind this week. It has been an exhausting week between an aggressive headache and lots of responsibilities at work. Let’s just say that I am very excited for this weekend and my vacation next weekend. This is my first real vacation this year besides air shows and weddings so I’m super excited to relax a bit!

  1. October 2nd marked one year since Tom Petty passed away. Tom Petty was one of my absolute favorite artists and his death devastated the entire music industry. I celebrated his life all week long by listening to a Tom Petty playlist on repeat.
  2. This weekend we will be attending my cousin’s wedding! I have never been more excited for someone to get married (besides me, of course). They have been dating for 11 years and I’m looking forward to celebrating with them!
  3. Brett and I are getting ready for our long awaited European adventure next week! We are flying stand-by so I’m not exactly sure where we will end up but hopefully it will be Rome! If you want to see more about our trip make sure to follow me on Instagram (@lifeofhayleyblog). I am hoping to post there pretty regularly!
  4. My headaches seem to be immune to any sort of pain medication now. I am on day 10 of constant pain and all I want to do is sleep for the next one hundred years.
  5. I despise jeans but have been loving Old Navy’s jeans lately. I bought three pairs in the last couple of weeks and have been living in them. I prefer jeans that are super stretchy and comfortable and they have a lot of variety.

Also, a huge thank you to my friend Hunida for featuring me in her blog post yesterday! I always love reading her monthly favorite blog posts and was super surprised to see my blog featured! Thanks again!

Well, that’s all of this week! What’s on your mind today?

Thanks for reading!

Lifestyle Blog, Life of Hayley