Migraine Update: Elimination Diet & New Meds

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Everyday I’m worried about when I will have my next migraine. I always have pain medication on hand and an excuse at the tip of my tongue to leave early. I avoid making plans outside of work and family obligations because I never know how I will feel on that day. I’ve let my fear of pain control my life for years and the anxiety that comes along with this fear holds me back from doing what I love to do.

My migraines are genetic and I can go on and on about all of the reasons why I may never be completely pain free. My current neurologist is a headache specialist. He’s a great guy who wants to help me live my best life. But he doesn’t have all the answers. He’s willing to try new things in hopes of them working but a lot of it is up to me.

It was up to me to realize that I was taking too much ibuprofen. It was up to me to realize that I wasn’t fueling my body properly. It was up to me to realize that I was feeling sorry for myself and needed to change.

Last summer I read Grain Brain by David Perlmutter which was recommended to me by my physical therapist. I learned about gluten, carbs, and sugar and how they interact with our brains. I wanted to try an elimination diet but it seemed like too much work at the time.

This summer I’m willing to do anything it takes to live a pain-free life. I’ve changed my lifestyle to balance the amount of gluten, carbs, and sugars I am eating. I’ve made my health a priority.

It never feels like enough though. I’m on day 3 of a debilitating migraine right now. I’ve had to leave work early and sit in the dark with ice packs for hours at a time. I’ve had to miss meetings and time with my family. I’ve been angry at my messed up brain for constantly hurting. I’ve told myself that I’m a terrible employee and co-worker because I can’t stand being in the office when I feel like this.

I’m also having trouble sleeping again. I can stay up pretty much all night and have gotten used to functioning on very few hours of sleep. I feel like a zombie.My neurologist prescribed me a medication to help me sleep since I was going days without sleeping for more then a couple of hours. He also prescribed me a pain medication for when I have migraines.

I didn’t like the sleeping pills. I was dead asleep within an hour on the couch. Brett had to help me get to bed. I don’t like not knowing what’s going on and feeling helpless. The pain medication didn’t help and I don’t plan on taking it again. I ended up being sick to my stomach while on it.

I’ve felt pretty angry about my migraine situation lately but I’m trying to do my best to take care of myself. Whatever that means. I went 5 days without a migraine when I first started the elimination diet which is a long period of time for me.

Hopefully I will have a positive migraine update for you soon!

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Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash

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Celebrating the Fourth of July!

Fourth of July 2019

Happy Fourth of July!

Today is a day to celebrate America and recognize all of the men and women who fought for our freedom and independence. It’s one of my favorite days of the year! Between barbecues, fireworks, and boat rides we should all take a moment to remember why we are celebrating today.

I will be celebrating at the lake with my family in the morning and early afternoon before heading out to the airshow to finish the day up with fireworks and airplanes. Brett is one of the most patriotic people that I have ever met so we will be celebrating America all week long.

I hope you have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

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Photo by Justin Casey on Unsplash

 

 

2019: Third Quarter Goals

 

2019: Third Quarter Goals

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend!

Can you believe that we are already halfway through 2019? I feel like it was just 2018. So far this year has been really good and I’m looking forward to the second half.

This is the first quarter that I have struggled writing goals for since I started them in 2017. I create quarterly goals instead of the traditional “New Years Resolutions” as a way to keep myself motivated. I’ve found that I stick to my goals so much better if I set new ones every three months.

  1. Enjoy summer! My favorite season is summer in Michigan. I love being at my grandparent’s house on the lake, going for boat rides, and relaxing in my backyard. Summer goes by quickly so I want to make sure I take time to enjoy it because winter is right around the corner!
  2. Continue my health and fitness journey. Q2 was really good for me in terms of meeting my health and fitness goals. I’m trying not to focus too much on the number on the scale while still celebrating the fact that I was able to lose 10 pounds. I’m starting to feel better, my clothes are fitting, and I’m encouraged to keep going. I want to make this experience as positive as possible!
  3. Create a blogging schedule/calendar. I’ve fallen back in love with blogging again for the first time in years! I’m trying to be more consistent in posting so creating a schedule or calendar would be really helpful. I map posts out in my planner but I don’t always stick to the schedule. I want to be more mindful of my schedule in Q3.
  4. Spend as much time with my sister as possible. My sister moved to Hawaii a couple of months ago but she’s back in Michigan for the summer! This might be our last Michigan summer together so I want to make sure that I enjoy every second of it.
  5. Create a work space at home. I want to focus on creating a better work-life balance. My work is super flexible so I want to start to take advantage of working from home a couple days a month. It would be nice to create a space at home where I can focus and get work done.
  6. Read 3 books and write book reviews. This was one of my goals for Q1 and it really kept me on track with my reading and writing goals. I have a whole list of books that I want to read this summer so hopefully I’ll be able to get through at least a few of them!

Like I said before, I’m really excited for the second half of 2019. I’m feeling motivated and ready to smash my goals! It’s been a fun and productive year so far.

Do you have any goals for this summer?

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Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash

2019: Second Quarter Goals Recap

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In April I posted my second quarter goals with the hopes of accomplishing everything on my list. I think I did a pretty good job considering that Q2 flew right by! I’m starting to think that I have a terrible sense of time because I blink and it’s the end of the quarter.

  1. Create a self-care routine. I’ve come to the conclusion that self-care is different for everyone. I’m not really the bath and face mask type even though I really want to be. I spent Q2 creating a non-stressful nighttime routine including a time to be in bed every night. I took melotonin so that I could sleep better and started doing at home workouts and nightly walks. All of these things made me feel like I was taking more time for myself instead of being so stressed out all of the time.
  2. Learn two new recipes to add to our dinner rotation. Done and done. I wanted to include learning how to cook a ham for Easter in this but decided that I should learn something else. 🙂 I learned how to make crack chicken in the crockpot and lemon chicken with feta and garlic asparagus. Pretty proud of myself since I despise cooking.
  3. Start planning out our summer schedule. I hate coordinating my busy summer schedule with Brett’s even busier summer schedule. I feel like I never get to see him and that’s why I wanted to prioritize our schedules this summer. So far everything has gone well and both of our schedules are mapped out.
  4. Finish my spring cleaning projects. I didn’t get everything done on my list but I do feel really good about the progress I’ve made organizing our house. The basement and storage room still need help but I think that the rest of the house is looking really good! We even got around to power washing the house and cleaning the gutters.
  5. Get a quote to have our driveway re-done. We got the quote and it’s pretty expensive. We bought our house at the top of the market so we decided that it’s probably best to only do one big house project. We’d rather spend the money on a new bathroom instead of getting the driveway re-done.
  6. Go shopping and do a spring wardrobe refresh! I pretty much failed at this. I was able to buy a couple new pairs of work pants and some shorts and tops. But I didn’t go through my closet and donate/sell the clothes I’m not using. I really do need to buy some more clothes but I’m trying to be extremely picky.

Q2 was really great and I’m looking forward to a busy and rewarding Q3! I’ll be posting my Q3 goals soon so be on the lookout for those.

How was the first half of 2019 for you?

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Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

USA Travel Bucketlist

USA Travel Bucketlist

I love to travel to Europe but never really take the time to travel around the United States. There are so many places to see in my own country but Europe is so exciting that I always choose to save our big trips for somewhere in Europe instead.

Today I’m sharing my United States Travel Bucketlist in hopes that it will inspire me to plan some trips within my own great country.

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Maine
  3. Boston, MA
  4. San Diego, CA
  5. Seattle, WA
  6. Hawaii
  7. Minneapolis, MN
  8. Alaska
  9. Charleston, SC
  10. New York City
  11. Colorado
  12. Texas
  13. Salem, MA
  14. New Hampshire
  15. All of the National Parks

What’s on your bucketlist?

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Photo by Naomi August on Unsplash

Vacation Mode

Vacation Mode

I love to travel but now that I’m a full-time working adult I don’t get to travel quite as much as I want to. Brett and I still make it a priority to travel at least a few times each yet even if they are just small trips.

This week we are going on an extra special trip and I am so excited! We have been planning this trip for a couple of months now and I’ve been counting down the days until we finally get to leave.

Vacation time is really important to me in order to avoid burnout at work. When I work for too many months without a vacation I start to get frustrated and grumpy. Taking some time off allows me to reset my focus and come back relaxed and ready to tackle whatever challenge is thrown my way next.

Do you have any summer vacations planned this year?

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Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

 

National Migraine Awareness Month

June National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

I’m sure you have heard of other National “insert illness” Awareness Months before. June is the awareness month for migraines and headaches. The goal is to raise awareness and recognition for migraine treatment, patients, and more.

As a migraine sufferer I know how hard it is to have other people understand what it’s like to live day to day with the constant pain of a headache or migraine. I understand how debilitating and lonely it can be. What gives me hope is knowing that there are millions of other people who want to raise awareness too. People who want to share their stories and join the fight to find new research and treatment options.

My migraine story started when I was in high school and have continued throughout my twenties. I don’t know if I will ever not have a headache or migraine but the odds seemed to be stacked against me. However, three new treatments options were released in 2018 so I have hope that something will be created that will help me.

If you are struggling with migraines or headaches, just know that you aren’t alone. There are millions of other people in the world who are also suffering which is why it’s so important to raise awareness. If we all stand together we have the opportunity to have our stories make an impact and bring about real change.

Migraines are an invisible illness. When you call in sick from work with a “headache” most people think you are lying or should suck it up. But for some people, including me, living with the constant head pain is reality. We are told that we look healthy and not chronically ill.

Well, this is what chronic migraine looks like. I drag myself out of bed every morning, brush my hair, and throw on enough makeup to look somewhat decent. I don’t feel good, I want to go back to bed, but I go to work and continue living my life the best I can. If I really don’t feel good I work from home or take a sick day. I know I’m lucky to work for an amazing company but I’ve heard other people’s stories about being fired for not being able to come into work.

This pain could ruin my life if I let it. I could stay in bed all day and feel sorry for myself. But I won’t. I’m out living my life and talking about how I feel. I want spread awareness. I want people to know that headaches are a real problem. I want doctors to find new treatment options. I want to be taken seriously.

I won’t let migraines ruin my life. Some days are better than others. Some days feel like the worst days of my life. But I know that things could be worse. I’m still able to work, own a house, be a dog/cat mom, and travel. Migraines make all of these things so much harder but it’s rewarding to know that I am able to overcome the pain most days and accomplish big things.

June 21st is the Annual Shades for Migraine Awareness Day led by the Association of Migraine Disorders. If you see people on social media posting pictures of themselves wearing sunglasses with the hashtags #shadesformigraines and #MHAM this is why. These people are sharing their support for the millions of people worldwide with migraines.

I’ll be wearing my sunglasses on June 21st. Will you?

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Image via American Migraine Foundation