Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Migraines and Headaches

For so many years I have suffered with headaches. The first time was the last year of high school and my first few years of college. Most of them were stress related or as a result from a car accident. After moving out most of them subsided. Over the years I'll have bouts of times with severe headaches.

Starting last fall I have been suffering like never before. The migraines last so long. When they do subside, I get a tension headache from being so stressed about the headaches and that triggers another migraine. The cycle would repeat for weeks. It interfered with the classes I was taking for work. It kept me from going to some of my classes for work. Last past tax season I missed many days of work. Because of the lousy health insurance we had I couldn't go to the doctor. Our insurance had such a high deductible it didn't cover anything. So I put off seeing a doctor.

I have learned that some foods seem to trigger migraines. Bakery breads and other carbs seem to be very bad for me. I try to watch what I eat but maybe I need to cut out the carbs. But is it the wheat, the yeast or something else? It'd be nice to know what is the actual cause.

Finally this fall I got in to see my doctor. He put me on Valporic Acid but I have to take it every 8 hours, everyday. With my schedule that is so hard to remember! He also gave me Maxalt to take when I get a migraine. For the first few weeks I was doing great. I hardly had a headache, I felt like I had more energy, I so happy that maybe I had found something that helped with little effort. Fast forward to the beginning of November and my headaches have returned. This time they almost seem worse but I know it's only because I had that little break.

When you have headaches all day and all night, you go to bed with them, wake up with them. It drains you of all energy. I am even to the point they prevent me from falling asleep and they wake me up at night. I am miserable. I can't do anything, I can't work out. I don't want to go out. I can't tolerate headlights so I can't drive at night.

Now I'm waiting to get in to see my doctor for a followup. I'm hoping he'll refer me to a neurologist so that I can get some real help. I need to get beyond these headaches, I need to get my life back!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Layouts of older photos

I've been looking over my layouts I've done this year, it's hard to pick what ones to post! I decided to go with layouts of a few older pictures.

This first one is of my brother and me back in about 1975. I am guessing at the year, there was nothing written on the back of the photo. Mom put us in matching outfits, one of the only times she did that to us!

The saying is Siblings ~ Like branches on a tree we grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one.

The second layout is of my friend Maija and me from 1990. We were dressed to go out to a concert. I am on the left. It's one of the layouts I did to help me cope with Maija's death.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2008 craziness

For all my good intentions of doing this frequently, I've fallen far short. The summer proved busier than I expected with fall bringing more. But for all the craziness it was a mostly good summer.

In July we took a mini-vacation, that was both fun and stressful! We were gone over the July 4th holiday to South Dakota. I found a friend and her kids were going to the same place over the same time frame. What a coincidence! We met up on July 4th so the kids could play together and watch the fireworks. It was definitely worth the planning.

The kids at Mt. Rushmore.

Badlands South Dakota, absolutely beautiful!

On the way home we stopped by Grandpa's farm. The kids had so much fun. He has the little playground set up, the kids make good use of it. We took J. on an ATV for a ride. Everyone loved it! I would love to start doing that more often as a family when A. is older. The visit also brought with another big change to our family. When we arrived at the farm, I started to get out of the van and notice a black puppy by the tree. I asked Greg when his dad got a dog. It turned out to be a stray that showed up 2 weeks before and Grandpa kept the dog around so the kids could play with her on the visit. He was planning to get rid of her the next day. As I got out of the car, the puppy came up to me and I could immediately tell she was very gentle.

Over the course of the visit, Greg and I talked. Our dog at home has never been a good fit. She's too hyper, often hurting the kids. But she was family. I didn't want to see this puppy end up in a shelter or have worse happen. Together we decided to bring her home with us and find a good home for her. My brother has been wanting a dog for a long time.

This is the puppy. She was so dirty and full of ticks, her fur a mess!

Over the next 2 weeks we had the dog checked by a vet, we removed close to 40 wood ticks from her, so disgusting!!!!!! She's a black lab mix and was about 6 months old when we brought her home. We did have to keep the 2 dogs apart. Our dog, Sadie, is too dog aggressive, we had to put our other dog down when Sadie fought her for dominance. That was heartbreaking and horrible to witness. Poor Chelsea as the older dog didn't stand a change against Sadie. After talking with the vet and more trainers, we've had them on speed dial, we decided Sadie didn't pose a threat to the kids or us. She simply could not be around other dogs. Even though we felt safe with Sadie and the kids, we knew it was not possible to keep both dogs.

Over the next few weeks, we kept seeing how gentle the puppy was with the kids. Where Sadie frequently knocked the kids down, scratched them and also raised the stress level in the house. We decided after much talking, that it was best for the family to surrender Sadie and keep the puppy. I reached a Rescue for her breed and started the process to surrender her. I was surprised and relieved to learn that Sadie's issues were not a fault of poor training. It turned out she has a gene mutation called MDRI. When she was given vaccines she had horrible reactions. One of those reactions triggered her to be overly active. She basically had ADHD. Nothing we could have done would have prevented it or helped. It was best to surrender her to a family that could handle her and it would keep the kids safe. It was frightening to watch her knock J. down. After a month of organizing we finally surrendered Sadie. The puppy was named Hannah, after Hannah Montana, obviously the kids named her! She is so gentle and loving. J can fall on her and she doesn't care. The kids can crawl on her and she doesn't care. We made the right choice, the house is more peaceful and we have a great dog.

The rest of the summer brought a few more changes and fall is going full blast. I hope to get caught up on this blog this week. I also want to post some layout's I've done this year.

To end this for today, Veterans Day, I want to thank all our Veteran's for their service. My family has a long history of military pride. The history is amazing, the sacrifice is breathtaking. Thank you.