Today is the first day I have been able to type since Thanksgiving. Why? I sliced off a few centimeters of my pointer finger with a rotary cutter.
I was cutting fabric while standing, like you do when using a rotary cutter. A rotary cutter looks like a pizza cutter but its sharper and you cut fabric with it. I suddenly got disoriented, then dizzy, and I began to fall. And in the chaos the rotary cutter slipped and rolled over my finger just far enough to warrant a trip to the E.R..
It was so weird going to the ER not screaming in pain. But the cause of the accident was the onset of a migraine. The first thing the nurse asked about was about the symptoms of blood loss. I realized they were all symptoms of migraine; I was clammy, nauseous, head spinning, and confused.
The nurse asked me about how much pain I was in and I couldn’t answer. The question confused me. My migraine hurt more then my finger. (That in itself concerns me. My head hurt more then cutting part of my body off.) The nurse was confused and specified my finger. I looked at the pain chart and rated it an 8 because I wasn’t crying. I had a bad migraine, on the brink of horrible. But I also had just cut off part of my finger. I was in a lot of pain. I didn’t cry. The doctor who cauterized my finger told me several times it was okay to cry and crying didn’t make me less brave.
I did produce a few tears but they were out of frustration. I obviously should be crying. Any normal person would be crying. I am in a lot of pain. I realized I was scared to cry. A doctor told me that crying can make a migraine worse because it puts stress on the respiratory system. Crying could have put me past the breaking point and I could have started screaming.
Mostly, I was scared of being misunderstood for a drug seeker. A person crazy enough to cut off a bit of herself to get a fix. When I got home, that made me cry myself to sleep.
A brave or courageous person would cry.
What does your ribbon look like? We usually see it crafted into a butterfly or given some type of bling. I thought about how the ribbon is more then an awareness object. When we look at the ribbon we think of our loss, struggles, pain, and brokenness. But we also get a sense of togetherness, courage, and strength. It turns a survivor into a warrior. The most important thing about the awareness ribbon is that it is a symbol of hope.
Hope. Romans 8:24-25
“24 For in this hope (of everlasting life) we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
I cannot hope to be healed if I’m already healed. I can’t hope for a cure if we have one. I can’t hope to be without pain if I am pain free. Hope inspires people. Seeing hope in others is inspiring. We wouldn’t have any epileptic medicine if hope hadn’t inspired someone. Once we have a cure to epilepsy and migraines, we will hope for an affordable cure. We need hope. To keep hope alive we need patience. We learn patience and we can encourage each other to never give up.
Why did I draw it that way? I am a Christian.
I believe that I should take all my worries and pains to Christ, as the saying goes “take it to the cross.” That is why I started the ribbon faded and torn on the right. I believe Christ will take everything and make it new again. That is why as the ribbon falls to the front of the cross the color changes to just lavender and then ends is a smooth cut. The ribbon is not tied like the traditional ribbon so that it could blow away, Christ is capable of healing-illness and brokenness disappears. All things are possible through Him.
I went in for a general check up at the dentist today. My Mom went back with me because I had a migraine. The mix is delightful. So we get through the exam, the doctors were great and understanding. Then comes the bad news. The mile long list of what is wrong with my mouth.
And then, “Are you sure your not feeling any dental pain?”. We assured her that I did not feel any dental pain, usually only feel the head pain. We explained to her that I my tooth has some strong competition. “Well,” says the dental assistant, “this tooth right here should be causing considerable pain.” Crap, so is it something we need to take care of ASAP? No! No, its not. For a few reasons. The nerve in that tooth is reacting to the broken tooth abnormally. It is not infected. And mostly its because I don’t feel the pain. So on that list, its second to last. Perk of having an abnormal brain.
The one thing that sucks is that because of my neurological issues the doctor is scheduling short visits. He doesn’t want me there for more then an hour at a time because of all the triggers in exam rooms. So I’m going to be going to the dentist a lot.
November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. I could not find a blog challenge, I find this aggravating. I have decided to make one up as we go.
I have a folder of memes and pictures about being being sick. I am going to use one of those everyday to inspire something that spreads awareness about epilepsy or my experience as an epileptic person.
I have hazel green eyes.
November first is All Saints Day. As a Protestant, we celebrate All Saints Day by remembering those who have past away who were strong in their faith and celebrate those around us who have strong faith that encourages and helps those around them. But Catholics are must more selective. There are 40 saints for epilepsy and two that had epilepsy (http://catholicsaints.info/patrons-against-epilepsy/http://catholicsaints.info/patrons-against-epilepsy/). How do you choose a Saint to pray to? I have no idea, but most choose St. Valentine (https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/about/st-valentine-epilepsy-patron-saints). He was known for miraculous healing of all sorts and epilepsy was top of the list.
The theme this week is “Invisible No More.” I have been thinking about it off and on all week. I hope it is just because of the souring pain levels, but I have not thought of an uplifting idea of how to make migraines and epilepsy visible. I could revamp my wardrobe? Wear themed jewelry? I don’t know if I want to loose compete control over who knows and who doesn’t know. On some days dealing with the stigmas are very hard to keep civil, like days I’m falling and someone saying I shouldn’t drink during the day…
Marijuana smoke is the only danger to one’s health that I’ve come across. The best way to avoid this harmful side effect is to eat magic brownies.
Have you ever thought about what your actually doing while smoking? You are lighting plant matter and paper on fire. Then you hold the fire close to you and stick it right in front of your face. You are also inhaling solid and liquid particulates and a list of harmful gasses from the paper and plant as you bask in the smoke cloud.
Marijuana smoke poses the same health risks as tobacco smoke, a forest fire, any smoke.
First hand marijuana smoke has been found to cause damage to the respiratory system. It can cause things like bronchitis and respiratory infections. Second hand smoke exposure can be harmful to the blood vessels.
The marijuana smoke contains chemicals that can lead to cancer but no long term research has been done yet.
I went to a family reunion this weekend. We always go a day early so we have time to spend with my Great Aunt. One of my cousins is a drama queen. This time she was milking for sympathy because she was diagnosed with chronic migraines. She had her first in April and was diagnosed shortly afterword. We had a short dialogue about her first migraine, her doctor, and medicine. Most everything made me think, wait what? I told her it takes patience, cooperation with her doctor and faith in her medical team. She reminded me that she actually has a life, a kid, a job, still in her 20s and I don’t have any of those things.
I staring at this girl in amazement. I couldn’t find a shred of sympathy or compassion. That made me question myself. I know what its like to be blinded by the pain and my migraines last for several days. I know her pain. I remember how hard it was when it first started in my 20s. I thought I should feel sympathy, logically it is the correct emotional response, but I didn’t. I pitted her lack of understanding and was disgusted by her attitude.
I figured it out. She wanted compassion from me while trying to one me up and hurt my feelings. She wasn’t asking me about migraines or coping at all. She told a story about her last ER visit, she stared at me. My last ER story was 10x better, I could have also pointed out why she was treated so horribly. I didn’t say anything. Her last doctor appointment. I didn’t say a thing. Her job. Silence. She was aggravated. Yup, this was definitely a pissing contest. She was baiting me and showing off. I was pissed.
I believe that these pissing contests are toxic. I don’t like it when someone tells me I have it worse off or someone has it worse off then me or at least its not cancer. We shouldn’t get stuck on who has it better or worse off. We shouldn’t compare suffering. When we do we loose chances. We can learn from each other, confide in each other, be friends or mentors. We can’t be those things if we are stuck in a pissing match.
I read an interesting article today. Bert Sperling’s firm, Sperling’s Best Places (www.bestplaces.net), did a study about the worst places to live if you have migraines. Check out the study here http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/migraines.aspx. The firms complete 110 cities not to live in are listed here http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/migraines_list.aspx .
The Top 10 Hot Spots:
- Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
- Madison, WI
- Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR
- Knoxville, TN
- St. Louis, MO-IL
- Nashville, TN
- Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA
- Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC
- Canton-Massillon, OH
The Bottom 10 (the best places to live)
- New Haven-Bridgeport-Stamford, CT
- Boston-Worcester-Lawrence, CT
- McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX
- El Paso, TX
- New York, NY
- Salinas, CA
- Miami, FL
- Honolulu, HI
- Los Angeles, CA
- Fresno, CA
I tried peppermint essential oils by “Young Living Essential Oils.” My sister and her boyfriend are representatives and showed me how to use it two different ways. To diffuse the oil, when inhaled it calms the nerves, stress reliever, and helps you relax. The other is to apply the oil to the skin on your forehead, behind the ears, and back of the neck. Applying to the skin relaxes muscles, helps with pain, and relieves stress (your are still inhaling the fumes).
It was relaxing. It didn’t help with the pain. Relaxation techniques have never helped with the actual pain. I think if stress is a big trigger it would probably help. And being more relaxed can help cope. But, I found that being overwhelmed or exposed to the sent during an attack made the pain worse.
The moment the oil touched my skin I had the weirdest sensation. The pain was behind my eyes down the left side of my head. Also a stop on the top of my head and my nose was tingly. My sister had put the oil on her hands, started at forehead and moved back to my neck. All of my pain scurried to the top of my head like it was running away from the oil, after a while drifted to the left side of my head, and my face felt cold. It was weird. My sister says, “At least it did something.” I did not like how it felt. But she was right. It wasn’t what we had hoped for, but it was the first thing that my pain responded to. It was the first shimmer of hope we had the the pain would respond to any treatment. So, the oil puts up an interesting fight, but the pain wins.
My sister and her boyfriend told me that my experience must be very rare. No one had reported an experienced like mine. Most of the people I know use it for headache, they say it takes their pain away instantly. I don’t know anyone else who has tried it for migraines.