Sunday, August 23, 2009

Babysitting nephews

Got to babysit my 2 yr old and 6 mo old nephews this morning. Getting down on the floor and playing is great for migraines. But they are gone now so no migraine quickly spiked back up and I still have a lot of work to do today.

Don't want to put picture of kids out there for the internet, but these you can't see his face - my hubby (a great guitarist) letting nephew play the guitar - so cute!
It's the cheap guitar so he couldn't hurt it that I've had since I was 12 - not one of my husband's many expensive guitars.  He asked if he could try playing it with his foot - that answer, although a cheap guitar was still no.   His brother - 6 mo old was also so much fun!
Have to get back to work now and back to migraine - need to take a breathing and yoga break for that - but had to share the joy that I spent this morning that although in pain, I didn't care.  
I missed it.  My boys are 20 and 16 and I miss the days when they were young and we played on the floor and they explored with wonder.  Of course, my boys are the greatest gift to me and my heart, soul and joy.  But so are nephews!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Must Learn Self Control and Get Back to Me

As per my last post, things are not going well for me lately with my migraine (I'm done with the s at the end it's just one very long single migraine).

As a tell tale sign that I am taking on too much and not enough time for myself, my migraine pain level has increased and other health problems have arisen.

Migraine has been hovering at 8/10 for awhile now - over a week - I usually get by with a 5 or 6 with daily spikes up higher, but lately it's all full blown.

My thyroid (I'm hypo) has gone out of whack. Although better in the last month.

My sleep problems have returned. I have SPH - Sleep Paralysis with Hallucinations - and had gone 2 months without an episode and they are back bugging me and my husband. They get worse with stress. In addition, had to go back to sleep doctor to get better medicine to keep me from falling asleep randomly - been diagnosed with light narcolepsy without cataplexy.

And another bad one, my NCS (vasovagal syncope) form of dysautonimia has gotten worse. I've had 4 episodes in the last 6 days. Last Thursday night I went out with my hubby because his grandma is ill and he needed me to so despite the pain I went out with friends which was good and fun but we came home and I had an episode. See my blog post on Dysautonomia posted earlier this month regarding my top 5 most embarrassing public fainting episodes. None of the past ones have been completely public nor knock any of those lower on the list. On Sunday to get over my being depressed lately over the pain, I went out to run some errands and nearly fainted at Whole Foods Market (note to self - do NOT go there on a weekend - too busy and crowded). Had to spend time in my car and rest and got back home safely. On Monday night I went in the kitchen to take some of my herbs, etc and ended up spending an hour on the kitchen floor because everytime I tried to get up it hit me again hard and I had to go back down to the ground (The kitchen lights tend to bother migraine but earlier in the evening had visited hubby's grandma in the nursing home and she was not doing well). Then last night, Wednesday, I take a shower and have to sit down in the shower and then finally made it out to lie down on the bathroom floor and towel myself off sitting down. Took awhile to get over and then slept for awhile and now woke up at 2:30 this morning waiting to go back to sleep but can't try to hard or will have SPH episode.

I know the stressers right now, migraine pain increased, health of hubby's grandma, a fight with my 16 year old and dealing with ex husband issues, and work (oh work, as a CPA and 9/15 on the horizon - the corporate extended due date - my work in international consulting iand review of international forms/filings/calculations is through the roof. I have so many projects in the air that I'm getting overwhelmed with it almost to the point of not being able to move. Ever get that? So, overwhelmed that your kind of frozen in place?

The migraine - I have to do more yoga and meditation. I'm doing the meds, the herbs, the acupuncture, the migraine massages, but am not spending enough time with just me and flowing with the pain to ease it. I know consciously I'm not which goes to my previous post of depression and feeling the need to punish myself. I have to slow down and take time for me. @TheDailyHerb RT a great article tonight - - that really says a lot of what I need to do. I need to step back and evaluate and clear the junk and know myself. I need to meditate and get back to my yoga at the heart of it instead of going through the motions.

Family - Hubby's grandma is in a bad way and although I've gone through this with my own grandparents (2 of them) I see how hard it is on Hubby. and am trying to be there for him and her the best I can. This is a good thing but does add stress. This I won't change. My son and ex issues have to deal with my not trusting my ex and a guilt trip my son put on me about that. It hit me hard. But, as my brother told me, he's 16 and he's supposed to push my buttons to get his way. I have to stand my ground on my decisions on things and not let myself feel the guilt or not take on the guilt. Take it as it is, a 16 year old trying to get his way. My guilt comes from the fact that I am far away from him and miss him and want to give him the best of everything but there are limitations to that. (I have joint custody but he lives with his dad in a town an hour and a half away. Our other son lives with me.) I did not and never have abandoned him and provide for him well financially and emotionally. It isn't my fault he wants something I said no to and I don't have to accept the guilt trip. He's just being 16. And he's a good solid child who is wonderful - as is my other son and I am lucky to have them. These years are just hard until when I don't know - until they finish growing up and come to appreciate me again. It's natural to pull away from parents - that's how we mature - otherwise we'd stay at home forever. I know this intellectually but have allowed myself to feel and take on the guilt. I have to stop that now!

Work - well what can I say, it is that time of year, and I have this innate need to help and please people. I have to say no when it's too much. I took a pay cut last year to work less hours and I need to stick to that. I have to be honest with myself and others about how much I'm capable of. This is complicated by the fact that I am trying to get a promotion and raise so am trying to impress people. But, everyone I meet with says I have impressed them and continue to and they aren't looking for a superwoman. I have to remember it's work and I enjoy it but I can't let it ruin my health. I have to say no or at least later to some projects. I have to step back from it so it isn't overwhelming and take it in pieces - bite size chunks - and see it that way and schedule it out so I don't overwhelm myself. Again, I know this intellectually, but harder to put into practice. But I must for my health, for myself, for my family.

So, I know the health problems, I know the health risks, I know the causes, and I know the solutions. I must work harder to put my tools in my toolbox to better use. Take time for myself. Regenerate so I can do the other things. Relax and meditate and I will be a better mother, friend, and worker for it. I'll be able to focus more and do a better job as a result of focusing and saying no at the right times.

This is my task - take time out, say no, have self awareness and self control, meditate, get back to real yoga, take my own advise and flow with the pain. Use my breathing techniques, love myself, and get back to me. It will take time, it always does when I get off track, but I can do this.

This Too Shall Pass

Love to all,


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Is My Migraine Going To Be The Death Of Me?

Short post -
Been in really bad way with migraine lately - pain just won't let up. Got depressed and started thinking I deserved the pain so didn't take my meds for a day and a half and that made it worse, of course. Trying to get back on track and find my way back to happy thoughts despite the constant migraine.

Went to do some errands today and at one store I almost passed out, could taste the bile and broke out in a sweat and had to leave. Sat in my car until I was well enough and then went to another store and got the things I had to have - the first store was overcrowded and I felt like I couldn't breathe in there - and got home okay.

Migraine then got mad that I put it through that and is showing its anger still. Have to get calm and stay calm. Listened to @freemybrain relaxation tapes and that helped for awhile but then the world came back in along with the stress and the pain at its height.

Hate to take shot so early in the week since I can only have two a week, but probably the best idea.

I have to let down my 16 year old son because of his father in getting him a phone that isn't a pay as you go - which is what he has now. He wants on my plan and I want him on it but his dad keeps using his phone as his own and I don't want to pay for my exes phone bill. He's done this before and even said to my sister-in-law whom he is friends with that he's looking forward to me putting Patrick on my plan so he can use that phone and get rid of his own, so my fears are grounded in reality. But, I hate having to say no to Patrick for something not his fault. He lives with his dad - I have one child with me and he has the other. I guess 2 years isn't too long until he's in college and I won't have this worry. I just hope he feels that way. Anyhow, the worrying about it has my head in more pain.

I wonder if one day I will have a brain melt down - annuerism or stroke because of the pain being so constant and all the time - can't be good for my brain.

I want to live a happy good long life with my family and friends. Have to keep trying for a solution to all this. I hope research continues and an answer is one day found.

I don't stay long in these depressions due to pain, so I'll be better again soon and back to me. Can't wait!

This Too Shall Pass

I'll use my essential oils and herbs and meditation and yoga and take my meds and get back up on the horse and get some good work done tomorrow and I'll feel better.

That's the plan - I know we all go through this, just a bump in the road - hope to be back here soon saying I may still be in pain but I see the light and am living my life to the fullest.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Top 5 Most Embarrassing Public Fainting Episodes – Vasovagal Syncope

I have vasovagal syncope, also known as Neurocardiogenic Syncope (NCS). I have fainting attacks during which I get hot, dizzy, my blood pressure drops to next to nothing and I pass out. I can be sitting or even lying down when it happens. I go into jerks and spasms that look like I’m having a seizure (rest assured I have been tested and I am not having seizures).

It happens when my adrenaline kicks in too fast or slowly but too much. Crowded places, Migraines, Anxiety, Pushing myself to far, Etc and Who Knows can all cause an episode. It has been explained to me as that my heart is “allergic” to adrenaline and has an opposite than normal reaction. My blood pressure drops to next to nothing and I faint and then it corrects itself and I am myself again. After awhile.

Sometimes I can stop the fainting from happening if I get down on the ground fast enough and get my feet above my heart. The other symptoms (breaking into a sweat, nausea, jerking and spasming) still happen. Whether I faint or not it takes 20 minutes to get back myself and able to get up and around; it takes the rest of the day to get over feeling light headed, exhausted, “out of it” and able to get back to a semblance of normalcy.

I have had this since my teens and have a long list of times I’ve fainted. This is scary for my friends and loved ones to watch and they have a hard time sometimes seeing the humor even when a long time has passed. However, I wanted to compile a list of my most embarrassing episodes that have occurred in public. It happens at home and no one but me and mine know and I can handle that. The public is another thing. Sometimes it’s their reaction (sometimes caring and going for help and sometimes assuming I’m on something or drunk) and sometimes it’s just the embarrassment I feel knowing I did it AGAIN!

This post is meant to be humorous about a serious topic – sharing my most embarrassing fainting moments. But, hopefully you will find some comfort in not feeling alone if it has happened to you or you can find more information about this and other fainting conditions. Go to - Dysautonomia Information Network and check out @jeanneendo blog posts about Dysautonomia at – it’s a multi-part series and has a lot of information in it.

I'll do this as a countdown of the top five (there are more!) most embarrassing fainting episodes.

Number 5:
16 years old at the local teen hangout – bowling alley/pool tables/arcade: I was in the pool room with friends when something swept over me and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Broke into a sweat and my only thought was to get outside where there was air. So, I say excuse me, I’ll be back, not wanting my friends to know what was wrong. As I’m leaving, weaving through the pool tables, it gets worse all of a sudden and then nothingness. (I had apparently freaked a guy out who was on the other side of the table leaning down to make his shot when he sees someone walking by and then collapse right across from him). I come to in someone’s arms and immediately expect it’s my friend Mark, who has just had surgery on his knee. I thought he shouldn’t be carrying me and start squirming and saying “put me down, you’ll hurt your leg.” Turns out I was ignored and carried into the women’s restroom by the guy that was playing pool and watched me collapse and my friends following him. I get nauseous and start going into spasms and vomiting. The guy waited outside the restroom for me and gave me and a friend a ride back to my house so everyone else could stay out. I thought that guy was my hero, but then he kept calling and annoying me and I had to tell him to go away.

Number 4:
In my thirties at an outside theater watching Chicago the Musical: I had driven that night (my mom and some friends) to the play. We had stood in a lot of lines, including bathroom lines being the most recent and the bathroom was hot inside. All those people around me. I had had a glass of wine at the beginning of the show and we were in intermission. People were standing up all around me and talking and it was crowded and I thought, I just need to go sit down in the back area by the food area at a table and get away from all these people for a minute. I was feeling hot and a little nauseous and shaky. So, I told those around me I was going to go buy a water so they didn’t follow me and see that I was going to go lie down for a minute on a park bench. But, they thought, great idea “I’ll go with you.” Probably stressed me out more cause I didn’t want them to see what I knew was about to happen. So, I get up there and say I’m just going to sit down for a minute and they said I thought you wanted water. Water sounded like a good idea so I went and stood in line for water. Bad idea. Soon, I was shuffling and trying to stay conscious until I had to get away and stepped out of line and got nearly away to a wall and then nothing. Came to with my mom, best friend and health workers at the event surrounding me and them telling me I had gone into spasms and fell to the ground. Had to calm everyone down and tell them I would be fine and no, I didn’t need to go to the hospital. A crowd had gathered murmuring about “is she drunk?” No, just need air.

Number 3:
In my late twenties at a restaurant having dinner with a friend: We had to wait awhile in the waiting area for a table, was a busy night I guess, and I don’t know if that’s what did it but is when I started feeling it coming on, I tried to just think to myself, if I can just get to the table and sit down and drink some water I’ll be fine and my friend, Laura, will never know I had a close call. Well, I did make it to the table and sat down, ordered water and our dinners but before our salad’s showed up I knew I wasn’t going to make it. In order to not have an episode in front of the whole restaurant and be embarrassed with Laura, who had only seen me pass out two other times at work, and not to ruin her evening with me, I excused myself to the bathroom. There was a line but not too long and inside the door. I fell onto the bathroom floor and went into spasms and jerks but if I did pass out it was only a matter of seconds because I remember the fall and the “seizure” like symptoms. Freaked out all the women in the bathroom and the manager was asked to come in and check on me. I said I’m fine if I can just be next in line for an open stall and no, I didn't need an ambulance. Was able to get up and crawl on the dirty restaurant bathroom floor (a nice restaurant, but still, bathroom floor) into a stall and lied down and put my legs on the stool and took my time. My friend didn’t know why I had spent 20 or so minutes in the bathroom but I was finally able to go back to her and barely touch my salad and none of my meal claiming I just wasn’t hungry after all.

Number 2:
In 2005 at a midnight play: Friends and I thought it would be fun after the April 15th rush (I’m a CPA as are some friends) to get together and go see a midnight play in Lawrence KS – about a half hour from KC. The first time my later to be husband experienced an episode which scared him a lot and embarrassed me him having to see me like that. So, we are about halfway through the play, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", and I had been standing up in the back because I asked my boyfriend if we could get out of the crowded seats since the chairs were so close together and it felt stuffy and constricted. After a little while of standing there and starting to shuffle from leg to leg, I told him I think I needed to sit down. He found me a chair at the back and we sat down. After 15 minutes, I said to him, “this isn’t going to be good, I’m sorry,” and then nothing. I had fallen out of the chair and gone into spasms on the floor, ripping my skirt and terrifying my boyfriend. I came to on a couch outside the theater, just inside the doors with people all around me and my boyfriend yelling at people that I hadn’t been drinking, it wasn’t funny and to shut the h#ll up. That was a fun ride back to KC – the friends I went with didn’t know until after the play when they couldn’t find us until they got out of the theater and I was lying there. I needed to use the restroom, throw up possibly, but it was up two flights of stairs and my later to be husband couldn’t carry me – he too has bad knees. But, I lost that battle too but a girlfriend followed and helped me in the bathroom. She had witnessed this before but told me my boyfriend was terrified for me and was really shaken up. Took me a while to stop shaking myself. The ride back to KC, I reminded my boyfriend that I had told him I had these episodes in the past but he was not comforted. I had to go to the doctor and have an EEG and wear a heart monitor for a month to ensure him I was okay. Thank God he still married me!

And the most embarrassing public fainting episode at number one:
In my early twenties, around 22, at an Improv Comedy Club: Was with friends and the only open seats were at the top level of a set of bleachers. All the tables were full by the time we had gotten there. Was sitting next to Holly and things went okay for half the show. I had started feeling nervous and anxious about I can’t remember what and then started thinking what would happen if I passed out at the top of the bleachers and fell down that far? Just before the break was over and the comedians were coming back on stage, I turned to Holly and said, “it’s going to happen, get me out of here.” Because I couldn’t fall down all that way and thought I could make it outside and lie down until it went away. We got to the middle of the stage walking in front of it and then nothing. Holly apparently begged the people at the front table to help her with me but they assumed I was part of the act and wouldn’t help. So, I come to outside lying down with all the comedians standing over me. They were apparently the only ones willing to help Holly with me and knew that I was not part of their act. So, I disrupted the show for everyone. Even once I felt better, I was too embarrassed to walk back in there through that crowd that hadn’t helped and face the comedians again or become part of the act – I’m sure I was but I didn’t stick around for it. The comedians gave me a free pass for another show and I said nice to meet you all and goodnight.

So, if you have any form of Dysautonomia, I hope this shows you that you are not alone out there. Hang in there and This Too Shall Pass.