5 things: I use to [try to] ease my migraines

five things

On July 3rd, I had one of the worst migraine attacks I’ve had in a long time, bad enough to make me go to urgent care for a shot of pain killers and nausea relief.

When the doctor asked me if it was my worst headache ever, I didn’t have to think about it: No.

The worst was the one that was so bad my face went numb and I thought I was having a stroke. I was in my early 20’s. I was terrified.

This one wasn’t as bad, but it was persistent and I couldn’t keep anything down, even water. So I stayed home and got help.

Sometimes these posts are about things I use on the regular; sometimes they’re about things I’ve learned/habits/etc. Today, I’m sharing five things that bring the pain down sometimes, even if it’s just a notch. 

Advil migraine, 3 at a time, every 4-6 hours

If that seems like a lot, it is. But it’s one of the only OTC remedies that brings the pain in my head down enough to make me semi-functional.


Eden’s Garden Breathe Easier synergy blend

I keep a diffuser in the bedroom, another in the living room, and another at work. This blend opens up my nasal passages and helps me breathe through the pain. Sometimes its enough (in combination with the above) to get rid of a migraine for a few hours).
If I have foolishly run out, peppermint or eucalyptus with rosemary can do the trick.

These are my three diffusers: bedroom (pretty wood exterior), living room (simple with a color changing light), office (mini, usb charger)

Tracking my symptoms

I use Kindara to track my cycles, along with my chronic health issues. I’ve also become more conscious of my prodrome symptoms (the symptoms that come before a migraine—kind of like the calm before the storm). My prodrome symptoms include neck tightness, extreme fatigue (needing naps), and a stuffy nose that makes it hard to breathe and requires deep breaths. Sometimes, it looks like extreme energy followed by a depressed mood and difficulty getting the right words out.

Hot water bottle and ice pack

I already regaled you with my love for my hot water bottle. Sometimes heat on my neck, jaw, or the side of my head where the pain is helps. Sometimes a cold pack on my forehead helps. Sometimes I need both. Sometimes nothing works.

Arnica gel

Like the ice pack, sometimes I need to slap something cold on my face to relax the muscles around my forehead, or my neck, or my shoulders, or wherever I start to feel the first twinges of tightness. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Bonus: Turmeric with bioperine

Sometimes, it seems that turmeric helps. Or maybe it’s a placebo. Whatever it is, if it takes the pain away without knocking me out, I’ll take it.

There are more tricks I use, but these are the most consistent and effective. It’s a guessing game each time.

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video: writing with a chronic illness

I’m a writer who deals with chronic illness. Fatigue, migraines, and generalized pain often leave me with brain fog and deep exhaustion (among other things). I also have a 9-5 and a 2 hour commute. Time is short and the stories won’t write themselves. I don’t have a magic fix, but I have developed strategies to make the most of the good days and plan for the bad.

How you do you cope? Comment below.

video: the latest – a quarterly(ish) update

Querying! Rejections! New Writing Projects! Health drama! Just another life update.

Are you taking on a new project this quarter? Writing or otherwise?

Share in the comments 🙂  

video: hair + hypo

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I have hypothyroidism. I was diagnosed when I was around 17 years old, but I suspect it started around the time I was 15. I’ve had years to deal with the symptoms and side effects of my illness, and the medication I take to manage it, so I’ve started sharing my experience in an effort to raise awareness and help others.

Today, I’m talking hair. My hair was one of the first indicators when I was diagnosed: it was falling out in major clumps. The kind where my fist was full of strands whenever I ran my fingers through my hair. It’s also one of the first indicators when my hormones went out of balance and I needed to have my meds adjusted: it dried out and refused to grow.

It’s growing again, but I’m still dealing with dryness (especially after an ill-judged color experiment), so today I’m sharing what I’m doing to deal with the aftermath of hormone imbalance and bad decision-making.

Products below the break. 

Continue reading “video: hair + hypo”

video: October 2018

October was a MONTH. I had a hard time focusing and felt like I was split in 20 different directions, but it’s done and I managed to make it through with minimal strain.

Some November updates:

  • I am not doing NaNoWriMo. Not even for inspiration. I have a goal for in 2018, and I’m going to focus on that without the distraction of a NaNo goal.
  • I have a few videos planned, but if November looks like October, my posts are going to be sporadic at best.
  • If you’re a Mary Poppins fan, we just recorded a whole episode on Mary at The Bluestocking Circle. Give us a listen 🙂

 

video: how I use bbt charting and DIM to address PCOS & thyroid health

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know my history. If you’re new, I have hypothyroidism and was semi-diagnosed with PCOS in 2017 (I say semi because the tests were not comprehensive, and I’m not convinced by the diagnosis… but that’s a long story). Last spring, I did a lot of research on supplements and decided to try DIM to aid with estrogen imbalance. In the video, I share my experience after 6-ish months of consistent use.

I also discuss bbt tracking and how this revealed issues related to my hormones, and empowered me to fight back when my thyroid levels were deemed “normal” despite the return of some of the worst symptoms I’ve experienced since starting treatment more than 15 years ago.

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional. I did all the research myself and can only share what I know through experience.

Mentioned in this video:

(not affiliate links)

Book

Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler

Channel

Femmehead on YouTube – the queen of all things menstrual health

Supplements (I order from Vitacost)

Nature’s Way DIM-plus
Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle (AKA silymarin)

Fertility and period trackers

Kindara app
Flo app

project use it up: June empties

project use it up-2

What I used up in May. Body care and supplements.

June 2018 empties

  • Me! bath tini ME! Lavendar Lullaby bath bombs: These were part of a Target sample both and proved to be a pleasant surprise. It brought three little bombs and they were perfect and nicely scented.
  • Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Baby Unscented Pure Castille Soap: This is the workhorse: hand soap, brush cleaner, body wash, I may not have 18 uses, but it’s a fave.
  • Oral B floss: True confession: I hate flossing. My teeth are crazy tight and I’ve yet to find a floss that doesn’t get stuck. This one was ok.
  • Weleda Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash: Another sample bag trial. Smelled like orange peels and felt like the L’occitane Almond Shower Oil.
  • wowe wooden toohbrush: Not really an empty so much as a new addition… I went through all the plastic toothbrushes I had and made the switch to bamboo. So far, I’m impressed by the quality and like that they come in a 4-pack that will get me through the year. They’re no more expensive than plastic brushes. win-win.
  • NOW Foods Super Enzymes: The best and always a repurchase. I started using these after my gallbladder surgery, when I started to have issues with food intolerance. They make my tummy happy and I can double up when I choose to indulge in something problematic, like ice cream.
  • PB8 probiotics: Another frequent product. I alternate brands, but this is a trust fallback. As with the enzymes, probiotics keep my gut working.

project use it up: January empties

project use it up-2

Health

2018 empties #1

  • Renew Life Extra Care Ultimate Flora probiotics – these are easy to find when I need something extra
  • Gaia Herbs – Back Elderberry Syrup – takes delicious and really helps boost my immune system when I’m surrounded by sick students
  • Gaia Herbs Quick Defense – this is a super dose of elderberry and echinacea (among other hers) that makes a huge difference when I feel a cold coming on (I’ve used it in the past when fighting a really nasty cold and last year’s flu)

Toiletries & Skincare

2018 empties #1

  • Andalou Naturals Un-tinted Benefit Balm – I use this for the SPF 30. It leaves a mild white cast but it almost acts as a primer for my makeup. It’s not my favorite, but it works for every day sun protection.
  • Acure Facial Cleansing Creme – I prefer the regular cleanser, but my skin was feeling a little dry and sensitive, so I decided to give this one a try. It feels like a balm cleanser and works best as a second cleanse after removing makeup.
  • NOW Hyauluronic Acid Firming Serum – I love this and started a new bottle as soon as I ran out. It’s very light and acts as a moisturizing serum beneath my oil and sunscreen steps.
  • Botanical Beauty Organic Japanese Camellia Seed Oil – there is some debate as to whether the purity of this oil (amazon comments controversy, as per usual), but I credit this with helping my hair grow and become more smooth and manageable. It is my only form of conditioner and I use it on my ends and the lower half of my scalp where I tend to have some mild psoriasis. I love it and I already opened a larger bottle.
  • Johnson’s Head-to-toe extra moisturizing bath – I needed some moisture and I like baths.
  • The Beauty Shelf green tea Konjac sponge – I really like Konjac sponges and this one comes in a three heart set 🙂

Scents & Candles

2018 empties #1

  • Nature’s Alchemy orange essential oil
  • AuraCacia Lemon essential oil
    • I like citrus scents. These are from my office oil collection.

2018 empties #1

  • Frostbeard Book Lovers’ Soy Candle sample in Pumpkin Juice – this was milder than I expected. It has a nice spicy scent and does not linger.
  • Wilfred Wax Steamed & Frothed – one of my favorites. It’s soooo sweet though, a little goes a long way. I will replace this when I run out of my other candles.