2018-01-15 TKO from a Kick in the Head

Last night something happened that has not happened in a really long time. I got kicked in the head by a migraine and it totally took me out. Typically there’s something that triggers a headache. Last time I recall was in August and it was the night before the total solar eclipse and a terrible smell in our hotel room hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s most commonly some smell, like that, or cigarette smoke. Sometimes it’s stress, I think, but if I already have a headache, even a minor one, it’s more likely to evolve into a migraine when my emotions are in some heightened state.

That must have been what happened last night. Since starting the Whole 30 I have not been drinking any coffee. As it turns out, I hate coffee. What I really like is cream and sugar and coffee is just the pairing I’ve been using to get those other things into my system. I know I am prone to caffeine withdrawal, so I have been giving myself a regulated dose of caffeine each day, normally before my morning workout. Yesterday I didn’t have a morning workout and being off my routine (still), I forgot.

By the time 6PM rolled around, I started to feel a slight twinge in my right temple and as I went about my business making dinner and doing other random things in the kitchen, it slowly got worse. I realized then I had not had any caffeine that day and was planning on going to the gym to get some steps after all the chores were done so I had one then. I’ve also been taking cir cumin daily as a natural anti-anflamitory and I had one of those too.

At the gym my headache subsided a bit and I did some cardio and some walking and writing. When I got home, I went to settle into a spot with one of my new books and the headache came back, only worse. I took another cir cumin and an aspirin. I’ve been trying to stay away from OTC Tylenol or ibuprofen and so I abstained from both of those. Five or ten pages more of Robert Creeley and I knew it wasn’t going away without a fight. That’s when I decided to concede.

The key indicators of a full blown migraine are nausea and sensitivity to light, sound, and movement. Several years back, I was prescribed promethazine to counteract the nausea and the side effect of that is serious drowsiness. Well, that’s kind of an understatement. That stuff hits me hard. One pill and I sleep like a baby for hours and hours. Not a bad side effect, but it also leaves me not being able to get up and function in the AM. So I try not to take it if I don’t have to. Last night I did.

I told the kids to be responsible and that I was going to be down for the count and then I went to bed. Your head pounding to the point you are worried something inside could burst and you are going to die is not an easy tune to fall asleep to. I laid there suffering until the meds took hold and put me under.

Eleven hours later, I got up. I felt so exhausted and could have stayed in bed longer, but it was already 9:30 and there were things to do. I took my circumin and caffeine right away to try and wake up.

This situation used to be way more common that it is now. I can remember a time when I had migraines several times a month and that was just miserable. Its like your whole world comes to a halt and no matter what you have planned, there is nothing you can do about it. I know there are people who suffer from them frequently and I honestly don’t know how they function. It’s a very powerless feeling.

In any case, I’m finally getting started with some productive things this morning (which is now almost noon), and I’ve got to get my son to a doctors appointment this afternoon and both the kids are still sleeping. I think without my guidance last night, they both stayed awake way longer than they should have. It’s a good thing today there was no school today due to it being MLK Jr. day.

Happy Monday,
~Miss SugarCookie


2017-08-21 The Very Worst Thing Ever

As predicted after we hit about 2PM yesterday things just went as they went and it was all fine, mostly. Z convinced me to book a hotel in Lincoln at the last minute so we could be closer to our Eclipse destination and NOT have to stay in a tent. They (both kids) threatened mutiny if I made them sleep in a tent again after their long Yellowstone vacation with their dad where they tented most nights. I’m actually OK with it too because sleeping on the ground is not appealing to me anymore. I’m not sure if it ever was. As it turns out, the hotel option turned out to be the very worst thing ever for me, but I will get to that.

Actually booking the hotel alleviated several of my concerns and came with a few added bonuses. First and foremost, actually committing to something helped all by itself for some reason. Like just pulling the trigger on it made a little of my anxiety about the uncertainty of the day melt away. Like I stated, we will be closer to our destination and avoid some traffic traveling there late in the day. In the AM, the kids will get to swim and they have free breakfast so those are both marks in the “win” column.

Our guests arrived shortly after 3, I think, and then we did the complimentary tour of our castle. The kids played a little while we unloaded the bikes from the car and then there was about 45 minutes of fidgeting with tires and seats and brakes and such to get people ready to go. I was worried about the ride because of C. He does not ride his bike and he hates it. Every time he rides, he’s unsteady and crashes. He just has never gotten enough practice to really gain skill and confidence and then is quick to quit when he takes a fall.

My concerns were warranted. About 3/4 the way to the trail he faltered navigating some planters on the downtown Papillion sidewalk and completely kinked his back break line and got a nasty cut down his leg. After that he wanted to quit, but the rest of the crew was already ahead and the trail. We walked the bike that distance and then our new friends helped fix the bike at least enough to continue on. We did just a short distance on the trail, 84th street to 72nd, and then turned back because we needed to be back to the house by 6:15 to greet someone picking up his car for use these next couple of days. It took C and I a bit to get back, and they were all onto something else by the time we arrived home. My conclusion there was that C needs a bigger bike that fits him better and more time riding to really get the hang of it. After today, it will probably take some serious incentives to pull off though.

After that, I cooked dinner and the kids played some more and everything went off pretty much as expected. I never really got rid of all my angst. I was very guarded the entire time and felt very much like I was trying really hard to be engaged in the conversation while appearing to effortlessly put on this fabulous meal AND be a good parent. I’m noticing a pattern of behavior with my interactions with this person and I’m still trying to figure that out, but it’s probably deserving of a blog all of its own.

The time ticked away and past 8PM I started to think we need to be getting them back home (because now they were without a car), which was a good 40 to 45 minute round trip through the heart of the city. When I arrived back home it was just about 10PM and the kids were pretty much ready to jump in the car to drive to Lincoln. The drive from Omaha was quick and there was thankfully not a lot of traffic, which was of course part of the bonus of staying in a hotel there. What I did not count on, however, was arriving at the hotel only to be greeted by the very worst thing ever (for me), as soon as we walked into our room.

As I opened the door to room 116 of this very average Quality Inn my olfactory sense was immediately hit with a burst of sickly floral perfume. It was if someone over-did some terrible air freshener to cover up what was undoubtable another horrible smell. As soon as took a few breaths, my headache was triggered. I get migraines from the smell of certain things like cigarette smoke or the scent of baby powder or perfume. For this reason, I avoid walking through that section of any department store and never go into a bath and body works. Having had this my whole entire adult life, I know what scents are OK and what scents cause an issue and it is typically the more floral ones that trigger my headache.

I was tired and the kids were tired, so I thought I would just try and get right to sleep and sleep typically is the magic trick that makes the migraine disappear. At home, I have meds that make me sleepy and alleviate my nausea but I didn’t even think to bring any of that because we would not even be gone a whole day. Plus, I’ve only had one migraine in the last year, so the chances of that seemed very unlikely. But I wasn’t counting on what was behind door number 116.

I could not sleep. I laid in the bed breathing in that terrible smell and tried to make my mind calm and not focus on the pain. I was sick to my stomach and the song “Sucker for Pain” from the movie Suicide squad was on repeat in my brain. It was terrible. I knew I couldn’t ask for a different room because we arrived so late and the hotel was completely booked. In fact the lady on the phone earlier in the day said we got the very last room.

At 3AM I got up to ask the front desk if they had pain meds. They didn’t (that does not sound like a Quality hotel to me). The nice lady at the front desk told me there was a gas station just down the block so I grabbed my keys and went to get some Tylenol. Typically I would take Excedrin, but they didn’t have any. I had caffeine in my car so the acetaminophen plus caffeine would have to do.

When I got back to the room, I vomited. Then I took the meds on an empty stomach and went back to bed. I laid there for another few hours and slowly got to the point where my head was feeling a little better, but sleep never came. I was breathing through my mouth the entire time and at one point rolled over and had a deep breath through my nose, and it was like it triggered my headache all over again. Damn.

At 5:30 I looked at the clock and my brain started doing math on how long I would have to wait to take more tylenol. Two hours. Damn.

At 6:00 I gave up trying to sleep and opened my phone. The light on the screen didn’t make me wince (which typically happens with a migraine), so I knew at that point the worst was over and all that was left was to deal with a lingering headache, and the fact that I had no sleep and still need to get the crew to Beatrice by 11AM.

At 6:30 I got my laptop out and started to write. That pretty much takes me to right up to the present moment. It is 7:30 and I just took my second round of Tylenol with a cup of coffee. It’s going to be a long day today. It’s already been a long day and now I’m getting ready to start round 2. Hopefully, the Migraine and sleepless night really are the worst thing that will happen. I’m sure there are much worse things that could happen which is me just trying to look on the bright side of things.

Speaking of bright sides. The sky is sunny and mostly clear now and I am hoping it will stay that way for the eclipse today at 1PM.

Happy Total Eclipse Day,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-10 Strange Days

This week has been so strange. Despite having a few things planned, it seems that nothing is going according to plan. Some of it has been unexpectedly awesome and some of it has been just rotten. I’ll start with rotten so I can end on a positive note.

Yesterday I wrote about my attempt to donate blood and how that turned out. I was so angry. I just hate being turned away and maybe it is because I hate rejection and possibly it is because it feels like a situation that is completely out of my control. Either way, I was just so angry and I felt like punching something when I got back in my car. It was like a mini temper tantrum and that’s not me. I’m very even keel and there is not a lot that makes me angry. This did it though. I channeled that anger into yesterday’s post and also researching more about the diet where low iron is concerned. I tried to take that negative and turn it into a positive and I sort of feel better about it. Sort of.

Yesterday afternoon I had a plan to do Jazzercise, a strength class followed by a dance-mixx class. I was all geared up to do the 45 minute strength set, which was with one of the toughest instructors in my opinion. About 5 minutes in I felt a twinge of a headache, which I had not had going into the class. Another 10 minutes and it was really starting to ramp up into something substantial and about 30 minutes in I was convinced I was having a migraine. On my back doing ab-crunches looking directly up at the light and starting to feel like I wanted to toss the contents of my stomach. The sensitivity to light is a sure sign of a migraine.

Of course I was in the front row and of course it was a strength class which requires one have weights and a ball and a resistance tube and a matt. So many things borrowed from various locations around the room to put away and it would have been very disruptive for me to just quit and put those things away. So I powered through it. It would also look very strange if someone quit 30 minutes into a 45 minute class. I put about 10 to 15% effort into each next exercise until it was finally through. It’s funny how sometimes 15 minutes can seem like an eternity.

When class was over I packed up my things and put all that eq away and high-tailed it out of there. No second class was in the cards for me. After having been afflicted by migraines off and on for my entire adult life, I know the best way to combat them is dark and quiet and sleep, with meds if necessary. That is what I intended to do.

I arrived home and promptly took an Excederine migraine pill, which is just acetaminophen, caffeine, and aspirin. Then I had a bowl of cereal. Then I went up to my room and took a promethazine to combat the nausea. The promethazine also has a nice side effect of making me really drowsy. That’s kind of an understatement though. It actually helps me have a deep relaxing sleep, if I fall asleep. After I took that I had a nice hot shower and then fell into my bed. I was probably asleep in like 5 minutes. No kidding.

According to my Fitbit that was 6:09PM that I fell asleep. The last thing I remember was texting Josh that if I was unresponsive, it was because I was asleep. We were supposed to go to dinner when he finished his work for the day. Apparently he texted and even knocked on my door when he was in the area and I was unresponsive.

I woke up around 9pm, very groggy like I was still in the middle of that drug-induced fog. The headache was gone but my body hurt like I had fallen asleep so suddenly and then slept wrong. It was the strangest feeling. I had a bite to eat and texted with Josh and then decided it would be best if I just let my body sleep and went back to bed. That was about 10:15pm. I slept until 7:30 this morning. Adding it up that was almost 12 hours total. I have not slept that much in forever. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I slept that long. Wow.

Right now I’m at the Toyota service shop getting an oil change. It was good that I woke up when I did so I did not miss my appointment. However, my Mac is very low on power (< 5%) and I don’t have the power cord so I’m going to have to save the “good” for when I’m back home and plugged in.

More Laterz,
~Miss SugarCookie