Thursday’s Tips & Tricks: Simple Is Good 🌷

Keep it simple, spoonies. 

We push ourselves endlessly to do so many things we want to, we feel obligated to, or we wish we could do. We’re constantly moving during the day between work, doctor appointments, social outings, and somehow managing alone time. 

We can’t do everything in a day. I’ve accepted the fact that complicated is harmful to my health and profess, and that simple is good. 

It’s Best Not To Be Overly Hopeful, But Never Give Up Hope

Because after ten years of migraines which evolved into a couple years of chronic daily headaches + episodic migraines, I thought: screw it, why not?   
It’s hard for me to be overly hopeful that any method will really work for my headaches, especially one with no scientific research or evidence to back it up, but it’s even harder to turn down any possibility. 

Also s/o for the awesome experience at comes a time tattoo in fairfax, va! As someone with a habit of fainting from needle situations, it’s always helpful to have people who are good at what they’re doing working with you! 

Beautiful Irony: A Spoonie Takes on the Town 

   
Finding it ironic (but ironically beautiful) that I felt well enough and excited to go out on #NarcolepsyAwarenessDay 😌👍🏼 My lifestyle now is so different than the lifestyle I was able to lead a year ago in college. Not being able to adventure out every weekend anymore due to health shenanigans sometimes makes me sad, but it also makes it much more exciting and gives me more to look forward to when I actually make it out now. 💃🏼 

We have to take advantage of each and every day that we feel good enough to spend time with our friends and family and when we feel good enough to embrace our choice of fun.

 

Tackle Your Tuesday 

  
It’s the first day of March, y’all! Where the heck does time goooo (cue the cliche reminiscing and questioning of how time flies so fast)
For me, February was a month of stress, anxiety, ER visits, painful and long headaches, and lots of trying to keep myself positive. 

Well, this month I am going to try my best to remind myself every single that that no matter what happens, that things will work out. Even if things seem scary, overwhelming or impossible, things will work out. 

Gotta keep the faith and battle on 🌸✨ 

Wish You Were Here

I get these types of postcards sent to me on a regular basis. Not the tangible kind, mind you. The mental kind I create in my head. I’ve got a whole stack of em that I sift through every once in a while.

Throughout the many years (which seem like a lifetime, quite frankly) that I’ve had these headaches, I only experienced fleeting moments of self-doubt and another thing that we spoonies so often feel called FOMO (fear of missing out.) My headaches weren’t daily until I was about 20 or so years old. Up until then, my headaches were only bothering me every time I did hard cardio, when my hormones were increased, or when my occasional migraine came to visit. So, I really only felt like an outsider every once in a while. It was only occasionally that I was missing out on trips, adventures with friends, parties, birthdays, etc. It never really affected me emotionally or mentally at that time. At least it didn’t affect me enough for me to dwell on it. Everyone misses out on things sometimes. It’s part of life. What right did I have to complain about it?

This past summer though, my headaches took a turn for the worse. Not sure what triggered this major change with my health. Trust me, I’ve backtracked to try to find out. My investigative skills are better than most, but even I couldn’t solve this case. But really, that’s the strangeness that comes with headaches. It’s all too often that headaches cannot be traced to a particular cause. At least, that’s what I’ve been told by the flock of doctors I’ve visited. But back to the main story… Starting this past summer I was hit by this train that didn’t stop moving once it hit me. Yup, a classic hit and run, folks.

All of a sudden, I was missing out on weekend nights with my friends, birthday celebrations, brunches, concerts, etc. I was missing out on things that I was so frequently doing just months before with all my friends at college. While my case could clearly still be worse, it’s very hard to accept such a drastic lifestyle change, especially one that you didn’t voluntarily make. Even more so when you’re as social and outgoing as I am.

Instead, I was staying in alone, taking tons of naps (s/o to my dear friend, narcolepsy), praying my head didn’t defy science and spontaneously combust, and eating way more ice cream than the average person would be told is healthy by their general practitioner (PSA: please don’t use me as an example by comparison when asking your general practitioner what amount of ice cream consumption is considered to be healthy. Chances are your doctor probably already knows me anyways, so HA! Joke’s on you)

I told myself that things would turn around. That I just needed to give it a few more days until I was back on my feet again, so to speak. They always did turn around when I ran into long flares like these before. I would experience a string of weeks and weekends where I had to refrain from the activities I normally took part in, but then something would change and I’d be back to my normal, low grade, every day type-of-headache self.

For some mystery reason, this time, that didn’t happen. Yep, to this day I continue to turn down invites. I continue to yell (internally of course) at Netflix when it asks me if I’m still watching (stop judging me Netflix, you don’t know my life!) I continue to spoon another bite of Häagen-Dazs into my mouth while watching the Snapchats of my friends out on Friday nights.

I remain an optimist (about 85% of the time, because I’m not Giselle from “Enchanted” ok?) and I come up with so many well thought out plans for the next weekend, thinking “Next weekend I’ll feel good enough to do “fill in the blank here.” But these “well thought out” plans stay just exactly that: “well thought out plans.” I very rarely get to put my well thought out plans into action. And as someone who was labeled the “plan-maker” of my friend group time and time again, this is a hard pill to swallow. It’s awfully discouraging to daydream about road trips when in reality you wake up feeling too crappy to even make a trip to the kitchen.

Seeing all of my peers take advantage of their free time by crossing items off their bucket lists, visiting new cities, and trying new things just has me feeling like, (even though it isn’t my fault), I’m doing nothing with my time and wasting so many of my days doing what my dad would label as “diddly-squat”. Yeah, most of the time I can take control over my pain and turn my “woe is me” mentality into a “smile and wave” mentality.  I take one for the team and go out and do things pretending there actually isn’t wrecking ball having its way with me inside my skull. But there are so many times lately, where I just can’t physically do that anymore.

This isn’t meant to be a “depressing” post. It isn’t meant to be discouraging or sad. It’s not being written to score sympathy or words like “Wow, I could never deal with that. How do you do it?” While those words are often taken as compliments (to a certain degree, I will say) it’s just not what I’m looking to gain from this. I’m really not trying to gain anything other than relief for myself. It’s a selfish post with an underlying goal of reaching other people out there who are feeling just like me: stuck, helpless, and like I’m wasting these beautiful days away unwillingly.

I’m ambitious. I’m a dreamer. I’m a wannabe world traveler. I’m a foodie (with certain diet restrictions of course. Shout out to my food allergy friends. Epi-pens 4lyfe) I want to visit new places, do new things and meet new people. I want to see the works of God’s hands– the mountains, deserts, oceans, rolling hills and waterfalls instead of just “liking” the ones I see on my Instagram feed. I want to drool over and then devour all of the delicious food I can afford to (both financially and physically without getting sick) in one sitting.

Therefore, being tied to my bed, or the couch, or being blinded by the back of my sleepy eyelids just leaves me feeling like those ambitions and dreams will take me nowhere new. Like I’m wasting the days, hours and minutes that I could be spending experiencing a new culture first-hand, seeing a sunset in a new city or meeting a Scottish group of friends at their go-to pub and tuning everything they say out because I’m just too mesmerized by their accents.

I put an extreme amount of effort into keeping myself out of the dark places, so that I can spread light to other people who may be feeling this feeling of “wasting away” themselves. I’ll admit, on days like today, it’s hard to do that though. Sometimes I allow myself to be on the other side of that line. Sometimes I’m the person who needs someone else’s light to be spread to me.

So for now, I’ll keep flipping through all of these postcards from the different places that I wish to be. So even when I’m in bed with all the lights out and a have a cold compress on my head, in my own little world, I’ll actually be in Italy with pizza sauce spilling on my shirt, or in California driving down Highway 1 with the windows down, or even just down the road a little ways sipping on a satisfying mimosa with my friends talking about the weirdly wonderful things we talk about with one another.

Yeah, that’s where I’ll really be.

 

Daydreaming 

  
My life trend seems to go like this lately: 

Weekdays– head pain average, works 9-5

Weekends–head pain increases, high intensity, pulsing, etc. create well thought out plans that become just that: “well thought out plans.” They never become “put into action plans” 

Everywhere is on my list. It’s just going to take me a while to cross it off.

Now accepting all forms of encouragement

Stress Relief Tip: Find a Meditation Method That Works For You

  
Stress relief tip: find your own method of mediation
Every day we experience new stress and come across new bumps in the road. Spoonies specifically face unpredictable days every day. The best way to deal with this stress and life’s complications, is to find a way to meditate, relax, and bring peace to your mind. 
One way for me is to do yoga. Even though I can’t always practice yoga because of my headaches, when I’m feeling well enough, I try to find time to get on my mat. It helps me quiet my mind, strengthen my body, and push aside things that are worrying or bothering me. 
Do any of you all use yoga as a method of personal meditation? What do you do for yourself in order to find peace of mind during times of stress?

What’s the Word? 

HARMONY: a pleasing combination or arrangement of different things. 

  

 As someone with chronic headaches, episodic migraines, narcolepsy, and severe food allergies, plus other medical mysteries that arise, harmony is a word in rarely use. I’m sure other Spoonies and people with chronic health issues can say the same. It always seems that my health problems exasperate at one time, so more of an unpleasant combination of different things. 

However, it’s a word I hope to use more often and it’s a feeling I’ve come to truly recognize and cherish. I try not to overlook the fleeting moments of harmony in my life, because I know they’re something special.