Hope For Progress, Rather Than Fear The Disappointment 

I have gone through months where I’ve effectively given up, only to give myself a wide wake up call that I needed to pick myself out of my funk and continue to try to find an effective treatment. No matter how walls I ran into and how many failed attempts there were, I had to keep trying.
I hope that you keep fighting to find an effective treatment. Or if you’re in a funk and you’ve lost hope, that you find the strength to try again. Because hope is the only thing stronger than fear. Hope that there is a treatment out there, rather than the fear of never finding an answer.

Vote For The Headache Heroine in the 5th Annual Health Activist Awards!

I’ve been nominated for three award categories for the 5th Annual WEGO Health Activist Awards this year! The categories I’ve been nominated for are below:

  • Best in Show: Instagram
  • Best in Show: Pinterest
  • Rookie of the Year

Please take a quick minute or two to vote for me on my nominee profile!

I truly appreciate all of the support and am very humbled and excited to even be thought of for these awards! It’s extremely touching and motivating to know that I’ve at least reached and helped one other person over the past year through The Headache Heroine.

Thank you in advance ❤

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 🌸✨ 

Tackle Your Tuesday 

 

image taken from tumblr. not my own image

 
Even when you hit your lowest point, take some time to recharge and then get back to fighting. Putting in effort time and time again even at our weakest will pay off way more than if we just throw in the towel and call it quits. I’ve tried both, and I never saw myself grow or progress even the slightest when I chose to give up.

Keep fighting, you beautiful soldiers. 🌺💪🏼🌺

It’s Not Bragging if it’s True 

  
Well I’m on day 3.5 of this ongoing, debilitating migraine.

  And even when I try to silence my brain to give it a break, I can’t stop the ever flowing thoughts. Because that’s how it works, right? So today I started thinking: 

What’s one thing all spoonies hear almost every single day?

For me, it’s “I can’t imagine how you do that. I wouldn’t be able to handle that.” 

Hearing this has become as familiar as hearing “how are you” or “good morning” for me. From strangers, friends, family, co-workers, and if my dog could speak probably from him too.

Most of the time I think “yep. It sucks.” But sometimes I think to myself: “You know what. That’s a compliment, and it’s very true.” 

When they say “He wouldn’t put you through something you couldn’t handle.” I guess it’s actually true. Us spoonies were given our illnesses because we are strong enough to handle them. Do we still break down in absolute pain and misery? Well yeah, but who wouldn’t? But I look back at so many times of my life (final exams, competitive fastpitch softball games in the summer heat, driving an hour home at night, running the mile in high school, making it through a work day full of loud co-workers and staring at a computer screen) that I fully and willingly participated in while I had full blown migraines. 

Do I think other people would be able to do the same had they been in my shoes? Some people, sure. Other people, no I don’t think so.

So during long migraine (or other chronic pain or illness) spells, while it’s very easy to wish you were someone else in a different body, I think it’s more effective to focus on how strong we truly are. Not many people could deal with this type of pain on a daily basis. Do I think I’m stronger than other people? In this situation, I do. And I’m proud of it.

It’s not bragging if it’s true, right? 

 

Headaches Always Steal The Spotlight 

There are many tough truths that spoonies have to accept after dealing with a chronic condition throughout their life. Even when you accept these truths though, they still can be hard to swallow.

One truth that I’ve recently learned to start accepting is that headaches and migraines present themselves whenever they want. Headaches don’t care if you’re at work, a social outing, in class, at a concert, or just hanging at home with family or friends. Headaches don’t care if it’s an anniversary, your birthday, a holiday, or just what you had anticipated to be a relaxing Saturday evening.
How do I know? Experience and the knowledge that headaches have taken over the control room.

This year on Christmas Eve, I got a migraine. Whoopee, right?

This led to a few hours of frustration (but that was already higher than usual due to other health problems) and tears. Yeah, I would admit that I didn’t hold up as well as I would’ve liked to.

My migraine controlled my emotions and mentality for a few hours that day. I thought, angrily for a while, “Seriously? Christmas Eve?” Had to spend a few hours napping, away from my family. I felt isolated in so many ways. Felt like this only would happen to me. “Just my luck.” Felt like I wasn’t able to turn my thoughts from negative to positive ones. Felt defeated and like I had zero control over my life at the moment.

After moping, napping, crying and laughing at my situation,I mentally reminded myself that if this is how bad I have it on Christmas Eve, than I am the honestly one of the lucky ones. I thought how there are so many other people out there who have incredibly worse situations than my own and who are dealing with things beyond my comprehension. I thought about the many people who don’t have a roof over their head, who are enduring illnesses that keep them on bed rest and worse, and people who don’t have family to share their Christmas with.

These thoughts not only humbled me, but gave me the physical and mental strength to get up and move on with the night.While I know I sound dramatic, at the time it didn’t seem possible to get myself out from under the covers.

Even though the head pain was still there, (not as bad as it had started out as, but still there) I was still able to turn my night around and ended up having a wonderful time with my family that consisted of laughs, smiles, and tons of delicious homemade snicker doodles (made from scratch by yours truly.)

The truth is: headaches, chronic pain, or any chronic disorder, etc. will remain in control of your body, probably more than a majority of the time. You, however, can be in control of your mentality and good spirit. Learn to take control and turn your “woe is me” moments into “glad to be me” moments.

It’s advice that I need to learn to take more often, myself.

 

 

Chronically Grateful Day 16: How Do You Turn To a Positive Place When You’re Having a Bad Day?

All too often we can find ourselves in bad places. Throughout my journey I’ve seen numerous days of endless head pain, emotional distress and mental worry. It’s hard to get yourself to turn your frown upside down 🙃 when you are in these kinds of moods. However, I try to remind myself that while a good cry every once in a while is warranted and good for the soul, no good will come from sitting around sulking all day long. ☝🏼️ I find reaching out to a few good friends to make me laugh always gets me smiling. I like watching my go to comedies (aka Friends and The Office) because those are guaranteed to lighten my mood and make me laugh no matter how many times I’ve seen the same episodes. Also, I’ve found ice cream and pizza work wonders. 😊🍕🍦

Chronically Grateful Day 12: What Is A Fear You’ve Conquered Despite Your Chronic Condition?


Having to always cancel plans, be left out of activities, know that you can’t do some of the things most people can, and always having to explain yourself, it’s easy to become worried about what others think of you. I wonder what they think when I try to explain why I can’t go on the hiking trip with everyone (for example) because my head will start hurting just five minutes in and the rest of the time will be like a living migraine filled nightmare for me. I used to fear people would think I was just making excuses or something. I’d fear that they would judge me for what I couldn’t do, and not for what I can do: which is fight a debilitating battle against head pain. There have been multiple instances where people don’t understand the severity of it and will say something like “oh come on! Don’t be a baby!” In which case I try my best not to get upset and defensive, knowing some people wouldn’t last an hour with a migraine while hiking 7 miles up and down a mountain (and from experience I know it feels like you would rather pluck your head off than continue hiking)

I’ve gotten over that fear though, because I know I don’t need to explain myself to everyone. The people who are close to me understand and don’t need an explanation anymore. The people who are close to us won’t demand an explanation. I also know that everyone has their own battles. Why should I judge them when I don’t know what they’re possibly going through? The saying “you can’t really understand a persons experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” couldn’t be more true.

If you get over the fear of what people think of you, you will do so much more in your life and feel so much more comfortable and confident 🙌🏼✌🏼️

Chronically Grateful Day 10: What is Something You’ve Done That You Might Not Have Otherwise Done Without Your Chronic Illness/Disorder/Pain?

Simple answer: this blog. 

I would have never started writing this blog had I not been going through this journey. I’m grateful to be writing again, and so often at that, because it’s an emotional release and a creative outlet for me. One that I had a hard time keeping up with in the past. Now though, it’s become part of my daily/weekly routine and I love it. I’m not always able to write about positive results or about getting answers to my headaches, but at least I am able to find positivity and relief from writing about it.

Since I’ve started my blog and my Instagram account (@theheadacheheroine) I’ve connected with some truly inspirational and strong people. I’m motivated by others to keep fighting for myself. Before I started this blog and that Instagram, I felt very alone in this medical journey of mine. Now I know that I’m nowhere near alone. 

Chef Mary Here 

I’ve picked up a cooking hobby lately, and I don’t hate it. It’s a hobby that doesn’t require exertion or much excessive movment, so I can usually do it even when I’m not feeling that great. However it does require patience (hopefully it teaches me some 😁.) It helps me think about and focus on something other than my headaches. Sometimes I need something to distract me from the never ending pain, and cooking is a great and delicious distraction, 

Today I made quinoa chicken parm & spinach artichoke dip 😋

  
Do you all have any hobbies you’ve picked up to help you focus on something other than your chronic pain? I’d love to hear about them!