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This picture is a great representation of what we’ve been going through and how I believe my child feels.

The VisionHelp Blog

It has been said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

But how do you show with a picture the impact of a vision problem that affects over 20 million people in the US alone, often resulting in stress-related symptoms and unnecessary frustration in reading and learning potential? How do you show with a picture a serious vision condition that often leads to emotional fallout including, anger, anxiety and reduced self-esteem? How do you show with a picture a vision problem that is usually not identified in a standard eye sight vision screening or routine eye examination so those affected may not even realize they have the problem? How do you show with a picture that there is hope, because this condition has been extensively researched and there is a cure?!

How do you show with a picture?

Created in recognition of June as National Convergence Insufficiency Awareness Month,  vision advocacy group, VisionHelp and acclaimed graphics designer Rebecca Sherry tells the story with this picture:

Created by The VisionHelp…

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This is something I’ve been trying to get through for the last couple of years… the ONLY way you fail is to NEVER have started to begin with…so this year…yet again, I’m ready to try! Who is with me?

The WordPress.com Blog

It’s just a few days until November, and you know what that means: National Novel Writing Month, better known ’round these parts as NaNoWriMo, is near.

Have you always wanted to write a novel?

We know some of you have been waiting all year for this month! For those of you who are new to this project, here’s the gist:

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I’m always looking or something great you can do with Avocados because they are one super healthy fat! I love the Avocado, but I’m not always a fan of eating it raw. Here is a great idea for Avocado Fries! I plan to try this tonight!

For those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you probably haven’t been informed that I moved to Nashville for the summer. This is the main reason I’ve been MIA from the blogging world. I’ve been busy exploring the city, meeting new people, and cooking for them – of course.

I have cooked a lot while I’ve been here, I’m just now getting a chance to blog. One of my favorite things I’ve made that will be ideal for your healthy 4th of July festivities are Crispy Avocado Fries! They’re guilt free, gluten free, paleo, vegan, and of course, delicious!

Baked Avocado Fries

CRISPY AVOCADO FRIESServes 1

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado1/4 cup almond milk (or your choice of milk)
1/2 cup almond flour
Salt, pepper, and other spices, to taste.

Directions

Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Start out…

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Migraines!  Horrible beasts.  Today I’ve got a corker of a migraine.  My right eye feels like it wants to pop out of my head like something from a Tim Burton movie  and the light hurts like heck.  Luckily, its raining buckets, so the clouds are covering the sun.   I know my migraines are frequently weather related, but I also know I brought this one on partially myself.  As a mother and full time IT worker, my days are booked 24/7.  I have to fit in “my” time when everyone else is in bed.  Consequently, I don’t get much sleep some nights.  So, although I exercise, avoid red wine, eat organic, drink my Shakeology like its a new found religion, and try to stay LOW STRESS, sometimes I still manage to make things worse.  My downfall is the sleep schedule.

I’m sure you can identify with my plight.  It seems these days like there is more and more to do, but with less and less time.  How can I work 8 hours, drive 2, be a mom, get homework, housework, and my workout done in the allotted time and STILL go to bed?  The answer?  I don’t think there is one, except to choose your battles wisely.  There are many days when I go to bed with the laundry undone, dishes still in the sink, and occasionally kids homework unfinished.  In the latter case, I usually will send a note explaining to the teacher that I got home late and wasn’t able to address the issues with the assignments.

According to studies we need to get a solid amount of sleep, eat at regular times and eat well.  Medication use is up in women.  I believe that we do have issues with migraine intensity and duration based on our sleep patterns because when I was pregnant and sleeping poorly I had so many migraines it was awful. Finally the doctor gave me something to help me sleep (not a sleeping pill), and ordered me to do that 3 nights in a row and it worked after weeks of having a migraine, I finally was migraine free.  If you want to read more sleep/eating patterns with migraine there is a great little article on WebMD (http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/20061101/improve-sleep-habits-to-cut-migraines).

Three things to focus on  to STOP giving MYSELF Migraines:

  1. Realize that I am only human and that somethings are not going to get done in the time frame I feel they should.  I accept that (most days) and go to bed.  I work.  My mom did not, so our circumstances are different.  It isn’t fair to myself to measure my daily progress in the house against hers because she didn’t leave for 10 hours to work an outside job only to come home and keep a perfect house.  Get OVER IT is my mantra, sometimes it works better than others!

I know that I have to focus on getting better at sticking to my schedule.  I need to stop obsessing about getting this done or that done.  Focus on more fun…and getting some much needed R & R without feeling guilty.  It really comes down to time management and prioritizing what do I really want/ need to do in a day and what can happen tomorrow.

  1. Frequently I have issues with getting all my meals in at work and at home due to the hectic schedule. I find if I don’t get those meals in then my migraines are more often AND intense.  My solution is to stock the house with healthy alternatives.  For the last couple of years a staple in my family diet has been Shakeology.  It can be used as a meal replacement or as a snack.  In my office at work, I keep packets of Shakeology and a container of PB2 (Powdered Peanut Butter).  Coupled with a shaker cup and a banana and I have a great instant meal. PLUS there’s tons of other essential nutrients and pro-biotics in it that I wouldn’t get otherwise.  I make protein bars and frozen cookies out of the Shakeology as well.  There are nutrients in it that help with cravings, antioxidants, blood pressure, cholesterol, and memory. My theory is anything that helps with memory is a good thing when I have migraines and frequently forget things!  They say you should avoid drastic changes in your diet AND eat foods that are unprocessed, which makes it especially important that you better plan healthy meals.  There are also studies on migraines and dairy, watching cheese intake is also recommended.

    In addition to Shakeology, I also have pre-prepared meals in the freezer.  They are frozen in mini Pyrex dishes.   I can grab one of them for myself, the kids, or the family.  They are great for on the run.  For extra fiber and omega 3, I also mix a water full of Chia seeds and fresh lime once a day. Chia is an awesome superfood and one you should look into incorporating into your diet as well!  It gives me an extra boost of energy, fills me up, and helps keep me hydrated.  Plus the fiber and Omega 3’s are good for the brain!

  2. Exercise at appropriate times.  I used to exercise at night after the kids go to bed, but I find I’m fanatic about getting in that last mile of my predetermined amount of miles.  In fact, I’m so determined that I was running at 1 in the morning when I had to be up at 5 in the morning for work!  If I fell asleep with the kids and woke up at 3 am I would go down and get a few miles in to curb the guilt.  Now I exercise as soon as I get home from work.  I’ve found ways to incorporate the kids.  In fact, this fall we might start a kids fit club for my son and his friends. I think its great that we all do it together because it helps him establish a healthy lifestyle early on.  Kids love to get out and do things.   The more they see you do, the better reinforced the importance of a healthy lifestyle is for them!

Its also interesting to note that people (including myself occasionally) report having triggered a migraine during/because of exercise.  I find that if I exercise SMART and don’t to a lot of height changes or if I feel as though I’m more prone to a migraine that day, I don’t try pushing myself if I feel like a may get one or if I feel that twinge of one while doing a particular program.  The bottom line is that you NEED to exercise AND eat AND sleep and ALL these things are good in moderation.

Interesting Links on Migraines and Exercise:

http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/health_stories/migraines_exercise_study/2011/10/08/410822.html – a study comparing exercise and medication at a Swedish headache clinic

http://www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=migraine_sufferers_may_benefit_from_aerobic_exercise (migraines and aerobic exercise, from Spark)

Links on Migraine and Diet:

http://www.relieve-migraine-headache.com/diet-headache-migraine.html

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400666/AntiMigraine-Diet.html

Links on Migraines and Sleep:

http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/features/do-your-sleep-habits-trigger-migraines

http://www.achenet.org/resources/sleep_insomnia_and_migraine/


This morning we are in the ER with a migraine.  This time it actually isn’t me on the bed, but its rare I’ll consent to an ER visit.  I don’t appreciate being treated like a pill-popper.  The first/last ER visit  was in Gladwin, MI and their PA was so nasty to me he made me cry.  If you know me, then you’ll know that I DON’T cry!  I’ve had to take the kids in to their ER from time to time since and I always ask if that PA is there.  Never to I fail to inform them that he is an ass and if he is there or comes in during our visit NOT to send him into our room.  Not that I’d remember what he looks like because my headache was so bad the day I saw him, BUT I have the paperwork with his name on it and I will NEVER forget his name.

With my aversion to Emergency Room visits and hardcore pain medications coupled with the tendency for the less intense medications to just randomly stop working, I’ve found a few things that help me in my times of need.  My 3 favorite things to do in the event of a horrible migraine are:

1) Find someone who will listen to me and massage me as needed.  I have them sit behind me on a couch, floor, or bed.  Then I lay between their legs (on my back) and put my head on a small pillow.  Having them rub the back of my neck with my head laying back really helps.  Plus, I find massaging the scalp from the back to the front, down my forehead and across my sinus is just wonderful!  Sometimes doing this in a completely dark room is enough to make me fall asleep and ease my migraine.  The biggest pains for me are on the right side and usually we find a large knot under my right shoulder blade.  I’ve found this same knot on many of my friends who also get migraines.  I don’t know why this knot exists, but I’ve found its best to just leave it alone.  It comes back no matter what you do and just leaves you unnecessarily sore the next day.  With my experiences with this specific style of massage and my migraines as well as my friends’, I’m planning on looking into Indian Head Massage.  I just read about the other day and it sounds similar to what I’m already engaging in, only with someone who knows what they are doing versus someone who just listens to her body and makes it up as she goes.  To learn more about Indian Head Massage check out this link: http://www.articlesbase.com/alternative-medicine-articles/indian-head-massage-for-migraine-prevention-888329.html

2) Soft, bendable feather pillows.  Some say use socks for your neck, or a sock with tennis balls in it, but that has never worked for me.  We lived at an apartment once where the arm of the couch was perfect.  I would just lay back, rest my neck on the arm of the couch and ah, sweet bliss.  I wish I could have taken that couch with me or stayed in that apartment forever!  But in lieu of the therapeutic couch arm, I find that my ancient feather pillow can provide relief (and comfort) in ways that even those expensive pillows from the chiro never could.  I just put part of the pillow under my shoulders and ball a chunk of it up for under my neck…lay back and hope for the pain to subside.

3)  The Chiropractor.  A good chiro along with some muscle relaxers and my life is about as near to bliss as possible, meaning it takes the edge off and allows me to think/sleep.  IF the chiro can get the couple of spots in my neck popped along with the one between my shoulder blades, I feel somewhat better.  However, usually i feel worse for about 10 seconds and dizzy for a minute or so.  A good chiro might also try some aromatherapy on you as well as pressure points or reflexology while they treat you.  These have never helped me very much, but the pleasant smell of whatever they put on my hand and head is pretty awesome and I come to equate it with feeling just a BIT better. I was reading an interesting interview with a chiropractor at: http://www.relieve-migraine-headache.com/chiropractic-and-headache.html.

There are many other little tricks I might try if I have a bad migraine, including the tanning bed, but these are my top three!  I was in an accident when I was 11 and broke a couple of bones in my face.  The X-Rays at the Chiropractor still show whiplash in my neck.  So, I’m going to guess that these injuries are the main reasons my migraines are so relentless.  In fact there is a good article on migraines as a result of head trauma at: http://migraine.com/migraine-causes/neck-or-head-injury/ .  Check it out if you’d like to know more.  If you have any tricks that work for you and your headaches please feel free to e-mail me  at pmili@up.net or post them below in comments.


I’ve been suffering with migraines for about 12 plus years.  When I first found out what they were, I was in highschool.  At first they just let me be, but then the testing started.  MRI’s, CT scans, heart monitoring, blood pressure checks, glucose checks, you name it they did it.  It wasn’t fun.  The first medication they put me on was Firosette, it was terrible.  I would take it, sleep fitfully and in pain, then wake up with a worse headache and super groggy.  The worst thing EVER!  I have many friends who tell me this is a great pill, but not for me.

I’ve been to Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin and they poked me, prodded me and pumped me with medication that made me faint when shopping.  I went to the neurologists in Marquette, MI and they gave me meds that did the same thing, plus swelled my eyes shut.  I even saw a Neurologist down here and he was nice, but the nerve block didn’t work very well and was super uncomfortable.  Most medications that worked, especially Tryptans like Imitrex and Zomig either don’t work now or cause such nasty reactions I just can’t take them.

A few years ago, I found that Tordal could get rid of a lasting migraine.  Probably once or twice a year I would get one of these shots.  However, the last two didn’t work so I think that my time with that medication has already run out.  I’m not going to let it get me down though. 

Years ago, I watched an acquaintance with migraine bascially put his life in suspended animation because of the headaches.  I decided there was NO WAY I was living this life.  Migraine or no migraine, I run…I play basketball…I watch movies.  Sometimes I do things I have NO BUSINESS doing with a headache, but I’M LIVING Life one day at a time.  I believe I’ve developed a certain amount of pain tolerance to them over the years of “ignoring them.” 

I was in an accident when I was 11 that broke my right cheek bone.  I’m sure as I get older and arthorits sets in the migraines will be triggered heavier and harder, but I’m going to enjoy every moment of “Normal” living I can until then.  I’m considering exploring accupuncture (one of the few treatments I haven’t done yet) and I read today about this O2 theapy that I’m going to research further into. 

I think that  the migraine pain is REAL.  The debilitating pain is REAL.  It affects my cognitive thought processes and my ability to do certain things, but am I going to let it rule my life?  NO!  I am a Bellydancer, Independent Team Beachbody Coach, Lab IT Analyst, Painter, Mother, and Palm Tree Marketeer.  Migraine Sufferer will not be part of my byline in life.  I don’t want to be remembered as “the migraine sufferer”.  If anything I want people to be amazed that I’m a headache walking.  I get 2-3 per week and they can last multiple days at a time so statistically if you meet me, I have a headache.  Do I want you to know that?  Heck no!  I’ll greet you with a smile and a joke…then turn around and lose my keys!  To all my migraine friends… I LOVE YOU…Rock out EVERY DAY…like the Headache doesn’t matter!   TAKE BACK YOUR BRAIN!  🙂