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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Would you take my hand tonight?

I'm writing this blogpost from a local coffee shop, where I'm glad to be surrounded by people and activity while I'm struggling thru a killer headache. While my headaches aren't any better yet (in fact, their intensity & frequency has picked-up again), I am better at learning how to manage around them & still be productive. The more active I am, particularly the more visual stimuli I have, the more headaches I incur. I think my new eye gets tired, as I notice a decline in vision as the headache rages. However one bright spot is the fact that I know when one starts, I can work thru the pain knowing they only last 1-3 hours on average. And my vision returns in my new eye after the headache subsides. Funny what you can get excited about when intense pain is a daily part of your life...

I've found that eating something seems to help when a headache starts. It's an old trick I learned in college when I was dealing with the aftermath of the migranes I suffered as I was regaining my vision after the champagne accident. For whatever reason, if I put something in my stomach, it's as if some of the blood leaves my head as I'm digesting whatever, plus it provides a base for a couple of vicodin. Once the vicodin hit, I can still feel the pain, however I don't care as much. It's as if I know the pain is there, but as long as I don't make it worse by driving, or reading, or focusing visually too much, I can get by until it subsides. Fortunately my typing skills are pretty good, so I can actually write this blog without too much visual stimuli. Guess that's one reason why so many of my blog posts are me lamenting headaches! Granted, my computer screen is visible from outerspace because I have the font so large, but hey, what can you do, right!?!

The pain gets up to a 9-10 daily when these headaches hit, so don't get me wrong, they hurt like hell. I'm just glad that they don't last all day, and now that I know them, I also know I can endure them. Plus, after about an hour or two of intense pain, the headache starts to subside & I have a lovely vicodin-high that makes me smile! If only the unassuming people around me knew I was stoned on vicodin right now! LOL! Unfortunately this phase only lasts about 30 minutes, however it's a welcome relief as it means my misery will be over in about an hour. Thank god. Even though I'm putting on a brave face daily as I deal with these &^%$#@ headaches, I really hate them. So I keep reminding myself that I am making improvement, which I am. And having my mp3 player on helps, too, as silly as that sounds. Anything to keep seeing that silver lining...

It can be difficult to stay positive, I'm not going to lie. But knowing that these daily headaches only last 1-3 hours makes it much better! I remember (all too well) how awful it was to have them this bad 24/7, just a few weeks ago. Another good thing is that I'm learning to control my day & the daily headache is now typically hitting later in the afternoon/early evening, which actually is also a welcome relief! Being type-A, I always feel better having a sense of accomplishment about my day. And by conserving my energy and visual stimuli, I can put off the headaches until later in the day, which is wonderful! If I have to have them daily (and, by the way, if anyone can tell me how to not have headaches at all, I'd greatly appreciate it!), I'm much happier that they are hitting later in the day. It's amazing how the littlest things can make you happy! ;-)

I'm noticing that I am much more vulnerable (& in need of a hug) when the headaches hit. One thing that is helping is that I am in closer contact with some of my friends. Speaking frequently with my best friend, Cher, is the most amazing tonic. Even though I'm going thru a tough time, it's good to know I am loved and appreciated. My confidence has obviously taken a hit. Having friends to laugh with & take my focus off the pain helps. Thanks for 20+ years of the best friendship ever, Cher! And thanks to Gordon for understanding.

It's like the legs of a bar stool. While a barstool can stand with only one leg, it has better support with more legs. Having friends to chat with daily is definitely helping -- a lot. My friends, and neighbors, Susan and Jim Whipple, have been fantastic. We get together frequently for coffee, walks, movies, groceries, etc. And since Susan has endured migranes most of her life, they both get it. Being single, I'm always aware of not wanting to impose myself on my couple-d friends. Susie & Jim have been fantastic. Thanks you two! Your friendship means a lot.

So I'm pleased to announce that while I'm still struggling with these &^%$#@ daily headaches, I'm making steady progress with my life. Good things are coming my way, and I'm excited to see all my hardwork (and that of my friends, doctors, and business associates) pay off. Thanks so much to everyone in my life who is checking-in to say 'hi'. You have no idea how very much that means to me as I'm getting back on my feet. I'm eternally grateful, and becoming my optimistic self again.

performed by Cary Brothers
Ride by Cary Brothers (Album Version)

Onward & upward! ;-)

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