Yet Again, Nothing Goes as Planned

Today is a not so great day. For numerous students today, today it is a happy, joyful day, full of relief and excitement for what lies ahead. Many of the people are started college with — including one of my ‘close’ friends — is graduating from undergrad today.

And while I’m happy for her/them, and proud of her achievements, I can’t help but remember that I was supposed to walk across that stage today, too. I was on track to graduate today when I started school; my migraines were under control, my depression was almost non-existent, and I had motivation to succeed in each of my classes.

However, that all changed the beginning of my fourth semester. Becoming quite ill with what seemed like mono, my chronic migraines were kicked out of control. Gone were my wonderful, happy, motivated days of concentrated effort and ability to function for long periods of time. I began to lose my grip on classes. At first, I thought I was only going to lose a semester. Fast-forward to now, and my chronic illness has taken two years of my education from me.

Why didn’t I just drop out? Financial reasons–if I could barely make it through class, there was no way I could handle a job to pay my student loans. On the other-hand, it was a risk to continue school because there was a good chance I’d end up throwing money away. Catch-22, if you ask me.

So as I woke up nauseous, in pain from my head to toes (literally), and my general cognitive lacking, I’m reminded yet again how the plan failed.

I know that everyone has a different path, and there is no right or wrong way to reach your goals, but just once I wanted to reach an accomplishment the way I felt I should be able to. Since the onset of my daily chronic migraines, I’ve had to lower my expectations for myself countless times just to find the positive in something. But how much lower can I go? Will I ever accomplish a goal on my terms, and not with this chronic, miserable pain hanging over me?

😔

OK, Time To Break The Interwebs

Cute Overload

THIS JUST IN from Dual Cuteporters Tracey M. and Erin D. This female pup (#681) was found September 30th, on Coastways Beach in Northern California between the San Mateo and Santa Cruz county line. WARNING: This is SO Cute- you should be sitting down. If you fall over from The Cute and smack yer head- not our fault. OK- proceed.

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She is now at the Shedd Aquarium after a month-long stay at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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Quoting ABC7, “On arrival at Monterey Bay Aquarium, ‘681’ weighed 1.0kg..”

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“…which is tiny for a newborn sea otter, and she had been separated from mom for at least 16 hours,” said Karl Mayer, Animal Care Coordinator for the Sea Otter Program.

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“This meant it was critical that we begin to get calories into her as quickly as possible.”

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Photos from KGO-ABC7 in San Francisco.

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No White Flag Over Here

For the past several days, I have spent many hours laying in bed. Thankfully, most of the hours were in a dead-like sleep. However, the conscious ones were and remain to be quite awful.

But, through all the throbbing, stabbing, poking, prodding, and exploding pains attacking my brain, a little thought pushes through, reminding me there is work to do. No, not ucky, crappy work that no one wants to do, but work for my new Etsy business.

During my short, four week headache support group this summer, one of the tools we worked on and discussed was changing our negative thoughts into positive ones. At the time, I did very well with this exercise and noticed a difference in the intensity of my pain. However, things began to fall apart when classes started again, and I went back to my old ways of being a Negative Nelly. And once the cycle begins, it’s extremely hard to quit. Especially when everything in your life is being compounded, and your brain finds it easier to stay on repeat.

That is, until recently. Starting my own business means I have something to look forward to. I only have myself to answer to, and I can focus on my health as much as I need to. No regular part-time job would allow me that freedom. Also, I get to create items that are fun, cute, and aim to bring positivity into the lives of my target consumers–other migraineurs and people with chronic pain. When you have money, shopping is often used as a means of therapy; in my case, crafting has become my therapy.

I’ve created another shirt design–more simple, sassy, and on as much purple as I could put it. Purple is the chosen color for migraine awareness, and even though June is the official awareness month, I aim to make every month ‘Migraine Awareness Month’.

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Get the shirt here! —> http://teespring.com/migraineplayingfield

There are other apparel options as well-just click the drop down menu. 🙂

#Proud

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I finally created and finished a design for a t-shirt campaign. Honestly, actually pretty happy with how it turned out for my pretty amateur Illustrator skills. After being semi productive for so long, and a crappy Friday/Halloween, plus a crappy Saturday, I needed this for myself.

No achievement is too small when you live with chronic pain. I will take this as a win. 🙂

http://teespring.com/migrainepuzzleawareness1

Now time for sleep!

‘Hope’ is the Thing with Feathers

Although I have a hundred thoughts racing through my mind all at once tonight, the majority are of the sort I will jot down in my personal journal, rather than post here for all to see. At the moment, it feels as if I’m about to have word vomit, or all my thoughts are about to fly out of my mouth should I open my lips.

This past weekend I was home for some scheduled doctor’s visits with my headache specialist, and my health psychologist. Both went well. After discussing side effects and symptoms and how I’ve really been feeling with the PA, she decided to switch me to a similar medication that doesn’t include all of the horrible cognitive side effects. My meeting with my health psychologist went well also, for the most part. However, until I get the migraine pain under control, her techniques and advice won’t fully be able to help.

In the end, a lot of this stems back to what’s going on in my life. That is, with school, my inability to be able to get a part-time job (not that I could even handle a retail position right now), and just other stresses. She made some suggestions based on her observations, of which I was already aware of, and I heard her, and will consider those suggestions, but it’ll take some time before I choose to act on them. It’s not exactly the easiest situation.

But in a more positive light, I’m beginning my own Etsy store for migraineurs and people who have chronic pain. I’ve completed my first it of shopping, and started working on my items tonight. Also, I was contacted by an employer I had applied to about a month or so ago for an interview. Turns out they still have a position available, and she wanted to reach out to me again personally before opening the spot up to the general forums. So at least I have those few things going for this week. Hopefully it continues to look up.