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I’m Skipping Halloween

I love answering the door for trick or treaters. Tons of kids visit our neighborhood with big smiles and cute costumes. Our porch lights will be off this year. I just know it will be too much for me.

After migraines in the night both Friday and Saturday, the dizziness and pain finally let up Sunday night. My mom came to town Friday, so I was happy to feel OK for at least part of her visit. Yesterday we took the train to Portland for my sister’s birthday dinner.

I got an early train back today so I could prep for our drive to Montana on Friday. We’re visiting dear friends who have two-month-old twin girls. We can’t wait to see the happy parents and hold the darling babies. The last couple weeks have depleted my energy, but I wouldn’t miss this trip for anything.

Perhaps you recognize this topic; I write about it so much it bores me. I simply can’t keep myself from overdoing it. I am improving a bit — I’m only over scheduled for 10 days, not three weeks! I doubt I’ll ever figure out this balance thing, but am glad I’m trying. At least I know that something, even if it is a holiday that only comes around once a year, has to give.

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American Pain Foundation’s Pain and Creativity Center

The American Pain Foundation and HealthCentral have created an online exhibit to highlight the importance of creativity activities in coping with chronic pain. The exhibit includes poetry, prose, digital photos, artwork and crafts, and inspirational videos. Everyone who has made a submission has included a paragraph describing how their art represents their pain experience.

Although the deadline has passed for submitting entries for mention at this month’s American Pain Foundation’s anniversary celebration, the exhibit is ongoing. You may add your contribution on the APF Pain and Creativity Center.

Whether you’re interested in looking at others’ work or submitting your own, recognizing the importance of creativity in health is inspiring.

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Dizzy and Nauseated

I’m on my third day of horrible dizziness and nausea. Today is a bit better than the last two. I can get up and do a couple things before I have to lie down again.

Hope your week is better than mine!

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Extreme Makeover Home Edition Builds New Home for Chiari Advocate

Julie Carter and her three daughters all have Chiari malformation, a rare abnormality at the base of the brain that results in brain tissue extending into the spinal canal, which causes severe headaches. Nearly a half a million dollars in debt from brain surgeries, they lived in a refurbished chicken coop. An advocate for Chiarians and founder of Chiari People, Julie and her family have a new home courtesy of Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Chiari has more than 85 possible symptoms and is frequently misdiagnosed as migraine or a host of other headache disorders. Other conditions associated with Chiari include syringomyelia, scoliosis, tethered spinal cord and pseudotumor cerebri.

The show’s executive producer said they received more nominations for Julie than they ever have for any one person. The builder of the home has an excellent profile of Julie Carter and day-by-day photos of the project. Some places to learn about Chiari malformation:

If you know of good Chiari resources, please leave a comment.

The show airs on ABC this Sunday, October 21.

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Flickering Lights and Sensitive Eyes

The trees are shaking violently in a windstorm and are casting ever-moving shadows on the house and windows. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but to my sensitive eyes, the flickering looks like a strobe light. With a migraine, that’s a terrible, terrible sight.

I’m looking forward to sunset and hoping that the electricity doesn’t go out. I’m not sure I could handle the whole house lit by (flickering) candles. For now, I’m going to lie on the couch with a pillow across my eyes.

Who knew leaves and branches could affect my neurological system like this?