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Migraine, Careers, Weather, Happiness, Love

My husband left the best job he’s ever had so we could move to Phoenix for my health. He telecommuted at first, but it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t going to work. This is old news for me, but I haven’t shared it with you. I thought I was OK with how things were working out. Although Hart no longer has the job that he loved, he is starting his own company (yay, TheraSpecs!), which is something he’s always wanted to do. We’re both stressed about bills and the looming end of COBRA health coverage, but I thought I was taking it in stride.

Then Hart’s boss from his best job ever, in Boston, called to fill him in on the future direction of the company. It is exciting stuff; stuff Hart wanted to be a part of. Jobs and careers aren’t more important than people, of course. However, my husband having a job that doesn’t bore him and doesn’t overwork him, that paid well and had health insurance is worth a lot. I cried when he told me about the phone call. He gave up so much for me and the move to better weather only improved my migraines a bit.

I had felt significantly better on vacations to Phoenix, so we left Boston thinking we’d have a full life here. That we’d be able to go out frequently, have parties, take weekend trips. Instead, the migraines caught up to me after I’d been here two months. It was the weekend after we closed on our (adorable, fantastic) house and my mom dislocated her shoulder and broke a bone in it to boot. Real life came crashing down. My body realized it was no longer on vacation and the migraines were back. Not as bad as they were in Boston, but still regularly disabling.

I am much, much better now than I was my first year back in Phoenix, thanks to magnesium and cyproheptadine (which I’ve been on for seven weeks and still need to tell you about), but I’m still pretty wrung out by the migraines. I feel like my health will continue to improve. I just need to work out some kinks, like dosage and timing, and get myself on a regular schedule. That process is never as easy or as quick as I think it will be, but I still believe the life in Phoenix that Hart and I planned is close to becoming reality.

I’ve spent the last three days wondering if I could get myself well enough to move back to Boston so Hart could work for that company again. (I’m fully aware of how absurd that is — if I had that much control over my health, I’d have healed myself decades ago.) Never mind that the company may not need him anymore and that he’s in the (scary, uncertain, exciting) depths of doing what he’s always wanted. My mind grabbed onto the notion that there was only one solution and gnawed on it for days.

Finally it occurred to me that if I were healthy enough to move to a less stable climate, I’d be healthy enough to get a job for health insurance myself. I’d be healthy enough to be the woman Hart married, the one who’s always ready for an adventure. I know he wouldn’t trade that for any job.

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Please Help By Answering a Short Survey

Please help Hart and me refine the future of TheraSpecs by completing this short survey about headaches, migraines and light sensitivity. It less than 20 questions and takes about five minutes to complete. At the end, you can choose to enter your contact info for a chance to win your choice of a pair of Indoor TheraSpecs or an iPod Shuffle.

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Reading, a Migraine Loss Recovered

When I first connected with other migraineurs on a forum in 2004, I was horrified to learn that reading exacerbated migraine attacks for many people. I was so grateful it wasn’t a problem for me and often thought how horrible such a restriction would be. I couldn’t imagine how I’d get through a migraine when I typically read a book a day when bedridden. It never occurred to me that I one day might have trouble reading.

Skip to late 2007, after years of the migraine attacks steadily worsening in severity. I gave up reading because it was just too physically painful and hoped doing so would improve the migraines. Instead, they continued to worsen until I also had to give up being on the computer and, thus, blogging. Before then I’d never considered that I might have to give up reading; suddenly I was pretty sure I’d never read again. (I enjoyed a brief period of reading using Hart’s Kindle with the font in the largest size, but that only lasted a few books before it began exacerbating the migraines again.)

I’m thrilled to share that I’ve been reading novels again since March! Having the severity of my migraines reduced with magnesium and wearing TheraSpecs while reading the Kindle, I’m able to read with no problem. Migraine attacks have become much easier to bear and I’m so thankful that I can distract myself from the particularly painful ones with a book.

Until now, chronic migraine had felt progressive: the attacks worsened in severity and duration and the debility increased as time went on. The losses mounted. To regain the ability to read is to regain some of the hope that fell away as my health worsened. I have migraine; migraine does not have me.

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Migraine Light Sensitivity and Fluorescent Light Headaches

National Migraine Awareness Month Blog Challenge, Day 8: “Let there be light.” Most migraineurs have issues with light sensitivity. What do you do to cope with it?

Well, this one is easy for me: TheraSpecs migraine glasses! TheraSpecs was born after my headache specialist warned me that wearing sunglasses all the time was actually making my eyes more sensitive to light and that a special precision tint was available for glasses that would help with photophobia without increasing my over all light sensitivity. Researching that information, we found that this tint is also excellent for managing sensitivity to fluorescent light.

Many people report headaches from fluorescent lights, either in the long tubes like you see at stores or CFLs for home use. It appears the problem is that fluorescent lights flicker faster than the eye can consciously see, but the brain still picks up on that flicker, which can cause many people to feel sick. TheraSpecs protect the eyes and brain by filtering out the wavelengths of light where the flicker is concentrated, relieving the symptoms fluorescent lights can cause.

Learn more about TheraSpecs and get your own pair (and relief) today! US shipping is free and international shipping is half off through Friday, June 15 in honor of National Migraine Awareness Month light sensitivity day.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by Fighting Headache Disorders.

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TheraSpecs, a Labor of Love

When Hart first posted about TheraSpecs on Facebook, his sister referred to the company as her brother’s labor of love. I get a little teary when I think about how apt this description is. (Warning: This is the gushiest post I’ve ever written!)

TheraSpecs got rolling because Hart wanted me to have better precision-tinted glasses to ease my photophobia and enable me to be under fluorescent lighting without it triggering a migraine attack. When the glasses worked so well for me, he had some more made for other migraineurs we know. When those folks gave great feedback, he knew he had to make a go of making them available to everyone with migraine and photophobia. These glasses — this business — came from my sweet husband’s desire to see me suffer less.

This labor of love for me also demonstrates his great compassion and desire to relieve the suffering of others. “But most of all, we very much hope that your own search for relief is a success—with or without TheraSpecs” is the last sentence on the TheraSpecs homepage. I love that Hart wrote this. I love that he truly wants everyone who is looking at the site to find migraine relief for themselves or their loved ones, whether they purchase our product or not.

Remembering the love that’s behind the product helps ease the stress of starting a new company, of knowing our livelihood depends on its success. There is excitement and exhilaration in starting something new, but it is primarily terrifying.

I alternate between saying that TheraSpecs is “our company” and that it is “Hart’s company.” I was obviously the inspiration for it and I’m the one with contacts in the headache and migraine world; I also work on it as much as I am able. But Hart’s the one who has poured himself into the research and production of the products as well as undertaking all the work necessary to get a business going. Though I give plenty of input, he’s ultimately the one making the Big Decisions.

The excellent reviews from other headache bloggers (Inner Dorothy, Somebody Heal Me, Migraine and Other Headache Disorders, Headache and Migraine News) all mention that my husband and I have started TheraSpecs. This is absolutely true, though I don’t want to take more credit than I deserve. My kind, loving, supportive husband is truly the force behind the company and I want everyone to know how awesome he is. (Finished gushing now.)

P.S. Keep up with TheraSpecs on Facebook and Twitter!