Migraine Madness

I suffer from frequent migraines. This has been an ongoing problem since I was about seven years old and it has definitely aged with me. I have learned over the years that not many people actually know or understand what a migraine is and therefore wave it off as a glorified headache. After what I dealt with this weekend, I would like to explain what a migraine is and why they should be taken seriously through my own experiences.

— Possible “Too Much Information” Beyond This Point —

When I was five years old, I refused to poop. I wish I could say this was a short-lived phase, but this serious, embarrassing, and harmful refusal went on till I was about fourteen. I don’t know why I decided to stop pooping, but it was a decision that would gradually impact my entire life. At first, I was able to keep it a secret. It was easy, because no one really monitors how often you go to the bathroom once you stop potty training as long as you don’t say you don’t need to go and you go into a stall and pretend (you know by going through the motions and flushing perfectly good water). So because of these reasons, I don’t blame anyone, but me.

Eventually, my mother found out. It was inevitable, because no one – especially a young child – should have that much “build up” in their body. I started getting cramps in my lower stomach and back, I started needing to violently throw up, I began to eat less and less, and of course I was exhausted. Fun Fact: It isn’t as easy as it may sound to hold in your poop, especially for a little girl like me. She took me the doctor to talk about it (awkward!) and to hopefully get something that would help me want to go and/or make it easier when I had to go. They had me try all sorts of things from stool-softeners to laxatives to muscle relaxers, but I was a persistent little girl and wouldn’t give up.

Once you deal with this for a couple months, your insides get messed up, so you can’t even imagine what dealing with this for nine years did to my bowels. There were so many times that I would end up sobbing in the bathroom floor wishing I could just be normal again, but it is a habit like any other and just as hard to break.

I endured my first migraine when I was in the first grade and I remember it vividly. The strain I had been putting on my body had finally reached its limit, so my brain found a way to get the rest it needed. It was morning, sometime before lunch, that the initial signs began. I started to see “stars” and became extremely cold, then my stomach started to hurt. I complained to the teacher, but she waved me off initially. I complained another time and she sent me to the nurse. The nurse told me I just needed to eat something and then I would feel better, so I went to lunch and ate everything my mom had packed me. Sure enough, about thirty minutes later, I threw it all back up. By this point, I was so pale, I was almost translucent, so they finally called my mom to come get me.

By the time we made it home, I was so cold and so pale and my head was throbbing so hard. My mom had never dealt with anything like this before, so it was pretty scary. She buried me underneath blankets and got my room as dark as possible. She laid beside me rubbing my head while encouraging me to try and sleep. That was difficult, because every hour or so I had to throw up. She pumped me full of water and pain meds, but nothing seemed to work. Being so little, I didn’t know how to handle such pain, so I was crying a lot and my mom was doing everything she could to calm me down, because the crying was putting a lot of pressure on my head making the throbbing worse. After about five hours of torture, I finally had to go to the bathroom. I was in there for what felt like ever with my mom rubbing my back and soothing me, I eventually pooped. After that I was literally spent. My mom carried me back to my room and put me under the covers and laid with me. I fell right to sleep and slept through the night. The next day, I woke up groggy, but back to my normal color and temperature.

That is how and why my frequent migraines began. I finally got my bathroom habits under control in junior high. I hoped that my migraines would stop when the constipation stopped, but they have stayed with me. I remember having a couple a year in high school, but they began full force again when I started college. These post-constipation migraines were a little different. They still hurt like hell, but focused more on light and sound sensitivity. Over time, I learned that my new migraines are caused by stress and lack of sleep. I deal with severe pain behind my right eye as well as getting dramatic “auras” which is the “seeing stars” I referred to earlier, it is the onset of a migraine that impairs your vision. The pain has not lessened, but luckily I know how to combat it a bit better. I have learned that ice packs work miracles for numbing the throbbing, heating pads are wonderful for relaxing the lower stomach and back muscles, creating a no sound/no light atmosphere is ideal for falling asleep, and Excedrin is ibuprofen addict’s dream.

The college atmosphere has contributed to my migraines, because of extensive stress that such a busy schedule puts on a person. Between work and school, I am gone all day which forces me to stay up later at night to work on papers and projects for class which in turn affects how much sleep I get. It is really forcing me to learn how to prioritize my time better than my peers who can pull all-nighters or take drugs to help them stay alert.

This past weekend, I had three migraines. Two on Friday alone and then another on Saturday night. Migraines are brutal and should not be taken lightly. Having all of these migraines was my body’s way of telling me it needs to slow down and rest. From Friday till Monday I was literally a mess. Because I was sleeping constantly, I wasn’t eating as much as I should which therefore led to some major stomach problems I had to deal with on Monday. It is a domino effect.

Please respect people when they tell you they were sick with a migraine. My professors did not take me seriously and now I am behind in my work. I know some claim migraine when they just have a minor headache, but for those of us who really do have a problem, it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

I am very passionate about migraine education, so stay tuned for more information… and don’t worry, it will not be nearly as gross!


Movie Review: Two Weeks Notice

I was hoping to indulge in a good romantic comedy, but sadly Two Weeks Notice did not do the job. I had high hopes with Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock and since it was an early 2000s film, but I just did not enjoy it. Honestly, it wasn’t very funny or swoony.

Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite actresses. This role seemed quirky and cute like her usual picks, but then the story just got worse and worse. There was no build-up as to why they “fell in love.” It just seemed very forced and a bit stupid. Why was she so jealous of the girl she hired to take her job? What about him was she attracted to?

I just didn’t understand the flow of events. It had a story with good potential, but the execution didn’t do it justice. It made it supremely cheesy (which I am okay with) and it just didn’t provide any sort of magic that a romantic comedy should produce.

Bottom Line: Two Weeks Notice was a huge let-down. It didn’t provide any magic that is expected of a romantic comedy. It wasn’t a bore or anything, I just felt the story didn’t have good flow and didn’t really give you enough information to believe their feelings for each other.

I Still Don’t Like Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day. The holiday that you can’t openly dislike without serious criticism.

Ever since I was in junior high, I have thought Valentine’s Day was a stupid holiday. Why is it even classified as a holiday? When you’re younger, you decorate cute boxes and write all your classmate’s names on little cards to make sure that everyone feels included, but as you get older that isn’t the case anymore, because you actually understand what the holiday is about.

It is a specified day where society tells your significant other they have to show you they love you. What is special about that? Well, nothing is special about that, because it is not heartfelt or thoughtful, it is obligatory. So your guy takes you to a nice dinner, buys you flowers, brings you breakfast in bed on February 14th… that is great, but it would mean exponentially more to me if he did that on a day where every other guy wasn’t doing the exact same thing, on a day where it isn’t expected.

Before this past year, if I claimed to dislike Valentine’s Day it would get chalked up to the fact that I was single. Woe is me, because I don’t have someone paying attention to me on a day they are told to. The point I was trying to make is that it just isn’t special, because it is a holiday designed to make society money. Imagine how much money is made from flower, chocolate, and card sales… a freaking ton and it is so unnecessary! But now I am engaged and my views haven’t changed and lucky for me, I found someone who sees it the same way as me.

My fiancé and I aren’t celebrating Valentine’s Day, because we both believe that we don’t need a specific day to show the other we love them. He surprises me with food and I leave notes on his windshield. We do little and big things whether we have a reason or not. We aren’t going to buy into the hype or obligation that February 14th brings, we will create that “magic” on some other day when it actually comes from the heart.

But for those of you who do celebrate, Happy Valentine’s Day!

Show Review: Santa Clarita Diet

Are you baking cookies? -Abby
No, it’s vanilla extract and essentials oils, baked in the oven at 350. It’s an old realtor trick. Makes the house smell like home. -Sheila

The Santa Clarita Diet was… um… interesting. It was recommended to me by my roommate who had only seen the trailer. I thought it sounded pretty stupid, but Saturday night I was at Jeremiah’s and was going to just veg and watch one of my shows, but he made a fuss begging me not to watch Grey’s Anatomy or Criminal Minds, so in an attempt to irritate him, I clicked on the Santa Clarita Diet. The first episode was so awful that we couldn’t tear our eyes away. I am a fan of Drew Barrymore and he of Timothy Olyphant, so we felt that the show had potential, but it just went from awful to bad to worse to terrible.

The great thing about the show is that it doesn’t feel like the actors are trying to be amazing, it just feels like they are having a great time. So if you watch it with that attitude, it can be a lot of fun. Jeremiah and I found ourselves cracking up from how stupid the premise was and how dumb the actors were.

I don’t have much to say, because this wasn’t a show I would have picked. The storyline has potential, but the acting and execution is truly horrible. The season finale was a serious letdown compared to the prior episodes and I really feel this could have been a great one season only little online mini-series, but of course they want to milk it, so most likely this will get a second season. We can only hope for the best at this point.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a light, silly, comedy that isn’t trying very hard, then give the Santa Clarita Diet a chance. I got some great laughs and some good smirks from watching it. It can be binged in one sitting or drawn out, but just remember that it is awful, but run with it.

The Knot vs. WeddingWire

If you haven’t heard, I’m engaged! This means the exciting wedding planning time is upon us. Well I have never planned a wedding before, so all of this is very new to me. The only experience I have is through pinning unreasonable stuff on Pinterest and now I have to figure out what people on a budget do and which ideas are actually doable.

I’m choosing not to hire a wedding planner, because a) I honestly believe I can figure it out and b) I’m on a tight budget. During my research, I discovered two sites that dominate the online wedding planning world: The Knot and WeddingWire. I signed up for both sites with hopes they would be helpful.

Both sites give the couple a homepage. It includes your wedding date, a to-do list, and a list of your favorite vendors. As helpful as that sounds, I find both sites to be very un-user-friendly. They are both lacking a simple search bar for couples to search for a specific venue or vendor and the to-do list is scary long involving lots of things that people who do not have over 15 thousand dollars to spend on a wedding don’t need. I think it would much more helpful for there to be multiple to-do lists to for a couple to choose from taking into consideration time and budget.

When looking at venues, both sites give you a comprehensive look by providing an overview as well as information on price, location, type, and amenities. I think WeddingWire does a better job at making all of this information easy to find and understand. Both sites offer extensive reviews on what others felt about the venue and they all seem genuine. Both sites also offer pictures of most of the venues that give you a fairly good look at what you’re getting into.

I think both sites are good for just basic info, but both could be redesigned to be more user-friendly. I would also advise to just ask around to figure out pricing, timeline, and to-do list. I felt overwhelmed with their to-do lists and have better luck just contacting friends who have gotten married rather than try and go by such an extensive generic list.

But I am so excited to be putting my Pinterest pages to good use and getting this wedding planned! Can’t wait to share it all with you! 🙂