Category Archives: Health

Conflicting Philosophies on Chronic Pain

In honor (lol) of migraine awareness month, here is another poast on the topic.

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There are two basic ways of dealing with chronic pain, and neither is “right” nor “wrong.” They are simply different. One may work for you, or the other might be more helpful. One may be more useful at certain times in your life (say 9-5) and the other at different times (nights and weekends, possibly). I’m just throwing some ideas on the table and clarifying them for myself via the written word, as I do.

1. Fake it ’til ya make it.

This is the traditional approach of visualizing the thing you want (a happy, pain-free existence) by pretending you already have it and smiling, acting cheerful, never mentioning your ailments, etc. Just ignore the throbby slammy hammer pounding itself through your eyeball and soon you won’t even notice it’s there cuz you’ll be having so much freakin’ fun! Seriously this sometimes works for me a little if only because I just don’t even want to talk about the fact that I’m feeling awful (especially in the office), since it doesn’t help anything and why bother; while I might not be chipper I can get immersed in a task, and there are times (if I’m lucky) the pain may subside somewhat.

2. Eff that ~ lying is stressful.

What a relief to read on the migraine site that we don’t have to fake it. As if it isn’t stressful enough to suffer from migraines, we also have to deal with society’s pressure to always be happy and smile. Why? Because we make other people uncomfortable if we don’t. Well, that’s their problem, isn’t it? Our problem is that we’re in horrible pain, nauseated, dizzy, etc. They’ll just have to deal with the fact that we aren’t flippin’ cheerful at the mo. This is my preferred approach outside of work. If I’m in pain, I’m not gonna lie about it to my family and friends. If I need to rest at home, that’s what I’ll do. Why the heck would I lie, say I feel great, go out to a loud, bright movie, and throw up? Dumb!

“Not trying to be positive all the time is a radical act of self-care.” ~ Kerrie Smyres, from the above-linked article.

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It’s Migraine Awareness Month!

Good thing I opened this reminder email to be aware of migraines as I literally just took a sumatriptan. Hah.

I haven’t done much migraine bloggery lately because nothing much has changed. I’m still suffering constantly and the pain greatly impacts my life. As my fellow migraineurs know, it’s not only the actual days of pain that ruin events, but the fear of pain and the avoidance of triggers which make us just as anxious, not to mention the side effects of any meds. We don’t drink or smoke, and we avoid loud crowded places, travel, perfume, bright sun, cold wind, etc. We try to stick to routines as best we can. I don’t need a bunch of suggestions in comments ~ I’ve been on top of migraine news for decades, have read all the ideas of things to try and give up, have tried many, and if I haven’t tried something there’s a good reason for it.

Right now, I’m on a low-carb diet, just to see what happens with respect to migraines. I was optimistic at first, but now I’m back to “normal” with a 3-day horrible wave of pain. I like the diet though in general. It feels good to eat meat again (sorry cows) and I’ve been tired of my habits for a while. Obviously sugar is bad, and my lazy way of eating wasn’t healthy (cookies for dinner!), even if I didn’t gain weight. It’s great to have salad and avos daily, cheese, nuts (in moderation), lox, etc. I haven’t actually eaten much meat ~ one small steak so far and a small bowl of beef soup. Mostly I have salad with a little chicken on top, and I eat eggs frequently. I’ve been doing this for around two weeks, though more seriously for this last week.

The problem with the diet overall is nausea. Besides laziness, one of the reasons I ate so many carbiful meals was not only because they were yummy but also they were gentle on my tummy. My tummy does not want salad or meat in the morning (and sometimes not later in the day); it doesn’t always want the traditional egg breakfast either. There aren’t many breakfast choices that are appealing on the low-carb plan. Luckily, I’m not that hungry on it, but skipping meals is not good for the migraine sitch. In fact, it might be triggering some of this current wave of pain. This is a dilemma that could be easily solved with a bagel, lol.

Peeps do this diet to lose weight, but I don’t know what I weigh because my scale failed (I think I got water in the battery compartment when I washed the floor) and I threw it out. I’ve been too lazy to buy another one. This is a really bizarre turn of events! I’ve never been sans scale, and I’m curious to see how long I can last. I do have a doctor’s appointment coming up, so it’s not as though I’ll be completely in the dark.

I can always hope for a new miracle cure. The drug companies are always researching new migraine meds ~ our heads are big biz. I guess I should feel lucky that there are so many of us suffering together.

 

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My Trophy Life

For a long time, I thought I was doing online dating incorrectly and that’s why I was always so unhappy about it. Whenever I’d poast about it here, that feeling would be reinforced by all the (well-meaning) advice I received. I’ve deleted most of those poasts because they and their comments annoyed me in retrospect. After five and a half years of online dating (including some breaks), I gave it up for good around a year ago. As it turns out, I wasn’t doing it wrong ~ it’s just wrong for me and many others like me. Millions of people. Not talking about the creepy process of selecting our dates by specs like we buy a TV off Amazon, though that’s horrible enough. Not even talking about the brutal way we reject people because they have a scratch and we think we deserve a flawless model no matter how imperfect we are ourselves, nope. Talking about this:

Last year, Match.com released a volunteer-based study on recent dating trends. Although the survey wasn’t scientific, the results were revealing. Almost one in six singles (15%) reported feeling addicted to the online process of looking for a date. Millennials were 125% more likely to say they feel addicted to dating. Men were 97% more likely to feel addicted to dating than women, but 54% of women felt more burned out by the process. [Source]

It’s addicting for people who get addicted to things, and that’s a lot of people, myself included. Hell, I just became briefly addicted to Spider Solitaire after Windows 10 updated itself and installed it on my machine. OOH WHAT’S THIS? Must play game. I played 135 games. In less than a week. They sent me a notice that I’d flipped over 10,000 cards and I got very excited. It was a gold trophy. SHINY! Got a few more goodies. Then I thought wtf am I doing? I’m supposed to be writing a novel, hello. So, I deleted the entire app from my laptop.

Every time I joined a dating site I told myself I’d just be chill and let things unfold. But that isn’t my way. It’s just not. I had to check out the profile of every man in my area who fit my criteria. I had to try to figure out why someone rejected me if they viewed me and didn’t say hello. I’d make up my own stories about each one. I overanalyzed every chat. If a man criticized me in some way or was drive-by mean, I took it personally. It was hard to shrug that off. On and on. And these were the guys I never even met!

But people with OCD are particularly susceptible to spending too much time fussing over stuff in general (obviously), and for whatever reason technology tends to exacerbate that tendency. Online dating is like a game, isn’t it? Or a job hunt. We are driven to “win” or to achieve a goal, whatever that means to the individual, and we keep playing, clicking, swiping, liking, checking, turning over cards, whatever, until we get that shiny trophy. And then what? Well. There’s a question for another day.

In the meantime, here’s a study from 2016 that links addiction to mobile devices with depression and anxiety. Again, it’s more relevant for people who already have issues with OCD in the first place. An online dating site is that perfectly irresistible magic mix of toxic elements coming together for someone prone to anxiety. Definitely not a safe place for someone like me, which I always suspected. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, except for joining to begin with! Those sites fed my existing problems and that’s why I became miserable while dealing with them.

It wasn’t me; it was them. This last year has been so much better since I gave up online dating, and even better still in the last two months since I left Facebook and Instagram. Onward to more shiny goodness!

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A Glimmer Is Not Enough

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I’ve been doing more deleting, my peeps. Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram were the big ones, but that was just the beginning of my webhousecleaning.

Actually, that’s not true. I began this back when I dumped all the dating sites for good in 2017. And I’ll tell you something: I do not miss them one bit, nor do I miss dating. It’s the most stressful thing in the world, not fun at all, and I’m sleeping so much better since I quit. Turns out, I do not have insomnia! I had dating-related anxiety. I sleep through the night just fine almost every night now just like back in the old days before I began any of it. Anyway, last month was FB & Co.’s turn to get the heave-ho. But what about the other sites?

I had a Meetup account since 2011 and over the years joined various groups ~ Scrabble, writing, walking, board games, etc.  But my favorite writing group never meets at a time that’s convenient for me now. New groups that sound interesting are always too far away or some other annoying thing. The rest of the groups are too sportsy or too young or too costly or too dating-related or whatever. Every week or so I look in with the glimmer of hope there will be something fun and nopety nope nope. Waste of time. Isn’t my new motto to quit wasting time on things that aren’t productive, healthy, or fun? Yes, I believe it is. A glimmer is not enough to justify time wastery. Meetup account DELETED.

Deleted some Yahoo groups for the same reason and quit getting email notifs from a few otter ones. Why spend time reading things that are of no value? That’s time wastery. For some of that stuff, there isn’t even a glimmer of a chance anything interesting is going to come of it. It’s barely one step above actual SPAM. People I don’t know jabbering about things I don’t care about. WTF am I reading this? Habit, a bad one.

And then I figured that it’s just Not Good to have random idle accounts sitting around “out there” due to nasty hackers, evil Russians, alien pods, and whatnot. So I went on a spree, whacking accounts like DISQUS, Quora, Ello, and various otter sillinesses that I don’t even use or waste time on but don’t need to have my name associated with either. Paranoia, it’s what’s for dinner. You guys forgot about Ello, dincha? 🙂

I’m debating Goodreads. On the one hand, it hardly takes up any time, so it doesn’t count as a waste of same. On the otter hand, I find it vaguely irritating. First it doesn’t let me delete my own books. I have unpublished a few (couple short stories I decided I don’t want as stand-alones, wish to edit them, and then have them as part of my book of longer, connected short stories I hope to have out by the end of this year). So, if you click on the links, they don’t exist. Of course this drives me bonkers. Why can’t I delete them from my bio there? That’s one thing. Second, GR makes me feel compelled to finish a book even when it’s bad so I can have that book added to my book count. Okay, that’s not Goodreads’ fault; that’s my OCD again. Regardless, that’s how it is and being on the site creates this issue. But perhaps this isn’t a bad thing? At least once recently I ended up enjoying a book I wouldn’t have finished otterwise. So, hmm.

Guess I’ll leave GR for meow, but they’re on the watchlist. I’m sure they’re terrified.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Glimmer

Nummy Nummy Noosa

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During my last days at FB, a friend told me about Noosa when I complained that too many yogurts were fat-free and I had no choice of flavors in the yogurts with fat. I’ve found that eating too little fat leaves me hungry all day, craving food, and eventually overeating. Plus, many of the low/nonfat prepared foods are made with extra sugar and salt in an attempt to compensate for the lack of satiety you get from fat, and that’s not a Good Thing. So, I eat a pretty high percentage of fat in order to be satisfied with small portions of food and thus control my weight. Science! And math.

Anyway, I found Noosa yoghurt (spelled the Aussie way) at good old Target and bought a bunch to try. Loved the coconut, of course, but also blueberry, strawberry-rhubarb, and apple-cinnamon. I think that last one is my favorite. It’s truly superb. Now, you might wince at the calorie count: 300 per a regular serving. But, trust me, it is worth it. Delish and satisfying. I can have a Noosa and a fruit and go the whole afternoon. Better than a snadwich!

No, they aren’t paying me, though they should. I’m just sharing. 🙂

Number Jumbo

Some of my friends have been discussing aging, the number itself as opposed to general health. In the past, I was more concerned with the actual number ~ a couple birthdays provoked strong reactions. My 45th was particularly upsetting, although I kept those feelings mainly to myself as they had to do with my disintegrating marriage and there was no one I could talk to about it at the time. My parents always tried to be emotionally supportive and I chatted with them a little, but they were of the generation that believed in staying together no matter what (as they did themselves) and that was not the best path for me. My 50th was stressful as well: I thought I was simply physically ill, but I understand now that it was partly psychological too. My divorce was in progress, though tense, and I was in a highly toxic new relationship. Not a good combo.

Then from October 2011 through 2016 , I had to be concerned with age. Why? Because I was on dating sites. There’s no way not to be obsessed with age if you’re “dating while older.” Most DWO men are obsessed with age, a huge percentage of them desiring much younger women while simultaneously lying about their own age, along with whatever else. (If you’re not one of these guys, great!) It’s really difficult to keep a positive attitude when chatting with the next one who comes along. Even if you stroll onto a site perfectly okay with yourself, your age, looks, education, occupation, personality, et cetera, it takes a really strong, confident woman to maintain that mindset in the face of relentless rejection, criticism, gaslighting, trolling, and the general assholishness of men online. I can’t believe I put myself through that BS for five years.

(Remember, if you’re a non-asshole guy, wonderful! No need to tilt against windmills in my comments. I know there are some of you.)

I spent last year detoxing from dating sites. As an added bonus I no longer stress about age, or spend money trying to look younger. Feh! I just realized this today when some friends mentioned their inner 25 year olds. I told my inner 25 year old to hit the road a while ago. Good riddance, silly girl! I’m almost 57 and that’s a perfectly fine age to be. I’m enjoying it very much, thank you. (Well, not the achiness, but you can’t have everything.)

It’s nice to engage in convos with friends about aging sans the anxiety the topic used to provoke. There are enough stressful subjects otterwise. Like did you know housecats would totally murder you if they were just a bit larger? Oh yes!

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~*~

The Daily Prompt: Provoke

Glittertrails

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I’m glad I’m not famous, or every st00pid thing I’ve written would be immortalized forever. Remember when we used to shoot the shit with friends and those convos would drift off into the aether, lost with our hangovers? If there was any brilliant philosophical insight or poetic piece of pretty, they’d be gone too, poof. But now we tweet and fb our every stray strand of emotion, and hopefully no one screencaps it since we’re nobodies. I myself have deleted more things than I’ve poasted. Yes, while you’re all sleeping, I walk the cyberbeaches in the moonlight and erase my footprints. Well, I used to do a lot more of that; now I do it only sporadically.

While I was poking around the otter day, searching for lost writings, I found this piece of poast* which I really like, even out of context, and will share it with my loyal blogfans.

Laurel Canyon. The summer of nineteen seventy-nine. I am my own gaslighter. I drive too fast on these curvy roads, but I am made of silk and butter, and I slide around danger like an egg on a sizzling skillet, close to the edge, but always slipping back to the center before anything terrible happens. Something would happen soon. I run through the scenarios in my mind every time I leave the house. There are times I believe the bad thing has already occurred and I scour old newspapers for the story. I have to go to the library to find the papers because someone won’t let me see the mail. People creep around the house and hide things from me. Who are they?

I’ve poasted about gaslighting a few times now, and every time I do I end up deleting the poast because it’s too personal and I’m uncomfortable with it sitting out there for anyone to read. Even though this blog doesn’t get much traffic, it is public after all. Theoretically, anyone in the world could stop by. I don’t feel like changing permissions when I get all emotionally vomitatious; I’ve done it in the past and it’s too cumbersome. In any case, I’m not some wannabe counselor or a Linky Laura going for adrev ~ either my poasts are about me or there’s no point.

Well, actually my long game is to accumulate a giant number of blog readers that I can eventually show to a publisher and say SEE I HAZ POTENTIAL BOOK BUYERS! But er for that I would actually need to write a book. Gah, details. Always details!

I had a cold for a week, which wouldn’t be a big deal, except it triggered a cascade of violent migraines and I’ve been very dizzy and nauseated. Still not 100% “normal” yet. I missed a few days of work, and I haven’t been able to write much or do needlework at home. I just zone out in front of the TV every night. But finding that gaslighting snip has motivated me. This weekend I’ll be getting back to my pomes. These are cathartic, a purge of years of old moldy boxes from the attic, and I caution everyone not to buy the poetry book when I plop it onto Amazon because the pomes are simply dreadful. Post-ploppage, I shall return to my Real Writing.

*phrase stolen from the Great & Powerful Lizard

Mushroom

Mushrooms

We’re told to eat boldly colored veggies, but the modest mushroom is packed with vitamins and low in calories. Well, until you do things with it, that is. My kids used to dunk fresh ones in vats of Ranch dressing. My mom sautéed several types together and served them over a salad of wilted greens. I have a fabulous recipe for mushrooms baked in a casserole with butter and breadcrumbs and Italian seasonings. One of my favorite sandwiches is the Portobello mushroom served like a burger with all the toppings. Mushrooms: clever little vehicles to take you to Butter Town.

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The Daily Prompt: Mushroom

Gratitude

Gratitude

I don’t usually express gratitude publicly. I’m grateful for sumatriptan, which usually knocks out a migraine, but I can’t thank a pill—I should thank a scientist. I’d have to research that, find out who first discovered Imitrex back when. A team of scientists? Who knows. I’m glad it’s generic now, wish I could get more than nine pills per month though, since I get more than nine migraines per month. I could, if I went outside insurance, but who can afford that? Anyway, I am grateful for sumatriptan. My NaNoWriMo wordcount is derailed however due to last night’s pain.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Gratitude

BOGO, Baby

You know you’re old when…

You get excited about the drugstore’s BOGO sale on vitamins and supplements. Used to be that BOGO’s got my attention when they were about cute shooze or yummy cupcakes or lacy lingerie or sparkly doodads, but how far we’ve come from all that nonsense.

A friend recommended the lipo-flavonoid supplement for my inner ear issues, and I found the CVS equivalent on BOGO day. I also found zinc, which was recommended for the same issue, and turmeric pills, for achies. A while back, I bought a vat of turmeric spice, on the advice of other friends, with the intention of adding some to all my foods, but it made everything inedible. I like my food to be yummy ~ it’s one of the last few pleasures I have, besides reading. I sound just like my father! Hey, how about that New York Times, greatest paper on earth, eh? (Inside joke, that no one gets but me.)

I made a lovely omelet: eggs, perfectly beaten; shredded cheese; veggies, etc. Sprinkled in salt, pepper, a tsp. of turmeric. Cooked it all up perfectly. It looked beautiful… and it was totally awful, not edible. I tossed the entire thing in the trash. Anyone need a giant bottle of turmeric? Come ‘n’ get it! Anyway, now I have it in pill form, hurrah.

My kitchen counter definitely looks like grandma central, which doesn’t bother me at all. I find myself embracing my elderliness, rather than fighting it. Why fight? Stressful, not to mention expensive. Besides, being old is the perfect excuse for not doing anything. I’m old, I’m tired, I’m staying home. Who can argue with that?

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Edible