Tag Archives: migraines

The Obsession with Sound [ranty rant]

I cop to being unusual, but I really do not understand the internet’s obsession with sound. Here we have the perfect medium for the written word and yet people relentlessly attempt to undermine that, day in and day out, with audio. Whyyy???

I mock all of you who can’t go five minutes without listening to music or babble. Hell, I teased my own children about this, not that it did any good. Apparently they were able to get great grades with their awful tunes blasting as they worked, idk how. BACK IN MY DAY, I studied in silence as the goddess intended.

It drives me bananas when I click on a link, believing I’m going to be reading a nice article, but instead a horrible video starts playing. ICK!!! Of course I have my phone on silent, but that’s not the point. The point is… why do so many of you prefer to be yapped at rather than read something at your leisure?

I almost did a lengthy music poll the otter day from a fellow blogger until I realized, meh, I don’t care enough about music to answer all these questions. I’ll tell you guys a secret too, since you’re my extra special blog readers: sometimes I don’t have any music 🎶 on in the car. I just drive along, accompanied only by MY OWN THOUGHTS. Pretty damn scary, eh? Well, I’m a tough old bird. Ask anyone.

Now before anyone misreads this and concludes I hate music ~ I don’t. I simply am not obsessed with it. I enjoy music some of the time. (Audio clips of news items pretty much never ever.) I have a minimal amount of trivia stored in my mind about some oldies, but not a lot and idc. This makes me a mediocre player at many of the music trivia games. Boo hoo. Last couple years I’ve been enjoying a little bit of country music (when it has amusing lyrics) and a little bit of classical (no lyrics). But again, I have no knowledge of these genres. There is nothing more irritating than mentioning I like something to a rabid fan, and then they dive into an enormous boring lecture on the thing. MUTE BUTTON PLZ!

Oh look, I segued into a secondary rant there. It happens. Actually rather a lot. 😂

The takeaway? Silence is next to godliness, even for an atheist. Especially one who gets migraines.

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Thirty in One

I found this at Sparks and I’m a fan of getting things over with, not dragging them out for 30 days. I’m too lazy for that. So brace yourselves for an onslaught of grats, 30 to be exact, right here, right meow 🐱.

I’m grateful for…

Cinnamon and running water;

Turquoise blue and peanut butter;

The sound of silence and

The majestic ocean; memories of

My children 💕 playing at the beach.

Welcome to Temptation by Jen Crusie

Encouraged my own narrative voice;

A shout out to the OC Animal Shelter,

Where I found my sweet kitty cat boy.

I love the taste of pumpkin spice,

Especially on Halloween night; 🎃

The texture of towels warm from the dryer.

I’m grateful I can read and write;

My cat is always a welcome sight!

My migraines are less annoying in fall;

I’m glad I’m in between short and tall

And that I know not to vote for monsters.

Love Starry Night ✨ and the touch

Of my kitty’s soft nose or paw;

I’m grateful for my daughters every day;

And for the best song ever:

Hotel Californ-i-a. 🎶

I like the story of the blue wave 🌊

And the tradition of anger motivating votes 🙄;

I’m grateful for the challenge of trying to not go stark screaming bonkers every second;

THIS FUCKING WEEK ARE YOU MAD??? I mean um… peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s. Really yummy.

Most thankful for writing to express myself, otherwise I would be in a straitjacket.

Drugs. I mean, Rx meds of course. In the immortal words of Matt Damon: WHAT?

Today my daughter’s dog stuck her face through her toy donut 🍩 and it was really cute.

I’m grateful for my friend Jenny who is taking excellent care of my kitty while I’m gone. ❤️

Well, I would be thankful for my small skill at turning this boring thing into a semi-cute pome, but I got all into the weeds there when I was reminded about GRRRR again, and now everything is fucked. But I’m just leaving it now and not deleting it because we are doing Messy Blogs… yes, it’s a thing. And I’m here for it.

Messy Bloggers Unite! Who can make us a cool graphic? Someone plz get on that. TIA!

Bottoms Up [mini-rant]

“I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than have a frontal lobotomy!”

I said that to my daughter yesterday and she assumed it was one of my brilliant wordplays, but I had to confess I didn’t come up with it. Who did? I asked google, and ended up tangled in a kerfuffle. Even Stephen King has a Twitter thread about the phrase. What’s clear as mud is that the song we know and lurve from Dr. Demento is not its first occurrence.

Seems like either Dorothy Parker, W.C. Fields, or Fred Allen coined it, according to the internet. And not only that, but the original phrasing is like so: “I’d rather have a free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy!” If anyone has the definitive story of this phrase, spill it in comments please.

I dedicate this poast to booze, given that it’s the beginning of fall, the harvest moon, and delicious pumpkin spice goodness. I raise my cup of tea in a toast to the season, fruit of the vine, red red wine, and only wish it could be laced with whiskey (or whisky). We have a strange relationship with alcohol in this country. Well, I don’t ~ I have no relationship with it, so sad. Unlike dating, I actually miss alcohol. Love you, bye forever. 😢 🥀💔

As I understand it, if a woman (or girl) gets drunk and something bad happens to her, everyone will say she only has herself to blame.

But if a man (or boy), gets drunk and does something bad, people will excuse his behavior due to the booze and say well ya know… boys, whaddaya gonna do?

We’ve arbitrarily decided that no one can have a taste of alcohol until they’re 21, not even if they’re with their parents, but then we send kids off to college at 18, call them adults… yet they’re totally unprepared to deal with the booze-soaked reality of college life. Parents aren’t allowed to teach a teenager how to drink a glass or two of wine, or a couple beers, so they over-indulge like maniacs once they get away. If you believe that yours aren’t gonna do this, bwahahaha.

So much of dating and adult socializing in general is tied up with our drinking culture in weird ways too, even though we have super strict laws about drunk driving, as we should. We should imo have more enforcement of our other traffic laws too, especially speeding and red light running, huge issues in SoCal. Anyway, dating after divorce reminded me again what a huge part alcohol plays in our society. During my marriage, we rarely drank ~ maybe we should have, lol. But now it’s moot because of chronic migraines.

I know, I know. You were thinking I was about to careen off into a wild rant about you know what and you know who and omg can you believe those guys and did you read what he said about what she said and then that whole thread holy crap on a canapé amirite?

We’re good then.

Sunny Side Up

Thank you Michelle for the Sunshine Award! Today I’m answering the questions, but instead of calling out 5 more bloggers, I invite anyone reading this to copypasta them to their blog and answer them too. They’re really good questions! I’ll add one more at the end to make an even dozen ~ you know how I am about numbers! 😂

1. Have you ever traveled outside of your country? If so, where?

– Not much, just to St. Martin on my honeymoon a million years ago.

2. Do you collect anything?

– No room! I used to collect Swarovski crystal, so pretty. Oh, and beanie babies lol. I guess I am accumulating a bunch of DVDs on my TV shelf and books on Kindle.

3. What is your favorite comfort food?

– Mac & cheese!

4. What does your typical weekend look like?

– Chores, board games, maybe a family visit, possibly a movie, lots of kitty cuddles, probably a migraine at some point. 😢

5. As a child, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?

– A mad scientist.

6. What is your greatest inspiration in life?

– I just warily hope for the best, but it’s difficult now with chronic pain and our insanity politics.

7. What do you love most about blogging?

– I say what I want and get minimal grief. If someone tries to troll, I block them. For whatever reason, it’s much less stressful than FB (which I’ve dumped). I hardly see any 24/7 political bloggers, for one thing.

8. What is the most valuable information you can give new bloggers?

– Don’t blog about your job/coworkers or clients, unless you’re self-employed or unemployed, or want to be. 😀

9. What is the best present you can give that is not an actual physical thing?

– Your time.

10. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?

– I “met” Mick Jagger while buying a Sunday paper in West LA back in 1988. He and I helped pick up a pile of cassettes that another guy knocked over. Then we both paid for our papers. He went back to his limo, and I returned to my Camry.

11. What is your best blog post and why?

The Duke vs. the Secretary from 2012. It’s my most viewed and commented upon poast. I guess it really struck a chord!

12. Have you published any writing?

– I’ve been paid for a couple pieces, but most of my published writing is self-pubbed. I’ve just begun gathering the poetry I wrote this year for a new collection and will be putting that up for sale shortly. It will be for e-readers, like my other work. After that, I may return to working on other, older ideas I have percolating along. We’ll see.

As always, thanks for reading!

Red, Red Mine [CFFC]

Today’s fun photo challenge is red, and even though I don’t have much clothing in the red range, I do have quite a few photos, mostly of food. Yes, I did archive all my Instagrams before closing my account, you lucky ducks. 😂

One of my favorite meals: avocado and tomato, served simply with salt and pepper.

Red against azure, for a striking contrast.

My lucky rainbow sand-dude. Daughter1 made him for me when I began my current job 17 years ago, and he’s been on my desk at work ever since.

Life is just a bowl of strawberries, or something like that.

Gatsby guarding my sparkly red shoes.

Red velvet birthday cake, delicious!

Red velvet wine, so smooth. Alas, I’ve given all alcohol up because of migraines. 🙁

Red taillights and an ironic personalized plate.

Peanut Butter

I stole these 26 questions from Fandango, who snagged them from Barbara, at Teleportingweena. But I have an issue with 26 (yes, including our alphabet, annoying). Twenty-five is a great number, and oddly enough (hehe) so is 27. But 26? Meh! I guess I can think of it as 13×2 and be okay that way. That’s what I’ll do then: renumber the questions halfway through.

1. Share your profile picture.

– Which profile? Here’s one from last year, taken at the happiest place on earth.

2. Who are you named after?

– Paula Abdul.

3. Do you like your handwriting?

– Like Fandango, I used to have great handwriting, but now that I’ve gotten older, it sucks.

4. What’s your favorite lunchmeat?

– Peanut butter.

5. Longest relationship?

– I had a good relationship with my dad from the day I was born until he died in 2013 just before I turned 52.

6. Do you still have your tonsils?

– Nope.

7. Would you bungee jump?

– NFW!

8. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

– Sometimes.

9. Favorite ice-cream?

– Coconut chocolate chip.

10. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

– That they’re too close to me.

11. Football or baseball?

– Neither.

12. What color pants are you wearing?

– White lounge pants with grey and pink flowers.

13. Last thing you ate?

– Peanut butter on a banana.

1. If you were a crayon what color would you be?

– Ultraviolet, baby.

2. Favorite smell?

– Cinnanommmm.

3. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

– One of the partners at work.

4. Hair color?

– Light brown plus some silver.

5. Eye color?

– Hazel (this feels like filling out a dating profile now).

6. Favorite food to eat?

– Seafood pasta.

7. Scary movies or happy endings?

– Romantic comedies with happy endings.

8. Last movie you watched?

– I rewatched American Gigolo a few days back because it came up on Prime. Saw it over 30 years ago and liked it a lot. Didn’t like it that much this time. I didn’t sense any chemistry between the leads; it was just trashy and sad.

9. Favorite holiday?

– Loved Fandango’s answer, but I’ll go with New Year’s Day.

10. Beer or wine?

– Neither. Alcohol triggers migraines.

11. Favorite day of the week?

– Sunday.

12. Three or (four) favorite bloggers you want to learn more about?

– Anyone who plays along.

13. Added info you didn’t know you wanted.

Buy my books!

Insomnia

When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
-Some emotionally distressing thing that I will listen to nonjudgmentally

What takes up too much of your time?
-Insomnia

What do you wish you knew more about?
-How to fall asleep

What would be your first question after waking up from being cryogenically frozen for 100 years?
-Now that was a great night’s sleep! Where’s my phone?

What are some small things that make your day better?
-Catnaps and cats

Who’s your go to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
-Oldies mix from the 60s or 70s

What’s the best way to start the day?
-Painfree

What shows are you into?
-Waiting for the end of GOT

What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
-Dunno, only have internet

Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
-My daughters

What age do you wish you could permanently be?
-14

What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?
-Historical borings, gory horror, animated, preachy, most other stuff…

What would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?
-Pampered at a luxury spa

What is something that is considered a luxury, but you don’t think you could live without?
-Cell phone/internet

What’s your claim to fame?
-I dumped Facebook

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
-Nothing

What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?
-Lately suspense (shocking!)

How often do you people watch?
-Not much, would rather read

What have you only recently formed an opinion about?
-Beets, favorable

What’s the best single day on the calendar?
-Every day is a good day to be single

What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?
-Synesthesia

How do you relax after a hard day of work?
-Stare at more screens like a boneless zombie

What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?
-Maui

What is the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen?
-My girls being awesome to each other

What is the most annoying question that people ask you?
-“Have you tried [whatever thing] for your migraines?”

Activity vs Energy

Two perfect words popped up as prompts today: activity and energy. This is a great follow-up to my migraine poast because many days are a balancing act between wanting to participate in more activities and lacking the energy because of dealing with a chronic disease. Managing migraine is a serious job.

Today is a good example. I woke with a bad migraine and had to take Rx meds in order to go to work (Excedrin was not gonna cut it). They helped, but by the time I got home I was exhausted. I have no “spoons” left for anything social, and right now I am trying to summon up some scraps of energy to do a bit of exercise. This is pretty ordinary for me and I’m sure other chronic pain people can relate.

Check out Amanda Workman’s article about how migraines affect our social life. She really nails it.

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Btw, it was amusing trying to find a scales or balance photo in the WordPress free media library. Scales produced snakes, and balance gave me yoga. So, I had to steal from Google. Whaddaya gonna do?

Migraine Mishmash

Around a week ago NewEpicAuthor asked if I know what causes my headaches and I didn’t reply in comments because the answer requires a whole poast… well, a whole book actually.

First, let’s begin with the debate over whether it’s acceptable to call migraines “headaches.” Frankly, my dears, I don’t give a fuck. I don’t believe it causes funding for migraine research to dry up if we say “goddamn I have a headache” instead of “Jeeves, I do believe the Grey Poupon has triggered a megrim. Please bring the bag of frozen blueberries to the quiet room at once. And for God’s sake, stop blinking so loudly.” There is a definition for migraine, but symptoms vary among sufferers.

(Nothing is going to cause migraine research to end, btw. It’s one of the hottest markets for new drugs because so many people suffer with this pain. It’s one of the highest causes of days absent from work.)

Second, I’m one of the “lucky” migraineurs in that, while I get chronic headaches, my pain generally is controllable. I’ve had many classic killer migraines, where I’ve vomited, had to lie down in a dark room, was totally non-functional for 24 hours, etc., but that’s been relatively rare, TG. Maybe I’ve had a couple dozen of these over the past 40 years, but most of mine can be calmed with the Rx medications, or even sometimes with extra-strength Excedrin, if I take it soon enough. About half the time they can’t be knocked completely out, but at least they can be managed down.

Third, so what causes these things? Let’s try to sort this out, lol. I have constant low-level neck pain from some injury (another complicated question) that sometimes gets worse and triggers head pain. My entire neck gets very stiff and hurty for whatever random reason and the pain radiates up, particularly on the right side. Or I will have sinus pain in my face, right side, that can trigger a migraine. (If I have throbbing on the left side, that can indicate a killer migraine is coming.) When I say “trigger,” I mean the original pain is left untreated and gets slowly worse until my temple/eye begins to throb and I feel nauseated. Light and sound start to bother me a lot. I begin to believe that everyone exists simply to annoy the hell out of me. More than usual.

I have done a zillion standard things to try to deal with the neck and sinus pain, except for acupuncture. I know this poast will encourage people to comment with wacko stuff I haven’t tried, and I will do my best not to get unreasonably irritated. 🙄🙄🙄 You mean well and I lurve you.

That was just the beginning of my trigger list, the neck and sinus pain. We can label those things “stuff outside Paula’s control.” Because they are, at least for now. Let’s toss weather in there too. Yes, weather is a big trigger. What kind of weather, you ask. Lol, I reply… all of it! Rain is bad, especially pre-rain when the air pressure goes wonky. Bright sun is bad, obviously. Heat is yuck and so is cold. Windy is the worst, all that dirt and debris swirling in my face. Don’t I sound like Monk? 😀

What is in my control? Avoiding alcohol, smoke, perfume and other flowery scents (but flowers themselves are fine until they mold, at which point they must be dumped immediately), Doritos and other cheesy chips, cheesy popcorn (cheese is fine, just not whatever “cheese” they put in these things), etc.; avoiding loud, crowded places; getting enough regular sleep; not eating too much salt; not eating too little salt!; getting enough protein; staying hydrated, which is oddly difficult; avoiding anxiety-provoking situations, etc.

Am I bound to get a migraine if I slip up and, say, play board games until 2AM and get only four hours sleep one night? Well, no. Here’s the thing (hehe). There’s no guarantee on anything in migraine land. Expect the unexpected. I can do everything perfectly, avoid all triggers ~ have no life basically ~ and still end up with a 3-day migraine that requires Rx meds so I can go to work. But some other time, I can slide a bit on sleep, have a few sips (ahem) of wine, eat potato chips, listen to loud music, and be fine. Yet, if I repeat that two weeks later, I might LITERALLY DIE. You just can’t know. Mostly I play it safe to avoid extra pain because who likes pain? Okay, not this kind of pain.

Also, I have tinnitus, and occasional BPPV (vertigo), which may not be related to the megrims, but it makes my head more annoying to live with. And I suspect it is related ~ why wouldn’t all the things that are wrong inside my head somehow connect to all the otter things that are wrong? We’re talking about a lot of things! Just because no one has figured it out yet doesn’t make it not so. And another thing (prepping for Columbo), why is there no otter emoji?

Hey, I warned you this wouldn’t be pithy.

Creative Updates [RDP]

I was making good progress on the cross-stitch project I designed for a gift, but then my eyes got all itchy/tired at night again and I haven’t touched it for months. Boo! I hope when it’s a little cooler I’ll be able to resume working on it because it’s a really cool needlework.

When that’s done, I want to do a similar design in a needlepoint for another gift and for me. They are hamsas, which are good luck. (Dunno why my phone is underlining hamsa ~ it’s a word, dammit!)

I also have some yarn for a(nother) scarf, plus the kooky idea of making a poncho. I know it’s insanely ambitious, but I really want to.

As far as writing, all my WIPs are on hold because I don’t have a laptop right now. I’m only blogging and writing the occasional poem. I have to admit I’m enjoying this break from my self-imposed stress and the artificial deadlines. I just don’t need that after working a regular job and dealing with migraines. Yes, I know other people can handle all that plus more, but I’m not them. Idk if I’ll ever go back to writing for real… maybe after I retire. I’m starting to enjoy watching TV shows like a normal person.

When I was visiting my daughter and her fiancé last weekend, we had a super fun paint night. Actually it spilled over into the next day… so great to have the supplies at home and do the vids off YouTube at your own pace. I’m tempted to set up here, but no! I have enough going on.