Thursday, May 29, 2008

The greatest discovery of my generation is that man can alter his life simply by altering his attitude of mind. -- William James

am trying to keep this idea ^ in mind and keep my attitude positive these days! this past week has been one storm after another. additionally, my anti-depressant dosage (which is also the MAOI) has been cut in half. this is a good thing, as i am weaning off of it. that's what i wanted, but i need 2 weeks of nothing before i can start onto another anti-depressant. and that leads to me feeling more down than usual.

if you don't see me around your blogs - that's why. i'm just kind of meh. not a lot to say. i am going out to lunch with some friends tomorrow, hopefully that will help.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008
a tale of culinary woe.

An act of God was defined as something which no reasonable man could have expected. --A.P. Herbert

that's right, i am still hoping and praying for a miracle; one of these days i would LOVE to wake up and just have no headache. that'd be stupendous, wouldn't it? really, i can't imagine many things i'd like better. if that's too drastic, i'd settle for finding a pill or treatment that would make the pain manageable. :D

onto my tale of woe.

last week i pulled out my favorite cookbook (from Christmas) -- martha stewart's Great Food fast. in it was this recipe for Chicken Chilaquiles. my husband and i, we love mexican food. i adore cilantro, so we were all set. i got cooking. except, of course, i had to half the recipe - there's only 2 of us (cue ominous music).

you can see where this is going, right?

cooking + migraine = trouble.

if you clicky on over to the recipe, you'll see that it calls for "2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo, finely chopped (about 1 heaping tablespoon), plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from same can)"

silly me, reading it too quickly, thought it said 2 CANS chipotle chiles...

now you REALLY see where this is going.

so i smartly halved that, and dumped my one WHOLE CAN of chipotle chiles in (plus all the sauce, don't know what i was thinking there...maybe i wasn't?)

the picture should've clued me in, my dish was a lot brown-er than martha's. but really, does mine ever look as good as hers? no. so onward and upward we went. to the dinner table!

expecting rave reviews, i serve the meal. i should tell you that my husband is probably the most enthusiastic audience you'll ever cook for (my mom and sister can attest to this). he just LOVES anything and everything you cook for him. so if he doesn't *LOVE* it, you have really done something wrong.


i had done something wrong.

this dish was WAY too spicy. i mean WAAAAY too spicy. we struggled through, with lots of cheese and sour cream and chips. the whole time, i'm thinking, jeez, martha! why so spicy?

i should've known. another case of bad recipe reading by yours truly.

anyone have any tales of culinary disaster to share with me?

edited to add: spencer would like me to point out that he actually he liked it. additionally, he ate both firsts and seconds. duly noted.

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Friday, May 23, 2008
a little wedding recap

well i'm not going to go over the whole weekend -- way too many events, and i'm only going to post a few pictures. :) here's one of the bride's pretty sister doing my hair

and then here we can see how it turned out! it was so fun having my hair done - it's been a long time. probably since my own wedding, since i had an occasion to get my hair really done up.

and then this was a dance with my honey - this was my moment with him. most of the rest of the weekend he was taking pictures, literally. but somewhere over the rainbow was playing (the ukelele version) and i think the siblings of the bride and groom were supposed to be dancing. so he came and danced with me for a bit -- after he'd gotten the necessary photos, of course! i was happy to see him, and happy to have a moment with him.

you can see the bride and groom in the background. and in less-important news, you can also see my super cute brown shoes...i tried to break them in beforehand, but they only lasted 4 hours or so. seems like the shoe makers didn't account for my 4th toe. strange. i will show them to you later on, another entry.

many other wonderful and fabulous times were had (the actual wedding, for instance). but these are a few from the reception, which was also beautiful and a lot of fun.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008
decisions, decisions

hello again internet pals!

i'm glad you all enjoyed the bounty cat as much as i did. sometimes all you need is a laugh.

well my decision is made and i'm moving forward. it's something of a compromise, really. the thing is, my doctor (who really is quite an expert, and whose opinion i greatly respect) wanted me to try another MAOI, one which is older than the one i am on now -- Emsam. So they have had better results with the older MAOIs, but the patients also have more side effects, which is why they typically start out with this newest formulation, the patch. One example of an older MAOI (which you may be familiar with is Nardil.

so there are two big reasons i'm not jumping up and down to go onto an older MAOI drug - #1 is the side effects. i don't usually get many side effects, but i got a boatload with Emsam. dizziness, increased appetite and weight gain, and sleep problems. the sleep problems was the most problematic, but the other two weren't great either. if the older ones typically have more side effects....well, i think you see where i'm going with that. no thank you.

#2 is that they require a 5-6 day hospital stay to go onto the MAOIs. they want to monitor my reaction to the drug and particularly my blood pressure. i'm realllly not thrilled about that either. it sounds really immature, but i feel like i just got out of the hospital, and was not planning to go back anytime soon. i certainly wasn't planning to be back within a few months. i just....pfft. the IVs, the needles, the nurses waking you up all night, no privacy. etc. etc. you know, it's just the hospital. they do all they can to make it pleasant, and i recognize it could be much much worse. it's not chemo - it's just the headache and migraine ward. it's just that i really thought i wasn't going back for a long time. the idea of going back SOON is a little disheartening.

SO. my decision. my decision is to try something else first - which is, in this case a tricyclic anti-depressant. if this doesn't work i will try the old MAOI my doctor is recommending. this will give me some time to get used to the idea of going back to the hospital (for less than a week!) and get some sleep stored up before i go back to an MAOI. hopefully i can get my body back to normal for a bit in case it goes all out of whack again. this time, if i see things getting messed up, i think i'll just ask to stop immediately.

has anyone made it through to the end of this marathon blog post? wow, that was long. a gold star for you!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right. -- Mary Kay Ash

well i got home early this morning from arizona - i snuck off without telling you. :) since spencer and i were both leaving, i didn't want to invite the robbers to come for a visit. but we were gone all weekend to phoenix, spencer's brother was married this weekend to a lovely girl, and spencer was the photographer. it was (of course) a very exciting weekend. spencer's done quite a few engagement pictures before, and a few bridal portraits, but this is the first wedding he shot as the primary photographer. i've seen most of the photos, and he did a great job.

the wedding was beautiful, they were married in the LDS mesa arizona temple. there was a reception and a luncheon and another luncheon - lots of fun times with our family and her family. i am bushed.

here are some links which will hopefully amuse.

LOL pony

Wasted food

Sad cat -- also funny, don't worry


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Wednesday, May 14, 2008
new hair...again. and of course, headache talk

The human body experiences a powerful gravitational pull in the direction of hope. That is why the patient's hopes are the physician's secret weapon. They are the hidden ingredients in any prescription. --Norman Cousins

well, i got an email back from my doctor, and i have a decision to make. i can either go the agree to the way my doctor wants to go (trying another MAOI, which includes another hospital stay) or ask to go in another direction. i also responded back hoping for more help with SLEEP, so my fingers are crossed that he'll write back again soon with some solutions or suggestions.

i got my hair done today -- went in asking specifically for please! no! red! my husband is a redhead. i can't have reddish hair without it looking extra fake next to his... unfortunately, even after 3 processings of brown, the (previously blue-black) portions of my hair are a coppery shade... thankfully, most of it is still blonde. there are just streaks of the coppery color.

no need for condolences -- i'm ok with it for a few months. mostly i just thought it was funny that i ended up with exactly what i asked them NOT to do. :) sometimes that's how it goes, right?

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

i officially have a sleep PROBLEM. yesterday i was able to take a 2 hour nap. awesome, right?


not like i had a lot of other stuff to do or something...

so you'd *think* i'd have slept like a baby last night, right? for hours and hours. i wish. the tragic truth is that i slept soundly until 4 a.m., when for some reason which is not apparent *to ME*, i woke up and couldn't get back to sleep.

so sad.

has anyone else had experience with insomnia and an MAOI? i'm hoping against hope that my doc will get back to me soon and he'll help me improve this situation. seriously, this sleep thing stinks.

i'll be back with less complaining soon. :)

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Monday, May 12, 2008
Pain -- expands the Time -- by Emily Dickinson

Pain -- expands the Time --
Ages coil within
The minute Circumference
Of a single Brain --

Pain contracts -- the Time --
Occupied with Shot
Gamuts with Eternities
Are as they were not --

I didn't sleep last night. not just didn't sleep much....i didn't sleep at all. d'oh. we went to bed at midnight, and then by 2 i hadn't gotten to sleep. i felt like it was too late then to take a sleeping pill, i didn't want to 'throw off my sleeping schedule'. ha! if i could tell me then when what me now is facing! i'm hoping to take a 4 hour nap and still get to sleep sleeping schedule is down the tubes. ah well. you do what you can. i'm sure all of you who have been new mothers are just chuckling right now thinking, ah it's just been one night...get over yourself...

i feel like i'm moving in slow motion -- and i'm nauseous and good heavens it does not do good things for my migraine, that's for sure. they say the relationship between sleep and migraines is not well understood, but let me tell you; i understand it well enough. if i don't get 8 hours - things are getting ugly. ;-) that's just the (unfortunate) way of things.

my dear husband made me some pancakes for breakfast to settle my stomach, and went off to work. so i'm going to try and get a little bit of sleep! we'll see how it goes. :)

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Sunday, May 11, 2008
Happy Mother's Day

"I don't need very much now,"
said the boy,
"just a quiet place to sit and rest.
I am very tired."
"Well," said the tree,
straightening herself up
as much as she could,
"well, an old stump is good
for sitting and resting.
Come, Boy, sit down.
Sit down and rest."

And the boy did.

And the tree was happy

--Shel Silverstein
The Giving Tree

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom, who i love. who's always been there, and has given everything for her children, to raise them and love them. I couldn't ask for a better mom, and am lucky to have someone in my life so cheerful, so kind, and with such a big heart. You taught me what it is to be a wife and a woman.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.
--Amelia Barr

so here's a little something for you. i have a free email address with yahoo -- and you know when you go to sign in (i know msn has this too), there will be links and pictures for little articles? kind of general interest stuff? well today, there was one that said something to the effect of 'studies show there are major differences in price between pharmacies'. and i am thinking, holy cow! if you didn't know that, you need to come be my shadow for a day! i will teach you the ways of the pharmacy! i have learned a few things i never cared to these past 4 years:

1) lots about drugs and pharmacies and drug prices (they are ridiculously high, it takes years for the drug patents to expire...)

2) waaaaay more about migraines and the brain than i ever dreamed possible.


3) even more about insurance than i learned while *working* for an insurance company.

my understanding (so i just don't talk ABOUT pharmacy prices but actually say something useful in this entry) is that Costco and Sam's Club have the best prices. without a membership you can still use their pharmacy. but if you don't feel comfortable doing that, walmart has the same prices as Sam's Club. however, my experiences with their customer service have been....less than stellar. just thinking about it makes me want to gouge my eyes out.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008
linky goodness

two things that are great:

1) this entry about time management and pain at How to Cope with Pain. if nothing else, read the first two paragraphs. Spot on.

2) this is what we had for dinner tonight. the lasagna was delicious. spencer says it may even have taken over his spot as favorite dish (from the previous #1 which was pot roast). thanks again, pioneer woman!

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008
another day, making travel plans

He who does not hope to win has already lost. --Jose Joaquin Olmedo

i'm setting up my next appointment with the diamond headache clinic -- i will go out to see them on june 30th. so of course that also entails setting up flights as well! this time, i'm going to try and fly in and out the same day -- not staying overnight. we'll see how it goes.

one of my goals for this year (my year runs from may to may) ;-) is to try and have a more positive attitude, regardless of pain. i think that it's important to maintain hope and like the quote says, if you don't believe you can win (conquer the migraines), you are probably right. i need to stay positive and remember that i'm working with good doctors.

i do believe that i have the best shot possible with the doctors in chicago -- they work with people like me all the time there. people who haven't responded in the past to preventative medications. but somehow, they make progress and help them to get some relief.

now every year, my sisters and mom and i get together for a girl's weekend. my littlest sister will join us next year, once she's 13. so it's kind of a grownups only kind of thing. and this year my sister G wasn't able to make it. :-( we missed her. but we had a great time, and i thought i'd share a few pictures and show you how it all went.

we had to have our picture taken with the BYU mascot, of course

and then we needed a picture with mom as well.

and here was our most favorite shuttle driver, who saved us from a very cold night's walk:

and here's mom showcasing her delicious fudgy wares;

we were also coerced into a tree tour (more on that here)-- muum loves trees and all things shrub related. sarah and i love to mock all things tree and shrub related, so it worked out pretty well. here i am demonstrating the buttressing of this particular species:

and then on saturday we went to my house to tie a quilt. for charity. it was good times, since we've had limited experience tying quilts and even more limited experience setting up quilts to tie. but in the end, it worked out. doesn't it always? the one big picture is the only picture i took all weekend. all others are courtesy of muum.

you will see the usual cast of characters -- me, muum and the edge. we missed having gretchen with us but! our new friend, my brother's fiancee, sarah the second also joined us for this insane weekend! welcome sarah the second!

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Monday, May 05, 2008
I Measure Every Grief I meet -- by Emily Dickinson

i came across this poem online recently, and remembered how much i like it. emily dickinson is one of my favorite poets, along with e.e. cummings. this poem seems particularly appropriate lately.

I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, Eyes--
I wonder if It weighs like Mine--
Or has an Easier size.

I wonder if They bore it long--
Or did it just begin--
I could not tell the Date of Mine--
It feels so old a pain--

I wonder if it hurts to live--
And if They have to try--
And whether--could They choose between--
It would not be--to die--

I note that Some--gone patient long--
At length, renew their smile--
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil--

I wonder if when Years have piled--
Some Thousands--on the Harm--
That hurt them early--such a lapse
Could give them any Balm--

Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve--
Enlightened to a larger Pain--
In Contrast with the Love--

The Grieved--are many--I am told--
There is the various Cause--
Death--is but one--and comes but once--
And only nails the eyes--

There's Grief of Want--and grief of Cold--
A sort they call "Despair"--
There's Banishment from native Eyes--
In Sight of Native Air--

And though I may not guess the kind--
Correctly--yet to me
A piercing Comfort it affords
In passing Calvary--

To note the fashions--of the Cross--
And how they're mostly worn--
Still fascinated to presume
That Some--are like My Own--

--Emily Dickinson

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Friday, May 02, 2008
side effects

so far, this has been the most bothersome of the side effects i've experienced. my headache doctor just (at the last visit) bumped up my emsam patch dosage to 12 mg. it is an anti-depressant that is, in this case, acting (or supposed to be acting) as a migraine preventative.

however, it's messing with my already low blood pressure and giving me dizzy spells, especially first thing in the morning, and when i get up from sitting or laying down. i do a fair amount of 'sit down before i fall down' these days, which is annoying. but better than fainting and bonking my head. i also drink as much water as i can stand -- the nurses at the hospital said that helps.

really, i am lucky -- when i think of the dozens of pills and things i have tried for preventatives over the years, my side effects have been few. some nausea, a little weight loss, some weight gain.....but this has been the most annoying. it's been less than 2 weeks now, so i'm hoping my body will still adjust itself to the dosage and the dizziness won't be a permanent part of taking this dose!

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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

I'm 25 - married, and recently graduated from Brigham Young University, studying music; I play piano. My husband is just starting his PhD program at the University of Utah in computer architecture.



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