Hey there! It’s me again. Remember me? I’m the quirky chick who brought you such gems as Video Tutorial Monday and bi-monthly updates from Europe? Yeah, that’s the one. (HA.)
I’ve been going through some things lately. Thankfully, I’m doing all right and things are looking up, but I wanted to share and update you on what’s going on. One of my goals as a blogger is to give back and share as much about my life as I can in hopes of helping others with the same passions or problems. I know several of my crafty (and otherwise) friends have been wanting to know more about what’s been going on, and it’s not that I don’t want to share or that things are bad, but it’s more that I don’t want to tell the same story five thousand times. (Anyone who has ever worn a cast or missed six weeks of school knows exactly what I mean on this one.)
So I want to tell you the whole story so you know what’s up. If you feel so inclined to send digital hugs or your favorite meal or cookie recipe, I’m all for that. Just no pitying allowed. This is my body and I’m doing what I can to fix things. I’ve done enough “why me?”s for the rest of the world about six times over and am in a very great place now where it’s not “why me” but “these changes are awesome” that I find repeating to myself over and over. So got it? Hugs and food, not pity or tears, okay? :)
I’ve been dealing with some whoppers of health issues for many years, but just recently, in February of this year, more problems surfaced that have caused me to miss countless hours of school, miss out on fun times with my friends and even spend days at a time in bed. Shortly after my big health issues started, I was diagnosed by a doctor in Spain with Spastic Colon and IBS. Then, the migraines started. I’ve been battling with dibilitating migraines, fatigue, body aches as well as the symptoms of anxiety, depression and IBS since. When I list my laundry list of ailments, it’s really not even a big deal to me any more. I work with some really amazing doctors that help to bring my chronic problems from “this sucks” to “this is britta without any issues” on a daily basis. Doctors are cool. If you every are feeling overly anxious or depressed, I highly encourage you to see a therapist (a pshyologist is my therapy of choice). Your health insurance will likely cover it, and having someone there to talk to about your innermost worries and issues and then work through the daily hurdles with is a great, great thing.
It’s the migraines that have been out of control for the past few months. Over the summer, they slowed down as I got into a rythym of work and play, but when school added itself to the mixture, my stress levels were no longer under control and I began having migraines about 2 to 3 days a week. After trying everything over-the-counter, talking to my doctor who oversees all of my medications and making necessary tweaks to my regimen, we decided it was time to call in the big guns. Four weeks of phone calls, paperwork and waiting later, and I finally got in to see a neurologist.
This meeting was this last Wednesday, the 7th, and I may start to celebrate this day as my own personal health revelation holiday. My doctor was everything I’ve ever wanted and more, and she and I worked together to put all of the pieces together and start with some preventative and as-needed migraine medication. That night, before I picked up my prescription, I had a killer migraine that lasted until mid-afternoon the day after. 24 hours. It may have been my last migraine ever. Poetic justice, I suppose.
So now begins a new regimen of medicine to control my body and therapy to teach my body how to behave when I get these symptoms. I currently have appointments with 3 different specialists (neurology, pshyciatry and GI to confirm the diagnosis of IBS) and four different types of therapies (massage, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral and physical). I’m also beginning the process of putting my class schedule back together in order to graduate. 11 credits stand between me and that Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, and I will be receiving my diploma in the future. It’s put on hold for now while I get my body back in working order. With all luck, I will be able to work with my professors on an individual basis in the future and show that I have what it takes to earn my keep in their classes. I have all of the skills and training necessary, now I need to train my body to cooperate.
The diagnosis my Neurologist is leaning towards is a condition called Fybromyalgia. This is not her area of expertise, however, so we’re focusing on getting my migraines under control first and then putting words to the therapies afterwards. Only a Rheumatologist can diagnose Fybromyalgia officially. You can read more about the condition here, but the good news is that it’s a treatable condition that is becoming more recognized and studied. In fact, I may have the chance to be part of a study group being followed by my University’s researchers on the condition for the next several years. I like the thought of being able to help others and contribute to science. And you know what? The best part is that we really have a starting point now. Instead of feeling like my body is crapping out on me, I feel like I have one condition that can and will be fixed. One thing. Much better than a laundry list of symptoms and issues. :)
So there we have it. I’m happy and hopeful. I might even get my landlord to approve me having a cat! I know you would love to see some more cat pictures on here again. :) (In case you’re wondering where Trixie is – she belongs to and lives with my former roommates, who moved home to Wisconsin after they graduated last spring. I still miss her, though!)
As for the blog, I hope to be updating more often as my therapy proceeds and things look better. I won’t make any promises for now, but know that my heart wishes I had a new post for you every day, so maybe someday that will be a reality. A girl can dream, right?!
Thanks for listening and thanks for caring. If I owe you an e-mail, I hope you understand. I’m tackling my inbox a few things at a time, so stick with me and I’ll get to you. If it’s important or urgent, you can always contact me on twitter. The 140 word character limit helps ease the stresses of having to give a five paragraph reply. :)
I also wanted to share some of the things that I have been helping me cope with migraines and being in bed far too much. Maybe these can help you or someone you know dealing with the same issues. I’ve added a new “Life and Health” category over on the right-hand side of my blog so you can easily catch up with me and things that I recommend for dealing with my types of symptoms. My hope is that someday each one of these posts will help someone to feel better and get their own answers. :)
Aroma Home Soothing Lavendar Body Wrap
I leave this in a zip-loc in the freezer and wrap it around my head or neck and shoulders when I’m feeling sore. The lavender is very calming, and it doesn’t get so cold that you need to wrap it up like you would and ice pack. This thing is AMAZING. I might buy a second one…
Aroma Home Silk Eye Mask
I went from a pillow-over-the-head sleeper to using one of these, and it’s soooo much better. Plus, I really like the scent of lavender. It’s just subtle enough to help me relax no matter what time of the day I’m napping or heading off to bed.
IcyHot Back Patches
These babies work wonders when I have bad muscle fatigue from a migraine the day before. They allow me to get up and do work around the house or even run errands without having to lay down and ice my back every couple of hours. They’re amazing (and you can pick them up in pretty much any pharmacy section of any store – score)!
Audio Books from Audible.com
These books have seriously saved my sanity. I can listen to the books with my eyes covered and still am thinking and relaxing while wishing away a migraine. I literally don’t know what I would do in bed without these. They’ve become my favorite for crafting, too, when I don’t feel like flipping through the channels on tv or netflix. I have a monthly subscription, and the one book a month combined with some really awesome sales they have every couple months keeps me well stocked up. Some of my favorite ones I’ve listened to: Water for Elephants, Sacre Bleu (Christopher Moore is my FAVORITE raunchy comedy author) and Paper Towns (John Green ROCKS). I have others that I love, too, and you can see those over on my audible profile if you’re interested. :)
Crafting – of course!
Just wanted to share a cute card that I thought was appropriate to go with this post. I’m absoultely loving my Hero Arts inks lately. They’re so… YUM!
Alright, time to run off to a Gopher Basketball game with my sweetie. It my first time at one, so I’m really pumped! Will be tweeting and instagraming from the game. (I’m always updating those, so even if it don’t post for a while here, you can get your Britta fix in!) Thank you SO much for stopping by today. I love you all.
P.S. My birthday is November 28th and I’ll be doing a large set of giveaways. Make sure you mark that on your calendars. :)