The Pain in my Brain

The last two weeks I have suffered from four (yes, as in not 1 or 2 or even 3 but 4!) migraine headaches. Including today, as in I am currently writing this with a migraine headache. The worst part is there is the migraine headache and then the subsequent "hangover" headaches I get for anywhere from one to three days after the actual migraine part of the headache is gone.

So if you are following along and doing the math, that means there are times I have horrible, life-altering, headaches for multiple days (even a week) at a time. And no, I am not being overly dramatic and exaggerating by saying life-altering. Clearly you have never had a migraine if this is what you were thinking.

I can recall my first migraine more vividly than I can recall my first kiss or losing my virginity. It was that horrible. I was in the 8th grade when the flashing spots appeared in my eyes leaving me practically blind. I had to be escorted to the nurses office since I couldn't see a thing in front of me. At this point, there was no headache. Just blindness and I was scared something was really wrong with my vision.

My Mom came to pick me up and assured me it was a migraine headache and when I told her my head didn't hurt she warned me it would. She wasn't kidding. I made it home without throwing up in her car and she put me in her bed, told me to put a pillow over my eyes and shut her curtains. I laid there in complete darkness for hours. Any light, movement or noise would cause me excruciating pain. I remember thinking I never wanted a migraine again.

I have suffered from these headaches ever since. I have ever been able to track a pattern with when I get them (some are hormonal and women get them right before their period every month, etc.) Not me. Mine would come whenever and leave me useless for days at a time. The worst was when I was pregnant and then the hormones obviously were part of the trigger. I had a horrible migraine the day I went into labor with Jack (yeah, a migraine and child birth in the same day, sounds awesome huh?) and then the last month or so of my pregnancy with Joey I had migraines several times a week because I was in preterm labor. The best part is the doctors gave me drugs to stop labor but I was left to suffer through the headaches without so much as an Advil. Bastards.

These headaches run in my family and I have been seeing my doctor for them for years. No typical migraine drugs work for me. They either make me sick to my stomach or don't alleviate the headache at all. All that is left is full-blown narcotic pain killers which are great at knocking me out so I can sleep (which usually helps my head) but I can't take them and function. By function I mean go to work, care for my kids and drive them to school and so forth. Which means unless my migraine hits at bedtime, I am screwed.

The pain is enough to make me go mad and after several days of it you start to believe your head just may never feel good again. The worst of it is the aura's I get in my vision and these blinding spots, flashing lights and zig-zagging lines make me nauseous and crazy.

This is how I have spent the better part of the last two weeks. Paralyzed by a headache and walking around wearing my sunglasses when it is gray and gloomy out because OH MY GOD IT IS BRIGHT OUT! Everything is too bright, too loud and nothing makes me feel better. Not the handfuls of Advil I am washing down with caffeine-filled Mt. Dew and not the sunglasses or dark rooms.

If this keeps up any longer I am going to be admitted to the psych ward and locked in a room with padded walls. Surely banging my head on them has got to feel better than this. In the meantime, I need to continue working and taking care of my small people hoping my head doesn't explode until after my husband gets home from work. This sucks....

A Better Balance

When you are a Mom and you work full-time it is easy to miss a lot of important things for your kids. I have been feeling this "mommy guilt" for months now. I knew I wanted a change, needed a change but it took some time to figure out how to make a change.

I am so happy that Jason and I took the time to talk about our options so we could find a way to make things work better and to make us all happier so I could be a part of my boys lives for more than a few hours a day. Thankfully my job allows me the flexibility to work from home and after talking with my company about what I needed, I am going to have that opportunity.

Starting next week I will work a couple days in the office and the rest from home. Will this be a challenge with two little turkeys lurking around? Yes, I am sure at time it will be. I will take on that challenge to be able to take my own kids to school. I will actually know what their classrooms are like and get to know their friends. Most importantly, I will be able to spend time with them. I know the days of them wanting to spend time with me are numbered and I am going to eat them up (while trying not to kill them) while I can.

I am hoping this change allows me to continue to grow professionally (since I love what I do) and still feel like I am present in my life at home. I am shooting for the best of both worlds and I couldn't tell you the last time I felt so happy about a big life change.

Five

Yesterday was Jack's 5th birthday and I spent it in the hospital with his brother. Joey was admitted Friday night after his respiratory virus made his asthma rear its ugly head. We came home today and after immediately crashing in my own bed, without the sound of the oxygen blowing in my ear, I am trying to get back to normal.

While Joey & I where holed up in the hospital for the weekend snuggling over Toy Story and breathing treatments, Jason pulled through and hosted both of Jack's birthday parties. The party with his friends was Saturday morning followed by our family party in the afternoon. I feel horrible I had to miss his parties, miss his day, but know that getting Joey healthy was what I needed to be doing. Jay was a champ and even assembled a lego car that had no less than 475,000 pieces and took four hours to assemble while a nagging five year old asked if he was done yet because OH MY GOD WHAT IS TAKING SOOO LONG DAD? I told you guys, he really is the best Dad and also holds my vote in the best husband department.

So this is what should have been posted yesterday had I been free:

Dear Jack,
Today you are five and I am in denial that you are not only that old, but that I am old enough to have a five year old.

These past five years have been the best, and most difficult, of my life. You are such an incredible kid and I am not just saying that because you are mine. You are so smart and funny and you can be so kind, when you feel like it of course. I have seen you come around and start treating your brother more like a friend and less like the little pain in the ass he usually is. I love to see you guys play together and I listen to you talk to each other every night from your bunks. I hope you two continue to grow to be friends because you will learn there is nothing better than having the built-in best friend qualities a brother can bring.

I never imagined you would be as weird quirky as you are. You like things to be just a certain way and you are a creature of habit. One change in your routine and you it takes a small miracle to convince you the world is not going to end. There are days that you exhaust me to my core and make me dig deep within myself to try and find any last reserve of patience I might have. You challenge me in ways I have never been pushed and when I am so ready to put you in your bed and escape you, you tell me you love me to Jupiter and back (because it is farther than the moon) and I fall in love with you all over again.

The day you were born was one of the single greatest moments of my life. Since you were coming early the doctors kept telling me you may not breathe and a whole bunch of other scary things. But for whatever reason, I knew in my heart you were going to be perfect and you were. You were such a tiny little turkey. The minute I held your little body and looked at your sweet face I fell in love. I am not sure how, but I love you more each and every day. You made me a Mom and I have never wanted to be anything more in my entire life.

I have so many wishes and dreams for you for the future. In order to keep things in perspective and not get ahead of myself in terms of parenting I am only going to share a few with you now. This next year I hope you continue to learn and to be more confident. Kids like you and you have a ton of friends so you don't need to be so shy! I hope you worry less. I know my worry-wort ways have rubbed off on you and I can see you worry about things more than you should. Please don't worry. I hope you will become more self-sufficient and realize you can do things for yourself. You are five now so you don't need your Mom or Dad to put your pajamas on or to zip your coat. You know how to do these things so I want to see you try harder to do them on your own. I also want to you to pee in the toilet without getting pee all over the entire bathroom. Hold on to that thing and aim for the love of God! I am so tired of cleaning pee off the bathroom floor so I hope age five brings you better aim in the bathroom.
But most of all I hope age five brings you happiness. Loads and loads of love and happiness. Your Dad and I love you with all we have and are so proud that you are ours.

Happy 5th Birthday Turkey!

Love,
Mommy

  Birth Day
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Five
*Birthdays come just once a year, Happy Birthday Jack my dear, happy birthday till next year! xoxo*