Friday, January 27, 2012

TV & a sign

Vague title, but this blog post is so random I wasn't sure what else to put. It all started when I received a call at work from a CBS reporter. I still work at a public relations agency part-time, so that's a pretty normal occurrence. Well turns out it was a producer for WCBS, a local news channel in New York who was doing a story on nightmares as side effects of some medications, and she stumbled upon my blog post, appropriately named "Nightmare side effects." She was having trouble finding people to interview and she read about how Bystolic gave me nightmares. Because I'm in North Carolina, an affiliate news channel (WRAL) sent a cameraman to film me while the producer asked me questions via speakerphone.

The interview took place in my condo, and I explained how I've tried a lot of things for headaches and how beta blockers such as Bystolic are commonly prescribed as preventatives, but none of them worked for me. Then I went into the details of the nightmares, how realistic they were and how one that stood out involved me stabbing someone repeatedly. It was self-defense, but it was very detailed. I also said that compared to other side effects I've experienced, nightmares didn't bother me too much. Then the cameraman took B-roll footage of some of my pill bottles, me coming in the door and putting down my bags, me reading a magazine, me playing with Ellie, etc. We did a fun shot where he filmed while walking into the kitchen and then pointed the camera at our knives while I pulled one out and held it in front of the camera.

Shooting B-roll footage in my condo!
Instragram photo from my new toy, my iPhone (99cent for the 3G version!)
I'm not sure if I'll get to see the final video unless WCBS puts it on their website, so if any of you live in the area, let me know if you see it!

So we covered the TV, now what about the "sign" part of this blog post's title? Back when I was working full time my office was right outside a doorway where people smoked, and the building was old so the smoke went through into my office, which didn't help my headaches. I contacted the people in charge of the office building about it, and they said they would look into making a rule that required people to smoke a certain distance from the building.

Well, nothing happened so I taped up my own handmade sign outside the door. Some smokers listened to it and some ignored it; eventually it was taken down. Fast forward a few years (I would say at least 2-3 years) and the building added a designated smoking section away from the building, removing the ash trays from the trash can just outside the door. Then yesterday at work, my boss pointed out this sign, right where my homemade one had been:

Sign of success!
Success! :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Please sign this petition to Congress

The Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy has put together a petition to urge Congressional hearings on the impact of migraine and headache disorders.

I don't sign online petitions very often, but this one only takes a few seconds and it could really make a difference, especially if enough people sign it. Here's the petition; I posted the link on Twitter and Facebook and I encourage you to sign this and also spread the word. Here's what I posted on Facebook:
Please sign this petition if you have a minute (it won't even take that long). Migraines impact so many people, including myself, and well-known medicines like Excedrin or Imitrex don't help everyone; in fact, they make mine worse. There's no easy solution and more research must be done!
I really do feel that some - heck maybe most - people assume that people with migraines or headaches can just take medicine and it works. If I wasn't a sufferer, I might think the same and I might also feel the same way about other chronic conditions. I'd bet that Congress feels this way too. They need to know that the war's not over yet. We haven't won, and we're certainly not going to give up and surrender!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Me, Jonathan & Ellie sticking her tongue out
As much as I love Christmas, I'm so happy the traveling aspect of it is over! Jonathan and I visited my parents for a day and a half and we had a wonderful time with them. The above photo is on their porch. They only live about 45 minutes away. After going home a few hours, we drove 2 1/2 hours to visit J's mom and her husband and stayed 4 nights, and then we drove 4 hours from there to J's dad's house and stayed 3 nights. It was our first big trip with Ellie and I was SO thankful that she slept in the car pretty much the entire time.

Being away from home for a week is stressful, and having to watch after Ellie made it even more so, as much as I love her. Surprisingly, I only had 1 headache during the trip. I was on my period (TMI, sorry) so I took Aleve the first 3 cycle days to try avoiding major cramps. Usually Aleve doesn't phase menstrual headaches/migraines, so the lack of headaches may have been because I didn't have school or work and was disconnected from technology and in the country. Plus I was able to walk Ellie every day and eat lots of good food!

A negative situation was that J's dad lives in a small house with no central air, and he smokes cigars in the house when it's cold outside without opening a window, so there's no circulation and the smoke is unbearable. Smoke has always bothered me, even before I started getting headaches, and the times I've stayed there in the past were days of constant pain. So this time, we got a cabin, and J's sister and brother-in-law stayed with me there while Jonathan stayed with his dad because he's old and needs someone there at all times. On Friday, J's birthday, his sis & BIL stayed with his dad so J could stay with me at the cabin, which was nice. Anyway, his dad was mad at us (except for J) for not staying with him in the house and particularly mad at me because he knew it was my decision. Eventually he got over it; in fact, one morning while we were at his house he waited for me to go walk the dog before lighting his cigar - though I was told that he mimicked me fussing at him for smoking inside while he smoked it, but I thought that was a little humorous.

I guess the whole thing just made me feel like J's family thinks I'm a snob for wanting to rent a cabin instead of staying with his dad, and I feel helpless trying to make them realize how awful cigarette/cigar smoke is to someone with headaches/migraines. I hate drama.

Of course now that I'm home, I woke up with a migraine this morning. I didn't drink last night so that's not it. It could be a letdown migraine from the stress of traveling/in-laws, the rainy weather today, or the city air. Who knows. I'm just happy I had a break the past week.

Here's hoping 2012 is a year for improved health for all of us! :)