HealthyWomen.Org Article: Tips for Preparing for the Holidays When You’re Chronically Ill

 

HealthyWomen.org gave me the opportunity to share how I prepare for the Holidays while managing my chronic illnesses: rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic migraine.

To read my latest article, click on the link provided below.

http://www.healthywomen.org/content/blog-entry/tips-preparing-holidays-when-youre-chronically-ill

Healthline Article: When Migraine Runs in the Family

I was given the opportunity to write an article for Healthline.com about my family’s journey with an uncommon type of migraine.

To read my article, click on the link provided below:

https://www.healthline.com/health/migraine/migraine-all-in-the-family?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=opt&utm_campaign=TEVAMigraineRetargeting

 

Jogging Journal: Day 6

Tuesday, December 12th at 4:31 A.M. – I didn’t need an alarm to wake me from my deep slumber. The town’s snow plows did an excellent job of that! Obviously, my morning work-out was going to consist of using a snow shovel before I did anything else.

I dressed in 3 layers of clothing AGAIN then made my way to the front of my house where I proceeded to shovel the porch, 5 steps and the LONG sidewalk leading to Main Street.

I love being a homeowner, but my body isn’t quite on board with all the work I’ve had to put into making my house look presentable on the outside.

After 30 minutes of clearing the 3-4 inches of snow so that I could make it off my own property, I decided to at least walk a mile. My body wasn’t bothering at that point and walking would help me to clear my mind for writing later that day.

All and all, my morning was rather productive. I got a good upper body work-out and no joint pain that whole day. That my friends, is what I would call a small victory!

Until next time….

Jogging Journal: Day 5

Monday, December 11th at 5:05 A.M: We got about 2 inches of snow last night. That meant shoveling snow off my sidewalk before heading out for my early morning jog.

At least my body wasn’t giving me any type of grief.

It took me about 30 minutes to clear off the main street side walk plus my own and salt over the concrete. There was no way I would be jogging today! Whatever energy I had in me, went into clearing those sidewalks.

Before I started walking, I checked for ice. If there is one thing I wanted to make sure to avoid, it was slipping on the pavement. If there were too many spots with ice, I would call it a day and try again tomorrow.

After testing out the traction on my shoes I forged ahead and walked the entire mile on my route. Very slowly I might add. Again, it was all about safety first.

I know that the upcoming months will be questionable for training outside. I might even have to change the times I head out for jogging if the conditions are more favorable later in the day. Got to love wintertime in Wisconsin!

Jogging Journal: Day 4

Thursday, December 7th at 4:30 A.M: Why I woke up this early, without an alarm, is beyond me! I didn’t even fall asleep until a little after midnight. Again, I am not a morning person, so this is very unusual for me.

As I dressed, my body made it known there would be some difficulties with putting on my shoes and tying them. My rheumatoid arthritis decided to make an unexpected appearance today. Just when I thought I had it under control with a higher dosage of methotrexate, the joints in my fingers refused to cooperate.

I wasn’t having it! With everything in me, I finished getting dressed and headed out to do not only one mile, but two. There was no jogging. That would have keep me bed bound the very second, I walked back through the door.

The key is knowing your body’s limitations in that moment.

I knew it would be somewhat impossible to walk, but if I could at pace myself and try to go further than the days before, I’d feel like I accomplished something great. When you live with multiple chronic illnesses, that is a big deal!

Until next time……..

Jogging Journal: Day 3

4:30A.M. on Wednesday December, 6th- I automatically woke up, thinking it was 5:15 and proceeded to get dressed. Of course, when I had dawned the 3 layers of clothing, that’s when I looked at my cell realizing it wasn’t even 5 o’clock yet!

So, I just went with it and headed outside in the 20° temps with my face mask covering everything, but my eyes.  5 minutes into my jog I came to a complete standstill. Both of my shin’s started to bother me. I haven’t felt pain in that area since I last played soccer in high school (back in 1994 to be exact!)

I didn’t want to stop, but knew jogging would only make things much worse. I forged ahead at a slow, comfortable pace. At least I would be able to do my full distance with less pain as possible. Something is better than nothing!

The moment I stepped foot in my door, I grabbed 2 ice packs and applied them to my shin’s knowing I had to take better care of them or there’d be no Day 4 of training for this gal.

 

 

Jogging Journal: Day 2

5:15 A.M. on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 – I get out of bed and my legs already feel like jello from the jogging I did the day before. The strong winds roaring outside are enough to let me know I was going to have to wear even more layers than I had anticipated.

It hadn’t even been 5 minutes yet and here I was struggling against my rheumatoid arthritis. I guess it decided it was time to rear its ugly head again. My fingers refused to cooperate as I fumbled with my clothes for at least 10 minutes to finally get fully dressed. Tying my shoes was a total nightmare!

I did a few stretches before my body made it known the only other exercising I’d be doing this morning was walking. My limbs should have loosened up the moment I walked one block, but they didn’t. They just progressively became stiffer. I could turn back and go home, but I didn’t want to. I needed to at least try to go a few more blocks and then maybe I would be okay with the distance I had already walked.

I passed the first of two gas stations with overwhelming soreness in my hips and knees. It wasn’t just my rheumatoid arthritis giving me grief. My fibromyalgia decided to join in and make the rest of my journey home an uncomfortable one.

The wind was extremely strong and frigid. One would have thought it’d be enough to make anyone want to stay inside. Not me! I was determined to complete one mile today. And that’s exactly what I did.

And what’s even better, is that during me trying to keep my mind off the throbbing pain radiating off each major joint on my body, I came up with an idea for a new book! Who would have thought that my brain could concoct a concept for my next novel and give me titles for at least 11 chapters?

That gave me more of a reason to walk as fast as I possibly could, so I could jump on my laptop and write every, little single detail down before it slips away from me.

No matter what motivation I had for today, it turned out to not be such a bad morning after all.

Till tomorrow!

Jogging Journal: Day 1 of Trainning for My First 5K

5:30 A.M. on Monday, December 4, 2017 – The sound of my alarm wakes me from my deep slumber. Normally, I’d hit the snooze button several times before deciding to get out of bed. But not on this morning. I was on a mission! One I had mentally prepared for over the past week and decided to finally put this plan into motion.

So, what had me waking up at the crack of dawn without any reservations?

I had finally convinced myself it was time to follow through with something I never saw myself doing and just go for it! I was going to start training to run my very first Miles for Migraine 5K.

Miles for Migraine is a registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit with the mission of improving the lives of migraine patients and their families, raising public awareness about headache disorders, and helping find a cure for migraine. Miles for Migraine produces fun walk/run events, typically 2 mile walk and 5k and 10k race to raise money for migraine research. We also host youth camps for kids and teens impacted by migraine or other headache disorders.

To be honest I absolutely detest running! I played soccer as a kid and well into my teens, but I ended up being the goalie. I didn’t have to put as much effort into running on the field as my teammates. I only ran laps with the team before and after practice. Which was maybe the equivalent to 2 miles.

Back then I was physically capable of running. I just did everything possible to avoid it. Now, that I want to go out and run, my body could rebel against me.

Since being diagnosed with vestibular migraine, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, I’ve struggled to keep in shape. And it has nothing to do with me not wanting to workout. Your typical type of exercises like sit-ups, has triggered nasty bouts of vertigo that can go on for hours. Even things like dancing ends with me getting painful fibro flare-ups and hurting for several days.

With all those reasons avoid participating in a marathon, I still needed to make this happen. It is with that motivation I crawled out of bed this early this morning, dressed in 3 layers of shirts, 2 pairs of socks and 1 pair of leggings, and hit the pavement on what would be my first jog through my neighborhood.

As the cold air hit only the parts of my exposed skin, I waded through puddled filled sidewalks against the rain on a mission to get through the first mile without passing out our throwing up. Yes! I’m that out of shape.

My feet moved at a steady pace, one that I was most comfortable with until the rest of my body began to slow the other parts of me down. I was out of breath, but my drive to continue, kept me moving past one business after the next.

Before too long, my house was on the horizon and within seconds I’d be able to set foot through my front door knowing I not only accomplished Day 1 of training, but that I didn’t turn around the second it went from sprinkling to pouring rain.

A minute after walking into my living room, I felt a sense of pride and a whole lot of exhaustion. This was a major milestone for me. One I will look back on and say this is what true dedication is all about.

The small sacrifice I make each morning from here on out, is going to be worth it the moment I cross that finish line. Knowing that I accomplished something I never thought possible will truly be a victorious moment for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPG Blocks: Treatment for Migraine and Cluster Headaches

Each person living with migraine experiences different outcomes when it comes to pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatments. In this article for Longevity, I share how a procedure called a SPG Block, helps with both my vestibular migraine and cluster headaches.

https://longevity.media/spg-blocks-treatment-for-migraine-and-cluster-headaches?_ga=2.31818492.372826613.1512279217-833467392.1510667544

Today Parenting Team: To The Single Parent Who Wonders If They Are Enough for Their Kids

Being a single mom, with two boys, had me a  bit worried at first. I couldn’t shake the feeling I’d fail them in some way. It’s within that bit of self doubt I had a revelation and wrote this article.

http://community.today.com/parentingteam/post/to-the-single-parent-who-feels-they-arent-enough-for-their-kids