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5:16 PM, Wednesday

So, I'm tired.

Reality of Wisconsin Winters!

January 13, 2014

Reality of Wisconsin Winters!



December 19, 2013

I’m now at 

No More Internet

June 29, 2009

I don’t get internet at home anymore so that’s why I’m gone all the time. Now that classes are starting up again I’ll try to update when I’m on campus. But it’s been one hell of a busy summer and updating would be agonizing right now. Just know I’m alive :).

Love all ya’ll

Migraines are Not Just Bad Headaches

June 11, 2009

Migraines are awful and many people seem to complain of migraines when it’s just a bad headache. I had a migraine yesterday, a very mild one. It wasn’t all that painful really. Most times mine are quite painful, but yesterday, it wasn’t. I noticed light sensitivity prior to getting it by about a half hour. If I take advil (usually four will do) right when I first notice these signs, a migraine can usually for me be avoided. If it’s already started, sometimes the pain will not get much worse, but often it’s ineffective if I don’t take them right away. \

After I noticed the light sensitivity, there was no advil with me so I was out of luck. I figured it’d be a bad night. I brought my daughter to her sleepover (we were in transit) and the migraine was already starting. The pain was mild- on a scale of 1-10 it’d have been about a two, maybe three. But, communicating was pretty difficult. I had to talk to the mom of the girl who’s party it was and I’m suprised I was able to hold a conversation.

Many times for me with migraines I get the typical light sensitivity. I often feel nauseous and occacsionally have vomited. Very fun. But I never really attributed my difficulty communicating with my migraines. After doing a tad of research, I’m pretty sure my migraines do make it difficult for me to communicate. I’ve been “struck” my migraines while on the phone with my sister (we talk every day). I can hear her, but sometimes it’s very difficult to understand what she’s saying. Not the words themselves, I hear the words, it’s putting them together in my head that is hard.

Yesterday’s migraine was quite unusual, all the regular symptoms without the debilitating pain. Of course, being unable to comprehend conversation is pretty debilitating itself.

Apparently with migraines the blood flow to the brain can increase by 300%. I don’t know if that’s really a lot or not. Maybe it increases that much with exercise, maybe it increases that much with other activities. I didn’t look into it that much.

There are phases that I never knew about. Prodrome is before the migraine by a couple days and some syptoms can go with that. I have never noticed any, but they’re pretty unnoticeable overall. Then the aural phase is right before, this phase I’ve noticed quite often and can often lead to me taking enough advil to kill the migrane before it starts- the only way for me to really have “relief”. Then their is of course the actual migraine- often for me with a decreased ability to carry on with my daily life when I have them. Then the postdrome phase- I’ve noticed this one before. For me, I’ll often have a regular headache for a day or two after having a migraine and feel generally crappy.

Before, migraines were thought to be caused by blood flow problems. Now, they think it’s some sort of brain dysnfunction. Before reading any of this, I thought the problem was inflamation because advil is an anti-inflamatory. If advil helped, I figured it was decreasing whatever inflamation was causing the problem. There is one theory that goes with my guess. It’s the depolarization theory. Basically, the neurological function is decreased in a part of the brain leading to a release of chemicals that cause inflamation.

Then there is the trigger theory which to me also applies. Maybe it’s connected somehow, the trigger possibly causing some sort of cortical depolarization. The smell of vanilla is horrid- because it triggers migraines for me. So does the strong smell of coffee, particularly if it’s fresh ground.

Whatever the cause, migraines are not fun. And possibly bad for my brain. I’m not the kind of person who likes medications but with my migraines I’ve always taken a double dose of advil (one dose doesn’t work so four right off the bat and acetominophin is just plain ineffective). If early enough in the migraine- during the aura phase, I can avoid the actual pain phase and have a somewhat normal day. I think now, after my limited research, that it’s possible that gastropareisis is causing the medication to not get through to my system once the migraine has started or if I take it too close to the actual migraine/too late in the aura phase. People with migraines, their stomaches may be affected leading to things staying in the stomach longer than typical. Which might mean the medication isn’t going anywhere. This might also be why many of us feel like we’re going to puke (and some of us do- sometimes repeatedly- throw up).

It’s possible that migranes even cause changes in the brain in the somatosensory cortex. People with migranes have a thicker somatosensory cortex. People with alzheimers also have a thicker cortex- so I hope that doesn’t mean I’m more likely to get alzheimers. MRI has also displayed brain lesions in people with migraines. That would lead me to think the depolorization theory was at least partially on track. There’s some research that says people with migraines are more likely to have a stroke. That doesn’t particularly make me all that excited to be having migraines.

Some researchers think it’s the pain of the migraine that leads to structurally changes (the thickening of the cortex) in the brain. Some think the thickening of the cortex leads to the migraines. All I want is to not have migraines.

Now, headaches aren’t associated with cortical thickness, aura’s, difficulty communicating, muscle weakness, or any number of other things that migraines are associated with. Cluster headaches are the type of headache most commonly misinterpreted for a migraine because of the intense pain associated with this type of headache.

So anyway, migraines are not just bad headaches.

Sun Causes Sneezing

June 11, 2009
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At least for me. For many years, bright lights have caused me to sneeze- particularly sunlight and particularly when first walking outside. People have told my I was crazy to think that bright lights caused me to sneeze. But it’s true.

About 60% of the population has this “disorder”. It is autosomal dominant- so it’s passed on from parents to their kids if the dominant gene is passed on vs the recessive gene. I’ve never noticedd either of my parents sneeze when walking outside, but my mom has sensitivities to lights.

It seems that this happens by overstimulation of the optic nerve which triggers the trigeminal nerve. I’ve wondered if there is any connection to this and migranes. Light sensitivity is pretty common with migranes and it would be interesting to know what percent of migrane sufferers have photic sneeze reflex from bright lights.

See wikipedia for photic sneeze reflex for more info.


June 9, 2009

steakPrimal eating is something a fellow blogger or two are interested in. Though I first termed this as clean eating, I’m more than interested in this lifestyle.

Primal nutrition and clean eating are pretty similar. The first degree of clean eating is fruits, veggies, meat, and nuts and seeds. That’s also what primal eating is. Clean eating varies person to person and definition to definition though, so I guess it would be safe to say that my clean eating is primal eating.

Things like meat, fruit, and veggies have a life span and then they die. This is what makes them real. Food that does not die is not “real” food. It’s processed crap. It’s NO better than eating dog food- yes even that “nutritious cereal” in the morning is not any better than what you put in the dog’s bowl. In fact, it’s probably worse than what you feed your dog (or cat).

But in this world of fast food, carbs, and easy sugars what are parents and families supposed to do? It’s more expensive, right?

Well, tonight I bought a bag of frozen brocolli for 97 cents. I bought four round steaks for 4.50 (no, not grass fed, but hey, got to start somewhere). That’s enough for our family of three for less than 6 dollars. And really, the brocolli is probably enough for two meals so about 5 dollars for one meal for us three. Even the steaks might be enough for a second meal for at least one of us. A trip to a fast food restaurant could easily cost us 5 dollars per person. Not only that, but the food we’d eat at a fast food place is not very nutritious and probably contains a lot of nasty stuff. Another comparison to this would be one of those “box meals”. They’re about 4 dollars around here and enough for our family of three with a tad left over- usuallly enough for one persons lunch. By going that route I’d save one dollar in the short term- but since it’s usually pasta and fillers in the processed box meals, my family is going to be hungry again- and quickly. That dollar savings doesn’t go far if my family has to eat again an hour later as the carb crashing begins. And think of the long term health damage of processed foods… Eating good foods (food that lives and dies) is by far better for health than any of that processed junk you find in the boxes in the grocery store.

But again, with kids and families, what to do? They want that junk. They see it on TV, their friends are eating it, and they drive past it every time they’re in the car with us in forms of signs and fast food dives every half a block. Our compromise here is trying a new food each week. This week I’m trying steak again with my daughter and husband. This is on the menu for Thursday night. I plan to take it slow, I haven’t had red meat in over five years. With eating primal, I can’t live on chicken and turkey for the rest of my life and I know that. It’s just that I never much liked red meat. There is no way I’ll be able to eat pork again and I know that for certain, but I’ve been on the fence about steaks for a couple years now. It’s just taken me this long to build up the courage to actually put a bite in my mouth again (in two days from now actually, so not quite the courage yet tonight 😉 ).

When kids see us modeling this behavior and making it FUN to try new things, they learn food doesn’t have to be in a wrapper. With consistent variety in meals, and trying new things, eating is a mystery and exciting (and yes, sometimes a tad scary). They might even learn they like things mom and dad don’t.

But yet, that temptation is there and this is my plan to deal with it- I still have two cheat meals per week. Tuesday and one other day of the week. Tuesday because I work in a different city on Tuesdays and it just makes my night easier to pick something up (even if it is more costly). And one other meal because even I miss carbs sometimes. So, two cheat meals. Not just for me, but for my family. Plus my daughter does eat bread, pasta’s, and other “dog food” (aka read processed foods) during her lunches and snacks during the day. So, she has her lunches that although not primal, are not totally unclean either.

The other way we’re dealing with the issue is for everyone to be able to pick out one item of “pure processed nastyness” to have for the week. My daughter picked a box of ginger snaps for the week. I have some frosted oatmeal cookies. This is new for me so maybe I can skip my cheat night, right? hehe, we’ll see about that.

I can’t force my family to eat primal, I can’t even do it 100% of the time. It’s not something a person MUST do 100% of the time either. Doing a little is better than doing nothing. Eating primal will get easier as time goes on. It’s an adjustment in a lifestyle for most of us. If only one meal is primal to start with, so be it. I eat two meals per day (though my lunch lasts from 10:30 am till about 2pm with a little here and a little of it there). That’s 14 meals per week. If I have a “perfect week” that’s 12 primal meals since I get two free. Well, even if it was the other way around with only two primal meals, it’s certainly better than NO primal meals.

Every bite of every meal matters. Don’t eat dog food.


June 6, 2009

The truth is that I’ve been working quite alot lately. And I might be bordering on being burned out a bit. In fact I slept from 7 pm yesterday till 6 am today. Then I ended up with the afternoon off today so I came home, chatted for a bit, and then instead of doing my paperwork I took another nap after sleeping 11 hours yesterday. I feel much better. MUCH MUCH better.

But I still have a headache that hasn’t gone away for two days (post migrane headache, should be gone tomorrow if patterns continue as they do).

I haven’t eaten as well as I’d have liked. I haven’t gotten to the park as often as I’d like. I haven’t cleaned my house as often as I’d like either. Mostly, I’m getting through my work day, coming home and doing what I can before I fall on my face at night. So, it’s quarter to ten and I’m about to go to bed again.

I know I haven’t been the best “blog friend” as of late and I’m sorry for that. I am doing my best and I will stop in eventually to visit you all. And maybe, one of these days, I’ll post something worth reading :).