Comforting Clutter

There is something a little scary in hoarders who become emotionally attached to their things such that they cannot function in the world.  And there is something admirable in people who can discard half or more of their things, to declutter their lives, and feel such relief from it.  I, on the other hand, am somewhere inbetween. 

I don't really care about the TV, the DVD player, the video game systems and whatnot.  I could be rid of all those in a minute, although my man might have a fit if I did.  When we first moved into our own house about three years ago, we did not have enough stuff to fill it, so we went forth and began the process of filling it.  To me it is about making a house a home.  I like to be surrounded by things that either make me feel good when I look at them, are aesthetically pleasing, or have a memory I like to remember encoded within them.

One thing I have noticed is that I do not like bare walls.  I like my walls filled with pictures that appeal to me, sooth me, or pictures that remind me of places I have been.  Ansel Adams was a black and white photographer that did many nature pics, that I love.  While the pictures of places I have been and family anchor me to the memories, because my ability to recall the past is hazy at best.  Pain fixes me in the present and it is difficult to remember all those good times, so pictures encode those memories and bring them to life for me.

If I was ever tempted to be a hoarder it would be with books.  I have one room literally stuffed with them.  I like knowing that right at my fingertips I have worlds available to me, stories I remembered fondly and can escape into again and again.  I do weed them out and donate boxes worth every year.  Those that I will never read again.

Then there are the nicknacks.  The things I bought other places in other times that I again find aesthetically pleasing or envoke a memory.

Yeah, clutter can be good.

Migraines and my IQ

Not a surprising statement when you consider the symptoms of a migraine; pain, mental fog and so forth. I just did one of those standard IQ tests and got a 131, which is slightly lower than my usual which is anywhere from 135 to 140 depending on the test and my desire to focus on it, but my original one was 140. I have a moderate migraine right now, and the last time I took a test with a migraine it was around the same. Obviously, if I did one with an acute migraine, it would be around 80, but who would want to torment themselves like that? Gods, a verbal test would even be worse.

I was curious to know what sort of change there would be to my IQ in general... from the lack of focus, to the inability to access long term memory.   According to a radio show 132 is a genius, but I am pretty sure most scales consider the 140's to be that. Because really, if you consider 100 to be average, mid range for average anyway, 30 above that is not all that dramatic. Getting into the 160's, now that is impressive. Some scales suggest that 125-134 is gifted and is associated with the level of university graduates, so not suprising in my case. The next above would be highly gifted, at 135-144 which be the level of 'intellectuals'. Above 200 would be unmeasurable genius, which is really too high to be sane.

According to this test I completed, 145 is a genius, 130 is gifted, 115 is superior and 90 is average. First of all I would like to know how the average went from 100 to 90... and is that a bad sign? I know there is a range to normal, 85-115, but still I though average was based on 100. My range seems to be the same no matter what. I mean there are different scores, with different bias tests, but the range is generally the same. Aside from migraine and FMS fog of course.  It seems to stick between 130-140.
But I can tell you that IQ has little difference to make in your success in life.  Because of course it is a limited test... considering only particular facets of our intelligence. The more intelligent you are the harder it will be to find your niche in life and the less satisfaction you will get from many things. Plus it has little to say about your ability to function. My brother says the more intelligent a person is the more crazy they are, and he may very well be right about that. It certainly seems to me when you think about all the people with exceptional IQs they are a utter loons, socially inept or extremely exccentric. Not that that is a bad thing, mind you. You know my theory; everyone needs a little crazy to stay sane.

Take these following estimations... estimated by smart peoples...
Rene Descartes was estimated to have an IQ of 180, and I am sure that is surprising to many. When you consider his logic. :)
Kant is estimated at 175, and really I would have thought it higher due to his inability to constuct a sentence that makes sense. Most annoying philospher of the year award goes to him.
Hitler makes it to 140 and perhaps we can say his twisted logic outweighed his common sense and compassion. Perhaps a reason why intelligent people do not rule the world, but what a perfect place, for them (his was a crazy scary place, but his version of utopia I guess), they would try and make it be... if they could ever get over the thinking phase of the plan that is.
Einstein is at 160, and that is not too surprising really.
Bill Gates is also at 160, which actually is surprising. Given his field and accomplishments, not because of his business sense or wealth of course.
David Hume was at 180, and really for such a smarty pants I would have expected his work to be more spectacular, or at least more wild thoughts.
George berkely is at 190, and that is bordering on crazy smart, a little more crazy than smart on his part. If I leave the room you all cease to exits... ha ha... hee hee... refute that!
Da Vinci is estimated at 220, need I say more?
Plato is estimated at 170, and packed full of crazy.

So smart or crazy? Is there a difference. Not really. Semantics. :)

So sure migraines affect our tesing scores.  I was terrified when I took some classes for work it would affect my ability to test, if I had a migraine at that time, since all that knowledge is hard to come to the surface at your beck and call, not to mention typo hell and useing the wrong words, and the wrong tense.  Then there is that migraine fog, where it is like thinking through a brain of pudding... hard to be critical and rational when you can even read a sentence and have it make sense.  Fortunately, I seem to still test well.  Usually.  I don't interview well though. 
The perks for migraines and thinking are those manic migraines, as I call them, where you think a bazillion thoughts a minute, inspirations hit left right and center and ideas just come to you.  I love this time and not only can I work like a demon on crack, but it is my most creative time.  Full of creativity, in many forms.
Then I think of that study that shows we have less cognative decline as we age and I think, so I am dumber than dirt sometimes... when I am 90 I will be sharp as a tack.

Just not feeling good about it

Stopped by work today to fax off some more short term leave docs to my neuro and had a chat with my boss.  Just sitting there talking to her reminded me that I am not doing well.  I think I am when I am at home, when I am managing my pain.  But, no, I am not.  Within two seconds of that conversation I felt that Guilt for not working.  When she asked how I was doing I had no idea how to reply, since just thinking about work makes me feel anxious and decidedly not well.  I think about what I went through and, hell no, I don't want to endure all that again, because I damn well know it will put me in the same frame of mind I was before. I had no idea how to answer when I might return.  Some of my family thinks never is a good idea all things considered.  My shrink thinks I need to be on long term and then can decide my options, but believes that returning to that work environment might not be a good idea.  My doctor is quite indifferent.  My neuro also thinks I need to be on long term.  Really, it is not up to me, since my choices are always not what is best for me but what I think I should do.  If I return, and I return too early, such as before I even know if certain medications are effective, then I am screwed... because I know that I will keep on going, despite the pain, despite the stress and frustrations and emotional turmoil... because that is what I always do. I try to cope as best I can even when I can't... then I pretend I am, until I can't pretend any more.  Which obviously has not worked out so well for me.  So the idea is to have a substantial medical change so that when I return I can cope, which I don't even know is possible yet.  My boss does not want me to return until I am 100% better, which is impossible, but what she means is emotional stable and to a point where the pain is manageable.  Yeah, so mentally and emotionally still not quite recovered since I still feel that horrific guilt about what I think I should be doing rather than what I am currently capable of doing, I am still anxious and damn terrified at the idea of going back to work, just deeply afraid of how I will respond to all that stress while enduring all those migraines.  I know it is not possible for me to work full time and not miss a day when I have as many migraines as I do, but particularly have a week and a half status migraine every month.  I have lost my confidence to cope in that situation and you need to believe you can in order to survive it, which right now, I really don't.  And really, I have not quite come to terms that I have other options available to me, since financial stability is a concern.

Rather ruined my mood really.

Christmas is just around the corner

I love Christmas.  I don't like the hype and I get totally annoyed with all the Christmas music on the radio, but I love the holiday.  I love gifts and I love giving gifts... even if this year I had to cut my budget quite a bit.  I like the meal and the gathering of family.  It's all good in my books.

I bought 90% of my gifts online again this year.  It is just such a hassle otherwise.  And to the left you can see while doing so I went and designed a few things for my 'Hermit shop Cafepress'... because that site is awesome, not just for creating something for yourself, or selling designs and what not... but simply the availability of some pretty cool gifts.  I personally like the photography, illustrations and artwork framed prints.... because I like that sort of thing anyway and can't beat the price.  I am also absurdly fond of having and buying for others humorous t-shirts... I just can't seem to stop myself!  Then I usually hit Amazon for random things like books or music.  Best buy for video games.  Now I just hope eveything arrives on time, because sometimes I don't time these things well... amazon for example might be sending something from across the border which takes insanely long these days.  Or with best buy it might not be in stock right of the bat if it is popular.  That is why I went mostly with Cafepress this time around, because I was late off the get go.  There is another good one I used last year that has loads of overstock items but I seem to have forgotten it.  And Ebay is always an option, but if I ever shopped on there I would have to make sure I had plenty of time, since who knows where someone is shipping from?

I totally like the low stress shopping.  You have to watch about using your credit card... going to good sites for one, but for the best security is using a Paypal account, since it is an option most sites have and is a secure online bank really.

I am feeling edgy after one heck of a migraine

I was completely knocked down for the count today with an intensely acute migraine.  It started of manageable and I puttered around the house trying to be useful, then it just slammed into full gear.  And with this baby it was extremely painful in the temples, which is something I got after my botox treatment as well, new pathway for pain I guess.  Also got those electric shooting pain with movement.  Then I literally felt my brain slow down into utter bimbo mode as I frantically tried to get rid of the beast.  Between a tramacet and my abortive, Maxalt, it was killed, mostly.  Unfortunately, the dang abortive gave me chest pains again, not insanely back angina pain though, just those sharp twinges of pain that hitch your breathing and make you wonder about cardiovascular complications.  It sure was a whopper.  I am left with an ache in my head and some nasty shoulder and neck pain.  No discernable trigger for this one, but there is not always something I can point to, or blame... it just is what it is.

Ah the power of Google and Doubt

I am sure many people with Fibromyalgia wonder is it really Fibromyalgia or something more sinister.  I was thinking about the whole rash and bruising issue and so used the power of Google to help me out.  One thing for certain... not eczema... stupid ER doc.  It is in fact petechiae (little red dots) that when I itch or rub turn into thousands of petechiae which since it is blood pooling upward do then spread into some impressive bruises that take their time in leaving.  The cause for the petechiae?  A whole lot of not fun.  One thing that can cause it is medication... but I have not been on any medication as long as I have had this phenomena.  One thing that leaps out is that it could be a symptom of Lupus, which way back when I was a kid with mysterious bruising one doc thought I had, that combined with my impressively fluctuating and high ANA count.  Yet nothing could be determined at the time and like a decade later, after me complaining about the same dang things to different doctors, they clued in it was FMS.  But this whole petechiae and bruising issue is not a FMS thing, although FMS does come with its fun skin complaints, but this is more a bleeding or autoimmune thing.  Or maybe some weird allergy or anemia.  I hate when things do not fit under the right umbrella because frankly this is not the sort of thing I want to bring to my doctor to puzzle over and waffle over a different diagnosis... but if I do go see him about it, maybe on my regular med refill visit, I will make sure to scratch the hell out of my arm and show him the thousands of little red dots that magically appear.  Anyway, it is damned annoying is what it is.  Having a condition like Fibromyalgia is a pain as it is, with its hundreds of annoying symptoms and nonexistent treatments.  Like I need another issue or health concern to add to it all.  The thing about Lupus is that it is so similar in symptoms to FMS, and has the same comorbid conditions I have included into it, such that, yeah, it fits, but to prove it is another matter altogether. 

The mesage here is don't Google these things.  Just not a good idea.  Make you all hypocondriac like.  Yeah, it seems like if you get these petechiae and bleeding or bruising it should be looked at... but it has been looked at, more than once.  Once I was just itching a itch and got a streak of those dots and then out of curiousity itched a different area and got more... eventually thinking maybe I was having an allergic reaction when to the doc, who concured and gave me a shot of benydryl.  Then the next time same sort of thing and was told it was eczema even though it is never on the hands, elbows or feet.  The next time a doc said it was like an allergic reaction, but not really, more like an allergy sensativity to a multitude of things.  Well, that is just plain not helpful and did any of them look to validate their opinion with like an allergy test or a skin specialists... thats a big hell no.  So I figgered not important... just don't scratch any itch, even through clothing.  That makes me rather not inclined to bring it up once again, since my docs are more concerned over my migraines and my lack of coping with them, which is rather something I want them to focus on.

Darvon taken off the US market darvon FDA  suggests Darvon and Darvocet be taken off the market in the US.  Not sure about Canada.  I remember being on that one myself back in the day.  Either way looks like studies say it is bad for the ticker.
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday that Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals has agreed to halt marketing of Darvon and the related brand Darvocet, which have been subject to safety concerns for decades.
The FDA has also called on generic drugmakers to stop marketing low-cost drugs containing the active ingredient in Darvon, called propoxyphene.
About 10 million people in the U.S. received prescriptions for Darvon and related drugs in 2009, according to the FDA.
Friday's action puts the U.S. in line with Britain and the European Union, which previously decided to ban Darvon because of suicides and accidental overdoses. The drug is listed as an approved medication in Health Canada's online database.
FDA officials said they decided to take action based on a recent study showing Darvon interferes with the electrical activity of the heart, causing irregular heart rhythms that can be fatal.
"With the new study results, for the first time we now have data showing that the standard therapeutic dose of propoxyphene can be harmful to the heart," Dr. Gerald Dal Pan, director of FDA's office of surveillance and epidemiology, said in a statement.
Read more:"
Quality of life- The Daily migraine   
One thing that it mentions is how a chronic and painful condition can slowly take away activities that were enjoyable. And as the author says, often the improvement of a person’s overall quality of life is the goal of medical care, especially when a cure is not possible. So it turns out that understanding what activities make a person happy and content is really important when deciding what medical care is appropriate.

Indeed so I have learned... doing things that improve the quality of life... or the desire to live at all... are just as, or more vital, than the treatments.  And yes, doctors definately should consider this with uncurable conditions, but I find they often do not.  My doctor is a rather indifferent sort.  Before I made my dramatic statement that my quality of life totally sucked, he was not at all aware or even concerned with how I was handling the pain.  Even when I said I was not.  Even when I said it is making it difficult to work.  To think.  To get out of bed.  It was always about try this drug or a quasi sympathtic remark.  Nothing to suggest how I could have a better quality of life given that my chronic migraines were not getting better, given that I do not have decades to wait for them to come up with something that works better.  I needed to know how to have any sort of life given the current state of affairs.  I find it so wierd that he did not pick up the obvious facts I was giving him, important details to how the pain was too much to handle mentally and emotionally.  It was like it was not his concern or problem.  I think it should be a doctors concern.  He can't possibly cure me, so he should be helping me find ways to improve the life I have... instead of me desperately floundering for ways to help myself cope in situations where the pain was too much to bear.  It is like when they tell you to exercise but don't give you any clue on how you are to attain that goal given your current state of health.

Winter is really, really here now

Fall seemed to linger for the longest time, which is fine by me.  Then came a snow storm, all night long, and a plument in temperature and from one day to the next full blown winter.  It did aggravate my migraines when it hit.  And I really want to be a hermit now that it is here... so my going out and venturing into public thing has been slacking... because it is cold out there, and bright, and all that glaring whiteness of it all.  The things about winter...

1) It makes me want to hibernate
2) I hate all the snow... it makes my eyeballs hurt
3) There is not too much fluz in the weather, so not too many sudden weather changes to cause migraines
4) If I have a migraine and I go outside when it is windy and frigid it actually makes my head hurt... just the cool air compressing my skull and the wind biting causing my skin to hurt, because my skull skin is oversensitized from the migraine.
5) I rather feel being a hermit works this time of year really.

Sick or not?

I have been feeling under the weather a bit, but it is just some nasty nausea.  Which means I could be getting sick or it could be a digestive thing or it could be a migraine thing.  Funny how it is when you are chronically ill that we are so very aware of our body's state of being (good pain day, bad pain day, weird symptom day) such that we don't even know when we are sick or just feeling ill.  Not that it really matters one way or the other, but if I knew I was coming down with something I could amp my vitamin C or some other alternative.

There are so many various degrees of crapiness with Fibromyalgia it is really hard to say sometimes what is normal crap or not.  Sometimes it is hard to say whether it is worth mentioning to a doctor.  For example I get this rash every time I scratch that a doc once told me was eczema, which it could be.  I scratch and thousands of little pinprick red dots magically appear, then spread out and turn purple and then look like bruises.  And I wonder if it is an allergy, if it is eczema or if it is a medication thing.  But it never really concerns me enough to mention it.  It is just a weird thing.  Nausea for no apparent reason is also a weird thing that is all to frequent.  But since my recent bout of migraines has diminished, I don't think it is a migraine thing.  There is simply just a flux of symptoms that irritate, make me feel ill, or tired but are all part of the syndrome.  People think FMS is all about the pain, but really the normal amount of pain is not too bad, but all the symptoms can get nasty.

The best laid plans of mice and men...

often go with rye... oops, I mean awry.  It is not an easy feat to cope with chronic pain on a daily basis.  I hardly think I am the first to say that!  Nevertheless, we have our methods of coping, of distracting ourselves, tricks to ease the pain, meds to numb the pain and numerous other little things that make day to day life tolerable. 

And that all goes to heck the moment we are confronted with acute suffering, or enduring severe pain... pain that cannot be denied and rather does not like to be ignored.  All those things I have been fitting into my routine go right out the window along with my will power.  If I can't sleep then how am I to have a normal sleep routine?  If I feel so ill I can't even think about food how am I to eat throughout the day?  Exercise?  You have to be kidding me... I am having issues just getting out of bed.

It's crazy really.  All these things I am supposed to do in order to tolerate the pain better are litterally impossible to do for about a week to two weeks a month when I am suffering from a status migraines induced by my lovely hormones, which also makes the FMS not too fun to hang around with as well.  So this is one nasty, acute migraine that is difficult to treat that lasts a minimum of a week.  Which is why I had issues not calling in sick every month because by the time I got to day three of that seven days of hell I felt overwhelmed by the pain and quite ill from the symptoms of migraines.  So point is... there goes any attempt at a routine.  Then I have to get back into it when the pain goes back to normal.  Every freakin month.

This month being extra special because the weather is turning which has prolonged my prolonged migraine.  Which makes me think way back in the day with certain cultures when a woman had 'that time of the month' they were bed ridden or secluded for the duration... and I think that is an awesome idea, since apparently I don't accomplish much anyway and forcing myself to do so really, really sucks (and obviously has not worked so well for me).  So in theory I would handle working better if during the times when I have a status migraine, most definately 'that freakin time of the month' I would simply have that time period off.  It is either that or more effective ER treatment for status migraines, which is just crazy talk.

Bad Migraine Day Makes Brainless Blogger Totally Brainless

The thing about freelance writing on the side, which you might notice has included my health related essays, is that it does require some brain power.  I got absolutely nothing done today.  Had a nasty migraine from the get go... then it got worse and I was all fuzzy headed and lost the hearing on the left side.  So much migraine fun.  I managed one wee article, part of another and printed up a manuscript to send to a publisher.  Still a little something something anyway, but I am totally drained.  That being said I am having loads of fun writing!

How to save money when you're gimpy

Well, being on leave from work means my income has gone down 25% so far, and more if I am off much longer.  This has made a dent in the old bank book, as in a big monthly negative dent.

1) Create a new budget: Obviously you still need to pay debts, unfortunately obviously, so those must remain in a buget, unless you want to get called incessently from collective agencies.  So you need to chop the other expenses such as groceries and entertainment. 
         a) With groceries, you don't want to stop eating, as that would be conterproductive to surviving your gimpiness.  And many of us have dietary habits that are not cheap... you try buying something without MSG.  So basically it is a matter of going back to basics.  Cut out all the crap really.  The chips, the cookies, the yum yums.  Take advantage of things on sale or cheap brands rather than your fav brand.  Take advantage of coupons, even though, man, they are annoying.
         b) You can essentially cut out all entertaiment.  If your a gimpy hermit, you likely don't have much expenses here anyway.  Although how people expect you to go to yoga or swim classes or anything else when your broke is beyond me... but then again, is that really 'entertainment'
         c) Quit smoking and/or gambling and/or any other expensive vice.

2) Preserve instead of purchase: in the need to save funds don't buy any new anything.  Keep on wearing what your wearing and eventually it will come back into style.  Re-read books instead of getting new ones or borrow books from friends or start reading the backs of ceral boxes. 

3) Only choose hobbies that require no money or ones that, even better, make money.  Things like taking long walks to nowhere and watching things and meditating about the nothingness you are now surrounded with.

4) Recycle and sell:  Recyling can get you a wee bit of return on your consumption of pop or booze.  And you can start selling off your crap on Ebay, or at the local pawn shop.  If you are a hoarder, this will pull in some serious dollars and pennies.

5) Consider your housing... have you ever thought about living in a tent?  I bet it would be cool.  or have you ever thought of renting out any rooms you have in your house to random people?  I bet that would be freaky, but make you some moola.

6) Consider your bills:  Seriously, how hot does the house have to be when you can wrap yourself in sweaters and blankets?  Think about not flushing the toilet all the time or showering every second day.  And if you are photosensative, then remember, you don't need any light in the house during the day and very little if any at night.

I'm Just Saying...

On my blog I have it set that each post is moderated... because, man, I get loads of spam.  Anyway, that's how I roll.  On other blogs I frequent they have that little security word to make sure your not robot, which is a good idea... but, dang, I hate those.  I hate them because my migraine addled brain is dyslexic and confused... it never is able to choose the right letters or even sometimes tell what it is supposed to be.

It is a lot like stripes and checkers... my eyes just go all wonky seeing those.  I abhor closely striped shirts, since it immediately makes my eyes go all wierd and puts my brain in a trancelike state, in which I cannot understand a dang thing someone is saying to me.

And it is a lot like flashing and moving icons... I think sometimes those things might just throw me into a seizure.

I need to fix my brain eyeball connection.  It is broke good.

I would love to just redirect you to the new site...

But sadly the redirect function doesn't function. I will continue to persist hitting it and see if it will eventually do something. Or s...