#MHAM #MHAMBC #Migraine Monster

Day 26 of migraine awareness month: Describe your Headache or Migraine monster – what does it look like in your imagination or your dreams? 





Migraine Monster

Insidious creeping beast,
Hovering in the edges of my mind
It's going to make me its feast;
Digging in, groans and mined

Blinding, sharp creature
finding all the hard edges of my brain
It is the breaker;
Feeding on the splinters of my pain.
My monster. My Bane

Twitter: nikki_Albert
 Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrainlessBlogger
 blog: http://brainlessblogger.blogspot.ca
 Tumblr: http://hermitbrainlessblogger.tumblr.com


Day #1 post “What would you do if your dream of a totally pain- and symptom-free life, came true?”
Day #2 post "Bed of Clouds poem to ponder"
Day #3 post "Recurrent dreams"
Day #4 post  "Still I Rise"
Day #5 post "Monsters"
Day #6 post "Ways to raise awareness."
Day #7 post "What I do for Awareness"
Day #8 post "Do not forget to live"
Day #9 post "What fear can teach us."
Day #10 post  "Twilight is the best light."
Day #11 post "dream a little dream"
Day #12 post "Who moved my cheese"
Day #13 post "Faces of Migraine"
Day 14 post "Mulan"
Day #15 post "only human"
Day #16 post "perspective is everything."
Day #17 post "imagine a treatment"
Day #18 post "I dreamed a dream video"
Day #19 post "IF poem"
Day #20 post "Daydreaming"
Day #21 post "Body language"
Day #22 post "support system"
Day #23 post "John Lennon quote"
Day #24 post 'Hold on"
Day #25 post "Why change is hard"



The battle of the pain clinics

I went to a pain clinic referred to by my neuro. They have suggested that I exercise doing as I have been doing; yoga and walking. Increasing the amount I can do within my limits as to not cause a flare. They also put me on slow release tomadol to help with all pain from all pain conditions. I asked if it would cause a migraine rebound issue but was told that since I had no issue with that medication or with tramacet which is my current rescue, then taking it daily would not be a problem. They wanted me to try it for a month to see for sure. It is in fact helping a great deal at the dosage I am on, minimum, and I don't think I need more than that. It also is not giving me rebound headaches, as I know what that feels like since T3s definitely do.


The second pain clinic I was refereed to by my doctor. It took a year to get into that damn place. They want me to do a lot of exercise. Aerobic more so than walking and yoga. He said he recommends yoga to his elderly patients. Yeah. He wants me to do an hour of aerobic exercise every day. But, I can start with half an hour to get used to it. He believes the tramadol will help with this. I think he is under a false assumption that the tramadol is way more effective than it is and way stronger than it is. Then after a month of this apparently my migraines and FM should be vastly improved and so I can be taken off of the tramadol And my Lyrica. He does realize the Lyrica is how I am able to do a damn bit of exercise doesn't he? And if I still have some migraines (ya think) then he wants to try botox again (which I had no effect from the first time I tried.)

So they conflict in opinions quite a bit here on what type of exercise, how to go about it and medications. Lovely.

Now I have heard the painkiller business from every neuro I have ever been to. So that literally is nothing new. That is why I asked the first pain clinic about it and my migraines. I am not sure that we rebound from every single medication. However, I am also not sure it is a good idea to be on them long term either. So I waffle on the idea of the tramadol. If my migraines improved then I would obviously not give a damn. As they are now they cannot get worse and the tramadol obviously helps manage the pain. And pain management is nice. Plus it is helping me exercise to the point that I currently am. It does not help me do more... for example my painting fence adventure was extremely painful, painkiller or not, so it is doubtful any painkiller would be helpful for any more exercise than what is within my limits. But it is helping me get beyond what I was capable of before and that is a good thing.

The exercise thing however I am firmly of the opinion of the first pain clinics ideas. Because they are right in regards to people who have migraines and other chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and hypermobility syndrome. While the second group seems to think that study on migraines means I can jump on in and do all that aerobic exercise... and it will be effective, they seem to forget I may not even be able to jump on in and do any of that without severely flaring my symptoms and/or causing injury. The first group is under the opinion that one should find their limits, whatever they are, and progress slowly from there at a nice steady pace doing the sorts of exercises recommended for fibromyalgia. Seems logical. Because as the woman said, if you flare up you will not be exercising for days due to excessive pain, and that does not seem beneficial at all.

I had no idea they would differ so dramatically in what course of action they would believe is right given my health conditions. I thought they would just have interesting approaches to try. Not just exercise. Well, obviously some exercise but guided in some way or form. Apparently not. Apparently this is pretty basic stuff.

The second group is sending me to a psychologist who specializes in pain to help with pain management strategies. They might have new ideas I have not heard of. And also to a physiotherapist who will help me figure out an exercise routine that works. I hope that dude knows what fibromyalgia and hypermobility syndrome are. Apparently hypermobility syndrome is rare enough that none of these people get what it is, just that I have wonky joints. But those wonky joints are painful and do not exactly move as they should.

Anyway, I am going to soon be in A Lot of Pain. And I am going to cause that pain. Ironic isn't it. I am literally going to inflict the massive amounts of pain on myself... in hopes that it will reduce the pain. However, I am sticking to my current routine until after my holidays. Because I want to be able to move during my holidays. Just a funny quirk of mine, liking to move without a crapload of pain.

#MHAM #MHAM #migraine Day 25 Why change is so damn hard

Day 25 migraine awareness month “Why Change is So Hard” video: This short video (embed video) goes to bat for the “lazy people” who resist the change they dream of, and why they might not actually be lazy at all! What do you think about the intriguing research discussed here, and what do you think you would do if you’d participated in the study? Do you think this explains how you act when you’re in the middle of a headache or migraine attack?





This is intriguing.  The speaker basically states that constantly monitoring our behavior, as in when we want to adjust or change a habit or behavior involves a lot of self control and is mentally exhausting.  We all know this to be true. It takes a long time to establish a knew habit such that it becomes a new ingrained habit we do without thinking. And it is easy to slip up our fallback on old habits when we try to make changes.

And the damnable thing is that with chronic illness we are Constantly trying to make changes to our lifestyle and health routines. Because it is said to be good for us. Maybe. Might be. Who the hell knows half the time. Some of those studies are pretty half assed. But we do it. Half the time I do it just to get the neuro to shut the hell up about it. But I do it. And it is damn exhausting. At times I think maybe it is because these people demand so much all at once that these tasks become insurmountable. I think if it were one change at a time in small steps it would be easier on the brain. And I would be less inclined to want to smack the neuro up side the head. And then say you accomplish something, like losing weight, and you go back... then it is Something Else that might help instead and you just want to scream. It is always something. And it always will be something. And that is what is so damn exhausting. No one is perfect and we cannot be perfect for these people because they will find some sort of change they think we can do that will help us, no matter what we have already done.

That being said, we want to progress and try to adapt and change and see what changes may help us out. But I believe firmly that we should pace ourselves. Make small achievable goals on Our timeline and no one else's. However it is difficult to progress that is for sure. Pain is a difficult stumbling block to overcome on a constant basis when you combine in with all the other changes you have to make. It reminds me of my battle to quit smoking. When I am stressed and in a lot of pain I would smoke, especially at work. They were very tied together. It never worked when I tried to quit because every time I got into a strong cycle of pain I would start up again. Even now that I am not working I find it difficult to overcome the habit although I have gotten down to 9-10 smokes a day which is substantially better. I just need to overcome that last hurdle. Nevertheless it is a large one, when pain is that stress trigger. Yet I am letting myself have the time to do so, since I am determined to achieve the goal.

And that is a problem right there. That actual migraines themselves. So you have these goals set out to change something in particular and to do so you are monitoring your behavior all the time to resist the temptation to go back to the way things were. And along comes the migraine and all that pain. And the temptation to go 'screw it' because you are in a lot of pain and you are tired. Back to my smoking example. Smoking would provide a stress relief for me when I had No way to manage the pain. As in the pain was just going to be there and there was nothing I could do but wait it out. And so I would have a smoke and relax for a bit. So taking that away is hard. A constant effort. When the migraines hit, it is twice as much effort, especially when I have nothing to manage the pain with.

Frankly I think we need to give ourselves a bit of a break to be honest. I think when we are in a lot of pain maybe it is hard to keep to some of our goals all of the time. That does not mean we screwed up the entire goal if we faltered one day. In the end it means it may take us more time to achieve our goals and that I think is fine. We can have a lot of goals we want to achieve so taking our time, pacing ourselves, having small steps in mind can really help out. And one goal at a time is also a good idea.

Twitter: nikki_Albert
 Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrainlessBlogger
 blog: http://brainlessblogger.blogspot.ca
 Tumblr: http://hermitbrainlessblogger.tumblr.com


Day #1 post “What would you do if your dream of a totally pain- and symptom-free life, came true?”
Day #2 post "Bed of Clouds poem to ponder"
Day #3 post "Recurrent dreams"
Day #4 post  "Still I Rise"
Day #5 post "Monsters"
Day #6 post "Ways to raise awareness."
Day #7 post "What I do for Awareness"
Day #8 post "Do not forget to live"
Day #9 post "What fear can teach us."
Day #10 post  "Twilight is the best light."
Day #11 post "dream a little dream"
Day #12 post "Who moved my cheese"
Day #13 post "Faces of Migraine"
Day 14 post "Mulan"
Day #15 post "only human"
Day #16 post "perspective is everything."
Day #17 post "imagine a treatment"
Day #18 post "I dreamed a dream video"
Day #19 post "IF poem"
Day #20 post "Daydreaming"
Day #21 post "Body language"
Day #22 post "support system"
Day #23 post "John Lennon quote"
Day #24 post 'Hold on"

#MHAM #MHAMBC #MIgraine Day24 Hold On

Day 24 of migraine awareness month “Hold On” video Wilson Phillips:
Watch the Wilson Phillips video below, then write on: When it seems Migraine has dragged us down into the pits of despair, changing our lives until we barely recognize ourselves, what do you do to hold on and keep fighting for your dream of better health?



This song can be easily related to the battle of chronic pain. To the struggle to hold on. And also to the struggle to adapt and change.We are in pain and that is a fact. But we have to hold on. For another day. Another week. Another year. We have no idea when things will improve for the better or how they will improve for the better, so we just have to hold on and fight until then. A damn long and hard battle it is too.

We can get lost in the pain. In the survival mode of just getting through the pain day by day. Depression can be an added burden as well. And honestly I have no idea what I do during those times to hold on when it just seems insane to do so. Just the will to do so it seems. Or the time distorting factor of pain such that you forget how long you have been stuck like that. Or the common sense to refuse to think about the future and how it may resemble the present too closely for comfort. I just live my life of inches. Getting through the pain moments. Trying to get enough sleep.

Because I am an introvert I always during these times, and just for general coping as well, try to find some alone time in there. Getting some time for myself to rejuvenate and recuperate always helps me in the long run. During this time I do things just for myself. Like writing or reading and just try to get my center back.

I always tell myself that no matter how brutal the pain is at that time, no matter how much I think I cannot endure, that it will pass. And it will get better. And I will have days I can cope better. I know this from past experience. I know it more than the lie that the pain tells me; that it will never go away and will consume my future. So I just need to hold on until then.

One of the largest lessons I have learned from chronic migraines is that 'holding on' is not 'pushing through the pain until I see a neuro and hopefully this time he comes up with something that does something'. Pushing through the pain on a constant basis and living in that survival mode means dealing with excessive amounts of pain and suicidal ideation as a result. I have learned that I need to change the circumstances surrounding that in order to cope more effectively. No, 'holding on' is fundamentally understanding that I cannot be strong every day and some days I will have a harder time coping than other days with the pain, some weeks will be worse than others, and that I just need to understand all things change and it will pass. I will be strong again. I will cope again. We cannot be strong every minute of every day. We all have days where the pain gets to us and that is fine. When I am in a great deal of pain I like to think 'This too shall pass' because while chronic migraines may endure, each migraine ends, so it will end. Just like when I have trouble coping with the pain, that too will pass.

Twitter: nikki_Albert
 Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrainlessBlogger
 blog: http://brainlessblogger.blogspot.ca
 Tumblr: http://hermitbrainlessblogger.tumblr.com


Day #1 post “What would you do if your dream of a totally pain- and symptom-free life, came true?”
Day #2 post "Bed of Clouds poem to ponder"
Day #3 post "Recurrent dreams"
Day #4 post  "Still I Rise"
Day #5 post "Monsters"
Day #6 post "Ways to raise awareness."
Day #7 post "What I do for Awareness"
Day #8 post "Do not forget to live"
Day #9 post "What fear can teach us."
Day #10 post  "Twilight is the best light."
Day #11 post "dream a little dream"
Day #12 post "Who moved my cheese"
Day #13 post "Faces of Migraine"
Day 14 post "Mulan"
Day #15 post "only human"
Day #16 post "perspective is everything."
Day #17 post "imagine a treatment"
Day #18 post "I dreamed a dream video"
Day #19 post "IF poem"
Day #20 post "Daydreaming"
Day #21 post "Body language"
Day #22 post "support system"
Day #23 post "John Lennon quote"

#MHAM #MHAMBC #migraine Day 23 In it together

Day 23 of migraine awareness month: “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality” John Lennon - Now write about this in terms of your dreams.


This makes me think of the Migraine Misfits group I have been an admin with. We have a great group of people that have got together and started a closed support group on Facebook, as well as a public page to help share migraine awareness information with others. It was a dream by the founder Gueneviere Wolven and the collective of us made it a reality.

I can also think of this in terms of this blog. I started it out and you are just writing to get things out of your system. Then you connect with others. You get more into raising awareness and keeping up to date on research. People as a collective can share information and get things done for awareness that individually is a lot harder to imagine.

I think we can say that with all migraine awareness groups. With all associations. Charities. If we get together we can accomplish all sorts of things. There are some great organizations out there raising awareness for migraines.




Advocates:

 Other Bloggers:

There are a lot of bloggers I follow but here is a short list that I recommend in regards to migraines:


And that is just to name a few. We can accomplish great things together. Hell, right now the more of us blogging for awareness the more awareness we bring to the topic of migraines during the month of June. That right there is a great contribution. One that I love to do every year. Migraine or not, I will do it.

Twitter: nikki_Albert
 Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrainlessBlogger
 blog: http://brainlessblogger.blogspot.ca
 Tumblr: http://hermitbrainlessblogger.tumblr.com


Day #1 post “What would you do if your dream of a totally pain- and symptom-free life, came true?”
Day #2 post "Bed of Clouds poem to ponder"
Day #3 post "Recurrent dreams"
Day #4 post  "Still I Rise"
Day #5 post "Monsters"
Day #6 post "Ways to raise awareness."
Day #7 post "What I do for Awareness"
Day #8 post "Do not forget to live"
Day #9 post "What fear can teach us."
Day #10 post  "Twilight is the best light."
Day #11 post "dream a little dream"
Day #12 post "Who moved my cheese"
Day #13 post "Faces of Migraine"
Day 14 post "Mulan"
Day #15 post "only human"
Day #16 post "perspective is everything."
Day #17 post "imagine a treatment"
Day #18 post "I dreamed a dream video"
Day #19 post "IF poem"
Day #20 post "Daydreaming"
Day #21 post "Body language"
Day #22 post "support system"

#MHAN #MHAMBC day 22 Support system

Day 22 of migraine awareness month: “Every Breath You Take” video Ally McBeal surprise. Robert Downey Jr and Sting duet.Write to us about someone in your life who watches over you and how they help you live with Headaches and / or Migraines.



My common law spouse of 17 years watches over me. He has been with me since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and migraines and with chronic migraines. When I was working he used to cook every supper because I would be in too much pain or too tired to cook. Now that I am on leave from work I generally cook, gives me something to do. Although he still does all the grocery shopping since that task is very draining for me.

He is literally always watching over me. He fills my weekly pill sorter, so I don't forget, reminds me to take my pills, in case I have forgotten. When we are out if I look like I am in pain he will ask if I am all right, and if I am not he is pretty insistent we leave. He does not want me to go back to work because he knows how they treated me and also how that affected me. How just the pain affected me.

He, or my mom, the both of them together drive me to appointments because neither of them really want me to drive in the city due to the migraines, and the vertigo, and certainly the combination of them. I seem to be able to handle driving for short periods of time now with the sebelium helping with the vertigo, as long as something has not already triggered it. So I can usually drive in town now on good days. But he did worry about that as well. Which is understandable, but I know when it is good and when it is not. And when to get my butt back home. 

My spouse lets me be a goofball and laughs at all my jokes. That is when you know someone loves you. When they laugh at all your lame jokes. He loves my giggle. And I love to giggle. Although I insist it is a feminine chuckle and nothing so girly as a 'giggle'. Except other people have said they knew me to be around by my 'Nikki giggle' so perhaps that is a losing battle I am fighting there. Either way, we laugh a lot together. And that is important to me.

He likes to include me in activities because he wants to spend time with me so he likes to choose things I am capable of doing. Vacations I am capable of going on. Yet in general I am really a hermit, which has made him one as well. Although I insist he can go off and do things with other people, which he does from time to time and I like to encourage him to be as active as he wants to be. He is very generous with his time if someone needs a helping hand. He is there for our family and friends if they need help with something because that is the kind of guy that he is.

Although my mom is also very important to me in my support system. It is basically the two of them together that makes my support network really. Other than also driving me around to appointments and such, my mom will take me out for coffee once and a while, which gets me out of the house and I keep that contact with the outside world. I value that time spent with her a great deal. Throughout my entire like my mom has always been my best health advocate to be honest. I mean if anyone was going to be there and have my back at a doctors appointment it was my mom. And you have to understand after I was diagnosed with FM I really was not treated, it was my mom that helped me look at a bunch of different ideas and try them out. And to this day still does. I would not try half the supplements and herbal remedies if not for my mom. She is never critical and always much more motivational, but not in a overtly positive way, more in a lets figure out a plan of action way. Which is good for an extremely passive procrastinator like me. I like someone to help me make plans of action. Helps me organize myself. That sort of thing my spouse could not be bothered with... hell, I have a hell of a time getting him to take just vitamins. So having someone to talk about other things that might be beneficial and other aspects of my health in a non-judgmental way is pretty awesome.

Between the two of them I got all my bases covered with a support system. And I love them to bits. <3 p="">
Twitter: nikki_Albert
 Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrainlessBlogger
 blog: http://brainlessblogger.blogspot.ca
 Tumblr: http://hermitbrainlessblogger.tumblr.com


Day #1 post “What would you do if your dream of a totally pain- and symptom-free life, came true?”
Day #2 post "Bed of Clouds poem to ponder"
Day #3 post "Recurrent dreams"
Day #4 post  "Still I Rise"
Day #5 post "Monsters"
Day #6 post "Ways to raise awareness."
Day #7 post "What I do for Awareness"
Day #8 post "Do not forget to live"
Day #9 post "What fear can teach us."
Day #10 post  "Twilight is the best light."
Day #11 post "dream a little dream"
Day #12 post "Who moved my cheese"
Day #13 post "Faces of Migraine"
Day 14 post "Mulan"
Day #15 post "only human"
Day #16 post "perspective is everything."
Day #17 post "imagine a treatment"
Day #18 post "I dreamed a dream video"
Day #19 post "IF poem"
Day #20 post "Daydreaming"
Day #21 post "Body language"


#MHAM #MHAMBC Day 21 Our bodylanguage and who we are

Day 21 of migraine awareness month “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” video



 In the video she discusses nonverbal postures. How when we feel powerful we make ourselves big and have open postures. And how when we feel powerless we make ourselves small and have closed in postures. I must feel pretty powerless because I am always pretty slouched in with my arms close to my body or rubbing my neck, with my legs often twisted up in a pretzel because I find nice awkward positions comfortable. Even standing my legs are often crossed. I have hypermobility syndrome... and being very double jointed I feel less pain in odd positions. And I agree that my posture screams passive and powerless. I am a real mellow person and do not have an aggressive bone in my body. I do often lack self-confidence.
  
She brings up the concept of Fake it to you make it. Until you become it. That is mimic powerful body language, since mimicking it affects the brain. Mimic it until you become it. It seems absurd to mimic this confidence until you become confident. But it is in fact not at all. I had learned this trick a long time ago. I faked it until I became it as well. Just not confidence and power. Instead I when with a more positive outlook on life, more humor, more laughter and less negativity, cynicism and depression. You see I have always been a very sarcastic, moody and negative person. But that sort of personality did not deal with pain very well. I found it difficult to cope with the level of pain I was dealing with in university in my early twenties. I became pretty depressed trying to deal with it. I knew I needed to change my mental outlook in order to cope better. However, it does not happen just instantaneously. Partly it is changing how you think. Partly it is faking it, as in acting differently, until you become that facade you are enacting. In my case I let out the more goofy side of my personality to let myself see the humor in everyday things so that I could laugh more. Until I became the sort of person that smiles and laughs easily.

Another example is the fact that faking a smile biologically affects our brain as if we were actually smiling. So faking a smile can actually improve our mood. I used to do this to help me deal with working with chronic pain. It was part of my facade to deal with pain. Easy to smile and laugh sort of facade. And that sort of became the person I was. Some days I did fake it, because pain does make that sort of thing difficult at times. But most of the time it just is who I am now. And that helps me cope with pain. Laughter is good medicine. It does in fact help with mood and dealing with pain as well. And I need these sort of tricks because I do have problems with mood regulation and depression due to migraines.

I do like to idea of changing my posture to boost my confidence and sense of power as well though. And that is definitely something to consider doing. It is very easy to trick the brain with these sorts of things. It is harder to change our thinking which can be quite the broken record, but also something we have to watch closely.

Body language is definitely an important thing for ourselves and for others. She briefly mentioned physicians there and I can tell you that I certainly pay attention to the tone and body language of my physician. The one I have now is clearly a very good listener, attentive and meticulous. However, my previous doctor really irked me. His tone was always disinterested. He never seemed to listen to me fully. Usually you can tell because someone cuts you off, does not repeat what you say back to you, or does not refer to what you have said. His body language also demonstrated his lack of concern. He would only face me for a minute or so and then turn away to his computer while talking to me, as if he no longer really had any interest in the conversation. His expression never even showed much concern over what I said, no matter what it was. And he never offered me much of his time, no matter what I came in for. It is easy to tell someone has no real concern over your affairs and is pretty disinterested. We have a real doctor shortage in the area though so it took me a very long time to find a new one and I was very fortunate to find a very good replacement.

Twitter: nikki_Albert
 Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrainlessBlogger
 blog: http://brainlessblogger.blogspot.ca
 Tumblr: http://hermitbrainlessblogger.tumblr.com


Day #1 post “What would you do if your dream of a totally pain- and symptom-free life, came true?”
Day #2 post "Bed of Clouds poem to ponder"
Day #3 post "Recurrent dreams"
Day #4 post  "Still I Rise"
Day #5 post "Monsters"
Day #6 post "Ways to raise awareness."
Day #7 post "What I do for Awareness"
Day #8 post "Do not forget to live"
Day #9 post "What fear can teach us."
Day #10 post  "Twilight is the best light."
Day #11 post "dream a little dream"
Day #12 post "Who moved my cheese"
Day #13 post "Faces of Migraine"
Day 14 post "Mulan"
Day #15 post "only human"
Day #16 post "perspective is everything."
Day #17 post "imagine a treatment"
Day #18 post "I dreamed a dream video"
Day #19 post "IF poem"
Day #20 post "Daydreaming"

#MHAM #MHAMBC Day 20 daydreaming

Day 20 of migraine awareness month In one of his poems, Edgar Allen Poe wrote, “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” Are your dreams different in the day and the night? What does this poem say to you that might be helpful to patients?



 The quote suggests that dreamers who dream while awake have more advantages than those who just dream while asleep. Daydreaming is an act of the imagination and invoking our curiosity. An insomniac though would question how he phrased that given we are indeed awake at night. Just saying. Lot of night time hours spent awake here. However I am a dreamer. A daydreamer. I enjoy the act of it. The imagination exercise. Which enables a person to stretch their imagination in any direction and to even work things out before they happen.

And I use my imagination in my hobby of writing fantasy fiction novels. To me characters, stories and worlds exist in my mind. I use it as a form of pain distraction and escapism I suppose. So I enjoy the act of daydreaming a great deal. I also daydream when I am trying to fall asleep to be honest. It is a way to not think about stressful things while trying to sleep, so instead I think about a story I am writing.

However, I also enjoy the dreams I have at night. I like the fact my subconscious has control of the storyline and what it comes up with. Although clearly it is not a conscious act. It is not something we can use to our benefit. Even lucid dreaming has its limits. With daydreaming we can enact certain scenarios different ways and play out conversations different ways in order to prepare ourselves for situations. We can imagine our victory over a a-hole boss, imagining the perfect conversation to react to their stigma. Yay!

Everybody daydreams. Often it is a form of stress reduction sort of dreams. Or wish fulfillment. Or memories. Or if you are a creative writer, diving into a world of your own creation and having imaginary conversations between your characters. So a vast majority of us daydream but how often, the vividness and even the content of those daydreams may say something about our satisfaction with life. And if it is true that your inner world is of a content that creates dissatisfaction then we are able to change that content. We can choose to daydream about people close to us or our spouse for example.

scientists were able to pinpoint this set of specific brain structures which we now know as the brain’s “default network.”  This network links parts of the frontal cortex, the limbic system, and several other cortical areas involved in sensory experiences.  While active, the default network turns itself on and generates its own stimulation.  The technical term for such a product of the default network is “stimulus independent thought,” a thought about something other than events that originate from the outside environment.  In common speech, stimulus independent thoughts make up fantasies and daydream, the stuff of mind wandering.  

Apart from entertaining us when we’re bored, what does the default network do for us?  Some researchers propose that it’s actually a type of watchdog or sentinel, ready to spring into action when we need to attend to an outside stimulus.  However, the preponderance of evidence suggests that the default network is there to help us explore our inner experiences (Buckner et al., 2008).  Specifically, we engage our default network when we’re thinking about our past experiences, imagining an event that might take place in the future, trying to understand what other people are thinking, and assisting us in making moral decisions.  

It seems, then, that our default network makes daydreaming possible.  The effect of daydreaming on our psyche may depend, furthermore, on the nature of our daydreams. In a series of questionnaire studies, York University psychologist Raymond Mar and associates (2012) asked men and women ranging from 18 to 85 to report on the frequency and vividness of their daydreams as well as their life satisfaction, levels of loneliness, and social support. For men, the more frequent their daydreams, the lower their life satisfaction. For women, vividness but not frequency was related to lower life satisfaction. For both genders, people who daydreamed about their close family and friends reported higher levels of life satisfaction. Those who daydreamed about romantic partners that they didn’t currently have (past or potential), strangers, or fictional characters were lonelier, had less lower social support, and tended to have lower life satisfaction. psychologytoday.com

Maybe then what we daydream about can tell us a little about the content of our lives. Where our dissatisfaction lies. And if it can tell us where our dissatisfaction lies it can perhaps guide us to what we might want to change or adjust in our lives. With chronic illness the content of our daydreams may express a great deal of desires we may feel we cannot ever have, but to some extent we can. If we want to go on a vacation it can be a small, simple one. If we desire to socialize more it can be just a matter of adding short little excursions into the world with people we are comfortable with. 
Why do we daydream anyway? Well apparently it is a set in function of the brain of this default network.

Their results showed the highest agreement between brain structure and brain function in areas forming part of the “default mode network“, which is associated with daydreaming, imagination, and self-referential thought. “In comparison to other networks, the default mode network uses the most direct anatomical connections. We think that neuronal activity is automatically directed to level off at this network whenever there are no external influences on the brain,” says Andreas Horn, lead author of the study and researcher in the Center for Adaptive Rationality at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.  

Living up to its name, the default mode network seems to become active in the absence of external influences. In other words, the anatomical structure of the brain seems to have a built-in autopilot setting. It should not, however, be confused with an idle state. On the contrary, daydreaming, imagination, and self-referential thought are complex tasks for the brain.
“Our findings suggest that the structural architecture of the brain ensures that it automatically switches to something useful when it is not being used for other activities,” says Andreas Horn. “But the brain only stays on autopilot until an external stimulus causes activity in another network, putting an end to the daydreaming. A buzzing fly, a loud bang in the distance, or focused concentration on a text, for example.” www.mpg.de

Twitter: nikki_Albert
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 blog: http://brainlessblogger.blogspot.ca
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Day #1 post “What would you do if your dream of a totally pain- and symptom-free life, came true?”
Day #2 post "Bed of Clouds poem to ponder"
Day #3 post "Recurrent dreams"
Day #4 post  "Still I Rise"
Day #5 post "Monsters"
Day #6 post "Ways to raise awareness."
Day #7 post "What I do for Awareness"
Day #8 post "Do not forget to live"
Day #9 post "What fear can teach us."
Day #10 post  "Twilight is the best light."
Day #11 post "dream a little dream"
Day #12 post "Who moved my cheese"
Day #13 post "Faces of Migraine"
Day 14 post "Mulan"
Day #15 post "only human"
Day #16 post "perspective is everything."
Day #17 post "imagine a treatment"
Day #18 post "I dreamed a dream video"
Day #19 post "IF poem"












Daniel Gilbert TED talk

Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished. The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you’re ever been. The one constant in our lives is change. Daniel Gilbert "The things we do when we expect our lives to continue are naturally and properly different than the things we might do if we expected them to end abruptly. We go easy on the lard and tobacco, smile dutifully at yet another of our supervisor’s witless jokes, read books like this one when we could be wearing paper hats and eating pistachio macaroons in the bathtub, and we do each of these things in the charitable service of the people we will soon become. We treat our future selves as though they were our children, spending most of the hours of most of our days constructing tomorrows that we hope will make them happy. Rather than indulging in whatever strikes our momentary fancy, we take responsibility for the welfare of our future selves, squirreling away portions of our paychecks each month so they can enjoy their retirements on a putting green, jogging and flossing with some regularity so they can avoid coronaries and gum grafts, enduring dirty diapers and mind-numbing repetitions of The Cat in the Hat so that someday they will have fat-cheeked grandchildren to bounce on their laps. Even plunking down a dollar at the convenience store is an act of charity intended to ensure that the person we are about to become will enjoy the Twinkie we are paying for now. In fact, just about any time we want something — a promotion, a marriage, an automobile, a cheeseburger — we are expecting that if we get it, then the person who has our fingerprints a second, minute, day, or decade from now will enjoy the world they inherit from us, honoring our sacrifices as they reap the harvest of our shrewd investment decisions and dietary forbearance."

#MHAM #MHAMBC Day 19 the poem IF

Day 19 of migraine awareness month:  “If” by Rudyard Kipling


A good poem about balancing your virtues. A few stanzas speak to me. 
If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: 
 There would be a great balance in this coping game if I could keep my head when all those around me are losing theirs and blaming it on me, because I have found that can be what happens with stigma in the workplace. You get blamed for things you cannot control, that are not your fault and that do not have the effects they claim they have. People can understand your illness and disability but others can blame you for it, and claim No one understands it. Claim it is your fault even. Until you don't trust yourself. Until you do doubt yourself. Because you then feel insanely guilty for being ill, and that is a form of doubting... to feel guilty about something that you have no power to control. And then to make excuses for yourself about trying to be better, when you should not have to. I would like to say people and their stigma did not impact me like that, but it did. There is this slow erosion to my stability and sense of self and self-worth. You are buried in lies but never deal in lies. People judge you, but you do not judge.You feel that you understand their position completely because you are undependable. You can't get to work every day. You do have problems working when there. Who would want an employee like that? Yet you can't change it. You can't demand of yourself any better. In my case I even suggested work compromises but they were shut down.

And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
Oh yes I can relate to this. I think we all know about loss. About pain and about suffering. About being broken from it such that there is no where left to go. And yet we hold on because all there is left is to hold on. I call that survival mode and, damn, not a great place to live in. But we hold on until there is something else to continue from. Just the will to hold on. There have been times where I didn't have even that. But, eventually, I got it back. Start back at the beginning. Get back up. Fight for my right to live.




Twitter: nikki_Albert
 Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrainlessBlogger
 blog: http://brainlessblogger.blogspot.ca
 Tumblr: http://hermitbrainlessblogger.tumblr.com


Day #1 post “What would you do if your dream of a totally pain- and symptom-free life, came true?”
Day #2 post "Bed of Clouds poem to ponder"
Day #3 post "Recurrent dreams"
Day #4 post  "Still I Rise"
Day #5 post "Monsters"
Day #6 post "Ways to raise awareness."
Day #7 post "What I do for Awareness"
Day #8 post "Do not forget to live"
Day #9 post "What fear can teach us."
Day #10 post  "Twilight is the best light."
Day #11 post "dream a little dream"
Day #12 post "Who moved my cheese"
Day #13 post "Faces of Migraine"
Day 14 post "Mulan"
Day #15 post "only human"
Day #16 post "perspective is everything."
Day #17 post "imagine a treatment"
Day #18 post "I dreamed a dream video"





#MHAM #MHAMBC Day18 I dreamed a dream

Day 18: I Dreamed A Dream” Susan Boyle with commentary video

I love this song. It is powerful and a powerful part in the movie as well. 

 
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung
No wine untasted

...
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now, from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed

Sometimes it can seems like the life we used to have is a figment of our imaginations or a dream. We cannot imagine a time without pain. Reminds me of this Emily Dickinson poem:


Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there was
A time when it was not.

It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.

We lose the capacity to recall a time without pain. It seems surreal. Unreal. We dreamed a dream of it. When we could do all the things we can no longer do. When we were young an unafraid. When made dreams because we thought anything was possible. With no price to be paid. 
In reality things turn out differently than we believe. We could not fathom the pain we exist in now. The hell of this existence would have been beyond comprehension. Even for someone like me who had chronic pain when I was young, this chronic migraine deal is not ever something I could have anticipated. 

I am not going to say daily chronic pain like chronic migraines isn't a dream killer, because it really is. It is life changing. It is one of the most difficult things we have to accept. That we have to make changes and compromises for our health. That the life we had just is not going to going to be the same again. And maybe things will not get better. However, we can make compromises and changes. We can learn to live in moderation and within limits that will make our lives easier to bear. We can learn what it takes to do things within our capacity. What sort of planning it takes to treat migraines when the occur while we are doing activities. What sort of things to avoid. We can have new dreams. Sometimes those dreams take time to complete but they are possible. 

It is just a struggle to reconcile who we are now with who we used to be, or who we believe we could have become without the pain. A constant comparison that often haunts us. And I know I often think about those first difficult compromises I had to make. Necessary although they were. I still wonder, maybe, if I had had better treatment they might not have been. I still have troubles with not working which is my most recent change. However, I know that there are aspects of my life for which i am extremely grateful for. A family that understands and loves me. A boyfriend who has been with me for 16 years or so now who clearly has been around through it all. Important things.


Twitter: nikki_Albert
 Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrainlessBlogger
 blog: http://brainlessblogger.blogspot.ca
 Tumblr: http://hermitbrainlessblogger.tumblr.com


Day #1 post “What would you do if your dream of a totally pain- and symptom-free life, came true?”
Day #2 post "Bed of Clouds poem to ponder"
Day #3 post "Recurrent dreams"
Day #4 post  "Still I Rise"
Day #5 post "Monsters"
Day #6 post "Ways to raise awareness."
Day #7 post "What I do for Awareness"
Day #8 post "Do not forget to live"
Day #9 post "What fear can teach us."
Day #10 post  "Twilight is the best light."
Day #11 post "dream a little dream"
Day #12 post "Who moved my cheese"
Day #13 post "Faces of Migraine"
Day 14 post "Mulan"
Day #15 post "only human"
Day #16 post "perspective is everything."
Day #17 post "imagine a treatment"



#MHAM #MHAMBC day 17 Imagine that

Day 17: Invent the perfect imaginary treatment for your diagnosis. What would it look like? What would it do? How would it work? 

I was just thinking about what a friend is doing for her child who allergic to their cat. She is getting him allergy shots. You need to get them for a certain time but they may help with a cat allergy.

Imagine if there was a form of allergy shot for migraines. They could give you a shot, with a small amount of migraine, for a certain duration, that then made you less and less sensitive to migraines to the point of just not getting them any more.

Yep. That would be cool.

Twitter: nikki_Albert
 Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrainlessBlogger
 blog: http://brainlessblogger.blogspot.ca
 Tumblr: http://hermitbrainlessblogger.tumblr.com


Day #1 post “What would you do if your dream of a totally pain- and symptom-free life, came true?”
Day #2 post "Bed of Clouds poem to ponder"
Day #3 post "Recurrent dreams"
Day #4 post  "Still I Rise"
Day #5 post "Monsters"
Day #6 post "Ways to raise awareness."
Day #7 post "What I do for Awareness"
Day #8 post "Do not forget to live"
Day #9 post "What fear can teach us."
Day #10 post  "Twilight is the best light."
Day #11 post "dream a little dream"
Day #12 post "Who moved my cheese"
Day #13 post "Faces of Migraine"
Day 14 post "Mulan"
Day #15 post "only human"
Day #16 post "perspective is everything."



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