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Another Not-So-Smooth Start to a Semester

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll remember that my last semester started off with being unable to get my infusion for three weeks and then coming down with whooping cough. Needless to say I was hoping for things to go a bit smoother this semester. But that’s not really how life works I guess.

Thursday was our first day of classes. I had three classes (French, Screen Writing and Dramatic Literature) and a meeting to update my accommodations letter. While I was in Screen Writing I got the bad news–my sister and niece had started throwing up after I left for class. We had the dreaded stomach flu in our home.

The last time I had a stomach virus I was a brand-new 19-year-old. That virus damaged my digestive system, causing gastroparesis (literally “stomach paralysis”), and leading to some very miserable months and ultimately two years away from school. So naturally I have an intense fear of dear old norovirus and all its relatives.

Egged on by this fear I did everything I could to avoid coming down with it this time img_0084around, but by the time I became aware of its presence it was far too late. That night around 9:30 I threw up for the first time. And then again. And again. And again. Until about 5 or so in the morning. *shiver* The stomach flu is the WORST. Every time I have it I get like minor PTSD where for a while I can’t stand certain foods, clothes, tv shows, movies–anything that is associated with the experience. This is especially true for the virus that permanently messed up my digestive system and changed my life.

EA57ED6A-C454-4F26-A275-0833E9EACA3BBut like I’ve said before, even the worst of things pass, and so did this. Well it’s passing. Friday I was still quite sick and miserable, even though I had stopped involuntarily ejecting the contents of my stomach and intestines. Mostly I had gotten really dehydrated and I was having a hard time getting sufficiently rehydrated. I ended up going into the local urgent care in the afternoon because of this; they did not give me a saline IV as I had hoped they would, but they gave me some strong anti nausea medicine to help me be able to sleep and drink more. I hadn’t slept since Wednesday night so I was beyond exhausted. Later Friday (about 4), I laid down to take a nap and woke up at 9:30 the next morning!

Right now as I write this, I am doing my infusion. I didn’t want to do it until I was well hydrated again, since insufficient hydration makes the infusion process (and aftermath) seriously miserable. And I’ve had quite enough of that this weekend.

So yeah, another rough start. But I don’t think it bodes ill for the semester at large–I think it’s gunna be a great one, as a matter of fact. Because, well, why shouldn’t it be?

Migraine Crash Kit

Happy New Year! I feel like I’m expected to write like “a year in review” kind of post today, but I’m not feelin it. Instead I’m gunna talk about migraines; migraines are on my mind as I just emerged from a nasty 72 hour period of  head-crunching, world-spinning, face-tingling, and vampire-like aversion to light and noise.

The tricky thing about migraines is that they can happen anytime, anywhere. You could be in the car, at work or school, at the store, on a date, eating out with friends—and boom—a migraine can just come out of nowhere. Because of this a lot of people with migraines find it useful to have a crash kit that they take with them whenever they go out. In addition it’s always important to have a more extensive kit to fall back on at home. What goes in such a kit will vary greatly as no two migraneurs are the same. Here’s what I keep in mine.

On-the-Go Crash Kit: (keep one in purse, one in backpack- have with me at all times when I leave the house)

  • Triptans (Frova works best for me personally)55A7D547-E9B8-444B-A7E2-A9D7F8DE5B1C
  • Aspirin/Ibuprofen
  • Benadryl
  • Anti-nausea meds (I use Zofran)
  • Water bottle
  • Ginger Tummy Drops
  • Protein Bar

 

At Home Kit:

  • Sports drink (I prefer low cal Gatorade)
  • Excedrin
  • A longer working NSAID like Aleve
  • Ginger Ale
  • Icy Hot (for shoulders and neck)
  • Peppermint oil (temples)
  • Steamer (sinus/face pain and congestion comes along with my migraines)
  • Higher caffeine content Kombucha
  • Foods for upset stomach (crackers, bread, applesauce, etc)
  • Stronger pain killers (only if it won’t break with normal stuff)
  • Ice pack
  • Heating pad
  • Dark, quiet room to lie down in
  • My tablet to listen to an audio book or familiar tv show (or watch once my eyes can take it)
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  • And of course everything in my on-the-go kit as well

 

 

What do you keep in your crash kit?