Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bracing for impact

Two things

Thing One: A veganesque diet. Oh. Yay. F*ck me and all that.

As most of you know I get a lot of migraines. Bad migraines. They started quite suddenly a little over two years ago when I would get them occasionally and end up in the hospital getting shots of narcotics and anti-nausea medication. They have since progressed in both quantity and severity, to the point where I now get them almost weekly. I've been to a neurologist and we've run through the gamut of medications and still continue on that treadmill.

I've had a few people recommend alternative treatments to me that have worked well for them and honestly, at this point, I'm willing to try anything. Badger says that deep tissue massage worked for him. A work colleague says her son's headaches which, like mine, did not respond to traditional medications, completely went away when he saw a chiropractor/nutritionist who put him on a whole foods diet. I was intrigued. I made an appointment.

As fate would have it, my appointment was on a Wednesday, my marriage having come to an abrupt end in the wee hours of the morning the night before. I arrived in her office dumbstruck, red-eyed, somewhat disheveled. She asked me a series of questions. I answered them robotically. I couldn't help it, tears ran down my face. She handed me a tissue, but otherwise ignored my distress. She explained the diet to me. It was basically all organic vegan for the first 3 weeks, a cleanse. No breads, no meats, no eggs, no milk, no processed foods, no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no sodas... I interrupted her: I won't give up coffee, I said. Okay, she shrugged. She seemed to accept this. Said she couldn't give it up either. She opened up a booklet and told me I would have 2-3 protein shakes a day and take certain supplements.

Supplements? Of course. She was selling supplements. All organic and whole foods except for the protein powders and supplements she was selling which had sat on a shelf somewhere for six months. Right-ee-o.

But I bought them. Because there was something oddly comforting about being told exactly what I could and could not consume when everything else in my life was imploding. A to-do list. A how-to manual for one aspect of my life. I wanted this.

I've been doing the diet now for two weeks. I've lost five pounds. It's tolerable, but I really, really want a bowl of cereal. I had one bad headache the second day of the diet but none since. The protein shakes taste like crap. I'm wondering if I should have started with the deep tissue massage.

Thing Two: I'm in pain.

For the first week or so I was in a pretty bad place and then I started to feel better. I wrote a few posts, got back on Facebook, made some snarky jokes with my friends, felt some lightness and laughter and then BAM, I was slammed to the floor again. What happened? No idea. I'm just along for the ride.

Quite suddenly I am angry. I walk around surly and defensive. I want to bark at cashiers that are too slow or drivers that are too aggressive or anyone that's too anything and I'm constantly biting my tongue. I'm sure this is because I am frightened—the foundation on which I've stood has disintegrated, a new one not yet materialized.

I feel as if I'm in a car crash, like I've driven off the side of the road and I'm rolling down an incline, being tossed about the cab and waiting for final impact. There's that excruciating slowing down of time where you can taste the past and your powerlessness all at once. The future contracted; present moment interminable.

Right now it feels like everything is slipping away from my fingertips and I'm scared. I'm scared that on my own I won't be able to provide a comfortable home for myself and my children so that when I face an unexpectedly large tax bill, despite the fact that I support the theory of taxes in general, I feel like telling the IRS mangez-moi.

And when Badger tells me fine, if you don't want to pay your taxes go join the Tea Party, I tell him mangez-moi.

Surly, humorless, bracing for impact.

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  1. I wish I could be more help. I love ya, hang in there.
    that sounds awfully stupid doesn't it.
    I do mean it though!
    I hate change, and I am struggling with my own issues with it right now. Either I will end up getting through it or I will be in the hospital, I'll save ya the bed next to mine. I could paint an Australian flag on your straight jacket in OT!
    love ya.

  2. I am sorry about all your troubles. I have been a migraine/headache sufferer for YEARS. I finally said something to my doctor. She put me on Topamax 2x/day. It worked wonders. And if, by chance, I GET a migraine, I take Amerge within 20 minutes of the onset of the headache. Usually it disappears. If not, I pop another one. It has been great to live headache free. Don't get me wrong, I'll still get a sinus headache, or maybe a headache from eye strain, but NOTHING like the headaches I suffered from before.

    If you haven't tried this drug before, it's worth it to try it now. Good luck.

  3. I find that if I think about little Tattoo from Fantasy Island shouting "The plane" it cheers me up no end - if that helps? I'm not sure if that's strong enough medicine for your current problems, but it's always seen me through mine.

  4. Oh honey. I'd totally mangez-vous if I thought it would help. ;)

    Joking aside, just... don't forget to breathe. Additionally, while it's comforting to have that schedule and hard limit on what you can and can't eat, the purge and withdrawl from comfort foods can fuck with your brain chemistry equally as badly as some of the foods themselves. Everything in moderation, especially in times of stress.


  5. Surly is one of my favorite words. Embrace the surly-ness.

  6. I wish you well. I know there is life after divorce. I was divorced 31 years ago after a 12-year marriage. It is difficult, no question. I found a support group in this area called Divorce Perspectives. It was really helpful. I don't know if there's anything like that where you are, but if there is, I recommend it.

  7. Yikes! Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow - maybe it will be a good few weeks for getting clarity. Everything needing attention comes to a head then.

    I personally offer to stay out of your way as much as possible if that helps. Or stay in your way if that helps. But I have a feeling neither will make much of a difference.

    There's a chance you've been this angry for a long time - and are just now noticing it to this degree. You know I think self-awareness, no matter how absolutely painfully awful, means you're moving in the right direction.

    I know, I know - mangez-moi.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Sorry, I posted my comment twice by deleted the extra one.

  10. Hope there are some decent air-bags when that car stops. Or maybe that's what all us readers are, your gas bags :) Everytime I've changed diet or taken supplements, I have ended up with something worse than the original complaint, so scared to do it again. Good luck, I've heard reiki is wonderful for migraines. My mum had shocking ones all her adult life until she went to a chiropractor.

  11. Right, first, if your whole foods diet is working on the headaches, WOO HOO!


    It's okay, to be broken. And to be angry, it's okay. Go and kick cans, or smash bottles in the rubbish bins. Go and be angry.

    I'm holding you, virtually, from all the way across the world. Take it a moment at a time. In 5 minute increments if you have to.

  12. I'm a bit late finding your post, so everything I wanted to say has been said. Ditto to lots of the above, especially the bits about taking it one little bit at a time.

    One more thing; I'd go for the massage anyway, just cause it feels good.

  13. Girl, I hate that you are going through this. Hate it. You are in my thoughts and prayers as always.

  14. Others have said it, but it bears repeating: take life in smaller bites.

    Get the massage. Massages are great.

    And please, keep those shakes to yourself because they don't sound all that appealing.

  15. There 5 stages of grief....blah, blah, blah!
    This change will slay you. It will anger you. It will surprise you. DO NOT let it define you. This is the time you discover who you are and what you're made of. Don't be afraid to be weak, or angry, or happy, and let your kids know you're hurting but that you'll be OK. Because it's OK in the end.... if it's not OK, it's not the end!

  16. just....let go.
    you won't fall.
    you'll float.
    everything will be ok.

  17. Wishing you a soft landing. *hugs*

  18. Again, overwhelmed by your kindness, all of you. xo

  19. Have to agree with Madmother's wise words. One day at a time. Then add - it is okay to just go with the flow for a few weeks, setting one task at a time so that you are not overwhelmed. Good luck with the migraines, my daughter was put on a low dose blood pressure tablet which helped her heaps. Hugs from Perth xxx

  20. I get angry when I'm scared, too. Not that I can really relate to what you're going through, but I sort of know what that irritability and surliness feels like, and I hope you feel better soon!

    Still praying for you and hoping that things get better soon!


  21. Take strength from us your readers, we are all along this journey with you, you are the main character that we are all cheering on for, we all know something that you don't, that once you get through this shitty chapter, there is something wonderful waiting for you. We know how the script works. Have faith and keep bringing us along with you - we are here to support you.

  22. Oh my sweetness. Not a word I can say. Hang in there.

    (And holy mother of fucking God that diet would just about kill me).

  23. Hey K, I am only catching up with my google reader. AMB equals The Culprit.=)

    Kidding aside, we are all here for you. Holding you tightly in our hearts. Trying to shield you from the impact. Hang in there sweetie. Loads of love.xoxoxo

  24. Yay on the diet helping with the headaches!! :)

    You will be up and down for a while sweety, it's natural, it's normal. This is such a huge upheaval in your life, you're allowed to feel however you feel. You WILL get through this sweety, I promise. Sending you loads of love from across the pond. xxxxx

  25. I got two things to say.

    1) We love you.
    2) & We'll love you more.


  26. Oh. I really want to say something to help you now, but I can't, can I?

    So how about I just tell you that I am thinking about you and if you want to scream your f'ing head off and be snarly and surly, I say go ahead. It's OK to be angry - furious, even.

    I hope the diet helps with the pain in your head. I hope the bloggylove helps with (some) of the pain in your heart.

  27. I'm sorry. I suffer from migraines really badly too and there is no help that I have received as of yet that has helped.

    I think it's okay to angry right now too.

  28. Oh, man, Kristin. Wow. What a tough, tough time. I'm thinking about you. Be strong.

  29. "Crikey" (he says, in his English accent). As unfortunate coincidental timing would have it, it seems like you're purging several parts of your life at the same time. That's a tough experience for anyone to be going through - I wish you good luck.

    However, don't forget that the purging of toxins eventually leads to a healthier, happier, more balanced you. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Oh, and after giving up dairy products 15 years ago, I haven't had a migraine since (although I do now have to endure soybeans and tofu everyday...)

  30. Drat, I'm so bloody behind on reading posts that it's almost embarrassing (and I'm sure that's not how you spell that either) even commenting at all but I wanted to let you know that I'm here for you. And someone above me is bound to have said what I was going to say so I won't repeat it.

    But, hugs.

  31. Ditto to what Barbara said. Sorry I'm behind. Glad to hear you are surly and not apologetic. Well, not glad you have to feel that way, of course, but it means you are doing what you need to do and being what you need to be.


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