Thursday, January 29, 2015

What my chronic pain condition looks like now

 If you asked me about my current migraines and pain condition, i would tell you i "got sick" on Christmas day of 2013. But really i have gotten migraines since the 7th grade. In late October of 2013 they started to become more frequent. Christmas night of 2013 i got a migraine that lasted 4 days, and ended with me at the ER having to get shots. That had happened before, but this time the medication didn't help. So they gave me a second dose, which still only brought the pain down by less than half. Then they gave more. After that they said i could go home or be admitted, there was nothing else they could do for me. I have had a headache every day since then. 401 days. Some days it's not bad, i can take a tylenol and be ok. Some days, most days, 3-6 days a week it's a full on migraine. I have to take abortive migraine meds, usually in combination with other medications for migraines and things like ibuprofen and be in a dark, cool room with little noise and wait for it to pass. My migraines have become classified as "intractable." This means they are often resistant to medication. They can last from 4 hours to 4 days. They cause a variety of side effects that headaches do not. Sometimes i see lights or squiggle lines that are not there. I often get double or blurry vision. I always get nauseated. I become very sensitive to light and sound, and have a heavy black sheet i keep over my bedroom window that keeps my room almost completely dark for this reason. Sometimes my hands and arms tingle or go numb. I sometimes lose my hearing during migraines. The first time that happened was so scary. i was looking at the fan, watching the blades spin and listening to it, trying to focus on the sound and not the pain, and i closed my eyes and then i didn't hear it. I thought it had died so i opened my eyes and i could still see it spinning, but i couldn't hear it. I put my hand next to my ear and snapped and i heard nothing. I screamed and i heard nothing. It lasted less than 2 full minutes but it was the longest 2 minutes ever. We have no idea why this happens. 

 After about 3 months of "being sick" i began to experience other things as well. My hair started falling out more than it ever had. I would have moments where my whole body would hurt so bad and i wouldn't know why. My muscles would be weak and doing simple things like pushing the vacuum would hurt so bad i would cry. My hair loss has slowed down, thank goodness, but i still experience the body pain and muscle weakness. Sometimes my body just feels like it's on pain overload.

I am lucky to have a wonderful doctor who has done everything he can for me. After a few visits he honestly told me he didn't know what to do, but he would find someone who did. He has referred me to several specialists and has referred me for numerous tests. Some I have seen and had done, some i have not due to insurance denying them. My neurologist has been a disappointment, not really listening to me or making me feel like he cares about what i have to say, but I am hoping to be allowed to see someone new within the next few weeks. We have no answers or causes as to why i am experiencing these things. We have ruled out many things, but still have not found a cause. We also have not found a treatment that works well. I have tried and failed several abortive migraine medications. (Those are the kinds you take when you feel the migraine coming on, like imitrex) I have also failed 2 preventive migraine medications. I have even tried several home folk remedies, with no success.

I feel like i have lived the past year of my life waiting. Hoping for an answer and getting nothing. Watching life pass me by as i lay in my bed or on my couch wishing i could get a new head. I have tried really hard to not complain too much, though i'm sure those closest to me would say i failed. I try to hide my bad days and just make it through without bringing down anyone around me. Some days i hurt so bad i can'd do anything but lay down and pray for it to end. And even when it's that bad, i still have to be a mom, and a student, and a product tester, and be productive, and function. I have to live, and be strong for my son. It's the hardest thing i have ever done. Just tying it out has me in tears. But i do it. I have no other choice. 

The past few months I've been working hard to have a healthier mindset. Being in constant pain can take your mind to a dark, dark place. It can make you question why you are even bothering to live at all. I won't live in the dark. I am a child of God who enjoys the sunlight. So on my good days I've been making sure i get out of the house, and work out, and eat healthy, and get to church and bible study, and surround myself with people who are good and supportive. I have lost 37 pounds in just under 3 months, and while i'm not working to be skinny, it feels good to be in smaller jeans. I recently had someone who used to be part of my life talk bad about me because of my weight, and before it would have really brought me down. But my weight does not define who I am. And someone who hasn't been in my life in over two years talking badly about me is not about me at all, it's about them. Part of my healthy mindset has been me asking myself, "How does this ___ make my life better?" If it doesn't, i try and just let it go, ignore it or whatever.

So, that's the story with my health issues and where i am at. 

401 days. It's a long time. But i'm tough, and i know this feels like hell, but God is in control of it all.

If you know someone who suffers from chronic migraines, 15 or more migraine days a month, please read this awesome article "12 Things not to say to a chronic migraineur

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Brilliant HD - Deluxe Teeth Whitening Kit by NuNutrients

 I always get a knot in my stomach when I have to write a less than favorable review of a product. Even if i'm not impressed with a product, I always like to highlight the good as well and the bad. On this one, I don't have anything good to highlight. But, I value my integrity as a blogger, so I am always honest. So here we go.

The product information from the product's amazon page. “NuNutrients is proud to offer Brilliant HD - Deluxe Teeth Whitening Kit, a dental grade whitening solution that removes years worth of stains in as little as 1 treatment. With Brilliant HD you can smile bright knowing that you have that million-dollar, movie star smile. Add to your cart now to experience what thousands of people across the country are saying is the best teeth-whitening kit on the market. Using the same patented formula that Hollywood Cosmetic Dentists use to whiten the teeth of stars, Brilliant HD comes from a pedigree of excellence not found anywhere else in America.
-Removes decades worth of stains from your teeth in a few easy-to-do treatments
-Provides dental-grade, professional strength teeth whitening results in as little as 15 minutes
-Made in the USA in a certified facility by dental professionals
-Uses the same dental-grade Carbamide Peroxide that dentists use; Gel is enamel-safe.
-Heat-molded trays fit perfectly to your mouth, making this no-hassle at home teeth whitening experience both affordable and better than teeth whitening strips.”


Ok, now my thoughts. I used the product a few times, and seeing no results I went to the amazon product page to check out the reviews. I had already noticed the misspelled words on the product packaging. “Brialliant” and “treament” are not the correct spellings, but packaging errors happen so I over looked that. Looking at amazon made me very concerned. I saw someone point out the there is no percentages listed for the ingredients. I checked my box and saw that person was correct. Then I noticed that there were a very large amount of 5 star reviews that did not have the “verified purchase” listed. That means they reviewed the product, but did not buy it from amazon. Did they buy it elsewhere? Maybe. But my concern was did they buy it at all. There are also a large amount of reviews written at the same time. Up to 23 in one day, all 5 star, all unverified. I wonder if these people were provided the product in exchange for a review like I was, but just left 5 star reviews without even trying the product. Then there was the fact that the product didn't work, and the mouth trays are uncomfortable to wear and hard to mold. I contacted the company to express my concerns and ask them to verify for me the percentages of the ingredients, and as of today, 1/11/15, 3 weeks later, I have not received a response. I would not recommend this product, or anything made by this company. There is just to much questionable activity, coupled with the product not working, for me to ever be comfortable recommending them or their products.    

I received this product in exchange for my honest review.
I never recommend products i don't like or use personally.   

LED Rim Lights by Speed Racer

Anyone who has ever ridden there bike at night knows how important having some kind of light is. You need to be seen, and those little reflector strips honestly don't cut it. That's where LED Rim Lights by Speed Racer come in handy. The lights fit into the air valve on your tires, replacing the valve cover and ensuring they are securely attached. They have a motion sensor so the only light up when your wheels in motion, ensuring the batteries last as long as possible. They have a 50,000 hour lifetime. The lights are 100% waterproof and are rust resistant, perfect for people in wet climates, or kids who like to ride through puddles. Each pack comes with 6 lights; 2 green, 2 blue, 2 colorful. Batteries are included.

These are so cool. My son loves them. They come with a protector tab so that all the batteries are still good when you get them, and they only light up when in motion to help the batteries last longer. The colors are vibrant, and at night with the wheels turning they look amazing. My son asks every night after dinner now if he can ride his bike since it's dark. I think if you were someone who rode at night often, they would make a great added safety feature. They also would make a great gift. You can order your own set of Speed Racer Rim Lights on amazon   

I received this product in exchange for my honest review. 
I never recommend products i don't like or use personally.