Family · Home · Self

What to Bring on a Flight.

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Air travel has become a common occurrence.  There are more of us spending entire days on airplanes as we travel from one state to another.  Even today, going from one country to another is becoming more and more common. As home on the road becomes the norm what is it you need to have in your bag to make the journey better? Check out my list and see what you need.

1. Decent Headphones.  I am partial to Beats myself.  I like the fact that they also block outside noise really well.

2. Small notebook and pen. I know a lot of people say you can keep notes on your I-Phone but there is something about writing things down for me.  I keep a small journal so that is my go to for all things written.

3. Sweater.  A lot of people say bring a scarf.  I like something a bit more substantial and softer.  It helps me to relax more.

4. A neck pillow.  Yes, you really need one.  I think neck pillows are one of the greatest inventions of modern man! Not kidding.  I have injured my neck and back before over long vacations.  Now I always have a neck pillow.  If I forget it, I buy one.  I need it that much.

5. Important numbers and documents. Again, you would think modern technology would replace the written piece of paper but it doesn’t. Devices can be stolen, you can lose your charge and then what do you do?

6. Refillable water container. So many airports and other travel hubs have a drinking fountain that allows you to fill your water bottle right there. Save money and the planet at the same time.

7. Snacks.  Who wants to pay $3.00 for a candy bar? Not this woman!  Enough said.

8. Medication.  Take both prescription and over the counter meds on with you. Take your prescription in case you cannot get a refill where you are. OTC meds should also be taken.  We all have our favorite brands. On vacation is not the time to try new brands that you are unfamiliar with.

9. Reading Materials. Sort of self explanatory right?

10. Hand wipes and lotion.  Who wants to wait in that long line for the bathroom to wash their hands?

11. Tissues. Something you don’t want to be caught without.

12. Chapstick.  Planes can be very dry places.  A little chapstick can make you feel a lot better.

13. Hair brush.  This one could be considered optional.  It depends on your hair.  They make really small compact ones that don’t take up a lot of space.  Look in your travel section of your big box retailer.

14. Emery Board. This to me is one of the most important things besides the neck pillow. I hate it when my nail gets caught on fabric. I drives me nuts! It’s something that can become a preoccupation unless it is dealt with.

What things are on your must have list for travel?

 

Self

Dealing with the pain, Migraines and me

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I can’t remember when it all first started.  I think right after my son was born. They came on during my 30’s. They started out with only a few per month.  It gradually increased, and in my 40’s it came almost everyday.  In fact, my whole body was wracked with pain.  My doctor wouldn’t do anything for me and refused to prescribe pain medication which was the only thing that had helped before. It got so bad that the only thing I could do was walk my son three houses down to the bus stop in the morning.  Then I’d come back and get back into bed where I’d be all day.  Always in horrible pain.

It got so bad that I told my husband that I didn’t think I could handle another few years of this.  I wondered how I could find a doctor to prescribe medical marijuana. I didn’t know if it would help but I was desperate.  I’d spend hours on WebMD and other medical sites looking up symptoms to figure out what was wrong.  My doctor said she didn’t think I had migraines.  Little did I know, that my doctor who was great up until that point had no idea what she was talking about.

One day, I saw an ad for a pain clinic.  “A pain clinic?”, I thought, what was that?  I called but they told me they only take referrals.  So I called a doctor in their provider chain and made an appointment. Once in this new doctor’s office I cried.  I begged. I tearfully told her I was not trying to get pain meds for an addiction.  I’ve tried to get rid of the pain other ways.  I did yoga, acupuncture, rolfing, massage, chiropractor, diet, hot baths, stretching, you name it, I tried it. I just needed help.  Then I asked her to refer me to the pain clinic.  She said she couldn’t do it until I saw some other doctors first.  The first one I went to was a neurologist.

Honestly, I didn’t think the neurologist would do much.  I had been suffering pain for years.  Nothing helped.   The neurologist took one look at me and said “You have chronic migraines.  That is what is causing your pain, not only in your head, but your entire body.”  How could a headache cause pain in my entire body?  Would a headache cause my legs and back to hurt so much that I was bedridden?  It sounded odd.  At this point I didn’t care.  I’d do anything.  So I left his office with several prescriptions and another appointment for the following week.

 

 

Self

3 Ways to Stay Productive

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What are three things that I use to stay productive?  Well, they might sound easy, but I have found the following ideas keep me on track best.  What are some of the ways you stay productive?  I ‘d love to hear from you in the comments.

The first way I stay productive is to write it down. Easy right?  Well, yes it seems simple but you would not believe how many people fail to do this.  I know that sometimes I say, oh I’ll remember this, or I’ll write this down later, then forget to. I have discovered that keeping multiple lists is what is best.  This means that I have paper and pen in my purse, one in the living room, one by the bed, my phone, a journal in my office, you get the point. When inspiration strikes, I’m ready. Each Sunday I put them all on a master list that is located in my office. This helps me plan my week out and make sure I cover everything.

The second way I stay productive is to declutter and toss things out.  The main two areas I do this in for productivity is the car and my purse. In both my car and purse I have everything I need to function for the day. Cleaning these two things out once a week keeps me on track.  Plus, seeing things organized for me is calming.  What are your areas that help you get started for each week?  Is it the hall table?  Your desk?  Let me know in the comments.

Finally, the third thing to keep me productive is a little step I call “bring it with you.”  I am constantly going to appointments, waiting for people, or going somewhere.  So while I am stuck places I use this unused time to my advantage.  I read a book, go through bills, write a letter, make appointments in my calendar, listen to a podcast etc. It keeps things interesting, helps pass the time, enriches me and of course keeps me productive!  If you don’t like to carry things around try keeping a small box or bag in your car with magazines you want to read. Then when you are waiting in the school pick up line give reading a try!

What are some more ways you stay productive?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

Family · Self

The Last Part… To Be Continued Pt. 3

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When my phone rang on a very windy, snowy weekday I expected to hear my son on the other end crying or begging me to come.  It wasn’t.  It was one of the therapists telling me they were going to discharge my son from the program. What?  It was only five days! We removed him from another program track to get him into this one. I have no place to put him.  So my husband drove the hour to go pick him up in a winter snow storm.  Two hours later my son was home.

They told us he did not have an eating disorder.  We couldn’t believe it. All the previous therapists told us how sick he was.  This facility said that although his BMI is less than 15, his weight is in the 50th percentile.  So he doesn’t qualify for weight restoration.  In addition, they said they were doing more harm to him than good.  His anxiety and depression ramped up lot.  He was still talking about suicide. They felt he would only be more damaged if they continued.  So he is now home, not in school.  I have been rushing to try and find a new place for him.  He really hasn’t had enough therapy to make much of an impact. I feel like we wasted more than a month for nothing.  It didn’t help him one bit.  So frustrating!

I immediately got him on the wait list for the last PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) he was in.  There are over 20+ children a head of him.  He may not get in till summer.  In the meantime, he is not in school.  So I have him seeing his regular therapist twice a week and his psychiatrist every month.  We are also once again changing his medication.  As of tomorrow,  he will be on his third med so far.  I hope this one works. We are a bit desperate for something to work.

I have also contacted his school district about enrolling him in his school. We are trying to get him home bound instruction now.  It’s where a tutor will come to the house to help him catch up. He is behind since January.  I hope we can get him caught up.  Fortunately, he is very intelligent.  The classes that matter are Math, English, and Science.  So those we will be working on.  Getting home bound, they told me takes time.  I just want to pull my hair out.

I will be meeting with some teachers and advisors from his school to discuss his IEP on Tuesday.  I will have to see where we are then. I also need to get tutors for the summer.  I also need to make sure our therapy is the best it can be. So much to do with no clear direction to relief.

 

Family · Self

What’s going on.

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Hello Everyone,

I am sure you are wondering if I gave up on my blog.  No I haven’t but outside circumstances have put a temporary halt to things.  Let’s see, as many of you know our home remodeling from hell has finally ended.  The last day of construction was in December.

Also in December I had a breast cancer scare.  I had a routine mammogram in early December.  The results came back with some specious lumps.  Since I get breast cancer from both sides of my family I pay attention to my health in this area.  So I went in for an ultrasound right before Christmas.  Once lump came back as a cyst, the other lump was undetermined.  So I would next have to go in for a die contrast MRI. The day before Christmas Eve I went in.  The results would not be back till after Christmas.

It made for a rough holiday season.  Luckily, the second spot was another cyst and I was given the all clear.  Whew!

The biggest source of stress has been my son “E”.  Normally, he is the most kind, gentle, bright, shy and happy child.  During this past summer this started to change a bit. We figured that he was going into junior high school (so getting older, teen angst) and with all the home construction stress, he was just moody.  When school started, he was under a lot of stress. Normal right?  In many ways he was also better.  He seemed to be more responsible and his ADHD was better managed.  His grades were high too.  While a lot of his friends didn’t go to that school, there were a few that did. So he wasn’t completely alone.

As the year progressed we noticed him becoming more and more anxious. He started to get ill and began to miss school.  He was getting difficult to wake up.  He was starting to cry, shake, and have meltdowns.  It was like someone flipped a switch on his personality.  He has his first panic attack in the Fall. I knew right away what it was.

I took my son into his pediatrician to get him started immediately on medication. He also started seeing his therapist more often.  I was able to get him some accommodations at school for his anxiety too. Unfortunately, he started to self harm.  As the desire for self harm began to increase we removed him from school and enrolled him in a PHP.  PHP stands for partial hospitalization program.

“E” would attend the PHP from about 9-4 Monday-Friday.  Then he would come home on nights and weekends.  At PHP he would receive therapy, medical treatment, and schooling to help him overcome his anxiety and depression. He attended for several weeks when we received a phone call from the staff psychologist saying “E” was very suicidal. The decision was made on advice of the staff to place my son in a 24 hour lock down facility for adolescents.  It was the hardest decision I’ve had to make.  I knew it needed to be done. However, now I look back and question it a bit more.

To be continued…

 

Self

Updating my update…

Dear Readers,

I have not forsaken you!  Unfortunately, a family medical emergency has turned into an emergency hospitalization.  I go to the hospital everyday, which is an hour away or more from our home.  When not there I fall into bed exhausted.  I am hoping to at least do a short blog post soon.  Keep the faith.

Christine