Saturday, May 20, 2017

Migraines Suck

Hi there guys! This is another blog on me sharing my health issues and treatments that I have tried for them. I do this to share my experiences with anyone who may be suffering with the same or similar things. Ever since I had my stroke in 2014 I have been fighting with chronic migraines.

There is a lot of information and opinions out there about migraines. And a lot of people have a tendency to judge those of us who have them. They say "It's just a headache, why can't you function?" My migraines are totally debilitating. Some of the symptoms that I suffer from other than the pain itself are nausea, blurred vision, lightheaded and dizziness, and confusion. I will all of a sudden forget where I am and what I am doing.

Some of the symptoms that I experience are symptoms of having a stroke so there has been many instances where I will call my neurologist and she will send me to the emergency room to get checked out just in case it is another stroke. Thankfully that has not been the case so far.

After the stroke I was suffering from 5-6 migraines per week. We started off trying a medication called Topamax, which is a seizure medication called an anticonvulsant. This medication would cause my hands and/or the side of my face to go numb at random intervals. It scared me because it happened one day while I was driving! My doctor took me off of this right away.

They also advised me not to take anything over the counter for the pain of the migraines because it can make your body dependent on the medication to handle the migraines.

Next we tried a medication called Amitriptylin, which is a low dose antidepressant that doctors use to treat migraines with. This medication actually took me from 5-6 migraines a week to 4-5 a week. This was helpful but didn't get rid of them all the way. At the same time she also prescribed me a medication called Olanzapine, which is an antipsychotic that they use to treat the pain of migraines. This only got rid of minor migraines that I had.

Then the doctor added a medication called Candesartan, which is a blood pressure medication. They combined this with the Amitriptylin and they seemed to work very well together. I went down to having 2-3 migraines a week, which was a huge relief. The only problem was that I was indeed still having them and the ones that I was having were very severe.

At this point my neurologist suggested that I apply for intermittent FMLA because the days that I had the migraines I was not meeting my production at work. I stare at a computer and talk on the phone for 8 hours a day and my migraines were seriously affecting this. I applied and after a few months I was approved for intermittent FMLA. My job wasn't happy about it but at this point they couldn't do anything about it. The only downfall to FMLA is it only protects your job, not your pay. So the days that I was missing for migraines were unpaid days.

About a year ago my doctor decided that I qualified to try using Botox injections for my migraines. They can be expensive though and thankfully I qualified for financial aid through the hospital that administers them. You get them done every 3 months and they say that you have to have it done about 4-5 times before you begin to notice immediate relief when you have them. Below is a picture of how many and where they put the injections. I will admit that it sucks when you get them done.

I have had 4 rounds of the injections done and there for a while the migraines had diminished down to about 1-2 a week. However, for some reason I am back to 3-4 a week now. 

They also prescribed me with a medication called Metoclopramide, which is typically used mostly for stomach and esophageal problems but they prescribed me with it to treat the migraine pain. It does help with my severe migraine pain about half of the time. 

I see my neurologist this later month and hopefully we can discuss a new option or she may have me try more rounds of Botox. I am not sure what options we have left at this point because we are entering in our 3rd year trying out different things to get rid of them.

The main concern here is that having chronic migraines can cause damage to the brain. I have permanent but minimal damage due to having a stroke. The more damage that is done, the higher chance I have of having another stroke. So the goal is to get rid of them completely.

Having a chronic condition like this really sucks, there's just no other way to put it. But it does make you take full advantage of the days you have that are symptom free. I try to be a productive as possible on my healthy days and enjoy them as much as possible.

If any if you have gone through a similar situation, please feel free to comment if you are comfortable with it! Live every day to the most and know that if no one else does, I feel your pain and you are loved! You are not defined by your chronic condition, you are defined by who you are! I hope you all have a beautiful day! 

Friday, May 19, 2017

DIY Starbucks Iced Chai Latte (Light Ice)

Today's blog is a DIY. I love the Iced Chai Latte from Starbucks and would get one everyday if they weren't so expensive. Well I now can have one everyday and sometimes twice a day without breaking the bank. I have figured out how to make this delicious drink at home and want to share it with you!

There is only 3 ingredients. Your milk of choice (skim, 2%, almond, coconut, soy, etc), ice, and chai tea concentrate. The Tazo Chai Latte concentrate is what they use in Starbucks and the brand that I buy. Now it can be a little pricey, at Walmart it is $3.28 for a 32 ox box. But you can purchase it at Costco for $7.99 for 3 of the 32 oz boxes.

You start with a glass and fill it about a third of the way up with ice. Now I prefer less ice in mine so you may want to put more if you prefer lots of ice.

Next you fill your glass half way with your chai concentrate. You can adjust this to your taste. If you want the chai taste a little stronger than put more concentrate in it.

Then you top off the glass the rest of the way with your preferred milk. And then give it a stir and you have yourself a Starbucks quality chai latte! Yes, it is really that easy!

If you enjoyed this DIY recipe then please follow my blog for more DIYs. You can find that option on the right hand side of the page. If you have any other tips and tricks on making one of these please comment below. Thank you and have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May Ipsy Bag

Just got my May Ipsy bag in today and couldn't wait to open it and do a review for you all!

First of all it came in this bag this month. I am not a fan of the bag this time around. It is cute but it is not my style and it feels like a very cheap plastic to me. My daughter is excited though because when I don't like my Ipsy bags she gets them.

The first thing that I pull out is this Global Beauty Care charcoal mask. It says that it is a 15 minute facial therapy deep cleansing mud based formula that unclogs pores and lifts away impurities and is for all skin types. I'll do a first impression/review on this item when I get to try it out.

The next item that I find is the Island Life eye shadow palette from Pacifica. It is a natural mineral eye shadow that is 100% vegan and cruelty free. It has 5 neutral shades and all shades are shimmer, no matte. 

I finger swatched the shades on my hand and find that the 3 lightest shades have almost no pigment at all. This palette will be going to my mom who has very little makeup 

experience so it will be good for her to play around with.

There is also a brush in this bag. It is by the brand Royal & Langnickel and it is the Precision Angled brush. This brush is super soft, it reminds me of the IT Cosmetics brushes because they are some of the softest brushes I have ever felt. This brush would be perfect for contouring the nose.

The fourth item is a matte lipstick by the brand tre'Stique in the shade Tuscan Wine. It is a beautiful berry shade. 

It is not long lasting or smudge free. It is the definition of a matte lipstick.

The last item int his bag is the Urban Decay Afterglow 8 hour powder highlighter in the shade Sin. I love the brand Urban Decay, I have several of their products. I haven't heard anyone talk
about their highlighters though. I finger swatched it and got almost no color payoff. It reminded me more of a shimmer eye shadow than a highlighter.

Overall I am less pleased with this Ipsy bag than I have ever been. Hopefully next month will be better.  If you would like to sign up for the monthly Ipsy bags you can do so through this link and I will get a bonus 250 points towards the rewards program! If you enjoyed this review please do me a favor and follow using e-mail notifications for when I release new blogs! You can do that by using the link on the right hand side of the page. Thanks and have a beautiful day!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Jergens Natural Glow Face Moisturizer

This review is on the Jergens Natural Glow face moisturizer. I have been using self tanner lately and needed something to make my face match my body. I decided to try this moisturizer that gradually tans your skin.

I replaced my usual face moisturizer with this and am happy to report that it did not break me out or make my acne worse! It also did not make my face any oilier than normal. I got the formula for fair to medium skin. It also has 20 SPF in the formula.

It claims to gradually create flawless, natural-looking color when used once daily. I applied it every morning after washing my face. I really feel like it fulfilled its claims. My skin has a very natural looking glow. It did only darken about 2 shades but it looks very natural, not orange or streaky.

                                     Before                                                                                             After

Here is a before and an after picture. It's hard to tell a difference just looking at the pictures but if look at the difference between my face and my neck in both pictures you can see the change.

I am in love with this product and will continue to use and repurchase it! If you enjoyed this blog review please do me a favor and follow using e-mail notifications for when I release new blogs! You can do that from the link on the right hand side of the page. Thanks and have a beautiful day!

Friday, May 12, 2017

DIY Sign For A Mother's Day Gift

I decided to do a DIY project as a Mother's Day gift for my mom this year. I bought my supplies at Hobby Lobby and most of it was on sale so I only paid $16 for the supplies! Here is everything that I needed for the project.

I painted the entire board with white matte paint.

It wasn't quite as opaque as I wanted it to be so I gave it another coat.

I then took the sanding block and sanded the edges and between the boards to give it a weathered look.

I sketched on the design that I was going to paint on in pencil so if I made a mistake (as I often do) I could erase it.

Using a very thin paint brush I painted on the design in black matte paint.

I glued the flowers on using Gorilla Super Glue and this project is done! I think it turned out super cute and I can't want to give it to my Mom on Mother's Day! Hope you have a fantastic Mother's Day!!

Bernheim Forest Field Trip

My daughter's class took a field trip to Bernheim Forest here in Louisville, KY. This place is gorgeous! It was very rainy this day but it didn't damper the kids fun thankfully! I love going on field trips with my daughter's class. We always have so much fun!

I just wanted to share all of the lovely pictures that I was able to take while on this trip!

If you enjoyed this blog  please do me a favor and subscribe to e-mail notifications for when I release new blogs! You can do that from the link on the right hand side of the page. Thanks and have a beautiful day!