Working

I have been a couple of weeks at work full time now. This past week was a good test for the upcoming catalog season late summer and fall. I’ve been working on some mock-up catalog layouts for my superiors to look at so I suppose you could say I’ve been in mock catalog mode….minus the horrific stress and deadline involved, however.

I have been TRYING to force myself to step away from my computer throughout the day. If I don’t, my eyes and head really bother me by late afternoon. There have been wet and some cool weather conditions recently, but I’ve gone outside to eat lunch making myself get up from my computer screen. People think I’m nuts for eating lunch in my car, but I can rest my head back on the head rest, listen to my CDs, read a magazine, eat my lunch and not have to speak to anyone…quietly. At the picnic table, I can’t sit back and rest my head, the seats aren’t cushioned, I can’t listen to my music and chances are I’ll need to speak to someone if they come out. Not that I’m THAT horribly anti-social, but sometimes I’d just prefer to sit and be
with my own thoughts and rest away from my computer.

I’ve really worked my brain hard this past week. More than I have yet since returning to work full time. And the way my eyes and head feel by the end of the day has me concerned on how I’ll do come August & September when I’m at my busiest and most stressed. My rupture occurred last year as I had just completed the physical layout, but I still had a LOT of work to do. I did ask about the catalog while in ICU, but just realized there wasn’t anything I could do about it now and this (my life) was far more important. They’d just have to do without me…and they did. I’m not that full of myself to know that I can’t be replaced. It has just always been my responsibility.

Obviously, I’m worrying about something that may or may not happen, but I am concerned how I’ll do under the serious stress and pressure during catalog this year. Although I have been fortunate to be able to work from home one day a week the last couple of years during the busiest time, I feel I may need more of that this year. To be able to really concentrate without interruptions this year may be more important than ever. My brain is still recovering. I have to remember that. I’m just afraid, like I ALWAYS do, that I’ll overdo it and then be useless to them.

If this rupture has taught me anything, it’s that I’M more important than any job. The last six or so years, that catalog has been more important than my life. My priorities need to change. Yes, I have a very important job to do. Yes, I’m the only one who does that layout. Yes, I’m the only one responsible for completing it, but when I can leave work at 5:00 and still complete the work I need to do the next day, I should do it instead of working 14 hour days simply because the office is so much more quiet after every one else leaves.

I haven’t enjoyed Maine’s’ fall season once since I’ve move to Maine except for my first year here…when I did not work at Johnny’s. My bosses aren’t holding a gun to my head…I am. I NEED to take some time away from the catalog especially on weekends. Make myself remember that I’ve been given a second chance to enjoy a Fall and I should take it. Last year I spent fall in the hospital. 20 days. When I entered the hospital, the fall foliage was just starting to come into color in our area. When I left the hospital…all the leaves were on the ground and the tree branches were bare. I had missed it all…again.

Basically, I need to continue to stop and smell the roses…or the ice cream…or the crisp Fall air….or a cup of Earl Grey tea.

A Walk in the Garden

The last time I set foot in my garden was last November, a short time after I had come home from the hospital. When I entered the hospital, the leaves were still out on the tree. When I got home, the tree were bare and the lawn was covered with the leaves. Stepping into my garden at that time was depressing and overwhelming because I had planned on putting a lot of things away and digging things up. With Dave assistance, we did get some of this taken care of, but not as much as I had hoped.

Yesterday was the first time this spring I ventured into the garden since then. It was a beautiful, very warm spring day. I had to get out and enjoy it and ventured out to my soggy garden to snoop around and see what was possibly growing. My foxgloves, tulips and some primroses all have new green growth, which pleased me to no end. Then I walked around and sat down on the deck in the sun and started bawling. Completely came out of left field. I think it hit me that I may not have had the opportunity to see this all again had my rupture been more significant. The view, things growing in spring in my garden, the sound of the birds, the warmth of spring sun on my face again…it was overwhelming and I guess that God kept me around so I could enjoy that. I had just calmed down and walked out to the potting shed when Dave came out and it hit me all over again. LOL. I told him about it, he teared up, I cried again….the ground wasn’t the only thing that was soggy! LOL

I will have a whole other appreciation for the things in my garden that have survived the winter this year mainly because I survived too!

Migraines

I’m discovering I have different types of migraines. It wasn’t until my cousin Debbie, who is an aneurysm survivor, said she only had ocular migraines and didn’t get them until after her coiling, that I realized I am getting them too. Upon further investigation online, I’m pretty sure that IS what I’m getting because I had one last night. Of course, in my first meeting with my neurologist, I didn’t really delve into that, nor did she mention ocular migraines when I mentioned how my eyes get funky, then after 20 minutes, they’re okay.

On the Cleveland Clinic website it said this:
Ocular migraine can produce various degrees of vision loss or obstruction. Some patients, says Dr. Mays, report blind spots or “holes,” referring to missing sections in the normal visual field, or they may experience a shade of black or gray over the visual field. Some people compare the visual phenomena of ocular migraine to the patterns produced by an old television with faulty reception, says Dr. Mays. “Others say it’s like looking through watery glass.” Ocular migraine symptoms are temporary and do not harm the eye; but they can interfere with daily activities, such as reading and driving and can interrupt the work day.

Since 1976, I have suffered with the horrible Aura migraines which have effected every female member of my immediate family, other than my niece thankfully.

What I do not know yet, is if this is the only type of migraine I’ll experience now since my annie. Wishful thinking on my part probably. The difficult part will be figuring out what is an aura migraine and what is an ocular migraine because I need to take pills immediately upon those first visual symptoms of the aura migraine in order for the pills to kick and take effect. Should be fun! NOT!

I had a long, tiring day yesterday with a lot of talking and being talked to a lot at work. My brain worked overtime and I was exhausted when I got home. The eyes started in around 9:30 with the shades of black & gray over my right eye. I closed my eyes for about 15 minutes, took two Tylenol, but thankfully it dissipated within the next 10 minute with no pain. I like that they’re temporary and don’t have the pain of the aura migraines. I can handle that.

Neurologist

I had my first appointment with my new neurologist this afternoon.

#1, I really liked her. The receptionist, on the other hand, has the personality of a piece of cardboard!! Thankfully, she wasn’t who I was meeting with. She frightened me!

The Dr. usually goes over your X-rays with you and usually gets films, but because I received mine all on CD, she had to bring in her laptop and we huddled together to look through all the images from Oct., Nov and the angiogram just done a week or so ago. Again, as it was in November, I’m amazed at how big the annie was. 1.2 cm she said, which freaked me out because they told me it was 11 mm…she said that IS 11mm. I’m confused! LOL Why can’t they just say it in inches or less?!?

She was pleased with how things looked as well and answered a lot of questions for me that Dr. Kwan didn’t want answer, so I feel much better.

Just because we’ve all had migraines, doesn’t mean you’ll get, or have an aneurysm. She said there is no relationship. She said many, many people get migraines and do not have annies and vice versa. She said smoking & hereditary is the biggest risk for getting an aneurysm. Although she said there is no conclusive evidence on 2nd-hand smoke, she was glad to hear I wasn’t a smoker and have never been as that would continue to be the biggest risk for my getting another annie. Not that getting another one is completely ruled out.

She said there were no issue with taking long hot baths or getting a message. So I’m fine with the tub and she also said there should be no issue with continuing my OMT therapy on my neck with the regular Dr. Good! I need it!

I asked her what the biggest risk to my existing aneurysm was. She said the main thing I SHOULDN’T do was become a weight lifter and lift very heavy things. Like moving that 100lb table by myself! I said there was no chance of my doing either and that I’d take it easy when it comes to lifting or moving heavy things. Sorry Dave! 🙂

Dr. Yanoschak also said I was at no risk for developing any eye degradation due to the annie (other than normal issue that are computer and age related) and that I wasn’t at any greater risk for having a stroke than anyone else. High blood pressure can still be an issue, but I haven’t ever had an issue with that.

I asked her about rides at Disney. Not that we have any trips planned there, but just in case! She said anything that jerks my head too badly and has horrible drops in atmosphere (no Tower Of Terror Dave!) should be off limits. Thunder Mountain Railroad should be fine. She’s been there and remembered a lot of the rides. No big roller-coasters with extreme drops. Oh, darn!

One thing I’m “happy” about is that she’s a migraine sufferer herself, so she understands migraines and their effects. I asked her what I’m calling my pseudo migraines as well as my sinus pain. I told her every-time the weather changes dramatically, my head, skull and neck just kills me. She said it’s a migraine because she gets them at those times as well!! I always thought it was sinus but it makes more sense now. I was never stuffed up with congestion and no runny nose or anything. She said they’re migraines! I said they weren’t what I would normally call a migraine and she said you can get different kinds even if you’ve suffered with the biggies for years. She asked me what I took when I had this “sinus” pain. I said “sinus pills”. She asked if they helped…I said “NO!”. So the next time I”ll take something else. She recommended “Alieve” for those headaches if I didn’t want to do the Excedrin Migraine pills for those. I’ll give those a try next time and see. I’m curious now and think she might be on to something there.

She also told me that the other higher octane migraine meds currently out there can be blood thinning agents and wouldn’t recommend them for me with my annie. She said the Excedrin would be fine even though the aspirin in it makes my heart race.

I’m glad I have someone nearby to go to should I need some questions answered or if I have some issues. She’s not out of Scarborough, but simply leases the building from Dr. D’Angelo’s outfit. It’s very nice and the drive back there on First Park Drive is very nice. She used to work in Philly and go burned out on the big city. She’s about my age I think and very nice. Now if I could just get her another receptionist!

I told her about the odd numbness in my hand that pops in occasionally. She wants me to try and record what I was doing when it happens again. When she was testing my reflexes and hit my elbow on that right arm with the hammer, my right hand tingled big time. It might be a little bit of carpal tunnel, so we’ll see. She wants to see me in six months…October.

So, overall, a good appointment. She said she deals mainly with aneurysms and migraines. She answered a lot of questions and the sinus/migraine issue is fascinating! I’ll be curious to see if Aleve does just that…Aleve!