Monday, June 30, 2014

Businesses > Women

I'm sure everyone has heard at this point that the Supreme Court has ruled that Hobby Lobby and other businesses don't have to cover birth control on religious grounds.

Now I'm a Christian, but I'm also a woman who uses birth control And this decision is just another way this country is telling women we are inferior creatures, which of course, is bullshit.

A woman is a human being with a mind. I think all women can decide if birth control, having a bunch of babies, having an abortion is best for them. I use birth control because I don't think my body could handle another pregnancy because of my chronic pain issues. And with a husband who has MS, it's not a good idea for us to bring another life into this world that we might not be able to care for.

People of all different beliefs make up this country and I wish that the government tried to have the best interests of all people in mind. But the Supreme Court seems to think the right of businesses trump the rights of women.

I am disgusted by this and I will be boycotting Hobby Lobby and any other business that tries to oppress their employees' in the name of religion.

June is Migraine Awareness Month

Over the course of this month, I've been blogging about my experiences with migraines and chronic pain. I kind of grouped them together because it is migraine awareness months but I didn't plan any of them out in advance. They all came from things happening in my life.

Migraines are a part of my life, so I will continue to blog about it as things come up. I hope that my posts this month have been enlightening and interesting to some people.

Here's the list of all the migraine post from this month, in case you missed one!

A Day in The Life With Chronic Migraines

The Worst Superpower

Chronic Pain and Being a Shut-In

Being A Parent With Chronic Pain

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Being A Parent With Chronic Pain

June is Migraine Awareness Month. This is my 4rd in a series of posts about my experiences with chronic migraines. The first was about a day in the life with chronic migraines , the second was about an unfortunate superpower that comes with migraines and the third is about how chronic pain makes me a shut-in.

I always knew I wanted to have kids. I'm not sure why because I never really liked kids growing up and babies made me feel very uncomfortable. I was always afraid I was going to drop them or something like that. But I wanted one of these creatures for my very own.

My chronic pain started before I was married but I still wanted a child. Todd and I started dating around the time my headaches started. We did the long distance thing but he heard about all I went through during the nine months of hell I went through while the doctors tried to find a cause.

When we started getting serious, we sat down and had a long talk about everything. Our expectations for marriage, religion, and of course, kids. Todd was on the fence about kids, so we agreed we would not do any fertility treatments. If I couldn't get pregnant the old-fashioned way, we weren't meant to have kids. 

After our honeymoon, we started trying for a baby. It only took three months before I became pregnant. Being pregnancy while suffering from chronic migraines was miserable. I felt awful the first and third trimesters because my pain didn't go away. In some ways, it got worse.

Emily Morgan was born on October 17, 2008 via a c-section. She was perfect but I was still in pain. When she was a baby, it was easier. I'd veg out with her in my arms and I'd sleep when she slept. Now that she's older, I feel more guilty about the high pain days when I'm basically stuck in bed.

She is very sweet about it though. She gave me one of her teddy bears and named him Chronic Pain Bear. When Todd went in the hospital and was diagnosed with MS, we gave him Chronic Pain Bear. Emily gave me a dog stuffed animal who got named Chronic Pain Puppy.

I try to do as much with her as I can. We went to the pool on Thursday even though I wasn't feeling great. I don't want her to be stuck inside all summer because of my chronic pain issues. I paid for it on Friday, but it was worth it to see my daughter have a great time splashing in the water.

I wonder sometimes if I'm doing her a disservice because of my chronic migraines. But she is loved and well cared for, which is more than other kids out there. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Words Can Hurt

I've been called all kinds of names over the years. A large part of the bullying that I endured when I was a kid involved taunts and name-calling. Words can hurt as much as a punch to the stomach.

I remember an incident many years ago when I was a tween / young teenager. We had gone to Bay City to watch the 4th of July fireworks and it was packed. I still would hold my mom's hand in public, and was doing so that night because it was very crowded. A group of girls not that much older than I was saw us and started yelling insults. I don't remember exactly what they were but they all amounted to me being gay because I was holding my mom's hand.

My mom told me to ignore them, but I felt hurt and ashamed. I let go of my mom's hand and I don't think I ever held it again in public.

I grew up and words hurt less when coming from complete strangers. Which is good since I get cursed out on a daily basis as part of my job.

Yesterday a lady thought I pulled out in front of her in the Walmart parking lot. I think she was just going way too fast in the parking lot. She started beeping at me and showing me the finger. I just ignored her and kept driving, so she beeped again.

I pulled up to a red light and she pulled up to right beside me. She started yelling at me to learn how to drive, that I was a bitch and a four-eyes. She also told Emily that she needed to tell her mama to learn how to drive. As the light turned green and I went to turn, she yelled out Whore out of the window.

It didn't bother me. I just thought that she was highly immature and needed a lesson in manners. In fact, I told her that she needed to learn manners. But Emily was bothered by it. I told Emily that she was just a stupid person and to ignore it. I turned on some Disney music and got us some ice cream at Sonic.

Emily did want me to tell Todd - that seemed very important to her. Not that there was much he could do since he was at work. But I promised to tell him.

I'll never understand road rage but hopefully I can teach my daughter that while words can hurt, the careless stupid words of a strangers should be ignored.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


It's June - school is out and the local pools are open! So Emily and I have been swimming several times.

Most of the parents sit on the edge of the pool or in chairs on the side. But I'm right in the pool, swimming with Emily. In part because she's only five and doesn't swim very well, and in part because I love to swim.

I never understood how people can go to the beach and just lay on the sand without going into the water. I've always loved the water and learned how to swim when I was younger. I'm not a great swimmer but I know how to do it and I've been trying to teach Emily some.

My dad always loved to swim too and he was the one who taught me, though I did take some swimming lessons when I was younger. My mom would swim too but she didn't like it as much as my dad did.

Someday, I'd love a small pool in our backyard so I can swim everyday. But until then, I'm  happy to have a local pool not far away so I can get my swim on!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bikini Body

Like a lot of women, I have had body issues since I was younger. My mom was super skinny, but I didn't get her genes. I got the genes from my dad's side of the family. I'm all curves but I also have a tendency to be overweight. Add in the fact that I was never very active, and I've never been skinny since I hit puberty.

My mom caused a lot of my body issues. I know she meant well but she would talk consistently about how I was overweight and how she wanted me to lose weight. It was hard to hear from someone who I loved so much and from someone who was skinny without trying.

As a teenager, I preferred to read, watch TV and play video games than be active at all. I did play soccer and softball, but I didn't really enjoy it. When I went to college, I was in the best shape of my life because I had no car and had to walk everywhere.

Once I had a car and especially once I was done with college, I started getting rounder. I would try to work out but my chronic pain made that sporadic at best. But I didn't think I looked that bad - I did know that I wouldn't look good in things that were tight fitting so I steered away from things like that.

I got pregnant with Emily and I lost a ton of weight during my first trimester. Being pregnant is the only time when you are suppose to have a fat belly and even though I didn't enjoy being pregnant, I liked the way I looked.

But since Emily was born via c-section, my stomach now is not great. The years after Emily was born, I was at my highest weight ever. I have been able to lose quite a bit in the last year or so, but I'm still a far cry from my college days.

Since it's summer, there have been posts and memes floating around the internet about body acceptance. I try to be happy with my body - Emily and Todd think I'm beautiful and I don't think I'm ugly. But I still sometimes hear my mom's words ringing in my ears.

Yesterday I was doing some cleaning in my room and Emily was in there. I found an old bikini from my college days and I tried it on for the fun of it. It fit though I had some boob leakage issues.

Emily kissed my tummy and told me that I should wear it, that I should show my tummy. She's only five but hearing her say that really made me realize that my body is fine. I'll never be thin because my body shape, but I will continue to exercise and stay fit.

I had her take a picture of me in the bikini, though I don't think I'll wear it to the pool today. I'd be afraid of having wardrobe malfunction because the top is tight. But I think on my way to being more accepting of my body and maybe I'll get a bikini whenever I get a new swimsuit.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chronic Pain and Being a Shut-In

June is Migraine Awareness Month. This is my 3rd in a series of posts about my experiences with chronic migraines. The first was about a day in the life with chronic migraines and the second was about an unfortunate superpower that comes with migraines.

The picture for this post is a meme that has been going around on my Facebook wall. This is a feeling I know all too well. I'm a bit of a shut-in. 

Now my chronic pain isn't the only reason I'm shut-in. Since Todd works 2nd shift, if I go anywhere after work I have to have an Emily with me. Now that she's older, it's not as big of a deal but I still can't do things like table top gaming because she'd want to play and her reading ability isn't very strong.

Some days, it's hard for me to get out of bed. And some days I have to go straight back to bed once I'm done working. I rarely leave the house since I work from home and sometimes just being able to go to Wal-Mart is a treat.

Unfortunately, I don't get invited to a lot of things. I don't get the Facebook invites for Browncoat karaoke anymore among other things and I don't really have a lot of local friends. I even have been missing church a lot lately because of illness.

It's sad and I'm lonely, but I can't make people like me. This is something I found out the hard way over the years. I've lost several close friendships in part because of my chronic pain issues. My only really close friend anymore is Todd, and he's required to be my friend because he's my husband. I have Emily - but she's my kid and not a friend.

I'd like to try to make more friends, but it's hard because I've been burned in the past. And because it's hard to go anywhere lately because of having one car, lack of money and higher pain levels. My anxiety levels have been higher too which doesn't help.

I'm afraid it might be too late for me - that I probably won't have a best friend ever again beyond Todd. My life isn't too bad on the whole but I do get lonely especially for female friendships. 

If you know someone who is suffering from chronic pain, try to keep in contact with them. Even just an email or text would make their day!

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Godzilla Nightmare

I've had very vivid dreams ever since I was a child. Some are good, some are super scary and some are just plain weird. I nearly always remember what I've dreamed too. I've even died before in a dream. Last night's dream was weird and long so I thought I'd share it.

The dream started out and I was in a mall. I was with some other people and I think Todd was there. There was stomping outside and all the power went out. I got some back story somehow - Godzilla had a mate and they were trying breed right by the mall.

The power did come back on eventually. We were in the food court and I had wanted cheesecake. But by the time the power came on, the cheesecake store said they were closed. I was more upset about the lack of cheesecake then Godzilla getting it on not far from where I was.

For some reason, Godzilla's mate got killed and this caused Godzilla to be mad and look for a new mate to have giant lizard babies with. I was now in this huge house that was overlooking a lake. It was beautiful until Godzilla came and smashed it up.

The house had a basement so me and the other people there went to the basement. We tried hiding but Godzilla kept coming and smashing things up. It wasn't like he was actually after me, I just had really bad instincts on not going where he was.

I ended up in this old shopping center. Godzilla himself wasn't really around for this part, but he had successfully mated with some giant lizard and there were now babies. If the babies touched you, your skin turned green around the edges and you became a lizard zombie.

I tried hiding myself in a bunker with another girl. We had DVD's in the bunker so we thought we were set, but it was breached by the babies. We ran and ended up in this Asian store.The shopkeeper lead us back through the shop to all these hidden rooms. There was this huge bath in the back that was more like indoor swimming pool.

We weren't safe for very long - and I ended up being bitten by the Godzilla babies. I felt pretty good about it and enjoyed swimming while being green and lizard-y.

It was at this point that I woke up. I felt very groggy so I ended up playing on my phone again. I didn't want to slip right back into the dream because that can cause me to have sleep paralysis sometimes. When I did finally get back to sleep about an hour later, I did start dreaming about Godzilla again. Needless to say, I'm pretty wiped today.

When I told Emily about the dream she was a little sad that I didn't get stomped because she says that Godzilla stomps people and things. But the dream was weird enough to begin with.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Triple Whammy

Today is Friday the 13th. It is also a Full Moon and Mercury is in Retrograde. While many of you may scoff at this, I am superstitious to a degree. And today has been kicking my butt already.

Usually Friday the 13th on it's own is not usually a bad day. Todd has actually won the lottery in the form of scratch off tickets several times on different Friday the 13th's.

But today's combo seems to be making my life harder. I work in tech support and I deal with my fair share of unhappy and unreasonable people. But generally they are not the norm. Today though, at least the first hour of my shift was full of really upset, really unreasonable, screaming people. It was crazy!

I wasn't the only one too - my coworkers were getting similar calls as well.

Thankfully, that calmed down a bit. But then my computer erased my notes. In the nearly two years that I've done this job, that has never happened to me. Mercury in Retrograde can mess with electronic stuff as well.

I was suppose to take Emily swimming this afternoon but we probably won't be able to thanks to storms rolling in. I'm kind of glad because I don't want to test this triple whammy of a day.

My hope is that today calms down - I hope that Friday the 13th is treating you all better than it is me!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Pinocchio Village Haus

On the day we were in the Magic Kingdom last October, we stopped at a counter service restaurant in Fantasyland. As I sat there, eating my lunch I realized that I had eaten at this restaurant every single visit to Disney World.

Growing up, we went to Disney World twice. Once when I was 9 and once when I was 16. Both times, we stayed off site and didn't eat at any of  the table service restaurants. For my honeymoon and this last trip, we stayed on site and got the Dining Plan which gives us one table service, one counter service and one snack for each person each day.

My childhood trips were magical because I was a kid at Disney World, but different from the ones I've taken as an adult. This is the only thing that is the same over all the trips. Not even Mickey was consistent since I didn't get my picture with him on my 2nd trip or my DisneyMoon.

Now it's a tradition and when Emily and I go back in 2016 for our girl's only trip, we'll make sure to have a least one meal at Pinocchio Village Haus. Besides, the food is pretty good there!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Worst Superpower

June is Migraine Awareness Month. This is my 2nd in a series of posts about my experiences with chronic migraines. You can read the first here.

I have an awful superpower. One that would not qualify me to be part of the X-Men or the Avengers. My superpower is being able to sense when storms are coming in.

Pressure changes are awful and they nearly always trigger a migraine. We are suppose to get a bunch of storms later today. I didn't feel too badly but I was sitting at my desk and working when suddenly my pain level jumped from about a 3 to a 6 or 7. Sudden jumps like that make me feel very woozy in part because my auras tend to make it seem like I'm looking through water.

I live in the mountains so the storms often don't make it past the mountains. The storms are a necessary part because when they come through they relieve the pressure that's built up. If they fall apart before they reach me, I tend to be miserable and in pain for several days.

I'd love to get rid of this superpower because weather / pressure changes is the one trigger I can't avoid. I can avoid drinking anything with caffeine, I can steer clear of raw onions, I can even keep my stress levels down. But I cannot control the weather.

I'm still working despite the high pain levels but it's going to be a 'head back to bed' kind of day for me!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Happy Birthday Donald Duck!

On this day, 80 long years ago a star was born. Or at least a beloved animated character debuted in his first cartoon, The Wise Little Hen. That character was Donald Duck!

I grew up watching Disney cartoons and I always like watching the antics of Donald. Now my daughter is growing up watching some of the same cartoons as well as new ones like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

We met Donald when we went to Disney World last year. He borrowed Emily's Simba stuffed toy and raised it up above his head just like in the Lion King. Donald really has a great sense of humor!

So Happy 80th Birthday to the most famous Duck of all!

A Presidential Neighbor

I live right outside of Asheville, NC - we moved down here 9 years ago this September. It's a beautiful place and the weather is great. I love living here, though living in Asheville itself is expensive.

There are several celebrities who have homes in Asheville. Andie MacDowell used to and Edge from WWE currently has a home here. Looks like our newest celebrity is going to be a presidential one.

President Obama has visited Asheville quite a lot over the span of his years in the Oval Office. He says he likes it here, especially the bbq from 12 Bones. So it didn't come as a surprise to hear that the Obama's have purchased a home in Asheville.

It hasn't been confirmed but my husband, Todd has been saying for years that he thought they were going to move here once he was done being president. Looks like he was right.

I've read a lot of mixed opinions about this. I think it has to do with how people feel about him as a president as far as wanting him to live here. I'm personally indifferent though I do wonder if anything will change around here if the Obamas do become Asheville residents.

I do know that I'd still prefer to run into Edge at Ingles rather than any of the Obama's!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Unique Dragon Con

Last Dragon Con :)
I admit it, I found myself comparing Wizard World Atlanta to Dragon Con last weekend. I know that there is no way that it would have been anything like Dragon Con but I did it anyway.

Dragon Con is such a unique experience and each con-goers can have a completely different experience than anyone else. But it's also very different from other cons as well.

First it's massive - 80,000 to 100,000 people attend Dragon Con every year. Now that's a guess because generally they don't publish the attendance numbers, but it's a huge amount of people. Now it is spread out over five host hotels and the dealer's room is now in a whole separate building.

Because of the hotels, the party never stops. I'm not a party sort of people generally but I like going to some of the track dances if I can stay awake long enough. Because there ain't no party like a Dragon Con party. And I'm pretty sure that Dragon Con is one of the few places that a normal person (as normal as your average geek is) that you can party with celebrities.

I remember Todd's first Dragon Con - he stayed up all night and ended up seeing someone famous really drunk at the bar at the Marriott. My only experience with hobnobbing with guests was the year that I had dinner with Peter Beagle - the friends I was staying with knew him and I got to tag along.

Wizard World was fun but it wasn't the awesome, crazy, exhausting high that Dragon Con is. We actually went and had lunch at the food court at the Peachtree Center after we left Wizard World. It was sad and really empty. But in a few months, it will be filled with geeks and cosplayers and friends!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Day in The Life With Chronic Migraines

June is National Migraine Awareness Month and I'm hoping to do several posts to promote awareness. First up is how my chronic migraines can really screw with my life.

I have daily chronic headaches that get migraine bad. And when I say migraine bad, I'm not just taking about higher pain levels. I get auras and nausea, my brain gets fuzzy as does my vision. I get the whole migraine package.

This particular migraine started on Saturday after Wizard World. I slept poorly Saturday night and was feeling worse on Sunday. We drove home on Sunday and I went right to bed.

Monday I still felt bad but I felt well enough to work. I worked my shift and went back to bed. I rested all day. But I went into the living room after I put Emily to bed. There were voices outside my door which I knew someone was in my car port. I went and peeked out my windows and there was a man and woman walking down my driveway. I'm not sure why they thought it would be fun to trespass on my property, but it gave me a small panic attack.

I still rested the rest of the evening and got to sleep early. I slept like a rock but Todd said that I kept making weird noises in the night. I didn't wake up at all during the night which is odd for me

Now we get to the day in the life part. I woke up yesterday feeling like a train had hit me. I stumbled out of bed and went to my computer. Everything was blurry to the point that I had to touch my face to make sure I had put my glasses on. I knew I couldn't work like that so I emailed in sick.

I am very lucky because whenever I get sick my boss just moves my hours to my day off which is Sunday. I was a kind wife and I let Todd sleep in. I went into the living room with Emily and we watched all the Sailor Moon episodes that were up on Hulu.

During the last episode, Todd got up so I headed back to bed. I turned on Netflix and Charmed. I was sick enough that I couldn't do anything else - I tend to be a multitasker so my hands are using busy with cross stitching and other things. But the pain was bad enough that all I could do was lay there and watch tv in a dark room.

Finally my body decided that it was time to sleep. I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open. It was nearly time for Todd to go to work, so I had Emily come in the bedroom. She amused herself with our iPad while I cat napped for a bit. I felt better when I woke up. Enough that I could make supper and hang out with Emily.

I got Emily to bed and I went back to bed myself. Watched a little more tv and cross stitched a little more. Then I went to sleep.

Today I still am suffering from the same migraine but it's a little better so I'm working. Yesterday was not a typical day in my life, thankfully, but it happens thanks to my chronic migraines. Thankfully I have a good job and a good boss, an understanding husband and a great kid. But just a small thing like people walking up my driveway can give me a panic attack which can lead to higher pain levels.

My life is a game of Russian roulette. I don't get shot but I do get bowled over with the pain sometimes. I try to be as normal as I can but I'm not normal. I'm a chronic migraine sufferer.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Wizard World Atlanta

Me and Karen Gilliam
For many years, Todd has wanted to go to a Wizard World. Mostly because they get a lot of big name guests that other conventions don't get. But until this year, there wasn't one close enough for us to go to.

When it was announced that Wizard World was coming to Atlanta, Todd wanted to go. But it wasn't until Anthony Mackie was added to the guest list that we decided for go for sure. Unfortunately, he canceled, but other guests had been added that we wanted to meet.

Since Todd is new at his job, we decided to just go on Saturday. We got up very early Saturday morning and drove down. Luckily, my wonderful aunt and uncle were willing to let us stay and watch Emily. We hung with them for a while and I got changed into my costume.

Wizard World was at the World Congress Center which is only a few MARTA stops away from Dragon Con. We got on the train and it did something we'd never experience before - the train broke down!

We weren't stopped for long, but they did make us get out and put the train out of service at one of the next stops. The rest of the trip was fairly smooth and we got there a little after 10.

After getting our wristbands we walked in. It was much smaller than I expected. The majority of the con was in one big room. One end had the autographs and the photo ops and another end had the artist's alley. In the middle was the dealer's room. They also had food and a gaming area. And there were a few panel rooms outside of the main room.

There was already a line formed for Karen Gilliam's autograph. Since I had preordered that I got a card and got in line. It took longer to wait for her to arrive than it did to go through the line. Though while I was waiting there was a bunch of teenage girls running and screaming behind us. I think they were doing the VIP experience with Norman Reedus which gave them one on one time with him. Whatever they were so hyped up about, it got annoying after a while.

Todd met up with me right before I got Karen's autograph. I was a little surprised that she was taking table pictures for free, but I took advantage of it and got my picture with her.

After that, we  had some time to kill before Todd needed to get in line for the Big Show. While I was waiting for Karen, Todd had gotten another autograph from an actor who had been in the Boondock Saints 2.

We watched around the dealer's area. I found a Keyblade right away and since I love Kingdom Hearts I had to get it. Todd is going to mount it somewhere in my office. I got some stickers for my car and we got Emily a My Little Pony figure.

I was feeling kind of crappy, in part due to the screaming girls, so we went to the food area of the room and I got a BBQ sandwich. We did some more looking around and then got in line to meet the Big Show.

Todd had him autograph his WrestleMania poster from the year it was in Atlanta. He is a big man and was pretty nice. After that, we decided that there really wasn't anything else we wanted to do. Todd's not big into panels and neither of us had a ton of money to spend.

We opted inside to go see the new X-Men movie which was very good. We did have a good time at the convention - we both considered this year a scouting trip to see what it was like. If there is an actor or wrestler we want to meet next year, we'd definitely go back. If not, we'll probably skip it.