Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Headaches’

Adventures At The Gym

A few weeks ago I FINALLY learned how to program the treadmill at the gym where Greg and I belong.  Everything is “state of the art” equipment – and it SHOULD be user friendly – but unfortunately it did not have ME in mind.  Not that I’m some “dumb bunny” – I can figure my way around computer programs – I’ve even taught myself some things without ANY help from anybody – and though it did take me longer to figure it out than most – at least I DID figure it out eventually and am quite proud of myself.  One such program was a complicated music software program.  It took a while to get my digital piano and computer to “play nice” together – but they finally did – with a gentle nudge or two.  And I’ve figured out other things on the internet myself too – and even have an iPhone which you have to be able to navigate around on – so I’m very proud of my achievements – and yes – I LOVE the iPod on it – the music through my earphones is SO CLEAR!!

So needless to say – I felt quite qualified to “program” the cardio equipment.  I would not say that I had a “proud” spirit – but I was confident. So began my journey into the bleak “unknown” of things I have NO IDEA about.  I stepped onto the elliptical machine the first day we were there – and although Greg seemed adept and able to program his machine – I could NOT program mine.  Nothing worked – and I just ended up going manual.  The next time we were at the gym (not one to give up easily) I tried another machine, thinking that I was just having a rough day or something.  Same thing.  Nothing.  So I went manual again.

Then I decided to try the treadmill – I mean, after all – how hard could it be to program one of those?  Hmmmm.  I stepped on it and saw about 7 programs and I selected one.  Nothing.  I tried again.  Nothing.  So I again went manual – which is a pain because you have to keep going faster by selecting the speed yourself instead of it doing it automatically.  But being a “trooper” – I was not going to let anything get in the way of my workout – so push the buttons all through the workout – I did.

The next time at the gym I tried another elliptical – downstairs this time – right next to another on that Greg was on – and he again was successful – and AGAIN – I couldn’t program the stupid thing.  And to add insult to injury – the panel went completely BLANK!!  Greg said, “you broke it”  very funny.  He even made some  crack about how I just needed to pedal faster and maybe it would magically appear again – it didn’t – and I felt ridiculous.  So I came to a stop and went to the front desk and told a couple of the young guys behind the desk.  I’m sure they were thinking to themselves, “this poor lady doesn’t have a CLUE how to program the machine” – but they didn’t say so – and one of them came with me to the back of the gym where the machine was.  He had me jump on and start peddling – explaining that I wasn’t going FAST ENOUGH and that was probably why the panel didn’t light up.  Well I peddled and peddled and NOTHING.  So then it was determined that it needed a new battery – and off he went to put in a maintenance call.  It was really annoying.  I am NOT stupid – I just couldn’t get any of my machines to program correctly – or one that worked right!!!  So I gave up and moved to the bicycle next to the “broken” machine.  A few minutes later a man in his 40’s came over with a clip board and went right to the machine.  I was glad to see him and told him that it was the battery that needed to be replaced.  He nodded at me and seemed friendly and engaging – talking about the machine and this and that.  I asked him how long it would take to fix the machine – all the while peddling away – and he then told me, “Oh I’m not here to fix the machine – I was going to use it – but now that you tell me it’s broken I guess I won’t”  Oh brother.  I told him he looked official because of the clipboard and he said he always walks around with one.  Uh huh.  Great.

The next time we were at the gym – I went upstairs and tried another treadmill.  There was an older man on a treadmill a couple of machines down from me – and he saw that I was getting frustrated (as I always did when I couldn’t program the stupid thing) and he tried to give help and suggestions – but he clearly did NOT know how to do it either and just always went manual.  Why do some guys think they know everything – even when they don’t?  It was then that a very nice young woman came and asked me if she could help me – and I said, “PLEASE!!!”  She showed me something so simple – that I had totally missed all those times.  We got it up and running and I was all smiles – then the man said, “Did you get it?”  And I said, “YES!!”  I wonder what he thought about that – he didn’t even ask how to do it – just like a man!!

Well that’s all I know – it isn’t much – but at least I can program those machines now – and it’s the simple things in life that make me very happy ♥

God Bless

Loud Noises

So today we had a beautiful SUNNY day in Seattle.  Yes – it happens ALL THE TIME here – that’s why everyone is buzzing about it today ♥  Not really – we get excited in Seattle – especially in the winter months – okay – even in the spring (as one of my friends pointed out today) because we can go for quite a while without seeing it.

Most people LOVE to see the sun.  Makes them feel happier – drives away the doldrums etc.  However, for me – much as I love the sun too – it can bring a change in the barometric pressure so severe that I get an intense headache.  Unfortunately these can happen while I sleep – so by the time I wake up – it’s too late for any serious medication to help.  Oh I don’t mean a migraine – that is a completely different kind of pain – and once in a migraine folks – just forget it.  Nothing helps unless you can catch it right up front.

This headache was sinus – and really stubborn.  Greg thought some fresh air would help – so off to Coulon Park in the town that we live – to do some walking after eating some lunch.  While in the lunch place – I was KEENLY aware of the loud noises coming from some little kids – who seemed to be VERY FOND of randomly just SCREAMING out – for some unknown, crazy reason.  One was a BLOOD CURDLING scream – unprovoked and unpredicted – as my back was turned from the child – and Greg was facing in that direction but did not even warn me about this sudden OUTBURST of LOUD NOISE.  You can imagine my response.  And my headache suddenly became worse.  Really?  You’re kidding – why do babies and children do that?  Mine never did.  I’m sure they made noise – just not random SCREAMING in a public place.  I was embarrassed for the Mom.

Light also bothers me when I have a headache – and we tried the walk – but because it’s so sunny – and the headache was now WORSE – we gave up and I went home only to take more pills and put ice on my head – again.

So I’m trying to rest – and even dozed off a little – finally fell asleep – which is a small miracle and the next thing I know – I can hear my dear “quiet” husband – speaking on the phone VERY LOUDLY in the next room without even so much as closing the door to his office or anything.  It was annoying – and even worse because of my bad headache.  He woke me UP!!  So being the nice, patient person that I am – I got up – and STOMP, STOMP, STOMP when into his office and said, “are you KIDDING ME?  Don’t you realize how LOUD you are???””  and then SLAMMED the door.  Well it completely threw him off – and he didn’t know what to say next on the phone – he’s not used to being yelled at – I’m usually so patient and so nice ☺  So later when I got up and told him about it – I was amazed at how mad he was!  It reminded us of that line from “A Christmas Carol” when Scrooge throws out a man from his office for not paying the rent – and the man says, “Thanks for not shouting at me” – we had a good chuckle over it – as you can imagine.

The headache got better – as the day went on – a little caffeine didn’t hurt either – and I was able to still teach my students – and be in a relatively good mood too!

Here’s to you and yours – hoping your world is filled with peaceful, quiet and soothing sounds today!

God Bless

I Need A Silent Night…

Today we foolishly went to the “mall” trying to eat at the Cheesecake Factory on the same property.  It was ridiculous.  But what did we expect?  After all – 3 more shopping days until Christmas.  And we weren’t even going inside the mall – we just wanted one little parking space WAY far away from the doors – across the parking lot – for goodness sakes!!!  Greg says this is why he doesn’t EVER go near the mall in the month of December.  I’m starting to see why.

Ever want to just escape from it all?  Get back to simplicity – stop all the madness?

Below is a wonderful song that sums up how I feel about today.  Enjoy the beautiful song and pictures – as you try to have a “silent night” tonight ♥

God Bless

My Fear Button

It’s not world events

It’s not finances – although we all have our concerns about them

It’s not that I have an 18 year old son still living here

It’s not my busy schedule with my Music Studio

It’s not the upcoming Recital

It’s not the theater production of “Ella Enchanted” coming in January


None of these

It’s an unseen phantom

That usually comes under cover of darkness

I fear it

I do anything to avoid it

I prepare for it

Sometimes it comes

Sometimes it leaves me alone

It is called


I started getting these headaches in College.  The traditional ones where there is a strange fuzzy thing that moves across your vision and makes it hard to focus on anything for about 30 minutes – then WHAMMO – the pain hits in the temple.  Not fun.  Once I was done with the stress of College – they went away for a season.

When we lived in Vero Beach Florida – years later I had them again.  I will never forget being in a fetal position on my bed – Greg was gone with the youth all day somewhere (Awwww the great days of being youth pastor’s) and 6 year old Ashlee and 2 year old Shawn were with me at home.  It must have been a bad one because I will NEVER forget Ashlee praying for me and yelling out – as only a 6 year old can do – with PASSION – “Dear JESUS!!!!!  Please heal Mommy!!!!”  It was so cute.  I did recover and a dear friend from our church suggested that I should come into the Chiropractor’s Office where she worked as a massage therapist – to get one of her AWESOME massages.  They really helped – I started going once a week – she never charged me – she always had me come after the office was closed – that was her gift to me because she loved me – I will never forget her kindness to me.

Sometime within the next month or so – we had a visiting Evangelist come to our church where we were serving on staff.  I came forward for prayer – and was instantly healed.  I didn’t have another one of those demonic episodes for years.  In fact – it was not until about a year and a half ago – due to all sorts of hormonal and chemical changes in my body that I once again began to experience them.  And in FULL FORCE this time.  I realize that what I had before were pretty wimpy compared to what I get now.

It usually starts in the middle of the night for me.  By the time I am conscious, it has it’s ugly grip on me – and won’t let go.  And everyone knows that if you don’t catch them when they first start – just FORGET IT – nothing you do will help.  I learned this the hard way.

The first one like this happened before I knew what was happening to me.  I knew I was in pain – but I had NEVER had anything like this – no warning – nothing.  There are many “triggers” for migraines – none of which seems to be consistent with me – it figures.  Nope – it just happens whenever it wants and leaves me completely helpless.  We tried ice – we tried pills – we called a nurse – actually Greg did – I was in a fetal position just trying to DEAL with the throbbing, hideous pain in my head – they make me light sensitive and I am VERY dizzy too – so in bed I stay – until…Oh yes – that kind of BLINDING pain make me vomit too.  It’s lovely.  Not just once – but many times.   Greg was so concerned about this – he called the doctor the first time this happened and she told him to bring me in for a shot to stop the vomiting.  Well that would have been lovely if it would have worked – but by this time the migraine was too far along for any shot to work.  No – you just have to let the nasty thing have its way with you – it takes a whole day – UNLESS you catch it early.

But like a good husband – he practically had to carry me to the car – complete with a bucket on my lap – because – “you never know” right?  As it turned out I found out something about myself on those car trips with a migraine and a bucket on my lap – you just DON’T CARE who sees you – vomiting in public seems to be the only recourse and it is all you can do to keep it together long enough to just get there!  Every stop light – with cars all around us – I would be “up chucking” and my poor embarrassed husband would patiently wait for the light to turn.  I don’t get embarrassed anymore.  I’ve had two children.  Natural.  Enough said.

Well the shot didn’t work – too little too late – had to go home – complete with vomiting all the way home – to sleep it off – many hours later I could walk around and eat again.  I wish that was the end of the story – but it is not.

You would think we had learned our lesson the first time going to the doctor – WELL into the migraine – but we DID NOT.  Again Greg was concerned to see me in that much pain – and doing so much vomiting – that away we went again to the doctor for a shot.  This migraine was much worse and more progressive – and I remember not even wanting to get up and into the car – knowing I would be vomiting all the way there again.  But go I did.  Not only was there vomiting in the car – again at every stop light – but when we got to the doctor’s office – they put me in a dark exam room and left us there for about 30 minutes – the damage was HUGE.  I vomited into the little tiny sink in the exam room – then when I felt safe to walk down the hall – had to find the bathroom too.  It was not pretty.  The shot didn’t help.  NO surprise.

I have found that a drug called Treximet is the ONLY thing that will help my bad ones – and if I feel one coming on – then that is what I take.  I recently acquired some wonderful samples of this drug – as they are VERY expensive and we don’t have prescription drug coverage any more with our new insurance.  When the pain isn’t a full blown migraine – I can get by with about 4 extra strength tylenol and 2 Aleve – if I catch it early.

The good news is this:  I haven’t had a bad one for almost a year now – I’m not sure what triggers mine – so that makes life very interesting – and I do live in a constant state of “fear” that one will strike – at a most interesting and unwelcome time.  I was so thankful that on Ashlee’s wedding day – I DID NOT have one – that was a big fear of mine for more than a year.  And I always have to deal with the “what if I get one” for performances – recitals etc.  But so far so good – I am armed and prepared for even the worst of them.

Well Brittney is here to give me a massage – and I am smiling at the thought 🙂

Here’s wishing that you have a headache free day!

God Bless

A Clean Burn…

“A Clean Burn…with no residuals.”   Apollo 13

I found myself quoting that very famous line last night – after having a wicked headache last night (ruined my whole evening with Greg) and well into the wee hours.

My headache happened because of several things yesterday – I.E. trigger points –

1) We have a teenage son who was getting ready for homecoming with another teenage boy – in our house – lots of drama.

2) I have a digital piano and computer that REFUSE to talk to each other.  We even bought the components necessary to make this communication between the two species possible.  I think the piano is female and the computer is male – enough said.

3) I had a melt down at lunch time because of the above two items – everything came to a head – I felt OVERWHELMED and VERY over stimulated – oh you know – nothing’s really that bad – it just feels like it.  And there comes a point where you are either going to explode and HIT something (or somebody) or just do what always happens to me – CRY.  Yes that’s a bad thing to do when you are a chronic migraine and headache sufferer.

So FINALLY after much slamming of doors all afternoon – and little “emergencies” with the two boys about their outfits  and Ashlee coming over to charge her phone that went dead – and picture taking with Shawn and his girlfriend, Maddie – I finally got rid of the kids!!  Yay!!!  A quiet house 🙂

But with it quiet I was left alone to try to tackle the “project” again in my office.  And I use the term “try” very loosely – as I don’t seem to have a clue how to make the two components “friendly” and “make nice”.  Yeah right.  They both seemed to be mocking me.  Even got a “mediator” in the mix – a MIDI cable that was supposed to do the job.  At one point in the afternoon, Shawn managed (between all his drama) to at least get the computer to speak to the piano – but the piano REFUSES to speak to the computer – no matter what we do to coax it – and ask it “pretty please”.

It seemed a simple task.  It seemed like a logical task.  I was merely attempting to write a song for theater class and was trying to use all my fancy expensive equipment.  All I want to do is play a song on the keyboard – ask it very nicely to go talk to the computer – so that I can then print out the song on sheet music.  Sounds so easy.  But if two things won’t talk to each other – then it’s impossible – no matter what you do.  Sounds a little bit like life – but that’s for another day and another blog.

So…this is why I had a headache and was doped up on meds last night.  Not bad enough for a migraine pill – which are like GOLD because of how expensive they are – no just bad enough to wipe me out – send me to bed early with pills and an ice pack and ruin my evening.

When I woke up some hours later and felt NO PAIN – I couldn’t help but think of the phrase from “Apollo 13”  “A clean burn – with no residuals”  because that’s what it felt like – no pain residuals – YAY!!

That’s pretty much what happened – at least what I can remember.  Tomorrow we call someone that is an expert at my software program and try to figure out how we can gently persuade my piano to cooperate and communicate valuable information to my computer – and LOSE THE ATTITUDE ALREADY.  Yup – I think we can do it and I choose to remain positive 🙂

Have an awesome day free of communication problems 🙂

God Bless

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