So, I should be blogging for migraine awareness… but I am too ill


Fittingly, I couldn’t start blogging for Migraine Awareness Month yesterday because I wasn’t well enough. Poppet looks much as I feel, limping along after having hurled herself off a first floor balcony while I was away. She has a little skid mark on her chin.

sunbathing on the bed. that little pink mark on her chin is where she landed after her short flight of the bumblebee.

I still feel bloody awful now, but the life of the chronic is one of more or less getting on with things… though a lot of things fall by the wayside.

Doing a month of themed blogging a propos of somethingorother tends to involve a lot of rules, and as I am on day three of hammering head and horrible medication, I may do this badly or not at all. The good thing about arriving late to the party is that there is an extra prompt to use – the themes offered are usually surprisingly good, but not all are immediately inspiring. Also, it’s like the spoon thing. Good to have something in your back pocket. I am super aware of this right now, since I have been migraining for days, ever since I got back from holiday. Eight days in Spain without using triptans, and, in fact, scaling back preventative meds, too. What is it about being back? Is there some sort of innate residual stress at home? Should I be living somewhere with less weather? Or was I just unlucky with all the sitting? The same amount that I had to do on the way out there, but got away with just being over tired for a day or two? I DON’T KNOW.

This just in; I have worked out one of the reasons/the reason I am so migrainey. When I was on hollybags I stopped taking my ‘mood elevator’ along with my preventative pain killer. Discussing it with Lottie, I agreed that maybe I should take half a dose a day or every other day or whatever to let it peter out so I did that – so to recap, a few days off, then a few days of half, then PERIOD! See, I don’t get periods because of the amazing Mirena coil, which is ever so slightly progeseterone secreting. Meanwhile, however, a lot of medication, including mood drugs, while not prescribed to alter hormones are actually oestrogenic. So, suddenly a period – and the worst migraines. Mystery solved.

Time Passes, Shit Happens, and Poppet is Opportunistic


Sometimes it doesn’t matter how borked you are, you go ahead and do stuff anyway. Largely speaking, if you spend all day in bed you’ll get more pain anyway. Plus bone loss! As an added treat.

(For anyone not following my gripping life on fb, I fell quite badly on Sunday and now have the classic ‘pain in all 4 quadrants’ AND some. The weirdest thing is the whiplashy thing going on with the muscles at the front of my neck. If I am lying down and want to move my head, I have to do it with my HANDS!)

Also, I suddenly realized TIME IS PASSING and if I want to have a chance at this PhD application I better get my academic boots on, FAST. But I soon found that migraine isn’t a great space to be trying to understand shit from, so I gave up. I hoovered the bedroom and changed the bedding, and Poppet approved.


I’ve been listening to this so many times over the past few days that I probably account for at least half of the 2,054,639 listens.


It turns out that my loopy listening may have stood me in good stead, since I learned today that I am being hauled in to the workfare farce tomorrow morning. I don’t know how scared I should be… but at least I have BUDDHA SKILLZ in my pocket. As it happens, I had just joined a G+ group “Wildmind” who are doing a 100 days of meditation thing – bit late to the party, but so was someone else, so we decided to buddy each other. What’s been interesting so far is less that it has given me a discipline to meditate every day, because it turns out I pretty much do that anyway, but it’s more like when I blogged for Migraine Awareness Month – writing about your practice, even briefly every day for 100 days is going to make it extra conscious. Plus, the support is nice, particularly because I don’t go to an IRL sangha any more.

Although she is speaking about DLA rather than ESA, this clip gives a fair snap shot without being too miserablist.

So, without further ado, I give you Francesca Martinez

A Blog a Day, Miranda goes Climbing with Bear, and Taking Poppet out with Ken


By the powers vested in me by the existence of blogging, my internet connection, and the fact that i can read and write and have a laptop I AM GOING TO BLOG EVERY DAY FOR NOVEMBER!

Last time I blogged every day it was for migraine month. I think it went pretty well. In order not to alienate my existing readers and also not to bum myself out too much I stuck to a formula for that whereby I posted three things – one from the migraine prompts and two others, just to give things a bit of balance. I don’t set out to be a ‘migraine blogger’ or any other kind of a niche blogger either.

“I should be driven desperate if I knew who I was. I meet somebody who says “you’re this or that”, and I feel like I don’t want to be anything.” - Virginia Woolf  Selected Letters

I don’t know what the prompts for this NaBloPoMo are going to be like, I only just took a look at it. It was a bit of a faff doing all the linking and whatnot for the migraine month, but once I got the hang of it it was okay. Still trying to work out the ins and outs of this one, though, so bear with.

It would seem that wordpress always have a daily prompt. I would not usually be interested in such a thing, being the raving snob that I am, but I am suspending disbelief for the duration of this month. So here goes;

Daily Prompt

When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely?

Nice. Just jump straight in, won’t you? Weasel away at my deepest darkest private moments, please, just go for it. So there’s no dipping a toe in here is there?

Gently does it, then. OR NOT!

This is going to sound absolutely pathetic, but I feel absolutely bereft whenever I’m not with my dog. If I go somewhere without her I feel like something is missing – even if that thing is having my shoulder joint pulled out for the duration. ALSO, sometimes Poppet goes a little holiday to visit my good friend Ian, if, frinstance, I am too ill to look after her. She is what is known as a ‘velcro dog’ because she doesn’t often take alone time, so I am used to having her nearby at all times.

I’ve not been away from Londinium much over the past couple of years, but if Poppet is not invited or, say if I would have to go to somewhere abroad or whatever, I would be discombobulated to the max.

perhaps not the most glamorous shot, but a bit of a favourite of mine – pops relaxing on her back creates the most mad face. and for maximum funsies simply turn your monitor upside down. see? super funny.

I think the last time I had to go somewhere without her was a hospital appointment. I could have used her support. It was a psych appointment and I had to really let it all hang out. Which was alarming. I should have dressed her up as some sort of person… that, or make her a fake service dog outfit. I heard tell of someone who actually did that. Took her dog into shops and her untrained dog would wreak havoc, much to the annoyance of her friend who has a real service dog. Also, the outfit was really badly made. ::snork::


When I said bear with I was referencing Miranda Hart’s show Miranda in which she has a friend whose habit it is to pause the conversation with an authoritative “bear with” while she is on her phone. Typing it in to yootoob I didn’t get the example of her comedy stylings that I expected. What I found was a whole programme of her doing mountaineering with Bear Grills. You can see it here;

Which I think is rather good. If you like your survivalists mixed up with your comedians. Which I do. I mean, I get most of my news filtered through the medium of comedy, so you can imagine this is rather up my boulevard. If I must watch people battling the elements I’d rather at least one of them was a professional comedian.


So, what have I even been up to? Well, one thing I have been doing is playing hostess to one @lahikmajoe who is away on a wander with his mother up north and expected back sometime soon. He wrote this blog post to suck up to me.

ken had the idea that if he came with me to bethnal green we could take poppet. he and pops hung out here at lock 7 while i went to my appointment.

Ooh, isn’t their website nice? lock 7

Right. I am now going to try to see if a) I have done this right at all and b) I can bear to do whatever it takes to be *in* whatever this thing is…

bear with.


ETA I just found the NaBloPoMo prompt page which is here. I used the wordpress prompt for this, which is here. So, two totally different things. HOWEVER! all is not lost, since yesterday’s NaBloPoMo prompt was

Thursday, November 1, 2012
Tell us your favourite quotation and why.

and I just so happened to have included a quote! SPOOKY, RIGHT?

So! I am on course. As you were.

last day of migraine awareness month, olympics TM, and whither now for our blogs?


Migraine Awareness Month #30: Blogger’s Pick. Choose your favorite blog from any of this month’s prompts from someone else’s blog to share with us and tell us why it’s your favorite.

i liked this post from the pained brain. it’s about ‘big fears’. she talks about the next big migraine and also about letting people down. who among us can’t relate to those hell realms?


since this is our last day of migraine awareness month i thought i’d sign off with this;

i have been very lucky to have found myself on effexor – quite by accident on the migraine front, since it was prescribed to manage my unsurprisingly tricky mood situation. on the wikipedia page it says that effexor can either make migraines worse or better. for once in my life i was on the winning side. i went from having to take triptans nearly every day to being able to have several days in a row without them. just as long as the weather didn’t mess me around, nothing happened and all other things were equal. 

now that i have this little bit of elbow room i am considering this thorny issue – and do weigh in with your opinions. is chronic migraine a disease which needs all the drugs and whatnot to manage OR is it really because of medication overuse? if i put myself through the next few migraines without medication will i end up suicidal or will i start to break free of needing triptans?

this graphic suggests that chronic migraine is because of medication overuse. IF so, and that is a big “if”, is it reversible? OR is this just another stick to beat ourselves with, and possibly quite a dangerous idea, causing needless withdrawl pain and perhaps unmanageable mood issues and possibly a lack of self care prompting even more migraines?

“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by”


here on the tottenham riviera, on the banks of the lea, we await the olympics with an expectation of some restrictions, some extra noise, and absolutely no intention of using public transport if at all possible for several weeks.

i have also been following the protests. this has become the most policed, most corporate event, it’s ridiculous. seriously, LITERALLY the army have been called in. there will be rocket launchers on council flat roofs. and i think the protests will rival the G8 protests, but that remains to be seen. certainly, people are already being harassed for doing such nefarious things as carrying a camera in the local boroughs.

mau mau


so, what are we all doing about blogging from tomorrow onwards? i have noticed that quite a lot of people have set up blogs just to cover migraine awareness month. will you all be disappearing now? or have you caught the blogging bug? my strategy over this month has been to blog (nearly) every day, and to provide two other topics as well as covering the group’s prompts. this means that i have posted on 14 topics a week apart from migraine. were i to carry on like this i think i would find three topics hard, but not if i didn’t do it every day. blogging legend has it that it is a good idea to pick certain days to post, since then your readers look forward to reading on that day or days.

i also have my DAILY WAFFLE blogging to consider. i agreed to provide a column just before migraine month kicked off, and soon realized i’d never manage it this month, so i am looking forward to doing that, and will have to consider how to weave that into my week, too. since i am a chronic migraineur and don’t have much going on in my life i am rather amazed that i find so much to write about. so, thanks everyone for the great reads this month. it’s been lovely to meet new friends and read about how everyone manages.


help a chronic, a tumblr post, and my new goggles


Migraine Awareness Month #29: “More Often that Not.” Today is Chronic Migraine Awareness Day. People with chronic Migraine have a Migraine more often than not. Think of and share a random act of kindness that you could do for someone with chronic Migraine.

okay, well i am that chronic migraineur of which you speak, so it’d be really easy to get super bogged down with this. let me give you a piece of advice when approaching the likes of me – keep offers specific. don’t be vague. “can i do anything to help?” is far too big a question for someone stumbling from migraine to migraine.

i am always happy when my friend hazel helps me out because she never says “would you like something to eat?” even. she will think of something specific to eat and ask if i want that. “do you want some rice pudding?” is a much easier question to answer. even i know the answer to that one.

“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by”


i’ve made a little tumblr for you this morning featuring, as it does, this image which some kind soul posted a link to on twitter, only for me to forget who it was. SORRY [insert name].

Heather Benning


i know you are waiting with bated breath to see what i look like in m’new goggles.

i feel i am channeling all the very best comedy and cleverness in them. also good is the fact that they are varifocals so i don’t look too NHS in them with the bifocal line effect, AND i can walk around with them on, despite the info on them saying i couldn’t. they are specifically for book and laptop, but there’s enough long distance vision to get around the house without having to take them on and off constantly. i have to say, i am very pleased.

bladerunner, two awards, and seven things about me


Migraine Awareness Month #28: “Lights, Camera, Action.” Pick a movie character you can identify with, talk a bit about them and why you identify with them.

Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty – Blade Runner

“Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it?

That’s what it is to be a slave.”

replicant, roy batty’s problem is partly lack of lifespan, but he is also criminalized by the construction of his DNA. he is trapped. he suffers. he is an amazing being, but he is flawed beyond the ordinary meaning of the word. this leads him to do ‘questionable things’. but nothing helps. he is a prisoner of circumstances beyond his control.

“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by”


now! on to cheerier things!

i am currently the recipient of two AWARDS.

this one is the LET THEM EAT CAKE award from cat’s litter box

she flatters me thusly;

“Elaine has given me so much to think about over the years in one forum or another. I am enriched daily by her insights. She also has a particularly stunning dog.”

so, naturally, i accept with my usual graciousness.

AND i have been given ANOTHER ONE. the bipolar place has offered me a VERSATILE BLOGGER award!

so, thanks to him, for that, as well!

this one comes with conditions

Award acceptance: Tell you seven things about myself and nominate as many or little bloggers you wish.

Seven Things About Me:

1. i like getting awards well enough, but it became clear to me that it was a tricky business to give them, since not everyone wants to get involved in the pyramid element of it all. i have solved this problem through the simple expedient of making my own awards, which have no strings and awarding them as the mood takes me. as has cat, with her rather repulsive litter box. (but very kind sentiments).

2. i have become a words with friends fanatic. i’ve even neglected twitter in order to play all the words with friends. I AM AN ADDICT. i wonder if there is a words with friends anonymous yet?

3. i have done two things today and am now exhausted. i have taken to my quilts and will have a bit of a lie down after this.

4. i will listen to rivers of london on audiobook during said lie down. it’s part of a trilogy by Ben Aaronovitch. when i started it i thought what a lot of tosh since it combines police procedural with magic, and although i like super powers i am wary of MAGIC. but then i started to get into it and now i am hooked.

5. i realize that i have had a bit of a history of having quite negative role models. from tess of the d’urbervilles and jane eyre to sylvia plath i seem to have tended toward the tragic heroine in my teens. roy batty is a change of gender but is no less tragic.

not all of my teenage role models were tragic, though. i read jessica mitford avidly and loved patti smith.

6. i will be sorry to see the end of migraine month, it’s been awesome.

7. but i will be starting at the daily waffle which is soooo exciting!

so, no nominations, as such. i dare say i will make more awards as i go along, but if you feel you would like one of the sneakyfucker awards then shoot me a line.

pip pip!

my friends, news on cats, and a WTF moment on twitter


Migraine Awareness Month #27: “In my Head and Heart.” Who inspires you to keep trying and not give up, despite your Migraines?

ten and poppet, of course. also, all my friends, both IRL and on the internet.

having been a migraineur for – oof, it’s got to be a decade – i have pretty well whittled down my real life friends to people who “get” me. or they whittled me down. in any case i have quite a few very old very good friends, and i have new friends who never knew me any other way, so they tend to be super easy since they don’t expect me to go shopping or hiking or anything.

and i really like those little daily connections i have with people when i walk the popster.

also, though, my virtual friends are super precious. keeping me going day by day with little interactions via the twitter or facebook or BY COMMENTING HERE – YES! DOOO ITTTT !!!!! I LIKE ITTTTT !!!!!!

so, yes. team effort. go team!

ten’s camera shy, but look at the poppet. wouldn’t this little bobbin keep anyone going?

“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by”


you may remember i asked for help rehoming these two cats?

well, on my birthday i thought to ask my friend emma if she would take one. she had to give up her cat because he brought rats onto her bed, and she’s not really able to make her own bed, so stripping it and doing a wash was an epic challenge too far for the frequency of “gifts”. she missed kitty company though, and it so happened she was already thinking of getting another cat. she chose to take on pearl, the black one. pearl’s a quiet indoorsy girl, so perhaps a better fit.

hannah has had a trip to the vet’s recently, and, sadly, has only been given a few months to live. despite her kittenish demeanor she is quite old, and it seems she’s not terribly well. the reason they had been looking for new homes was that their owner was moving in with her elderly mother, and it was thought that the cats could be quite dangerous underfoot. but given the situation, keeping hannah seems to be for the best. you can keep an eye open for one cat fairly easily, and it would be a shame to try to rehome her now.

so, mixture of good news and bad, but neither cat is being put down, so a result, i’d say. and also probably better than trying either of them with poppet. i’d love pops to have a little kitty friend, but i think the best chance of NO SAVAGING would be with a kitten. she has a mothering instinct which might just override her prey instinct.


since i am not feeling terribly glamorous and i can’t be bothered doing anything about it, you will have to take my word for it i got my new specs. so then i thought, well i have to find something else to blog about to round off this post.

between facebook, tumblr, and twitter, there’s usually some little gem to share. this one is more of a WTF than a gem, though.

ah! life in the UK. such fun.