You may have noticed that I’ve been rather absent since last summer. A post here and there and even my Facebook account has been rather neglected compared to years past. I’ve tried to put up a few photos or projects I’ve worked on but I’ll be honest, it’s been tough. And today, I’m here to tell you why…
I’ve had a headache.
For the past 6 months.
The Short Version of the Story
How it happened….
It came on suddenly. I actually thought it was new computer monitors we got at work. So I adjusted my work habits, the brightness and my posture. Didn’t help. Every morning it came back. I tried relaxing more. Tried a couple Advils. Then a couple Tylenols. Didn’t make a dent (and never bothered with them again after that!). Same pain. Everywhere. Every. Single. Day. Peppermint Oil. Tiger Balm. Every day. Morning till night. Massaging the webbing between my thumb and finger. Eating differently. Napping more. A few sessions of acupuncture. 6 weeks later I’d tried everything I could think of and then some. No change. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. In fact, they got worse. They were averaging a 6 or 8/10 on a pain scale. Every day. Time to see the doctor.
My doctor checked my blood pressure and it was 180/110 (not the end of the world, but it’s definitely not good for me). Then she gave me heck for not seeing her sooner. Long story short, I saw her an awful lot over the weeks to come along with a battery of tests, medications, lifestyle adjustments and visits to specialists to get to the bottom of this achy head of mine.
A couple of weeks ago I finally made it in to see a neurologist who diagnosed me with Chronic Daily Headaches > Chronic Migraines. (Duh!) We talked treatment options (1-High dose Magnesium/B2 supplements, 2 – Antiepileptic medication for long-term preventative treatment, 3 – both. After 6mths of exhausting chronic pain, I chose the aggressive option 3).
I’m a couple of weeks in to titrating the new med. The side effects are pretty heavy (make me sleepy, make me a little slow and a little clumsy amongst other random things: pop tastes awful, I drink more water, my face feels fuzzy and my fingers are tingly) and I won’t see results for a while. So, I really hope it’s worth it. I just have to wait.
Here’s the tough part for me. The side effects can be overwhelming and unpredictable.
I have to take some time off from my portrait photography. (This includes the 2014 Family Day Sessions)
It took a lot of searching within and talking with my husband to come to this decision but the added expectations and pressure is not something I can take on right now. As a crisis counsellor (my f/t gig), I preach self-care, so I have to practise it, too.
From this point forward, I am taking a SICK LEAVE. I have finished booking clients and I will not be taking on any new clients, projects or assignments. Because I can’t guarantee how I’ll feel from one day to the next, it’s not fair to anyone until my health is more consistent. (Ugh. Tears in my eyes right now. This sucks!) Thank you all for understanding! I do have a list of fabulous local photographers if you need a referral, but do give me a little extra time to reply
I’ll be re-evaluating how I’m feeling every month or two so please stay tuned to my Facebook page for updates! I’m going to try to work on some personal projects instead to keep me busy and out of trouble! As always, I’m here if you have any questions or concerns!
Or someone you know or love suffer from Chronic Migraines/Daily Headaches? Tell me about it! Especially tell me what works! I could use all of the support and encouragement I can get. It’s been an exhausting journey and sometimes I just want to bury my head under the blankets.