“We Did The Thing!” – Self Doubt and Self Care

I wrote the title for this blog enthusiastically and with happy tears in my eyes because I have recently experienced something I want to share with the world. Then, I stared at the screen, started typing, hit the backspace key, typed something else, and stared some more. The truth is that I don’t know how to talk about this in an articulate way. I have expressed parts of the feeling to individuals as I have deemed it necessary, but, ultimately, the emotion is too huge to pin down in a few words.

I am, however, going to try. I think it is necessary for me to talk about it as a human. I think it is necessary for me to talk about it as a woman. I think it is necessary for me to talk about it as an individual with autism. I think it is necessary for me to talk about it as an individual with chronic pain. I will do my best, and I will ramble, but I will be as sincere as I damned well can be.

I don’t trust easily. I’ve never had close humans whom I’ve felt I could tell anything to or whom I felt I could call if I needed support. I’ve never felt comfortable asking for help. I have always stringently avoided inconveniencing people. I have kept up appearances as much as I possibly can. I have forever tried my best to deal with me… myself.

Over the past few years, I have learned the importance of self care, the benefits of therapy, and how to speak to myself more positively. I had not learned, though, how to rely on others for support (or trust others to support) until two weeks ago.

I like to consider myself a fully-formed emotional being who is self-aware and capable of doing grown-up things. Unfortunately, life, which is complicated and often ugly, can sometimes smack a person around and you don’t always behave as gracefully as you should. Sometimes you break the fuck down. Sometimes the world ends. Sometimes things are just bad. Sometimes you end up in a parking lot somewhere and you don’t want to exist. Sometimes you are in such personal crisis that everything seems dark and dreary and hopeless.

It was in such a moment that I learned that other people are more than just social outlets. Apparently, and this is still new so bear with me, other people who are not family or in romantic relationships with me are capable of caring about me enough to want to help me. Other people do things like show up in parking lots with water and chocolate and hugs. Other people offer to meet for ice cream just to talk without wanting anything in return. Other people check in to see how things are. Other people offer beds and coffee and make dinner and out-of-season Christmas happen. Other people share their ups and downs and feel happy when they hear about ups and sad when they hear about downs in return.

These other people are called “friends.”

It isn’t as if I haven’t had friends all my life, but I don’t think I’ve allowed myself to have this level of friendship with other people before. I had to reach one of the lowest points in my life to finally be able to look up and see all of the hands being reached down to lift me up. And there were so many hands, and they all glowed with unconditional love and compassion.

This is where typing becomes tricky, for the tears, they are a’flowing. It has been a long thirty-five years of striving to feel accepted and loved for who I am by ME, let alone other people. I am trying very hard to let the love that I feel for humanity extend to myself. I know that I am a lovable, likable person. What I have never really believed or understood was that other people see me this way, and I am overwhelmed by how truly cared for and supported an uplifted I feel. I genuinely hope that other human beings have felt this feeling at some point in their lives. I want this feeling for everyone.

I am spending this week engaging in radical self care to eliminate some of the disquiet of self doubt that eats away at me moment by moment. I know that to move forward in a positive way with my life, my relationship with my self, and my relationship with others… I have to regain some of the self esteem that has been lost to years of pain.

I will leave you with this. One of my lovely friends, with whom I discuss aforementioned ups and downs and with whom I celebrate and commiserate, and I have a saying. It is silly and motivational and it puts our intention into the world:

“We did the thing!”

It means that what ever it is that we want or need to do is already done and we were successful. We aren’t going to do it. It is done. We aren’t doing it presently. It is done. We did the thing. The thing is accomplished. Wipe of the hands. Be it difficult and stressful or fun, we did it.

Whatever you have to do, it is already done. You did the thing. But you aren’t alone…

We did the thing.

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Lights Out, MONSTER BRAIN Shirts!

Lights Out, MONSTER BRAIN Tee

You’ve been asking for them, now they’re here! Get the new Lights Out, MONSTER BRAIN tee, tank, or hoodie now available in BLACK. This shirt is dedicated to all of the light-sensitive chronic pain sufferers. But you don’t have to have a neurological condition, migraines, or psychological distress to buy a shirt, this design looks great on everyone!

Support My Brain Hates Me and help my brain hate me less. Get yours today! 

Adults with ASD and Death: Mourning and Mornings Aren’t Easy

MBHM with mother, Beth, in 2003

My Brain Hates Me with her mother, Beth, in 2003

Growing up on the spectrum but being undiagnosed was difficult enough. I’ve experienced a lot of deaths along the way in the up-close, gut-wrenching way that some people do. Death is a part of life, but I’ve never known how to grieve. Whether this is an ASD characteristic, a failing on my parent’s part (which is doubtful because society is really uncomfortable with death as a natural process), or merely something that we as humans have lost the ability to do is unknown.

A friend of mine lost her mother in a way that is heartbreakingly similar to the way that I lost my own. The difference is that my mother claims to have been ready and her mother still had some fight in her. Sometimes fight isn’t enough to tip the scales and God, or science, or what or whomever, does what they are going to do. It’s tragic and I am incredibly sorry for her family.

Of course, those feelings about my mother in her final months are flooding in, and the feeling of fresh grief is flooding in, and it’s taking a long time for me to process all of it. I feel a bit frozen by it. Overwhelmed.

Autism in Adults is Still Talked About More By Adults with Autism than by Professionals

This morning, I took to the internet (as I do) to find some articles on adults with ASD and how they grieve. It came as no surprise that most of the information was written about how to handle children with ASD who are dealing with a death in the family and that the rest of the information were scattered personal accounts. Even Psychology Today has a personal account, albeit from one of the most respected autistic people in the nation, Lynne Soraya.

The trend that I see among personal accounts, and that I have felt during situations in which I have had to handle my own grief, is fear of doing it wrong. As an adult with autism, I understand that there are rules and social graces and expectations, but I don’t always know what they are or why they are, so I’m not always certain when it’s okay to break them. My husband is good at telling me when I don’t need to worry about other people and when I do. My mother’s funeral was a good example of when he told me I shouldn’t have to worry about other people.

Adults with Autism Feel Like They Are Doing It Wrong

His mother’s funeral was an example of when I did have to worry about other people and how I acted. My grandparents’ funerals were the same. I had to be on my best behaviour because those deaths weren’t about me. They were about other people losing friends and parents. But it’s very confusing.

I know how funerals are supposed to happen in my family. You have a wake, you have food, you dress up and Southern women tell inappropriate jokes while sipping sherry and eating little ham biscuits, then you have the funeral. Occasionally, I sing something. You don’t cry unless you are also telling a funny story about the deceased. There are always funny stories about the deceased. Always.

Growing up, I never saw adults cry at the funerals I attended. I saw people be quiet. I saw them look sad. Maybe I just didn’t look hard enough because I was so distracted by everything else that was going on. There were pretty dresses and suits. Lovely grass. I got to dress up.

I don’t remember if my mother cried at the funeral for my twin brothers.

So when my mother died and I cried at her grave side and I couldn’t stop crying… I felt like I was doing something wrong. When people came over to my house after for wine and little sandwiches, it had to be perfect because that’s what you do. You give people wine and little sandwiches. I was so worried about doing it right so that everyone thought that I was good at funerals and grieving properly.

That’s all that I thought grief was.

When everyone left the house, I thought that I would feel better. I thought that I wouldn’t feel sad anymore.

But I, and all of my grief, were still there the next morning when I woke up. I had no model for that. Because I grew up in a family that suppressed emotions and went on about their business, I didn’t see people being sad. I didn’t connect my mother’s drinking with sadness. I didn’t understand any of it at all.

Without those models, I had nothing TO model. I had thrown the perfect funeral… and then I didn’t know how to grieve for my own mother.

Society’s Tendency to Sugar Coat Death is a Detriment for Adults & Children with ASD

In December of 2013, about 4 months after my mother’s death, I wrote something about not understanding what was happening to me. I didn’t understand why I would suddenly cry over nothing or just stand in my kitchen for half an hour. I turned to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” for that. I wrote a blog called, “Buffy Terms” because that’s how I started to explain grief to myself.

Weirdly enough, on this, the day after my friend’s mother’s death, I am having a “Buffy” marathon at my house with two other friends. We plan to watch “The Body,” which is the episode in which Buffy’s mother dies. Buffy’s mom dies. My mom died. My friend’s mom died. People just die.

Whether you have ASD or not. I don’t think any of us really know how to handle that well. But I think that there needs to be more literature out there for people who are adults on the spectrum, because we don’t know what to do and we feel like we’re getting grief wrong.

There is no way to get grief wrong.

Lights Out, MONSTER BRAIN Shirts Now Available!

Lights Out, MONSTER BRAIN Tee

You’ve been asking for them, now they’re here! Get the new Lights Out, MONSTER BRAIN tee, tank, or hoodie now available in BLACK. This shirt is dedicated to all of the light-sensitive chronic pain sufferers. But you don’t have to have a neurological condition, migraines, or psychological distress to buy a shirt, this design looks great on everyone!

Support My Brain Hates Me and help my brain hate me less. Get yours today! 

What is Neurodiversity? | Psychology Today

“To many neurodiversity proponents, talk of “cure” feels like an attack on their very being.  They detest those words for the same reason other groups detest talk of “curing gayness” or “passing for white,” and they perceive the accommodation of neurological differences as a similarly charged civil rights issue.  If their diversity is part of their makeup they believe it’s their right to be accepted and supported “as-is.”  They should not be made into something else – especially against their will – to fit some imagined societal ideal.

The difference – and this is a big sticking point for neurodiversity opponents – is that racial or sexual orientation differences do not functionally disable a person whereas neurological differences can.  That reality makes this situation much more complicated.

It’s also worth noting that neurodiverse people generally look just like anyone else.  Therefore, when we act in unusual or unexpected ways we may elicit unwanted negative responses from an unaware public.  For that reason it’s important for all of us who are different to learn the basics of getting along in neurotypical society.  Some see this as unacceptable compromise but I see it as recognition of an unchanging (or very slow to change) reality.” – John Elder Robinson author of Image of Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's

 

 

via What is Neurodiversity? | Psychology Today.

Scientists Discover a New Part of the Human Body | Mental Floss

The discovery, published in Nature, has shaken up the scientific community. The study was headed by Antoine Louveau, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of UVA’s Jonathan Kipnis, director of the Center for Brain Immunology and Glia. The team detected the vessels after Louveau developed a method for mounting a mouse’s meninges (membranes covering the brain) on a slide without ruining the delicate tissue. When he saw vessel-like patterns in the distribution of immune cells, he tested for lymphatic vessels—and the results surprised everyone. They were also able to find the vessels in human brain samples.

‘This find is the neuroimmunological version of stumbling across a unicorn. Not only had the system gone undiscovered until now, but textbooks argued against its very existence. As a result, neuroimmunologists have struggled to understand the mechanisms of brain drainage and inflammation.

When all other tissues in the body become inflamed, molecules or pathogens are drained into the local lymph cells, where immune cells get activated to continue the fight. “In the brain, we thought this system didn’t exist. When we first saw those vessels, I completely freaked out,” Kipnis tells mental_floss. “This discovery is as exciting as it gets.”’

via Scientists Discover a New Part of the Human Body | Mental Floss.

Why I am Against Autism Speaks (and you should be, too) – The Caffeinated Autistic

Among people I know who are autistic or live/raise/support someone who is autistic, Autism Speaks is a heated topic.

My personal opinion about the autistic brain is that it is not something to be eliminated or cured. The level of an individual’s function is really at the center of this debate. Would my life be better if I weren’t on the spectrum? Would the lives of those around me? How much of a drain on my family and society am I, really? Am I someone who needs to be fixed? I found this piece by The Caffeinated Autistic to be an interesting read because it is a case of an autistic individual exhibiting self-advocacy.

My brain doesn’t work like the neurotypical brain, and that’s okay. I’ve gotten by this far. I think that charitable organizations for any condition should directly improve the quality of life of the people who live with that condition. Individuals who are on the low-functioning end of the spectrum need advocates for their experience and research into ways to help provide alternative means of communication. All autistic people deserve a baseline quality of life and compassionate support no matter their level of function. Autism is not a disease. It’s a matter of neurological wiring.

Have a read:

 

Autism Speaks is the most well-known autism charity.  They have the most media coverage and are endorsed by many celebrities, but this certainly does not make them a good organization.

Autism Speaks does not have a single autistic member on their board.” – The Caffeinated Autistic

 

Why I am Against Autism Speaks (and you should be, too).

Sanctity of the Girl Cave

I haven’t done a vlog in a while because I haven’t felt like it. And that’s just fine. I’ll resume blogging and vlogging regularly when I feel like it, and that will probably be after I go to my next doctor appointment.

My break in silence today is caused by my son. He used the Girl Cave without asking. He was in my space without my permission, recording something for YouTube. I didn’t really mind him using the room. I minded that he didn’t ask. I talked to him. It’s all cool.

I’m in the Girl Cave right now. I felt like I had to justify my desire to be in here… my desire to be alone. I think I like it in here because it is free from other energy. It’s just my bullshit.

My bullshit and some candles and a blanket.

Yep.

TED Talk: How Autism Freed Me to Be Myself

Live Twitter Fund Drive!

I’m promoting my Gofundme fundraiser on Twitter! I’m live-tweeting facts for the next few hours an available to answer questions about anything from my condition to medications to Autism.

Join me, won’t you?

I’m in super pain, so I don’t know how long I’ll last… but I have an electric blanket wrapped around me and my pain medication is caffeinated!

 @MyBrainHatesMe – Tweet me!

Help my brain hate me less!

Daily Grace On Introversion

niansahc |Empathy, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and Bees

From my Tumblr blog…

Let’s start with bees.

Bees dance and each dance communicates something different. If you are a bee and you know what the hell the other bee is dancing about, then everything is cool. “Happy bee dance? Awesome! Let’s do the happy bee dance. Flowers and pollen in a field over there dance? Spiffy! Let’s do the dance that shares this information with the other bees and then go get pollen noms!”

But what if you’re a bee who doesn’t know what the other bees’ dances mean? A bee buzzes up to you, starts dancing, and you’re like, “Oh cool. Dancing.” The bee dances. Then the bee looks at you and dances some more. You dance back but you’re not connecting. Yeah… dancing. Yay. The other bee gets frustrated and buzzes off. Hmm. Not yay?

You understood that there was dancing. You understood that it was supposed to mean something. You understood that you were supposed to dance back. What didn’t connect in your brain was what the dance actually meant. Was it a happy dance? Was it an informative dance? Was it an angry dance?

There you are, full of all of this dancing energy from all of the bees dancing around you. You sense that there are moods to the dances, but you can’t figure out which specific dance moves go with which specific buzzes or information.The misconception about people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders is that they lack empathy. It is true that some autistic people struggle with empathy.

Empathy skills, like autism itself, fall along a spectrum in my opinion. The ability to recognize that an emotion is happening is different from the ability to distinguish one emotion from another. And the ability to react appropriately to whatever emotion an individual presents you with is another skill all together.

Empathy is often described as the ability to put one’s self in another’s shoes. The autistic mind is not wired to do this in the traditional sense, but there are ways to work around it.So when I, the autistic bee, encounter an emotional dancing bee, a few things have to happen before I understand what is happening. I have to go through a mental catalogue of “dance moves” that I know are associated with certain information and try to figure it out from there.

I’m 34. I wasn’t diagnosed as a high functioning autistic individual until I was 33. I have gone through life figuring this stuff out on my own and failing at interpersonal relationships. Most of my interpersonal skills come from acting/theater, watching far too much television/cinema, trial and error mostly error, and the corporate world which had specific rules about how to interact with customers at which I excelled. Therefore, I have the basics down. A smile means happy, but if it is not carried up to the eyes, it means it is not a genuine smile and then it becomes problematic an cryptic for me. Crying can mean happy or sad so I have to use contextual clues. Angry people talk through gritted teeth and furrow their brow and raise their voice. But happy people can also raise their voice. Sometimes people raise their voice and pretend to be angry as a joke, and that can be upsetting to me. Sometimes I just straight up have to ask how someone is feeling.

I can do the bee box step, but not the bee fox trot.

I find that I am more “empathetic” to people that I care about and spend time with. It makes sense that the more time I spend with someone and the more emotionally invested in them that I am, the easier it is and more devoted I would be to read their moods. In fact, I suffer from a hypersensitivity to their moods and struggle to build a temporary wall between their emotional energy and my own. This often leads to me feeling overwhelmed, and even adopting their moods, regardless of how I originally felt.

I start doing their bee dance even though I don’t really understand what their bee dance may mean, why they are doing it, etc… etc…

Autistic individuals suffer from sensory overload, and I truly believe that emotional overload occurs as well. Today, I am taking time to rest and care for myself.

I’m tired from all of the dancing.

-by M. Chastain Flournoy, 2014

via niansahc |.

Fanning the Internal Flame

My art therapist gave me two pieces of homework during our last session. She wanted me to make sure I scheduled a psychological evaluation for my son, and she wanted me to download and begin listening to Warming the Stone Child by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

As I’ve discussed, my son’s difficulties with school and organization are a huge source of stress. Recognizing this, my art therapist made me make it a priority to get him the help he’s needed. It’s been a busy summer, and now it’s not so very… I made an appointment for early September, but, luckily, my psychologist was nice enough to clear some time next week to do the evaluation. This should help keep stress to a minimum. The idea is to keep my environment gentle.

The audio book, Warming the Stone Child, is a Jungian approach to abandoned child syndrome and coping as an adult. So far it’s very touching.

Wendy Chung: Autism — what we know and what we don’t know yet | Talk Video | TED.com

Wendy Chung: Autism — what we know and what we don’t know yet | Talk Video | TED.com.

Check out a great talk from Wendy Chung about the rise, causes, and broad manifestations of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

Oh, Hi. Remember Me? BRIEF BUT IMPORTANT UPDATE (HEADACHE CENTER INCLUDED!)

Let me start by saying, I’ve been in a really bad place.

Allow me to continue by saying that I am still in that bad place, but I have some better tools to deal with where I am so I am now ready to be more open with all of you about what’s been going on in my world. It might take me a bit to get caught up. I’m going to copy some information from my Status Migrainosus & Refractory/Chronic Pain page to briefly update you right now, and then I will discuss some things in more detail in later posts as I feel up to it.

I want to get this off my chest. I feel very ashamed of my condition and the fact that I don’t know how to explain it to people and the “why me” feelings and the fact that I don’t know what to do when I’m not in pain and I don’t know what to do when I’m in pain. I just don’t know what to do. I am at a very big transitional stage of my life. I am on the verge of something. It feels important. I should not feel ashamed of that. One of the pieces of the important feeling is that I am trying to become a better advocate for neurodiversity and for chronic pain sufferers. These are two areas of my life that I am not very open about except on an anonymous blog and with close friends and family. That in and of its self makes me feel ashamed. I am working towards changing that but I don’t know that I am ready to take that step just yet.

I don’t know that my experience is important enough or helpful enough to share, but I’m sharing it because I got the right help early enough because I read all of these horror stories online. I read about people living for years with headache pain and migraine pain and nausea. People losing their entire lives. I thought, “Crap, that won’t be me. No way. There has to be something that will help me.”

Here I am, nearly two years later, getting the best help there is, and still living with this pain, and all I can say is a big, fat THANK YOU to all of the people out there who are suffering and take the time to share their stories with us. I wouldn’t have thought it could get worse. I wouldn’t have known it was okay to look for better doctors. I wouldn’t have done as much research. I wouldn’t have started this blog. I wouldn’t have lasted through so many painful, miserable, sleepless nights if it weren’t for you strong people out there getting through this day and the next day. If I didn’t know that you were there, I don’t know that I could be where I am right now.

At this moment I am pain free. It may be fleeting. It might last a while. I’m enjoying it while it’s here. It’s been a very difficult an dark journey to this moment. I’ve been pain free before. The pain came back. I lived through all of it. If you’re reading this and you’re in pain, whatever is going on, you are going to live though it too. We are strong. I know that we are strong because a perfect stranger told me I was strong. I’ll share that story with all of you soon. Perhaps this evening. For now, check out the update below to catch up a bit… and say hello. I’d love to hear from you. I miss you all. I promise I’ll be a better blog-personthingwhatever going forward. Deal?

UPDATE-A-RAMA

(Warning- Contents may not be very fun)

March, 2014 Update

I had another Botox treatment. I don’t believe that they are helping, but I have an appointment to see my doctor at the Jefferson Headache Center for a follow-up on the 31st. I anticipate a scheduled hospitalization thereafter so I want a fresh Botox to work alongside the therapies/medications I receive in the hospital. At this point I feel very broken and victim to the pain. I try my best to be strong for my family, but the facade I’ve kept up for so long has cracked and my HFA and the pain are playing off on another. It is as if I am a mad woman. My meltdowns are entirely out of control and I believe the Mexiletine may be at fault. Dr. H. is having me get labs done to check the level of Mexiletine in my blood so Jefferson will have it. I go Monday so I won’t be able to get my blood drawn until after I go to Philadelphia. I am not looking forward to the ride to Philly, the prospect of hospitalization. Any of it. I’m not very hope-filled right now.

Jefferson Headache Center Follow-Up (March 31) Update

Based upon my psych-screening intake forms, my doctor at the Jefferson Headache Clinic has come to the conclusion that I have been dehumanized by the extreme level of pain I’ve been in over the course of the last 19 months, especially since the turning of the year. My thoughts of suicide but indication that I would not act, my utter lack of social… anything save for few and far between activities that I carve out for myself. My lack of self-esteem… all of these things, etc etc etc.  I feel sub-human, therefore I am become sub-human. Thank goodness they understand.

His concern is that medication is exacerbating existing tendencies towards depression and anxiety so he has taken me off of Mexiletine entirely. Cold turkey. I am, as I knew, to be admitted to the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital at Methodist (as I was in late July, 2013 [see above]) where I will be tapered off of Propanolol. Propanolol also has a depression-causing side effect and causes weight-gain (thank you 20 lbs, please go away now) because it restricts involuntary muscle movement. Interesting!

I am to begin taking Butterbur, an herb used as far back as the 14th or 15th century. It has no documented negative side effects. It has been used as a migraine/headache preventative for centuries and also helps with anxiety, pain, intestinal issues, and insomnia. It can “stimulate the appetite” but I’m nauseous and lack appetite most of the time so perhaps it will encourage me to eat lunch. I take 75 mg twice a day.

May, 2014 Update

Jefferson Headache Center Hospitalization

I was hospitalized in Philadelphia on May 5th, 2014 with pain level of 8.5 on a 1-10 pain scale. I left with zero pain. On Wednesday night I was pain level 2 when I woke. The doctors decided to do a nerve block that afternoon. I received 3 injection of lidocaine and They inserted a PICC line in the early afternoon and began the following routine:

  • Constant Lidocaine .5 mg/min drip steadily increased to 4.5 mg/min over the course of the 6 days I was there with which I experienced only one abnormal dream and no hallucinations
  • Reglan at I think 2 mg/min for 20 or 30 minutes then DHE for 30 minutes both every 4 hours. The DHE dose started at .5 mg/min and increased to 1.5 or 2 by the last morning. I stopped paying attention. Not everyone can tolerate DHE, but you get to leave sooner if you can. It all depends on your heart
  • TORADOL®(ketorolac tromethamine) after the DHE. I can’t recall the dose. It ran for 20 minutes. It’s an NSAID pain medication. They will only give you 9 doses, so I only got 4 a day for 3 days. 3 days is the magic pain medication number. No more than 3 days of pain meds straight, and no more than 10 days taking pain meds a month. Otherwise if you are admitted to the Headache Center they will add an additional 3 days to your stay just to detox you from the pain medication. I haven’t been through that because I am not a happy medication taker, but I can’t imagine it’s fun. 
  • 2 initial EKGs and daily EKGs at 9 PM
  • Blood draws! Every morning at 4 freaking AM. They will turn on the brightest lights and they will just randomly stab you with needles and bruise the hell out of you
  • Heparin shots in your belly a few times a day to prevent clotting
  • Heparin and saline flushes in the PICC lines to prevent clotting
  • Jean Paul Gautier inspired boot-like pressure things that go on your legs and make you feel either claustrophobic or like a pampered, massaged, Hospital Octopus. I chose to feel like a Hospital Octopus… hooked up to ALL THE THINGS
  • Meals that smell funny, but the grits are good

I left the hospital around Noon on Sunday, May 10th, pain free… just in time for Mother’s Day.  They have added Lexapro and iron supplements and Zanaflex (Tizanidine) to my daily meds. Lexapro I have taken before for depression, and it also has a nice anti-anxiety bonus that should help my HFA-brain stop being such a worry-wort about pain. The iron is because, as usual… anemic. YAY! And the Zanaflex is another rescue medication. I take Clonazepam nightly for insomnia and it has the anti-anxiety bonus. I take Midrin for pain PRN. I take DHE in nasal spray and injectible form as a rescue at a level 8 or higher (I think that’s the number. I don’t have my treatment plan in front of me.) I take the Zanaflex when I have severe insomnia and/or severe pain. So Zanaflex is the last line of defense and it isn’t a pain killer, it’s a muscle relaxer. I’ve had one. I was out in half an hour and awake at 4 am. Unfortunately I was at home and there was no one who needed to take my blood, so I just talked my husband’s head off.

May 12th. My head is pokey. But it’s still a 0-1. It’s workable.