So this week has been a bit of an uphill battle. If you saw my post on Clearance Rack & Holiday Sales (“C”), then you know that I have been struggling with migraines all week long. So much so that I was late on just the third post out of the whole 26 post challenge!

I did managed to get my “D” post out and with great pride I might add, but I have fallen flat on my face since then. I have had posts lined up all week, all month in fact, and I’m so bummed that I haven’t been able to deliver them on time. The perfectionist and competitor in me is screaming that I wasn’t able to live up to the challenge, but I have a pretty valid excuse. At least, I think so.

Ralph and Luna make the best nurses when migraines hit

On Wednesday night, I had planned to get out my latest blog post on exercising with your dog (“E”), but not before going out on a date night dinner with my boyfriend. Unfortunately, the combination of the restaurant royally messing up our order, my hunger from skipping lunch, and the dim lighting in the room caused me to start getting a headache. We had to leave dinner early, because that headache slowly grew to a migraine with pounding head pain and blurred vision. Which then grew to a migraine complete with aura and aphasia.

What do all those big fancy words mean? Well a migraine with aura is a special kind of migraine that only about 20% of sufferers are lucky enough to get. And, by lucky I mean we really drew the short straw on this one. On top of light sensitivity, head pain, and nauseous, aura also includes blind spots, diminished field of vision, or even seeing flashing lights or zigzags. Though it’s no fun at all, I’ve dealt with aura for a while and made adjustments in my life to lesson the effects of it.

I don’t, however, regularly deal with aphasia and have only had a few migraines when it has happened. The very first time I had a migraine was probably the most notable. I kept demanding that my parents get me my purple towel, but we didn’t even own one! This past Wednesday it happened again.

If you aren’t familiar with aphasia, it affects the parts of your brain that are responsible for language. It can affect two different parts of processing language depending on the person or migraine – 1. Function (speaking, reading, and writing) and 2. Understanding. This happens because of a Migrainous stroke, but luckily the symptoms are only temporary. You may already be familiar with when news anchor Serene Branson had one live on air back in 2011, bringing this issue into the public eye for really the first time. If you are looking to learn more, I have found this article and website particularly helpful in understanding what happens.

Fortunately for me, only my language function was hindered. I was unable to effectively communicate what I was thinking and my words became jumbled. I would struggle to find just the right word to describe something, give up, and then just say the first thing that came to mind. At one point I described a numbness in my fingers to my boyfriend, but referred to them as “my fishes”. I was also unable to find the right word for legs or feet, so I just called them “the lower”. And yet another time I couldn’t find the name of one of my favorite stuffed animals, so I just called him “Bob”. His name is Charleston by the way.

It was scary for my boyfriend who really wanted me to go to the hospital and I almost did. It was frustrating to me because I knew what I was saying was wrong, but still couldn’t find the right words all while my head was still pounding with pain. Though, I did still manage to let out a few good curse words when I was getting frustrated. Funny how that works.

Thinking back on it now, I saw signs of it coming at the restaurant before it truly hit. I struggled to find a few common words and the name of one of our favorite restaurants. And even still, I’m a little wonky so I really hope this whole post makes sense!

I didn’t go to the hospital and I was able to sleep it off. I’ve had these experiences before and know how to listen to my own body. I’ve also learned how to calm myself down to the point where I can fall asleep. It may not be pleasant, but I have come to know what works.

I’m much better now, but I want to be careful not to push myself too much. So what does that mean for me and this A to Z Challenge?

I’m still going to do it, but it will be at my own pace. I have 26 posts planned out that I’m really excited to write about and I want to do just that. I’m going to do my very best to get back on track this weekend and get all the posts out by the end of the month (especially since we have two amazing giveaways coming!)

So thank you. Thank you for reading this. Thank you for caring. I’ll be back up and running in no time, so keep an eye out for that post on exercising with your dog. It’ll be showing up in your inbox soon (but only if you’re subscribed)!

And before I go, just know that even though Luna and Ralph weren’t specifically mentioned in this post, they have been such a huge part of the healing process. There’s no better nurse than your furry best friend.

Jessica Shipman
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