Tag Archives: Chronic Lyme

How to Hack Headaches Naturally (And Smell Like a York Peppermint Patty)

How to Hack Headaches Naturally (And Smell Like a York Peppermint Patty)

GOOD MORNING EVERYONE!!!

Oh, I’m sorry. Was that too loud for you? Headache got you down? I feel your pain. No, really, I actually feel your pain. A LOT. Which is why I was so thrilled to discover this super easy natural headache remedy that kicks my daily Lyme-induced headaches faster than you can say: “This is not the head you’re looking for…”

So let’s get started! Here’s what you’ll need for this delicious and 100% natural headache-busting concoction:

  1. Organic Peppermint Essential Oil. I like this one by Aura Cacia, but if you can swing the price, Young Living is by far the best essential oil company to use, as they’re therapeutic grade. DoTerra is also said to be fabulous, although I have yet to try them personally. Just starting out and don’t want to invest in top-of-the-line oils quite yet? Use code “Healthy15” for 15% off of link above!
  2. Jojoba Oil I enjoy this one by Desert Essence. Use code “Comeback10” for an additional 10% off, or check the deals section, as Vitacost is always offering great savings, and may have a better bargain!
  3. A 1/3 oz. dark glass canister to store your awesome blend. I use this one with a stainless steel rollerball applicator for ease, but you can use any dark glass container. Dark glass should always be used to protect the essential oils. Plastic should not be used, as the chemicals in it will leach into your blend, and essential oils can actually eat through plastic! This is also why any rollerball applicators should be stainless steel instead of plastic.

I’ve linked the ones I used because, hey, let’s just make life easy, right? Now that you have your supplies, find the two minutes it will take to make this super simple DIY and lets get a-mixing!

DIY Headache Blend: 

Step One: Pop out the stainless steel roller ball. Since we’re using a 1/3 oz. bottle, we’ll add 5-20 drops (3-10%) of organic Peppermint Essential Oil. It should be diluted, as it can irritate the skin if applied neat. How much you put in will depend on your preference. I actually prefer an even stronger potion than recommended, but everyone’s tolerance to essential oils is different, so start low. I can only tolerate very low doses of most other oils, so find out what your sweet spot is before wasting product (and risking skin irritation.) Want to learn more about diluting essential oils? Here is a great article on how many drops you should use for a wide variety of aromatherapy purposes!

Step Two: Fill bottle with Jojoba oil. Leave a little room at the top so the rollerball won’t cause an overflow when you insert it. I like to use Jojoba because it most closely replicates our natural sebum (oil), but you could also try Grape seed, Hemp, or Avocado. Avoid coconut, as the scent profile is too overwhelming to compliment the peppermint.

Step Three: Pop the rollerball back in and cap it. Shake, shake, shake. It also helps to dance around the room. Now uncap, breathe deeply the aromatic bouquet of minty goodness, and declare: “Headache, be-gone!” Then apply liberally to the back of your neck where the spine meets the ol’ noggin, lightly over your temples, behind your ears, over your solar plexus, and your pulse points if you desire. You can also apply some at the base of your spine. Oooh, tingly! (Tingling is normal. Do not be alarmed. Unless you didn’t listen to me and decided not to dilute the essential oil, or exceed the recommended amount. Then any skin irritation that may occur is totally on you.)

Step Four: Breathe slowly and deeply for at least ten breaths, and say: “I am calm. I am at peace. I have everything that I need.” It’s amazing how just taking a moment in a dark, quiet space to breathe into the pain can help- did you know deep breathing literally changes your brain chemistry?! No wonder yogis are so zen! Then sit back and wait for the amazing dance of the tingle-plum fairy to soothe that ache into oblivion!

Step Five: Wash your hands! For any of you who’ve ever used IcyHot and forgotten this crucial final step before rubbing your eyes, you know it is NOT fun!

And that’s it! Now that your blend is made, you can keep it with you on the go, and apply whenever your head begins to feel like a tiny Ewok is running around, bashing your noggin like a stormtrooper helmet. (RE: Final scene in Return of the Jedi.)

Enjoy! If you make this, leave me a comment on how it turns out, or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @KaitlynGGuay.

Happy Tingling! (Okay, that just sounds weird, let me try that again…)

Happy Blending! (Much better, yes?)

Musings from a Wheelchair

 

Musings from a Wheelchair

 I am a stalk

Rootless in space

My stem a sickled streak of circumstance

I have burrowed deep in the muddy waters of pride

And it has kept me

Covered

Now I rise

Rocked forwards on the wheels of

Opportunity

Which is what we call things we don’t want to do

Yet I ride

And rock

And receive

The world as I have not seen it through mud and caustic subterfuge

With the sun on my cheeks

And the wind on my back

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Worst Question In The World”

Today’s Free Write Poem is dedicated to anyone who’s suffering through a long-term chronic illness, whether as the patient, or as the chronic caregivers who step knowingly out of the realm of normalcy and into the struggle.

The Worst Question in the World

 The worst question in the world

When your world crumbles

Is how are you?

No one ever told me this

How the day might come when I would dread seeing a friendly face

Knowing I have no answer to give

Besides a stammer and a lie or a one-two-three brush off that leaves you sticky and quilled

“I’m fine” is the armor I may choose

To keep their eyes from churning in shades of “what do I say” and “this shouldn’t be”

Of “my life’s hard too” or “I know someone like you”

Of “keep your chin up” and “stay positive”

What did you think I was doing

All this time?

But it’s not their fault

For asking the question

When the answer beguiles

Unsuitably sad

The problem is the corded snake

Tied about my neck

Holding me down and taking my air

Filling my stomach with sluices of juices too bitter to spew

And it’s really not you

It’s the question itself that begets this conflict

Do I lie

Say I’m fine

Make you think I’m okay

Or do I answer I’m broken

I’m in pieces and praying for glue or for God and I’m tired, so tired, and it’s hard to go on

Now the conflicted one is you

You don’t know what to say, what to do, this isn’t how it’s supposed to go

You were just saying hi

And I was supposed to say “fine”

And what are you supposed to say now that I’ve shown you my cards

And the sight makes you

Flush

So I smile and I lie

Say I’m doing just fine

For the problem’s not you or the question or the blues

It’s the scab of my world

And if I pick it off for you

Show you what’s underneath

Will I bleed longer still?

“Recycled Hope”

“Recycled Hope”

 Hi, everyone!

So, since the creation of this blog back in January, I have worked to use this site as a place of hope, mindfulness, and inspiration. But there’s only one problem with that. When times are rough- or in my case, rougher than the normal roughness that comes with a chronic illness, I find myself hesitant to post. Which is why I’ve gone from three solid posts per week down to one in the past several weeks. It’s not that I have nothing to say. It’s just that what I have to say is sad. And that’s not exactly inspirational, now, is it?

But it’s real. Right now I’m at a new bottom. I’ve gone from struggling to walk 5-10 minutes a day to struggling to walk to the bathroom. It’s hard to hold my arms up to type or eat, which is another reason why I haven’t been writing as much lately. This week I got a script from my doctor for a wheelchair and it’s likely I’ll be applying for a PICC line in the coming weeks. Holding up my head while sitting can feel like a herculean effort. I’m 29. I’m back to being a dependent. And this is really sad.

But I can’t omit this part anymore, or keep waiting to post when I feel better, because that would be like going on Facebook and seeing all the happy posts and smiling pictures, which make you think “man, they’ve got it all…” without remembering you’re only seeing what has been carefully selected for public consumption.

I started this blog because I wanted to be inspirational, and because I believe in finding strength and purpose through tribulation. Sadly, I’m not feelin’ the inspirational part yet. My story will be inspirational when I’m well, and I can say: this is how bad I got and look where I am today! Or when I can honestly say that I have complete faith and hope for the future, despite still being sick. But for now, I’m face down in the trenches. It’s ugly. It’s raw. It’s not fit for public consumption. But it’s also apparently not going away.

So, hi. How are you? My life is really tough right now. And that’s hard for me to say because I don’t want pity or a pep-talk or for one more well-meaning person to instruct me to “try to stay positive” if I’m honest about how bad things are. (I prefer “I’m here for you” or even the blunt “that really sucks.” “Try to stay positive” implies I haven’t been working my keister off doing just that.) Still, I’m hanging on by my fingertips, knowing that someday this will all be worth it, when I can assure someone else just like me that there is hope.

So in the meantime, I’m living on recycled hope. It’s been so long since I’ve seen any proof, any sign that I’ll get better, that my hope has gotten stretched pretty thin. I’ve been using the same batch for so long, its potency is starting to diminish. Have you ever felt like that?

Sidebar- It is odd I just imagined a wide cartoon ribbon of rosy hope popping up before me and cheering : “Go Green!” with a big thumbs up? 

Yes. Yes it is.

Off to Stare at My Cat until He Does Something Adorable,

The Foda

P.S. He’s sleeping. Damn, that’s cute.

“Hindsight: Plaguing Unintended Incest-Perpetrators Since Luke Met Leia”

“Hindsight: Plaguing Unintended Incest-Perpetrators Since Luke Met Leia”

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“Hindsight is always 20/20.”

~Billy Wilder, screenwriter

 The Foda’s Take: Well, sure. We all have things in our life we’d like to change if we could. If we could map out the pivotal moment IT entered our lives, there would be no such thing as regret. But that’s not quite possible. After all, if we all knew the future, Luke would have never kissed his twin sister. So don’t feel bad you didn’t see your #fail coming- he’s a Jedi with powers of premonition and he still fell in love with his fellow womb-buddy.

 Hi everyone! How goes it with you on this fine, fine day? Did you attempt my Five Days in Five Ways Smile Builder challenge? I hope you did!

I’ve been very nostalgic this past week, and thinking a lot about the past. It’s amazing how fresh some memories are. I was lying in bed a few nights back and remembered something particularly embarrassing that happened in high school, and actually covered my head with the blanket. Like that could shield me from it. I know. I may have rolled my eyes at myself on that one. And embarrassing memories are like dominos- once you remember one, your mind starts to seek out all the other times you felt like crawling under the covers and hiding from the world. Which is not conducive to sleep, FYI. (And no, I’m not going to share my humiliating tale. Nosey.) 

So I decided to break the cycle and think happy thoughts, all Peter Pan-esque. Like the wedding I had three years ago when I danced every dance with my husband. I will always be so grateful for that day. I had been sick in the months leading up to it, but got better for the event. I became symptomatic over the honeymoon, but still- I got to have my perfect day, and I still got to climb mountains and chase waterfalls in Hawaii.

I thought of my silver cat, Yoda, who follows us everywhere and looks like a rabbit when he rolls on his back from the fluffy tufts of white hair on his belly. I thought of the day I finished writing my first draft for my novel. Or the day my father and I timed the sword-fight scene in the old movie “Scaramouche” to see how long it was. I’m pretty sure it was around seven minutes long- for all of my actor friends, can you imagine how long it took to block that out??!!! Or the times my mother and I would sit in front of the piano and just sing. The time my sister sent me a picture of her just days before she went into labor, sending a hilarious message to her husband to pick up his dirty clothes…. by putting them all on over her pregnant belly and swaggering around the house before snapping a selfie. (Although this was before selfies. So it was way cooler.)  And finally, the time I crossed the finish line for the Hartford half-marathon with my fists punching the air because I had ran the whole way, never stopping once. And invariably, I thought of how much I missed being able to live the active life I used to have before chronic Lyme. Enter hindsight.

We can learn a lot by looking back. But when our present is challenging, it becomes so easy to get overwhelmed by how much better our lives used to be, and spend more time mourning its loss than nourishing the present. And I get it- some days, you just have to allow yourself to be sad. At times, fighting it will be more exhausting than just recognizing you need some time to feel what you feel, and then move on when you’re ready. Unless, of course, the mentality of “I’ll only be happy when ____”  begins to take over.

So here’s my remedy. Happiness is not a destination. It’s not when I get better or when I snag that swanky job or that new car. Happiness is more subtle than that. And I’m going to be completely honest with you- it sometimes feels like no matter how many good things happen to me, it will never mean as much if I still can’t walk out my front door and just go. Which means I need to focus on appreciating the small things, and the things I have now.

So give me a moment here while I strap on my tool belt and start whistling. “Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s back to the small things we go…”

Cheers,

The Foda