I’ve heard these statements a couple of times lately. And I was so confused how that could be, considering I’ve had mind scrambling headaches for all of 2010 (or close enough, the first couple of days I may or may not have had them, I can’t remember now), it’s not been an easy year. After hearing the second time a week or so ago I started wondering what it was that was so different about how I looked, and what had changed that I was looking better. The friend who said these things the most recently also said “You were looking so pale, but you’ve got color in your face again!” and I wasn’t sure why that would be. After wondering for awhile I realized there are three things that likely (physically) contributed to the change. 1) I have not been running as many errands or going out as often. I’ve been out only 5 or 6 times that I can think of in the past month and a half. Maybe a couple times more, but definitely a lot less than I used to be. I used to run errands up to 3 times a week (usually no more than 2, but sometimes another errand would come up) so this is a significant change. I have been out for 3 doctors appointments, and have run errands just a few other times (thankfully in town, the trips out of town to the doctors have really been taking a lot out of me this year), so I haven’t been exhausting myself as much by going out. These headaches have kept me pretty close to home. 2) I’m on better pain meds. This actually started in December, just before Christmas, when I requested stronger pain meds because the low pressure systems coming through our area were causing so many pain issues for me. I have more energy, and (when not fighting an actual migraine or dealing with my cyst) I am able to be more active around the house, though I still stick to lower energy activities so as to not send myself into a flare. 3) Since I’m having all these headaches and am stuck in bed more often than I used to be, I’m getting more sleep, and even when I’m not sleeping, I am at least laying there resting. The cyst has complicated this as I’ve not been able to get very good sleep since yesterday morning, but I am still resting more than I was.
On top of that, although hearing “Get used to the pain and fatigue there is currently no treatment to help you get those more under control” was difficult… it had me down for a couple of days, but then I realized that it meant I had a more realistic view of how these diseases would affect my life, and I’ve been able to deal with that rather than continuing to have extremely high hopes of a sudden and drastic improvement. This is not to say I’ve given up hope or stopped fighting, but it does mean I have been able to deal better emotionally.
Also I realize certain vitamins and other things will help with my energy and pain levels, some of them I’m already on, others I can’t afford right now but plan to go back onto (magnesium I’m looking at you for one) when we have a bit more income again. Please don’t give me suggestions of treatments that “have helped so and so and it’s been miraculous” I’ve heard about a lot of things that way and quite honestly it gets old! On top of that I have a treatment plan laid out with my doctor, and am on medications (and other supplements) that could cause bad reactions when mixed with your suggestions! Both E and I (and my doctor as well) have researched the different treatments and things I take and discussed them, I don’t just willy nilly say “Hey, We’re adding this in now” or try something that someone recommends. And on that note, I turn to my friend Perpetual Spiral who wrote a post on this topic last year. She wrote it incredibly well, and has all the words I want to say on the topic of med/treatment/health suggestions in there.

I took some pictures of myself (face shots) the other night with the use of my webcam, and I have to agree that between my new hair cut and the things I listed above I do look better. For those seeing this linked on various social network sites that have pictures of me, I will be posting the new pictures soon, and you can compare to how I was looking before now. For those seeing this only through my blog, I will try to post pictures later today that show me both in the months leading up to now, and the pictures I took the other night… that post will be password protected (as usual with any identifying photo posts) so sorry for those who don’t have the password and who I don’t know… if you are interested in the password (or if you’ve lost it) let me know and I’ll try to get it off to you. 🙂