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Monday, March 3, 2014

Twist of Fate

The past week has been trying, in many ways. Although I haven't written about it here, my health has been the biggest issue. On the good news end of the spectrum, I think that my shoulder is healing very fast. I actually forget that it's not healed at times - and then I make a "normal" movement which immediately reminds me that I still need to be careful. I'm awed by how fast it is getting better.

The toughest thing over the past week has been that I've had four migraines (in one week). The most recent one was last night, starting with a terror-inducing light show in my vision. I don't know why the visual auras scare me so much, but they do. Then it moved through the other migraine symptoms, including a throbbing headache, which I still have a trace of now.
This morning, I was ready to quit trying to be happy - to just keep my head under the covers and do nothing at all. But, alas, I have a young dog who sees me as her source of fun and games, and she does not permit sleeping late! She smothers me in kisses and brings slippers and shoes to me when I lie in bed beyond her wake-up time - a very clear message!
After Shyla got me out of bed, I put on my very dark glasses and trudged out the door with her, my head hurting with every footstep. I'd taken my meds, and I was hoping that they'd kick in during the walk. In the meantime, Shyla was bursting with zany happiness. It was impossible for me not to smile as I watched her.
Indeed, I very gradually felt the pain in my head letting up a bit. I could notice Shyla's beauty rather than cursing my head.
Of course, even though I feel a little better now, something seems to have gone awry in my brain to cause all these migraines. Some of you remember the discovery of nodules in my lungs a few years ago - that ultimately led to a diagnosis of sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease.

Unfortunately, my doctors are pursuing the notion that sarcoidosis has "attacked" my brain, and that's why I'm having a sudden onslaught of migraines. I had an MRI yesterday, and the images seemed to support that notion but I'll get more information from experts soon.
Everyone has their own unique way of handling crises. At the beginning of a crisis, I have a bad tendency to invent ways of blaming myself for it. In one of my most serious crises years ago, when I learned that I couldn't have kids because of endometriosis, the self-blame game dominated my seriously flawed thought process. My crazy logic was that I'd been working too hard and had somehow caused the endometriosis by tiring myself out too much. Needless to say - that's impossible.

It took an insightful person to point out that "self-blame is a way of claiming that you have control over what happens to you" - and she went on to gently suggest that accepting that I don't have full control is a better strategy. That advice changed me forever. It's part of why I make a point of seizing each day - because I don't know what will happen tomorrow.

I had to give myself that talk again today when I noticed self-blame sneaking into my head, and it worked. Now, I'm going to focus on how to stop these runaway migraines. And, I'm going to hope that it doesn't require extreme medical measures.
I don't know what will be involved but I do know that the part of the cure always involves our beautiful outdoor world, whether the doctors order it or not.
I wonder where this twist of fate will lead me?


  1. you are most certainly being tested. i am sorry, but hope they can figure out a way to stem this migraine surge. bless that shyla. :)

  2. Oh No! I hope you fee better and they can figure out the problem. Dogs have amazing curative powers. They just don't know it.

  3. I am so sorry you've been thrown yet another curve ball. I'll be thinking of you and sending positive vibes across the country. Shyla looks so beautiful and I'm glad she is able to help you. And I'm glad you have the magnificent mountains to help soothe your troubled mind.

  4. your photos tell us you have that huge inner strength to get out with Shyla, no matter how ill or full of pain you might be. Hopes for all diagnosis to be done soon, and treatment arranged pronto. Shyla resting on the rock with paws, one of the very best. Hugs in big amounts, Jean.

  5. Reading your feelings and how you tell the truth has always been good for me. I do t get scared very easily but I share blaming myself for things out of my control. Even when I know they are, there's that ..what if. I sincerely hope this is an unrelated episode for you and that the mystery will reveal itself to be minor.
    Your quest for quiet happiness is pure and wonderful. The fact that you share it with us and your animals amazes me.

  6. Oh mom gets those bad migraines. Hope they are gone for good
    Lily & Edward

  7. I don't know how you do it. I feel sorry for myself over so much less. For being out battling a migraine, your photos are beautiful. The meds I have for migraines leave me so zombified, I hate taking them. Doing something like horseback riding, which requires me to focus on something other than the pain, usually helps. Lately, doing breathing exercises seems to help, but I think that's partially because the headaches I've had lately are more sinus related. I hope you find what will work for you, although, I think you probably already have.

  8. Wherever this journey leads you, just know there are people like me who are cheering you on and sending positive vibes and lots of hope that the answers will be found, and you will find the peace in knowing what to do, and where it may take you.

  9. That fourth photo of Shyla resting her head on a rock is the perfect illustration for what you're going through. Your pictures amaze me.

    I hope something can be done about the migraines, and I agree that it's better to recognize we sometimes have no control than to beat ourselves up. Good luck. As usual, our hearts are with you.

  10. Incredible pictures from and incredible woman. You cant imagine how much your sharing helps out the rest of us in facing our own issues. Wherever the journey leads.....know you are loved and cared for by a universe of bloggers.....

  11. I was saddened to read of your physical challenges. I can't begin to imagine what it puts you through. If it's any comfort, sheer joy and enthusiasm for life comes through in each and every photo you share with us.Just as you can't blame yourself for your headaches or other physical ailments, you CAN congratulate yourself for what you are able to control - and that's the happiness you give to your dogs each and every day and to us through your blog & photos.

  12. I'm really sorry that you're dealing with this on top of all the other stuff. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the arrival of some better weather will help. You are one of the most resilient people that I know!

  13. KB
    Always remember we are right with you- on each step of your incredible journey.
    Thank you for trusting us,, and sharing with us,,, what is happening in your world.,,,
    We love you
    tweedles and moms

  14. Know what KB.... you are indeed an amazing person. Those are not just words but truly felt. I have lots and lots of good vibes, joyful thoughts, and heartfelt prayers being sent to you right now.

  15. Whatever twists the journey takes please find comfort in knowing you are never alone. Besides the amazing connections to K and to Shyla, you have an amazing network of family and friends shielding you with love and wrapping you in protective paws and arms. The road may be rough at times, but you always have a shoulder to lean against and a hand to steady your progress.

  16. I'm sorry to hear about your latest set back. Migraines are no fun. I hope you can find a solution soon.


  17. I must have somehow missed it that you were diagnosed with sarcoidosis...that is one of my many diagnosis. My latest battle is with Behcet's Disease. The migraines are awful. Just awful. So I do sympathize with you. The thing that helped me the most was a shot that the doctor gave me. I had to lie perfectly still in his office for 30 minutes to make sure that I didn't have a reaction to it. It sure helped though. I really hope you are feeling much better today. These pictures you take are just breathtaking! Let me know if I can help, I belong to a great Sarc group on FB.

  18. Well we hope a reason for the migraines is found so you can maintain them, or avoid them.
    It's good you have the dogs to help you.

    XXXOOO Bella & Roxy

  19. Thank you, Shyla, for always making your mom feel better if only for a little while that day. You are such a beautiful girl ♥

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  20. I knew you had many health challenges but I didn't know exactly what it was. I had to read up on sarcoidosis as I had never heard of it. It seems the auto-immune diseases are some of the hardest on the body. You certainly have been given more than your share of health issues. I have a strong interest in diet and how it affects our health. Have you tried identifying foods that help/hurt how you feel? I imagine with all you have been through your doctor has suggested that avenue.

    On my photo special effect....I don't have Photoshop, so I just use PicMonkey on the web. That effect is called Focal Zoom. You can control where you want the center to be and the degree of zooming. The website is easy to use, it just takes some playing around to get find/get used to all the effects it offers. It has basic exposure fixes, lots of preset color/temperature settings, fancy focus, pixelating for when you need to hide someone's face, collages, etc. It's a fun site and there's lots to play with.

    I hope you are feeling better soon!

  21. We are so sorry to hear about your migraines and hope that you are free from the horrible pain real soon.

    We're sending you healing thoughts and prayers.

    Lily Belle & Muffin


  22. We hope the Dr's can find relief
    for your pain soon.

    xo Cinnamon

  23. I'm so sorry about your migraines. I didn't know you had endometriosis, my daughter has Stage 5 and also cannot have children (they decided adoption was right for them. Btw, Lauren is a speaker and writer on infertility, adoption, and miscarriages, and if you ever want to contact her I can provide the info).
    You'll be in my thoughts, hoping for the ideal outcome here. Pretty heroic to go out with Shyla with a migraine, I'd call that serious dog/human bonding :) Hang in there KB and thanks for the updates.

  24. I am sure sorry you are dealing with such pain and I hope an easy fix can be had. Follow the love and smiles of your sweet dogs, they won't let you down.

  25. Yup, these silly, frail, resilient human bodies sure can put us through a lot, can't they? This past year's diagnosis for me was lupus. The dog's determination to live in the moment and enjoy what is available has been a reminder to keep on trudging - even though some days it really is a challenge. Our thoughts are with you - stay strong :-)

  26. Gosh - definitely don't blame yourself! Just do what you are doing - which is figuring out what you can learn from each experience, good or bad.
    Sorry about your migraines - that really stinks. I've had my share of them but yours seem to be so much worse and more frequent. Praying the doctors can figure out a way to relieve those for you. Hugs.

  27. Oh man, I'm so sorry!!! My mom suffers from horrible migranes and it's so sad to see her go through them. Her's go on for 3 days... Luckily her neurologist has her catch them pretty early so they aren't as bad as they used to be.

    I hope you can get some relief soon!!!

  28. To suffer and still move forward is your strength. I can't believe you must deal with this on top of your recent surgery. But, I do know we can't predict or control - and that blame rarely does any good. I'm seeing grass by you and blue sky - what's up with that? I'm glad you have Shyla as your "coach." Thinking of you.

  29. Hugs and love, for all of you...

    Monty and Harlow

  30. Great post!
    You have Shyla to Comfort you.
    I cant miss a post.
    Hugs M//

  31. I'm so sorry to hear about your medical issues! That's so tough.
    Sending prayers and hugs,

  32. My husband gets cluster headaches. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. We are sending rottie kisses and some foot-sitting and leans to help you feel better.

    -Bart, Ruby and Otto

  33. Stella would like to join the Rottie kids in helping you. She specializes in leans, and in foot sitting. Perhaps she could sub for Otto, Ruby or Bart when they need a break.

    Cheers and hugs,

    Stella and Zkhat

  34. KB, I am so so sorry this "twist of fate" is happening to you. I'm catching up on my blog reading & just now saw this post from you. I wish there was something I could do besides pray... but please know that prayers are storming heaven on your behalf.

    Yes, we do have a tendency to self-blame, don't we. *sigh* I don't know why you were dealt this hand in life, with the health issues you have, but I DO know that your furry family members were sent to you to help you through everything. And nature....yes, nature!! Mother Nature cures what ails us.... if not physically, then at least psychologically & emotionally.... even spiritually.

    Hang in there, my friend. Please allow the precious furry ones to give you the hugs & kisses I can not give, due to distance. I'm sure they will be more than happy to give you a few extras!

    Please keep us informed on your progress to wellness that I'm confident will come!!

    Love~ Andrea


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