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25 April 2017

#Sponsored LaPixie Wellness #Headache & #Migraine Relief Kit

"I have been given this product as part of a product review through my blog, The Migraine Diva. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. "

Those of us who live with migraine know all too well how horrible the "migraine hangover" or the postdrome phase feels. What is a migraine hangover?  It is the yucky, exhausted, foggy feeling people with migraine experience after an intense migraine attack.  Remember how it felt the day after having one too many drinks?  Welcome to the postdrome phase.  We get to experience all of those physical symptoms without having touched a single alcoholic drink (or having a good time hanging out with friends!).

Some of the postdrome symptoms many migraineurs experience include dizziness, weakness, lightheadedness, difficulty concentrating, tiredness, and decreased energy.  For myself, these symptoms are just as debilitating, if not more, as the actual migraine attack itself.  Typically for me, the postdrome phase lasts for at least twenty-four hours after the attack is over.  That lost day is factored in to the number of headache days I have a month, and boy do they add up fast!

Personally, I do not like to take anymore medications once the pain has subsided because I do not like to feel extra groggy on top of the postdrome symptoms.  I tend to rely more on homeopathic and complementary relief treatments so as to minimize the hangover feeling as much as possible.  This includes using essential oils, ice packs, aromatherapy, and rest.

Samanta Moise, a migraineur herself, reached out to me a while back about trying out some of her homemade holistic headache and migraine products.  Her company, LaPixie Wellness, "is dedicated to providing strategies and products that meet the needs of their customers. Their dedication to wellness via natural alternatives is inspired by a combination of science and imagination."

Samanta sent me the Headache and Migraine Relief Kit, which comes with a headband and ice pack, Release essential oil blend, a soy candle, and a Lavender necklace diffuser in a clutch that can be kept in the freezer to keep your ice pack colder for a longer period of time. 

The headband has a pocket in it where the ice pack goes.  It is really cute and is easily transportable.  The Release essential oil blend is comprised of citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, lavindin and myrtle oils.  Samanta recommends applying the oil on both temples to help with pain, sinus pressure, and nausea.  For extended relief, add two drops to the pumice necklace.

I keep the necklace in my car and use it as a diffuser.  It hangs nicely on my rear view mirror and looks really pretty!  The Release oil blend is something that I keep in my purse so that I have it available to me at all times. It is especially helpful on Botox day.  Prior to my appointment, I apply the oil to where the injections will be given (temples, forehead, occipital, and neck).  Afterward, on the drive home, I place two drops of the oil onto the diffuser and put on the headband with the ice pack so that the oncoming migraine won't be as intense.  The clutch really helps to keep the ice pack cold since I have to drive over an hour to my neurologist on those days.

Once I get home, I light the Bamboo Tree Oil soy candle and rest.  The scent of the candle is really light and is very comforting and relaxing.  It is very helpful also when you want to minimize light during a migraine attack.  The light is very soft and not harsh at all on the eyes. I am experiencing migraine hangover as I type this and am using the soy candle and essential oil to alleviate the dizziness, lightheadedness, and exhaustion I am feeling. Without them I do not know how productive I would be!

LaPixie Wellness sells a variety of essential oil blends, candles, jewelry, and even tea!  You can purchase products directly from their website, Amazon, or their Etsy shop:

There is a Mother's Day special going on now.  Use the promo code below to save up to 20% off:

13 April 2017

#ad Casting Call For #Migraine Research Film

If anyone may be interested in being considered for this opportunity, please submit the online questionnaire below.  Submissions are due by Monday, April 17, 2017.

GENUINE: The Real People Company, powered by Strickman-Ripps - a NYC based casting company that specializes in finding all kinds of people for commercials, web videos, and print advertisements,, is currently CASTING a research film featuring people who experience Migraines. 

Anyone who might be interested in participating, please contact them or submit via this online questionnaire: Those selected for the final film will be compensated and submissions are due by Monday, April 17th. We really appreciate any help you can provide in regard to outreach for this project and are happy to answer any questions you might have. Please feel free to call or email us. We look forward to speaking with you. Thank you so much! 

Casting Director GENUINE, powered by Strickman-Ripps 
(212) 966-3211

12 April 2017

#ad Axon Optics Glasses for #Migraine

"I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. "

Photophobia, or light sensitivity, is a common symptom of migraine.  It is one of the criteria used to actually diagnose migraine.  Some people experience photophobia daily and some are completely disabled due to it.  What exactly is photophobia?  Photophobia is an extreme sensitivity to light.  The sun or bright light can cause discomfort, squinting, excessive blinking, nausea and headache.  

Conversations | How To Speak About #MentalHealth

No one is ever taught how to speak about mental illness.  Mainly due to the stigma attached to it.  It's portrayed as shameful, embarrassing, and as a weakness.  It isn't a topic easily put up for discussion.  The one living with it are often blamed for having an illness they cannot control or even asked to have.  

30 March 2017

#Sponsored Post #PillDrill Review

"I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. "

Managing all of my prescriptions used to be a headache, which I didn't need having chronic migraine and all.  In order to make sure that I adhered to my medication schedule, I had to set several alarms on my iPhone.  Not only was that time consuming but it was challenging trying to keep them all straight.  And the constant going off of alarms was quite annoying to say the least.  Tracking whether I took my medications on time, skipped a dose, or took something unscheduled was not easy without the use of some sort of medication management tool.

28 February 2017

Pediatric and Adolescent Migraine: What to Know

We know that migraine affects over 38 million Americans. Unfortunately, that includes children as well.  As a child, I suffered from abdominal migraine before experiencing typical migraine at the age of 8.  These are the statistics from the Migraine Research Foundation:

About 10% of school-aged children suffer from migraine.
Half of all migraine sufferers had their first attack before age 12.
Before puberty, boys suffer from migraine more often than girls.
As adolescence approaches, the incidence increases more rapidly in girls than in boys.
By the time they turn 17, as many as 8% of boys and 23% of girls have experienced migraine.

Diamond Headache Clinic has shared this presentation on pediatric and adolescent migraine with me to help spread awareness about childhood migraine. The presentation goes over common types of migraine headaches and symptoms that present themselves in adolescents.

Presentation provided by Diamond Headache Clinic.

25 February 2017

#Sponsored e-cloth Kitchen Dynamo Review

I have been given this product as part of a product review. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

As a chronic pain sufferer, daily chores are a challenge.  Deep cleaning and scrubbing aren't always something I can do without it causing or triggering pain or flare-ups.  Finding easy and effective cleaning tools is always necessary in order to maintain the cleanliness of my home without suffering for trying to do so.  One of my issues with cleaning is the cramping in my hands and wrists due to carpal tunnel syndrome.  Something as easy as wiping down countertops and cleaning off my stovetop will immediately cause pain.  I am a neat freak and hate mess and clutter.  I find myself really frustrated that I cannot clean the way that I want to because of my incompetent hands.

10 February 2017

Mental Health and Positivity

Check out my newest video where I discuss the importance of learning how to reverse negative self-talk and becoming more positive and kinder to ourselves when living with a mental illness. *full transcript is below video

"Hello everybody. Today I'm going to be talking about mental health and positivity. It can be really difficult to remain positive when you live with a mental illness such as depression and anxiety like I do. Our brains are wired to be negative most of the time. So, it becomes really hard to shift our thinking into a more positive direction. 

For most of my experience with depression and anxiety, I have felt that I physically embodied their symptoms. We are often told that we are depressed or we are anxious or we are obsessive and compulsive. When we attach those labels to who we are, we begin to identify ourselves as those things. But over the last couple of months, I have come to realize that I am not my symptoms. 

From my survey, 59% of people who took it said that they have felt a loss of identity since being diagnosed with a mental illness. Learning how to overcome the negative self talk and become more positive is a challenging task but it can't be accomplished. 82% of those who took the survey are interested in learning how to do just that. 

So this video is basically an introduction on self-care and positivity. It is very important that you take yourself out of the equation. By this I mean changing the way you speak of yourself and your mental illness. What I have done is instead of saying that I am depressed today or I am very anxious today, I say I am having a flare up. All of the symptoms I am experiencing due to the anxiety or depression are much higher than normal. By saying that the anxiety is causing me to feel anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed, unmotivated, exhausted, and depressed, I am removing myself from the burden of the illness. 

Putting it in this perspective allows me to really focus in on myself as an individual. It makes it a lot easier to be kinder to myself and speak positively about myself. The simple notion of changing the way we speak of our illness and their symptoms can be the difference in whether or not we spiral downwards into a dark hole of anxiety or depression. 

It is also important to take care of yourself mentally. Learning how to calm yourself in the midst of a flareup can drastically change how long your flareup may last. There are very simple and easy methods to help cope with and manage our symptoms. I want to touch on a few that have helped me along this process. 

The first is journaling. I set aside two days a week for 15 minutes to journal. Whether I'm in a good mood or feeling low, I make sure to write about my feelings. It helps a lot when I journal through a flareup. I am able to get out all of the negativity I'm experiencing so that it doesn't fester and make me feel worse. Journaling is very cathartic and it helps us to purge all of the heaviness, sadness and negativity so that we can feel lighter and more capable of moving forward.

The second is meditation or using guided imagery. Both of these methods really help us to refocus our brains. When we are in the midst of a really bad flareup we can keep spiraling until we feel like we don't have any hope left. Taking 10 to 20 minutes once or twice a day to meditate or do use guided imagery will help us release those negative feelings and leave us with a more positive outlook. It takes practice and commitment, but it is something that truly can help us be kinder to ourselves in the future.

The third is deep breathing. We in this society are not taught how to breathe through our experiences. It is very important to acknowledge our breath and to calm our entire body down to bring us back to center. When our anxiety is high or our depression is making us feel really low, taking five minutes to breathe deeply in and out really helps us to become more focused and centered. Deep breathing is extremely healing. While you are inhaling, think of it as bringing in positive, healthy, and healing thoughts into yourself. And the exhales are us removing the negative feelings from our minds and bodies. 

Utilizing these methods is not going to cure us of our illnesses. But they do however make us feel more in control at the end of the day. When you allow yourself to take care of your mind, heart and soul, despite how our illnesses are making us feel you begin to separate yourself from them. By focusing on yourself, you are becoming more and more engrossed in the person that you truly are. You are not allowing your symptoms to have a stranglehold over you, your thoughts, or your perceptions.

I am a work in progress. There are times when my depression and anxiety can be so overwhelming that it becomes harder to take care of myself. But I always try to make sure that when I am describing how I am feeling that I'm separating myself from my symptoms. I still need my medication to help manage my depression and anxiety. I still need to go and see my therapist to help me cope with and manage my depression and anxiety. However, it is in the small things I can do on a daily basis that will help me stay in a more positive direction. I do not always succeed and I do falter. However, I pick myself back up and I try again the next day to be kind to myself despite how my mind wants me to feel.

I truly hope that this video encourages you to be kinder to yourself. You are not to blame for having a mental illness. And having one does not mean that you are less of an individual. You are still yourself despite your diagnosis. The person that you were before is still there. We just have to take a little time and some effort to see that we never left. I wish you all peace, love and kindness. There is only one you and you deserve to be taken care of."

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