All posts tagged Migraine

Hot off the Press – 10th July 2017

Published July 10, 2017 by helentastic67

Hot off the Press 100717

Today’s Hot off the Press will be bought to you today by the letters ‘F’ for Helen’s favourite word and ‘A’ for my apology for using the favourite word with frequency that might upset some. Only for the events that were on Monday and all in context to what happened. Anyway, let’s move on.


Monday, I was at my usual free community it’s health clinic only ever referred to as the Place. Trying to multitask and do my admin/emails while conversing with a nice gentleman called Tony and another lady joined the conversation. Well, she actually hijacked the conversation and it tuned out as I was getting a migraine. After a while, Tony disappeared and as I was not coping with being talked to (note, not with but at) I had asked her to stop. Several times, when she didn’t I humorously asked if she could talk under water? (Gets a laugh, yes. But apparently inflammatory) but I honestly thought it was better than a Shut the fuck up! Or outright Fuck off!……no? Tony returned with the woman who runs the place. She took a physical position between the other woman and myself. I had been aware she had been competing with me, but I had not been baiting her or responding to her so I didn’t realise she had been attempting to intimidate me by standing over me. Management seemingly came to my rescue and feeling miffed the other woman left. It was explained to me she has a very prison mentality and had spent 8 years in prison (wait!) for killing her husband. (And that is not the punchline)

Um, a new friend from this Place has said when you feel like your life is totally shit (paraphrasing) you go to this Place and then from what you see your life doesn’t seem that bad. It is presumed I should be getting my social community fix from this place.

I did attempt to explain to this woman why I wasn’t coping with her talking at me. I mentioned I had a brain injury and her only response to this was “everybody has a brain injury these days!” I honestly didn’t know how to respond. Note it would still be rude for me to have told her to fuck off or shut the fuck up! Go figure….and I’m the one with the brain injury.

I was given a lift home by said gentleman, after I joined them for some good social contact ie; joined them at the pub for beer. I had lemon, lime and bitters. Once home, coffee was had while my carer completed her chores.

Tuesday, went to the brain injury group I’m part of in the city for some Shanghai Doodle. (Think Chinese whispers but on paper) Good times, it seems even with only 8 people with brain injuries I still go home with a migraine. It would seem my ABI is not compatible with others in large numbers.

DoorwayGarden 1Garden 2Garden 3






Wednesday, you may have noticed a lack of my Foodie Post? I didn’t have time to tap out an email on my iPhone as I was busy with company. A friend who I have not seen in some years joined me and much discussion was had. Here is a picture of Ro with the (I can never recall the name, so I call it the) Salted a caramel thing………I generally only have it in my birthday week and it must be shared and accompanied by coffee.




I’m not too good with photography these days…


Thursday, had the day off. Making me a very happy camper. Still had calls to deal with in the never-ending drama of needing personal carers. I confess I had some fun at the expense of my young carer who got a tongue piercing. Making it impossible to understand her with her tongue swollen. I resorted to suggesting she throw me a few words and I would attempt to make a sentence from them. Couldn’t help myself.

I don’t have any unusual piercings, not my thing. But I found myself explaining to Young John why people might get their tongues pierced? That wasn’t awkward at all. Speaking of Young John, still got that damn song in my head. “Shuddup-a-your face!”

Friday ended with a large pot of bolognaise sauce in my slow cooker. Yield? About 8.5 bottles.
Which might explain why my left hip hurt Saturday. Some weird thing even the physiotherapists can’t explain. When I do too much or lift heavy things, I shouldn’t one-handed my left hip hurts. Yes, it super-awesome! Not!

Managed a whole comic this week, I know, only one, but I did get to replenish the pile in the lounge to get through in the coming weeks.

Single girl date night included the “Guardians of the Galaxy’ which I finally saw in full and much TV was watched. It sometimes feels like my appointments and visionary achievements (TV Shows) really do mark the passing of time and there is nothing major to report. Really feel like I’m treading water and not making any significant mark on this planet.

Guardians of the Galaxy

The weekend was spent otherwise off-grid. Just the way I like it and now it’s Monday and the crazy starts all over again.

Big week huh? I can do without so much excitement this week. Please?

Have a great week 1


Hot off the Press – 22nd May 2017

Published May 22, 2017 by helentastic67

Latest news

Another week and another Hot off the Press!

This one feeling a bit underwhelmed as not much to report. No comics moved from one big pile to the much smaller one.

A few posts written, edits all up to date. It’s something in the Plus column. No house-hunting and only just wrapping up billions right now.


Attempted a social adventure this week, my friend Jane (Changed her name to protect the innocent) and I were clear across town to go to lunch and a film. Finally ventured to a crepe café (sweet and savoury) I’ve gone past this place twice a week for years and when we found it, the windows were covered with paper. So, we instead we went to Plan B and had a hurried lunch, still good at a bakery cafe. Stuffed capsicum and latte, no complaints. Across the street to the independent cinema the Westgarth and made it in time for the previews……….

Plan B 1

There were four of us in the cinema and after the previews, it just stopped. Jane and one from the other party went to report the film hadn’t started………and it’s all computerised these days. I can’t believe I’m suggesting this. It’s the days of some hairy, creepy single guy in the projector room never having had a date in his life.

The two things we attempted to do on Thursday, didn’t happen. Going to have a rematch to see Snatched tomorrow using the tickets reimbursed to us.

Single girl date night…..success! Watched a 2014 film called Hellion? No, yeah. It has Arron Paul in it. The actor often referred to from Breaking Bad as “Yo Bitch!”

Yo Bitch

Lastly, it’s only been the last few days I’ve been able to walk around my home without the walking stick. The Physiotherapist really did a good job and I can’t wait to give her feedback on Tuesday, when I see her next and cancel my next appointment since she hasn’t bothered to get back to me after being informed the damage she had caused.


And all of that with the migraine that just won’t go away. I really miss the old days when my migraine would cripple me so I couldn’t leave the house and I went everywhere with a bucket. (Sexy, right?) and was happy to stay in bed. But now my version of a migraine sees me up and about wandering around resembling a zombie and no-ones any the wiser, I can’t see at all out of my left eye. Or my left eye feels like it’s trying to escape its eye socket!


And today we do it all again! Charge!

Good day

Hot off the Press – 15th May 2017

Published May 15, 2017 by helentastic67

Here is the news 150517

Wow! What a painful week! And here’s where I struggle to tell it in dot points so I’m still motivated enough to unpack the shit that was in an actual post you can read in well, some time from now…….

Painful week

Same as last week really, Osteo/Mio/Remedial/Chiropractor/Acupuncture….& Physio!

And when I got to the Physio it was she that was opinionated enough to tell me I was doing too much and how was I to know what was helping?

Hear from the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) this week they couldn’t justify a review to help pay for my Shrink (sorry, Psychologist) or my Chiropractor or my friggin’ shoes!

Apparently, none of these things are from my original diagnosis: WTF!

I don’t know about anybody else but I didn’t have the need of a Shrink! (I know, I prefer to call her that as it sounds more like I’m crazy?) or need my weekly Chiropractic appointments until my body decided every little thing I took for granted before it wouldn’t do without paying me back in weird ways….. Like reaching and closing the car door puts my ribs out?

Or the underlying migraine I’ve had for the last week?

And by Friday, the Physio was proved right! I hate that so much….. because it hurt to weight-bare on my left leg. As in sharp pains shooting up from my foot to everywhere in my body. And I do mean everywhere! By Friday evening I had booked another appointment with my Chiropractor on Saturday….Need I remind everyone Saturday is my Off-Grid day? No email, no social media….no adult, no responsibility, no bra or shoes! And therefore, I rarely leave the house on a Saturday…. I did all of those things including spending $50 the NDIA doesn’t seem necessary just so I could only late today (Sunday) move around my home without my walking stick for short periods of time!)


Sore body

I did implement Single Girl Date Night reasonably successfully, I watched two films I had recorded on my Toppy.

Single girl


In simple terms, it means I can record two channels at once on live TV while watching something previously recorded.

Good to record films & comedy….. Then watch whenever you like, while skipping the ads.

I didn’t watch anything ground-breaking this week, the films were “The Longest Ride” and “Cowboys & Aliens”. If you haven’t heard much about these films there is good reason. The first was a love story. The end! The second was what you get when you are a beautiful actress, retired 007! And Harrison Ford. My point is none of them (beautiful  or not) no longer need to work and it seems they thought, let’s do a cowboy and ‘What the Hell’ film because we don’t need to make money…….or I’m being very cynical. In short.

Cowboys and aliens

Finished 13 Reasons Why finally proving to be a tough week!

13 Reasons Why. Really well done. Challenging to watch but well worth it for anyone still undecided.

13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why (stylized onscreen as Th1rteen R3asons Why) is an American drama-mystery web television series ba…


Started watching season two of Billions with Damien Lewis this week also. I have a habit of not watching some shows until I have the whole season.

And to update, I actually read a whole comic today in one go! Ok, considering migraine all week this was a win. And there was the added pressure to report I’d read at least one considering I still head to my comic store once every few months to collect my order. I’ll try to read one tomorrow since I’ve decided I need a long weekend.

Reading comics

So, finally I guess I did do too much last week so I’ll be skipping Physio for a few weeks to give my body a break. And it didn’t help she played Devil’s Advocate suggesting the NDIA shouldn’t need to buy me shoes when everyone wears and buys shoes. Which was fine when I could wear my Adidas Gazelles at the cost of $130 a pair and I bought 2-3 pairs a year……But now I need medically approved shoes at $460 a pair and should have the option of two pairs, it shouldn’t be too much to ask I can’t and don’t buy my own shoes…..


If all goes well by this time tomorrow my food parcel will be safely in Sydney in Noelle’s hands.

Food Parcel

I shall save my brush this week with a famous chef for a full-blown post. Stay tuned!


New week charge


Worst Test Ever

Published December 9, 2016 by helentastic67


Worst Test Ever

Ok, so there’s actually two tests/treatments I’ve experienced over the last 10 years and ironically, I’ve managed to have two of each. So, I might as well be on a roll and get them over and done with and write about them now. If you don’t do horror (I don’t) and you are squeamish you are excused and can skip them. But if you want reminding, you only have to read about it.

I actually had the procedures and was WIDE AWAKE for them.

Firstly, soon after diagnosis back in 2007, I saw my first Neuro-Surgeon who asked if I was claustrophobic. I am not, but I could later appreciate why he asked.

A test was scheduled to look more closely at the arteries in my brain. This procedure is called a Cerebral Angiogram.


My first recommendation if someone tells you, you have to have one, is the night before, get a snatch wax! No, really.

If your anti-razors or have a beautician who will be displeased by a razor on certain parts of your body. Go get waxed!


Now this procedure, you are bare ass naked! (Just warning you) with only a gown on that for this occasion you put on open at the front. I found I was nervous so kept wanting to pee. When they wheel your bed into the room it feels like an operating room.

And the first thing that occurs to you is how crowed that room is. One or two people will talk directly to you. Don’t expect to remember anyone’s names.

Medical personal quickly take on nicknames in your head, such as ‘Hot Doctor’, ‘Old Doctor’, ‘Nice Nurse’ or ‘Chic, chic, chic, chic, guy, guy, guy!’ Why are there so many guys?


And a nurse comes over and produces a pink daisy razor. I looked at her and told her she wouldn’t need that. She lifted my gown & she told me they love girls like me! And her eyes darted around the room to all the other girls sharing a knowing look. I wonder if they bet on whether or not they have to shave the patient. A carefully folded face washer was strategically placed over my groin & I recall looking down thinking it hadn’t been very big to start with before it was folded.

I recall looking down to see what they do, until the needle came out. It was a local anesthetic and those needles really sting. Next came the scalpel and they made an incision at the top of my thigh (pretty much along the line where your underwear sits) for about an inch. I confess I looked down at this point because the ‘older’ doctor came over and started touching the skin around the incision. The question lingered in the air, “More anesthetic?” Oh my God he’s going to jab me again…….little did I realize that would not be the worst part…..



Next, a wire was fed into the artery at the incision and while I didn’t feel anything there was a very weird sensation. Head back I was told to breathe deeply, I understand this is when the wire passed up through my heart. It then continued up into my head. Large plastic shower cap type things were placed over some square plastic plates that were moved close to several sides of my head and face. Very close this is when the claustrophobic query came to mind.


The room seemed to clear and the young doctor started describing the next step. Words like “stay calm, warm, don’t move, and a weird taste in my mouth “and the understanding that they would do it as quickly as possible. FYI; How quickly they would perform the tests was not up to them at all but my ability to not move, freak out or anything else.

From behind a window off to one side a voice came to remind me to hold still. Next, No words! No words, can accurately describe the next part but I’ll try! Every known swear word comes to mind but I think I managed to only Yelp an “Ow!” (don’t know how) A burst of warm iodine, or contrast was released up into one artery then another into my brain. Each renewed the metallic taste in my mouth I could not get rid of. I’m certain it was not boiling but it felt like it, because it wouldn’t dissipate. The last burst out iodine (must have saved the best till last) was down the side of my jaw. It was even more unpleasant because the heat travels over your jaw and under your skin. You realise how there is not much else there but skin and bone. And you could not make it go away.


And each release of the iodine showed up on the monitor that was above me suspended from the ceiling. Squiggly lines snaking across the image of my skull. I had the perfect line to give the doctor except they were all in the other room behind the safety-glass……..it went something like this “Someone should tell the guy in the next room he’s completely messed up!” When clearly it was me that had the seriously messed up arteries.


Then, of course the monitor machine started beeping oddly and everyone that had returned to the room started moving more quickly. I was told my blood pressure had dropped and to breathe calmly. I don’t know, what else I was to do, I was also told I had to keep my head down and not to lift it.

The wire was removed and they moved me over to another trolley and into a small room. A guy pressed on the wound and started to count. He asked me a polite question and I’m sure he didn’t expect such a chatty response, but I must talk more with a guy putting pressure on an open artery near my groin. Must have been nervous and embarrassed. I’m sure he lost count and when he released the wound it continued to bleed. I had asked if they put a stitch in it? No? What about a bandaid? They told me it would ‘just close up’. Huh?

I as wheeled out to the room with lots of other people (recovery?) had, had other procedures. I just wanted to know when I could get up and pee? Hours, the answer was hours. Felt like a lifetime! To return my blood pressure to normal a drink and a sandwich were produced and I was expected to eat and drink without lifting my head. To be clear, I did. And then I threw up. And I had to lift in order to do this. This was also my first experience of the bedpan.  So, I will just say, bedpans, not invented for ladies peeing while lying down. I’ll spare you the details and just say, sheets were changed. I eventually got my bandaid after the wound was inspected a further 20 times. And of course, a group of young ‘student’ doctors came around also by which time I had an all-out migraine. Lots of stupid questions I did not need while trying not to lift my head or throw up asking what my symptoms were so I could explain how I knew it was a migraine. If you have not had the displeasure, you want to be left alone and in the quiet and dark. I had some tingling down my left arm. I’m sure they gave me something after this and left me alone because I couldn’t stop vomiting.

I was kept on the ward overnight. Where even more young doctors visited to quiz me. Super! One guy I gave him so much cheek when he told me he once misplaced his car I told him he didn’t deserve his car and he should handover his keys. My hand was out and he didn’t know how to respond. I did not leave the hospital with a car, just saying.


The second time I had an Angio, because you know there was. Considering how unpleasant it was, it went a little better.

When I had my meeting with my radiologist I told him, “Just promise me I will never have to have another Angio, because it really did seem the worst thing ever. He looked uncomfortable and I’m certain my mum grumbled I couldn’t ask that. Like hell I couldn’t, I’d been the one who had had one not her. “Just lie to me, it’s fine!” And he did.

Eventually, when it was time to have that next Angiogram to confirm my treatment had done its job and I didn’t require any more he broke the news, “we need to have a conversation about that test you don’t like”. And there is no point fighting it, you have another Angiogram. The second time was better. I was at a different hospital and knowing what to expect makes it much better. Secondly, and this is my next bit of advice, when they come over to you and offer you drugs? Take it! I was given a ‘mild sedative’ and as I had had an allergic reaction to the iodine I was given something for that too. But this time, I came up with the description that it felt like I was being punched in the head but from the inside! And I’ve never been punched in the head at all, and I’m not complaining about that.


Lastly, I would love it if every young doctor had to experience that procedure, that is so intensely distasteful as it is.


Neuro – Part 2

Published November 18, 2016 by helentastic67


Neuro – Part 2

Oh, and it’s happened more times than I can count that there was a ‘student’ in the room.


So even though I could easily quickly depart, I usually turn to them and point out all the things they might not have picked up on.

I will lift up my pants leg and show them the AFO (Ankle Foot Orthotic)


I describe where I’ve had Botox injected in both my calf and my arm and I tease open my hand and perform my party trick.


Anyway, the goal of having that Neuro appointment and everything and be there on time. I wanted an MRI (Magnetic Resonating Imagery) for my left temple.

I had, had a fall although years ago, it had not been attended to back then. I had smashed my head against a wall. (Not on purpose) and at the time the shoulder had taken precedence.

I wanted my migraines investigated. As I imagined A & B to be related?


And lastly, I threw the problem out of my pins and needles in my good hand!

Left, results.

No MRI – that query was ignored despite the suggestion that I had probably suffered a concussion of some sort.

The migraines? Drugs! I have filled the script but being dumbed down and feeling hung over every day is not my idea of a solution.


And the 3rd issue? CARPEL TUNNEL!


That’s just all I need!


Published November 14, 2016 by helentastic67



Part 1

I’m seeing a Neuro (as in Neurologist or Surgeon) tomorrow at a Stroke Clinic at the Alfred Hospital.

I haven’t been to a specialist for maybe 5 years, since having been given the ‘all-clear’.

But I’m thinking how to cover the things he might need to hear to get some ‘Action’!

Might start with a stocktake of the last 7 days and how many of those days were migraine free:

Let’s see              Monday – Migraine

Tuesday – Hangover from said migraine

Wednesday – Hung-over still

Thursday – Slept until 2pm!


And that was while a chainsaw was going on next door and when that stopped they went on to the wood chipper!

Had I prepared to leave the house I would have fed that operator into the wood chipper!

Friday – OK, I think

Saturday – bit of a niggle behind my eye.

Sunday – again!

So total migraine free days – 1

Part 2

Well, that all turned out to be a bit of a bust! Keeping in mind consistency is the key.

Public clinic’s (Specialist ones run within the hospitals) you need to request to have the same specialist each time. I even go to the point of calling the day before to confirm I get to see the same guy who has always seen me.

And despite all my efforts, which include a mention to reception on the way in, I end up in a small consulting room with someone who looks younger than me!

I know, I know! I’m not saying only see a Neurologist if they are old and grey! But I don’t know, I think I want them to be older than I am.

Oh yeah. And there always seems to be a student in the room. Because I always feel compelled to explain all the things that have been discussed. Ie. What Botox is good for, not just faces…..having had Botox in my arm twice and my calf twice also.




Week So Far!

Published October 21, 2016 by helentastic67

Week so far

Week So Far!

Monday went to a DDAC (Darebin Disability Advisory Committee) meeting as a BIM member (sorry Brain Injury Matters) and a local resident. As have recently participated in some training (VATT) Voice at the Table Training so I can attend meetings and have my opinion be heard and valued. Rather than just being a token member with a disability.

I’d be happy to go to a meeting and not feel inclined to go to a meeting and find myself facilitating. Impossible!

Board Meeting

They asked me to be a member of the DDAC! There were some ‘Service Providers’ at the meeting who are obviously concerned they won’t have a job when the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme in case you missed it), gets rolled out across the North/East of Melbourne.

They like to ‘bang on’ about being there for their clients who have little independent living skills or might be intellectually handicapped, but it take me to tell that person she needs to change ‘hats’ when she’s at those meetings. She needs to put on her ‘Advocacy-Hat!’ and not be wearing her ‘Self Advocacy hat!’


People seem to go to those meetings with their ‘problems’ and there never seems to be a sharing of how to ‘problem solve’ these issues.

People don’t know how to solve them or who to go to, to fix said problems.

Anyway, left DDAC and went to have 2nd x-ray to find out what’s causing pins and needles in my right hand.

FYI That’s my good hand!


X-ray of the day was of my ‘upper back/spine/right shoulder’ (Note: despite having to go up a flight of stairs they couldn’t do the lower back x-ray at the same time. Had to book to go back Tuesday.

Had planned to ‘smash out’ the last Episode of Walking/talking Dead before Chiropractors.

Rang Darebin HACC (Home and Community Care) to arrange a Carer so I could get to 3rd x-ray and spent the next hour being bullied because people can’t read the DAMN FILE!!!

Got a migraine and was in bed by 11.30pm. When I’m in bed that early for the night, you need to consider ‘Will Helen Wake Up Dead??’

So it’s now Wednesday afternoon and I’m still feeling seedy from the migraine.

Super week so far!!!


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