The Noggin’ Chronicles – Part 1

Surgery 03-30-23 & Post-Op 03-31-23

DISCLAIMER: GRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPH AHEAD

The Background: I work 4 days a week and the Friday before surgery, it really finally dawned on me that I was going to be “out” for the near future. I love my job and I love the guys I work with. I also “know” the guys I work with and I had really buckled down to get things prepared so I wouldn’t come back to work facing apocalyptic aftermath. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I was rushing around trying to get errands done and laundry finished. None if it really was as the nerves started kicking in and I spent half my time in an ON flare laying in bed or having my own craptastic time in the loo. Tuesday, I got as much of the stuff at the office buckled down as I could, while still dealing with a nervous stomach, and then left the office knowing good and well there was stuff I was just going to have to let go. Wednesday morning, the stomach was no better and I was on day 6 or 7 of a running migraine. I packed for the trip, ingested medication for my stomach and then prayed. Hubs and I made it to Dallas, got into a small hotel suite and then buckled down for the procedure and recovery to come.

Surgery was scheduled at 0700 CDT on 03-30-23. I had to be at the William P Clements hospital at 0500 CDT. The hotel was less than 15 minutes away so I wasn’t overly worried about “being late.” So we were up before the butt=crack of dawn. Yes. I wore my jammy bottoms and a button down shirt because I was advised that I couldn’t wear anything that went over the head. (It makes sense after the fact.) So, picture me in a pink button down, navy blue pajama bottoms with Eeyore on them, pink socks and tennis shoes. I am sure I made for quite the fashion icon, but it was comfy so there’s that.

From my journal: So. Dr. Amirlak and the entire surgical team at UT Southwestern in Dallas met with me in pre-op. Dr. Amirlak is awesome and we discussed the options for the surgery and we agreed to with the more conservative methods. We can always go back in if we need to. For the next 3 weeks I can’t do a whole heck of a lot. After that, I should be able to do more.

The surgery went longer than expected and was about 3 hours. Hubs briefed me when I was in the recovery room, but I didn’t retain much to be honest. Dr. Amirlak told him there were veins wrapped around a nerve on the right side. I’m assuming it’s the greater occipital nerve. He also told me Dr. Amirlak decompressed and added some “stuff” (can’t remember what it’s called) as a cushion and buffer. Based on what Hubs said, Dr. Amirlak did the same with the lesser occipital nerve. He yanked the lower 3rd nerves on both sides. We agreed not to do the “big” surgery on the left side. I was hoping to go home tomorrow, but I don’t know. There is also a “drain” in the back of my head. I’m apparently now “Borg.”I think it’s time for some rest. My head hurts and I probably shouldn’t be worrying about the Chronicles at the moment. Follow-up visit tomorrow at 1300 CDT. G’Night.

I am Borg.

It’s the middle of the night and I can’t sleep because I can’t get comfy. I did want to write a few things that I remembered. Before surgery I made a Hodgepodge of Tunes playlist on Spotify for surgery. I asked Hubs to play it and the first song in the recovery room is Queen’s “The Show Must Go On.” Talk about irony of ironies. I couldn’t make that up if I tried. Secondarily, because the surgery took longer than expected, it also meant it took me longer coming out of the anesthesia. I do remember they had to keep telling me to breathe. I kept thinking I was breathing, but maybe not? I’m not sure what to make of that. Anyway… going to try to sleep again.

The next day: The follow-up visit was interesting. Two curious tidbits: 1) Dr. Amirlak (or more likely his team) shaved the back of my head while it was up in a very messy bun. So when I took the bun down and attempted to brush out the mop, a crap-ton of hair came with the brush. Needless to say, I freaked the eff out.  2) Apparently I have a birthmark on my neck around the hairline. The doctor said that it leans toward the side with the massive problems and he’s seen kind of similar birthmarks on patients on the sides where the patient has the worst ON. He couldn’t provide a logical reason for any the possible correlation. But I thought that it was kinda nifty. (And NO idea I even had a birthmark there because of my really thick hair … which is no longer there.)

This is a picture Hubs took of my “messy bun” when it was let down. Why does it look like I have dreadlocks? I was afraid to brush it out.
I started brushing my hair and this is what came out with the “Wet” brush. Talk about freaked out!

I was able to ask a few questions and I asked for, and received, a copy of the post-operative notes. I figure this will actually answer some of the things I’m dying to know. Plus having a copy for my “records” is a good thing.

On the downside of things, yes, the surgical pain is still there. Yes, my head is numb in places which feel really weird. No I cannot go home today. Sigh… the output on the drain has to be less than 20 ml in 24 hours. Since today is Friday, I’m going to be stuck here until at least Monday. That’s gonna cause a kink in the plans the entire family has made, let alone my wallet. Ugh.

Additionally, Hubs had to go out and get me some more clothes because I didn’t know we were staying longer and I didn’t bring enough. He hasn’t bought me clothes (other than the Amazon wish list) in years and he did a good job.  2) Icepacks are my new best friend. 3) I bought a travel pillow in Amarillo on the way out of town. Best purchase in a long while. 4) I have zero energy. But I’ve been doing my best to get up and walk a bit. Last thing I need are blood clots or something. 

Next goals are meds, sleep and a shower. Then after two more days I can actually wash my hair. Yay!!!! And last, but most certainly not least, I have to give major props to Hubs who has stood beside me through thick and thin. This is surgery number 9 so we’ve been around the block a few times and I couldn’t ask for a better man to be my my side. I’m richly blessed.

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Series Introduction: “The Noggin’ Chronicles”

Photo Courtesy of: pexels-hải-nguy�n-14312400

Unfortunately, the image above represents millions of migraine sufferers around the world. However, if this was a real migraine sufferer, you’d likely see them in a room darkened with blackout drapes and an assortment of things within arms reach so the migraineur doesn’t have to move too much. (Getting off the floor with a migraine is a different level of ugly.)

This initial series post will be fairly long, but I wanted to explain what’s been going on medically, decisions that have been made and the outcomes as I know them. This is separate from the other types of blog posts that I’ll be doing, but I think this is important.

It’s been no secret I have struggled and fought with migraines over the past few decades. I have been on over 50 medicine / medicine combinations and nothing has “worked” for very long . During the course of my neurological issues, I was subsequently found to have Occipital Neuralgia (ON) which has been a primary trigger for at least the past 6-7 years, only said because that’s when the official diagnoses was made by by my neurologist. The condition has been getting progressively worse, but I’ll get to that.

According to Johns Hopkins, “True isolated occipital neuralgia is actually quite rare. However, many other types of headaches —especially migraines — can predominantly or repeatedly involve the back of the head on one particular side, inflaming the greater occipital nerve on the involved side and causing confusion as to the actual diagnosis.” Also, according to both the American Migraine Foundation and the Barrow Neurological Institute, “Occipital neuralgia is relatively rare, affecting an estimated 3.2 per 100,000 people per year.” This means there are about 250,000 people worldwide with this condition. In short, “rare.”

So what is it? I call it Cerberus who lives in my head, is chained to my neck and chews on whatever cranial structure is nearby (Cerbie for short..). But technically, Occipital Neuralgia is when one or more of the occipital nerve roots (which are located at the top of the spinal cord) are inflamed or irritated. The majority of the time, ON occurs when the largest of the nerves, the greater occipital nerve (GON), is affected. If the occipital nerves are already inflamed or irritated, touching the back of my head or neck could trigger ON. Moving my head in a certain direction can cause a flare. Even brushing my hair could sometimes trigger a “brief” and intense headache type pain that would magically transform into a hell of a migraine.

Given the “rarity” of the condition, it’s not surprising it took so many years for an official diagnosis. And yes, I have had doctors actually ask me if it was a “real” diagnoses because the condition is so rare. Frustrating, yes, but not surprising. The actual frustration came in trying to get a proper treatment for the ON.

I have seen my share of medical personnel: primary doc, neurologists, chiropractors and pain management docs. I have had all sorts of procedures ranging from nerve blocks to spinal epidural injections in my neck. I have done physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, acupressure, acupuncture, dry needling, massage, a zillion meds including Botox, the CGRP’s… and nothing was helping.

The condition has been progressively getting worse. I was really trying to limit the amount of time I missed from work, but there were some months that were unbelievably hard to bear. So while pressing myself to go to work, I sacrificed family time and pretty much anything that would be considered “living.” Sure, I was existing, but “life” wasn’t an experience. I felt like a mannequin in a department store window watching the world go by.

So, well over a year ago I started doing research on the “migraine surgery.” I read the articles in various medical publications by Dr. Peled, Dr. Guyuron et others. I also read the books they published. In addition to that, it’s been quite a while since the surgery was pioneered and there have been some longer term outcomes that have been favorable. So the research continued for about six months until I felt comfortable enough in attempting to have the surgery. I didn’t know if I was a good candidate, but I needed to start down the path nonetheless.

There are a few doctors across the country who perform the surgery, but the closest to me is Dr. Amirlak at UT Southwestern in Dallas. I did a bit of research on him and found him to be a competent surgeon. Additionally, I have dealt quite a bit with UTSW and there’s no where else I would want to receive my, shall we say, “more advanced” medical care. All of the medical personnel have always been “tops” in my books.

So I was able to book an appointment and saw Dr. Amirlak the first time in October 2022 after filling out a zillion pages of paperwork / questions etc.. I liked him immediately. He took his time during the consultation, asked questions I hadn’t thought about and poked and prodded my head, which wasn’t painful, but wasn’t pleasant either. Hubs was on hand and he was not ignored during the visit, which I can’t stand. Nor can I stand it when I am the patient and I’m being ignored, but I digress. Dr. Amirlak advised he thought I would be a good candidate for surgery. Then came the wait.

And we waited.

Annnnnd we waited.

The big hold-up was insurance approval. I was willing to pay out of pocket, but this surgery being covered by insurance would be a huge help. Insurance approves <1% of cases. However, with my lengthy medical history and all of the other documentation….

We waited.

And still we waited.

January turned into February and I finally got the news that insurance had approved the procedure along with the surgery date – March 30th, 2023.

I’m writing this a little over a week out from surgery, but obviously I’m alive and this series will be periodic updates as to “how things are going.” Right now though, I’d say things are looking better.

So onto the show…. Welcome to The Noggin Chronicles ❤ Celeste

Things Have Changed, but So Have I

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. I took a long , long sabbatical from writing, which was definitely necessary. My health went FUBAR and life as a result got pushed to the side along with many other things that make my heart happy.

I have had some time to give this careful contemplation and I want to try to be a force for good, educational, and in some kind of service to the Lord. I’m not sure exactly how things will ‘morph, but forthcoming is a reboot of the things I go through, that interest me and hopefully interest you as well.

Feel free to reach out and drop me a line. I’m listening.

TMI Notice: Bowel Health… Just Do It

Captain’s Log.

Stardate 08.10.20 Monday

My gastroenterologist provided me with a prescription of vile tasting laxative that I’m supposed to start drinking around 6pm and then have the second dose at 10pm. Welcome to the first day of my “relaxing weekend” otherwise known as Monday.

This isn’t my first ‘scope rodeo. This will be the 3rd or 4th colonoscopy and my first endoscopy. I took some “gentle” OTC laxatives Sunday at work about 3pm and then again about 8pm to get the ball rolling because sometimes with the meds I take, it takes a while for the bowels to warm up. About 9pm the ball was oh so slowly on its way. Then I woke up this morning to the subtle rumbling in my bowels. Progress?

Not yet.

**********

1137 hours.

So…I’m moving the RX stuff up a bit. Instead of taking the meds at the prescribed time, I’m going to take them at 2pm and 6pm. I know from previous experience how “clean” that 5 feet of bowel needs to be. The RX laxatives are meant to speed up this process to warp 9. Scotty may be giving her all she’s got, but lemme just say, I haven’t even hit light speed yet. Heck, I haven’t even left the loading docks or the tarmac.

**********

First bottle of Plenvu prep with 2 things of water – one of which has some Miralax in it, David’s tea and Dr. Pepper. The tea makes the best chaser.

1815 hours.

I’ve finished the prep. Blech. I’ve consumed at least 120oz of water and other clear fluids and I’m still drinking in hopes to flush the waste from my system.

Nothing yet.

Nada. Zero. Zilcharoo…

Jehovah Rapha, Heavenly Father… please have mercy on your humble servant and let this night pass quickly. I think I made a funny, Lord. Pass. Get it? Lol. Abba, I hope you got a chuckle out of it. Amen.

**********

1930 hours.

I can no longer tolerate sitting. The abdominal pain, bloating and cramping are pretty horrific. I can stand, walk around or lay down and try to get the liquids dispersed. Sitting anywhere (let alone on the throne) is darned near impossible. I’m waiting for “something” to happen. Sigh… 2 more glasses of water.

**********

At least this time in the loo has given me more time to read my Bible and despite the possible outcomes, I have faith everything will be ok. (Jeremiah 29:11)

This has also given me some alone time to work on a @joycemeyer @enjoyingeverydaylife Bible study on fear. It’s an excellent 10 day study that is taking me longer to do. I’m actually studying fears and how to overcome them from a Biblical perspective. It’s been good to me.

**********

2030 hours.

I’ve yet to have a bowel movement. I’m so bloated from liquids I think I’m going to have to beach myself. I really AM the Walrus. Koo koo ka choo.

**********

2247 hours.

Oh what new level of hell is this??? I have been painfully bloated for hours and just in the past half hour biohazards have finally started the evacuation of my body. It’s almost like a scene out of “Alien” minus Sigourney Weaver.

**********

2357 hours.

My legs are numb and asleep and I’ve been in the bathroom for over an hour. I don’t know which is worse, being bloated and having cramps or the non-stop volcanic activity shooting out of my nether-region at Mach 5.

**********

**********

Captain’s Log

Stardate 08.11.20 Tuesday

0017 hours.

It’s raining.

I hear it through the open bathroom window that I can only hope is sucking out this wretched stench. Hopefully the bowels will be cleaned out by my 0845 procedure time. But the stench…. gads. I should have remembered to add Vick’s to my “bathroom bag.”

The “bathroom bag” has my iPad, smaller Bible w/highlighters, a notebook of sorts, Carmex, Flushable wipes, an extra water bottle, a pair of clean undies and a couple of “doggie poop bags” in case things go amuck. Get it? Amuck? And I also have a pillow so I can lay my head against the wall if needed. This stuff I packed up because I didn’t know which bathroom I might be stuck in for a while.

**********

0141 hours.

Just. Make. It. Stop.

I’m exhausted, dehydrated, slightly hungry, yet extremely nauseous, and Mt. Vesuvius still insists on spewing forth with no end in sight. (Fortunately it appears those in Pompeii met their demise a lot quicker than this prep is going.) However, the moment I think I might be able to leave the bathroom for a few minutes, my fluffy assets gravitate to the commode as more foulness rushes forth.

**********

0156 hours.

Just when I think I might be able to leave the 5X5 cell (not including the shower), the poop returneth. I’m exhausted.

**********

0247 hours.

I’ve snuck out of the loo and I’m going to try to sleep.

**********

0422 hours.

Shit. (Literally.)

The second wave of what feels like Montezuma’s Revenge hath cometh über unexpectedly. There I was sound asleep.

Not great sleep, but it was sleep.

Then boom!

All over the place.

Thank God Almighty for “padding” which caught most of the onslaught of excrement as I quickly, yet gingerly, made for the repository of all things bowel related.

Funeral services will be held for a pair of panties later today; the shorts I had on are in critical condition in ICU.

**********

0502 hours.

I’ve resumed my post in the master bathroom and I’m chugging water like it’s the end of the universe. Obviously my bowels are far from “clear.”

Eff.

**********

0602 hours.

I know before too long I’ll once again be in residency in Dante’s 7th level of hell. All I want out of life at this moment is to stop pooping and to be rehydrated.

I have to be there at 0845 and things still aren’t “clear.”

Not even close.

I tell you this though…

I started this whole prep thing earlier than the directions stated.

Sunday at 1800 hours to be exact. It was a full 24 hours prior to the “big event.”

No food.

Liquid diet.

The instructions called for everything to begin at 1800 hours Monday.

If I had done that there wouldn’t be a snowball’s chance in hell of getting the procedure done and right now it’s still iffy at best.

I’m. So. Tired.

But here I sit guzzling more water and listening to my stomach make sounds that are just wrong.

**********

0813 hours.

Called the doc as things STILL aren’t as cleaned out as they should be.

Not even close.

Seriously.

Not even joking.

The nurse advised me to take 1/2 of the Miralax I had left and another 8oz of water as quickly as possible.

I chugged both down.

Yay me?

**********

0907 hours.

Another foul smelling bowel movement.

I refuse to surrender.

I’m NOT doing this again.

Ever.

**********

0932 hours.

Nurse calls and I’ve been able to dump some more waste into the city’s sewer system. I was told to be there at 1030.

Praying for at least one more massive bowel movement. I just don’t think things are as clean as they can be.

Next colonoscopy I’m going for the 5 day Miralax/Dulcolax combination. This RX stuff is for the birds.

**********

1025 hours.

Kyle is hauling ass across town to get me to the center for the procedures. I still don’t think my bowel is clean enough. I’m pretty freaking sure it will be an indescribable mess. I don’t know. We’ll see I suppose. Ok. I won’t see, but I’ll find out after I wake up.

My stomach is gurgling and I can only pray for the best at this point.

**********

Just modeling the latest in hospital gowns. This one is actually made from a thick material and not half bad.

1502 hours.

Remember the adage never say never. F. M. L.

I now have to repeat the colonoscopy- this time with additional meds (Linzess) and a gallon of GoLytely.

Seriously – a repeat performance.

Remember… I started this whole procedure a day earlier than was told to. “Just in case…” Yeah. No.

Apparently I now have to start SIX days prior to the next one – to be done in two weeks.

The news from the endoscopy is pretty much what I expected. Not great news by any shot, but I have an answer.

This prep all totaled: 9 Dulcolax, 3/4 bottle of Miralax, all of the freaking RX Plenvu and liquids… and they could only get the scope halfway up the outer corridor.

I’m tired. I’m defeated. I’m 7 pounds lighter.

I will live to fight again.

Side note: It’s now Wednesday. I have a migraine and in bed. I’m still passing enough gas that I’m probably a bit dangerous around an open flame. I can’t freaking wait to do this whole thing over in 2 weeks.

Health, Healing and Hippos

Apologies for the length, but I wanted to share some of my medical story. I pray it will help someone today.

My first “migraines” were all abdominal and appeared at 14 along with “womanhood.” I missed weeks of school at a time and I couldn’t explain that the pain was more than “cramps.” (Enter 4-5 years of naproxen.)

My first “head” migraine hit in college and I was so sick a dear friend basically picked me up off the floor at the radio station and took me to the ER where they admitted me. I really felt like I was going to die. The pain was 10/10 and I was 🤮🤮🤮 non-freaking-stop. They did an MRI or CT scan and the entire right hemisphere of my brain was lit up like a Christmas tree. That I remember. There’s other stuff I don’t, but I was there for 2 days. They loaded me with fluids and pain meds and dad brought me home where I had the weirdest “morphine dreams” ever.

Example (embarrassingly admitted, but still makes me laugh…) Jamey Karr, Greg Wheeler, David Le Blanc, David Kilburn, Paige Burrough Ballard, Lani Clark, Brian Frank, Mike, Carla, Tommy, and a few others were all eating out at Blackstone’s. But it was like a scene out of Tombstone and the guys were all in western wear. Paige, Lani, Carla and I were having a discussion about men in chaps.😜Next thing I know they are riding off into the Panhandle sunset on pink hippos. That’s right. Pink hippos. And even now the more I think about it, the funnier it gets…

Phew… back to reality.

For almost a decade and after two kids, I was still migraine free. Those were pretty decent years (aside from female problems that I no longer contend with and IBS, which I do.) Then in 1998 🤯 official diagnosis. I’ve had migraines ever since, but they’ve morphed and changed over time.

I have been on and off preventive meds for years. I even had a couple of years that were just manageable headaches. (But as a ⚠️ WARNING ⚠️ —do NOT take Excedrine migraine heavily… that ended up with a very painful bowel bleed and a lengthy hospital stay because of it. Excessive NSAID use is no joke.)
Then in 2015 🤯 I was diagnosed with Occipital Neuralgia (which I’d never heard of, but have become nearly an expert) and Pudendal Neuralgia (I’m not going into this one.) Apparently my entire CNS is a mess. Fast forward til last week and a half…

I had 4 ER visits in May and June. The pain was intolerable and like many other chronic pain patients, I deal with some depression. I was literally down and out on the 4th visit. That last bill was a whopper, but the ER doc on call was actually a pain management doctor who gave me a couple of nerve blocks I hadn’t had before (and I’ve had more than a few.) My migraine dropped from a 7-8 to a 5 instantly and was at a 4 at discharge. It stayed a 4 and after a good nights’ sleep (something new) I woke up with no migraine or ON pain. I seriously thought I was out of my mind. I hadn’t had a true pain-free day in months (years???)

So… I’m now seeing a pain management specialist, finding a new neurologist here in town (not a fan of the one assigned) and throwing in alt “meds” that help – vitamins, essential oils, massage and going to go to a chiropractor when I get the all clear from the tests and nerve blocks that will be done.

I know weather triggers the ON and migraines – as does lack of sleep. I have certain foods I’ve totally cut from my diet as well. Those are an almost instant reaction. (One of the many reasons I don’t like to go out to eat is I like to know what’s in my food and the consequences are truly dire if I don’t stick to a pretty regimented diet.)

I wanted to share this because I don’t want anyone to give up on ANY problems they have – whether mental, physical or spiritual. There ARE answers out there and you may need a multi-disciplined approach. The doctor I saw last week was “feeling around” my head and neck. I had lost about 75% of lateral movement (didn’t notice because of constant pain) and my head and neck were really swollen. So… 4 new meds (a couple are just short term anti-inflammatory etc) and my dear hubby could actually see some curve in my neck again.

There are many options out there, but research, the right doctor and patience are huge.

I’m broken, but not shattered, and while it sounds hokey to some, I really feel like God is helping to mend the cracks and imperfections in this mortal shell. There have been many days I’ve asked myself if this whole thing is actually a test from God (think modern day Job.) I don’t know. But what I do know is in casting the burden to Him and sharing a bit of my story I hope I might just help someone else. I feel for the first time in years that I’m in a path to victory and to God alone will go the glory for bringing the people into my life that even just by being a friend is healing to me. Thank you for being there. Pink hippos…

Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’…

Birthdays, Weighty Discussions and New Life

Yesterday was my youngest’s 25th Birthday. It took me 6 months to find the exact gift I wanted for her, but I found it. The “wait” was worth it.

The perfect present for youngest…

Inside the middle magnifying lens are the words “I love you” in 100 different languages.

In other news I have basically spent the last 3.5 days in bed. It started off as a migraine flare which kindly activated the occipital neuralgia and THEN I got a very interesting surprise yesterday morning. My body woke me up for an inexplicable reason about 230am and after tossing, turning, I gave up and read for a bit. And since I was still up at the crack of dawn – Gigi the Incorrigible came and begged for needed bladder relief.

I was stumbling around like a drunk. I got the dogs out and back in, took care of my own bladder needs and went back to bed. About 639 I realized with the dizziness or vertigo, there was no way to work. The slightest movement made me feel very, very weird. Like… really…and it’s been this way most of the day. Dr. A told me to quit taking a new med, but I don’t know if that’s it or not. I’m definitely talking to Dr. MS on Monday to discuss RX and I may have to call the neuro here I’m not a fan of to get a grip on this mess.

On the plus side, the smoothie concoctions I’ve been making in the morning have dramatically helped the IBS. I feel “better” after drinking one and need to check out all the vitamins and nutrition in them that I’m throwing in my body. I’m hoping nothing is actually triggering a Neuralgia/Migraine attack.

On the down side, the smoothies (I hope) don’t have that many calories (or maybe I’m lying to myself.) But I’m at my heaviest weight EVER. I know part of this is a huge lack of activity (hello migraines and neuralgia), but the meds I’m taking literally ALL cause weight gain. I can’t lose a pound to save my life. It’s time to f#^* with my medicines and start over. Detox sounds like so much fun. Not. And because I’m a huge glutton for punishment, I’m starting a new “lifestyle” plan on Monday.

I hope the rest of your weekend is uneventful.

~Celeste~

Holy Gerbil Turds, Batman…!

I assumed today’s migraine was brought to you by eating products containing MSG for the last two days. I was wrong.

Sort of.

I’m pretty sure the #MSG in products I consumed last night did not help in the slightest with this migraine and neuralgia problem going on today.

Enter the real culprit stage west.

I did not know it was supposed to #rain today. There was not an inkling in any universe where I would have dreamed that I would have a #thunderstorm building right on top of our house. We do. It’s a squall line. (And fabulously justifies the #pain I’ve been in all day.)

Yesterday or the day before ( I cannot remember) The air was thick and heavy and you could see thunderstorms trying to blow through the lid which was strong and/or thick enough to keep any type of rain from happening.

So… As it was supposed to be 108° today, I did not check to see if there was any chance of rain. I mean, this is the #Texas Panhandle and we rarely get this kind of rain when it’s that hot. (Note to self: check the forecast even if it’s gonna be 108° outside.) As the majority of my migraines and neuralgia issues stem from swift changes in barometric pressure and temperature, I should’ve realize this this morning and checked. I didn’t. I feel like a dork.

Anyhooo… I got out of bed to eat some “lightly fried chicken” and French fries Kyle made so I can take my evening #meds. Dang!!!! That man made a delicious dish I could literally eat every day. It was perfection and better even than Chick Fil A (who also unfortunately uses MSG in their chicken.) I can’t wait for Jessica to try it, but she’s passed out in the other room after working a 16 hour shift – another story all together.

Anyway, I know I’m a human barometer and I really should have checked when I let Gigi out to do her thing at the butt-crack of dawn. I’ll do that in the future. Meanwhile I’m laying down in a darkened room listening to the “Pop for Reading” playlist as well as the rain, hail and thunder provided by my Abba.

God is good all the time…

~Celeste~

Heatwave, Health and Puppy Breath

(Thankful for voice recorders that make this post possible.)

All of these things shouldn’t go together, but they do. I should be at work right now – a productive member of society and contributing my fair share to society. I’m actually at home in bed with a migraine and occipital neuralgia attack that is disconcerting and disabling. Therefore I’m not contributing and I’m not being productive. I am thankful; however, and here’s why:

It’s not even noon. The high today is supposed to be around 108°. I’m at home and we do have air-conditioning which I’m eternally thankful for. If I was at work I would have commercial air-conditioning that literally has me taking a jacket to work in the middle of summer. I would really hate to think of what the electric bill looks like just for our building. Heck, I am also looking forward to our upcoming home electric bill with this heatwave. (Not really, but I’m attempting to stay positive.)

Because it is so hot outside the grandchildren are stuck inside playing. However, when one has a migraine with photo/sound sensitivity, it’s a little frustrating when you’re trying to rest. I am grateful that I’m not trying to write this post from the bathroom floor where I spend most of my time when the pain strikes swiftly and suddenly. I got medicine in me just in the nick of time this morning. I am grateful, but still feel like ramming my head into a wall repeatedly.

If nothing else Rory the Conniving has the right idea.

The whole heat wave reminds me of Robin Williams’ movie Good Morning Vietnam.”

  • Lt. Steven Hauk : First of all, don’t make fun of the weather here, and don’t say the weather is the same all the time here. Because it’s not. In fact, it’s two degrees colder today than yesterday.

  • Adrian Cronauer : Two degrees colder, me without my muff.

And as an aside: I miss Robin Williams. He was one of the rare comedic geniuses and few will ever rise to his level in my estimation.

Gigi the Incorrigible also has the right idea today. (But if she lays across my legs much longer, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to walk from the Migraine Cave to the bathroom.) My right leg is mostly asleep and my left is starting to catch up. But I don’t want to move because she’s happily dreaming and…snoring.

One of my favorite things in the world is the smell of puppy breath. She’s no longer a puppy, but for one brief yawn this morning I caught a whiff of the scent. This leads me to two conclusions.

  1. I’m “brushing” her teeth often enough.
  2. She got into something she shouldn’t have.

I’m not sure which.

Anyway, I thought I’d check in and say hi before attempting another nap to soothe the pain which radiates from the right side of my head all the way down my right arm. Calling the doctor on Monday. (Yay.)

May you have an extremely wonderful day…

~Celeste~

Shaking the Unshakable

There is a deep trembling in my soul as I see the world around me descend into madness.

I, sometimes am unsuccessful, but usually make the attempt to study the Word of God daily. I’m not talking about 10 minutes and a quick prayer of gratitude, but hours spent listening to and watching sermons given by some true women of faith and kingdom men.

And I’m not belittling 10 minutes. It’s exactly how I started drawing closer to my Abba and honestly, sometimes all I have is ten minutes. But if I purposefully give The Almighty Father ten minutes, He multiplies it in my life exponentially.

Not so long ago, I asked God to burn away the chaff in my life. I knew then and know now I need(ed) it done, but I knew not the ramifications of what I thought would be a simple request.

Chaff refers to useless things, grain husks and fine-cut straw, or light-hearted spoken exchanges. Trash that you do not want is an example of chaff. Wheat grains found after threshing is an example of chaff.

Many times chaff is carried off by the wind. But I specifically asked my Lord, not for a wind-winnowing, but a conflagration. Okay, I asked Him to “burn away the chaff.” It’s turned into a conflagration.

I feel the war for my soul deep in the marrow of my bones. This point was brought home today while listening to a sermon by Dr. Tony Evans: the Jesus Challenge / A Challenge to Greater Convictions.

In Revelation Chapter 2, Jesus speaks to the church at Pergamum. They were commended for keeping the faith, but were criticized for their lack of conviction and compromise. Ouch! How many times have I acted much like the members of this church? I know it’s too many to count.

In a world of ever-growing hostility toward those who follow Jesus Christ, I’ve got to really take a look at my heart, my mind and overall character and commit to an uncompromising faith in the Lord.

The war over my soul this past week has brought me to tears, raised my anxiety to new heights and left me utterly exhausted, yet I’m not defeated. Instead of the dark one pulling me down, he’s pushed me closer to God. As a result, I feel the onslaught of the arrows aimed by the great deceiver all the more. I also feel the shield of faith absorb the impacts of the evil one.

Beth Moore has a brilliant 4 part teaching called “Unshakable.” I believe these two teachings came to me at the right time and for the right reason. Sometimes we need to be shaken from our false assumptions, thoughts and convictions; we need the chaff burned away to take part in God’s finest blessings.

I have a long way to go, but I pray to become more Christ-like daily. The closer I am to God, the less the petty things of this world bother me. Everything I have ever wanted and ever needed is found in God alone, through His son, Jesus, and the Spirit who gives wings to my prayers and speaks to the Father for me when I have not the words.

May the peace of the Lord bless you all.

Much love, Celeste

Carpe Diem! The Hiatus is Over

I have 7 (e-gads) planners that I’m condensing down to three. This is pretty liberating, I have to admit. Each day is a blank page we spill our lives upon.

2 years. It seems like yesterday, but it’s been two years of trying to figure out who I am as a writer. 731 days of figuring out “what I want to do with the rest of my life.”

This morning brought a clarity I haven’t really had before. I have come to terms with the “faults” I have found in myself and the way I look at others.

My blog content will be radically changing over the next few months. It goes beyond a “midlife crisis.” Every day is truly the first day of the rest of my life.

Words are as air… one cannot survive without them.