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Kim on a Dark Path

Kim Enters the Dark Path

I have made a promise that when I am suffering from migraines I will create art. Mike took these photos of me on a dark path. Due to low-light there was a blurred quality which in post-processing I blurred further. It captures the affect of my migraine. I was in a dark place today.

Kim on Dark Path

Migraines, Tendons, and Nautical Bindings

The Coaster II, photo copyright Kim Nixon

The Madeline, photo copyright Kim Nixon

The Coaster II, photo copyright Kim Nixon

The Coaster II, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Migraine, day three, and the intensity comes and goes. I noticed someone searched out this blog with the key words “first rib migraine.” To my visitor, I hope you found some of what you needed in these pages. If you come across this page and you are challenged with migraines please leave a comment as I would love to talk to you and share experiences. I avoid the word “suffer” when it comes to migraines as I do not want to live a live of suffering. But these past few days I have been bound. Which leads me back to the first rib.

We all have tendons that extend down to our first rib and complications can result in Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. My symptoms include, tennis elbow, pain in my right wrist, weakness in right arm, tricep pain, shoulder pain, shoulder blade pain, migraine, TMJ pain, tooth pain, ear pressure and pain and migraines.

Activities I love to do and must limit: Bike riding, swimming, giving massages, bouldering.

I avoid activities where I have to offer continued pressure using my extensor muscles and I try not to lift or press anything over my head.

Things that have helped me include wearing a tennis elbow brace which can help alleviate some lower arm and wrist pain. My D.O. adjusts my first rib on occasion. Chiropractic is helpful but not when I’m severely constricted. Thai Massage. Calcium/Magnesium supplements. Anti-inflammatories which I try to stick to foods and herb sources. I have had excellent luck with cherry juice concentrate. You can try yoga and do stretches to manage this condition as well.

There are other treatments and surgeries. I have avoided these options but my lifestyle is so affected at this point I am going to my doctor this week to try and discuss what can be done as we move forward. I have never had an MRI. I have not tried cortisone or botox injections. There are surgeries for this condition as well.

I think these photos taken during Pirate Days in Marquette have an interesting metaphoric value. The ropes of the Madeline and the Coaster II. All in perfect order and well-maintained. I will post again soon on tendon health as I have more to share. I will also post more Pirate Day photos, arghhhhhhh.

Creative Tips for Migraine Self Care

Creative Tips for Migraine Self Care

1. Lavender essential oil rubbed into scalp and areas of high tension.

2. Lower the lights or try natural lighting in offices and classrooms.

3. When working in front of a computer take frequent eye breaks by looking away and refocusing frequently.

4. Breath deep, preferably fresh outside air.

5. Hydrate!

6. Hot packs placed on my forehead, crown, and r. temple work for me (some report cold works best).

7. Self massage with calming essential oils: lavender, peppermint, Young Living’s peace and calming.

8. Prayer.

9. Do not deprive yourself from preventative measures-massages are not a luxury!

10. Create! What are you holding back? When I made a deal with my body that as soon as I feel a migraine coming on I would allow for creative expression the frequency and urgency of migraines diminished.

Bee Balm, In My Own Backyard, photo by Kim Nixon

Creative Tips for Prevention of Migraines

Creative Tips for Prevention of Migraines

1. Massage Therapy

2. BodyTalk

3. Chiropractic

4. B vitamins and Cal./Mag. supplements

5. Relaxation

6. Stretches

7. Exercise

8. Keep a food diary and watch for triggers

9. Deep breathing exercises

10. Yoga

Recognizing that many people locate my blog by searching out migraine information I thought it useful to make a couple of lists. By all means feel free to comment on your migraine expereinces. Let me know what you are experiencing and how you’re coping. I have had migraines since my early teen years. I am now 44, and have had a resurgence of sorts.

My Migraine Triggers: Lack of fresh air; cigarette smoke; Mildew/Mold; Hormones; quick barometer shifts usually before an approaching storm; strong fumes like at a gas station or in a garage.

Our Swing, In My Own Backyard, photo by Kim Nixon

Magic and Migraine

Stamping Mill Ruins Outside Hubbell, photo by Kim Nixon

If you believe in the saying, “everything happens for a reason” you could come to the consensus that my migraine last Friday kept me right where I needed to be.

Since my recovery from chronic fatigue, I have occasions where my body spasms sometimes causing back, arm and/or neck pain, migraines or a numbness in my legs. If I had medical insurance perhaps, a label would have been found by now. I usually ride these pauses in my life out with massage, chiropractic, cherry and blueberry concoctions, and other supplements all in the hopes of balancing out my chemical and physical being.

Stamping Mill Ruins Outside Hubbell, photo by Kim Nixon

Frustrating, these pauses, when I had worked so hard to get my weight down and now I have to “take it easy” while things calm down. I want to be riding my bike, hiking, and ripping through the gardens with joy.

As a healer, many people say to me-just work on yourself-why can’t you heal yourself? I tell them it is not about my will or my ability. It is a pause and I have to be aware and listen to why I am again, here.

Stamping Mill Ruins Outside Hubbell, photo by Kim Nixon

Last Thursday as a migraine was coming on I took note of where my physical body was: a tendon in my neck at C6 that travels down to my first rib taunt and burning on the rib attachment; My right hip raised and rotated; Back pain radiating through my lumbar; Numbness and burning down my inner thighs; Psoas attachment on my lesser trocanter of my right thigh sensitive to touch. Luckily, I received the gift of a free massage in exchange for an earlier kindness.

Stamping Mill Ruins Outside Hubbell, photo by Kim Nixon

That day I was able to release most of my worries, and the migraine subsided. I arrived out in Houghton to watch my son play softball in the rain. We cooked fajitas and watched movies that night. The next day I was to take my framed and matted photos to Hancock. I did not know I would be blindsided with the worst migraine so far this year.

Stamping Mill Ruins Outside Hubbell, photo by Kim Nixon

The next day, I limped home making stops to close my eyes and regain depth perception so I could drive safely, I could have been angry. Instead, I pushed back regrets on the missed photo opportunities and the mantra of, “everything happens for a reason” kept me centered. I reminded myself of what was truly important. Safety. Making it home to Mike in one piece and knowing his touch would help me release the pressure in my head.

Stamping Mill Ruins Outside Hubbell, photo by Kim Nixon

There is a difference, I think, in being driven and being led. Allowing for guidance. Why all this manifests in my body as physical pain I do not know. I could have kept frantically pushing last Friday taking more photos, discovering new locales, and I did for a while. But the force mounted, more and more insistent, leading me home. Finally, I surrendered and acknowledged that force.

A dear friend once took me down to my energetic self in a counseling session. I had been dealing with chronic fatigue and pain. She took away layers of being and finally asked what I was. A Quark. A blue speck of light.

I am not this physical body. I am an energetic being. Today as I sit here at my keyboard, I still ponder why my legs are numb. I will never stop questioning because I hope it is leading me to answers, some knowledge that I can help share with others.

Note: These are photos captured with a  Canon s5 (borrowed from Mike) in Hubbell, Michigan. They are the ruins of a stamping mill. Copper was extracted from rock using htis method. Stamping MIlls dot the shores of the Copper Country most of these areas have or are going thruogh remediation. For more history on Copper Mining visit here.

Free Write Fling, October 15, 2007

Break Wall Lower HarborMigraine Mania

Migraine mania, the burst of creative energy that drives me. Writing. Painting. Photographs. Decorating. Cleaning the home in a whirlwind.

It is a burst of energy that leads to a tingle and buzzed feeling of contentment. This is followed occasionally by crankiness and the need to bury my head from all light.

Interestingly enough, lately, I can knock back a headache if I promise myself to first create. The shot I share here was taken looking at light or squinting at light not knowing quite what I was framing but trusting the buzz. If you get migraines you may understand.

I used to not be able to drive, function, think, talk. With odd deals bargained for with my inner self I am finding a way to create. The last headache started with an aura, a burst of energy, and ended today. Monday. That is a new record.

Today I noticed a lethargic feel, depression, and dullness followed the release of a migraine. So please excuse this free write. it is more an exploration of what I am trying to comprehend.

I was a substitute teacher today at a high school and the clouds out the window did not shift for 5 hours. I would walk down the center of the biology desks helping students, pause at the back window and see the same patch of clouds and tiny bit of blue sky. An in-limbo feel accentuated by repeating the lesson 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6th periods. Still the migraine passed early in the day around 3rd hour. The clouds did not.

For more information on this Free Write Fling.

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