Thursday, September 16, 2010

Queen of Small Things...and Headaches

I'm sorely overdue for a post, aren't I?  

Life seems to be rushing by at a mad pace these days.  One day feels like the next.  The reality is that lately my life consists of work (my engineering job) and terrible chronic daily headaches.

I've had a rather poor outcome from the Botox therapy and in fact have suffered increased head and neck pain since having my shots.  I've had moderate to severe headaches most days and have been lucky to get through the day at work most days, thanks to the grace of God, stupidity and a hell of a lot of perseverance on my part. 

I refuse to let these headaches win and I refuse to go on disability, but some days I wonder how I can do another 5 minutes, let alone another 4 hours.  I work at an elite research centre and struggle some days to keep up with my brilliant colleagues, let alone excel.  To illustrate, these are people with walls of patents in their offices who invent molecules, and others who do hard core math all day every day.  Some days it's nuts.  And I have two students to mentor.  The only solace is knowing that if I can keep up with this kind of head pain, I must be a frigging genius.  Really.

All I can do now is wait for the botox to wear off and hopefully go back to "bad" headaches instead of "severe" ones.

At home, evenings are a writeoff in terms of productivity. I am dead after struggling to act normal and think clearly all day.  So I've been doing little in the evenings, other than helping David with dinner and trying to exercise a little.  That is a serious chore I tell you, since I also have bad back pain with the headaches.  But I don't give up.

Ok, enough lamenting!  Thank you for reading this far.

So here's what's been going on when I am not totally miserable with pain.

1. We had some friends over for a Sunday lunch.  These are lovely friends who have moved back to Calgary after a long time away. I made three kinds of sandwiches and two salads and served wine and homemade chocolate cake.  The table was pretty with hydrangeas from our garden:
2. I put out my blue pottery which I haven't used in a while and stole a bright pink mum from the big urn on our front step...
3. I snapped this photo while the table was in progress.  I love my Limoges plates and platter (from the Vanves market in Paris).  The floral table cloth was a gift from my mother and is a prized possession:
4. A couple of weeks ago we went to a big fall harvest sale and bought these:
As you can imagine, I am all pear'd out now.

5. I took pictures of the cat who is very dashing and slept all day every day I was home:
I think he could be a model, sitting on his little tea towel (which I put over the chair to prevent it getting totally furry):
6.  I also tested dining room curtains last week.  These linen sheers from Crate & Barrel were a lovely soft brown colour but very low quality. They went back to the store...
7. I also hung a sample 84" brown curtain from Restoration Hardware in the dining room and really liked it.  Once I paint the window moulding (I keep putting this off), I will buy a new drapery rod to hang higher than the current one and put up a nice set of taller silk drapes at this neglected window:
8. We're also making the sofa decision this week (do we really need it? I am getting "good enough" syndrome and think the stuff we have is just fine).  I am pondering this endlessly, looking at dimensions, fabrics, and the reality of needs versus wants...

 Next week, my dear David heads off for a little civil war trip to Virginia, part two of the trip we made last fall.  When he returns I leave to visit family for 10 days out east.  I dislike taking separate vacations but really wanted to visit family again (and he needed a little getaway so I didn't want to drag him along)!

How are you? 


  1. Darling T

    SO sorry to hear things have been SO bad, I just don't know how you do it, I think you are terribly brave! I know I'd be a complete baby.

    Your lunch set up looks wonderful, well done, don't know how you do it in stuck pain, you are an inspiration! Hopefully one day I can join you for lunch! :)

    Promise I will reply to you lovely long comment you left on endless soon.

    Much love V xx

  2. that was supposed to say such pain, and your long lovely comment, proof read Vanya; but I'm sure you get the idea ;)

  3. Hello

    Your pictures looks beautiful.
    Hydrangeas so lovely.
    have a nice weekend.

  4. What a disappointment to have this promising treatment not be working out. You are, of course, a flipping genius, but we'd all prefer you to be a headache free one. Let us know what's next on the treatment front. Something has got to give. Personally, I'm praying for you to be healed out of the blue and all without your doing a thing so that you can just stand back and breathe a sigh of relief for a change. God bless your journey home...I hope that David has a nice vacation in take care.

    (As always, your home is classically beautiful and your cat is, too.)

  5. I LOVE you cat!! He needs an agent!!

  6. hi terri,

    it's hard to believe you get so much done with so much pain in your life. how do you do it? i would have been on disability a long time ago. how do you keep up with all those geniuses? you must be one too. so that is hard to walk away from.

    your home looks beautiful as always and i hope you can relax on your vacation. i worry about you.

    embrace mediocrity, it's a good thing.


  7. I wish I could give you a big hug Terri. I'm so sorry about your headaches and I just can't imagine living with that pain constantly. You are such a strong woman (who just so happens to have beautiful taste in design) so hang in there and hopefully once the botox wears off you'll have some relief. ;)

  8. Kitty is clearly a star! Now, about those just kills me how you are suffering. Mine are very sporadic and when I get one, I'm down for 2-3 days basically. Keep checking, there must be a doctor and a drug somewhere for you!

  9. Terri,
    Well as a math challenged person, if I did math all day I'd be long gone in the headache department so you are truly a genius. You ought to see a (another?) specialist about the headaches.
    Eddie was in town for the DC Flea, good stuff. What Civil War sites will David visit?

  10. Hi Terri!

    Aww that sounds even worse than before :( Severe headaches :( I really hope that Botox wears off and that you get at least some relief!

    I love the tablecloth, looks really nice and lovely with all those flowers! I hope you guys had a great lunch with your friends!

    Your cat is so cute :) I've always wanted to have a caramel colored cat!

    I hope you aren't overworking yourself, you have to take care of yourself and take it easy!

    Big hug, Susanne

  11. Oh, it sounds like the headaches are bad if they are making it into the titles of your posts. So sorry to hear of your pain...but inspired by your courage in getting through the day.

    Your cat is absolutely beautiful. How I miss husband and middle daughter are terribly allergic, which is such a shame as I grew up with cats. Dogs really aren't the same.

  12. Terri,

    I'm so sorry that your headaches have gotten worse :( I really can't imagine what you're going through and honestly, how in the world you are so sweet when you're in such pain. I'm thinking of you & sending wishes your way... I hope there'a another option for you to try. Keep on trying and hoping because they'll find something.

    Also, please tell David not to be shy!!!! we're here if he needs ANYTHING. I wish you were with him!!

    Ok, and don't give up on the sofa either.. you will not regret it.
    huge hug and I wish I could fix this for you!!
    cousin L

  13. I stumbled upon your blog and as a fellow migrane sufferer I thought I'd weigh in. After exhausting several options, my neurologist suggested I try a magnesium supplement. I was very skeptical what an over-the-counter pill could do, but it was worth a shot. Much to my surprise it significantly reduced my headaches!

  14. I am so sorry to hear that you are feeling worse and I hope things improve for you soon. The fact that you can work everyday is inspiring. Wow. You are a fighter. Enjoy your holiday and take care.

  15. I had been wondering how the botox treatment worked. So sorry you are having even worse headaches! Ugh.

    I just posted a "Living Again" effort to have accountability to live through the headaches and other issues. I hate being half dead.

    Hope the botox will wear off soon!

  16. Hi,

    I have just found your blog. I wish I'd seen it while I still lived in Calgary, but alas I am now in the GTA.

    I wanted to suggest Dr. Greg Storwick to you. He is a dermatologist on 11th Ave SW (between Co-op and Chintz). He has been administering my botox for the last couple of years.

    It isn't an instant fix but over time my headaches have improved and I now have to take less zomig, less often than previously.

    In addition to that, I have just learned of a connection between un-diagnosed/treated PFO and migraine. I have a Facebook friend who has just told me about it. She suffered terrible migraines and sure enough had an undiagnosed PFO. Once it was treated, her migraines went away. There is a FB group that will give you more information. If you look down the page, you will see a post from me asking if anyone was doing any work on this condition in Canada. The doctor posted a link for me and guess what, the doctor running the trial is in Calgary.

    It may not be the answer for you, but It is certainly worth finding out about. Here's the link:

    Love the blog btw!

    Good luck with your headaches.