Monday, February 14, 2011


Unfortunately I am one of the many sufferers of migraines. Mine are the ocular kind and it is a family thing. My mom, aunt, cousins and second cousin (all females) have them. Sometimes I can go months ~ even a year ~ without having one, but last week I had two. Last week wasn't a happy week. A variety of things can bring them on: changes in the barometric pressure, stress, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, dehydration. Besides the barometric pressure (over which I have no control) I try to monitor these potential triggers so to avoid migraine episodes. But sometimes they just happen.

Maybe the barometric pressure was doing weird things last week. Maybe I was stressed because last Monday would have been my Dad's 61st birthday. Maybe I was dehydrated from all the shoveling I had to do. Maybe it was a combination of these things.

The thing that frustrates me the most is the unpredictable nature of my migraines. I can be going along, feeling just fine, when suddenly my vision shifts and things I know are right in front of me disappear. Last week my second migraine came on while driving. I remember thinking, "I know there is a red light there.... I just can't see it!" It's a little disconcerting. The ocular part concludes with a mean little jagged line in the middle of my vision and flashing strobe like lights in my periphery. About ten minutes after the visual 'show' the pain begins. Sometimes the medicine mitigates it enough to be bearable. Other times not. Last week I was tucked away in my bedroom most of the day, room darkening shades drawn.

That is the story of my migraines. My migraine specialist told me that they often go away after menopause. That could be a reason to look forward to menopause, but I'm not holding my breath. My mother and my aunt still suffer from them. I imagine I will as well.

So I am trying to make peace with my migraines. I am trying to let go of the rage I feel when that mean little jagged line appears in my vision announcing the pain ~ and the change of plans ~ that will follow. Maybe I can see my migraines as a reminder to take care of myself. Maybe I can view them as an opportunity to free myself from schedules and obligations and deadlines. Maybe I can embrace my migraines. I don't think so .... but maybe :)

Monday, February 07, 2011


This is the year that Bady and I are going to attempt our preliminary Schutzhund title, the BH. (BH stands for some German words that I don't understand!) The BH tests for temperament and basic obedience. You need to pass the BH before you can move on to Schutzhund 1. The Schutzhund 1 title tests for tracking, obedience and protection. From Schutzhund 1 you can go on to Schutzhund 2,3 and beyond!

Our original goal was to try for our BH last year, but a variety of factors got in the way. The dates of the trials didn't fit my schedule and I was traveling frequently to visit my Dad. The truth is that we probably weren't ready anyway. Honestly, I don't know if we are ready now, but at least we have a date: April 30th. Having a date gives us a goal to work toward!

Having a goal also gives me a reason to stay motivated. Bady is excited about training all the time, but it is hard for me to get excited about training when there are 3 feet of snow on the ground. But the only way we are going to succeed is to practice a little every day! And if we can't practice outside, at least we can practice in the basement and at church.

Studying, however, is something I can do snow or no snow. Did I mention there is a written exam? Obviously the written portion is my responsibility, but Bady does his part to support me as I study. He's happy to lay at my feet in front of the fire while the snow is accumulating outside!