I just learned about this amazing new app and wanted to share it with you guys right away! It’s called Migraine Buddy, it’s free and available for both iOS and Android devices. I’ve checked out all the features and I’m impressed. Below is more about the app and what it can do for you.
Migraine Buddy App
This free app is an all-inclusive tool to help you track, manage and prevent migraines. And, best of all, it was designed by some really smart people, including scientists and neurologists. Who better to help with migraines, right?!
Here a few of the features:
Record your migraines, past and present
Easy to use format
Helps user identify migraine triggers, symptoms, pain intensity, frequency and duration
Record medications and other remedies used for prevention and relief
Tracks sleep patterns
Allows you to interact with other “Buddies” about your migraines
Gives personalized reports to help monitor treatment efficacy
Has a Notes section for recording mood, foods eaten, weather and more
Easy to use questionnaires
As you can see, the app offers many functions for the user. And I don’t know how it tracked my sleep so accurately, but it did; I compared it to my Fitbit Alta HR, which I wear all the time, and it was only about 2 minutes different. I don’t sleep with my phone in bed either due to the EMFs; my cell was on the floor all night. So, I’m not sure how this feature works exactly, but it was surprisingly precise.
If you’re like me, I have many migraines that are triggered by sleep deprivation, so I’m loving the accuracy of this feature! And the app is much easier and more thorough than keeping a hand-written migraine diary. So, check it out and let me know what you think!
For several months, just like Avril Levigne, I felt like I was dying.
I went from being a healthy and active young mom to 4, to being barely able to walk a few yards to my mailbox. Everyday tasks such as taking a shower and getting dressed became incredibly difficult.
And it all happened so fast.
I realized I had taken my good health for granted, something I’ll not do again.
I was soon able to empathize with friends and family who also were dealing with chronic pain and chronic illness.
Because now I was living it too.
The multiple doctors and specialists I went to couldn’t figure out what was causing my rapidly deteriorating symptoms.
Because of this, I was untreated for 18 very long months.
What Is Lyme Disease Anyway?
When Lyme bacteria, or Borrelia Burgdorferi, has free rein over your body for this long without being treated the damage can cause destruction to every organ and system in the body. This includes the heart, brain, neurological and immune systems.
Lyme is called “the great imitator”. This is because the symptoms are like so many other diseases and conditions. These include Multiple Sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, and many others.
I repeatedly asked the doctors if my illness could be due to the tick bites I got at my home after being in the tall grasslands and forest area behind our house. I became extremely sick shortly after discovering the ticks and thought this was something that should definitely be investigated.
Unfortunately, I was told, “You can’t get Lyme disease in Missouri.”
At the time, I was naive to believe that doctors are usually right. Of course, like the rest of us, they are only human.
And, out of necessity, I’ve learned how to advocate for myself as a patient.
I started doing my homework.
And asking the right questions.
The teacher in me. And the life-long learner that I am…It didn’t take long to figure out that, in this case, a wait and see approachwas not appropriate.
With Lyme disease it never is.
I persisted in my quest for answers. Finally, the proper tests were given that proved they were tragically wrong.
You can indeed get Lyme disease in Missouri. And I had it.
Suffering With Lyme Disease, YouTube & Forgiveness
I did in fact have Lyme and another potentially deadly tick-borne illness, tularemia.
Since then I have met many caring physicians who are indignant when they hear I was given the run around for so long without proper treatment, especially when the doctors knew I was bitten by ticks and my health continued to go downhill so quickly.
At the time, my primary care physician simply told me that I had “tick fever”. (I was never clear about what that is.)
Later, I returned to this doctor because I wasn’t getting better. I was, in fact, getting much worse. He said I looked stressed (perhaps from the constant pain and insomnia?).
Then he suggested I watch a youtube video about the benefits of walking.
In my naivety, and my strong desire to do everything possible to get healthy, I did as he instructed. Unfortunately, I was unable to walk further than my driveway due to severe air hunger, heart palpitations and extreme weakness and fatigue….all symptoms of Lyme disease!
I don’t believe these doctors meant to harm me even though going so long without a diagnosis did just that. I believe they wanted to help me and were doing the best they knew how with the knowledge and tools they had.
I do, however, hope that these doctors (and all medical professionals) make concerted efforts to learn more and keep up on the latest about Lyme disease so others don’t have to suffer needlessly too.
If this happened to me it could happen to you or to your loved ones. And I would never wish this horrible disease on anyone! That’s why it’s important to me to share with you to help prevent other people from going through what I, and thousands of others, have.
Finding A New Normal After Lyme Disease
Although life is very different for me now, I’m finding a new normal and constantly working to learn more and become as healthy as possible.
I’m thankful for a supportive family and friends.
In some ways life is actually better because I’ve learned to slow down and bask in the moment. Whereas before I was always multitasking, running from one event to the next.
I’m learning to live in the moment. 🙂
Although I lived a pretty healthy life before, I’m much more conscious of making healthy choices now.
I’m more in touch with my body now. I (usually) don’t push past my limits like I used to. (Bad habits are hard to break.)
I also try to better deal with stress in my life instead of ignoring it.
Healing has been a gradual process. But I’m thankful for every gain and positive change that has occurred.
I’m not well, but I’m stronger than I was a year ago. And that’s definitely a positive in my book!
Suffering with Lyme disease, then finally getting a diagnosis has been a prolonged and painful process. But God has brought me through and strengthened me through the suffering and trials, and He can do the same for you.
If you have a chronic illness, don’t give up!
Do you have a chronic illness? Can you relate? What tips can you share to help others?
Please share your comments and questions below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!
You might like to read the following for help and encouragement if you or someone you love has a chronic illness:
I’ve been living with late-stage chronic Lyme for the past 5 years. I don’t want anyone to have to go through this horrible illness and believe prevention is essential.
I’m going to share the signs, symptoms, and stages of Lyme disease below so you know what to watch for. I truly hope this will help you protect yourself and your loved ones.
Signs Symptoms And Stages Of Lyme Disease
1. Early Localized Lyme Disease (1 to 4 weeks)
This stage can develop from days to weeks after becoming infected.
Symptoms may include:
Rashes – Less that 50% of Lyme patients remember developing a rash. Sometimes the rash looks like a bulls-eye. This is referred to as erythema migrans (EM). It is a myth that you must have this rash to have Lyme disease (1). I did not ever see a bull-eye rash, but have developed a number of unusual red and splotchy rashes since the tick bites (for more on rashes, keep reading below).
Flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills, fatigue, headache, pain or stiffness in the neck and swollen lymph nodes (2).
Nausea, dizziness and vomiting
Stage 2: Early Disseminated Lyme Disease Infection (1 to 4 months)
This stage develops when the disease is not found and/or treated properly soon after infection. At this point the infection can begin to affect the joints, heart, nervous system and skin.
Symptoms may include:
More rashes that start to appear in different parts of the body due to the infection spreading
Stage 3: Late Persistent Lyme Disease, Or Chronic Lyme
Failure to treat Lyme promptly can cause damage to the brain, joints and nervous system. This is the most serious stage.
Symptoms may include:
Extreme exhaustion which is not relieved by sleeping or resting
Inability to control facial muscles
Heart problems, such as pericarditis
Tingling and numbness of the hands and feet
Arthritis, often in the larger joints, such as the knees
Short-term memory loss
Difficulty thinking or reasoning
Getting lost, even in familiar areas
Anxiety, panic attacks
Sensitivity to sound, light and smells
Headaches and migraines
Mood swings, depression
Migrating joint and muscle pain
Weight gain or loss
Pain in the chest or ribs
Neck pain, stiffness and cracking
Heart murmur or valve prolapse
This list of signs, symptoms and stages of Lyme disease is not exhaustive. I’ve talked to a lot of people with Lyme and many of our symptoms are similar, but others are different.
My friend, if you are struggling with an illness and the doctors have been unable to help you, you may want to consider this list to help you rule out (or in) Lyme disease, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors or live in a tick-infested area.
And of course, if you know you’ve been bit by a tick, mosquito, etc and aren’t feeling well, please get yourself checked out immediately.
There are others too, but this covers some of the most well-known chronic illnesses.
The Spoon Theory
Christine Miserandino developed The Spoon Theory to help explain to her friend what it’s like to live with a chronic illness, in her case lupus. Even though her friend had been beside her throughout her illness, she struggled to understand what it was really like.
To explain the theory to her friend, Christine handed her a bunch of spoons and said, “Here you go, you have Lupus”.
Next, she “explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted. ”
She then asked her friend to count how many spoons she had. Christine explained for each activity, or daily task, her friend did (such as washing her hair, shaving her legs, getting dressed, typing on a computer, and standing on a train) she would have to give up a spoon.
She told her friend that if she didn’t choose her spoons wisely she would be out of spoons before the day had barely started.
At the end of the hypothetical day her friend only had one spoon left, and was starving. If she cooked dinner, that would cost her the final spoon. But then she wouldn’t have any left to wash the dishes. On the other hand, if she went out for dinner, she might lack the energy to drive herself home.
Although my battle with Lyme disease is going on close to 4 years now, I had wondered until recently what a Spoonie was, that is until I came across The Spoon Theory. I shared it with my sweet Mom and she thought it was a great way to explain what I’ve been through and what others go through every day.
No Sob Stories Here
So, my purpose is not to tell a sob story about myself or anyone else. 😉
My intention is to share this insightful concept, The Spoon Theory, with you so it might help you and the ones you love.
If you have a chronic illness you may want to consider sharing the theory with loved ones to help them better understand what your daily life is truly like. As much as they love you and care about what you’re going through, chances are they don’t fully get it, because it’s truly hard to understand if you haven’t lived it yourself.
I didn’t have a clue what chronic illness was all about until I had became ill with Lyme disease and 4 other chronic illnesses (Sjogren’s, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, fibromyalgia and chronic migraine).
It wasn’t that I didn’t care about people going through health crises, because I did. But I see it very differently now and I’m thankful for the Spoon Theory to help others better understand what it’s like.
It’s so not fun having to cancel plans with family and friends at the last-minute because you’re “all out of spoons” but now I’m thankful to have The Spoon Theory in my back pocket to help when I need it most!
Do you have a chronic illness or know someone who does?
Do you think you might use the Spoon Theory to help your loved ones better understand what you’re going through?
Please share in the comment section below. I’d love to know what you think about this!