I try to cover migraines and beach day in the same post

Back in July last year I took Olivia to a neurologist. I briefly mentioned this in her 4-year update. Since she was 18 months or so, I felt like something was off with her. She’d have vomiting episodes where it didn’t seem like she was sick. But that’s what I thought at the time (because what else did I have to go on?). Since she was 14 months, she’d had nine episodes of vomiting before she turned two. We saw a GI doctor for it but really didn’t get any answers.

Right after her second birthday, I asked for another referral to the GI specialist again since she had what appeared to be three stomach bugs in two and a half months. We went again, but all testing came back unremarkable and I was left feeling like I was kind of that hysterical parent. It didn’t help that I developed a full-blown phobia from it all and was on antianxiety meds and getting therapy. I’m sure the phobia was always there—I’ve always been unable to handle puke and was the first to escape the room when someone else was doing it. With a kid now, that isn’t possible. And she was doing it so often that I never had a chance to bring my anxiety down and work through it.

“I feel like I’m continuing to search for something that’s not there,” I would tell Chris. Because I was looking at my insane anxiety and the frequency of her vomiting and wondered if she just got sick a lot and I needed to just deal with it, rather than getting referrals to specialists and seeing her doctor about it.

Last June, I was texting my sister-in-law and she reminded me of her child’s abdominal migraines, along with the rampant migraine diagnoses in the family.

“I always thought these were just a lot of stomach bugs,” she added and that was the clincher. Olivia might be having migraines that manifest differently. And luckily, the pediatric neurologist we got a referral to was familiar with Chris’s family’s migraine history and had abdominal migraines himself, so he was pretty well versed in them.

The neurologist told me if it weren’t for the extensive family history of migraines, he’d do some further testing, but it didn’t take long for him to diagnose my daughter with them and sent us home with a prescription for nasal Imitrex.

Finally, after two years of feeling crazy and being dismissed, we had an answer. Maybe. If she had one of these episodes again where she was pale, tired, and lethargic, we should try the medication. If it was really a migraine, she should bounce back within fifteen minutes or so. I picked up the prescription (actually several months later due to a pharmacy mix up) and we waited.

But in the last eleven months, an opportunity never came up. In fact, I think she only had one or two vomiting episodes and those very much seemed like stomach bugs. I think.

So fast-forward a few weeks ago, Olivia and I went to a drive-by retirement party, and the whole time in the car she was complaining her stomach hurt. I gripped the wheel and reassured her (and me) as I felt the anxiety building, honestly something I didn’t really have to deal with during the months of shelter-in-place since she wasn’t around other kids to have the opportunity to get sick. Actually, I thought she was car sick from not being in the car hardly ever.

We got home and she laid on the couch, just looking…tired. Sick. So I thought, hey, why not try the Imitrex and see if it makes a difference. It took a lot of convincing. A lot of crying. I had no idea what would happen when I depressed the spray, and unfortunately it made a huge noise coming out and THAT made her cry more. I felt like an ass. We gave her some sparkling water (all of it is just “Bubly” to her) because she said it was going down her throat. But then five minutes went by and she had perked up. And ten minutes after that she was running around and talking up a storm like nothing had happened.

It worked. I mean, it had to have been a migraine.

Last weekend we hit the beach for the first time. It was about 30 minutes away and while she wasn’t saying she felt sick, she kept insisting she was hungry—despite having a snack not long before leaving. I looked at Chris and thought again, she’s car sick. Of course, I was kicking myself for hardly ever taking her anywhere during the last two and a half months.

We parked. She threw up before I could get her out of her car seat. My hands were shaking and I had to keep talking myself down from panicking. But then she was perfectly fine. Ate her lunch. Played in the water. I was dreading the ride home, not only because of the smell but if it was going to happen again.

But here are some photos from that day. Once I pushed back the anxiety as much as I could, we really did have a good time.

Beach day 2020

Beach day 2020

Beach day 2020

Beach day 2020

Beach day 2020

Olivia had a dragonfly land on her hand and we named him Draco Malfoy. My idea. Chris snorted at me.

“Draco Malpoy!!!” she’d shriek, “Come back!”

Beach day 2020

Luckily, we made it home. She was quiet the last half but didn’t say anything was wrong. She seemed fine the rest of the night but did have some diarrhea before bed.

Chris and I talked that night and we discussed if this was car sicknesses or if it was a migraine, triggered by the motion of the car. The neurologist had said the car could be a trigger, which is interesting because many times it would be after a car ride that she’d throw up once and then would seemingly be fine.

So I don’t know. The Imitrex may have to be carried with us all time like an epi-pen, because it makes me wonder if we would have pulled over and given it to her, would she have been fine? She probably wouldn’t have had diarrhea that night—something else the neurologist said could happen with these abdominal migraines.

My plan is to start getting her out in the car more for drives to build her tolerance back up again. My anxiety—I’m working on getting a handle back on it. I want to be able to get out to parks and beaches this summer and that means her being in the car. It means I can’t let this become a trigger for me, simply being in the car.

It’s hard, not knowing exactly what’s going on with her. It’s even harder that this is the one thing about being a parent I can’t deal with. The puking, not the wondering. I wonder all the time as a mom. So wish us luck going forward that we can figure this out.

The post I try to cover migraines and beach day in the same post appeared first on Risa Kerslake Writes.

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

The post A Plague of Giants appeared first on Elitist Book Reviews.

The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

The post The Art Of Gary Choo appeared first on Halcyon Realms – Art Book Reviews – Anime, Manga, Film, Photography.