Vida

 Rollercoaster. That’s what my life has become. So many ups and downs. I had an amazing trip to Galveston. I stayed with my best friend, Dianne for a glorious week by the beach! The water was amazing and the weather, so pleasant! I took Mavis along with me and she got to enjoy her very first beach list and could not get enough. She officially loves sand: eating it, tossing it, and covering her bitty body with it! She also is a professional seashell collector and bird chaser. Galveston is such a dog friendly area and I was imagining my future along the coast with my curly-tailed babe. I collected so many sea shells and enjoyed hours at a time on the shore.

Along with the much needed and wonderful getaway, I started talking to a certain someone. At first it was friendly hellos and cute little questionnaires. What started as an interesting chat became so much more. I have found my soulmate. I know this seems sudden and completely out of the blue, but I think when you know, you know and well, I know, at least I’m fairly certain. This man treats me so incredibly and accepts me for all that I am. I’m not an easy package and I know this. How do I say, “Hey, I have a chronic illness and bunch of issues, and I’m sorry, but this is who I am”, and expect another to say “okay, I want you regardless.” Not an easy task to take on and it makes opening up hard, but I did and to my surprise, I was accepted. Chivalry is not dead, I know this to be true now. Caleb treats me with the upmost respect and I feel at peace around him. I think we just connected right away and we have so much in common. I think all my praying and hoping has finally paid off. I’m passionate about our relationship. I think it’s easy to say that this is the one for me. C is already my best friend and I’m not one that easily trusts others, but yet, it’s so natural for me to trust him.

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With joy comes pain. My pain has been unbearable lately. The past three days I have basically been bed ridden with severe back pain, debating whether or not to make he emergency room trip. I constantly worry that this is what my life will become: Days at a time suffering. Tomorrow I have a pain clinic appointment to hopefully get this under control. I also got news that I cannot be genetically tested through my health network because they don’t do that type of testing. I basically have to research on my own to get my diagnoses, but I just don’t have the energy or time right now and it’s just a label, isn’t it? If this pain doesn’t subside, I don’t know what I’ll do. I need tomorrow to come so I can see if this pain relief will come.

In other bad news, my finances are quickly diminishing. My parents are divorcing and so their finances are suffering too. I don’t have enough money for classes or even enough to live on hardly. I’m so stressed. I don’t know if I will be able to graduate this May after all, if I don’t have enough money for it. I wish I could change so many things, so many stupid decisions. I have blown through my money. I’m the typical dumb young person. I thought I was ahead by having a savings account, but that can only go so far. I finally was able to make a payment while awaiting my loan to go through, thanks to my dad

One last thing! I’m hosting a fundraiser to help support my living and medical bills. Bravelets are wonderful little bracelets in all different styles that say ‘brave’ to support a cause. They come in a number of different colors, but the featured are some of my favorites: glacier blue, pink, and silver. I hope you love them as much as I do!

Xo,

Cass & Mav

Originality

Some of my past readers may have noticed that I “revamped” my blog and change a few thing around, but that doesn’t change the fact that this my personal blog and I use it to talk about my struggles with severe depression and anxiety, my Chiari Malformation diagnosis. I think most people are terrified that they are alone and so if this can give my readers a sense of unification or understanding, then my job is done.

So many things have occurred since I last chimed in. First of all, I have a “new” position at the same job as a dog bather. I basically wash and deshed (which is a number of hair removing techniques),  brush teeth, clean ears, brush out, remove mats, and give pawdicures to lovely (mostly, although some are plain assholes) little and HUGE doggies. I like this position better because I don’t have to put as much stress on my neck and back as I did as a playroom attendant. I also feel like my job does have purpose. I got to make an adoptee Dalmatian mix all pretty in hopes of getting adopted and a freshly adopted Chow mix a deshed and brush after being severely neglected. My shift hours are also amazing for my chronic pain. I work 10 am – 3:30/4pm, which gives me enough time to sleep in and prepare myself for the shift and also allows me to have time to relax and unwind when I get home. I usually come home and lay on my heat pad for a couple hours. I work Monday-Friday, which is great, as well, because I get the weekend off to spend with my mom, but also having a schedule is good for my depression and anxiety.

I have slacked off a bit in Mav’s training, but we have come LEAPS and BOUNDS since my last post. I had a severe major depression episode and was completely upset after having some really hard personal news hit. I was shaking and wishing that I was not here. I finally let Mavis out and she immediately came over and laid on my upper arm by my face and just stayed still. I didn’t teach this to her at all, but she knew that her mom needed her help. She did so amazing and I felt like all my training had been justified. I also took her with me to a psychologist appointment and she did wonderful! She remembered her blanket commands and sat on her blanket and ignored the door opening! She had little slip ups in the hour long appointment: barking at a plant, falling asleep, and being a little restless. She tooted and snored in the room and my therapist couldn’t help but laugh.

I’ve been trying to cope recently with my chronic pain and anxiety. Today was very difficult in terms of pain. The back of my head had a weird pressure feeling right where my cerebral tonsils are (where my surgical incision is). I also had bad neck and back pain and weird muscle cramping. I thought about asking to go home early, but stuck it out. I got home and used my heat pad for about two hours straight. Tomorrow I am heading to Lubbock for my cousin’s wedding and will be taking my best little pug with me. She won’t be going to the actual wedding because she isn’t that ready to be in public. I get very anxious around event like these. A lot of people make me extremely anxious and then also being judged around family is a worrisome of mine. Hopefully all goes well.

Thanks for staying with us!

xo,

Cass & Mav

Decompressed.

Three and a half days in the hospital, five IV pokes, and an arterial line: I had brain surgery and survived. We headed to Houston on Tuesday, December 8th to give us plenty of time to plan for the bumpy road ahead, staying the night with my Aunt Babette and my Uncle Daniel in Katy, about a 45 minute trip down the road. The day before surgery I could hardly eat. I was so nervous and had absolutely no appetite. I got a call around four pm and was told to be at the hospital bright and early at six in the morning. I knew this would be a hard time for all of us because it meant us leaving around 4 am the morning of and hardly no sleep the night before. I took an ambien the night before in order to drift off to sleep and before I knew it, it was 3:30 am, meaning I had to get up and shower with surgical scrub again and wake my mother up. Once we finally made it to the hospital, the staff made no hesitation in getting me changed into their specialized “Bair Paws” gowns that allows hot or cold air to flow through the gown to keep the patient at a desired temperature. Once I was all dressed and had socks on, the nurse asked if I had used the surgical scrub everywhere. I told her I had not, that I only used it on the back of my head and left thigh. Embarrassment pursued as they made me throw away my gown, change my linen, and rewash with their specialized hot rags. Eventually I got settled down into my new gown and was categorized as a fall risk, so I got new socks and a fancy yellow wrist band. The nurse went over all my information several times to make sure they got every single thing wrong with me: my cell mast activation disorder, tegaderm allergy, my four previous surgeries, etc. etc. etc. I had my IV put in and met with the anesthesiologist. She told me she would monitor me under anesthesia and make sure that all my vitals were fine. She informed me that another IV would be put in while I was under and that I would be given something to relax before they wheeled me back. Amazingly, I was not nervous. I was ready. I met with Doctor Parrish and the operating room nurse before they wheeled me off. I said goodbye to my mom, dad, Aunt Cindy, and boyfriend after they gave me the drugs and took me to the operating room. I arrived to the sacred cold sterile room and the anesthesiologist told me she was going to put me to sleep now. I told her “okay,” and on we proceeded.
I woke up four hours later in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) with a smile on my face. I asked nurse Julia, who was awesome at what she does, if I was alive. She laughed and told me that was the first time she had ever heard that one. I couldn’t believe that I made it through and I was awake and feeling relatively great. My mom and my boyfriend were the first to see me with a smile on my face (top left circle) and I told them I loved them and that I was completely alright. Nurse Julia was wonderful and got me about nine different cups of water (thank goodness I had a catheter in) and ice chips as they had no beds in the intensive care unit opened. My dad and Aunt Cindy snuck back in the PACU to see me. My dad previously worked in PACU and as an OR nurse for many, many years, so it felt quite natural to invade any hospital’s “PERSONNEL ONLY” signs and see me, since the lady letting visitors in rudely told my mom that my dad and aunt could not see me. Nurse Julia was able to give me a lot of pain medicines because I began feeling it badly. The shearing pain of my incision in my neck. The cut-muscles, burning. The sting. My leg where my dura patch was taken from began hurting and I was wailing in pain, but content because she was so nice and helping me with my requests. I kept thanking her and telling her she was so nice and that I would leave feedback for her. I got her whole name because I wanted to tell the head people that she was so wonderful. It means so much when people are nice to you, especially when recovering from neurosurgery. I was in the PACU for several hours until a bed opened in ICU and off I went.

My first night there was rough, I started feeling the affects and my tears got the best of me. My throat was on fire and I was told I couldn’t drink any more water (after drinking about 15 cups) because it could mess up my sodium levels (my dad told me this was BS. He said I was young person, not some seventy-year-old). I was not allowed to have as many meds as I did in PACU because apparently that is the “trial” period where they determine which drugs work best for you. The night I arrived I had a young nurse named Brittany helping me and she was teaching a student. I had no idea what the student’s name was, all I knew is she was not well informed about any medications I was on and believe me, trying to explain to the nurse-in-training that you need your prescribed muscle relaxer, but she has no inclination to look in the record at what you’re taking or what you needed, is beyond frustrating. I told her I needed my muscle relaxer about ten times and she began shooting off anti-anxiety meds: klonipin? xanax? NO, I NEED MY MUSCLE RELAXER MY SURGON ORDERED, NOT AN ANTI-ANXIETY. A blank look. Ok, let me check. She said dilauded about fifty times in confusion as to what muscle relaxer I needed, again WRONG medication CLASS. She asked do you know what you took? I said “Don’t you have that in the chart?” I mean I hate to be rude, but really. I am in ICU, INTENSIVE CARE, and you are not knowledgeable enough to check the chart and see what my Doctor had prescribed or what pain medicines I received before in PACU that worked. I JUST HAD BRAIN SURGERY. I began crying and paging the front to please send in Brittany. I explained to Brittany what I needed and she took care of it right away. I was given morphine (which I had a mild reaction to top bottom right photo of burning and inflammation [they dosed me with benadryl and boom out like a light], but who cares, it was well worth it and I hid it from the neuroward staff every time, in fear they would say I couldn’t have anymore) and I fell asleep and was woken up around 2am for a CT scan. I was in and out the whole night so I don’t even recall waking up from the CT scan. I recall them taking me back to my room and telling me my scan looked good and that I just had air built up behind my incision. I drifted off to sleep and awoke to a new nurse, Kevin. Kevin was so awesome. I told him about the difficulties I had the night before and he got the nursing manager to take down my comments and concerns. Kevin took out my arterial line, catheter, extra I.V., and got me walking with the help of a wonderful physical therapist. He even hooked me up with delicious hot chocolate and told me I am one of the few patients who admit the like the hot cocoa. I loved it and drank probably four cups in the morning’s span!

After I was up and walking, they determined I was functioning properly and I was moved to the neuroward on the same floor, but down the hall. I spent two more nights in the regular hospital recovering. I could not get my pain management under control for quite awhile and was nauseated the first two days, vomiting my meals up, soon after consumption. My boyfriend stayed with me in the hospital every night, insuring I had the proper treatment throughout the night and to provide company, of course. He laid in the bed with me as we watched movies together, a.k.a he watched and I fell asleep about ten-twenty minutes later. My baby helped me through so much. Anytime I needed to go to the bathroom he was there helping me to the toilet. My mother also helped me enormously in the hospital and took me for outings to the lobby to see the Christmas tree and lights and the gift shop. I would either fall asleep or get nauseated and we would return about ten minutes later to my room. She ensured I had a meal three times a day, despite my lack of interest, and called the nurse when I needed pain medicine. She showered me and walked me around with my walker several times. My dad and Aunt Cindy only were there the first day in ICU and said goodbye once I made it to the main ward. I was happy that they both came out to make sure I was well taken care of and made it through my surgery. My dad later returned to drive me from the hospital.

After I left the hospital we stayed at a hotel for one day to make sure that I was  out of trouble. I had continued problems: several fits of vomiting and a hard time with pain management. I later found out that this surgery (brain surgery) is one of the most painful recoveries out of almost all surgeries. My mom brought me Starbucks Frappucinos, the un-caffeinated Vanilla Bean, to keep me happy and we even had Chinese food delivered to our room! My mom was so thoughtful to provide all these arrangements for my boyfriend and I.

I now have been home since last Sunday, almost a week, and my mother has taken care of me. Through my tears and pain she has been by my side. I gave my boyfriend some “time off” to catch up on sleep, but he visits me daily. I slept over at my house one night and my “ambien hallucinations” were too much for him to handle so I decided to stay with my mother until Monday. I am getting stronger a bit more each day and going longer without my pain medication and muscle relaxers, but it has been extremely hard. I luckily have not had an infection or any severe problems yet. I have noticed a few sensations that worried me, but I’m giving it time until I see Dr. Parrish in January. I had half of my staples removed yesterday thanks to my boyfriend (one had to be removed on Wednesday because it was literally pinching me and burning). I will have the rest removed (again by my boyfriend who learned via youtube and thanks to Dr. Parrish’s (have to go on vacation) staple remover kit) on this upcoming Wednesday, which will mark a full two weeks! The pain is still there, though, and I can’t believe it’s been less than two weeks. I have been using ice packs and heat pads on my neck and leg and have been relying heavily on my mother to help me. I am, however, feeling better. My pain in my back is finally relieved, my hands and feet have feeling to them, and my spirits are uplifted. I hope to be closer to God and that I can heal through this, work out my other disorders and be tested, and that I can become healthier and happier.

With much love,

Cass

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Hopeless

I’m really starting to lose hope with how much difficulty I have had to face just to get any relief. Last Sunday my mother, boyfriend, and I traveled to Houston, Texas in hopes of meeting a neurosurgeon who specializes in Chiari Malformation. My dad did a lot of research to find Dr. Parrish and was delighted with his history and his military background. My mother took off Monday from work and my best friend volunteered to look after her dogs, while my boyfriend’s brother looked after our pets. We set off on Sunday afternoon and made our way though the rain to my aunt and uncle’s house.  On Friday I learned that my insurance had not yet approved the visit because of the distance we had to travel. My dad called the office to see what could be done and was told that everything would be just fine because my dad offered to pay for the visit out of his pocket.

This has all been so stressful for everyone. We all ate at a wonderful little Mexican Restaurant called Tony’s and they had excellent enchiladas. It was nice visiting with my Aunt Babette and Uncle Daniel and I know how much my mom loves hanging with her sister, so I was happy she was having such a good time after constantly stressing about my situation.

We made our way to the hotel that smelled oddly of feet, but was close to the hospital. Zach and I enjoyed the hot tub while sharing a white chocolate mocha. For a minute we had relaxation and peace as the heat radiated through our bodies.

After a decent night’s sleep it was time for the appointment. My primary’s office decided to call at 7:30am and wake me up to ask me if “my headaches were better after stopping my birth control.” You see, she seems to think that this all is in my head and my birth control, that I have had no problems whatsoever for the past four years, might be causing me headaches, memory loss, aphasia, and my other Chiari symptoms. Obviously I had no intention following those bogus directions because I’m probably not even taking birth control, might be all in my head, ya know? So I told them no. I was hoping they would tell me my referral went through, but to no luck. I checked on it and they again said it was not authorized yet. We’ve never had trouble with our insurance not covering my many visits (through all my side issues with this malformation), so I was finding it odd that it took over a week to authorize it.

While we were getting ready for the appointment, after no luck of getting back to sleep, I got a call from Texas Tech to set up disability services for me. I was relieved at all the different options that were recommended for me to help me be successful despite my disorder. I can have extra time to finish assignments, tests, and to get to class, which will help so much as there are days I can’t get out of bed  because the pain is too severe to function. I now have a little more hope for my school work. I’m so close to being finished that I do not want to put a halt on it. I should graduate this Summer and since I attend TTU through Waco, they do not offer the classes I need every semester, but only once a year usually, so that would put me back a good deal.

After we were all ready we made our way to the Methodist Hospital for my appointment. We didn’t have any breakfast because my mother was too nervous to eat and we were running late on time anyways. We showed up thirty minutes before my appointment, signed in, and I got a stack of paperwork to fill out. As I went to sit down my dad surprised us hiding in the corner of the office. He originally couldn’t make it because he had orientation for his new job and they got me in for this appointment within week, leaving no notice. He luckily had a very understanding teacher who wanted him to be there with me. I was happy to have my dad there because he is a nurse and knows so much medical terminology and would be far more familiar with the “lingo.”

I began filling out a novel of information packets asking me every bit of information about my medical history, what brought me into the office today and so on. My mother and boyfriend headed back to the hotel to grab my wallet I left in the glovebox because my crappy memory and being rushed made me forget what I needed! I spent about thirty minutes scribbling my life history down when I finally finished the packet and turned it in. We waited and waited and waited. Slowly an hour past until finally I heard my name being called. I was excited to finally be able to see the doctor. We got up and walked up to the door when we were met by a lady who told us that they hadn’t received the referral so Dr. Parrish could not see us. My dad immediately started getting frustrated and told her: ma’am, I talked to someone last Friday, who said it was perfectly fine for us to come if I paid out of pocket.” She began questioning his story: “at our office?” “Dr. Parrish’s office?” We found out that the lady that told my dad that we should come was likely on vacation and nobody else admitted to it. The lady kept saying “you should’ve gotten a name,” as if it would have made any difference. After she went and consulted with the staff three times, the ultimate decision was no. We all became emotional and I stormed out, extremely frustrated. My boyfriend calmed me down as I began to get more upset. I truly believe that these things happen to me more than the common person and that I am stricken with bad luck. There is no other explanation.

My parents came down to the lobby after us. I began feeling hopeless and heartbroken. My dad said that the lady began to get emotional because he explained to her that no one was helping his daughter and that he just wanted to do what was right for me. They both took off work, spent money on gas and a hotel, and were willing to spend a lot on the appointment just so I could see the doctor and get some help. It really is hard not to be pessimistic in these situations. I’m tired of being in pain and having doctors not believe me. I’m tired of being physically exhausted and drained. We got into the car and at a much needed lunch at Smashburger. A black bean burger and a peanut butter chocolate milkshake served as the perfect pick-me-up. As we headed home on the three hour drive, I got some wonderful rest from the help of a muscle relaxer and dreaded my upcoming week.

It’s funny how everything turns out like this.

xo,

Cass.

Chronic Pain Must Haves

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I finally managed to finish my “Chronic Pain Must-Haves” after working on it for a solid week and testing out some of the recommended products. Here we have it; I narrowed down what I personally think is a must when enduring chronic pain. I realize I’m “new” to the area, but with three months of serious pain, I feel like an expert already, although I know others have suffered through several more. I hope that my list helps both those who have just started experiencing chronic pain and those who have had it for years. Without further ado, lets get down to the necessities.

Neff-Daily-Purple-Beanie-_1694961. Daily Sparkle Beanie – Neff – $18 –neffheadwear.com. What’s better than a soft beanie to warm your head on a bad hair day? (Check out the ones from Burton: super soft!)

41Sbma7L6vL._SY355_2. Aromatherapy Body Lotion and Massage Oil – Bath & Body Works – $13 ; $16 – bathandbodyworks.com. I have had terrible insomnia for a couple of months now. I had to try aromatherapy after I heard it works for some: I absolutely adore it. My boyfriend is kind enough to give me nightly massages with this oil and yes, it is quite incredible. The scent Lavender Chamomile is perfect to create a relaxing feeling. Now do they put me right to sleep? Not quite like Ambien, but definitely helps set the tone for the night.

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3. Blue Jean 11oz Muse Facet Jar Candle – Capri Blue – $32 – gypsy05.com or Amazon. I realize this candle is quite expensive in comparison to what most people usually pay for a candle, but I love this scent. My mother got this as a gift and I ended up snagging it and loving the scent. It’s a mix of citrus, white musk, and patchouli and it lasts for a good while!

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4. Awareness Case – Inspired Cases – $15 – inspiredcases.com. If you are suffering from a disorder or illness, inspired cases is sure to have an awareness/support case. I love mine because not only does it support Chiari Malformation awareness, it also fits well and has textured print. A portion of the proceeds goes to a select cause! They have cases for iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5/52, iPhone 5C, iPhone 6/6s, iPhone 6/6s+, Samsung III, Samsung 4, Samsung 5, iPad mini, iPad air, Note II, Note 3, and Note 4!

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5. Huggie Bear Heating Pad – Bitten – $22 – amazon.com. This awesome little pal not only serves as a lovable friend, but also a heating pad for when you need some heat therapy on sore muscles. Herbal lavender and buckwheat scented and comes in brown or tan. I use a regular heating pad and a fan heating pad for my neck, but I have my eye on this one.

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6. HRH Nail Lacquer – Butter London – $15 – butterlondon.com. Any nail polish will do really, but painting your nails to support your illness is wonderful. I like Butter London, but the price isn’t desirable. I would try Sinful Colors available at Walmart and Walgreens.

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7. Lush goodies – Lush – $14.95 – $259.95 – lushusa.com. I love lush products, especially the adorable wrapped gifts. Although I rarely buy products from Lush, and if I do it’s usually for a special occasion, all of it smells amazing and are to die for.

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8. Dammit Doll – DammitDolls – $15.95 – dammitdolls.com. Now, I haven’t actually gotten my hands on this little guy, I’ve heard they are super awesome when it comes to releasing anger and stress. The dolls patterns are limited edition and they come with a sewed in patch that reads: Whenever things don’t go so well, and you want to hit the wall and yell, here’s a little dammit doll, that you can’t do without. Just grasp it firmly by the legs and find a place to slam it. And as you whack the stuffing out yell “Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!” Perfectly said.

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9. 3-Piece SkinCare Kit – Devonne by Demi – $39.95 + S&H – devonnebydemi.com. I really have enjoyed the Devonne by Demi skin care products. They smell amazing and work well. I don’t however see myself ordering every month, so I went with the 1-time shipment and have to say, I’m a fan. I even got a little candle with my purchase that smells delightful. The Devonne by Demi set is to “bridge the gap between the pimple years and the wrinkle years.” It comes with a deep facial cleanser that is coconut-based, a hydrating radiance mist that is loaded with antioxidants, and a 3-in-1 moisturizing primer that absorbs excess oil and minimizes pore appearance. The whole set is a wonderful skincare routine with great results.

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10. Fight Like A Girl Signature Unisex T-Shirt – Fight Like A Girl Official Gear – $19.99 – fightlikeagirlclub.com. These shirts let you show off your support in several different colors. They even have a tie-dye colored shirt, if you just want a shirt to support every cause! I bought a purple one, a size up for a comfort feeling. They also have other wonderful designs.

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11. Netflix – Netflix – $7.99 – $11.99 a month – netflix.com. Okay I watch a ton of netflix, I’m a certified marathoner. My boyfriend and I don’t even have cable because we really don’t need it with the selection netflix has. There are up and downs to it, but I have been a user for six years now and don’t plan on quitting anytime soon. They have a first month free promotion on now. Choose to watch Grey’s Anatomy, Sons of Anarchy and special netflix series like Orange is the New Black, The Killing, and The United States of Tara. They have three different options basic, standard, and premium.

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12. I am Brave Shield Necklace – Dogeared – $48.00 – dogeared.com. I love Dogeared’s necklaces; they are so dainty and have wonderful messages on it. “Strength is always in style…” This “make a wish” necklace is a reminder that you are strong enough to get through this struggle- God wouldn’t give you anything you couldn’t handle. They also have this style in gold and available on black silk instead of sterling silver or gold chain.

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13. Striped Shopping Cart – Typhoon – $29.99 – $49.99 – containerstore.com. I’ve started having difficulty with my backpack. As much as I adore my Burton pack, it’s too painful and heavy right now for my weak muscles. I recently ordered one of these shopping trolleys to use as a rolling backpack. These shopping carts are quite common in the UK, I can see why! There is an umbrella pocket, two side pockets, and an additional exterior pocket. It holds up to 40 pounds and is removable from the frame. It folds up for compact storage as well. Get it soon because the striped one is on sale currently!

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14. Snoogle Original Total Body Pillow – Leachco – $59.95 – amazon.com. I can’t go on enough about how much I love this pillow. It is like several pillow in one and supports my aching back and neck. The cover is machine washable and replaceable. There are several different ways to use the Snoogle too, making it the perfect all-in-one pillow. This has become my most favorite item by far and has kept me from sleeping on my back and providing the support I need to get some rest!

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15. Black Sheep Sleep Mask – Pompon Designs – $18 – etsy.com. Sleep masks are awesome for spoonies. Although it’s hard to get used to at first, the sleep masks definitely help with keeping out light for daytime naps. This one just happened to be cute!

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16. Mermaids Tee & Legging Pajama Set – ASOS – $43  – asos.com. I was saddened to see that this set is out of stock today. Comfy pajamas are obviously a must and ASOS has some really cute options to choose from. Most of my comfy pjs are from Victoria Secret, so make sure to check out their selection as well. Stay away from satin and fleece as they usually are uncomfortable fabrics that don’t allow for breathing.

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17. Amira Faux Fur Slipper – MUK LUKS – urbanoutfitters.com or amazon. I got a pair of these slippers for my birthday last and year and I practically live in them. They run about fifty, but are worth it because they are so comfortable and keep your toes nice and warm!

That completes my must-haves! In summary these products help me make it through the day. I also wear a hoodie-footie (adult onesie) from pajama grams when I’m not in a blanket mood. Start shopping now! There are some good deals that are in right now and the prices will go back up shortly, don’t miss out!

In other news I have an appointment this upcoming Monday with the specialist neurosurgeon, Dr. Parrish. After a horrible experience last Monday where I was told multiple times that I have a referral to psychiatry put in (completely unrelated to my main visiting reason: filling out SDS paperwork, DMV Disability Paperwork, obtaining an Ambien prescription, and Pain Management- all for Chiari). Although she filled my paperwork out, I could tell she was not on board with the Chiari diagnosis. She said that the symptoms are most likely due to migraines (blue hands? Aphasia? Memory loss? Hand tremors? Loss of balance? Extreme neck and back pain? Insomnia? All from migraines, eh?) and that I should stop my birth control because it could be the cause (over 4 years taking with no problems before).Then she said that I had normal flow of CSF (b/c ventricles) and that I don’t need anymore pain medicine (she seemed to be astonished I got the prescription in the first place). I picked up my MRI report later that day which clearly states that there is visible blockage in the major intracranial vessels with a 6mm herniation of the cerebellar tonsils. But it is all in my head… Technically it is, but that’s beside the point. I decided I will no longer be seeing my primary of six years if she is not willing to believe me and that she can’t even read a MRI report correctly. Anyways, got my paperwork filled out, which was my main intention and I got my sleeping pills because I have not been able to sleep hardly whatsoever. I am anxious to see the Dr. on Monday and get his expertise on my malformation. I’m sure we will schedule a surgery date (planning for right after finals) and get the ball rolling to get me better.

Xo,

Cass