Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2nd Book Down

So I have just finished my second book about migraines that my neurologist recommended that I read. This book was entitled " Mayo Clinic on Headache" by Jerry W. Swanson, M.D. - Editor in Chief. Comparing this book to the other migraine book that I read, this book was much more technical. Not only did it include a lot of information about treatments that work, but it also talked about treatments that could possibly work, but that haven't been approved to work for headache relief. This book also talked more about headaches in general as opposed to focusing on migraines. Overall, I thought that the book was incredibly informative, but was not written with the free style that the "Migraines for Dummies" book was. This book was well written though and coming from an incredibly reliable source like the Mayo Clinic, I felt like I could use this information to seek treatments that maybe were a little more complimentary or alternative. I would definitely give this book an A.

I have recently started something that I have said I would do thousands and thousands of times before: working out and eating right. I have constantly spoken about how I want to lose weight and get healthy, and I would start working out and get excited about it. Then, I would quit. I would get bored or think that it was too much work and just stop doing the exercising. Well, that has now changed. I have been walking at least three times a week for the last three or four weeks now and yesterday, I started lifting free weights. Granted, I'm only using 5 lb weights right now, since I can't really lift that much weight otherwise and I am going to alternate between weight lifting and walking. That combined with eating better and watching my portions should help me to lose weight. My goal is two pounds a week until I'm down to my ideal weight, which you will find out number-wise when I get there. :)

Now as for answering the last interesting question that I posed to you all a couple of post ago: Questions: Do you believe in luck? Do you think that some people are luckier than others? Do actions cause reactions or are there intervening forces beyond our control that govern our destinies?

Answers: I believe in luck to a certain extent. I believe that things happen that make us feel lucky, like when we grab a winter jacket for the first time and find money in it that was put in it last year. I would consider that pretty lucky. Some people might consider the following situation as lucky: You go on a roller coaster and complete the ride. The next car goes on the coaster and has some problems with it, resulting in a dire situation. People might say "Hey, you were lucky that you weren't on that car" or "Good thing you got in line when you did."

Do I think that some people are luckier than others? Not really. I think that we make our own luck, so if people aren't as lucky as others, that's kind of their own fault. As for the last, highly intense question, I believe in free will. I believe that God has a plan for us, but that he has also given us the ability to make our own decisions. I feel that everything happens for a reason, whether it be a reaction to something that previously happened (in which case, people might say that is karma, which I also believe) or whether it is happening due to an intervening force. We may not be able to see that force that is intervening in our lives at the particular time that it is, but I get the feeling that we just know when it is there.

My last post may have seemed out of the ordinary from what you have seen so far. I'm sure many of you believe that this blog is about reading and books and learning. Well, it's also about the person I am - it's about me. I know that sounds self-centered and everything, but I don't really know of any other way to put it. I posed the question to whether or not actual joy is actually attainable. I've come to my own conclusion that it is. There are moments in our lives that make us happy, and moments in our lives that make us sad. But there are moments of actual joy that completely take our breath away. There are moments that we look back on where we can feel what we felt at that time. Actual joy is (in my opinion) actually attainable.

Now for the interesting question being posed to you this time: Do you collect anything? If so, describe your favorite collection, past or present.

Peace and Love

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What is that like?

Have you ever been talking to someone - maybe a friend or relative - who posed you a question or challenge that you didn't really know how to respond to? I was talking to a friend recently (a friend that I haven't know for very long, only about 8 months) and we were talking about how I have always tried to make other people happy, but have never really done anything for myself. I presented a list of things that make me happy, such as not having migraines, and being able to read for hours on end like I used to. He mentioned that those were really comfort than happiness. He was talking about actual joy. It really got me thinking...what brings me actual, true joy? I thought I knew everything about myself, but once that question was posed to me, I couldn't answer. I've been told that the only way to know what really makes me happy is to go find it -- find me. I'm not sure how to do that, especially with limited resources, and I'm not sure that I would be happy with what I find out about myself. So here's the question for you: Is actual joy actually attainable?

Peace and Love

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gorgeous Day and a Twins Win

It's an amazing day outside. 78 degrees F, fairly breezy, and (this is my favorite part) a 50% chance of rain! The sun was shining earlier today, which was fine, but I have to admit, there is something incredible about dark clouds that just tell the people below "I'm going to dump some rain on you today." I love it.

Not only is it a gorgeous day outside, but the Minnesota Twins played a great game today against the Boston Red Sox. Liriano (our starting pitcher) threw 7 shutout innings and the Twins ended up winning 8-0. Couldn't have been a better game. Oh yeah -- Michael Cuddyer (our right fielder) hit a 2 run home run as well.

Now, I finally finished a book. Woo hoo! Of course, it's the book that I have talked about before, but I can finally give you my final opinion and grade on the book. The book I'm speaking of is "Migraines for Dummies" by Diane Stafford and Jennifer Shoquist,MD. From start to finish this book offers so many options and so much information that it can seem overwhelming at first. But knowing that there are so many options available for migraine sufferers makes it easier to get through the day because you know that if one method of treatment won't work, you can try something different. This book helps migraine sufferers find out what might be triggering their migraines and helps them figure out how to change their lifestyle in order to deal with migraines. It includes information about how to handle migraines when it comes to a job, and offers information about different types of headaches, different medications, and ways that those who are not suffering from migraines can help those who are. There was a chapter that I particularly liked called Ten Tips For Dealing With Folks Who Don't Get Migraines. I have had a habit of experiencing a plethora of moods when I have a migraine and the emotion I probably feel the most is anger. I also tend to take that anger out on the people around me and this chapter really helped me to understand how I can deal with people who don't know what I'm going through. Overall, this book was incredibly informative and well written. Since this is the first book in the "For Dummies" collection that I have read, I think I will definitely have to check out other ones as well. This book gets an A+ from this avid reader and migraine sufferer.

On my last post, I posed a question for you to answer if you so chose. I also stated that I would answer the question in my next post as well. This being that next post here was last post's question and my answer: Question(s): How do the seasons impact your moods? Do you take any measures to ward off depression and would you ever consider moving to another climate?

Answer(s): I don't really feel that the seasons impact my moods all that much. I live in a place where we typically experience all four seasons, each with its own characteristics. Fall is definitely my favorite season and Spring comes in a close second. With Summer and Winter, it just depends on how drastic those months are. Some years, the Summer months can get terribly hot, which can make me a little crabby, but not so much that I can't enjoy the Summer nights when it cools down or the days when the humidity is not so bad. Some years, the Winter months get incredibly cold and other years, its fairly mild. I don't mind the snow and I would rather see more snow than have to deal with horribly cold temperatures. But I wouldn't say that my mood changes a whole lot as the seasons come and go. I don't really take any measures to ward off depression as the seasons don't really make me feel depressed. I know that some people get a depressed feeling on those cloudy days that last all week, but I really don't mind them. As for thinking about moving to another climate, I have never really thought about it. I live in a beautiful place and I don't know that I ever would want to live somewhere that didn't experience all four seasons. Especially because I can't imagine Christmas without snow.

Now, as for this week's question: Do you believe in luck? Do you think that some people are luckier than others? Do actions cause reactions or are there intervening forces beyond our control that govern our destinies? I look forward to seeing what you all have to say about that one.

Peace and Love!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ah...Spring has Sprung

It's a gorgeous day outside today. A little cold for my liking at 59 degrees F, but the sun is still shining and there is a nice gentle breeze. I knew from the moment I saw how nice it was outside that I was going to have to take advantage of the weather - so I went for a walk. I have to admit, after not getting a lot of sleep last nice and not feeling that great today, it really made me feel good to go for that walk. Have you ever not wanted to do something that you know you should do and then you finally build up the willpower to do it? It feels wonderful, doesn't it?

Since I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night, I was up fairly early by my standards (about 10 AM CST) and decided that I should read more of the "Migraines for Dummies" book, since it is borrowed from the hospital and I need to return it in about a week and half. The things I am learning from this book are inspiring. When I first started reading this book, I was actually kind of depressed - I was happy that there were all these options available for treating and living with migraines, but then I thought that I would probably need to go through all of them in order to find any relief. But now, I'm taking all the information in - learning about different lifestyle changes that I can make in order to improve my situation. Not only should it help with my migraines, but it will make me healthier and happier as well. Who wouldn't want that? I'm not quite done with the book, so I won't give my full opinion yet (although I seem to mention my opinion every chance I get), but I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who deals with frequent headaches. Even if they are not migraines, this book might offer some good information for you.

Alright...so I've recently decided to start posting a "question of the day" type thing (although as of right now, I have been very bad about posting every day) and I came across an interesting question today. I'm going to try and respond to each question on my next post so that you all get a chance to comment with your opinions first :). So the question of the day is: How do the seasons impact your moods? Do you take any measures to ward off depression and would you ever consider moving to another climate?

Peace and Love!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hey Hey It's Opening Day!

As you can tell by my happy title, today is Opening Day for the 2010 Major League Baseball season. Yes! I am absolutely excited about this event. First of all, my favorite team - the Minnesota Twins - have signed Joe Mauer, our incredible catcher, to a long year deal. They will feature their brand new ballpark - Target Field - next Monday, April 12th, as they start the season away from home in Los Angeles against the Angels. No matter where they play, I'm super excited for the season to start.

Secondly, there is a multitude of baseball games on ESPN and ESPN2 today, so I can watch baseball all day, which is great because I am playing fantasy baseball this year. I absolutely couldn't be more excited.

Also going on today, the championship game for the NCAA tournament - Butler vs. Duke. I, of course, had my bracket collapse within the first couple of rounds, so watching this will not be a huge priority. But I definitely will be watching what I can of the game (with all the baseball on, I don't know how much that will be) because I would LOVE to see Butler - the underdog - beat Duke.

Now, I know that none of this has to do with reading at all - but as this blog is not only about reading, it's about life in general, I thought I would share with you all my excitement. For those who have not heard about my sports obsession, you can now see a little bit of how into sports I am. But that doesn't mean that I haven't had time to read. I recently had to renew a couple of books that my neurologist wanted me to read and since I only have a couple of weeks to read them, that is exactly what I am doing. Now I may have mentioned before that I am reading the book "Migraines for Dummies" by Diane Stafford and Jennifer Shoquist, M.D. I am working my way through it and trying to learn as much as I can about where my migraines could be coming from and ways to treat them. I am trying to keep a positive outlook on life, which can be hard at times when I am in pain most of the time, but hopefully I will be able to find something that works.

I'm going to start proposing more in depth questions to my readers because I think it would be incredible to hear what you all have to say to some interesting questions. These questions may or may not have to do anything with reading, so be prepared for some pretty generic and sometimes off the wall questions. So my question of the day is: If there was a breaking news story, would you check online for details, turn on your radio, or turn on your television to get the information?

Peace and Love!