Wait…I Can’t See

About 10 years ago I had a really scary experience. One that I had never experienced or heard about.

I was just going about my life when all of a sudden, I started seeing flashing lights in both of my eyes. The best way that I can describe it would be that it’s almost like looking into a kaleidoscope or seeing sparkly broken glass in your visual field.

Through the Motions

I remember not knowing what to do. What is this? Should I go to the ER? What caused my vision to change so abruptly?

I remember feeling terrified as my vision became more and more obscured. With each passing minute, I felt that I was losing more and more of my “sight.”

I decided to ride through the motions of it all because I had never experienced this before. The visual disturbances lasted about 30 minutes and following that was a headache.

Dr. Google

Once I regained my sight, I remember going straight to Dr. Google to look up my symptoms. I wanted to see what this experience could be and if it was a true medical emergency.

It didn’t take long before I was staring at a term called “ocular migraine.” I read through the description and symptoms and BAM! It matched; this is what I was experiencing.

A Visit with the Doctor

I made an appointment with an ophthalmologist. I remember her doing many different eye exams and tests. She also dilated my eyes to get a better view of my eye health and see if anything else could be causing this issue.

Thankfully, the eye doctor told me that it was in fact an ocular migraine and thankfully my eye health was good. This new diagnosis was a relief to me. See, Dr. Google can be right sometimes!

My Experience

I get ocular migraines typically every three to four months. They come on suddenly without much warning and have appeared in the least convenient places.

I’ve gotten them while driving and I had to pull over, while shopping in the stores, and at work several times where I have to go to a dark room and close my eyes.

These are my biggest ocular migraine triggers:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue/Lack of sleep
  • Alcohol
  • Too much screen time
  • Hormones
  • Not resting my eyes enough

This is what I do to stop an ocular migraine attack:

  • Using a cold cloth on my eyes
  • Essential oil roll-on that goes on my temples
  • Laying in a dark room
  • Deep breathing, trying to relax my mind
  • Closing my eyes

It Could Be Worse

Thankfully, at least for me, ocular migraines are more of an annoyance than they are painful. The visual disturbances are very difficult to deal with because it gets to the point where I can’t read any words and parts of the room or people’s faces are blurred out by bright sparkling lights in my field of vision.

The headache that follows the visual disturbances is usually mild for me and one that I don’t typically need to treat with any medication. This is unlike a true migraine; I have heard those are incredibly painful.

One scary thing that I learned recently is that having ocular migraines puts me at a much higher risk for a stroke because they are caused by a lack of blood flow and/or collapse of the blood vessels in the eye. The fact that this is happening in my eyes, makes it possible for it to happen in my brain.

Lately, They Have Increased

For the last few months, I’ve been getting ocular migraines way more often than usual, and I can pinpoint why. Unfortunately, all of my triggers are present in my life at the moment.

I have been losing a lot of sleep, I’ve been more stressed than usual, I hardly ever drink, but I did for Christmas and New Year’s, and I’ve been reading and writing a lot more!

Question

Have you or someone you know ever experienced an ocular migraine?

The Power of Peppermint

There are a few lovely scents that come to mind this time of year, one of them is peppermint!

Peppermint is one of those flavors that some people do not like. I love the taste of peppermint, but some of my loved ones are not a fan.

Peppermint has many great uses and properties. For those that don’t like the taste, if you enjoy the smell, peppermint oil can have a similar effect!

Uses For Peppermint

  1. This herb can help relieve headaches. I have a peppermint essential oil roll-on that I rub on my temples when I get a headache, it works wonders!
  2. Peppermint can reduce stress and anxiety. Just the smell alone is enough to help with this but consuming and/or applying it to your skin helps as well. Sometimes when I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I will use my essential oil roll-on, or eat a few mints.
  3. It can make you feel fresh and clear your mind. I love mints and peppermint chewing gum. Whenever I have these, the smell and taste are so invigorating, it really peps up my mind! I find the taste very refreshing and pleasant.
  4. Peppermint can quell queasiness. It has helped me with morning sickness, indigestion, and helped me tremendously when feeling nauseous.

A Christmas Scent

Peppermint always reminds me of Christmas and the holiday season! This is another reason why I love the taste and scent.

The ever-popular candy cane has been a holiday tradition for many years. They are eaten for fun, hung on Christmas trees, and even tied to a gift or card. Just seeing a candy cane makes me happy because of the memories associated with it!

Peppermint Joy

Enjoy a candy cane or get lost in the aroma of peppermint essential oil and see where it takes you!

How I Nip a Bad Mood Quickly

Life doesn’t always go the way that we want it to, unfortunately, and with that, our emotions and mood can change, sometimes dramatically from day to day depending on what is going on.

I am a very sensitive and anxious person by nature and when something happens in my life that is upsetting, it takes quite a toll on me though I am getting much better about this. I have found a few ways that have helped me kick a bad mood to the curb!

Before I Found a Solution

Going back to my younger years, I used to take every negative feeling and situation and internalize it. Getting out of a rut and trying to shake off a bad mood was a very difficult task to do. I seemed to hold onto being in a bad mood for much longer than I wanted to.

I remember feeling lost and not knowing what to do to help myself. I opted for quick fixes like having a dessert to instantly boost my mood, but my problems were not solved. One thing for sure, I knew that I didn’t want to feel this way anymore. I started looking for solutions and I became really into self-help.

My New Approach

I am a huge lover of nature; it has the power to change a mood around quickly and can help us feel like we are so small compared to this big vast open space. Nature has a way of making us feel like our problems have just vanished as we focus on the greenery, the sounds of the birds, or the sight of water flowing down a stream.

Knowing this, I wanted to incorporate nature into my solution. I went to the store and bought a beautiful notebook and some fancy pens to keep the look interesting and vibrant.

Whenever I find myself in a place of discontent, I would go take a walk to calm myself and try to refocus my mind enough to eventually come back inside the house and try to work through the emotions.

After my walk, or even sitting peacefully outside for a bit, it was time to sit down and work through my thoughts and feelings.

Journal in Hand

I have found over the years that a bad mood will last so much longer if we do not talk about it, or let our feelings out in some way, shape, or form. The more that we hold something in, the more it tears us apart. The longer that we shove our thoughts under the rug and hide from them, the longer they haunt us.

I got my journal and my fancy pens, and I created a self-help exercise that I use whenever I am not feeling content. I will share it with you now!

  1. I write down all of my feelings
  2.  I list why I am feeling this way
  3.  I write down what options I have to tackle this feeling
  4.  I choose a solution from the options that I have created
  5.  I note what I can and cannot control in the situation

I have found that writing out my feelings and seeing ways that I can work through processing a negative mood can help tremendously. Just seeing it all on paper is an outlet and lets us realize that things may not be as bad and that we have more control over the situation than we think.

The Biggest Solution

The greatest advice is to speak your mind and let your thoughts and feelings flow freely, whether that be writing them down or telling them to a trusted someone. Sometimes our biggest issue and roadblock on our way to happiness is not having an outlet to share what is on our minds. We sit and fester in the thoughts that take over our minds instead of letting them out.

Being able to talk, or at the very least write about your feelings is of great importance. One needs to be able to vent and clear their mind to move past negative emotions.

I have found writing to be extremely therapeutic as are the journal exercises that I do. Whether you talk your feelings out or write them, it is a very critical step to moving past a bad mood!

Have You Ever Tried Reiki?

I have always been a very spiritual person and I am open to just about anything related to spirituality.

Several years ago, one of my friends was really into Reiki and she asked if I would go with her and try it out. I was hesitant at first because it was so unknown to me, but I also really wanted to have the experience.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese practice of healing using the transfer of energy from one person to another. It is said to reduce both mental and physical stress and can be used to help relieve pain.

The energy is derived spiritually and is said to be a type of universal healing. Anyone can learn to practice Reiki. There is energy within all living things, and we can use it to help heal each other.

My First Reiki Session

I was so excited; I drove to the holistic center and had a seat in the waiting area. Soon after, I was guided back into the room where the session was to take place. The reiki room was so beautiful! There were candles lit and the smell of essential oils present. There was a massage table and a bunch of cozy blankets on top.

The most beautiful music played softly in the background. I laid down on the massage table and the reiki practitioner sat on a stool by my head. She started cupping her hands around my face and I instantly became relaxed.

What I Felt 

As the session went on, she would move her cupped hands to different parts of my body, like my head, forehead, neck, shoulder area, etc. My body became almost flushed with heat, there was an incredible warmth that flooded through my body. I felt such peace and tranquility.

I felt every worry and every bit of stress melt away at this very moment. Between the heat, the music, and the essential oils, I felt like I was in Heaven, it was the most incredibly peaceful feeling. It’s almost like every part of me including my mind had relaxed leaving me in a state of bliss.

What surprised me was the practitioner wanted to show me just how powerful Reiki is. She put her hands underneath the light to show me how red they were. They were also very hot to the touch. As she said, “that’s the healing energy flowing through.”

After the Session

I felt like a brand-new person, I was so calm, and I just felt so at peace, almost as if I was in a trance. I just felt so free and full of life. I could tell a massive difference after my session.

I ended up booking a session with the Reiki practitioner whenever I was feeling very stressed or overwhelmed. I started going regularly because I was hooked on feeling such peace.

The Downsides

Although 100% worth it, in my opinion, Reiki is very expensive, at least where I live. You will also want to go to someone who is credentialled to practice this energy healing.

Another downside that I found is that the peaceful effects of Reiki lasted only a few hours to at most, the remainder of the day. It would be great if it could last longer! It may for other people, but for me, the effects were short-lived.

Do You Have Any Reiki Experiences?

Had I not had a friend that went often, I may have never even known about this practice. I feel it is not very common or even talked about much.

The results are different for everyone. Reiki is something that I highly suggest that anyone try if they are looking for energy balancing, or even wanting to help their mental or physical health. For me, it was a wonderful and unique experience!

Until It’s Gone

Why is it that we don’t see the true value of something until we no longer have it? Yes, most of us express gratitude towards what we possess, and we are thankful, however much of the time true value isn’t felt until what we have is gone.

There are many things in life that we need to feel comfortable and happy such as food and water, shelter, love, and money. We realize that these are all huge things in life, and we are afraid to lose any of them. We strive to make sure that we do whatever we can to prevent such a massive loss.

We realize how much our health is important, but we don’t truly realize how inconvenient it is to be unwell until we break a bone and can no longer use our arm or leg, until we are diagnosed with a heart issue and have to take many precautions in everyday life, or until we have an eye issue and are losing our sight.

Our jobs can be very stressful and exhausting, yet we don’t realize how grateful we are to even have a job until it’s gone and so is our source of income. We then realize that what we are bothered by pales in comparison to the alternative.

The house that we live in every day, we wake up and think nothing of it most days until poof it’s gone. A friend of mine lost her home last year to a fire, we realize how everything we have is so precious.

We have to go to the store to buy groceries, but wait, we need a car to get from point A to B. What happens when your car is in the shop? You realize how much you use your car and don’t think much of it until it’s no longer there.

There’s a loved one that you lost touch with or had a falling out with. You let the days go by thinking that maybe one day you will get in touch, but sadly this loved one passes away. You no longer have the chance to say what is on your mind and in your heart.

My best advice is not to wait until what you have is gone
to realize its importance. Wake up each day with gratitude and be thankful for everything that you do have no matter how small it may be, for one day it may become a memory.