Archive for August, 2012

Another migraine-free month

August 27, 2012

I am pleased to report that it finally happened again: I went four weeks straight without getting a single migraine headache.

Blessed are those who have no migraine experience, for they shall not understand the cause for celebration. But anyone who’s pitched a tent in migraine camp knows how divine this news is.

I’m particularly pleased—and a little surprised—because this is hurricane season, which is traditionally a tough time for those of us saddled with cluster migraines. The atmospheric fluctuations and barometric pressure changes that accompany such weather can be brutal. (In fact, the worst migraine of my life—a three-day killer—happened during Hurricane Frances. Ah, sweet memories of my roomie whisking me to the emergency room for an 8-hour wait for a pain injection.)

Thanks to my obsessive record-keeping (don’t judge!), I can tell you that it’s been almost a year and a half since I last put together four weeks with no headache. That’s a bit discouraging, true. When I hit that milestone the first time, I hoped it meant I was on the way to having frequent spells of no migraines.

That’s not how it’s worked in my case.

Instead, after that stellar month, I went back to three or four headaches a month, although I did have a couple of months last year when I had only one migraine. So far, in 2012, the fewest I’ve had is two in a month, so I’ve been feeling like a backslider and wondering if migraines are perhaps destined to eventually follow me into the nursing home.

I really despaired in May: That month I had five migraines, the most since mid-2010, when I started on Lyrica to reduce the frequency.

Let me pause briefly to reiterate that five migraines in one calendar month is no picnic. Recurrence can cause each headache to affect more than one day, and you also have to contend with the hangover feeling that the powerful migraine medications create. It’s a nasty cycle.

Which makes it beyond lovely when week after week passes and no headaches intrude on your life.

I didn’t realize quite how good a spell I was enjoying until a fellow sufferer texted me the second week in August to ask if the heavy, overcast weather was giving me migraines like it was her. I replied no, and then realized I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a migraine!

I checked my charts as soon as I got home and saw it was July 20. I tried not to jinx myself by going into cheer mode, but I was already pretty excited because it had been 20 days. When I finally got my next migraine, on Aug. 23, I was in no mood to complain. I took my triptans and counted myself lucky because it didn’t recur the following day.

Since I count my headache totals in calendar months, my chart won’t have a big fat ZERO for August, but in my heart, I am cherishing the victory of 33 days straight with no migraine. Such a sweet stretch of pain-free living.

As for an update on the Kiss and Tell front, that will have to wait until next week when things are sorted out. A few days ago, I received an unexpected response from my editor (who impresses me more and more) and I’m sorting through some thorny structural issues with Dr. Whelihan before we proceed further.

Stay tuned.

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I’ve written a book

August 17, 2012

For more than two years now, “I’m writing a book” has been my job title, my obsession and my reason for being.

On Monday I sent 474 pages of words—95,800 of them actually—to an experienced book editor to see what a professional person thinks of all this research on women’s sexual desire.

While I recognize that revisions—perhaps major ones—are part of the process, I’m naturally thrilled to be done. There’s undoubtedly a line I’ve stepped across; the book is whole now, a complete work. It’s permissible for me to shift over and say “I’ve written a book.”

Though I’m elated and proud and even incredulous about this achievement, I’m a little surprised at how quickly I’ve moved on. The self-congratulatory period was frankly shorter than I think I deserved. I thought I’d linger awhile in the fog of self-satisfaction once I hit that SEND button.

Instead, I immediately began thinking “OK, what’s next?”

First off, I’m way behind on day-to-day tasks and appointments, so I’m scrambling there. More importantly, I have several freelance writing assignments due before the end of the month, so no dilly-dallying in that arena either. In addition, I want to spend some time on marketing and social media (for example: do better at blogging!). And I definitely need to perform major research on the next phase of self publishing. I’ve collected numerous articles about the process and must absorb them in order to determine the best way to go about hiring a designer to pull the book together for publication.

Two weeks ago, Dr. Whelihan wrote a very nice letter to Victoria, our New York agent, and terminated our relationship with her. We received seven rejections (from Perseus Books, U.S. Penguin Group and others), which didn’t discourage us that much. We believe women’s sexual desire is a subject that needs to be addressed in all age groups; New York publishers seem to think we need to narrow the focus of the book and only appeal to smaller slices of the population.

We respectfully disagree. And since Dr. Whelihan is the expert (and after my research, I’m getting there!), we decided to trust ourselves and publish the book that our heads and hearts tell us is what readers want.

At this point, if a publishing house in New York suddenly offered us a contract, we’d say no. It would be 12-15 months before the book was for sale if that happened. With self-publishing, we hope to have copies of Kiss and Tell in hand by Thanksgiving.

That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to download the book. You will, of course. And we’re even hoping to make individual chapters available online, in case you truly just want to read about sexual desire for women in one decade only. (That’s another perk of self-publishing; you get to do what you want!)

It feels like everything is moving much faster now. Hopefully the momentum will continue and we’ll see our dreams realized of a book to sell by the holidays. Such a brave new world. Scary, but exciting.

Just look what happens when you hit the finish line … when you can truthfully say “I’ve written a book.”