My Pain Plan

From back to front –

white tablets = paracetamol – red capsules = ibuprofen – orange tablets = aspirin

As someone who has suffered from Migraines for as long as I can recall, it is super important to me that I have a good pain management plan..

When I was younger it was actually easier to get the stronger drugs like Panadeine Forte than it is now. Because of that ease I would tend to default to the strongest drug I had as soon as I got the headache. These days, there are two problems with the plan of take the strongest drug I happen to own.

1. The more often you take a strong drug, the less effective it tends to be.

2. I want to save those now more difficult to get stronger drugs for occasions when I truly need them.

Nowadays, if I take two Panadeine Forte, within about 30 minutes, I can’t feel my head, arms or legs at all. It is like I am a torso floating on a fluffy cloud. That state of being is not especially conducive to getting shiznit done. :) But it does certainly get rid of the headache quite effectively.

Believe me, actually trying to do anything in that torso floating on a cloud state will result in An Incident Occuring. It is bad enough trying to coordinate a walk to the bathroom, let alone doing anything useful.

My doctor and I sat down a couple of years ago to work out a new plan, and I was surprised to find out that this plan works for me. Here’s what I do now when I feel a headache coming on.

Stage 1


I begin by taking paracetamol and ibuprofen together but it *must* be taken with a cup of strong tea (two teabags of Australian Afternoon) or coffee, and a block of dark chocolate. I like 70% plus and find it to be more effective.

Chocolate always makes me feel better but the caffeine in the tea or coffee and chocolate helps the drugs to work faster. That is why they sell panadol with caffeine though it is obscenely expensive at around $8.99 for 40 tablets so I prefer to keep that purely for my handbag and emergencies when I could not get a cup of caffeine to go with my tablets.


If it feels like it is going to be a bad headache I will take three kinds of tablets together – paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin but I usually take the paracetamol first with coffee/tea and make sure to have eaten at least a bowl of cereal before taking the other drugs. This is because two of the three drugs are not good on an empty stomach.

I can tell the difference between a headache that requires two drugs vs one that requires three drugs. The worst headache I tend to get is a hormone related migraine and that is always a three drug headache. Those headaches always appear on a specific day and so I know approximately when to expect them.

Three drug headaches are usually once a month happenings at most and they start from the moment I wake up, which is the reason for the cereal.

I’ll then wait to see what happens – if the headache goes away, epic win. If not, it is time for..

Stage 2

If the headache does not go away, I need to start thinking about what might be causing it. The two main causes for me are sinus and hormones. If it is sinus, I might try a couple of cold and flu tablets next but I need to wait at least 4 hours as those have paracetamol in them as well as pseudo-ephedrine and codeine phosphate.

If it is hormones, then it is time to bring out the big guns – I have 3 choices at this point.

1. A headache tablet with some codeine phosphate eg Nurofen Plus or Mersyndol Forte. This will be the choice if the headache is not too bad. However if we have got to this point chances are the headache is pretty bad and these drugs won’t help much.

2. Panadeine Forte which is paracetamol with a stronger codeine phosphate. Taking this drug means it is bedtime, at least for a couple of hours, because it does tend to knock me out or at least make me feel like I am floating with no arms and legs attached.

3. A Maxalt Wafer. These are not cheap at $11 per wafer. However they do work fast and if I am feeling any nausea this is a good option because it melts under the tongue and I don’t have to worry about keeping the drugs I took down. These do work very well for me, but they are a last resort due to their price tag.

Stage 3

Getting to this stage is pretty rare but it does happen from time to time – if a headache is not resolved by stages one and two, then I need to get a shot from a doctor or to head off to hospital. It has been a long time since this stage was needed thanks to the careful pain planning my doctor and I worked out together. :)


When I was growing up, from age 15-17 I had nausea and dizziness on a daily basis for a couple of years. It was dreadful and we are still not sure what caused that, though there is a suspicion it may have been hormonal. I lived on Stemetil for those two years which is an anti-nausea drug.

Now the drug of choice for nausea is Maxolon. It is rare that I have to use them now. In fact it has been a couple of years since I last got a script for it, but I just used up my last tablet and I have a doctors appointment this week, so I will be asking for a new script.

Ocular Migraines

Have you ever had a kaleidoscope appear in your field of vision? I have. It is Not Optimal at all. It makes it impossible to read, drive, watch tv, basically, to see in general. These are called an Ocular Migraine – once again we have zero idea what causes this for me.

About 45 minutes after the kaleidoscope arrives, the headache sets in. And this is a terrible headache, a Panadeine Forte right off the bat headache.

However, the happy news is, after many experiences and trying out different things I have made a discovery. If I take paracetamol and ibuprofen with coffee or tea and chocolate at the moment the kaleidoscope appears, the headache does not arrive anymore. I have to go and lie down with a flannel over my eyes until the kaleidoscope goes away, but that is nothing compared to having to suffer through the headache that would always arrive.

Over to you –

How do you manage pain?

Do you suffer from migraines at all?


Vitamin Regime


I’ve mentioned before that when I stop taking my vitamins daily, that is a signal to me that I am on the road to depression. I take 5 things daily – 1x multivitamin – 1x hair, skin and nails – 2x Echinacea – 1x Mucus Relief Guaifenesin..

The Echinacea comes from Vitamin World – I bought a large quantity of Echinacea from there when I was on Oahu in 2013. The multivitamin in the middle is from Aldi. They are reasonably priced and I find them to contain everything I need in a multivitamin. The Hair, Skin and Nails is from Costco. 250 tablets last me 250 days and cost me less than $20 from memory, which is awesome value.


I don’t think any human being is capable of creating a diet that gives them every single nutrient they need on a daily basis, which is why I supplement with vitamins. I wrote before about having a warm feeling in my leg which was caused by a lack of vitamin B.

In Australia vitamins can be costly so I often seek out more cost effective options. Once a year, if I am not going to the states that year, I’ll do a big order from Vitamin World.

I’ve posted about that before – Vitamin Delivery. Their vitamins are excellent and though shipping is not cheap it still works out cheaper than buying the vitamins here, unless I get them from Costco.


Sephyroth sent me a couple of bottles of the Guaifenesin which is not readily available in Australia, certainly not in a tablet format. It can sometimes be found in cough syrups. I’m just about out of them, sadly. I do believe they assist me, especially when taken in combination with allergy tablets during hay fever season.

Why do I take the Guaifenesin? I have a problem with fluid in my middle ears, which can cause dizziness and reduce my hearing to a level not acceptable to me. If I run out of Guaifenesin I can take Bisolvon which is used for chest mucus here in Australia but it also dries up my ears.

So I make up these 7 day packs every couple of weeks, and each day I just open the flap and take the vitamins for that day. I can’t fit the blue ones in with the others, so they reside in their own container and I take one of those out each day.



Vitamins are considered food by customs so if and when you bring them back into Australia you need to declare them. :)

What vitamins do you take, if any? :)

About Snoskred, depression, food, health, Vitamins

One Year Later

I have not mentioned it here before, but last November after we got home from our amazing and wonderful Hawaii trip, I had a very large Pulmonary Embolism which could easily have killed me.

After we got home I felt like I had a flu, I couldn’t catch my breath. But I didn’t have any of the other symptoms you get with flu. My doctor suspected PE and sent me for a V/Q lung scan and in doing so he saved my life..


They put me in hospital for 24 hours – they wanted to keep me for many days to monitor me but I refused because the other half can nurse me better than anyone else can, we have an oxygen monitor right here at home, they needed the bed for much sicker people than me, and I wanted to be with my cats because a cat purring on you is the best medicine anyone can have.

So, they sent me home with some hospital charts that the other half could keep all his observations of me on, and I had the longest shower ever. Ick. I am a germophobe, so not a big fan of hospitals at all. I was back at work the next day, o2 monitor attached set to alarm if my blood oxygen went below 90.

In speaking with the doctors I know exactly when the clot formed – probably 3-4 hours into the flight home, one of my legs went to sleep and when I got up to try and wake it up, there was this pain in the back of my thigh. It felt like a muscle cramp, so I asked the other half to pummel and massage that spot a little – and he did. This may have been an excellent thing breaking up the clot into smaller pieces. It might have actually saved my life.

The doctors put me on a wonderful new-ish medication called Rivaroxaban which is the alternative to Wharfarin and does not require constant blood tests and monitoring. Anyway, enough about that – all this just to say I have been getting some tests done to try and determine why this happened, and if it is likely to happen again, and so I can get off the medication and be cleared to snorkel this summer. ;)

About Snoskred, health, NaBloPoMo, NaBloPoMo 2014

Shoe Cleaning Station

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you might remember my very first Shoe Sunday post – I showed you where my shoes live.


I do own a lot of shoes, and every single pair gets a regular clean. What I usually do is wait until a rainy afternoon, when I can’t be doing anything useful outside, and all my other chores are done for a bit, so I do not feel even a tiny bit guilty about spending a good couple of hours with my much loved shoes..


First up, I cover the work space with a floor mat – the kind you might use in a bathroom. It is good to use something with a bit of thickness to protect the work space, as there will be times when I am removing stones from the shoes with a metal nail file. I always make sure to have a pair of nail scissors and a metal nail file handy at my shoe cleaning station, because your shoes may have some surprises for you.. like this –


I recently sat down with a couple of freshly arrived TV episodes – Homeland and Downton Abbey, my anti-bacterial wipes because there is a lot of flotsam and poopsam on the soles of shoes. The outside of the shoe get a decent wipe down, the place where my foot sits also gets a decent clean, plus the soles get a really thorough scrub. Here is a pair mid scrub, you can see the suds. I’m using the Kirkland Antibacterial Wipes from Costco.


Below you can see one clean sole, and one ready to be cleaned sole.


I cleaned 13 pairs in the space of a pleasant couple of hours, while watching teevee. Once the shoes are clean, they are placed on a clean towel so they can dry off. These shoes all went off for a photo shoot right after being cleaned, for future Shoe Sundays here on the blog.


Tell a story about your shoes on your blog, and link up below!

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germophobe, health, Home, NaBloPoMo, NaBloPoMo 2014, Shoe Linkup

And It Begins

There are some jobs that I have been wanting to do for over a year. One of them was to sort out the shoes. Why would I do this in preparation for kitchen jobs you ask? Well the kitchen is like one huge open plan area and in one corner of that we had shoe racks – it was right near the entry way and it seemed like a logical place for them to go but it never worked in practice. All shoes have now been moved to this new home.


Plus some shoes have been put aside for donation and some for throwing out. Decluttering is always a happy feeling for me..


The scarf storage has been on the door of the new “shoe room” for a while. I’ve put the jewellery cabinet and storer into the same room as well. Kinda like a mini dressing room. Now I just have to get all the jewellery in the one place – I can think of 7 different locations where you can find jewellery of mine right now – on top of the soda stream being the most bizarre one. :)


The plastic containers have been a nightmare I never seemed to wake up from, and I was over it. OVER IT. But now, it is sorted – using a bookshelf which was no longer needed for storage of the tupperware type containers, and all the plastic storage containers I bought today for use with the new plan of things.

Here is our new pressure & slow cooker! Shiny, no? Well kinda no, it was the floor model so it is a little dusty. Now I just need to learn everything there is to know about slow cooking. As in how it works, etc. I have never done this before.


We bought a meat slicer. Yays! I am sick of spending excessive amounts of money on sliced chicken, turkey and ham. We have a foodsaver already.


I also got this rocket blender. I have wanted one of these things for a while now and I think a strawberry/banana coconut milk smoothie might work for the mornings as a breakfast.


Of course with the new deep freeze, I can freeze fruit like there is no tomorrow. Bananas tended to sit and get ignored until they went bad and got thrown out in the past. When I find good strawberries I like to buy a lot of them, wash them off and store them. Now I can just put them in the freezer.

I bought a whole watermelon today half of which I have frozen for the chooks in case we get any more of those super hot days. I’ve cut up a bunch of apples to freeze for them. I had frozen zucchini prepared for them on Tuesday which went into their water as ice cubes, they loved it enormously.

Speaking of Tuesday, which was a catastrophic fire risk day here.. this SMS came to me as a surprise, twice. Plus we got an electronic recorded message to the home phone.


I was still up when the sun rose on Tuesday so I went out and washed out the chickens water bowls and ran the sprinkler in their enclosure for a while – the water helps keep the sand cool and helps with their dust bathing themselves down to a cooler level of earth. It was already 31 degrees on my weather station before the sun even came up, but it was overcast so I went to bed thinking everything would be less hot than predicted.

Around 10am just as I was drifting off to sleep the safety switch tripped. I had to get up, get dressed, go out and turn it back on. Around 2, some telemarketer called me on my mobile which I had turned to ring from silent in case there was some kind of emergency. I was not making a great deal of sense on the phone seeing as I was asleep, lucky for the telemarketer else I would have gone off for being woken up. After I hung up, I woke up and went out to check on the chooks – the weather station said 44 degrees C. Hot time!

The girls were doing ok, chilling out in the shade under their coop, dustbathing happily. I put some more frozen veg in their water and went back to bed. Absolutely terrible sleep and then I had to go to work earlier than I had been used to – 5pm instead of 6. I nearly did not make it.

Tonight I am hoping to head back to bed at a more regular time having got up about 2 today and then doing a hard day of chores. I tried to do this last night – went to bed at 2, tossed and turned till 6, said stuff it, I’ll go watch another Dexter ep until I am tired, which turned into 2 eps.

Tomorrow it is off to Sydney for an Ikea & Costco trip. We’re heading up a little later than usual in the hope of missing all the peak hour traffic we usually hit on the way home – it is daylight until late now and Costco is open till 8:30pm. Will update you urgently! :)

cooking, country life, get organised, health, Home, prep for going paleo

Aromatherapy Oils Online

No, nobody is paying me – I paid them! But, I do have to tell you about this website because if you are in Australia and you like your aromatherapy, this website will literally save you shedloads of money. How would you like 100mls of essential oils for less than you usually pay for 12-18mls of essential oils? I like it plenty, I can tell you.
100ml May Chang (sort of like lemongrass) $9.00
100ml Peppermint $10
100ml Sweet Orange $5.50
100ml Mandarin $ 8.00
100ml Pink Grapefruit $9.00
100ml Cedarwood $7.00
100ml Lemon $9.00
100ml Lime $9.50
100ml Spearmint $9.00
100ml Tangerine $7.00

Many of the above flavors I bought because I still had small amounts left of the old oils I bought in those flavors – I wanted to be able to compare them with the “more expensive” oils. I honestly cannot smell any difference at all. Maybe my sinus is faulty and maybe you would smell a difference, I don’t know – all I can say is give it a try, at these prices who can complain!
I also bought 7x15ml “fragrant” oils – these all turned out to be 18mls instead. These cost me a mere $2 each. And this is the first time I have ever found some of these flavors.. chocolate! watermelon! :)

So if you are wanting to buy oils online, you might want to give this place Escentials Of Australia a try and see what you think. I will be ordering more – and next time some of the more expensive oils which I took out of this order – originally I had over $230 worth of oils in my basket, but I was soon told off by the other half.. ;)
In the end I spent $97, and shipping was about $14 – I opted for registered Australia Post, otherwise my postie tends to dump it on the doorstep and vanish. That is so reasonable. I ordered it on Thursday and it arrived today with Easter in between. ;)
I also did some book ordering, but that is another story for another day.

aromatherapy, health, shopping, Snoskred hearts

Warm Feeling In Leg – Oh Bye!

Last week I mentioned in this post that I kept having a warm feeling in my leg. Since then many people have arrived here searching for things like – warm feeling lower leg – warm feeling down lower leg – warm leg feelings – what causes warm leg – warm feeling in leg – warm leg – warm calf – hot warm leg – warm shin – heated leg.

So I didn’t want to say anything too soon, but the same day I posted that post I went down to the chemist and got some of the B vitamins which were suggested in the thread I found when I searched for warm leg. I actually got a B complex which had b 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 12 and Folic Acid. I also found out that my local chemist has incredibly cheap vitamins, they were about half the price I was expecting. It says to take 2-3 per day with food, and I started out taking 3 per day because any extra is flushed right through according to my pharmacist, so I would only use what I needed.

I was already taking a daily vitamin anyway, but that one doesn’t seem to have an awful lot of B group in there. For example, B1 was 1.7mg, and taking 3 per day of the B complex = 45mg. Quite a big difference there.

I started taking them on the Tuesday, and by the Friday I was still getting a little bit of the warm feeling but it had changed quite a lot, it was a lot cooler than it had been before and it was much less often. However the warm feeling was replaced by an annoying muscle twitch in my face which also had me panicking a bit, because it lasted two full days. By Sunday the warm feeling was completely gone and as yet it has not returned. For the last few days I have cut back to taking 2 B group vitamins a day. I’ll keep up that amount of B vitamins until I have finished this bunch of 100 tablets and then see how I go, but unless I am under a large amount of stress I think it should be ok.

That was the big problem I feel – there was a situation going on here which had really caused me quite a bit of stress. It had been a while since I was under any kind of major stress at all, a good couple of years. So if you do have anything like that going on in your life, it may be worth taking some extra vitamins to get you through it – your body needs your help! ;)

health, life lessons

Spring Cleaning & Retail Therapy With Photos!

Looking through my Google Reader, I see a few blogs I’m not feeling a connection with anymore. Yes, it’s time to clear out the reader. I’ll be working on this over the next week. It feels like a harsh thing to do. I don’t enjoy doing it however I am reading a lot of blogs now and I have a few projects I want to focus on so I will have a little less time for reading. I won’t be deleting anyone who’s linked to me, just so you know. ;)


Today we went shopping. I had a voucher for Dusk. I find either you love Dusk or you hate it. I love it. They make these great tea light candles which actually throw their scent around so it’s not like burning a candle just for the sake of burning it. I was going to buy several packets of 6, then I spotted they had a bulk bag of 50 scented tealights for just under $25. These will last me ages. w00t!


I also wanted to check out their essential oils and was surprised that they didn’t have very many of them but they DID have lemongrass which is the one I wanted. Yay! And the bottle is beautiful, that cobalt blue color.


Aussies and US people alike, keep an eye out for this Lander product. I got it at Woolworths a couple of weeks ago and I’m crazy about it. I used to use Palmers Cocoa Butter but it doesn’t absorb into the skin very well and tends to leave a residue on your keyboard. The Lander stuff absorbs fast, you only need a tiny amount and it has this scent that I’m nuts about, because it contains coconut oil. Even The Other Half likes this stuff. It’s made in the USA so I’m guessing you can get it there too.


I picked up the final season of The West Wing which was released in Australia a couple of days ago. I now have the full collection and I’m feeling pretty happy about that. ;)


Yay, we got cookies too!


Here’s all my essential oils.


aromatherapy, blog housekeeping, feed readers, health, shopping, Snoskred hearts, The West Wing

The story of my day – with photos!

I know I don’t normally talk about my health here on the blog but on Friday last week we drove almost to Sydney to get some cold and flu tablets. Why on earth would anyone go so far? It turns out that there’s a pharmacist who makes his *own* cold and flu tablets. We found out by accident one time, when my Dad had the flu and I felt like I was coming down with it too and we stopped on the way to Sydney to get something to help with that, and these tablets were incredible. So last Thursday when the other half and I both felt like we were getting the flu, I said tomorrow let’s go and get the good tablets. Of course, when we got there, they were out. ;(


So this past week I have been feeling pretty blah really. Then last night before I went to bed I felt a nasty headache was on its way to me as a surprise. I wandered into the bedroom considering going to bed early, and I found this.


Yes, the little kitty has a habit of sleeping on any clothes I might leave on the bed. She likes to fur things up. So I went to bed early and when the other half woke me this morning, I still had the headache. I rolled over and went back to sleep, and dreamed about my sister throwing bread dough at me.


Around mid-day I was woken by the sound of a truck reversing and builders talking. Today they laid the foundations for the new house across the road a few doors up. So I got up and stumbled in here, where I visited a few blogs, left a couple of comments, drank a couple of glasses of water, said hi to Sephy on Skype, posted the thought for the day and started thinking about what I would blog about today. I still had the headache but I also had a couple of blog topics I’ve been wanting to write about for a little bit, one being what we can learn from the “make money online” and “search engine optimization (SEO) type of blogs. I just wasn’t up to writing those today and decided to go have a shower and eat lunch instead.


After I had my shower, I heard the dog next door barking at the builders and I decided to open the window for a bit. The kitties have a love affair with the windowsill. Anytime they have a chance they’ll sit there and look out the window. This time the dog saw the cat jump up there and he ran towards the fence barking and growling. The little kitty knew that the big dog couldn’t get her, so she ignored him and tried to watch the builders instead. I wondered where the big kitty was, and I didn’t have to go far to find her.


By this time the headache was really starting to set in, so I sat down and ate lunch and watched an episode of Desperate Housewives. By the time it finished, I didn’t feel any better, so I watched another one. When that one finished, I felt more human so I ventured back to the computer and discovered an email from a very good friend of mine which I found very exciting – but thunder and lightning was going on. So I quickly replied to the email and turned the computer off. And then something truly horrible happened!


Hail! Now normally I don’t mind a bit of hail, in fact normally I adore it. However at this time my brand new car was not sitting safely in the garage. No. It was sitting in the carpark at the other half’s workplace. A good friend of mine once had a car written off by hail damage. I began to panic and went looking for the phone to call the other half. When I got to the phone I thought, what am I going to say? Drive the car home? There might not even be hail over there. So I went outside to take some photos and tried to calm down. When I had finished there was still lightning, so I had to watch more Desperate Housewives. Well, I couldn’t use the computer, what else was I supposed to do?

When I could turn the computer back on I had a reply from my good friend who has started a blog of his own. He’s someone I greatly respect and adore.

One blog post I do want to write is about writing. I have seen many people I think of as excellent writers recently claim to be not good writers. This shocks me somewhat. Cugat is someone who helped me to think more about my writing, and to learn how to edit better. I am hopeful he will share a bit of his knowledge on these topics with his blog readers. ;)

So by the time the day was over, I had finished season 2 of Desperate Housewives, the last 4 episodes watched when I had taken more headache tablets and was hoping the headache would go away if I sat quietly and watched tv. It didn’t work. I still feel like my eyes are going to pop out of my head, and I want to read blogs but at the same time my eyes hurt. So I think I’m going to call it a day, for today. If I didn’t drop by your blog I’m sorry – hopefully tomorrow I’ll be all better. ;)

desperate housewives, health, kitties

Australia : Land of hippies and flakes?

One of my favorite Aromatherapy tricks involves putting a few drops of peppermint oil into the morning shower, once the hot water is hot. I buy my peppermint oil from Coles, it’s about $5AUD. My American friend Sephy had never *heard* of Aromatherapy. How is that possible, I wondered? Until I suggested to him to purchase some peppermint oil, which seems to be an almost impossible thing to get in his country. That’s bizarre. If you’re American and reading this, can you mention where you might be able to get these products other than online?

Here in Australia, you can buy pure essential oils at every supermarket I have ever been to. You can buy them in *most* chemists and health food stores. You can buy “fragrant” oils (note, not necessarily pure essential oils and there is a difference) at almost every $2 store and bargain shop. Incense you can also buy almost everywhere. We also have a lot of products on our shelves which incorporate Aromatherapy. Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotions, etc.

Some of the products I love to use in the shower that involve Aromatherapy are the Aveda products. These came to me as a surprise during a hotel stay a couple of years ago.

Aromatherapy is quite a complex and diverse field and I’ve been studying it for a few years now. I found a few great online resources if you’re interested in knowing more

Aromaweb – Lots of great articles, worth a read.
A world of Aromatherapy – has a good oils a-z section which gives quick info on the oils and what they do
Essential Aura Aromatics – has a lot more detailed info on each oil.

Does the availability of Aromatherapy oils all over the place mean Australia is a land of hippies and flakes? Or does it mean that Aromatherapy is a valuable thing that works? What do you think? :)

aromatherapy, Aussie Culture, health, shopping, Snoskred hearts