Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My Daith Piercing Journey

Having suffered from migraines for the last several years (one to two a week in the last year or so), I recently became desperate enough to try anything. Medications were working, but taking them every day didn't seem like a great idea for the long haul. Acupuncture had worked in the past, but had become cost-prohibitive (not covered by insurance probably because it actually works) and I hadn't been able to find a good acupuncture person in a long time. I was sick and tired of spending most of my week in my bed or on my couch, with an ice bag on my neck, meds in my system and watching life from the sideline.

Then I stumbled upon an article about daith piercings on Facebook and, while initially dismissing it, kept coming back to it again and again as an option. I started asking around to see if anyone I knew had tried it but no one had. I brought the idea up to my sister who was as desperate as I was to find a solution. We decided to take the plunge and give this thing a try. Neither of us are big on piercings, though we do have tattoos, so this was a big deal for us. 

(What the HECK is a DAITH, you ask???? It is the inner whirl of cartilage in the ear.)

blue titanium hoop daith piercing
One afternoon in March we went to the tattoo parlor where we had gotten our latest tattoos (because we had no other ideas or recommendations) and we each had both of our daiths pierced. 

It hurt but it could have been worse. I liked the piercer as a person but did kind of have a gut feeling about their skill level. My sister and I both survived the piercings and by the next day we were both noticing that although our ears hurt something fierce, neither of us had headaches. At all. Which is kind of a big deal when you've pretty much had a headache of various intensities for a year.

green titanium hoop daith piercing
There were a few little bumps in the road. One of my sister's earrings fell out and she had to have the piercing redone at a different tattoo and piercing parlor a month later. The upside was that the folks at this new place, Mastodon Body Piercing, were very experienced and knowledgeable, especially about the daith piercing. They did an EXCELLENT job repiercing her ear and changed out the bars our original piercer had used for hoops on us both. They gave us detailed information about follow up care and were very professional. My sister said it was an entirely different experience from our original foray into the daith piercing world. :) 

The results? I am happy to report that neither my sister nor I have had any migraine headaches since getting the piercings. Not one. We have had headaches, but they have been sinus or allergy headaches that go away with sinus or allergy meds. Just gone. And the bonus? We were unaware that daith piercings can be helpful for those who suffer from anxiety (which we both do) until after we had ours pierced. Both of us have seen a significant decrease in anxiety as well. Both of our husbands have noticed significant differences in our anxiety levels and have said they can see the change physically. 

So... if anyone out there is suffering from chronic migraines and/or anxiety, consider the daith piercing. 


  • Use an experienced piercer - particularly someone who has a lot of experience doing daith piercing. Seriously. Apparently, it is one of the most difficult piercings to do, so you definitely want someone who knows what they are doing. It makes all the difference. 
  • Keep them clean! Make sure your piercer gives you after care instructions (preferably written out). This shows they are invested in your healing. FOLLOW THEIR INSTRUCTIONS. 
  • Do one ear at a time. This gives the piercing a good full chance to heal properly without being irritated by using the phone or sleeping. (If you don't use the phone and don't sleep, maybe it won't be a problem.) A good piercer probably won't do both at the same time for that very reason.
  • Use hoops, not bars, for your initial piercing. Hoops are more comfortable, easier to clean around (which you will be doing 2-3 times a day for several weeks), and less likely to fall out (which may result in you having to have the piercing redone).

If you are in the Phoenix, Arizona area, I HIGHLY recommend going to see Shane over at Mastodon Body Piercing. VERY clean, experienced, friendly, compassionate... you name it. AWESOME. (Yes, the outside of their place reminds you of an old dentist's office and can kind of be scary, but trust me, they are clean and friendly inside, which is what really matters.)

Mastodon Professional Body Piercing
Shane, Owner/Piercer
1925 West University
Mesa AZ 85201
480 833-2639
Instagram: @mastodonpiercing

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Weighing In On Nut Cracking

I’m going to get some flack for this, I know. Maybe even lose the respect of some people I care about… I hope not. I’m just feeling the need to challenge some perspectives here. I know I'm not going to solve anything, either.

There’s been this photo going around with a squirrel that is stuck by his manly parts on a garden decoration with a caption about remembering this little guy if you think you are having a bad day. A friend posted it on his Facebook wall and nearly incited a war.

As a documented and known lover of the species (squirrel and human), I’ve started to feel a little pressure about weighing in on this thing. It seems a somewhat trivial thing to “weigh in on” what with all the heavy crap happening in the Ukraine and the state of the American health care system and global warming and the eighty million other things that are really worthy of consuming my mental and emotional energy.

Maybe I just need something to distract me from the piles of laundry mutating a few feet away from me or the other eighty million chores that never end when you are a mom with teenaged boys. I can own up to that. Totally.

So here you go. My thoughts. (Lucky you)

If you have ever spent time with me, you know that I am a compassionate person. I love people. I love animals. I love it all. (Except spiders, clowns, goats and the color teal. Those things I am NOT compassionate about.) I don’t really LOVE professional sports but hey, I see they have their place. (Maybe I should just say I am lukewarm about them.)

I digress…

I am compassionate. I have always loved animals. Always. I hated Wild Kingdom. I hated that the photographers would just film that poor little warthog or wildebeest being mowed down by the lion as the narrator droned on about life on the savannah of Africa. I would actually cry and get so worked up that I would be upset about it at night at bedtime. I still can’t really watch things like that because I get upset. A few years ago, Lee was watching one of these shows and they showed a giant snake eating a gazelle. It took HOURS for the snake to swallow the thing and all I could think of was, “Seriously? You stood there for hours filming that gazelle being swallowed alive and didn’t do ANYTHING????” It gave me nightmares. I’m not kidding. (I also just pretty much avoid animal movies. Old Yeller traumatized me as a child. The horse movies over the past few years? No.) I cried for hours over a rabbit that was hit by a car in front of me. I nursed dying chicks in high school biology class and refused to participate in the rest of the hormone injection experiment (and got stuck counting fruit flies instead). My kids and I held an injured dove in our backyard until it passed peacefully and we buried it. We nursed an injured hummingbird whom we affectionately named “Mr. Cheepers” and my husband drove him across town to a bird rescue.

I have pets. I have had dogs (love ‘em), cats (not really a fan but it’s a case by case basis), fish (they’re wet and kinda boring), rats (actually really cool), birds (loud and obnoxious), lizards (okay when they aren’t trying to eat your finger off), hamsters (cute but nocturnal), rabbits (cute), etc. I have loved and worried over and cared for each of them with all my heart (even the stupid lizard who hated me and the birds that made me crazy). I grieved over each of their passing. (Except the lizard and the birds. I admit it. But they didn’t die. We found them new homes.)

I also have a strange sense of humor. I am pretty sure I inherited it from my mom. We have this really bad tendency to laugh when people get hurt in unusual circumstances. Not because we don’t feel bad for them or we aren’t concerned for them – trust me, we ARE… but the laughter just kind of bubbles out and there we are, wiping tears from our eyes while we are trying to help the person or patch someone back up. The same humor mechanism that makes America’s Funniest Videos popular, I guess.

I also know that I have a fairly wicked sense of sarcasm that when coupled with a sense of compassion and desire to bring laughter to lighten someone’s burden can be jarring to people who don’t get it. I see someone in pain or hurting and I am compelled to help and often I say something that makes them laugh or lightens the mood. I am not putting people down or being cruel, but often it’s pointing out something ridiculous or making a statement about the obvious that might be right there on the edge of appropriate. But that person who is hurting? They just laughed and for a moment, their heart got lighter. A little bit of light just speared into the darkness around them.

Just to be clear – I DO NOT THINK PAIN IS FUNNY.

I just know that humor often takes the sting out of pain.

Now… back to the inciting photo of the squirrel and his nuts. (The black humor in me is welling up just typing that)

I saw the photo, and I felt for that little guy - as much as a human female probably can. (However, as I live with three male humans and two male canines, it has been made abundantly clear to me that I do NOT have the appropriate sympathy for testicles that I probably should.) I winced and cringed and…


(I feel like I am confessing to murder here.)

I’m sorry. But dang it… the caption said it all… “The next time you think you are having a bad day, think of this guy.” Seriously… RIGHT???? Which is the point of the post. Would it have been better to have it be a cartoon? Yeah, probably.

IF this was real (not PhotoShop "magic") or IF the little guy was already deceased before he was posed, this becomes a whole other argument. (Exploitation of animals and animal cruelty is not cool.) Unfortunately these days, you just can't take every photo you see at face value.

So assuming that this is one real photo of a real live squirrel who was temporarily and uncomfortably detained by his own actions (right by the bird feeder) I really DO hope that he was okay (the squirrel… the photographer I am not really worried about… maybe the squirrel bit him for trying to capitalize on his misfortune… can’t blame the squirrel for that) and I know that these things (again, if he managed this on his own) just do happen. God has made those little critters pretty resilient. They get into a lot of trouble and generally bounce back without a lot of fuss… one of the reasons they are a major favorite of mine and conversely, the arch enemy of many of my friends. (Again, I am talking about the squirrels, not the photographer… I like them too, but in my experience photographers are a little less resilient than squirrels.)

I do NOT advocate animal torture or exploitation or dog fighting or chicken fighting or anything like that. I think animals - and people, too - need to be respected. I still eat steak. I don’t hunt. I respect that other people out there have the job of processing and handling my meat products for me: aka killing and butchering.

Maybe I am a hypocrite. I can admit that. (if I’m willing to admit that I am a hypocrite, does that still make me a hypocrite? Hmmmm…) But when it comes down to it, I care. I care about that little squirrel and I care about the guy who took the picture (even if he is a big jerk and didn’t get bit) and I care about the people who are upset about the picture and I care about the people who, like me, care about the squirrel, cringed and still thought it was kind of funny.

I care more that this picture may have a polarizing effect on people who really just need to be there for each other. I care that people might be alienated from each other and filled with anger and disgust towards people that they love. That this poor little guy who had the unfortunate luck to get his nuts in a cracker (I’m so sorry… I couldn’t help it…) will wind up driving people apart when he may have just had a few rough moments there and got out of it and scampered away just fine.

He probably got through his rough day.

Are we going to make his rough moment our war? Is it worth it?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bracelet Loom

Makeshift bracelet loom (for Staci):

What you need:
- tray with raised edges
- two large butterfly paper clips
- bracelet cording w/button for clasp

First, clip the two butterfly clips across from each other on opposite sides of the tray.

Flip each inner "wing" down.

String the button for the bracelet onto the cording and move to middle of cording, pull taut.

 Slip button and loop over the far wing of clip farthest from you.

Pull taut (you will be able to feel some tension adjustment as you pull)

Pull both ends of the cording around the opposite clip's outer wing and tie tautly.

 I use a double knot because it keeps the tension as I bead and it is still easy to get undone once you unclip the bracelet from the tray.

And now you are ready to bead!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall Break 2013

We just got home from an amazing week in Colorado! Once again, we visited Pagosa Springs for Fall Break and were so happy to have Ally and Matt and Staci join us. We hiked, laughed, hiked, browsed, hiked, ate, hiked, and just marvelled at the majesty of God. We did two new hikes this year and really fell in love with one of them. (The other one... well... it almost killed us.) ha ha ha And in the sapce of a few hours, we went from glorious Fall color to a blizzard and loved every minute of it. Here a few pictures of our trip... If you have never been to Pagosa Springs, you are missing out on taking a jaunt into heaven. :) Just sayin'.

We visited the Fox Fire Winery and did wine tasting!!!
Andie, Staci and Ally wine tasting
 From the Four Mile Falls hike...

This is actually a tree stump up close...

Four Mile Falls
 We drove through the old Pagosa Junction ghost town... beautiful fall colors and old buildings... wow.

Ally taking pictures

Staci taking pictures (of Ally)

weathered railroad tie

water tower

water tower

We did our annual trek to Piedra Falls... a special family favorite since the first time we ever went to these falls, Kaylee was with us.
Shaun, barefoot in the river that had ICE


gnarly root




Exodus 20:24..."Build altars in the places where I remind you who I am, and I will come and bless you there."
So every year, we come to Piedra Falls and I stack rocks in an altar,
thanking God for the blessing of having Kaylee in my life. 

The beautiful Piedra Trail hike...



Cody, Shaun and Lee

Matt and Ally




Evidence of beavers!

Staci and Ally, photographers down to their souls

this tree split in half and fell both ways


Shaun takes a break

blue lichen

the cow that crossed the road three times in front of us... :)
 We took a drive up to Quartz Meadow where Ally and Matt got married exactly two years before. On the way up, the weather was cold and overcast. After we reached the meadow, snow began to fall and pretty soon we were in a blizzard (and LOVING IT)! :) As we passed the corral at the Silver Falls trailhead, we met up with some hunters getting their horses ready and took some photos...

aspens hugging a pine

Here comes the snow

a very happy Ally

Staci and Andie (and snowflake photobombing)

Ally, Andie and Staci and more photobombing snowflakes

Andie and Lee and yes, more snowflakes

Happy Colorado Girl in the snow :)

Staci loves the snow

Look! Ally's car is covered in SNOW!!!

Ally and Staci

Aspen leaf in the snow on the windshield

A first time for us, we hiked up Reservoir Hill in town. Beautiful colors and a funny graffiti find...

Lee and Matt


And then, just toodling about town...
I really want this place to have Tshirts...

When we were picking up our Search and Rescue cards, we saw these and cracked up.
The mountain lion is totally docile looking while the prairie dog is particularly vicious... ha ha ha

sunset outside the condo

Flannel Tramp

Cody and his hunk of snow

Bazinga Friday!!!