Saturday, July 7, 2012

Migraine Accommodation Pictures

I’ve talked about some of the accommodations I have for Migraines for a while now. I’ve also said how I am a visual person and believe a picture is worth a gazillion words.

I have recently taken pictures of a few of the accommodations I have and wanted to share them with you so you can see what I’ve been so excited about. I just hope the pictures are clear enough to display how awesome they really have been as I am by no means a photographer and just started taking any pictures this year. I also needed to turn on that flash component which I swore I would never use.

The first picture I have will be a demonstration of the knee pad in my car. I really don’t like this picture as it can hurt just looking at it, but I think you can relate to when the sun is shining through the driver’s side window and your visor just does not do the job.  The visor is just a little too short given the angle of the sun.  Ouch!
As I was in my car one day and found myself in this very predicament, I remembered that I had a simple knee pad in the car. I thought it was the right size and shape.  It was and fit perfectly on the end of my visor! I didn’t even have to worry about how to attach it since that is part of its makeup. It never leaves my car now and I've been keeping it busy at work protecting my head, not knee ever since.

The first picture above was also taken where you can see the driver’s side window of my car which was legally approved to be medically tinted at a 60% Visual Light Transmission (VLT). I would have preferred a little higher VLT percent because that would allow less light to come through, but it does help with the everyday light. Tinting Laws do vary by state so you probably want to check the laws in your state if you want to tint your car windows. My back windows have a higher VLT, but that doesn’t help me when I am driving and the sun shines directly on me as in the picture above.

I also believe there needs to be a nice balance between the VLT that we use on our front windows because we will have this same tint when we drive at night which could make it much harder to see. I still like my tint and want my next car to have tinted windows as an accommodation too. The chart above shows the different VLT percentages. You can see how it gets darker as the percentage increases.

My cube accommodation at work is what I couldn’t live without since this is where I spend most of my time. I also have a very hard time when I leave the safety of my ‘cave’ and either end up putting on a good front, only go out for short spurts at a time, wear a hat, get a Migraine I can work with or end up having to go home. I hope this picture does my accommodation justice as I don’t think I work in as dark of an environment as it may portray. I really do have plenty of light and actually have extra light sources that I have NEVER used.

I want to point out a few things in the picture of my cube. First and foremost, I will start with the lights. The picture to the right is an excerpt of the lights. In the two purple (for Migraine awareness) circles, you should see spotlights. The spotlight over my cube (on the left) has been disabled while the one over the cube behind mine is shining in all of its glory.

The other light in the picture that has the purple arrow pointing to it has light sleeves over the fluorescent light tubes. These sleeves reduce the light output as well as decrease some of the lights flickering effect. They are solid colored about a third of the way and then transition around to a clear color. The sleeves can be twisted around the bulb to allow different amounts of light to pass through.

I’m not sure if you can see the mug in my work cube. It’s one of my fun Migraine mugs and a way to help support advocacy efforts. Each item that is sold in the shop is designed to let us have some fun while making serious points. There are clothes, coffee cups, iPad sleeves and much more. The best part is that all proceeds from sales are donated to non-profit organizations for Migraine and headache research. Although I don’t drink coffee anymore, I use my mugs for water, an occasional tea and plenty of conversation. I love the different sayings you can get on the various paraphernalia you have to choose from.

I have a whole bunch of hats that seems to be multiplying. My family has even started giving me hats as gifts! I always have a hat in my purse, I keep one in my desk at work and even keep a bunch of them in a bin in my car where they are always readily available. I really like my hats as they are very comfortable and large enough to fit my big head.  My hats are big enough that they don't add any extra pressure to an already tender head either. I am not a photographer and hope you can make out some of my neat hats. There are even hats with sparkles in there which is something many would not consider my style.

The last picture I have today is the rolled up towel behind my rear view mirror. I think it's a little hard to see, but how many times do you drive down the road with the sun glaring between your two visors? As you can see in the pictures, the towel fills in the gap between the two visors nicely and makes a much more pleasant ride.  The top picture shows the visors up while the bottom picture shows the towel neatly tucked behind not only the rearview mirror, but also both visors.

There are some people who don’t understand my accommodations to the point where I still get funny looks or comments, but I don't care as I would not be able to make it through my day or drive without them. I hope these pictures were able to help you see what I’ve been talking about all of this time. Did the pictures help?

What other accommodations or devices do you use to help with your Migraines? 


steph said...

This is a great post! Pictures really do show the story.

Last time I had to wait in the sunny car while my honey ran into the store, I tucked and pinned a blanket around the windows to block the light (but left them open to get air, of course), then sat happily in my own little shady car fort. I've done this even in shaded parking, too, because the sun's glare off of passing cars and neighboring windshields can be just as dangerous as the sun itself.

MigrainePuppet said...

Thanks, Steph. I like your blanket fort which also brings back many childhood memories.

I do have the problem of when the sun glares off of other objects too. The tinting and sunglasses help, but I find I use my hand to block that glare sometimes too.

Anonymous said...

Wow awesome ideas!

I too work in a cave of my own design. My company just moved into a new space and wouldn't you know I ended up in the cubicle directly under the Fluorescent! First thing I did before unpacking my items was to climb up on the desk and take the tubes out of the fixture and posted a sign on it ("leave light off, Thanks").

MigrainePuppet said...

I'd love to see what your cave looks like! I've done a lot of self customizations to my lights before this.

Lori said...

What some wonderful ideas and accomodations. On the tinting for your window, you said you were approved for 60% tint. Was that approved through your doctor as your states tinting laws were less? Or did your state just approve for you to go that dark, which really isn't so. Great article. Thanks for sharing.

MigrainePuppet said...

Thank you, Lori. My State approved me at the 60%. My doctor completed the forms and I forwarded them onto the State.

In my State, I can have my back windows at any VLT I want without getting any special approvals. I had those done at 15%.

When I renew my medical tinting, probably with my next car, I will see if I can request a 25-30% VLT and put in there how the sun medically affects me which is something it didn't ask for me to complete.

Good luck!

Linda Peters said...

There are some really good ideas here. Thanks for that. Since light is an especially big problem for me, I'm surprised (and a little annoyed) that the idea of tinted car windows never occurred to me. That is definitely something to investigate. Thanks:). Linda