Sometimes, I have a short string of days where I am fully aware that I am not myself. Nothing huge, but a definite “off-ness” that probably only I notice. But I am having some days in a row here that are off-times-ten.
First, many years ago, when I started following a mostly plant based diet, I moved away from fairly regular migraine headaches. And I am sure moving through menopause helped as well, since mine were often seemingly hormone related. But I also think food had a hand in them as well.
So often people call a headache a migraine, but my definition of migraine is not theirs. I will define my migraines first, for the purpose of garnering extra sympathy and maybe some pity. Not really, but I do not consider a “really bad headache” a migraine. Classic migraines, which I have so nicely passed on to a daughter, begin with a defined aura in your field of vision which moves around a bit, sparkling and swelling, for about 15 or so minutes. This pic I found is the best I have seen. This is, by far, the worst part for me, as it requires concentrated thought to focus during this period of time. While this beginning has no true pain involved with it, it often causes nausea and slurred speech. I feel like it is best to leave me 100% ALONE for this period of time. Others probably want to run from me for fear I bite off something they hold near and dear.
After this subsides, it brings on it’s tail the pain. Honestly, I have taught myself to be good with pain. With the right frame of mind, I can carry on with my day and ignore it. I am totally aware that it is there, but I just cannot allow myself to give in or the slippery slope will overwhelm me. After about 12 hours of the pain (I kid you not) it often subsides with a large wave of nausea and intense sleepiness.
After years and years with no migraines, the last few years have seen a return of them, but very few and far between. One a year or one every 8 months. Not so hormonal, I am guessing, but honestly, who knows what hormonal activity lies beneath the surface during these years of moving out the back side of menopause? I do feel that they are more related to stress than when I younger; but again, I am the most unstressed person you might ever meet. I have learned to trust the Lord with things in a way that allows me to be pretty free from worry and stress. And for that I am so grateful to His Spirit that resides in me.
But here is where the UGLY comes in: I spent Friday with a migraine. And in a way, I went to bed with the thought that I had had my one migraine for a long while. Yay, me. Saturday, another one started. And today, Sunday, a third. I am a bit befuddled and am honestly blogging to take my mind off of things. With no recovery time between, I am the most emotional wreck ever. Did I fail to mention that, for me, a migraine headache equals a day of tears over everything??? And I might be losing my battle with the pain…
This is the first time in my entire life where I have had them one-right-after-the-other. So I am trying to evaluate every little thing to determine what might be causing them? Nothing new food wise. Nothing more stressful than ordinary. It is a bit hard to evaluate something logically and well when you just want to cry. To be honest, three days in, even I find that funny. So now I am laughing because I feel like crying, and that comes out…well, trust me, you don’t want to know.
One thing (of many) that I have learned is that God wastes nothing, so maybe somehow good will come from this. I am OK with that. I am OK with experiencing this simply because God says I must. He knows best, and I trust that.
Yesterday, on the tail end of migraine #2 I was in the midst of a text conversation (praise the Lord it was a text) with my brother. I had received some old black and white photos in the mail and wanted to share some of them with him. We took part in a conversation for a few hours about our parents. Having lost my mom to cancer when I was 10, there is not a ton I personally remember about her, but I was sad to hear that my brother pretty much remembers nothing. She died when he was 6 years old. Even though my memories are sparse, his are nil. And for the little I have, I am grateful. I sobbed through the hours of texting, not because I was sad but because I realized how much my brother and I missed because we grew up in a house without a mom to love us.
Yes, there were some who loved on us…an aunt, a grandmother. But caring for two kids was not what they signed on for, so it was hard, for sure. As an adult I can see that my dad had just been unable to give much, and so he ran the other way. But I need gaps filled in and holes covered over. I need those who KNOW to pass that on before they are unable. My grandparents, my mom’s parents, who had to have hurt as much as anyone did, passed away in the last decade, but I gleaned some things from them while they could pass it on.
My aunt, my mom”s sister, never offers anything, so I am guessing that she prefers to just be silent with her memories. And I respect that. My dad is married to my stepmom and has been for many decades. I believe there is an unspoken line my stepmom drew that says, “the past is in the past” because getting my dad to talk is way too hard. So I don’t try anymore. He now lives entirely in the present and his life before is buried. And often, it seems as if my brother and I are buried with the past. He seems to be only able to focus on this life and these kids and these grandkids, etc, forgetting about the family lineage that comes through my brother and I.
So really, I lost a dad too.
But I try to make sure that my kids are not lacking information. I tell them all I think to tell them about the grandmother they never knew, about those years after her death when chaos was king and I was lost. And more than that, I try to make sure no one ever feels unwanted or unloved or lacking in anything I am able to provide. See, we get one chance. Many do overs within that one chance, but one life to live in relationship with people God gives us called family.
Do it right.
Migraine headaches and all!!