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sometimes a dark place is easier to talk about once your eyes adjust enough to grasp some light.

May 22, 2010

i’ve been getting these migraines.
i hate the word.
i hate talking about it,
or having other people talk to me about it,
or having other people talk about me about it.
generally speaking i like to pretend it isn’t true-
until it’s happening and i can’t really escape the reality.

but i feel like  i’d like to talk about it now, if nobody minds.

so, i’ve gotten migraines for a long time,
ten years to be almost exact.
but those weren’t these migraines.

and maybe everybody knows this
but migraine is, i suspect, one of the most very vague medical terms there is.
it’s like cancer.  a big broad canopy used to describe a horrific array of evils.
in fact, sometimes people say their having migraines,
when what they’re really having is brain cancer.

i can’t rightly be sure and i’ve no right to judge
but i’m pretty sure there are also those
who describe their common headaches as migraines.
i tend to assume this, when their tell me their remedy for said migraines is,
“a nap.”
or “some ibuprofen.”

this might be why,
unlike cancer, everyone has a migraine remedy recommendation,
at the ready, unrequested.
i’m not sure.

might just be the great helpless mystery of it all,
and everyone would love to be the one to
bring the idea that sets the sufferer free.

it’s hard not to get hopeful too,
with all these ideas floating around,
that one of them, one of them might just be the ticket.
if i try just every last idea then, POOF! :pain cease:

and a migraineur has to dutifully listen to all suggestions,
because what message would it send if one seemed
uninterested in the possible cure of their ailment?
that they did not wish to be cured?

the hope is pretty fleeting though,
as each idea fails,
and all the success stories are strangers
that start to feel mot like urban legends.

i basically began to despair completely
when i started to get these migraines.

let’s talk about them.
they don’t follow the old pattern at all which was:
-24 hours and gone.
-typically brought on by social stress, or
-lack of sleep, or
-monthly hormone spikes
-respond to medication when administered in time.

although it might be hormone spikes.
causing them to be much more severe in pregnancy-
because they come just about every 2 weeks exactly,
seemingly unprovoked by other circumstances,
usually without customary warning signs,
and then last 3 and 4 days.

it’s very bad.

now back when they started,
they were infrequent.  maybe once a month.
maybe less.  then they steadily increased over the years,
until i might need a pill, oh, 8 days a month.

that volume made me eligible for  a prescription to a preventative called, topamax.
which turned out to be a demon drug that made me
indifferent, numb, suicidal, and still…no change in migraines.
that’s kind of another story though
that i am not sure if i’ve ever told.

now, back to this story.
the thing about these migraines-
they don’t respond to medication at all.
they just get worse,
and the vomiting gets more violent,
until ultimately, i ask for death.

i’m not trying to be melodramatic here.
that’s what’s been happening.
ghastly isn’t it?
i’m freaking pregnant.
i know this.  now. i feel fine now.
and i don’t want my baby to die, obviously.
i’m just weak and i don’t like pain.

so that’s what happens,
i dissolve into a one way rant at God
my throbbing brain starts yelling
while i try to hold in my left eye
(even though i’m pretty sure it won’t really pop out
it feels like it might).
what kind of person misses half their own life!
and what kind of master plan involves lying around in the dark for four days every two weeks!
and what kind of mother can care for her kids with this going on!
and this is embarrassing! no one else disappears every few days like some ghost!
just end it! you don’t like letting me live!
and more irrational babble like that.

now please don’t berate me or argue with me in comments,
i’m admitting here, sheepishly, the complete foolishness of it all.
people suffer infinitely worse in a million different ways, every day.
that’s the world.  i know this.

but when i’m holding my eye in,
clearly, i’ve already lost some clarity.

i’m feeling better now,
and i had an insight today
that i’m hoping i can cling to even in that dark hour.

we were praying with the lonsdales this morning.
or rather, i was choking on lumps and tears the whole time and listening to them pray.
and justin read, matthew 19:14. which says,
let the little children come to me
and do not hinder them for
to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.

and it struck me in that moment,
that maybe the kingdom belongs to them
because they don’t try to add their own trash to it.

i realized, or rather, God revealed to me,
that mostly, the migraines hurt my pride.
i do not like having such an obvious weakness,
i don’t like having to let other people help me when i fail on commitments,
i feel i’d be infinitely more useful if i could plow forward constantly.
but i realized all of that is motivated by
wanting others to think well of me,
to feel more valuable,
wanting glory for my own name.

so i guess it dawned on me that
in a way it can be a positive to be terrifyingly weak.
to have regular intervals, where, like an infant i can’t really even lift my own head.
maybe complete uselessness, and immobility is the only way to remind me
that the glory and the power and the strength were never ever mine.

maybe i can spend the dark hours lodging that fact deep enough in heart and mind,
that when i’m back on my feet, i don’t suddenly start running my own separate way
thinking i need to impress everyone and make up for lost time
and accept that on my own i’m completely useless all the time.

there’s a good chance next time it happens
i’ll mouth off a little the same as before
but i don’t think i’ll forget entirely
what i’ve grasped here.

i think i hope writing it,
helps me remember it.
because it feels like i need to come to grips with the reality
that they might never stop.
and i have to find some way to cope with them
or i’ll just get more bitter and resentful
and closed in and wilted-
which if i’m honest
is exactly how i’ve been handling things lately.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 22, 2010 12:42

    I can relate, but with very different circumstances. I felt SO foolish having to change my whole diet, and be “inflexible” (flexibility being that which I hold pridefully), when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It wasn’t just the woosie feeling from the blood sugar ups and downs, and it wasn’t the ACTUAL diet that got me down- it was the fact that I couldn’t DO what I was always proud of myself for doing…

    That, and I also feared for our little babe. Was any medication I took harming/helping her? Were my blood sugar levels harming/helping her? Fear and anxiety had a bit of a grip on me, and it took me a while to let the TRUTH pry my fingers off this fear.

    Anyway, I’ll be praying specifically for you. That you hear His whispering voice in the midst of the loud clanging of the migraines.

    • May 25, 2010 10:55

      thank you.
      i have read your posts from that time.
      and i got pretty scared myself-
      because my first pregnancy urine tests had some protein
      but so far nothing else has been amiss there.

  2. michelle permalink
    May 28, 2010 10:45

    im sorry
    migraines keep coming.
    im sorry
    you have to deal with this.

    imma be praying for you.
    and the little peanit.

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