Friday, October 30, 2015

silver linings

I woke up with a migraine this morning--again. For the last few years, the doctor has had me on meds to control headaches and help with insomnia (a life-long affliction). But when I told him I had absolutely zero energy, no matter how much sleep I might get, that sometimes I felt like I couldn't take another step or get up off a chair, he said it was probably a side effect of the meds and suggested I try to go off them. I did. My energy level went back up. Hooray!

But I had forgotten how often I had migraines before. Now, I have them two or three times a week. I remember now the fear I walked around with, fear that one might be coming on. Was this blurred vision just tired eyes or the onset of another one? Was that flashing light at the edge of my vision just a trick of light or an indicator? Would I have one when I was trying to teach or give a talk? Because there are stomach/intestinal issues that accompany the migraine, I have to consider that, too. Am I going to be sick when I'm somewhere inconvenient? After the pain is gone, I feel kind of shaky and weepy, which can be a bad thing in meetings or events with strangers.

My grandfather had migraines, too. His were often food related--chocolate of all things. I would just have to die if chocolate triggered mine. Mine are more often triggered by stress; I've never noticed any food trigger that I can identify. One of my children has migraines, and (so far) one of my grandchildren does, too. Mine started as a girl, about 8 years old. My son was about the same age. It's a terrible affliction to pass along genetically, but at least we can learn coping strategies. My mother taught me not to go to bed. We can take medicine, and then we shoulder on. I'm glad now for that teaching. I need to keep going. When I told her that I was off the meds and having so many migraines now, she said maybe I should go on the medicine again. I didn't even think about it.
This morning, on my way to work, I saw this. The sun shining behind the clouds above the mountains. It was a perfect silver lining--something I've heard of all my life but can't remember ever seeing until now. I pulled over, took the shot, and thought for a bit. Everyone has challenges. I certainly wouldn't trade mine for anyone else's--and in many, many ways I know I have a blessed life. Not as many challenges as most people, I think. But sometimes, when the mood is just right, I might wonder a moment about the ones I have. Today, I was thinking, I'd rather have pain than the lack of energy I had before. That was debilitating. This is just inconvenient. That's a silver lining. I need to remember to look for them more regularly. 

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