Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Disappointments and Silver Linings

It's been a tough week. I've been having a migraine that I can control only partially. It started innocently enough last Wed. and by late morning I knew I couldn't go to meet Amy Efaw, author of AFTER and BATTLE DRESS, at her book-signing. We exchanged regrets.

Since then, I've missed games, have had to cancel volunteering duties, and not been able to do the things I've planned with my kids because I am only doing the things that must be done. My husband and kids help, but it's not like I can simply go lie down and let everything run itself because frankly, it doesn't. My husband is busy with work and baseball tournaments (he's an umpire and a darned good one at that), the kids need feeding and they can only eat so much cereal and oatmeal, the lessons need to be corrected, etc. etc. I have whittled down my to-do list to the necessities and I take time to rest with an ice pack, read, relax on the Blueboards, even blog. The only music that soothes me is that of the Priests.

I'm under the care of a neurologist now because after two years of suffering stoically, I realize I need help. So I'm educating myself about migraines and how best to prevent them, manage them and lessen the impact on my life. I've not yet accepted how much time I lose with the people I love and care for, including my story people. I miss working on my novel in what I consider a productive fashion. But I still write in my notebook and get some valuable insights.

There's still a lot of laughter.

This evening, I dished out dinner to my kids -- lamb stew with salad, bread and milk. Then I laid down with an ice-pack on my head and a cat on my stomach. I closed my eyes. The kids blessed themselves and the meal and asked God to make my headache go away. There was a lot of talk about school (it's almost the end), how much they love their teachers and how much they'll miss them, the books we have on hold at the library that I've not had a chance to go pick up yet, the grass that just keeps on growing, the baseball game tomorrow. They were go good and sweet and kind to each other. And let me tell you they are not always like this, but when I am not well, they cooperate and take care of each other.

I know the kids thought I was sleeping because my eyes were closed, but I heard a lot of whispering how they should take a picture of me, but how the flash might wake me up. They decided against it.

This has been my worst migraine ever, not in the intensity but duration. After six days, I am less cranky and more exhausted. I want this to be over. It's hard to sleep, it's hard to enjoy all the little things that bring me joy, it's hard to write coherently and I feel sorry for my poor family. But there is a silver lining: my prayers are more fervent. Sometimes it's simply the Kyrie (Lord have mercy) or Psalm 23. And I've learned the art of silent prayer. God knows what's in my heart and He always provides, big or small. I am humbled. My children see me in my weakness and forget their rivalry. Family and friends pour their love out on me.

Today I had a lovely note from a friend telling me that her daughter had shelved my books (she works at a library). This little bit of news made me smile; children are reading my books. Another friend stopped by to share her story. It made me cry. She cried when she wrote it. I think it's pretty obvious that her heart is right there on that page.

And so I end this post with a Bible verse (1 Thessalonians 5:18): Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

I have a grateful heart. Amen.


Mary Witzl said...

I'm so sorry you have to suffer migraines.

Years ago, I had a housemate who suffered terribly with migraines and I'll never forget how even the tiniest sound or flicker of light could set her off when she was really bad. She could put up with all sorts of pain and was very strong and tough, but once a migraine laid her low, she could barely walk.

Thank GOD your children are so good when you are ill! That would make me so proud and happy.

Evelyn said...

Dearest Vijaya,
I'm so very sorry about your pain. I'll be praying for you.
(1 Thessalonians 5:18 was the subject of our Sunday school lesson this week. What a challenge it is!)
Extra hugs to you, Ev

Marcia said...

I'm so sorry, Vijaya! I've never had migraines but several women in my church endure them regularly. It must be heartwarming to see your kids pull together, though. I'll be praying for you. :)

Anne M Leone said...

Oh, what a difficult thing. I too will be praying for you. What good news that you've finally visited a doctor about it. Hopefully s/he can help you work through some ways to more easily avoid the migraines. I'm so amazed that you can still blog through this and be positive. Hats off to you.

Vijaya said...

Ladies, I appreciate the kindess and prayers very much. I'm feeling much better today, though not out of the woods yet, and I believe it's all from all those wonderful prayers.

Quiet and dark are what I need, but it's quite impossible when the kids are at home. And so I do what I can. Blogging is such a nice way to stay connected, along with private letters, and it is much easier than either teaching or working on my novel.

And I am thankful for you.

nanmarino said...

Hope you're feeling better. Your migraines sound awful. But it's great that your family is there for support. Be good to yourself while you heal.

laurasalas said...

Vijaya, sending thoughts of strength and health your way. I hope you feel better soon!

Vijaya said...

Thank you Nan and Laura. In a couple of weeks I am switching to a headache center because I don't feel I'm getting the support I need from my current neurologist. I've had to leave a couple of messages today ... until then, I will eat many aspirins for some temporary relief.

Suma Subramaniam said...

Hi Vijaya,

Sorry about the migranes. I hope you feel better soon.


Vijaya said...

Thank you, Suma. Better, but not completely out of hot water ...