Monday, July 9, 2018

On Migraines, Death and Dying

A few years ago, when the migraines were really, really horrible, and I knew that the risk of dying from an aneurysm very high, I sent a polished copy of BOUND to Nancy Butts. She knew the story and more importantly, had also published a little book for a writer's revival: Spontaneous Combustion. Don't you just love the title? I told her that if I died, to please publish BOUND and send the bill to Michael. I figured he'd have many other things to arrange, like my funeral. I still haven't made an appointment with our pastor about it but Michael knows I want a simple Gregorian chant High Mass. 

Yesterday after Mass, I met the widow of a man I've been praying for a couple of years. He was a friend of a friend and although I cannot do many things, I can always pray. It struck me to the core, learning of his death, just a couple of months ago. The family is doing okay. They are so brave. But it warmed my heart to know that he wrote two memoirs, one about growing up, and another of raising their son. What a treasure his words must be for this beautiful family. 

I write this so that if you have a project of your heart that you've been sitting on for months or years (as it was in my case) that you evaluate it. If it's good enough, share it. Do not let perfection be the enemy of the good. We are not guaranteed the next day, even our next breath. Carpe diem. 

I have so much peace knowing that BOUND is out in the world. If I were to die tomorrow (I'm still at a very high risk for aneurysm), I know I've done my best to bring Rebecca and Joy to you. And I am sure I will hear the words: "well done, good and faithful servant." I did the work; the rest is in God's Hands. 

I know how to write. I know how to publish. I still need to learn how to market. I'm taking baby steps. My health is better these days without the monthly cycle (yay manypaws :) I've weaned off the preventative medicines (low dose beta blocker and antidepressant) that I've been taking for more than three years. Pain is easier to manage and when it spirals out of control, I let go of the day's plans and crawl into bed. Having the pets nearby helps. I take a daily supplement that helps with maintaining good brain health (it's got all the vitamins and herbal additives that have shown to help reduce migraines. I've tried several supplements over the years and Migraine Max has given the best results but what a terrible name--they should've called it Migraine Min.)

ETA: A couple of links for pain relief that don't involve taking medicines with all their side effects. I discovered Biofreeze at the chiropractor's last year. The massage therapist would use it on my neck and shoulders. I rub it into my scalp and even my forehead--but you have to be careful not to get any into the eyes. Menthol burns. I bought the biggest bottle I could find and now my whole family uses it for any aches and pains. The other menthol based product is Therapain. It's a spray and it cools the head instantly to reduce the pain. I've also used it on my knees. And I always have a Migrastick in my purse and choir bag. Never leave home without it. Of course, you can always use an old-fashioned ice pack or a bag of frozen peas :) 


Johnell said...

I think you have the marketing idea down pretty well, because yes, migraine min would def be a better name :). In all seriousness, I'm so glad you've been able to pursue this passion and see it finished. Congrats.

Vijaya said...

Thank you Johnell. The writing has saved me. I'll be doing this till the end of my days. It's what allowed me a deeper introspection.

Mirka Breen said...

I got BOUND in the mail today, and the physical book is ***BEAUTIFUL***

I look forward to reading it. The book of your heart is very happily on my nightstand (actually, it's a headboard that functions as a shelf) and I am glad you didn't have to die to materialize it for others.

Faith said...

I second Mirka's comment! I'm on page 141, and so enjoying holding the beautiful book in my hands as I read.
Thanks, also, for this kick in the pants. I will revise my stories, I will revise my stories, I will revise my stories... Time is always too short, so I need to get to work.

Vijaya said...

Squeee!!! To have BOUND in the hands of readers is my greatest joy!!! My copies will arrive on Thursday. I tell you, everything about the publishing industry is teaching me patience.

I can just picture you, Mirka. Thank you.

Faith, I've loved every one of your stories and it's a crime that only a few agents have read them. If only they knew that there *is* a market for literary fiction for children. I'm only an email away so I'm happy to help you in any way I can. And so happy your hands are full with babies and BOUND. Thank you.