It was a beast of a week of migraine. I'm glad to turn the page and start afresh. It took me down a lane of memories I don't even like peering at, let alone walk down. Dark and dingy and full of garbage piled on every side, that memory lane is. Thirty plus years lived in that migraine alley. Not much to show for it, either. Kids so aware the pain had struck they knew Dad would be in charge of dinner, baths, books and bedtime because Mama was flat in her bed with a pillow covering the side of her head. They grew up with migraines like it was another being in our home, a guest who showed up, unwanted but expected, every month. Dishing out pain and ill-temper in unequal parts. At least I hope it was unequal. That is, I think the pain made me turn more inward and quiet than outward and nasty.
Of all the things aging has done, none has been quite as welcome as the cessation of those headaches. Anyone who suffers with them in the same way as I did, will shout 'Hallelujah!' about now. And anyone who is in the middle of the long season of the hormonal migraine plight is likely to raise their fist at the thought that it will last the length of that season. All I can say is, I feel your pain. I never went to bed, or stayed home, with cramps, but migraines made a monthly visit. And always stole life from me.
In this season, I have far fewer migraines, but they still manage to make appearances now and then. And I still think of them like separate entities, unwelcome guests in my head, robbing me of coherent thought. This morning I got to thinking about how far migraine suffering has come. My grandmother suffered from what she called, 'Sick headaches.' I don't know what kind of sympathy there was for them, but I know when I was young, two generations later, there weren't any medications for them, so I was treated with narcotics, which isn't a good choice (they don't touch the pain, and personally, I'm actually allergic to narcotics!). I felt guilty for having 'just a headache' so many times. Yes, people often said that, when I was white as a sheet, so sick I was throwing up and should have been in bed.
This morning, I was thinking about how the 30 years of migraine was preparation for the nerve pain I live with now. THIS pain isn't in my head. I can still think around this pain. I can still live life. Yes, having pain in an extremity, even never-ending, 24-7 pain is nothing like migraine. I love that our life is full of building blocks all used by God to form us. I take joy in that. Not joy in the suffering exactly, but joy that HE is so clearly present in all the suffering in my life.
Can you see Him?