Four or five times a year I have a period of many days with a particularly bad migraine that just won't go away. Wednesday through Saturday of this week made one such period.
People with chronic illness of any sort -- fibromyalgia, depression, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia -- experiences these particularly difficult times as part of having the disease. And we know how difficult it is to get through them. Having been through one, I'd like to write today about finding the (admittedly really hard to see) blessings or positive things present in the awful.
Part of the inspiration for this post came from here, a blog I read often: Migrainista. She is blogging about chronic migraine and fibromyalgia, both "invisible" illnesses, but I think all of us can relate to her list about what it's like to handle the realities of a chronic illness.
If we want to not just survive but learn from and grow within our chronic illness, it helps to remember that there are good things about our lives. I'm not saying we sit up and smile and hop out of bed, ignoring the pain we're in. This is not one of those stiff-upper-lip things, nor is it about what we hear all too often, that we're letting the illness get us down, or if we just [fill in the blank] we will feel better.
This is about having the courage or sheer doggedness to remember the good. Here's my list of blessings from the past four days:
1. My husband kept me well supplies with watermelon chunks and sympathy and humor.
2. I got a letter from a friend, who stays on the look-out for new info on migraines, with an article that told about a possible new treatment.
3. My little dog was especially cuddly and quiet.
4. I developed a new passion: a British television show called, "Sherlock." I don't watch TV or video when I'm in pain, I listen to shows like Seinfeld and The Office because they're verbal and funny. Sherlock, not funny but suspenseful, has great story lines, inventive plots, intelligent writing and, best of all, really good music and sound editing.
Today I'm blogging, doing wash, baking biscotti, and making myself rest between activities. I'm glad the pain is over, and I'm grateful for small blessings.
Thank you for reading my blog. You can comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carol D. Marsh
- With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90 days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.