Hope rises like a phonenix | MHAM Blogging Challenge
Today’s prompt asks us to put ourselves in the place of the phoenix and describe our rise from the ashes. Wow, this is a tough one. If I remember correctly, the phoenix would incinerate and then be reborn over and over again because the phoenix was actually immortal.
The challenge in comparing myself to a phoenix is that although I have a history of rising from the ashes, I’m not immortal. Each time I rise from the ashes, I do so as a shadow of my former self. I’m not “good as new.” I’ve remade myself many times. Unlike the phoenix, all that “rebirth” has taken its toll. Each time I fought my way back, re-branded myself, or tried a new way of being that didn’t trigger so many migraine attacks, I lost something.
A few years ago my husband and I decided that it was time to quit fighting. Before 2012, our focus had been on how to find a job, career, or way of earning money that didn’t trigger attacks and/or would accommodate the needs of migraine. It just wasn’t working. We’d been trying for over 20 years. It was time to accept that working was not going to be an option anymore.
That has been challenging for me. On the one hand, my body just can’t handle working. I do have good days that tempt me to return. Then I have bad days that remind me why I got that letter from Social Security saying I was “totally and permanently disabled”. Since it wasn’t just one thing that earned me that determination, each health problem takes a turn smacking me around. I can have a “good head day” and still be stuck in bed.” Then I can have a “good fibro day” and face a pounding head. On the rare occasion that everyone behaves, I might actually get to enjoy the day.
A few days ago was a perfect example. Saturday I felt good enough to shop for groceries by myself. It was nice to wander the aisles in person, rather than sending my husband or one of the kids off to pick up essentials. However, after about an hour, my knee and back made it very clear that I needed to stop. So I rested until Sunday morning.
That next morning, hubby and I took a trip to Cabelas to shop for summer clothes. This time, I was able to avoid heading straight for the recliner when we returned home. Instead, I was able to enjoy an afternoon of sewing. I spent the rest of that day and most of the next one hemming pants, sewing new patches on Boy Scout shirts, and experimenting with new rice and flaxseed-filled head wraps. Monday also included a conference call for AHMA’s support groups and the exciting Ask Me Anything chat for Migraine.com. I didn’t need a good knee for those and my head behaved.
It’s Wednesday morning and there’s nothing like falling asleep on the couch without my CPAP to set off a 6:00 a.m. brain storm.. I’m on the tail-end of the headache phase of this week’s migraine attack. The nausea has stopped and the pain has settled into my right eye, threatening to set off a cluster attack, The pain is about a 4 and falling so I’m probably out of cluster range. Still, I think I will stay right here in my cave for a few more hours. I’ve got all my meds, a few cans of Sprite, ice packs, my new rice bags, plenty of pillows, and it’s quiet enough for me to think.
Frankly I’m just glad to get it over with before the AHMA conference.
You know, I think I was wrong about the phoenix. I DO rise from the ashes every time I pick myself up after an attack. I may not be working a “real job” anymore, but I don’t let migraine or cluster attacks stop me from doing things when I am able. I could decide to give up, quit trying, and resign myself to a life of pain and disability. But I don’t. I can’t work anymore, but I can do things that bring me joy when I am able.
The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge
is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.
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