The art of contentment
As I write this post, I am on the downhill slide from a 27 hour roller coaster ride of Cluster Headache and Migraine attacks. I’m still not convinced the ride is over, but at least it has slowed down for the moment.
It’s been 15 months since I started the journey to find a better pain management. I wish I could tell you my story has a happy ending. I think it eventually will, but for today, we will just turn the page to a new chapter.
It has taken a long time to realize that my health conditions are cyclical. Doctors like to compare the effectiveness of treatments from month to month. That doesn’t work in my case. December and January are always worse. Sometimes July and August are bad, too. Thankfully every March I get a little break. In that small window of time between the last snowstorm of winter and the first thunderstorm of spring I enjoy a small measure of peace. If you only saw me in early spring, there is no way you would ever believe I have chronic pain. Technically I fall just below the threshold for “chronic migraine”, if only for a month or two.
So I patiently, methodically update my pain diary and compare this March to last March. I check last April to prepare for what is coming. I plan my days based on the calendar, weather forecasts, and traffic reports. I’ve learned when I am likely to have a brief window of respite where I can pretend my life is not ruled by headaches. I look forward to these times with the same anticipation as a young child waiting for Christmas or a birthday party. Joy comes because I get to act like everyone else for a few days.
I know it won’t last. The pain will return in one form or another. That’s okay.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need [or sick], and I know what it is to have plenty [or be healthy]. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed [healthy] or hungry [sick], whether living in plenty [pain-free} or in want [in agony]. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.