Migraines, Limitations and Laughing In Between

This week, all of the natural and artificial anti-blogging forces in the universe have conspired to keep me from writing here, so this is my attempt at defiance. I had a post half-finished on Tuesday, and somehow managed to either delete or save over the document. Okay, that wasn’t the universe, that was me because I couldn’t concentrate. Then, as often happens, the latest migraine became a “let’s make it a long-term, character-building exercise” extravaganza.

wunderschnauzer on high alert

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about the migraines. They’ve been a daily part of my life for ten years, now, this month, and I still try not to call them “my migraines,” to differentiate what they do to me from who I am. It’s taken years just to accept the fact that they forced me into very early retirement from the medical work I loved. I’ve adjusted to them, as well as a person can. Largely because of my loving Goodhusband (who is a very talented chiropractor and helps ease the pain) and my faith, life is a lovely experience in every way but the pain. Almost everyone I know has offered recommendations, homeopathic and medical remedies and loving advice. Others…well, let’s not talk about them. I’m careful to avoid food triggers and certain medications so I don’t invoke rebound headaches. I’ve had the best of care and tried every (legal) non-toxic treatment available, even spending a month in a specialty hospital for headache patients. One of the leading head pain specialists in the country hired me as his Physician Assistant and I learned a lot from him. I loved that job. He did his very best for me with preventive and acute treatment, then shook his head and explained that the migraines had “transformed” into a chronic state.

my seagull

This is not a sad story. I don’t mention the migraines very often, because I’m living around and between them and those things inbetween are what keep me going. Family. Prayer. Writing. Reading. Music. Physical limitations can frame and highlight my abilities, as I’ve learned from others. Every person who reads this has something that gets in the way and has chosen to consider it an obstacle instead of a dead-end. One friend developed shingles while still in her thirties and has post-herpetic neuralgia, a terribly painful condition that robbed her of her career as a nurse. One has epilepsy, while another I’m just getting to know has schizophrenia. Another is unable to walk, in a wheelchair in constant pain, while a friend of Goodhusband’s lost a leg in a climbing accident and went on to become a doctor–you see where I’m going with this.

Probably as a result of my happiness with Goodhusband and the twisted sense of humor we share (this common quality was publicly acclaimed by the priest during his homily at our wedding!), I occasionally throw together a comic strip which I have titled, “The Adventures of Maggie Migraine.” My favorite character is actually her little white dog, “Aura,” who bears a striking resemblance to my own white WunderSchnauzer, my sidekick, supervisor and ferocious guardian. So this is my week’s offering, different from most because it’s more personal. I didn’t draw the cartoon this week (they are often inspired during a migraine, but always sketched afterward). I present it with this belief; that with enough time and fermentation, anything can make a person laugh. And who says migraines can’t be funny?

9 responses to “Migraines, Limitations and Laughing In Between

  1. It would feel almost wrong to “like” this post if it weren’t so inspiring. And inspiring really is what it is. Feel better soon and never lose that spirit.

    • Thank you, Nicole. One of the best thing about difficulties is that they can bind us together in community…it’s the people in my life who give me courage.

  2. NAwesomeness, sisserpoop…not the Migraines (and yes, I capitalize them…why? I just have to…) but, what you just said…I dig it.

  3. Kelly, you are an inspiration! I usually get 3 or 4 migraines a month. I can’t imagine working around them on a daily basis. I agree that you have to laugh about the hardest things in life. During the worst of my back injury, my best friend and I would joke about it.

    • Thanks, Kourtney. Truthfully, most days I’m not very inspiring, from my point of view. But I try. Writing really has become my therapy and focus, as it was before I started thinking it was my job to save the world. So I’m content. I appreciate your ongoing reading and thoughts. Take care.

  4. I’m sorry to hear you struggle with migraines. My sister does as well and it hasn’t been easy at times to keep a regular routine when they hit. I’m glad you have many good things to comfort you and a great hubby who knows how to help. 🙂 I hope this week is much better for you and pain free.

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