Standing agape at the look of my calendar, my friend said, “No wonder you have fatigue and migraines!”
It really is a silly bit of business. I mean, really, do we have to have every block in every date filled so that the words merge together to create a collage of confusion? I am not one to take pride in my frenetic state of affairs. Some people like to be constantly moving, however, I am not one of them. Despite all sorts of evidence to the contrary, internally I fight with the resentment that there seems to be no time to just be.
Of course, this winter, I got a taste of having to clear all but the necessary out of my life because my body decided to rebel to the point of ridiculousness. My health took a decided turn for the freaky and I was unable to keep up to the daily tasks that a mother of four should be able to keep up with. If you have any children at all, or even if you don’t, you know that inattention to laundry, dishes and cleaning in general turns nasty eventually. That “eventually” is about one day total for us. Imagine a winter, a long winter, of momma being out of business. You really don’t want to go down that imaginary path. It was not pretty. While my hubby did a fantastic job of trying to keep up to the task, the man was working at his super boring (NOT) job of being in ministry, taking care of us at home and worrying about his wife who was declining or not getting better as fast as she really needed to. He shone all sorts of love as he cared for us all. I was able to get up every now and again and divvy up the molecules of energy to do what I had to, but apart from the necessary, I cut and slashed things because I had to.
After doing the Elimination Diet (and I won’t curse to tell you how much I detested the process) in January, and dealing with some spiritual matters as well as emotional issues, I felt surges of energy that I hadn’t had for months. Granted, I still was not functioning at the level I really wanted, but let’s face it, I never really have. I was excited to go a day, once in a while, without having to lay down. I actually had a week where I did the normal things! It was thrilling. Three months later and I thought for sure I had been at least partly healed.
Enter April. My Darling and I sat and looked at our schedules together after coming back from Jamaica. We had one of the most stressful weeks EVER upon our return. Thankfully, I felt like a new person for that one week. Why couldn’t we live closer to Jamaica?
We don’t usually make a concerted effort to “sync” our calendars. By syncing, I’m talking old school, get the calendar off the wall, and write both our “stuff” on it. I’m pretty sure that after going through it together, there was a moment of silence, for the death of sanity, before we both looked at each other with dread. It was going to be something special. In a “normal” March/April, we usually have three birthday parties, Easter, our anniversary and Spring Break loaded into it. This year we had all of that and more.
I hoped and prayed my health was up to the task and knew that whether it was or not we would have to hang on with all four appendages. We got one week in. One week. One out of five ain’t bad?
On my way in to a Dance Festival, 2.5 hours from our home, I felt a migraine attack come on suddenly. I have had this weird thing happen where my head feels vibrate-y, half my body goes numb and tingly and then I feel like fainting. I’ve never actually timed it but it doesn’t usually last longer than 2 minutes. I know exactly what will happen when it starts and I still freak out inside because it feels like I am going to lose consciousness. I never do, but I feel like it.
I knew then that I was hooped. As I sat in the audience watching about 12 hip hop performances I prayed that I would just make it through. Whomping music and flashing costumes about did me in.
That migraine lasted through 2 massages, 2 chiropractor treatments and 2 weeks. I was happy to wave that headache good-bye.
I was happy to have had a couple of days until yesterday. Arg! I had another “episode” last night.
I have realized a couple of things. One is that I am obviously dealing with stress badly. Another is that I probably need to cut out something from my diet that I’ve added back since the Elimination Diet. I know what those somethings probably are, and they are not easy to just not have on a day to day basis, especially if you are eating out or at the mercy of other people’s cooking. Ok, even my cooking has returned to what it was. Lots of tomato (in chili, pasta sauce, pizza…), dairy (I love you, milk in my coffee!!), and wheat. I don’t find gluten/wheat that hard to cut out but the other things are SO hard. Who knew that tomatoes could wreak havoc? Not me!
I am going to go back on the dreaded Elimination Diet. I hate it, I don’t want to do it, but I want to feel better again.
I know that taking my son out of school has messed with my brain in all sorts of ways. I like having him around and I love the concept of teaching him but the curriculum has been terrible. Plus, I am really adjusting to having a child at home for the full days and he talks ALL the time.
All that to say, I knew this month was going to be tough, but I didn’t realize how difficult it would be and that it would set my health back so drastically. I wasn’t aware that the precipice was so close.
Through it I am reminded how I need to be clinging to my Jesus. He is ultimately my Strength. I know that this will not last forever. My hope is not reliant on how I feel today. I am thankful for the lessons I have learned this winter and have relearned in the last month.
When I feel like hope is gone and that whatever it is may do me in I am reminded
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)