I Feel Your Pain

Posted: November 21, 2013 in Family, Health, Migraine, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

When I was a teenager, my mom worked for a living. So did my dad, but he’s not pertinent to this. My mom worked a lot. But when she wasn’t working, it seemed like she was in bed an awful lot. I used to hate that. As it was, I felt like I was doing all the mom-type stuff because she was gone a lot, and when she was there, she still wasn’t there. Know what I mean? I was absolutely positive that she was lazy and avoiding the housework, cooking, and tending to her kids by lazing about all day. A teenager, I already knew all there was to know in the world, so I was confident in my withering assessment of my mother.

When I was pregnant with my second child, Junior ReloVertigo, I got my first migraine. I couldn’t take anything for it, for fear it would harm my developing baby. So, desperate for relief, I snuck two Tylenol and had a relative pick up 4 year-old Daughter ReloVertigo, so I could suffer in peace. I had called Mother, who diagnosed my exploding head as a migraine. It was all on one side. It was more pain than I’d ever had, and I had given birth naturally. No epidural, no nothing. And that day, I would rather have gone through labor again than have that pain one moment longer. Even one dim lamp was too much light. My one eye was on the verge of exploding, it seemed. I wanted to do something, anything, to end that pain.

That was, in fact, my first migraine. As time went on, I went from having them once every few months to once a month, to once every couple weeks, to every week, and then from every day to 24/7. This progression took years. I was episodic for approximately the first twelve years of my journey. I’ve been chronic for the last ten. The disease is definitely progressive, and there is no cure. There isn’t even an effective treatment, for many of us.

As I worsened over the years, I became so frustrated. Always in pain. I worked in pain, most days. Some days, I couldn’t do that. And after spending several days in bed and going to the doctor for a shot or two to finally knock me out and “reset my brain,” as I called it, I came to a startling realization.

I was my mother. She wasn’t lazy. I had learned that when I was older and worked for her once. She was a hard working woman who had the respect of her employees and her peers, in a male-dominated field. What she was back then, though, was in pain. Intense, unbearable physical pain caused by migraines. A lot of them. And when I called to whine to her about all of my suffering, did she say, “I told you so?” No. She comforted me, even from hundreds of miles away. She empathized with me, as only another migraineur could. And she loved me. I was so very sorry for the mean and selfish thoughts I’d harbored about her. I was thankful I’d never spoken them to her. I prayed for forgiveness, and gave thanks for my mother.

It’s amazing what a great deal of pain will do, to give a woman a little perspective. It’s just a shame that it took that for me to find it.

This post was inspired by The Daily Prompt

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