A Few of My Favorite Things

  • God and all that goes with Him
  • Time Spent With Family
  • Bedtime Prayers
  • Family/Group Hugs
  • The Beach
  • Good Friends
  • Good Music
  • Laughter

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Headache History and Pride

Wow! The summer is over and school is back in session and all the writing I had planned to do…just didn’t get done. We were blessed to complete our second full year of home schooling, run the Fun Run part of Agape’s Run for a Mom, send little man off to camp for a week, see some sweet friends that we haven’t seen in forever, completed 4 weeks of swimming lessons, and last but not least went to Art and Science classes at our local hardware store for an hour each Wednesday and Thursday. The best part is the headache cooperated and I was able to do the chauffeuring.

Praise God for the new medicine combo I’m on now, I can actually handle traveling a couple of hours without having to go to bed once I get there. So things are looking better pain wise for us too J Instead of living with the level 9 or 10 , it now stays around the 7 or 8 level. We do deal with spikes up further than that, but we are also blessed with short periods of time with it lower too. It’s been a long time since I’ve really spent anytime sharing the pain battle and why I use the word we when I talk about it. When one person in the family deals with chronic pain, then the whole family does. Our schedules, the lighting in our home, laundry getting done, and how we play are all determined by the headache.

One of the hardest things, I’ve had to come to grips with is that the migraine does put limits on what I can do. It also, along with the meds, affects my ability to say what I want to say when I want to say it. One of the meds has turned off the filter in my head…you know the one that says don’t talk about that you can hurt someone’s feelings…or hey shut your mouth for a few minutes and listen to what the other person has to say. It also has made me more grouchy and I get frustrated much quicker than I normally do. These side effects are not new to us, we had tried a med combo very much like the present one but one of the meds caused even more cognitive and behavioral “glitches”.

Needless to say the 2003-04, school year was a difficult one. I think I was going through just as many mood swings as my 7th graders. Pride can be a terrible thing, I kept most of the struggle to myself. (Pro 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.)My sweetheart was running two small business and we had an infant/toddler in the house who got all of our “extra” attention. In fact, I had been dealing with quite a bit of paranoia and irrational anger that I was able to keep the lid on at home and for the most part at school. However, I found myself becoming more and more out spoken and I couldn’t seem to put the brakes on my mouth. Here’s where the pride thing comes into play, because I have always considered myself to be a peacemaker. I could put my feelings on the back burner and deal with the situation at hand and it was really no big deal. Well, it became a big deal. I now know that many chronic headache patients on Topamax deal with these changes..it’s been labeled dope-amax on the Head pain sites by patients and many of them dealt with swift changes in mood that ultimately lead to their being fired or even for some led to divorce. In my case, my contract wasn’t renewed. I can look back and see why. But maybe…just maybe if I hadn’t let my pride get in the way things may not have happened the way they did.

I’ll say this, it’s a scary thing to not be in control of your emotions when you’re used to being in control. Learning that I have no real control is another lesson the headache has taught me the hard way. It has literally brought me to my knees, pleading in prayer for the pain to end. (If you happen to be one of those who believes that my faith is just not strong enough and I’m not praying in faith ..,yes I’ve heard this before…then I suggest you need to take a look at the life of Paul and God’s response to his begging for the thorn in the flesh to be removed.) I now understand there is no me, there is only God and His power working in me. (2 Cor. 12:9 but he told me, “My grace is enough for you, because strength reaches completion in weakness.“ I will therefore boast in my weakness most gladly, so that Christ’s strength will remain upon me.) If it were just me, I would have taken my life a good 10 years ago while going through withdrawal from prescription meds that I was taking as prescribed.

It was another point of pride with me that I was able to finish college with good grades while being married and be labeled as the world thinks “smart”. It becomes very humbling when you realizes that people can’t understand what you’ve said either because the migraine has words coming out in a jumble you don’t intend, the words are so slurred it sounds like you’re drunk, or you know what you want to say but cannot get the words to come out of your mouth. On top of this, my eye would droop or twitch for no reason, my mouth would pull down on one edge, and the act of brushing my hair would actually hurt. So here I am teaching, high school math, to teenagers with all this going on; and they are looking at me like I’m the side show. But my pride kept me from mentioning that I felt like someone was watching me always, and that every step I took was painful…let alone that my teeth were beginning to break if I ate anything remotely hard.

So, we get to the last 2 or 3 weeks of school, they tell me they aren’t going to renew my contract…and all I can see is how are we going to keep the insurance going in all this mess…and I better go see about every little thing between now and September. I found out that afternoon I had stress fractures in both heels thanks to the med. Combo and no teaching position to go to for the next year. Actually we sat and cried together and I finally let my sweetheart know to what extent I was dealing with the paranoia and anger. We prayed and as always God provided just what we needed. Not just job wise, but for our marriage as well. He gave us the quiet before the storm to help us charge our batteries, and He put good friends close by that we could lean on even in the hardest of times.

I’d love to say that we no longer deal with pain every day. I do. I also know that the med combo I’m on now is very close to the one we dealt with that school year. So I deal with glitches in speech, I get grouchy easy, but so far we’ve been able to manage it. I want the people I know and love to know where I’m coming from and instead of trying to hide any issues this go round… I’d much rather they be out on the table so we can stop them if they get ugly.

I’m a firm believer in the fact that God will work out all things for good for those that love Him.(Romans 8:28 We know that to them who love God, the ones called according to his purpose, God works all things together for good;) Notice he doesn’t promise the way will be easy and good, but that he will use all those things in our life for good. Finally, my prayer for myself and you is that we will take the hard times…those moments when we feel like God has turned His back on us…and know that He is refining us and using us so that through our weakness others may see His strength. (1Peter 1:7 Your faith (which is more precious than gold which perishes, being proved by fire) has been tested that you might be found in praise and glory and honor at the disclosure of Jesus Christ.)

N.T. scriptures are quoted from McCord’s New Testament Translation of the Everlasting Gospel. O.T. scriptures are quoted from the NKJV.

1 comment:

  1. Sam, It was good to spend time with you three this summer. Know that you (all of you) are in our prayers. Know that to us, you are a model of strength and endurance. Know that as a couple, you serve as example of for better and for worse.