Freedom is my word for the year. Chronic migraine seems to have taken away much of my freedom. Chronic migraine means that I have headache almost everyday and I have migraine 2-3 times per week. Because of this, I don’t work outside the home anymore. Our family tends to take very short vacations, if at all.
I feel like my life has had a circle around it that has been slowly made smaller and smaller. Things have been constrained. Instead of getting up and going to work every day, I get up and decide what I’m going to do based on how I feel.
Paradoxically, though, chronic migraine has given me one important freedom. I’m free to come down to Georgia (until two years ago, it was Florida) to take care of my parents when one of them is sick. In the last two years, I’ve been down here four times for my mom’s four surgeries and dad’s one surgery. This time, I’ve been here for close to six weeks because there was a long gap between Mom’s surgeon’s appointment and her actual surgery.
I still have the headaches while I’m here, but I’m generally able to help out and pick up the slack for my brother and sister-in-law. I put together meals (cook or go pick up take-out), run errands, drive Mom places when she’s post-op, and take care of her after surgery. (Dad has some mild dementia so he doesn’t drive, but he does clean the kitchen and do most of the laundry.)
I’ve ended up with some bad migraines that left me calling on my brother to take care of something that I wasn’t able to, but it hasn’t been too often. And, I like being here to see how Mom and Dad are doing when they are ill rather than sitting home in Wisconsin and being anxious about them.
In a weird way, the migraines have given me some freedom that I wouldn’t have if I was working. I’m grateful that there is something good coming from chronic migraine. God is making beauty from these ashes, after all.