16 May 2011

Waking Up

It has been a long winter. 
 Your kindness and encouragement 
have helped me through it.  

My journey to find the source and conquer chronic, severe headaches led to answers,
 but no real solutions.  

In the meantime, 
I've had a very interesting journey through the strange and unsettling side effects of some powerful prescription meds.

I'm still processing my experience with the last two medications. 
 It has challenged me in more than one way. 
 It has taught me, once again,
 that God never wastes our pain.  
He uses everything to teach us something.....
if we are listening.

The diagnosis is a variant of 
trigeminal neuralgia 
caused by chronic, severe sleep deprivation.  

What that means is......

I don't have 
a brain tumor.  

I don't have 
an aneurysm.
I don't have 
sinus polyps. 

 I don't have 
bone tumors. 

I don't have 
allergies or migraines.   

I don't even have 
typical trigeminal neuralgia. 

 I do have a chronic headache on one side of my head beginning at the base of my neck and wrapping around my face, especially at the temple and eye and shooting down my face. 

Sometimes, it is severe.  

Always, it is there.

One of the treatments for this is using an 
anti-seizure medication. 
 There is a prominent one that is used for both that, and fibromyalgia.  
It did not work for me.  
Instead, it sent me to La-La Land.  

Besides the enormous amount of fluid that my body accumulated, hormone shifts, 
and ruined self-image, 
my mind took a major hit. 

 This drug hits the temporal lobes of the brain.  
In a nutshell, 
it took my language function and garbled it up without giving the benefit of pain relief.

I found that I could not say words correctly, 
could not recall names of things. 
 Could not remember things.  
Did not make sense.  

Was bombarded with invading
 thoughts and images. 

Told perfect strangers personal information. 

Would insert comments that had nothing to do with the conversation at hand.  

I could not understand anything that I read. 

My world is full of words.  
I am an avid reader.  
I am constantly researching 
learning problems and brain development
 to understand how to help my struggling learner. Basically, I was living in Lainie's world 
and I did not like it.  

All of a sudden I was right there with her. 

The best option for me, right now, 
is to just deal with the pain. 

After a month off of all those medications, 
my body has gone back to where it was. 
 The fog and confusion have lifted 
like a bad dream. 
I am more intrigued than ever,
 to understand how the brain functions and how it affects personality and behavior.

I feel a great sympathy toward anyone who must be on these powerful medications. 
 I was on a very, very tiny dose.....
a fraction of the normal dose. 
 I will not be quick to judge
 someone's actions who are subject to these powerful medications.

I am still contemplating the whole experience.  My physicians are compassionate people. 
 They monitored me carefully and 
did what they could. 
Now, it is up to me to take what I have learned and see what God wants me to do with it.

The physical, the emotional and the spiritual parts of a person are all tied up together.  
I am learning just how much they are connected and trying not to be overly-critical 
when I don't live up to my expectations. 

 For instance, I have felt badly about our homeschool year not being what I wanted it to be.  Me, not doing what I wanted to do.
Then as I looked at the calendar,
 I discovered that I started this medical journey at the beginning of the school year. 
 I began medications that I could not tolerate in October.  
So in reality, I pushed through and continued despite the difficulties physically, emotionally, 
and yes, spiritually.

I do not say this to excuse myself and not improve, but to share with you that doing any job well during chronic illness is very difficult.  
The important thing is not to give up. 

 Keep praying. 

 Keep walking. 

Keep listening.

The dawn will come, 
even if the night seems unbearably long.


  1. i will be in prayer for you, I know the word pain..... I have fibromyalgia. i have had it for years but about 5 years ago a doc. i was going to told me about fibromyalgia, and did all the testing to see if thats what I was living with. the pain keeps me humble,and keeps me in the presence of our Lord. sometimes I wonder why, but I know Hes in control. so I have to lay it in HIS hands.

  2. Yes, Karen, it is a humbling thing. Thank you for your comment.