Saturday, May 17, 2014

Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk, Migraining the Migraine

A very dear friend has been going through an extremely difficult family crisis lately, and I've been doing my best to support her and her kids through some unimaginably rough days.

I'm so glad I'm able to be here for her. 

It's a complicated situation, close to my heart in so many ways. I can empathize with it on every level. And helping her is helping me, and I am grateful for that, as well.

I'm being pushed back into a real, outside-world, adult role with this, outside of my own sphere, outside of my own head, for the first time in a long time. I was a caretaker too, once, excellent in a crisis. I know how to do this. It feels good to feel powerful, protective instincts kick in and to act on them.

And so much of what her family is going through is reminding me of things I still have to watch in myself; things I still have to work on to get where I want to go.

I'm sorry, I'm being deliberately vague because I don't want to reveal any identifying or intimate details of someone else's story. 

Suffice it to say: Stuff is happening; it is relevant; I am taking from it every lesson I can while offering all the support I can muster.

My friend deserves my best efforts, and if she happens to impart inadvertent words of wisdom along the way that can make my efforts even better, Imma take those in and put them to work, too.

So... that's what I've been doing this week. This has all coincided with my monthly migraine, which has turned out to be an absolute RAGER that refuses to respond to medication; I think because I'm triggered like crazy from all the aforementioned empathizing.

So now I have that. It started Wednesday night. I had a bit of a reprieve on Thursday afternoon. But aside from that, it's been steady since then, 24/7, and it's been awful. This is day three.

Migraines that don't respond to meds always freak me out. There are few feelings more helpless than this, especially when the pain starts ratcheting up, because who knows where it will stop?

At the moment, I'm on Imitrex, excedrin, aleve, lorazepam, and effexor. And a shower. And coffee. Yesterday, I tried none of those for a while, then one at a time. None worked alone. 

So today, I tried them all at once. All together, they've finally, in the last couple of hours, brought what was about a 9 down to about a 5.

I tried high-CBD pot yesterday, too; the kind that doesn't make you feel high but just kills the pain. I think the heating element on our vaporizer is compromised, so I didn't get much, but it didn't work anyway.

But a migraine at pain level 5, with moments of 4 or even 3... THAT I can work with. That's sort of child's play for me at this point in my life. Which SUCKS, I heartily admit, but after 48 straight hours of 9, I'll fucking take it, you know?

On the non-drug front, I've tried rolling out my back on the foam roller, and having my husband massage my granite-hard shoulders and neck tendons. I've tried ice on my back and neck. I've tried correcting my posture. I've tried sleep-- even Ambien. I've tried hot water. An actual, professional massage is more likely to make the migraine worse than better, so I'll skip that, but I think I'll give Rise Bodyworks a call and see if Dr. John is around tonight for some Active Release Torture. I mean Therapy.

Only the Evil Genius can help me now.

Last night I walked in on my husband telling my sister that he's been so proud of me lately during all this stuff going on with my friend, because he's been asking me every day to talk about my feelings about it, and I've been... actually stopping and talking about them.

It's a strange thing, because even as I'm doing it, even as I know what I'm saying is true-- these are my feelings, and I am feeling them-- I also still feel like I am talking about someone else. There is still a great disconnect between having the feelings and experiencing the having of the feelings and then talking about the experience of having the feelings.

But I'm doing all three, even if at least one or two of them still feel pretty artificial. There were some authentic, in-the-moment emotions the other day with my friend, and that was true, so it's happening for real, even if talking about it later doesn't feel quite the same.

PROGRESS, people. I am not an automaton! This is good, because in my darker moments I find myself terrified that my friend and her children are depending on me and all I have to offer them is this facsimile of a person that I've constructed over the years, not a real flesh-and-blood human being with actual feelings like everyone else. 

But no. I have a heart and soul that still work just fine, underneath all this Sherlockian defense. And my husband is totally pushing me to remember that, every day.

Good man, that guy.  Have I mentioned that here before?

Once or twice?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, poor Kate! The pain... Just so you know, some of my best friends are automatons, or at least they would be if they knew I even existed. I think this must be a very particular form of delusion, that we think we're not quite humanly feeling what normal humans feel, or that in speaking about ourselves, we are only faxing an image of ourselves over the air to others. I've gotten so used to it, so accepting of it, that I now honestly believe I AM normal after all. If you can't get to where you seem to want to get so badly, I hope you at least get to where I am. It's not bad here. Heart and soul are swell to have, but don't totally put down that Sherlockian part of yourself. Rationality is very very good, I am convinced.