What I’m Learning from My Migraines

I’ve struggled with chronic migraines for the last three years. I did have a reprieve while I was pregnant.  My migraines almost completely disappeared. I thought I was in the clear after I had my girls. That maybe, just maybe, my migraines had been cured. I had a hard time even talking about how good I was feeling because it seemed too good to be true. They came back about two months ago now.

When I have a migraine, a headache hits me first, followed by mental fogginess. Then I struggle to put together my sentences and light and sound become overwhelming. My vision gets fuzzy and I see an aura whether my eyes are open or not. Then the intense pain hits. Always a little above my left eye.

Some of my migraines are manageable. I can do what has to be done before I find the time to rest and let it pass.

For one out of every three migraines though, my world stops. That’s about once a week right now. The pain comes in excruciating waves. My skin tingles and whispering takes all the effort I have. I forget to breathe and my body convulses. I feel wildly out of control and helpless. When I’m not mentally ready for one of these beatings, I lose any sense the pain will end and I have what I can only guess is a panic attack. I hold on to Chad as if he can somehow save me.

My migraines are one of the biggest struggles of my life. Not just because of the pain, but because of the constant weight of feeling like I am letting the people I love down. My girls, Chad, my friends, my family, people at church. I’m always bailing on something or someone when one of my migraines hit.

Chad gave me a Priesthood blessing when I first started getting regular migraines. In the blessing, he told me this would teach me about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And though it wasn’t what I wanted to hear at the time (I was hoping for some miraculous healing) I have learned so much about how Jesus Christ meets us where we are and brings us the rest of the way. I’ve found I have real value even on the days when I’m out for the count with a migraine. What I accomplish in a day does not determine my worth. My worth is innately within me as a daughter of God.

And while I haven’t received the miracle of healing, I have found many other miracles when I take the time to stop feeling bad for myself.

My Miracles:

1. Chad. He really is my miracle. As someone who struggles with his own health issues, he has never once lost patience with mine. He stops everything to help me.

2. Chad’s job. Chad gets to work from home once a week. More often than not, he works from home when one of us isn’t feeling great. It’s like taking a sick day without actually taking a sick day. He can step in and help with the girls when I need and then get right back to his work.

3. My freelance job. Doing social media freelance work lets me work whenever I want. And I usually get to set the deadlines. It’s perfect for my migraines and being a full-time mom.

4. The Book of Mormon. Russell M. Nelson’s challenge to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year has brought me so much peace, guidance, and hope. It’s my pick-me-up.

So whether you have some kind of chronic pain, a gnarly cold this week, depression, or any other circumstances that are leaving you feeling down in the dumps today, remember that Heavenly Father is sending you miracles. They might not be the ones you’re praying for, but they are there nonetheless. He loves us and is aware of us every minute of every day.

4 Replies to “What I’m Learning from My Migraines”

  1. Oh my gosh, yes!! I have struggled with chronic migraines since my teenage years, but they have gotten less frequent the more babies I have had. (Mine are totally associated with hormones, which is good to know but bad because short of not being a woman, there is no cure.) when I was a younger mom, I had soooo many days like you’re describing. And my heart just hurts with you knowing so clearly those feelings of letting people down. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Meg – Thanks for empathizing. I’m hoping my migraines lessen like yours! That’s the dream. You and your family are adorable. xoxoxo

  2. As your mother, I so much would like to take your pain away. You are such an example to all of us as you endure this struggle. You are such a strong individual who is close to Heavenly Father. I love you dearly!

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