(Laughing with my best friend -and Luke was hanging out in my belly ;] - P)
I am so excited to share this post with you... and I feel so humbled, loved and grateful to my best friend, Lindsay. A few weeks ago she asked if she could do a guest post and I was so excited; she is the perfect person for my first guest blogger. This woman knows me, supports me and loves me so much. Thank you, Linds for this amazing gift, I love you!
Chronic Migraine - From A Best Friend's Perspective
As Pamela has gracefully, and beautifully stated through raw example and eloquent writing, living with Chronic Migraine is not for the weak. She has demonstrated poise which garners much deserved respect. We joke that sometimes she deserves an award for "Best Actress" because so often she is left with nothing else to do but put on smile, which hurts her head, and get to it. Raising two boys and being a Navy wife, this woman already deserves all the awards, all the stars, but mostly all the hugs. On this Valentine's Day, I want to share with you a few examples of what it is like to have a best friend with Chronic Migraine.
~I always know when Pamela has a migraine because her responses are iPhone's reactions. At the beginning of that iPhone update, I thought, why on Earth would Pamela not reply to my text with a sentence, or likely with our usual conversations, a paragraph??...... Until the very first time it happened, I suddenly knew- She had a migraine. That white screen with the bright blue text, was hurting her head. For her, that was the best iPhone update there has ever been.
~When I know that Pamela's had a migraine, I know that she appreciates when I text, "How's your head?" It seems weird, but she tells me her pain level, and with that information, I am able to gauge when I should check in, and when to leave her space to rest. The worst is when 12 or more hours pass, because I know that she is going through pain that is unbearable, even though she is doing everything she can for her boys. But I also know there is nothing that I can do for her, and that hurts.
~T.V. commercials touting relief for migraine sufferers come across my screen, multiple times a week. I think 'I wonder if that could help Pamela'. Usually her reply is 'Possibly, but I can't take it while we try for more kids and what I have works for now, at least for its purpose. I'd hate to "try" something new, and suffer because I no longer have access to the medication that worked.'
Pamela has taught me that medications, procedures, alternative therapies, are all good, great, and wonderful ...except for the fact that they are sort of like socks. Sometimes they are warm, but they are itchy, or sometimes the dull the pain but cause severe nausea- which in turn can cause migraine. There is no cure for migraine. We are grateful for people researching and trying new things, however, when you find something that works, it's best to stick with it.
~The hardest thing I have learned about Chronic Migraine, is that there is intensity and the pain experienced while recovering, as your body tries to realign to its equilibrium; that very realigning often causes another migraine, and this cycle continues, over and over and over.
(I had a terrible migraine and was trying so hard to not let it show,
but a picture says it all- I don't even think I look like me.
I wish I could go back and take these pictures over again! -Pamela )
~My wedding was last summer. It happened to be a Michigan summer day, that included unrelenting heat and humidity. The hottest day of the year. Pamela had rooted for My Corey to be brought into my life for years. When our wedding finally arrived, which we had planned and talked about for months, I was unbelievably excited because my two best friends would be standing within feet of each other, and I could hardly contain my emotions.
We didn't have a true wedding party. The people that stood beside us, read, and spoke on our day were family and very close friends. We had a rehearsal and a rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding. Pamela and her husband, Jeremy were included. The evening of rehearsal was hot, the sun was bearing down, and shade was no where to be found. I knew Pamela was hurting, but she also would not have missed it for the world, even though the migraine gods were hoping for a W in their column. Really glad Our God is stronger! Without Him, Pamela would not have the beautiful strength that it takes to manage Chronic Migraine.
The next morning, Wedding Day, the happiest day of my life had finally arrived. Pamela was joining me and a few other ladies for breakfast, hair, and make-up. I received a text "Can I go last, I'm on my way... but you know!" I did know, and I did know. The heat of the day before, the evening's festivities and not sleeping in her own bed had DEFINITELY, 100%, without a doubt combined forces giving her a Monster Migraine. (I made that up, but I know she was dealing with a tremendous amount of pain and had to gather an immense amount of strength.)
Pamela arrived, smiling, giving hugs, checked in on my status and Corey's because that's what best friends do. It leaves me to wonder about 'Should I have told her to FaceTime the ceremony'. Maybe? But I knew she wouldn't. It made my heart break because she had to endure something painful because of me. She could have FaceTime'd the wedding. She could have skipped the hair and make-up. But she didn't. Because of me. The love of friendship, the love we share, is a true love. Not like in a marriage, which she was able to witness as I exchanged vows and kisses with my husband. But this love is of a friend who answers every call, does whatever it takes, and is in my corner, always. Pamela has taught me more about being a friend and the love one deserves that I couldn't possibly express it in words.
Happy Galentine's Day, Best Friend!
Your Best, Lindsay