“It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ~JK Rowling.
I can easily imagine how many migraineurs for whom this quotation would really hit home, and in how many different ways.
For this month’s Blog Carnival (my first), I wrote about how I wouldn’t actually choose to live my life without my migraine disease, because my migraines made me who I am. (Of course the next day, in the agony of 6-8 pain for 15 hours, I changed my mind, but isn’t that always how it goes?)
However there is a difference between changing the past, and hoping for a better future. I wouldn’t trade anything that I have already been through but am always hoping for a more pain-free life, and the direction my care plan is going should lead to that eventually. Yesterday was the second official day of my girls’ summer vacation, and I was devastated to be spending another day in bed. I want to be able to spend as much time with my family as possible, and I want to be able to go on vacation with them for a week – we are leaving this coming Saturday.
J.K. Rowling’s wonderful quotation makes me think about living now, in the moment, and not deferring my happiness for a time in the future when I have reduced my migraines to two per week, or even fewer. The hard truth is that my present life involves being in pain more often than not, which is true for so many of us in this community. “The Daily Headache” and Migraine.com blogger Kerrie Smyres is such an inspiration to me in her positive attitude about chronic migraine: she refuses to call herself a “sufferer”; she accepts her disease as part of her life now instead of constantly wishing to be pain free.
As I recline in bed in “Treehouse Rest & Recovery,” as I’ve named my bedroom and convalescing space, inhaling pure oxygen from R2O2 (my O2 making machine and yes, we name everything), I am grateful that my pain is not as bad as yesterday. I am grateful to have a new treatment plan even though I still feel occasional narcotics would help me. I am grateful for every moment I get to spend with my family and every time that I am able to get out and do something. I will not wait for my pain-free days to increase to live my life to its fullest.
I can live now, and I will. There is no reason to wait. Happiness is inside us; there is joy to be found in the simplest of things. My daughters’ laughter, my dancing collie mix, my husband’s sense of humor, a good book, my online support community of migraine warriors and clusterheads. The support I get from Facebook, the constant love and patience of my parents and and their selfless actions on my behalf.
I have hope, and I am making changes in order to try to achieve that dream of fewer headaches. But for now? I still love my life. And I will live it, “every, every minute.”*
*From Thornton Wilder’s Our Town