Tuesday, January 24, 2012


This has been a particularly difficult week.  My migraines have been out of control which has led to emotions which are all over the place.  When I am down physically, it generally leads to my feeling down emotionally.  We all respond differently to the stressors in our life - the dark stormy periods of our life.  I tend to go to a place of self-doubt.  I ruminate over what I've done to cause this period of pain and isolation in my life. I doubt that I have anything of any worth to share with anyone.  I tend to believe that anyone who is still in my life is there because of some sense of obligation and is merely tolerating me.  I am vividly aware of how difficult it is to be a friend with me - I am not reliable; I am not predictable; I need help that any other "normal" person my age should not need. I have little purpose.  I spiral into depression and self-condemnation and wonder what the future could possibly hold for me.  I look at the things that hold me down and feel overwhelmed at times.  I convince myself that these negative beliefs and feelings are the truth and that I cannot escape from their inevitability.

Last summer, a friend was driving me to physical therapy.  As we were driving, a storm was brewing.  The sky became dark, and the wind was blustery.  We were too far from home to turn back and were on a part of the road where there were no places to pull of to ride out the storm.  All of the sudden, a huge crack of lightening lit up the sky and hit a tree about 100 feet in front of us.  As the tree fell, it also brought down the power lines and the power pole complete with a transformer landed 10 to 15 feet in front of my car resulting in a huge explosion of fire that travelled toward the car along the electrical wires.  The pole behind us also fell, leaving my car tangled in live electrical wires.  The sounds of our screams still resonates in my head.  After calling 911, we looked around to try to assess our situation.  We were literally trapped.  The electrical wires were wrapped so tightly around our car that the doors and windows were both pinned shut.

Quite honestly, both of us feared that we were not going to make it out of the situation.  We didn't know what to do.  After about thirty minutes, several fire trucks, two ambulances and a number of police cars were on the road across the way from us.  However, no one came near to help.  Through a combination of lip reading and yelling, a fireman told us that he could not come any nearer to the car because the electrical wires were still live.  At that point, help and hope was so close but yet elusive.

After being in the car for over two hours, the electrical company finally came and turned off the power so that the fire fighters could cut the wires which had trapped the car.  Later we were told how fortunate we were that the wires had trapped us in the car which seemed a very odd thing to say since the last place we wanted to be was in that car.  However, what we discovered was that the transformer that fell contained 50,000 killowats of power and had we been able to open the door to escape to what we saw as freedom, we would have probably instantly died from stepping on the wet, highly charged ground.

As we look back on it, there are so many things for which we have to be grateful.  We were together and not alone.  We were able to contact emergency services and although they couldn't provide immediate help, they were close by.  We were trapped in the car with wires which we later learned saved our lives.  We both called and heard the reassuring voices of our dads.  The rain stopped shortly after we were trapped so we were able to see what was around us and didn't have to sit in fear of what might fall next.

At the time, however, we weren't thinking of gratitude - we were wondering if we were going to die.  I am a lot like that in my everyday life with migraines.  I see the obstacles; I feel trapped; and I feel like I have no future and hope.  I let my fears spiral out of control, and I let my thinking become extraordinarily negative.  It is so hard to see hope when one feels trapped.  I know that I personally let my mind engage in catastrophic and unproductive thinking.

There is a Scripture that says
     "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Phil 4:8).

I don't know about you, but for me, this is sometimes easier said than done.  However, when I "force" myself to think about the positive rather than the negative, I find that it makes a difference in how I view my disease and my life.  It doesn't change the fact that I am in the midst of the storm, but it helps me bring to mind the things for which I do have to be grateful.  Just like my friend and I found many blessings as a result of our experience of being trapped, I choose to believe that there are blessings which will occur as a result of me being trapped with migraines and fibromyalgia.

What we all need is a sense of hope.  My sense of hope in the car came from knowing my friend was with me and that emergency personnel stood by.  It would be easy to share with you just the traumatic aspects of that event, for they are very real and, as I said, I will always hear those screams resonating in my ears; however, I would be telling only part of the truth, part of the story, if I left us trapped in the car fearing for our lives.  We found that in our time of greatest fear that hope was near.

My dear friend, Kelly Wahle, a fellow migraineur has just developed an exciting endeavor called "Project Migraine Hope."  Kelly, whose most recent post on her blog Fly With Hope, candidly shares the weariness she often feels.  Yet in the midst of this, she has sought out a means to allow us as fellow migraineurs to share what brings us hope so that we may learn from each others' experiences and mutually encourage one another.  Just as I  could not have made it trapped in that car without my friend Kris, we can't make it in this journey with out others who journey with us.  I encourage you to visit projectmigrainehope.com where Kelly shares the following:

"Project Migraine Hope is a community of videos where individuals who have Migraines(chronic or episodic) and loved ones/caregivers/friends of those who have Migraines of all ages and backgrounds share their stories with Migraine disease and share a message of hope for others going through what they are going through."  

I am excited about Project Migraine Hope because it is to be a compilation of true experts - we- the migraineurs who deal day in and day out with our disease but who someone how in the midst of it find the hope to live victoriously.  It is my greatest desire that many, many migraineurs and their family and friends will take the time to create a video or post their story of hope.  I could say it is because I want Project Migraine Hope to be successful, but the truth is, I need to see your hope during the times when my hope is low, and I hope my hope can encourage you when yours is low.  Thanks Kelly for undertaking such a wonderful project!


  1. Great post, Cyndi! I'm loving it! Your layout isn't hard on me at all, but I can only speak for myself. I'm glad you're blogging. :)

  2. Thanks Heather! I hope to someday be as effective as you with blogging! You have made such a huge difference to me and many migraineurs!