Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cyn's Top Ten

It's been one of those weeks!  Actually it's been one of those years, and we are only 57 days into it.  In this short time, I have moved, had a cancer scare and biopsy (everything is fine), had my much loved 16 year old nephew live with me for a few days, badly sprained my ankle and been put in a walking boot, walked with a couple of dear friends in significant crises, and had to postpone a long anticipated visit to Springfield to see Dr. Cady, not to mention having migraines which have been beating the stuffing out of me! I looked in the mirror the other day, and this what was looking back at me:

I chose this week's quotes because they are powerful reminders for me to choose to look at courage rather than scars and to find humor in life's circumstances (quotes are to the left).  I have, therefore, compiled Cyn's Top Ten List for Migraineurs.

1. I have absolutely no need for meteorologists for I am much more accurate at predicting changes in the weather.  Rain is my speciality.

2. Like Gus on the TV show Psych, I have a "super smeller."  My nose picks up scents that mere mortals cannot.  (In addition, let's not forget the wonderful olfactory hallucinations of cigarettes, fire, natural gas, and poop.  Yes, I said poop.  I had a baby stay with me the other day, and I must have checked her diaper twenty times!)

3. According to a large number of people, I am lucky because I have nothing to do during the day but sleep and watch TV - which, of course, implies the eating of bon-bons.  I am therefore waiting for my bon-bon of the month gift subscription to arrive.

4. Because I don't drive due to migraines, I never have to worry about traffic jams or crazy "Memphis" drivers!  However, it should be noted that when a friend drove my car, a utility pole fell wrapping live wires around us ensuring that I don't miss all the excitement and danger of driving.

5. I am obviously on par with a superhero (such as the female equivalent to Batman) to my 17 year old niece who exclaims every time she sees me  - "Look who has emerged from the bat cave!"

6. If there is nothing interesting to watch on TV, I can just watch the ever-changing manifestations and colors of my scintillating scotoma, and I have been caught tracking my floaters as they move around my vision!

7. Although I have not attended medical school, I probably know more medical terminology and pharmacology than most second year medical students.  And more about migraines than the average neurologist!

8. Thanks to migraines, I have a very high pain threshold and find biopsies, spinal taps and badly sprained ankles to be little more than annoyances.  In fact, the thought of a frontal lobotomy, treplaning or a guillotine actually sounds alluring at times.

9. Because my medical issues have necessitated my discontinuing hormone replacement therapy, I am now able to save a considerable amount of money on blankets and heat.

10. I use to live my life governed by my calendar which has now become superfluous since my doctors all call to remind me of my appointments.  Anything else I forget to do can usually (legitimately or illegitimately) be attributed to brain fog.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Singing in the Rain

One of my all time favorite movies is "Singing In the Rain" with Gene Kelly, Donald O'Conner and Debby Reynolds.  My whole family would sit and watch it together laughing while my brother tried his best to imitate Donald O'Conner.  I can remember a number of rainy days when mom would take my sister, brother and I outside to dance and sing in the rain.  While I'm sure anyone nearby assumed we were crazy, we always had great fun.

The rain is going to fall - there are really few choices about that.  However, what we do in the rain can change our experience and attitude significantly.  One of my favorite authors, Holley Gerth, talks about "foul-weathered" friends.  A foul weathered friend is that friend which can be counted on to be around when the storms of life are at their zenith.  

A good friend of mine attended a Bible college in the early 80's that had the policy that men and women could not walk arm in arm unless they were sharing an umbrella.  When she was dating the man who was later to be her husband, she laughing told me that rainy days were among her favorites as that's when she and Gary could walk closely together under the shelter of their umbrella.  While everyone knows that you still get wet when sharing an umbrella, it was one of her favorite times as it was also when the person she loved could draw the closest to her.

The last week has been full of foul weather for me (metaphorically).  And in this time, I have found that my true friends - my foul weather friends (you know who you are!)- have drawn me close to shelter under the umbrella of their love and caring.  Yes, I still felt the effects of the storm.  It was impossible not to; however, I found great comfort, love and hope in having people who lovingly shared their umbrella with me.  They did this by sending encouraging notes and text messages, praying for me, being available to take me to the doctor and making me know I was loved and special to them.

Walking through the rain with my foul weather friends reminded me of the times when I would dance and sing in the rain with mom.  It was a time when we chose to laugh and enjoy each other rather than bemoan the weather.  This past week, I was able to sing in the rain because of my dear foul weather friends.

The lesson to be learned from this for me was that when things are the roughest, there are always friends who will then draw the closest, and it is through their friendship and encouragement that I can sing in the rain.  Walking arm in arm under the umbrella of God's protection and my friends' love reminds me that the storms in life, while unpleasant, can bring about things that are very pleasant indeed.