Monday, July 22, 2013

Blessed are the cracked...

It wasn't that long ago that I saw a quote that I absolutely loved.  Maybe I loved it because it gave me hope.  Maybe I loved it because of its simplicity.  Maybe I loved it because of its truth.  Whatever the reason, I loved it. "Blessed are the cracked, for they let the light in."
 The quote quickly became my screen saver and I'd frequently repeat it to myself, as if to inspire myself.  It seems my husband took notice.  Today when I came home from work, there was a present waiting for me.  A tag frame that he'd designed, complete with part of that phrase that I love so much.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Kids say the darndest things...

The past two days have been nearly headache free. When I awoke this morning, my fourteen year old's face was the first image that I saw. She was peering at me with a worried expression on her face.  Instantly she started asking me how I felt, if I was okay, what I needed, etc. I was a little confused because I didn't need anything. I felt great. When I told her this, she had a look of utter confusion.
How guilty I feel. Here I am, the mother, and yet, my daughter has the role that I should have. She's the one that looks after me. Worries over me. Brings me water, or cuts the lights out, or wards off the neighborhood kids from making too much noise outside. She just needs to be a fourteen year old kid. And yet, she is just so mature... And that's because she's always had to be. For the last six years she's had the pleasure of living with a mom with chronic migraines.
And it's not just her. My eight year old son tenses up if his little friends ring the doorbell when really he should just run out to greet them so he can play. He shouldn't be worried that I'll have that ringing vibrate in my head for thirty minutes or so after it's stopped. And my husband... Well, I can't even go there.
A friend of mine recently posted something on Facebook about caring for her elderly mother and how it was both hard on both of them and yet the greatest blessing all at the same time. I think that's how I feel. I feel like such a tremendous burden to my family and so GUILTY because of it, but they insist that it's a blessing that I'm still here with them.
But I AM feeling better and better. My hope and prayer is just that I WILL get better so that my kids CAN finally be kids and not worrying about me. Shesh!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Yesterday, a good friend of mine went into labor at just 22 weeks along. They tried everything to stop it, but nothing worked. She delivered a beautiful baby boy that was under 1 pound, but he was still born. She's had 2 miscarriages before. 

She was already showing, talking to him, loving him... Excited. She had registered and taken belly photos. And then, heartbreak. *sigh* Life can be so cruel.

In other news, my headache free period was short lived. The next day I went to bed with a kind of bad headache, but since then it hasn't been too bad. If I had to rate the pain I'd give it a 2-3.

Can't really think to write. My mind just keeps going back to the sleeping baby... :,(

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 1 of NO HEADACHE!!!

So the month(s) long migraine BROKE! Today makes day 1 of absolutely NO headache. :D I am absolutely beside myself with joy. I haven't felt this good in ages. Feeling this good makes me feel that getting the second opinion, standing up for myself, speaking up for myself, was worth it. Even though it made me uncomfortable to "step on toes", I did the right thing and maybe, just maybe, I'm finally getting better!
Already my little family has plans for a day trip this weekend and I'm just so excited to be able to do that and not lay cooped up on the couch, in the dark, feeling like crap all weekend. HOORAY FOR HEALTH!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I love the broken ones.

There is a song that I really like by Dia Frampton called the 'Broken Ones'.  There is a line in it that says "I love the broken ones, the ones who need the most patching up..." I would have to say, that is definitely true for me.  (The entire song is beautiful!  I'd strongly recommend downloading it from iTunes! I've added the song for your listening pleasure to my blog below.)
Unfortunately, becoming "broken" isn't easy nor is it fun.  It usually means you've been through something.  Or somethings.  But being "broken" sands off the edges and allows character to shine through that nothing else would ever possibly do. 
I look back at my life and I'm thankful for all the rough patches.  Not only have they made me who I am, but they have made me compassionate, and humble, and a survivor.  When I think of the people in my life that I truly admire, they are all 'Broken Ones'.  Some of these have lost a spouse, or a child, or battled near death sickness/cancers, or had spouses or parents with chronic illnesses, or lost jobs, or divorced, or had parents that did, or had parents that maybe should have, or had parents that were addicts, or were addicts themselves, etc.  Put capes on THESE people because these people...  Well, lame as it may sound, these people are my heroes.  These people are the people that are worth getting to know.  They are worth being friends with.  I could care less about the Jones' or the folks down the road with all the money or the fancy car or the big house and fancy clothes.  THESE folks have depth.  THESE folks have had life sand off their crud and there is beauty shining through.
But really... I think that most people probably have been broken... shattered...  Most people just keep those cards so close to their chest that you'd never know it, but sadly, when there is none of that transparency, you don't see any of that diamond shining through either. 
I wonder why we, as people, think that we have to pretend to have it all together?  Why do we feel that we can't just be real? 

Dia Frampton - The Broken Ones (Lyrics)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Nothing is free, but sometimes the fee is well worth the prize!

For the past 3 days I have felt better than I have in ages, not cured, but better. Yesterday we took a little day trip down to Alabama to visit my childhood best friend for her birthday. It was a wonderful day. Our family's went bowling and laughed and just had a great time.

When I woke today, I did have a headache, but not bad enough to stop me from going to church. I haven't been in ages so I was pretty excited about going. But... the longer I sat there, the longer fatigue and the strength of the headache hit me. It felt like one of those 14 pound bowling balls from yesterday had replaced my head and my neck's just too weak to hold it up. When I came home I took a good long nap, and I'm looking forward to going to bed tonight. LOL

Still, I am getting better every day. I'm not there yet, but I can see hope. That's enough to keep me going.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Turn for the... BETTER!

I am THRILLED to be able to truthfully say that for the past two days, I have felt better than I have felt in ages! On a pain scale of 0-10, I've been at a 2!! Way better than the 7 I've been dealing with for the past few months.

I'm still on the Topamax and Cymbalta, but my new neurologist has added Midrin and a PRN medicine called Dihydroergotamine Mesylate. This latter medication I have never heard of, it leaves a horrible taste in my mouth, but it does seem to offer some relief. I'm back to using a pill box to remember when and how often to take my medication, but I'd take that over how I was feeling any day.

My mood has improved as well. Why wouldn't it? After all, I finally feel like my head's not going to explode!

Yesterday, a friend stopped by and made the comment about me being such a trooper. If she only knew! I feel like I am the biggest whiny butt in the world. But then... I guess the only people that I really whine too are those that live under my roof. In front of everyone else, I am pretty good at slicking on a smile. After all, I have had nearly six years of practice. (;

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Why, why, WHY???

I believe that there comes a time in one's life when they ask one extremely pivotal question: why. They may add other fluff to it, like, "Why me?" "Why am I here?" But stripped away, all they are really wanting to know is one thing. WHY.

 The Bible is slam full of others that have also asked that ever important question.  There was this prophet named Habakkuk that began his book pretty annoyed with God.  He was saying how long he'd been crying out to God and yet it seemed like God wasn't listening and people were just going crazy anyway and things were going terribly wrong... He was asking why.  Hummm... Funny, I've felt forgotten before too...  Anyway, in chapter 2 Habakkuk states that he's going to stand firm and then suddenly God starts to speak to him... So he got his answer. But it wasn't easy. He first had to go through a time of crying out and feeling ignored. He had to go through a time of feeling like everything that could go wrong, was going wrong. 
Of course there is Paul. Good ol' Paul. None of us know what was ailing him, but we DO know that it troubled him enough that he went to God about it three times. I think about him a lot.  I wonder what more he might have done if that 'thorn wasn't in his side', but then I also wonder if that 'thorn' had been removed, would he have fallen?  Afterall, there is a reason that God left it there saying that His grace was sufficient. I think about myself. All the things that I want to do, could do, if I was healthy... But... will this thorn be left in my side?
Gideon asked God 'why me' when God wanted to use him to deliver his children. Job certainly asked 'why'. Joseph asked 'why' when his virgin wife got pregnant. Moses asked 'why' to the burning bush. Shall I go on? 
God, You eventually spoke to Habakkuk. Speak to me as well. Give me some comfort, Lord, the comfort that only You can give. I don't want to feel ignored anymore. If this 'thorn' is meant to be here forever, give me grace to sustain this. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Obituaries are dumb.

Today my constant thought has been on my obituary. That and the color that I'd like to redecorate my bedroom. Let's address the obituary first as it's the most morbid.

I suppose it would say something like:
  • Jessica Norman, of Albany, Georgia died ________ , _________ ___, 20__ after a long battle with complications stemming from a brain tumor. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, May 5, 1983, to Juan Garcia and Kimberly Varnadoe, Jessica married her high school sweet heart in 2004 and has two children. Jessica was an excellent student and a loving mother; she received her Associates Degree of Nursing in 2011 from the Darton College University. She went on to work in Med/Surge nursing and then work in Southwest Georgia Nephrology's office. Jessica is survived by her husband, Martin Norman, and children, Lexi and Caleb.
Sadly, that short little blurb doesn't tell anything about who I am.  I hate it.  It's like a waste of space.  A joke really.  Sad that there are some people in this world that will only know me based on this short little paragraph.  I hate it.
So that's how I'm feel about that.
Now onto less morbid things, my room. I seriously want to redecorate my room. Of course I need to feel better in order to do it. I want a new bed comforter in a fun new vibrant color so that I can get several throw pillows to "match".  And I want to repaint.  And get new curtains.  So I really MUST feel better, see. I have things to do.

Friday, July 5, 2013


So incredibly frustrated. I'd like to be clever and compare my present feelings to those of others that have felt similar to how I'm feeling, but honestly I'm just so upset that I can't even think past my feeling of defeat/despair.

I was released from the hospital yesterday. When I went in, I got a "new" neurologist which meant for the first time in over 5 years, I got a fresh new perspective. That did give me hope. My MRI's and lumbar puncture all came back fine and the prognosis was just that I've basically been undertreated all this time. So it was decided that I would come home to 2 new medications. One of them would be a migraine nasal spray and the other called Midrin. It sounded like it wouldn't be long and I would live a fairly normal life!

Well, since I was discharged yesterday, the pharmacy was of course closed. Riding home made me EXTREMELY nauseous and we barely pulled over in time for me to puke everywhere. Fun. But I made it home and then insisted that my husband take my kids out to enjoy the fireworks of the 4th of July while I laid on the couch feeling sorry for myself. What joy.

First thing this morning, my husband took my prescriptions to the pharmacy and was told that these two medicines are so rarely used that they aren't even in stock at any of the pharmacy's in town. Therefore, they wouldn't be here until tomorrow. So I laid on the couch all day whimpering in pain and digging up some old Lortab that I had. But this afternoon the pharmacy called my husband with their apologies that the medicines would actually not be here until MONDAY!!!!!!! I just crumbled in tears.
You know, I know that I should be ashamed for complaining when there are so many people out there that have things worse than I do. I have a home and family. I have friends that love me. And yet I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I want to be able to enjoy all that I've been blessed with. I wanted so badly to be a part of my family last night to watch the fireworks. I want to be outside with them now playing in the rain. What kind of quality of life is this? When I function, I am on autopilot and only make it for so long before crashing... I just want to live. I just want to be a normal 30 year old. Is that so selfish of me to ask?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy for my freedom OUT of the hospital!

So I finally did it. Monday, I was hospitalized and requested a different neurologist and received a second opinion.  My "old" neurologist was VERY upset, even came bursting in my room and chewed me out.  I felt absolutely horrible, as I had already been having the hardest time making this choice, but when I met my new neurologist, I felt that I made the right choice.

In the 2 days that I was hospitalized, I had MRI's with/without contract and neither showed any changes. (HOORAY!) Then, I had a lumbar tap, but it was also normal. (YAY!) All we can guess is that I have been on inefficient meds for my body for several years. We're trying to break through this headache and then find new maintenance meds to get me back to 'normal' living.

Normal living... Wow... I can't even imagine... This year, my family has all just left to go see fireworks because today is the 4th of July. I am spending it throwing up, lying on the couch, (forcing myself to) drinking water, and trying to watch Lifetime and feeling sorry for myself. This will be the second year in a row that I've missed the 4th of July due to this kind of thing. Of course I wanted them to go, insisted on it even, but I want to go to!! :/

I just want to be NORMAL. I want to live NORMAL. I want my 8 year old son and 14 year old daughter to have a NORMAL mom. One that pillow fights with them and paints my daughter's nails and shoots my son with Nerf guns and lays under the stars and watches fireworks. I don't want to miss work and have my boss know that my head is retarded. I don't want to know the ins and outs of pain medicines and their side effects. I just want to be a normal 30 year old. I want to paint my toe nails and walls and I want to work out and be fun and have fun. And I don't want to be in the mully grubs and whine and complain.

In the wise words of my momma, this too, shall pass. I will survive because there is one thing I have learned about myself in the last 6 years... I AM a survivor. I am a fighter.