When I say "I'm good," even I am not sure if I'm being truthful
I’m writing this on the last day of September (though it’s possible you readers won’t see it for awhile after that since we roll out blog posts over time). I have had such a sh*$$y month regarding my health. What’s funny is that, looking back on the last four weeks, I definitely see a lot of highlights among the migraines. Jim and I attended the wedding of a dear friend; we had friends visit from out of state; we settled more into our home. I drove to Virginia for a book conference and squeezed in a few days’ worth of family and friend visits.
Even during my periods of crappy health, I tend to look back through rose-colored glasses. All in all, I think this is a positive trait: I am a really a glass half-full kind of girl, almost always able to see the good even in the crappiest of situations.
Sometimes I wonder, though: am I being dishonest with myself about the impact migraine has on my life? And, if I am not being entirely honest with myself regarding migraine’s impact, am I doing myself a disservice in some way?
Today a friend asked how I was doing, and I (a born and bred Southerner despite my family’s Pittsburgh roots) automatically replied, “I’m good; how are you?” Never mind that it sounds more proper to say “I’m well.” Let’s just unpack the answer I just gave.
I had a really crappy migraine today, one of those lingerers that was accompanied by neck and shoulder pain so significant not more than a few minutes went by at a time without my actively noticing it. As of 5:00pm, I was still in pajamas, and I had just ordered dinner delivery because I wasn’t feeling up to cooking (and Jim was slammed with homework so couldn’t make us dinner without missing a school deadline). My to-do list for the bookshop wasn’t even one-tenth completed, and I’d just gotten a reminder that my book orders for the next four weeks of events need to be done immediately. I was exhausted, stressed, tired, frustrated, sick, migrainey, and stretched a little too thin.
Yet I told my friend I was good.
It’s not a lie, exactly. I do feel like things are, in general, rather good. I have a healthy, happy family I am close with. I happen to own the cutest cat in universe (it’s okay if you cat people want to take me to task for that—it is my wish that all we cat people firmly believe our cats are the very cutest). My dream was to open a bookstore and be a writer, and both of those goals have been met and even surpassed.
How am I? I’m good. I really am.
But, in looking back at the number of days in my calendar I have color-coded with orange (the color of my “health” calendar on my smart phone), I notice that more than half of the days in September have been migraine days. I have missed work shifts and functions, I have missed hangout time with my sister, and I have missed get-togethers with friends. I have been in attendance at work or social functions but only with about a third of my brain working (and that’s being generous). I’ve sat in front of the computer, totally dumbed down due to migraine, only to realize than an hour has passed without my getting any real work done.
So what is the answer? Am I good? Am I not? Have I had a crappy month, or a pretty good one? It’s so confusing to be grateful for the life I lead while simultaneously feeling at my wits’ end with migraine.
How many of you out there can identify with me on this issue?
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?