Migraine Awareness and Compassion Part 1

“Then the Lord answered them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you do these things to one of the least of these, you do it to Me.” Matthew 25:45

For those of us who suffer from chronic migraine or even surprise attacks, the ability to make plans or carry out our usual scheduled plans can be like dodging raindrops! We often find ourselves canceling those family plans. We cancel nights out with friends, activities with our kids, or even the usual trip to our house of worship due to migraine. This vicious cycle leads to guilt, isolation, and often times, misunderstandings and rejection. I have a story of how a little awareness and a lot of compassion has allowed this migraineur to do something I call my spiritual medicine… attend church!

Triggers during praise and worship

In order to get the impact of this story, one must understand the type of church that we attend. It is not a very big church, but it is mighty in spirit! We sing and praise loudly to God, clapping and singing out! The music is often loud and the “amen’s” are plentiful. Our pastor is passionate and when he gets on a roll, well you can always tell because he gets louder as he preaches. There is often backlighting that can be hard on the eyes. So all of this combined does not often lend itself well to someone who is in a state of migraine that has sensitivities to sound and light! Especially when we hold church outdoors! One might as well give up!

Gretchen and Michael Church meet the church

We began attending this church about a year and ½ ago shortly after moving to the area. We knew we were going to have to educate them a little about us. Both my husband and I have Parkinson’s Disease and I did not want to appear rude sitting there with sunglasses on when I was in the middle of a migraine storm. Now, this church is a praying, laying hands on kind of church! So they immediately laid hands on us and have continued to pray for us and with us always!

We have the “Welcome Crew” that is in the parking lot every Sunday that greet you as you drive in. We have the “Greeting Ladies” in the commons that greet you with a hug and a smile! They have all begun to recognize what kind of day we are having when I show up with sunglasses on and earplugs in my ears! We cannot forget the Audio/ Visual Techies that run the lights, soundboards and videos. The “Worship Team” leads us in our praise and worship! I would be remiss if I did not mention the “Women’s Group” led by Mrs. Pastor and our awesome “Prayer Warriors”.

The main characters of course are The Pastor and his lovely wife, along with the wonderful “church Family" we have now become a part of… So why introduce this cast of Characters? They all play a role in the story.

To be continued in Part 2!

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