Migraine Awareness and Compassion Part 2

Picking up from part 1 of Migraine Awareness and Compassion:

Enter Gretchen and her Goliath called Migraine

I suffer from Chronic Migraine Syndrome with Intractable Migraines. Which pretty much means I am never free of a migraine and it all depends on the level of pain. On a good day, I am at a 6. Over a 7 and it is pretty much a tough nasty dark room day. However, I believe that feeding my soul is almost more important than filling my body with medications. Well, at least as important, depending on which pain level I am at!

So I will often go to church armed with my sunglasses on (I do not have the migraine glasses yet), my earplugs, and my Yeti cup full of water! That usually signals any of the cast of characters that, Gretchen is having a migraine day!

There have been some Sundays that I have been able to make it into church, only to find I being to get a horrible aura and nausea waves begin. My sweet husband, who happens to be an usher, cannot exactly leave in the middle, looks at me with wondering eyes and hands me the keys to the car. I retreat to the car lay with the AC blaring (we live in Florida), until service is over. Enter the “Welcome Crew” these wonderful men will bring a stool and sit right by the car and keep an eye on me during the service in case I have a problem!!

Pastor and Goliath

Most of us know the story of David and Goliath. David throws a stone with his slingshot into Goliath’s head and knocks him out and he stabs Goliath. Ironically as I think back, Goliath probably had a pretty good headache for a few seconds, before he died. As we have created more awareness within our church about my condition, they have come to understand some of the complexities I deal with on a daily basis. The prayers remain numerous. When I spent 10 days in the hospital for an intractable migraine I had visitors from the church and prayers! Everyone keeps an eye on me.

One day The Pastor slew my Goliath so to speak. This still makes me tear up a little. Pastor knew I was really hurting. He headed to the sound booth and turned down the music before I enter the sanctuary. The Techies lowered lights a bit. The Worship Team sang a little softer and the Prayer Warriors and Women of the church were ready to lay hands and pray over me! This is now a frequent occurrence.

I may still have to wear my shades and my earplugs, but I am present and not stuck at home or out in the car! The needs of the ONE outweighed the needs of the MANY! Now THAT is compassion!

What can you do??

If you belong to a House of Worship or even a club or service organization, those are really good places to start with creating awareness and understanding of what you are dealing with as a Migraineur.

  • Talk to others about migraine
  • Explain your symptoms and what can be done so you can attend more
  • Let them come up with ways to include you more
  • Carry your shades and earplugs and water with your everywhere

Having migraines are not your fault, you did not choose to have this illness. You may still have times when you are “stuck at home” instead of participating. We must begin to find and hang onto those times, even if they are for an hour or so, when we are living despite having a migraine. When the world, or at least our small part of it, decides to become aware and compassionate enough to take the time to make accommodations so that we can enjoy being a part of it.

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." Dalai Lama

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