On Being Poorly

Some of you dear friends will know from reading my other blog, LeapingTracks, that I am a chronic migraine sufferer.  This means that I have been getting migraines for 30 years now, and that they are a significantly debilitating part of my life. I take a lots of preventative medication, which mostly helps. But every 4-6 weeks I get a full-blown migraine that nothing can touch, lasting 2-3 days. And there is nothing to be done but lie in bed for hours until it passes.

I have had such an episode this weekend, which is why I was not able to post to this blog yesterday. A pity really, because I have managed a post a day since I started writing it in January. I often have some posts scheduled to allow for unexpected busy-ness or other distractions. But I was not that organised this week, so the chain got broken.

Never mind, not the end of the world, I told myself as I lay with my poor pounding head. Not that I could have done anything about it anyway. But when you are in that position for such a long time, your mind covers a lot of ground while you desperately try to get to sleep, to get away from the pain, and to pass the time more easily until you are well again.

One thing that does help a bit is to have audio distractions. I cannot lie there in silence – it is too painful. Having the radio on provides something to take my mind away from the migraine. Another thing that is a big help is audio books. But not just any audio books. I can’t listen to actual stories, as I do when I am well, because I drift in and out of sleep and so lose the thread of the plot. What really helps me are books that you might describe as ‘spiritual self-help’ books.  These are ones which contain profound wisdom and comfort, read in soothing, calm tones, and where it does not matter too much about which bit I am listening to at any point (not least because I have heard my favourites over and over again many times).

The audio books that especially help me are:

  • Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life – written and narrated by Dr Wayne Dyer (I wrote about this book in my last post);
  • The Power of Now and A New Earth – both written and narrated by Eckart Tolle (listening to his words is like lying in a fragrant garden, surrounded by beautiful flowers and birds);
  • How to be Sick and How to Wake Up – both written by Toni Bernhard, and narrated by Deon Vozov (based around Buddhist teachings, these books derive from Bernhard’s own situation as someone who had to come to terms with chronic illness).

I am not religious as such, but I find all these ‘teachings’ to be fascinating, and worthy of consideration as part of how to live one’s best life.  In any event, anything that helps me get through the long dark hours of a full migraine is definitely good to have around.

Finally, I must pay tribute to my darling husband. He has to endure the pain of seeing me suffering. He would say this is nothing compared to what I am going through, but it is important to recognise it nonetheless, as I know it is not easy. He helps me immeasurably by providing a constant supply of iced water to cool the piercing pain in my temple, even in the middle of the night. He stands by me while I am throwing up. He gets me clean nightwear to help me cool down after getting too hot, even when I am too poorly to realise that this will help. And he generally maintains a presence which is such a comfort to me. Thank you, Hub, for being there for me – I love you so much. xxx

20 thoughts on “On Being Poorly

  1. Such a touching, honest blog, Liz. I feel for you and entirely sympathise. And It is so reassuring to know that Steve is there supporting you. Xx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am so sorry you have such a terrible time. It is surprising that nothing has yet been found that significantly helps with migraines like yours. I get migraines but they cannot be compared with yours – I have medication that helps with most attacks. Hooray for your husband!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am so glad you have shared your sufferings with your friends as you have bravely suffered in relative silence for many years. Steve is one in a million and knowing he is there is a comfort when we are all so far away.
    Your spiritual guidance is my gain as you so wisely channel their wisdom to help me.
    Love you dearest Sister 👭😘

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ah, Liz, I’m sorry to hear you suffer so from migraines. I have them too but not (usually) to the extent that you do. They are a mystery aren’t they? I wish I knew how to ward them off. I like your suggestion of tapes to listen to. I’ve read Tolle’s books. I’ll have to try his recordings~what a great idea! The main thing is to go easy on yourself. Your words are worth waiting for 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Such kind words, Melissa, thank you so much. V sorry to hear that you suffer too. I hope the audio book option helps you as much as it does me – let me know how you get on if you do try it. xxx

      Liked by 2 people

  5. My dear friend, I have come back to your post a few times since I first read it. First of all, an excellent and thoughtful dialogue on the problem of pain which has kept philosophers, doctors, artists and writers awake at night. Your journey is not for the faint of heart, and certainly one that will focus your attention on an inward as well as an outward pathway. I especially like Eckhart Tolle’s quote: “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.” Pain has a way of eliminating the busyness of life and bringing all attention to the moment. I especially appreciated your comments about those who are closest – they share the load and worry. And rejoice when the peace of “no pain” is restored. Thank you for sharing your insights.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for this, Becky – as ever you have picked out the perfect Tolle quote. His work brings great comfort, whatever one is doing, or feeling, as do you, my dear friend. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.