Adventure in the Bleak Start of Winter

Winter may have just started, and I know that for so many that means so many scary brain spaces. Having just spent the last 6 months in a brain space a pure chaos, I welcome the quiet. I also welcome the medication. Because here’s the good news.

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I went back to the new family doctor I had previously seen, who had come across as uninterested. This time. She was interested. Or at least her nurse was. ┬áBut let’s start with the neurologist. He was condescending. He was unhelpful. He basically told me that because I had not been fired, I had no real cause for concern. He did say he saw no signs of MS on my MRI, but otherwise he also thought I had no reasons to be concerned. Because you know how when you get fired from a job the first thing your family always does is rush you to the emergency room because it’s usually cancer? First sign of a debilitating disease is always loss of job. I’ve taken precautions at work to maintain my work. Notes across my desk. And that’s not to say what’s been going on hasn’t affected my work. It has. Ask any of my coworkers. They see it. They worry. Ultimately, he handed me a prescription for migraine medication he didn’t explain scheduled me an appointment with a neuropsychologist and shoved me out the door. I felt very unheard. Especially, since I know my headaches are tension related.

So when I went back to my family physician and the nurse looked me in the eye, with concern. I got a little teary. When she explained to me that migraines some times don’t mean headaches at all. That some times migraines illicit stroke-like symptoms that cause your whole body to go numb. That some times hitting your head hard enough, especially if it goes unchecked, Dr. Jacqueline Akey, can really mess up the chemistry in your head and affect your memory and your processing. And that some times people who are otherwise healthy and intelligent get pushed aside when things start to go wrong, because they seem to have nothing wrong with them.

Ultimately, she thinks I’m going to be fine. Probably. The medication I am on will take some time to build up in my brain to do its job, so we’ll see about that, but the rest of me should go back to normal. She said to wait it out. If it doesn’t get better, I’m on the right track with the neuropsychologist. It may be more ┬áthan the hit to the head, but it’s at least that.

Helpful Tip: Helmet.

Or

Don’t take dares (just kidding. That’s dumb)

Or

Don’t help friends move.

While, I wait on my brain to calm down, enjoy the winter with me. I know so many of you hate it, but enjoy the honesty of it. It’s naked, and it’s real. I think that scares us, because we live in a world where we want to hide who we are. Where we’re supposed to. Let winter show you how it’s done. And if that fails, let it teach you to a little to be kinder to your introverted friends. Because we get so exhausted in the summer with your parties and your porches and your cookouts. We don’t want to miss it all, but we have to reset. Let us have this time. And hey, it’s warm right now. So rub that mud in our faces for a while too.

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My best friend gets me

Adventure in Being Overwhelmed

It’s here! It’s here! Christmas is less than a month away. Christ is so close your Advent Calendar might be a little empty now. Personally, mine is emptied the day I get it out, because candy. I’m just kidding. I don’t have an Advent Calendar, for the reason listed above.

This is the start of my favorite time of year. I love Halloween. I love autumn. But those magical snowfalls. The weekly gatherings of people who love the crap out of each other. Or don’t! But enjoy a good cookie as much as the next person, so they put on their best Christmas faces. And for some reason, at Christmas that Christmas face is so much easier to bring out. It’s because Christmas is magic. Christmas is surrounding.

On Sunday, I was surrounded by Christmas magic. No. That’s not true. But it was the start of the Advent season and I was surrounded. I was overwhelmingly surrounded. My mind lets me believe, a lot, that I’m alone. So very alone. And as I’ve gotten sicker, it’s felt more like that. Some times. In dozens of ways it’s felt less like that. Because in some ways, I’ve learned so much about the people around me. I haven’t given them enough credit. Because we choose the people in our lives, and I always let myself believe that that means they’ll just as quickly choose to walk away. The moment they see you cry in your new apartment. The moment they see you pee yourself with no warning. The moment you make fun of them a little too hard. That’s the thing though. They don’t. And I assure you it’s not because you’re so great, Hayley.

The last couple of weeks things have gotten worse. I wasn’t joking about peeing myself. Even when you’re home alone that’s embarrassing. Just so you know. I’ve spent days at a time with headaches so severe I can’t see. I’ve woken up blinded by pain in my head. Not it hurts to look, blind. Actually cannot see things. Colors are fading. I feel like I’m fading. Because some days, I’m fine. I think I’m fine. And then suddenly, I’m not. At all.

The weeks leading up to Sunday, I worked up some courage, because it’s a scary thing to ask. I can ask anyone to pray for anyone else. I can. I’m still asking people to pray for my pal Joel, and he’s back in the States now. But when it comes times to pray for me. It’s hard for me to do it for myself. But I make myself, because I don’t think we should ask other people to pray for us, if we can’t even do it ourselves. I think it’s important to be that vulnerable with God. It’s scary. Not because I thought for a moment anyone I asked would have said no, but because it is so vulnerable. So I started hard and worked my way to the easier people. And I’ll be honest, I’ve never felt so surrounded or carried or loved as I did Sunday morning. As I do still. I don’t tell you this to show you how loved I am, but to explain how important it is to ask. Because it’s overwhelming. Prayers across the globe and prayers on my shoulders and legs and head and hands. Thank you. Thank you to those who were there in the room with me and my family. Thank you to those who prayed across the globe. Thank you to those who are still praying. Thank you to those who have been praying without ever being asked. I know now, more than ever, that I am not in this alone.

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