Blank slate.

Every night before I go to sleep I sit down on the carpet next to my bed and I pull out my box of medications.  It is not a small box.  I rifle through pain killers, NSAIDS, beta-blockers, calcium receptor blockers, vaso-dialators, vaso-constrictors, muscle relaxants, estrogen, you name it.  It has been years since I didn’t have a handful of pills to take at night.

Earlier this week I ended up at the ER due to drug interactions.  There were two samples I had been given that weren’t supposed to be taken within 24 hours of each other. They are highly similar medications, so I basically OD’d on migraine treatments.  I have spent the rest of the week feeling like I have the flu as my body processed out the toxins. That got me thinking. What strange chemical soup do I have going on in my body anyway? Should I be on medications non-stop for the rest of my life? Given half lives of medications and drug interactions and nasty side effects, should I be throwing a bunch of samples into the mix?

My lovely trip to the ER and the several hour freak out about overdose or allergic reaction has lit within me the urge to go off of everything, start an elimination diet, and just get myself back to a blank slate.  I have no idea if the migraines I have now are so much worse because they naturally would have been that way, or if it is because I am a mind-boggling concoction of chemical additives.
It’s funny though.  This decision feels gut-level right but already my evil self is coming up with reasons why I should delay it, or not do it at all.

It’s nearly the holiday season, Evil Me says, you don’t want to feel left out during Thanksgiving, or Christmas! Think about how awful it will be to pass up the goodies!!

You have to take the estrogen, failing to do so will cause your bones to turn to dust and your chin to erupt in rivers of hair.

You will have to give up chocolate at the same time you stop taking your HRT’s. No one is stupid enough to do that. (Not even you, stupid).

Evil Me likes the idea of candy and not having hot flashes and being able to eat somewhat “normally”.  However, Evil Me is an idiot.  She also thinks it’s a good idea to put off chores, buy shoes she doesn’t need, and have that second serving of ice cream.  She would probably also be tempted to run off to Vegas with no notice, leaving the children in the care of my long suffering parents.

The books I have been reading indicate I should, at least, get off of refined sugars.  A fabulous new book I have been gifted suggests getting off of all grains, refined foods and sugars.  As sugar, chocolate especially, has long been linked with migraines, perhaps now is the time to go through with the elimination and reintroduction process.  Perhaps I can solve my health problems with a clean slate and close attention to trigger foods instead of using medications that make me ill and cost the earth.

It can’t be any harder than what I am currently doing.

The last baby.

It’s a distinction he bears with pride.  It started when he told me he wanted a younger brother, so he could have a boy to play with.  My heart constricted in my chest and tears welled up in my eyes.

“I can’t have anymore babies my love, you are my last baby.”

“Your last baby? Why am I your last baby?” He asked, eyes widening as he tried to wrap his six year old mind around a very adult concept.

“Remember when mommy had the last surgery?”

“Yes. You couldn’t pick me up forever, and you cried.”

“Yes” I managed to whisper over the lump in my throat. “When I had that surgery, they took out the parts that let me have another baby. So that is why you are my last.”

He was silent as he absorbed this.  Maybe it was something in my tone of voice or the look on my face but he sat with my statement for a long time, treating it with more seriousness than I thought he could.

“That’s really sad mommy, that you can’t have another baby.” He threw his arm around my neck and snuggled into me, giving me a chance to breathe in the unique smell of his sweat and shampoo. “But I am a little glad I got to be your last  baby.” He kissed me on the cheek and snuggled in close, pulling me towards him with both of his little boy arms.

“I am glad too sweetheart” I murmured as I rested my chin upon his head and closed my eyes.

“And Mommy? Don’t worry, I will always be your baby.”

Thankful.

Yesterday I was, to say the least, verklempt. Today, though the headache still rages like a violent storm, I am trying to focus on the positive.

My daughter woke me with a hug.  She starts every morning that way.  My son woke me with a snuggle.  He starts every morning that way.  Headache or otherwise, my kiddos love me and show me that each and every day.

My mother drove the kiddos to school, even though it meant interrupting her breakfast.  She did the same thing yesterday, and she drove to pick them up.  She backs me up always and just knowing I have someone who will is something to be thankful for.

A good friend reminded me that others have experienced similar difficulties, and though it took some time to find a solution, a solution was in fact found.  That idea gives me hope, makes me remember when the storm is raging that I just have to hold on until the sun breaks through the clouds.  (Figuratively, not literally, as the sun is kind of a bitch to deal with during a migraine)

I have people who love me, regardless of whether or not I can concur the world today.  I have people who take time out of their day to help me heal and succeed.  I have funny furry animals who snuggle me to keep me company, so I am not alone.

So today, despite yesterday’s unhappiness, despite the raging in my head, I am hopeful.  I will read “Heal your headache”. I will pet my cat.  I will try to get on with the day.

Thank you for the love.