Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Finding Nemo" with Migraine and Chronic Illness

"Just Keep Swimming!"

I was only a teenager when things started to go permanently wrong with my health, so I've been doing this *chronic* thing a long time.

Along the way I've managed to have and raise two great kids, maintained a 30 year marriage, and held a handful of jobs that made it possible for me to put my priorities straight and still contribute to the family income at the same time.  I even built and owned three of my own businesses.  I've spent more hours volunteering than probably anything else... all while sick.

My mom has a saying that is called an "Ellenism" in our house now because I say it at least once a day.  It explains how I "just keep swimming..."  It's all about a question, and an answer.

"How do you eat an elephant?"

Answer: "One bite at a time."

Most of the time I take things one day at a time.  Sometimes I feel worse than others and I have to take things in smaller bites.  Maybe it's getting through this half of the day.  Maybe it's getting through the next hour.  Sometimes, it's just getting through the next minute.  I literally watch the clock as I try to distract myself from the pain that is mind-bending.  Each time the number changes to another minute, is like a victory for this warrior.

When the clock changes, it means two things.  It means that I conquered and I won over whatever challenge I was enduring and fighting that minute, but it also gives me strength that I know if I did it once, I can do it again.

There are no medals in this fight.  There aren't even any ticker tape parades or celebratory parties.  There is usually just me, knowing if I did it once, I can do it again.

I don't really have any other ways to just keep swimming... this has worked for me for decades.  So long as my direction is still forward, it doesn't matter how small those bites are, just so long as I keep taking them.  Eventually the enormous task ahead - which regrettably is sometimes just surviving - will be accomplished.

Learn more about the 2013 MHAM Blog Challenge and other MHAM events by visiting: 2013 Migraine & Headache Awareness Month Information Page
June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is issued by FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Your post resonated with me. That's how I manage too! I'm impressed with all you have been able to accomplish over your journey with migraine. Good work! I hope you continue to stay positive and take the elephant one bite at a time. ;-)

- Sarah