It’s cold. And changing my antidepressant from Cymbalta (which was helping my fibromyalgia but had quit helping my depression) to Fetzima (vice versa) isn’t helping my grumpy mood any. I have developed strange food cravings (carbs, sugar, and more carbs) and I am frighteningly grateful for cable TV and Law & Order reruns.
Even having a migraine, with all of its painful and ugly connotations, sounds romantic in French. According to one of my favorite books, Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language From the South of France, by Kristin Espinasse (an American married to a Frenchman and living in Provence), to have a migraine in French is avoir la tête comme une citrouille. Literally translated into English, this means “to have a pumpkin head,” which is amusingly descriptive of a migraine. If, that is, someone is pounding violently upon the pumpkin that is one’s head.
However, I did discover another tip in the same chapter. The chapter is called is Citrouille and is about Espinasse’s rather hilarious attempt to celebrate Halloween American-style with her bewildered French neighbors. Next time vous avez la tête comme une citrouille, simply scream at your pumpkin head “Allez-vous-en!” (get out of here!) Scream as loud as you can with someone whacking at your pumpkin head with a hammer, anyway.
I apologize for my lousy French grammar, by the way. Should mon la tête comme une citrouille ever va-t-en laisse-moi tranquille (go away and leave me alone), I hope to brush up on my college French.
N.B. As always, I use textures from 2 Lil’Owls on my photos, this one included. I highly recommend their entire line of presets, textures, digital papers, and workshops. If interested in purchasing, my affiliate link is https://2lilowls.com/ref/9
The end of summer is always bittersweet, but this year more than usual. I had all kinds of things I was hoping to do this summer, from lunch with friends to trips to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to take photos, and did nothing, almost, thanks to my ever-present chronic migraines. I even missed the annual Resch Family Reunion–something I look forward to all year–for the second year in a row.
The highlights? I saw my beautiful and sweet niece Kathryn get married in May. (Late May counts as summer, right?) I made it to a family party at my Aunt Sheila’s and got to see my cousin Elissa who was home visiting from Florida in July. My darling niece Laura and her husband John took us out to dinner. And in August George’s sister and her husband invited us to stay with them for a long weekend in Cornucopia, a village not far from Bayfield, Wisconsin, on the South Shore of Lake Superior. It was heavenly. Lake Superior is my favorite place in the entire world. The weather was lovely. And the company was, of course, superb!
All of these activities, it should be noted, took place with pharmaceutical help. Sigh. But I did get some pretty pictures. And hope is on the horizon…It turns out my insurance covers migraine Botox after all, so hopefully this fall will not be so excruciating!
The summer began with peonies…
Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul.
And continued with more flowers, at home and in Cornucopia…
The family party…
Summer is the annual permission to slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.
Corny days and nights…
If the sight of blue skies fills you with joy; if a blade of grass springing in the fields has the power to move you; if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.
And if you have a husband who brings you flowers just because he knows they will cheer you up; nieces and cousins and friends who send you sweet messages on social media; friends who stand by you no matter how many times you cancel plans; family who take you out to dinner and invite you over and have you come to stay with them; be grateful, for this is God telling you that you are loved beyond measure.
N.B. Photographer friends, FYI all presets and textures were from 2lilowls.com. I highly recommend their products! If you choose to purchase something, I’m an affiliate and I’d love it if you used my link to do so: https://2lilowls.com/ref/9 (This way I get a small portions of the profits so I can indulge my growing texture addiction!)
My chronic migraines are giving me a rough time the last year especially, which is why I am doing less writing and more posts with primarily photographs. It’s hard to concentrate on writing when there is an entire percussion section going mad inside my skull…but hopefully soon I will have some decent writing days. I hope.
In the meantime, on a happier note, here are some peonies!
This afternoon was going well, until I saw the email. Yesterday I cheered by an email from my professor, who said he wanted me to stay in his class despite my absence Tuesday night and that I was “intelligent and insightful”. Today, however, I check my email and discover an email from the Director of my program,saying that “I want to ask that you make your Tuesday evening class…your top priority (aside from self-care and your family). That is, so that you can finish this course, please do everything you can to be rested and ready for Tuesday evenings…For the next six weeks, please really try to focus in and finish the work for this course.”
Some background here: At the beginning of the semester I was getting terrible migraines (because I needed bifocals, as it turned out) and missed several classes, which is a huge deal in my program–classes only meet once a week, for three hours. I was asked to consider a medical leave, which is was, but then a couple of days later I discovered at my eye exam that my need for bifocals was causing my migraines. So I decided to stay in the class, and my prof and the Director agreed, as long as a gave him (the Director) a signed statement saying that I will make the class a top priority and not miss any more classes. Which I did. Then I get an email repeating almost verbatim what he said before. After I was so sick I had a fever of 101, hideous chills and sweats, etc., and I still showed up for class.
He did reiterate in his note that the faculty support me in finishing my degree, and that he knew I was a good student. But most of the letter seemed to imply that when I had problems finishing classes before–because of migraines, fibromyalgia, neck surgery, and a couple of nasty depression relapses–it was because I wasn’t focusing enough. Wasn’t trying hard enough. I have always really liked him, and I am feeling a bit…crushed, that he seems to think I’ve been slacking off in the past.
Sometimes, I wish people knew how much courage it takes to get up in the morning, knowing I’m going to be in pain all day. And I realize I may be projecting some of my insecurities on to this email. I do feel insecure a a good share of the time: if I just tried harder, couldn’t I beat this thing? (Well, things, in my case.)
I need more spoons.
However, one of my favorite authors did come to my rescue:
One of the most beautiful ways for spiritual formation to take place is to let your insecurity lead you to the Lord. Natural hypersensitivity can become an asset; it makes you aware of your need to be with people as it allows you to be more willing to look at their needs (Henri Nouwen)
I could do with a little less hypersensitivity these days, though. It’s hard, as right at the moment I’m in the midst of a fibromyalgia flare and feeling very fragile thanks to my depression and PTSD. Now I have to figure out how to hand my insecurities and doubts about myself over to God. And my therapist.
Does anyone else out there feel fragile, like the least little thing will make you break? Or that if you just pulled yourself up by your bootstraps, as the saying goes, that you could be well?
Edit:I may have spoken too soon–at the end of the letter he tells me how glad he is I am in the Program. But this is still a good lesson on how deep my insecurities run.
Yes, I’m changing my title again, for the third time. So far it has gone from “redhead report” to “gifts in the rubble” to, as of today, “the little things.”I am only 5’1” after all.
I decided to change the name because the title “gifts in the rubble” was, supposedly anyway, more about the grace we find when we are going through “the dark night of the soul.” (And that phrase comes from John of the Cross. I must have Carmelite mystics on the brain.) I have been there many, too many, times throughout my life, for various reasons. I don’t want to ignore that, but I want to emphasize that grace is everywhere, that we are surrounded by God’s grace and presence at all times and all places.
I have neglected my poor blog terribly over the last couple of years. Part of it was because I was experiencing chronic migraines–I’ve had to take two medical leaves from grad school–which have finally been cured, by Botox injections, as of the end of March!! I still have fibromyalgia, etc., to deal with, but the fibro I can cope with. Migraines just sent me straight to a dark room, literally and figuratively.
But I realized the other day that I haven’t even mentioned one of the most important and exciting events in my life: I met my birthmom! (Okay, so this is NOT a little thing, although she is!) And I totally love her; she is such a sweetheart. Warm, kind, generous, intelligent, and of course, five feet tall. And she’s a lot of fun, too. And I’ve even met my birthfather’s family, and now I know where I get my red hair and skin that refuses to tan, ever. I’ll write more about this next time, but I’ll lever you with a couple of pictures of the two of us until next time.
|Mom (Judy) and me, Xmas 2010|
|The two of us right after we met, in August 2010,|
One comment, though, before I go. My love for her does not any way change the love I still have for my adopted mom and dad. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of them, and miss them. It was my mom (Millie) who told me that hearts are infinitely expandable. As usual, mom, you were right!
- Don’t Tell Me Migraines Don’t Kill! (puttingourheadstogether.com)
- Migraine Awareness Month: Days 1 Through 4 (allsortsofbooks.wordpress.com)
- My favorite Theological poem, The Dark Night of the Soul (ronlifeatthemoment.wordpress.com)
- Lions and Tigers and Migraines Oh My! (shopgirlbree.wordpress.com)