Sunday, May 22, 2011

Movie: Love & Other Drugs

We've had Netflix for a couple weeks (and we're loving it!). The movie I saw the other day really moved me. Love & Other Drugs was a really good movie.

In the film, Maggie (Anne Hathaway) and Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) have a relationship that evolves from all physical (with no attachment) to love. Maggie has early-onset Parkinson's, a disease without a cure. She doesn't want her disease to define her. I hate to spoil any part of such a great movie, but the following scene just broke me down (I tried relentlessly to find a good video of it to attach, but the best I have is the script).
Jamie: I'm full of s***, okay? No I'm... I'm *knowingly* full of s***. Because, uh... because uh, uh... I have... I have *never* cared about anybody or anything in my entire life. And the thing is, everybody just kind of accepted that. Like, "That's just Jamie." And then you!... Jesus. *You*. You. You didn't see me that way. I have never known anyone who actually believed that I was enough. Until I met you. And then you made me believe it, too. So, uh... unfortunately... I need you. And you need me.
Maggie: No I don't.
Jamie: Yes you do.
Maggie: No I don't.
Jamie: *Yes*, you do.
Maggie: Stop it, stop saying that.
Jamie: You need someone to take care of you.
Maggie: No, I don't!
Jamie: Everybody does.
Maggie: I'm gonna need you more than you need me.
Jamie: That's okay.
Maggie: [crying] No it's not! It isn't *fair*! I have places to go!
Jamie: You'll go there. I just may have to carry you.
Maggie: ...I can't ask you to do that.
Jamie: You didn't. 
Maggie, in the end of that scene is how I feel so often... "I'm gonna need you more than you need me... It isn't *fair*!" I feel frustrated by the fact that I have an incurable illness. I hate that Jeremy needs to take care of me and help me so much. I don't think any of this is fair.

Luckily, Jamie's response to Maggie is how Jeremy is to me... "That's okay... You'll go there. I may just have to carry you... You didn't [ask me to carry you]." Jeremy has told me that he doesn't resent needing to take care of me. Jeremy and I were together long before my accident, so we're learning this disability-stuff together. I'm so blessed to have someone that loves me no matter what. 

“Sometimes the things you want the most don’t happen and what you least expect happens. I don’t know – you meet thousands of people and none of them really touch you. And then you meet that one person and your life is changed, forever.”
-Jamie Randall (in Love & Other Drugs)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mixed Feelings This Graduation Season

I've been having some mixed feelings well up over the last couple of weeks. Back in the fall of 2009, I decided to begin graduate school. Some of my journey has been written in a previous post, Pursuing a Degree with Migraine Agony. So, let's just say that my health worsened and I ended up taking a leave of absence after 2 semesters (after the Spring 2010 semester).

Well, the people that were part of my cohort graduated this past weekend. It was my plan to graduate this year, as well. And, as proud as I am of them, it's difficult to see graduation pictures of them without me there, too.

This has actually come as quite a surprise to me because I've been at peace with my decision not to return to graduate school (at least not right now). But, it's still a reminder that I was unable to attain a goal I set for myself, due to my health issues. I find myself feeling extremely jealous of those that completed the program, and I'm not quite sure how to move past it right now.

Yesterday, I wrote a post on my other blog that I really need to try to keep in my heart and mind. The post is called Wait and See by Brandon Heath. I have trouble being patient, but I need to remember the words to this song. Here are some of the ones that are touching me so much right now... 
There is hope, for me yet,
Because God won't forget,
All the plans HE's made for me
I have to wait and see,
HE's not finished with me yet,
HE's not finished with me yet

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I participated in WEGO Health's Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge (HAWMC) in April. I completed thirty posts in thirty days. I'd like to write a bit about my experience writing thirty posts in a row based on prompts that someone else dictated.

First of all, completing this challenge was a HUGE accomplishment for me. Since my accident, the pain has been so unpredictable and debilitating that I often struggle to make or keep any sort of plans.

But, in February/March, I committed to attending a once a week church class for four-weeks. I had horrible migraines for at least two of the meetings, but I took meds and pained myself through them. You see, I haven't felt a sense of accomplishment in quite some time, so that was a BIG deal for me.

Then, this HAWMC came up in April. I decided to commit to doing it, even though I knew it would be difficult. I was blessed to have a week of pretty good days (i.e., 4-5 on a 10-point scale) the very end of March/beginning of April. I tried to balance getting a lot done and not over-doing it that week, and I think I did a pretty good job. I got a start on some of the HAWMC prompts; which really helped out, when I had my migraine days that usually come in about 3-5 day blocks of time. I paced myself toward the end of the month, when I knew I was going to be out of town and super-busy.

I found some of the posts incredibly interesting and enjoyable, while others were much more of a struggle to get through. I really liked learning different ways writing, and having a chance to practice with them. Some were styles that I've never even heard of, much less try to write in... some I will use again, and some I won't... but it was a great experience to at least be exposed to them.

I had a lot of difficulty with the more silly, creative posts. I know that my creative thinking skills have suffered greatly, since my accident; but this made it even more clear. I've had cognitive processing difficulties with the head injury, migraines, meds, etc... So, when my brain works, it's normally not creative in nature.

I also really enjoyed the WEGO Health Blog, where I had the opportunity to read other people's posts based on the same prompts. I was exposed to new blogs with some great people. It was a great experience, but I'm glad it's over... for now (I need a break from daily posts based on dictated prompts).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mall Madhouse

The MALL is a horrible place for a Migraineur.

Photo by Trainer Momma1
I knew this, but it was reaffirmed a couple days ago. Unfortunately, I already had at least the start of a migraine when we went, but we had to get our new glasses ordered (before our vision insurance ended). My husband went with me, so that helped.
  • The LIGHTS were so bright - fluorescent lights and the sun coming through the window ceilings.
  • The SOUNDS were unbearable - crowds of people, there were random singers there with microphones in the middle of the mall, and the music was blasting in the bustling food court.
  • The SMELLS were constantly strong and changing - people with different perfumes/colognes walking by, bath and body stores, the food court (which has the largest variety of foods I've ever seen in one place), and perfume/cologne stores everywhere.
  • The CROWDS were ridiculous.- there were so many people there, and I just can't really deal well with crowds of people, especially when I have or am getting a migraine. People were also driving like maniacs (well, that's a normal occurrence)... we drove less than 2 miles, and we saw so many stupid things happen on the road that I still can't quite believe it.
I was dealing with mounting STRESS on top of the other stuff because the insurance company's system was messing up and was showing that we'd already used our benefits and weren't eligible for coverage. Of course, this is on a Saturday because my head has been pounding the past few days, when we were planning on going to take care of it. The Lord answered my prayer to help ease the anxiety and for the situation to work itself out. When we went back to see if the system had improved after we ate lunch at the mall, the lady that helped us was able to get a manual authorization to push it through the system. I'm so grateful that things worked out!
Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog is intended as medical or legal advice.

What I write on this site is my own, and if it is someone else's, I take special care to attribute it to the original author. So, please don't use any of my material without proper attribution or permission. Thanks.