Friday, June 22, 2012

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #22 (Part 2): Masking the Pain

My little sister was married to her handsome prince this past weekend. I'm so happy for them! It's been a looong time coming, and I'm so glad they're now united in marriage... and the wedding was perfect and beautiful!

My migraines didn't seem as interested in helping make their day special and perfect, though. In fact, last Thursday, a migraine started... it still hasn't subsided. I was able to use my pain meds to get through the rehearsal and dinner, and their wedding day... but that wasn't without A LOT of inner turmoil.

* I'm going to include a few pictures. I apologize for the poor quality - I have to see if I can get some better quality copies, but I couldn't wait to give a sneak peak! *


I wasn't feeling well on Thursday (I struggled all day, but we had a nice evening - except that perfume and scented lotion helped push me further over the edge... didn't really know until it was too late), but I completely crashed on Friday.

I ended up taking my pain meds (I didn't want to try a new medicine, so I used meds that I knew how I would react to - knowing the side effects I would face). I let the best man know that I might be off-balanced and that I might need to lean on him for support (luckily, he was a pretty solid guy).

The Bride & Groom at the Rehearsal Dinner
I let my immediate family know that I wasn't doing well at the rehearsal. I had some family members tell me (after I mentioned that I wasn't doing well) that I have a very good mask. I pushed as much as I could. I'm sure I wasn't very pleasant to be around. Between the heat, humidity, lights, sounds, group of people, nausea, irritability, camera flashing, etc, I just couldn't take anymore, so Jeremy and I left the rehearsal dinner early (hoping that I could sleep off the migraine, so my head would be better on the wedding day).

Wedding Day

I knew when I woke up that I wasn't going to make it through the day without taking anything. So, I took my pain meds, again, on Saturday.

I've written before about wearing a mask to hide the pain - see this post, The Girl Behind the Mask. But, it was a little different this morning. Here's something I wrote this in the morning, before the wedding: "As I put my makeup on this morning, I can't help but feel like an actress preparing to go on stage for a performance - 'the show must go on.' I feel fake or something. But, it's Jenn's big day, and I want to be there for her... even if part of me is missing."

It wasn't easy dealing with the pain plus side effects, but I'm glad that I was able to attend. I pushed really hard, and I was told that I had a very good mask on - that others couldn't tell that I was hurting so badly, and that I looked absolutely beautiful. I guess working on masking my pain came in handy the other day...

The Gorgeous Bride
My sister's wedding was absolutely beautiful!!! I shortened my maid of honor toast (I'm going to write out what I originally wanted to say, and give it to them with their wedding gift) - I told my sister before the reception, so she'd know. I started tearing up during the toast, but it was mostly due to the fact that I was hurting so badly just trying to get the toast done. I have a lot of love and emotion for my sister and her new husband, but it was hard for me to focus on much else besides the pain - I just hope they know how much they mean to me.

After dinner, toasts, and cake, I had to leave the reception area. The music was sooo loud, and there were flashing lights in the reception room. So, I didn't really get to spend much time visiting or dancing with anyone. My husband and I left before they did a mock exit (then they came back in to dance the night away) with sparklers - I just don't think I could've handled the flickering lights of the sparklers.
Jeremy & Jamie
I know that my family understands... they reassured me a lot. I took several time-outs for myself, but I really just needed to try to sleep it off. I'm so very happy that the day was perfect for my sister and her new husband.

Based on the pictures the photographer took, everyone seemed to have such a great time. And, I'm so glad that they did. I wish I could've been more active in the festivities, but they're married and had a great time... that's what matters. :) They're in Costa Rica for their honeymoon, this week. I'm staying in my apartment trying to recover (and I can't take meds, since I took them Friday and Saturday... so, it's been a long, tough week).
Jeremy, Jamie, Jennie, Shawn
This post was written as part of the Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge (MAMBC), which is initiated by and the National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation (NHF).

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #22 (Part 1): The Game Changer

There are many examples of times that my plans have changed due to an unexpected Migraine!!!

I've missed friends' weddings, family get-togethers, church services (I'm ashamed to say that I've only been a couple times this year), and various other events (big and small). I often have to change / adjust plans, even to do "normal" activities like going to the grocery store.

Jeremy and I have had to get used to the "winging it" that comes along with a chronic illness. I never know how I'm going to feel or how long I'm going to last. We both hate having to change / cancel plans with others, and / or make sure that other people understand that our plans could change at the last minute (they're pretty volatile). I think it's a guilty sort of feeling, though we may not label it or think of it as such. Even though we're getting used to this, we really hate when it starts affecting other people.

Whenever I have an unexpected Migraine-free experience (i.e., having a manageable headache), I try to take advantage of it, without overdoing it. I want to get all of the things done that I haven't been able to do because of bad Migraines. It takes a lot of reminders from myself and my husband to not overdo it, and to remember to take frequent breaks and pace myself. But, I try to cherish every moment of these scarce low-pain days!

"Life is about not knowing, having to change,
taking the moment and making the best of it,
without knowing what's going to happen next."

- Gilda Radner
This post was written as part of the Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge (MAMBC), which is initiated by and the National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation (NHF).
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