235. Healing

I was thinking about trauma yesterday. I once read that betrayal is a kind of trauma, with post traumatic stress symptoms. Sure enough, when I first came to Virginia, after finding out a few days before that my then-husband had been having an affair for the previous year and a half – I was troubled with flashbacks and obsessive thoughts and dreams. If I went 20 minutes without thinking about it, I felt like I’d accomplished something.

That was 2006. It took years, but I really did heal. I don’t know how many years it’s been since I dreamed about him.

Now, maybe I’m tempting fate to declare myself healed. Things can come up and take me by surprise still. Even thinking about trauma got me thinking about it. But – trust me – I am worlds better than I was then! When I felt like my life was in shambles and how could I ever think clearly again?

Hooray for healing!

223. Healthy at ALA Annual Conference

Maybe this should be a small thing, but I felt great at ALA Annual Conference this year! No headaches, no neckaches. I was even able to get up early! (The joke was on me – I didn’t realize until my plane landed on the way home that there had been a one-hour time change in my favor.)

The fact is, I’d noticed a lot of underlying irrational fear about the conference. This was for two reasons.

The big reason was that traveling to ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans in 2011 was where I got the neck injury – a vertebral artery dissection – that caused my stroke. The stroke didn’t happen until 4 weeks later, but I had a bad headache, centered in my neck, for all of those four weeks. I am absolutely sure that carrying heavy bags of books did not help. So my associations of New Orleans had been strongly flavored with pain and fear. (So glad to have new associations!)

The second reason was that at ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver just four months ago in February, I had started thinking maybe I didn’t really need to be careful about carrying heavy things – I hadn’t had neck pain or headaches in months. And then the first day of the conference, I overdid it lifting my carry-on into the overhead bin and lifting my heavy rolling bag up the shuttle bus steps. And the first night, I laid awake in my hotel room for hours with my neck hurting badly. Not as badly as when the stroke happened. But badly enough to keep me from sleeping and make me wonder if I should go to the ER. But I wasn’t going to do that in a strange city, and I had a Newbery meeting to go to….

(It did feel better after I got up the next day. But my neck continued hurting off and on for the next month. Then I aggravated it again and it hurt for about another month. So I’m very glad I didn’t aggravate it.)

I suppose there’s a third reason – and that’s that for most of my life, traveling – and strongly disrupting my routine – tends to give me migraines. This time I didn’t get any migraines at all, including when I had a glass of wine. (It made me tipsy instantly – I can’t hold wine at all – but did not give me a migraine.)

So I am very grateful to be feeling great the day after ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans!

182. Rest

I just finished a week of working six days in a row, with a program every day, including some new, challenging programs. This was my own fault. I set up the schedule. But I was TIRED.

So today, right after lunch, I took a nap and fell right asleep for two hours.

And now I feel rested! And it feels wonderful!

I’ve still got a tough week ahead. But at least it will only last four days long, and at least I’m starting out rested.

140. Medical Advances

Long story short: I learned last night that what I thought was an annoying result of my stroke is a rare genetic progressive eye disease.

By the end of today, I learned that while the only cure is still surgery (eventually, if it continues to progress) — recently (within the last five years or so) a method has been developed that only takes a few days to recover from, rather than a year (the old method) or a few months (a more recent method) during which you can’t use your eyes.

And it reminds me how tremendously far medicine has come in my lifetime. For example, my Dad’s walking around with 6 stents. Who knows? By the time I’m my mother’s age, we might even have found a cure for Alzheimer’s.

We are blessed to live in this time.

122. My Migraines Are So Much Better.

I had a bout with migraine this week.  It started with a vestibular migraine with no pain (dizziness only) and ended with just slight pain.  And I *think* it’s done, after four days.  (I’m not pushing it, though, it still feels like it’s hovering around the corner.)

But whether it’s gone or not — It had been EIGHT WEEKS since my last migraine.  And this one was just not very bad.  It hit at a time when I had some time off work and was able to take it very easy, and that made it even less of a problem.  (Tension exacerbates migraines.  But it’s hard to not be tense when you have a migraine.  This time, I was able to do it, mostly.)

So I just had four days with a migraine — and they weren’t bad days!  This is crazy!

And I’m thankful.  And also reminded what a blessing it is to be healthy.  A little reminder not to take it for granted.


118. My Dentist

Yesterday, there was a cracking sensation when I chewed my lunch.  Today my dentist got me in to see her tomorrow.  (It’s not hurting, but I think something’s going on.)

At work after I made the appointment, several of us got to talking about Awful Dentists Who Only Want to Make a Buck.  For awhile I went to one because I thought I needed an “in program” dentist.  Well, being in program meant they weren’t supposed to charge me if the insurance wouldn’t cover it — but they got an awful lot of money from me before I figured that out.  Silly me, thinking if the dentist said something needed to be done, it needed to be done!

But then I went back to Wanda Garrett, a wonderful dentist in Herndon.  She’s gentle.  She listens.  And she thinks about what will be good for me.  Some work that the other dentist said my son needed — she determined he didn’t need at all, and he has been fine.

Anyway, though I’m not happy I have to go to the dentist tomorrow, I am very happy that I have such a good dentist to go to.


81. Feeling Healed

When I moved to Virginia, almost 10 years ago now, I was hurting.

My marriage had fallen apart.  My husband whom I loved was on the other side of the world and was being as rejecting toward me as he could possibly be.  I was desperately praying, hoping somehow to pray him back.

On Valentine’s Day this year, I was thinking about how church was my lifeline.  My heart was raw.  Almost every week, something would make me cry.  People were so helpful.  They’d hug me, pray with me, listen to me as I worked through things.

I felt so drained.  I felt like I had nothing to give and was always taking from others.  (Though many were nice enough to say that being transparent about my struggles was helpful.)

Five years ago, we were officially divorced.  I still tried to pray him back for awhile.

And then, somehow, God showed me that the Path of Trust was not to tell God what to do.

And God has been healing my heart.

And it dawned on me, on Valentine’s Day — I am happy!  Life is good!  God has blessed me abundantly!  Even my headaches (which I had since 4th grade) are almost completely gone!

Makes me want to look for opportunities to give, opportunities to love.

I am so thankful to feel healed.

42. Headache Free!

I have gotten headaches frequently since at least fourth grade.  I used to go out and play on a cement playground in southern California in bright sunshine.  Funny thing, but I used to frequently get a headache after lunchtime recess.

Anyway, they have gotten significantly, hugely, wonderfully less frequent since I turned 50 and hit “the change.”

Mind you, last week I had a very low-grade headache that lasted four days.

But that was just enough to remind me that I used to think that on the days I didn’t have a headache, I should be sure to thank God.

So I am doing so today.


And that is a blessing indeed.