Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Migraines, Prayer & Healing.

I have had headaches since I was a little girl. My mom says since I was 3 years old. When I was 3 months old, my parents noticed that I was having a difficult time focusing on them, or on anything at all for that matter. My eyes would shake back and forth at a rapid pace, causing alot of worry and panic among people who would notice. My parents began the journey of seeing specialists right away. I was taken to St. Louis to an eye specialist that concluded I have congenital nystagmus.
(You can click the link above to read alot of medical information about this disorder but in simple terms...this is why my eyes shake, and why I have to hold my head up just slightly to focus on an object without straining...if you've noticed;)

At the time, the specialist told my parents that I could very easily be blind by the time I was able to drive and also that any other children my parents had would more than likely have this same disorder. After much research, we have found neither of these statements to be factual.

As you can see, this is where my testimony begins! At birth, basically, Jesus began working in my life in a very physical way. When I turned 16 and was of the legal age to drive, I had to have my eyes tested and they had actually improved from my exams in years passed. What an awesome God we serve! But let me back up.

Throughout my childhood, I suffered greatly with migraines. Almost weekly. Migraines are extremely hereditary and because both of my redheaded grandparents suffered from them, I also must have received that gene. Nanny had headaches weekly and I remember them quite vividly. She suffered so greatly with them. She loved to read but often times it would cause her to be in bed for a day or two afterwards. I'm not sure she ever did find the correct medicine to help her with the pain. My grandpa Dan still suffers with headaches. Some of my earliest memories are of going to their house and seeing him lay on the floor with a pillow over his head in such agonizing pain. However, he is now taking the same miracle migraine pill that I take (Imitrex) and finds awesome relief quickly because of it!

I have gone through numerous MRI's, CT scans, eye exams and other tests because of my eyes and mostly because of the intensity of my headaches. When I was younger I would have my sister literally sit on the back on my head as I lay on the floor with my forehead face down in the carpet, hoping she would create enough pressure to relieve the pain. I would hit the palm of my hand on my forehead so forcefully, again for relief. I would get so sick that I would vomit. And it brought relief. I can remember crying, and promising my mom that I was dying..."This is it. My head is exploding. I'm dying." And I just knew that I was. I left school many times a month due to a headache. Straining my eyes to read a book or the chalkboard was just too much. My eyes would shake, I would try to focus harder and it would create a massive migraine. No medicine would touch it. I was doomed for the whole day.

As I became older, and after I started my period, my headaches seemed to intensify. The hormones would change things drastically for me in a number of ways but ultimately they affected my migraines. Not only would the pain be so much more intense but because I knew how awful they could be, and how quickly they would escalate, I became anxious. It usually caused the pain to increase even more rapidly. It was awful.

Pregnancy seemed to change all of that for me. My entire pregnancy with Nora was headache free. I think I may have had one or possibly two, but nothing like in years past. It was 10 months of pure hormonal balance and bliss in my head. As soon as I had Nora, boom! Headaches.
A few months later when I became pregnant with Braden, the same situation occured. I had a few small headaches in the beginning but never a full blown, cannot-function type of migraine. It was sweet relief from the reality I had always faced.
And actually, since I have had the babies I have had very sporadic and infrequent spells of migraines. I have tried many daily medications to help suppress the onset of migraines, such as topamax and a few others that I cannot remember. However, the side effects were much stronger than I would have liked and were more dangerous than the headaches themselves, in my own opinion. So, I take Imitrex when I feel a headache coming on and it works miracles in my body! Whoever created this medicine has blessed my life and saved it in many ways.

I'm writing this post today because this morning I woke up with my first migraine in a long time. When you have migraines and you wake up with one, you know that's never a good sign. It's already at it's peak at that point. There's no jumping in to stop it. It's a nightmare. And like I said, since having the kids I havent really had a headache that has been so bad that it has caused me to not care for them. This morning, I was in that place. I was also out of Imitrex. So I called grandpa and luckily he had one that I could have. I drove out to get it, thinking I'd be ok but got extremely nauseous on the way home. Any other day I would be upset that Daniel didnt work a full day, but he got off around 11 today and I'm praising God! I got to lay down after taking the medicine and my head is better. Thank you Jesus.

I was literally in tears. The light was making my head spin, the kids' voices were making me wanna vomit (because it hurt my head to hear anything... let alone screaming and fighting) and because it was hurting so bad I thought I was going to be sick. It was so intense and so painful.

Anyone that suffers with headaches understands all of this. It's such a lifelong struggle and although many people experience migraines every now and then, to have had them chronically your entire life is exhausting. Today, for the first time in a long time, I actually felt sorry for myself. Don't get me wrong. Things could be a thousand times worse and I understand that. But immediately, being a mom now and all, my mind jumps to the worse scenario.
Why did I wake up with this?
Do I have a brain tumor?
Do I have any other symptoms?
I have been dizzy!
I should get to the Dr.
Who's going to raise my kids?
What is happening?

It's true. All of these thoughts race through my head, therefore causing the extra anxiety. Therefore making my head throb and pound louder and harder than ever before. And ultimately leading to the full blown tear fest. I know that I am fine. I know that I simply get migraines. But it is scary. It makes me stop and thank Jesus that I am healthy and pray for those who are currently experiencing awful circumstances, such as:

Little Kate McRae; a sweet, beautiful little girl who was just recently diagnosed with a rare brain tumor that has taken her ability to use one of her arms and affected her speech. Her parents update her page daily and I would love if you would join with me in prayer for her little life!!!

Nathan Florey; a soldier from our hometown who we went to school with since we were old enough to remember. He had a brain aneurysm while serving in Iraq and although he is daily making improvements, he has a long road ahead. Again, his mother updates his page often. Please pray for the miracles that the Lord has in store for his future!

Stellan; I've mentioned this 8 month old on my blog before and asked that you cover him in prayer. He is still battling his life threatening heart condition every day. He is currently at home with his parents and his 3 older siblings (all under the age of 5, however) so please pray for God to continue touching his body and for strength for his brave, strong mother!

Stephanie & Stevie; my sweet cousins who have Sanfilippo Syndrome. A rare genetic disease that affects only about 1 in 70,000 children and both of these sweet babes have it. My cousin, Steve and his wife, Valerie are great parents with so much dedication, faith and strength but could daily use our prayers and encouragement in this journey. We love them and ask that you would wrap your arms around them as well.

Life is tough. Jesus never stated that it would be easy, even if we follow Him. He did promise, however, that He would never leave us nor forsake us. He cares about the smallest migraine or broken finger as much as he cares about sweet Kate, or Stellan. He has a plan and purpose for each of our lives and through that purpose I pray that we can glorify Him somehow. He deserves it, after all. He is God! He is capable and He is worthy.

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who could use a little intercession? Whether you want it mentioned publicly on my blog or if you want me to join in prayer with you privately, please feel free to email me. The Bible promises that when we agree together on any issue in the name of Jesus, it shall be accomplished and fulfilled! I believe it and stand upon the Word. The living Word of God!
Cant wait to hear from you!

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