automotive, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain

Windshield Fairies for my Birthday

Nobody gets by unscathed, no matter how well maintained. We were meant to break, but we were meant to kindly build each other back up. That’s what my birthday was like, because my husband is my rock.

My family’s cars have been used and reused. They are in a constant state of repair.  We have four. I know, it’s ridiculous. My husband’s day job is managing information and programs for a major air conditioning company. His night and weekend job? Maintaining our vehicles. My day job is managing my body and energy. My night and weekend job? Feeling guilty about my day job. I know, I have to get a better job.

Happy Birthday to me!…. For my birthday, my husband scheduled time for auto glass repair technicians to come to our home to replace windshields on the Honda and the Chrysler. Yes, for my birthday, on my birthday. It was one of the best presents I could have asked for. I had gotten so sick and tired of  hearing myself nag to my husband about the cracks that go across both windshields. I have been nagging for a couple of years now. I can still hear my annoying, whining voice in my head, squawking about that windshield. I was equally annoyed by his continual retorts that it wouldn’t be worth it, because the vehicles probably wouldn’t make it through another Wisconsin winter anyway. So, should I wait until winter for it to crack apart and crash onto my lap? Call me crazy, but driving down the highway with thousands of cracked windshield cubes on my lap in subzero temperatures is not my idea of fun. I may be a Green Bay Packers fan, but not one of those crazy ones that wants their eyes frozen shut as they drive down the road. That would be very unsafe. So, after a couple of years of whining, he scheduled to have them repaired. On my birthday.

Happy Birthday to me!… The day before my birthday I took my migraine pills, cursed fibromyalgia, tested out a magnetic bracelet for pain relief, wondered how much of my fatigue was a part of cancer treatment recovery,  slept away the day and held my breath to see if the windshield fairy truly would come. By day, my husband Mike was working and making meals. By night, he had pulled the Honda into the garage to make another dream come true; Mike would fix the brakes on the Honda so that our son can drive to a new high school, out of our district, to pursue the educational experience he dreams of. Meanwhile, Jake, our son, drove the Focus back and forth to the city for auto parts.

It was 8:20 p.m. when I woke up to Mike saying that he had to leave. Jake had been in a car accident and that Jake said he was alright. He had been hit while turning by the auto parts store. Knowing that Jake was alright and that Mike was there for him, I decided to stay in bed and rode the struggle bus with my headache and nausea. Texting and waiting to be texted, I worried. Somehow, they still had managed to get the parts for the brakes before the store closed at 9:00 p.m.. The guys got home safely and I convinced my husband to wait until morning to get the Focus towed home. He had had a long enough day. 

7F13C5BE-312D-40C5-B935-2D7B97A3A253The next day was my birthday. I felt a little better. Slow, but steady. I ate. Mike took the Honda with its new brake drums to meet up with the tow truck driver and the Focus in the city. As rain sprinkled through a sunny sky, the windshield fairies arrived in my driveway, prepared their work area and tools, then swiftly got to work.

Windshield fairies don’t do brakes, which is unfortunate. Although Mike had fixed the brakes on the Honda, he had to drive home with only the emergency brake. He had done a fine job of fixing the brake drums, but the fix had fixed so well that the increased pressure broke the rusty brake lines.  Mike made it home safely to our driveway where the two grown fairies stood with their work truck for an extra hour. Patient and kind were they.

Two broken cars, a tow truck and Mike made it back home safe and sound. And the magical auto glass specialists were there ready to make our road views anew. After they had fluttered around and buzzed on their cell phones for an extra hour in wait to once again work their magic on another windshield, we filled the garage with the Honda, that apart from the broken windshield we thought had been fine that morning. The tow truck crane gently took the smashed car to a second rate spot on the lawn. Sweeping into the garage, the windshield fairies once again worked their magic. Mike gave the fairies an extra treat for being so kind to stick around and work their magic on the second windshield. Everyone was safe, sound, sick of cars. Well, Mike and I were anyway. Happy Birthday to me!

It still being my birthday, I rested on the couch. But, my son wanted to do something to make my day special. Bless his heart. We all sat outside in the sun at my favorite restaurant. I had a Dr. Pepper with my favorite meal. Soda is like poison for your body, yet I felt compelled to reward myself with some. A very old lady said that her secret to living to an old age was having a Dr. Pepper everyday. It doesn’t really extend your life. We capped off the day around a campfire with family and drove safely home. Happy Birthday to me!…

Within only days, there have been a couple of trips back to the automotive store and my husband has worked his own magic on restoring the brakeline. Our son’s dream of taking the Honda to his new school has come true.

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And… now we are onto the body of the Focus.

Life, it’s chronic.

 

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Chronic Illness

Migraines are my Own Fault?

I don’t know if it’s because I am a woman and the things I heard growing up, but I can’t help feel like migraines may be my own fault?

 

Keeping my head up, I try to not make myself out to be a victim or make things larger than what they are. This is a post that would be something I would not want my kids to read, because they already feel bad enough. It kills me that they have had to hear and see any suffering.

As I sit here keeping calm, I regretfully disclose that I missed my three month visit to the neurology department at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. It was my fault that I missed it. In the days prior, I got caught up in everything else but myself and forgot myself. As a result, I missed my Botox injections. I can’t get in for another two months now. There goes my life for the next two months, and it is all my fault.

The Botox injections are a godsend. I don’t know if they’ll eventually find something dangerously wrong with them, but if they do… it will have been worth the relief. The migraines are a wrath from hell without them. The Cefaly device I have helps the migraines that peek through while using Botox for the headaches. It even helps some without the Botox, but not enough to get me out of hell.

Migraines make me feel like I am being punished for something. They grip my head and flare up the fibromyalgia pain all over my body. It becomes an explosion. Throughout my research on both migraines and fibromyalgia when I searched for answers to make them go away, I came across people who claimed they cured themselves by praying to God, or by eating more greens. I have changed my diet. I do pray to God. Still I feel like I am being eaten alive.

Growing up, I saw women with headaches. I heard people imply that women get headaches because they are nervous nillies. That kind of mindset sticks. By nature I am a nervous person and have become much more laid back than I thought I could be. People do change some. Growing up makes that happen. My body has aged and changed, but now my body is just as nervous. My hands quiver when sitting still. When I hold onto a book, my son will hold my hand still to keep it from shaking.

My grandmother suffered from horrible headaches for as long as I can remember. My parents suffer from headaches as well. The use of the word suffer is not used lightly here. It is used to describe a debilitating state of infliction, not an inconvenience.

Logically, I know that the headaches are not my fault. Still, I can’t help but worry that my daughter will inherit my pain one way or another. Life, it’s chronic.