I want to precede this article with a disclaimer: I am not a doctor. (I only play one on TV. No, not really either.)
I have been dealing with some odd symptoms and the doctor has confirmed that they are migraines.
There are a lot of randoms in my life lately. Kids are old enough that they don’t “need” me, (well, in the “I am 7 and 9 year old” world). The school rush, the changing of the seasons, my new venture, keeping my life sane and all the other countless things for which I am responsible. I started experiencing dizzy spells and nausea. I thought initially that it was related to allergies, it being the change of the seasons and all, but when the dizziness lasted for a couple days I knew something was off.
Here is the thing about migraines: They can appear in many different forms. I assumed that migraines only dealt with intense head pain, sensitivity to light and sounds, even smells.
What I was experiencing was more of an imbalance of my equilibrium. It was that feeling of spinning in a circle with your arms out like a kid, then stopping and stumbling to the floor, a little high if you will, for a moment. Except my moment would not stop. It caused a slight pressure headache at the middle of my forehead. An annoyance yes, a migraine no, I thought. It is a good thing I am not a doctor.
I am not generally a hypochondriac. I may get “excited” about things but little ailments do not have me running to the doctor. I am not going to lie, I was incredibly worried about this. I mean, I am 29 years old (with 4 years’ experience), and I’m generally in good health. (Honestly, I could stand to lose a couple pounds, but overall I’m in decent health. When I couldn’t go to work the next day I knew I needed to bite the bullet and head to the doctor.
I was expecting a completely different diagnosis, like vertigo ( love that movie) or, God help me, brain cancer (yes my mind often leads me to the worst outcomes). However, I am happy that I was able to get some meds right away. Throughout my discussion with the doctor we had pinpointed some crucial elements of what contributed to my diagnosis. And this is why I am writing this.
STRESS. Women take on A LOT. Even on our “lazy days” we still accomplish many things. Add in being a mother, and you are basically super human. The amount you can accomplish in one day is nothing short of a miracle. This was my wake-up call ( I have had a few, a little of that later). I feel like the Energizer Bunny. I keep going and going and going, mentally I tally all the things I need to get done, physically I get these things done. I feel accomplished, productive and like a “boss”. But at what cost? My health.
If I am not in optimal health how am I am going to be of use to anyone around me? Most importantly my tribe? These symptoms were a “note” (Nel’s note, get it??) if you will, from my body telling me to SLOW DOWN. Work hard but take care. So when the doctor tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps, and drink plenty of water, do it. The laundry, dusting, cooking can wait. I have to keep reminding myself that it can wait. And if the hubs is ragging on you because those chores aren’t done then show him this. A Youtube video on how to do the laundry. Because, after all, he is a grown-ass man. Tell him to wash his own damn clothes.
Besides, my friends don’t care if my house is a mess when they stop by. They do not judge me for the pile of laundry that is clean but not folded yet, they stop by to see me. So put your life on pause for a moment, sit down grab a glass of wine, turn on your favorite scary movie (or rom com/action whatever) and just RELAX!! I know easier said than done but this should be a part of your schedule. Just as important as brushing your teeth in the morning.
When the kids were little and my youngest still took a nap we used to have “quiet time”. My eldest son and I could cuddle up on the couch and watch a family movie. IT WAS AWESOME!! Gone are those days, but I am starting to incorporate that in my daily routine on the weekends. I think the kids need it too. It gives them time to read, play a video game or catch up on a show they like. We are not a big “gaming” family- my boys are “balls to the wall” kind of kids, always playing outside, rough housing and full of energy so I treasure the quiet moments. I encourage them to “game” and switch it up a bit.
The myth behind the migraine is that it can present in different ways. Although my headache was bearable, and I say that loosely, (I have given birth to two children you know) the combination of nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light, sound and smell were symptoms that were hints at what could have become debilitating.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT.
WOMEN DO TOO MUCH.
So stop doing EVERYTHING. If you feel tired, there is a reason, go to sleep. Remember SLEEP!
And take care you gorgeous, intelligent, wonderful women! Without us the world would suck.