The end of the year is such a natural time for reflection, and as 2018 comes to a close I’m finding it almost impossible to not think about this past year. I’m thinking about where I was exactly a year ago, what’s happened since then and the depths and heights along the way.
When you get cluster headaches for Christmas this is what Santa’s sleigh looks like: a medical truck showing up at your door delivering oxygen tanks so you can go into the darkness of night armed for battle. These beasts are back and surprised me this time by coming at a different time of year than normal. They started five days before Christmas. So here we go… They usually last a little over three months so I plan on about 100 days. 100 days of terrifying pain. Cluster headaches are also called suicide headaches. It’s not a migraine, google it for 5 minutes and read. I’m giving this PSA so that if you see me at the grocery, I’m not giving you the stink eye, I’m just trying to get food and get out as fast as I can and keep one eye closed. If we are supposed to get together, I probably won’t show up. If my kid is supposed to come to your kid’s birthday party, you might want to remind me about 37 times. If I see you at church and walk away, I’m just trying to get to the car before I bawl my eyes out. Please don’t take any of it personally, I’m just taking it all one day at a time sweet Jesus.
I've had some form of this migraine/cluster crap for sixteen years now and I've always managed to have some underlying faith that God is really on my side in all of it. That it's all for some kind of good. This is not a waste. Believe me, I know ALL of the "God knows what he's doing" verses. But something happened this time and it's like my faith and I were walking along the path and all of a sudden I looked and the faith part just fell of the side of a cliff. Gone. Completely gone.
I just laid there looking at the clock, knowing what was coming. And like clockwork around 2:45am it came, the ice pick in the right eye… and I lost it. Literally lost it. I finally told my husband what I had feared all week was really happening. It was happening again. It was a cluster. A total cluster. I then proceeded to cry my eyes out and yell. I know I was laying on the ground at one point and there might have been some throwing of the kitchen piles, or maybe that was a different day. There was some swear-yelling. And there was definitely some swear-yelling at God.
I have always loved this line from Gungor's song, Beautiful Things. It runs through my head this time of year over and over. I see a little tulip or daffodil fighting its way up through the soil, and I say to myself, "There it is, springing up. Out of the dirt and the dust and the crusty, old ground. Fighting to be beautiful."