(Here I Am) Stuck in the Middle

It occurred to me while talking with a friend this morning that it has been a while since I gave a headache update or just a post in general which I realize is due in part to life being crazy busy like that but also in part to being sick for the entire month of October. I was finally able to kick my cough the week after Halloween and was really hoping that with the end of that, I might also be seeing the end of my headaches but then this week came and reared it’s far-from-pretty head leaving me to realize that, nope, still in it, still plugging along and waiting for more progress.

To be fair, I was warned in October by the med office I’m working with that this was to be expected. What we had hoped would be an 8-12 week gut healing process is looking more like a 4-6 month process which means that I have to just keep going for, well, about twice as long as I had hoped which means I’m very much in the middle of this still and there have definitely been days as of late that I have felt that.

It’s hard to be doing so much to try to heal for so long and still be not quite there. And by not quite, I mean potentially still months away from full-time better. When a bad day comes or worse, a stretch of them, my mood and attitude tank out pretty quickly because, as I’ve said before, this can’t be my life forever. It just can’t. I just can’t. But as another friend battling a cold of her own this week reminded me, our words matter and I’ve got to keep trying to look at this (incredibly) difficult and drawn out process as healing, not just suffering. I am doing the best things possible for my body and it is worth it, even though it would be so much nicer if it could be faster.

One good thing since killing my cough is that I’ve been able to return to my walks. Not every day and not as far or as fast as I would like, but getting out and moving my body always feels good and it’s nice to get back to that. I’m also trying this totally crazy thing where I just go without any earbuds to connect me to a book, music, or podcast because one of my goals in the coming months is to use my movement time as a time for my mind to run free a bit too instead of distract, distract, distract as I’ve been doing for, ummmm, forever.

Today was a windy-as-shit day in NE (OK, that’s most days here, but it was also COLD and I had a kid home from school) so there was no walk in my plans until after supper when I took the trash out and realized the wind had dropped and while it was still cold, I could totally layer up and still go for a walk. I was moving along at a pretty good pace to keep warm, though, which always makes my shoulders feel super tense and that’s never good for my headaches which were, thankfully, better today, and which I obviously wanted to keep going. (Side note: why does walking make my shoulders and neck tight? Anyone? And, any tips for fixing that?)

Interestingly, even with the lingering bad head days, the desire to run has been itching at me most of this fall in part because even though my knees may beg to differ, jogging feels so much better through my (upper) body than walking so tonight I decided to go for it. After a bit of brisk warm-up walk, I started jogging and went a whole mile – my first in over a year due to the headaches and, prior to that, a bum knee last winter. And you know what? It felt amazing. I felt like myself and whole and those moments have been so far and few in the last six months that this one little mile felt the same as accomplishing a full marathon.

So am I really “stuck” in the middle? Good God, I hope not, even though a lot days it feels like it and quite honestly, may still very well be the case for some time. Thank goodness for a few glimpses of me in the midst of it all because those mean a lot. Here’s hoping for more miles logged, more days marked off the calendar of healing, and more of that return to wholeness and self.

Posted in Me

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