Migraine Message

Pain (any pain — emotional, physical, mental) has a message. The information it has about our life can be remarkably specific, but it usually falls into one of two categories: “We would be more alive if we did more of this,” and, “Life would be more lovely if we did less of that.” Once we get the pain’s message, and follow its advice, the pain goes away. — Peter McWilliams

I spent the day with a lovely migraine. I tried a hot bath, hot chocolate, my hot bed, hot medicine, but nothing relieved the pain. Now I am unable to sleep! I am such a baby!


I know a few people who are not enjoying good health and many who endure chronic pain. I can’t imagine living like that. I watch Chris and how he has dealt with chronic back pain for as long as I have known him. I know others who are bedridden. Their families live moment to moment in this kind of suspended state waiting and hoping that every day brings a solution, a change, an improvement. As with everything, we all get through whatever we have to get through and later ponder how we did it. I think we find that we are stronger than we realized and are always grateful for the return of good health. Sad how appreciation is discovered after life has depreciated.

Wistie was sick last week. A minor flu, but as her Mother I began to imagine the worst. I found myself crying at the thought of not ever seeing her or any of my children or friends again. Life is fragile and unpredictable. She got better in time to leave for a California weekend. Ben drove to Saint George so then I imagined all the horrific possibilities that could have occurred for them on the road. Did I tell them that I loved them? Was our last conversation happy and positive?

I know I am pathetic, but I am not alone. At least I don’t think I am. When I hear of family or friends in the hospital or find out that they are sick, I cannot rest until I hear their voice reassuring me that they are alright. I would be more alive and life would be so much more vital if I paid less attention to the lesson of ill health and replaced it with the celebration of good health.

One time, I did not speak with a friend for like three years because I had moved to Mexico. When I was able to call her, I discovered her husband had died in a car accident and left her a widow at 24. A single mother with a small daughter. I did not know and I was unable to offer my time and heart to listen to her, I console myself with the thought that there were others there for her at the time. Chris and I got into our car and drove from Mexico to SLC to spend the weekend with her. Maybe that is when she needed me, after time had passed and her family and other friends had adjusted to this tragedy.

I want to get my pain’s message, follow its advice so my headache will go away. I have a life I want to appreciate and loved ones I want to hug! And now that the weekend is over and Wistie is safely back at college and Ben is safely back home I can start imagining other things … maybe I can direct this fear, nervous energy and maudlin imagination into my scripts instead of my poor family’s lives.

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  1. Marci

    I had a migraine yesterday too! I actually am not sure if it was migraine but it was horrible. I think mine was from fasting but I thought what you wrote about was so interesting. Hope you’re feeling better!

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