For whatever reason, I carry a tremendous amount of tension in my shoulders. The way they are constantly locked up is really quite pathetic. If I were a good girl, I would be religous in my efforts to do all of the physical therapy exercises I was assigned two years ago, but as is often the case, when I stopped seeing my therapist, the accountability was over, and so was the regiment of extra work I had to do. Of course, Mom does an amazing job of putting things where they are supposed to be, but my muscles are constantly fighting her. Unfortunately, even using the elliptical machine at the gym works my shoulders which then gives them even more reason to tighten up.
Invariably, this tension leads to knots and the knots lead to headaches - and sometimes the headaches lead to worse. I have become quite a pro in assessing how to address each symptom, whether or not Icy Hot will do the trick, when a Therma Care neck heat patch would be a good idea (can't tell you how wonderful those things are at cold soccer or football games!), when over the counter pain reliever will work, when a migraine medication is necessary, or something even stronger. When I am considering an ice pack or the second "something stronger", it is a good bet that that the only thing that will alleviate/cure the problem is what I call "rebooting".
Such was the case nearly two weeks ago, the Thursday prior to the Women of Faith conference. I will admit, the whole week had me quite wound up. Between organizing babysitting, hotel arrangements, driving arrangements, tickets, and a family reunion I had built it up in my mind that I would be stressed- and self-fulfilled that prophecy. (And, no, I wasn't the sole person responsible for all those things, I just stressed like I was). At around 1:00, I realized I was in familiar headache territory (where I'm at at about that time 75% of my days), but by 2:00, was recognizing this headache wasn't responding. So, I turned to my attempts to "reboot".
For me, if I can get my body to fully fall asleep, even for just a short amount of time, for whatever reason, 99% of the time, I will wake up with the headache gone. Hence, the term, "rebooting". Sounds easy enough, but when you know you have to fall asleep, and you are dealing with pain - sometimes, not so easy. Knowing the state I was in, I tried to make arrangements to have Brayden's transport to his game delegated, and John able to take Mikayla to a birthday party. Then, I turned to the couch. And rolled over on the couch, and tried to snuggle up with blankets, and warm packs - and, and, and - for 4 hours. No sleep, no luck. The really, really sad thing was that Michele and the kids were supposed to arrive at 7:30 and I desperately wanted to be "okay" when I saw them. Instead, at 6:30, I was feeling absolutely miserable and my house was trashed as the kids were given free reign while mommy tried to fall asleep.
So, I got up. I tried to straighten the house (it had been a record three weeks since we'd seen Michele and the cousins), and tried to straighten myself up enough to not scare the kids. Eventually, they came, I embraced them, and ten minutes later, nearly in tears, had to resign myself to retreating to the dark cave of our room, where there was little noise, light, and movement. This is when I describe the headaches as migraines - though they are rooted in tension headaches, when they bloom into nauseousness, flushes of heat mixed with chills and the intense survival instinct to lay perfectly still....... I think I can give them that title.
I think by about 9pm, I was asleep. By 6 am, I was absolutely normal again - full of energy, no pain, ready to take on the day (albeit with a little trepidation of overdoing it) and certainly ready to make up lost ground with Michele and the kids. (We had been so excited about just having time to ourselves Thursday night and taking it easy together). Amazing how that whole rebooting thing works.
It does have me thinking about the potential application this might have for other areas of our lives. How many nights have I stayed up dwelling on something, only to see it in a new light as dawn emerges? Or, in a broader application, how many times has God desired that we just give up, surrender all control to something, and release unto Him? Something that we have fought with all of our arsenal of power, but is clearly beyond us - and something only God has control over.
Hmmm, pretty deep thoughts for a morning in which Michele's cell accidentally dialed our number at 4:30 am, startling both John and I fully awake - worried about what such a phone call would mean..... (The answer to the mystery became obvious some five minutes later when my phone signalled a message had been left and it revealed sound effects of Michele getting ready to go work out - yes, she really does wake up to work out at 4:30 am.......!). I never did get back to sleep, but have accomplished quite a bit since then! As for now- time to turn the computer over to Mikayla, and -sigh- apply some Icy Hot......