Hello, blogging family! I had no inkling of the wave of support that was headed my way after my last post. All I can say is, thank you for being some real walkers! Or readers, rather. God uses you all to bless me more than you know. 🙂
“Wellness” is a funny word. It shows up in magazines, TV shows, podcasts, and – of course – your doctor’s office. It also seems to mean something different almost everywhere you find it. Well, I looked it up this morning, and the primary definition I found was: “the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.”
These past two weeks have been wellness weeks.
You all joined me in celebrating just how healthy my mind has remained over the past two years, and your enthusiasm over my online degree reinforced what a loving internet community God has created for me since my outdoor activities remain…umm…limited.
God timed your response perfectly, because the next day I was in my neurologist’s office getting 16 shots in various parts of my head to try to break the migraine. This is no longer a recovery blog, but it’s hard to write about wellness and ignore 16 shots in the head. Just for some perspective, I’ve had a continuous migraine for 45 days now. I get to take pain meds around 3 times a week, but the rest of the days are…au natural. This is the only reason why I agreed to head injections. What they did not tell me ahead of time was the exact number of injections. Or on which parts of my head they would be given. (I’ll spare you those details.) No, they just started injecting and stopped 16 shots later. The situation struck me as hilarious while it was happening, which was God’s way of sparing me a public meltdown, but I admit to crying like a baby later that night. Also, I still have a migraine.
School and shots aside, Ivan and I made one more push for post-graduation wellness last weekend. The VCS Conservatory had a high school music retreat in La Honda, and I was able to tag along and hang out in the lodge. This was one of those rare opportunities that actually met my long list of do’s and don’ts. I need lots of rest and quiet time. Unfamiliar lights are a no-no, but noise is not my friend either now that I have a migraine. No worries! It’s a camp, so kids and teachers are in rehearsals almost all the time. Oh, and did I mention that La Honda is in the mountains? Natural light and stillness are the order of the day. And thus, I packed my duffle bag. (Although at that point I still thought the shots would work.)
The migraine shots underwhelmed, but La Honda was a wellness shot that did its job. I grew up on large helpings of fresh air and nature, and being able to step in and out of a cabin without fearing for the next seizure trigger probably added some years back to my life. Or at least emotional life. Noise and non-natural lights limited me to five minute reconnaissance chunks, but I fit in enough of those to finally see my husband at work. I also got to meet some of his pretty cool kids. In addition to Vivaldi’s Gloria, they learned that he was not, in fact, married to the Bride of Frankenstein. I think that may be a common misperception. How did I spend the rest of my time at camp? Long walks in the fresh air and natural light, naps (of course), and…lots and lots of writing. (More on the writing part to come later.)
But what about spiritual wellness? Church has been out of my reach for a while now. I thought camp might be a relatively safe way to challenge my old assumptions, but unfortunately I found those assumptions still held true. According to my iPhone, I lasted less than 10 minutes at an open-air chapel before I got nauseated and had to leave. Crowds, noise, and lights, my friends. But college isn’t the only thing that’s gone online. Hillside Church recently started a women’s Bible study that meets online once a week, and it’s been refreshing to connect spiritually in a manageable venue. I can honestly say that if it weren’t for going to school online for the past 14 months, I would have been too nervous and confused to know where to begin. Thank you, God, and thank you, Hillside!
I haven’t gotten my flu shot yet, but I’ve gotten plenty of other wellness shots over the past 14 days. The latest one being this blog post. I had time to write because I was awakened early (as in, think earlier than 5 am “early”), by Friend Migraine. But how could contemplating God’s blessings not count as a wellness shot? “Wellness” may be a subjective word, but I think the dictionary nailed the last part of its definition: “especially as the result of deliberate effort.” Wellness isn’t just something that happens to you. It’s a choice you make for yourself. May God give us strength to keep making healthy choices!