Headaches and Hope

Once upon a time, I was full of energy. Now, I am tired all the time, especially by 3:00 in the afternoon. In the good ol’ days there were some friends who jokingly said I could run a small country. And then a year and a half ago I started having headaches. Minor, infrequent, almost unnoticeable. So I paid little attention to them, figuring it was stress, or dehydration, or something equally manageable. But then they began to declare themselves present, growing slightly stronger and somewhat more frequent, and I finally began to wonder what was going on in my head (literally).

So I went to an ophthalmologist, and he said the headaches were most likely caused by pressure buildup in my small blind eye (normal eye pressure is between 10-20….when I went that day, my blind eye was at 41), and gently informed me that the only permanent solution is to remove the small eye and put a silicone ball in its place. Well. That’s not really news you want to hear. I’ve had my fair share of surgeries, but they were only really ever to fix things that were broken, or move things to a different place, but never remove them completely (except for my wisdom teeth, of course)!

I left his office with a sad heart and a myriad of questions running through my mind: What would my eye look like after the surgery? Would I still feel comfortable taking out my prosthetic shell with people around? Would I still feel pretty? Would I feel incomplete without my eye? What if they take the eye out and the headaches don’t go away, what then?  What would happen if I just left it in for a few more years? And the like….round and round and round they went, for about 6 months. I prayed through them, thought about them, talked with others and eventually made the decision to move forward with the operation, to happen sometime in Spring 2011.

As the days continued to pass and winter arrived in full force, I had complete peace about the surgery, but also began to notice slight changes in the headaches. They shifted locations around my head and increased in intensity and frequency throughout the day, with the only relief coming first thing in the mornings. I called my ophthalmologist, wondering about the possibility of something else being the cause, and he agreed that I should go see a nerologist, just to be sure. Going back to one of my questions listed above…there is no sense removing the eye if it won’t fix the problem!

The neurologist put me on strong meds for 10 days to try and kick the headaches, and also ordered an MRI of my brain. I have never been on medicine that wiped me out as badly as this stuff. I felt like a limp rag! I already had little energy, and this stuff just sucked the rest of it out. I made it for about a week and then had to stop so I could function. That was two weeks ago, and tomorrow (Monday) I go back to my neurologist to get the results of the MRI scan. My prayer going in to get the MRI was that it would show something – either a confirmation that it is my small blind eye, or reveal that something else is causing the headaches.

It feels like ages since this all began, and I am ready to know and move forward with a plan, whatever that may be. But in the midst of this entire process, although painful and often difficult, there has been a strange sense of hope. Hope that somehow, something good will come out of this. Hope that a day is soon coming when my energy will last the whole day (that hasn’t happened in months!). Hope that this can be resolved without having to be on medication for a long time.  Hope that I can make it through one more day with a headache (and another, and another) until it is fixed for good. Hope in my Savior to walk with me each step of the way. Hope that He can use even this for my sanctification.

And, in a small way, every headache reminds me that one day Christ will come back and fix the even more deeply broken parts of this world (sometimes when the headaches are at their worst, I hope He comes back sooner!! haha). They remind me that just as He is faithful to provide wisdom, doctors, medicine and the means to correct whatever is going on in my head, He will be just as faithful to His promise to come back and fix the whole earth and all of His children – restoring it and us to the perfect way everything was intended to be. Now that is the greatest hope we can ever have! He is coming back as the Great Redeemer and Restorer! Praise the Lord!

It seems funny to me that a headache can produce hope. But then, they always say that the Lord works in mysterious ways, right?? I’ll update again soon with the (hopefully) final results and the plan from here forward. A big THANK YOU to all of you who have been praying for me these months – you have been a constant source of encouragement to my soul.

Love, emily

One thought on “Headaches and Hope

  1. Hi Emily,

    I am so sorry that you have had this so long. As someone who generally doesn’t have a lot of energy I sympathize with you! I will pray for an easy remedy that will get you back to your energetic and happy self! Thank you for the reminder that He walks with us and someday will indeed make all things new. Love you!

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