Friday, July 22, 2011

Me and Michelle

This isn't about politics.  I generally stay away from political subjects on this blog because it seems obvious that politics in this world is even more "shades of gray" than the rest of life.  But all this talk in the media about Michelle Bachmann and whether migraine headaches make a person unsuitable for the presidential office make me think about the effect migraines have had on my life and my work.  I've suffered severe migraines for most of my life.

What I've heard in connection with Michelle Bachmann and her migraines does make sense: When attacks can be controlled with medication then they don't present a problem.  I am personally so thankful for the advances in medical science that I've seen in my lifetime, advances that have produced medications that, in my case, have almost no side effects but just get rid of the pain and/or stop it before it becomes debilitating.  I've learned about some things that "trigger" these nasty headaches too -- in my case what's helped the most is avoiding carbs, especially in the morning.  And, for some reason that I don't understand, I've had very few headaches during the last four years--years that, for me, have been among the most stressful of my entire life.

So, though migraines are so terribly painful, leading, in my case, to hours when I'm mostly incapacitated, not just with pain, but with nausea and worse, as long as I have the medication that helps me most, getting a migraine is not a problem.  Sumatriptan works wonders for me, stopping the migraine within minutes even when it's at its worst.  Until 20 years ago there was nothing that really helped, so I praise God for the medical science that developed this drug.  And, because of it, and other drugs that help other people, I don't think any of us should be concerned if a leader happens to suffer in this way.

In fact, those of us who suffer with various painful conditions can become less judgmental and more compassionate to others who suffer.  We can also recognize how important it is that we have good access to medical care.  We can develop a deep respect for the science and technology that allows us to live in a way that our ancestors could never have if they had suffered as we do.  We can "get" the deep connections between physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of life.  We become more humble and more human, more able to be used by God in this broken world. 

For more on this see "Thankful for Bad Eyes."

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