As I was driving Brynna to dance class this week something strange happened. I started to see a jagged line like the one in the top picture. Only the line I saw looked more like a lightening bolt. I also had some gray clouds blocking my vision that were similar to the bottom picture. As cars were approaching me a gray cloud would be covering one of the headlights. Or a lightening bolt would appear between me and whatever was in front of me. I wasn’t scared. I knew exactly what was happening to me. I started to wonder if my face or my hands were going to go numb. But they never did. We got to dance class and Brynna smiled as she told me bye. I smiled and told her to have fun. She had no idea that I couldn’t see all of her face.
The lightening bolt and the gray clouds are a signal to me that I’m getting ready to have a migraine. I had migraines frequently when I was a teenager. But I haven’t had one for 10 years so I was surprised it was happening. This was my first time having visual disturbances while I was driving and it was pretty unnerving. We were 35 minutes away from home. And I was going to somehow have to get us back home after dance class.
I knew exactly what I needed to do. First I texted a friend and asked her to pray that my vision would return to normal so that I would be able to drive home. Then I drove to Walmart to buy a Mt. Dew and pain medicine. I know from experience that the quicker I get pain medicine and caffeine in me the better my chances are of the migraine not getting out of control. As I was drinking my Mt. Dew I began thinking about what I was going to do if I couldn’t drive home. My sister works in the town that I was in. Maybe she could leave work to drive me home. Then Taylor could drive her back to work. So I decided I would call her if my vision didn’t improve. Within 45 minutes my vision returned to normal. I still had a pretty bad headache, but I felt like I could drive home.
These are the life lessons that I learned from driving with a migraine.
Sometimes you just can’t see where you’re going – Life with special needs kids is hard. Sometimes you feel like you can’t even see where you’re going. There are obstacles in your way that keep you from seeing clearly. You feel as if it’s not even possible to get to your destination. You worry about your child’s future. Will she learn to read? Will she learn to write? Will she learn to drive? Will she be able to leave home? or will she always live with us? You research what products and therapies would be best for her. You think, you plan, and you worry. You take her to doctor appointments and therapies. You do everything that you know to do and yet sometimes you just feel like you can’t see where you’re going. But you keep going because you know if you stop then you’ll never get to your destination. You keep going because you believe that one day those things that are unclear will suddenly become clear to you.
Sometimes you need to let Someone else drive – Sometimes God removes the obstacles and we’re able to drive again. My vision returned to normal and I was able to drive home. But if my vision hadn’t returned to normal I was going to have to scoot over into the passenger seat and let my sister drive. Sometimes I need to scoot over into the passenger seat and let God drive. He can see much better than I can. I spend too much time steering my life in the direction that I think I should go. And God is sitting in the passenger seat thinking “If she would just let me drive we would get there a lot quicker. We wouldn’t have to take all of these winding roads. We wouldn’t have to turn around and go back because we missed the turn.” Yes, I just need to learn to let Him drive.
Sometimes you have to keep going even when you want to quit – I kept driving when my vision was impaired because Brynna needed to get to dance class. I could’ve pulled off the road. But if I’d sat on the side of the road waiting for my vision to return to normal she would’ve missed dance class. Last week I wrote my blog post To the Lady Who Shook Her Head and I was thinking that it might be my last. Lately I’ve felt overwhelmed with life. I’ve felt like my life needs to be simplified. My blog is the only thing that I could come up with that I could give up. I published my post and was surprised by what happened. My number of Facebook readers tripled. Then I got an email from a senior editor of the Mighty. She asked permission to publish my post on their website. I read the email. I read it again because I still couldn’t believe it. Two days ago the Mighty published my blog post and I’ve had many more readers than I normally have. I’m thankful for more people reading my blog but I’m even more thankful for comments like these:
Being childless by choice these articles really help me to understand and have more patience. Some days my *people level* has bottomed out by the end of the work day (I’m a social introvert) but I still need to run some errands – when I find myself about to shake my head or glare I truly try to stop myself and think of these stories…I really, REALLY don’t have any idea what parents deal with at all so I take a deep breath and try to put a genuine smile on my face and quickly finish my errands. Thank you all for sharing your stories, they touch and teach and reach a lot of us.
Hi – I was just reading your post on the Mighty, and I had to look at your blog. My 9-year-old daughter has ADHD, phonological disorder, Developmental coordination disorder, and sensory processing disorder. I don’t know where you live, and I only have one unique little girl ( I also have a great 12-year-old son) but I wanted you to know you are not alone. I understand the everyday struggles and joys. Your family is beautiful. Thanks for sharing!
My post touched someone who doesn’t have to walk in my shoes. She realized that she shouldn’t shake her head. My post touched a mom who walks in the same shoes that I walk in. Both of us know that someone out there understands and we don’t feel so alone. Last week I wanted to park this blog on the side of the road and just walk away. But then God orchestrated a series of events to show me that I’m supposed to keep going. He wants me to keep going even when I’m weary and I can’t see clearly. So I’ll keep writing about the beauty in our brokenness and I’ll pray that it brings beauty into your brokenness.