Headaches last for days, sometimes stabbing, intense pain in my head, feelings like I'm being zapped by electrical current, and along with cognitive difficulty I have incredible trouble with word retrieval. Doing a load of laundry is an immense task - I sweat just folding a few items of clothing. At times, my arms and hands tingle and go completely numb. My ears ring constantly, loudly, or they shut off completely and I can't hear a sound at all. Which can be a relief, because sometimes I leave the table in tears - the sound of forks and knifes hitting the table are too much to bear, sound is so magnified. I've gotten lost driving more than twice in familiar places, like the neighborhood I grew up in. I'll forget how to do routine things, be unable to follow simple directions, be reminded by my six year old three or four times to feed him lunch. There is vertigo, fuzzy vision, panic attacks. I have crushing chest pain, and a fatigue so strong I can't lift my head up once the afternoon rolls around. I had a very scary day when my body was shaking, my skin was prickly, and then I began having hallucinations of bugs crawling under my skin. I sat in front of a mirror so I could see otherwise, tears rolling down my face.
There are days I wake up feeling hopeful, pack my kids in the car, and fill the day with as many fun activities as I can fit in before I crash. Fortunately, I have an incredible support system - brothers and aunts who I can call at odd hours for a shoulder to cry on, the adoring grandparents who help me take care of my kids, my husband who checks on me constantly. We joke about the days I put laundry in the oven, milk jugs in the microwave, dirty dishes in the fridge. Gone, thankfully, are the days that I would sit in a lawn chair sobbing for reasons unknown to me.