Last week of school!

So happy this is the last week of school.  My son is doing great.  Honor Roll student for the last 3 years and I couldn’t be prouder.  This weekend, the Juniors decorated crowns to wear today for school as the incoming Seniors for 2017-18.  I had three kids here doing it and they came out great.  Each one reflected the person greatly.  Such fun for them.

This has to be a Southern thing; because I’d never heard of it growing up.  It’s cute and they had a blast today.  They’re all looking forward to summer break.  I am, too!  For the first time in over 20 years, I’m going to see a friend.  I so can’t wait.  We’ll be leaving home on the 3rd and spending a couple of weeks up  north.

The drive will be horrible, I’m sure; but we’ll get there. 😀 It’s 17 hours; but I can do it.   Just take lots of breaks and take our time.  Two days should get us there.  He’s as excited to see me as I am to see him.  I’ll be staying with him & his wife and his daughter lives close by.  It’s going to be awesome.  Already have my dog sitter locked on and she comes to stay here while we’re gone.

I’m so hoping and praying that the trip will be great and that I will not feel crappy while I am gone.  Hopefully God will take care of me while I am traveling. 😀

I’ve been doing a lot of journaling, bible study and praying.  Just trying to keep busy for while I await the trip.  Not doing much else these days.

Happy Mother’s Day

I hope your day is spent in beauty and love.

My wish is to always be the best Mother I can be to my son.  The Sarah Connor Meme was what he posted on my FB wall for Mother’s Day.  I guess that speaks for itself. LOL!  Oh how I love that boy of mine. ❤

Friday evening was the Band Awards Night.  My parents came and my son received his Junior year award, his Jazz, Percussion and Marching pins and was named Most Outstanding Musician for this past year.  So proud of him and his accomplishments. Afterwards, I took him, my parents and one of his friends out for dinner at Ruby Tuesdays. Delicious food, great company and lots of laughs.  Gave my mom her gifts for Mother’s Day and we all had a great time.  So blessed to have these great times together.

I know I have a year until my son graduates and we’re making the most of our time together.   The first two weeks after school gets out, we’re going to Virginia to spend time with friends.  Not sure if the whole time will be there; but we shall see.  Also have an open invite from my Uncle in NC to stop by, so I may spend a few days with them as well.

I am so looking forward to our trip.  It’s about a 17 hour drive; but I know the two days it takes to get there will be tedious, however, well worth the hassle.  Seeing a friend I haven’t seen in over 20 years.  So blessed to be able to do so.  He’s just had both knees replaced and I just can’t let any more time go between us.  I have to see him.  I can hardly wait to meet his wife.  She’s sweet and kind and has tamed this man a lot from our youth.  I adore them.

This year has gone by quickly; but the last week has seemed to crawl by slowly.  I guess knowing that it is only a few weeks until I get to vacation must be what is making it seem this way.  Of course, the time we’re away will fly by for sure. LOL!

Last week, my cousin laid to rest her boyfriend of 17 years.  It was unexpected.  He had a brain tumor that he didn’t know about, caused him to lapse into a coma and become brain dead within two days.  Devastating her, his family and their friends.  What is strange is that in September, shortly after my own loss, we had gotten together and had discussed what would happen to her if something happened to him.  I had been explaining to her all the things I needed to go through with the power of attorney, lawyer, cremation, etc.   She expressed her concerns about her situation with me and I listened and shared what I knew from my own personal experience.  I hope it led to a talk with him about it.  She hasn’t been up to talking to anyone, so I am not sure.  I feel so bad about the situation.  She loved him so much.

Actively working on my patience.  On my second Max Lucado bible study book.  Did a short one on patience that I’d gotten from another source.  It was only on patience and about 60 pages, but very intense.  I certainly needed that.  Still waiting on God’s perfect timing.  ❤

May is Lupus Awareness Month!

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I’ve been battling this disease for a long time and I must say that it sucks!  Prednisone sucks!  Pain sucks!  Your body killing itself sucks!

SLE or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus  can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs.  Symptoms vary but can include fatigue, joint pain, rash, and fever. These can periodically get worse (flare-up) and then improve.

While there’s no cure for lupus, current treatments focus on improving quality of life through controlling symptoms and minimizing flare-ups. This begins with lifestyle modifications, including sun protection and diet. Further disease management includes medications, such as anti-inflammatories and steroids.

I have Lupus (SLE) and it has given me problems with my Kidneys, Heart and Lungs.  I also get the neuropathy in my hands and feet, as well as skin rashes, photo sensitivity

The side effects of the Prednisone is almost as bad as the disease itself.  From the weight gain, blood sugar increase and rage, you look like a chipmunk with a cheek full of nuts!

So, what do you do when your body produces antibodies that should kill off infection instead attack your organs?  You pray, a LOT!  You beg to feel better.  You hope for a cure and you have a stronger faith in God that you will make it until the next day.

Most people who have Lupus also have another disease that effects them as well.  Mine is Fibromyalgia, which is equally sucky.

This disease effects each person differently and is hard to diagnosis.   Only 20 years ago, Lupus was a death sentence with only about 4 in 10 people surviving.

Some people require chemo therapy to combat Lupus, shutting down the immune system so that it doesn’t continue to attack the major organs.  It’s hard to believe that we have to shut down our immune system to combat our internal death.  Nothing like your body hating you so much that it wants to kill you.  Ha, ha.

I’m on kidney medication for the rest of my life; because Lupus causes me to get infections as well as blood in the urine.  I have chest pains due to swelling of the lining of my heart and lungs.  I have to be careful around those who are sick; because I am 75% more likely to get what they have, only worse.  I’m more susceptible to bronchitis and pneumonia.

Skin rashes are quite common for me, especially if I have been out in the sun for long periods of time.  It’s why I always try to wear a hat and my sunglasses when I go out.  It’s not unusual for me to have that “butterfly” rash on my face, to run a fever and hurt.

Put On Purple!!!!  May 10th is World Lupus Day.  As purple is the ribbon color for Lupus, I encourage people to wear purple on the 10th in support of the need of more research, awareness and knowledge for this autoimmune disease.

For more information:  http://www.lupus.org

 

I Drive Myself Crazy!

I truly don’t need anyone else to do it; because I do it all by myself. LOL!

I’ve been following the adventures of Jonathan & Ben Carlin on youtube under the name “supercarlinbrothers”.  They do two new videos a week in which they discuss various topics.  They’ve been around for the last 5 years at least and I just discovered them and do enjoy their theories, adventures and commentary.

Finished my last day of PT on Friday and feel a heck of a lot better than I did when I initially hurt my shoulder.  So grateful for that.  Will miss my therapist, Hailey.  We had a lot of fun teasing each other and making the 45 minute session go quickly.

Considering joining a gym; but don’t like it how they seem to have all these hidden fees that spring up once you’re sucked in.  UGH!  Maybe after my vacation I’ll do it.  At present, I’m doing the exercises here, so as long as I continue, I should be okay with it.

VACATION!!!!  I’ll be taking my son with me up to Virginia the first two weeks of June to visit one of my dearest friends from my USMC days.  He and his wife invited us up and though we have never lost touch all these years, we haven’t seen each other in 20 years.  It is going to be a nice visit for sure.  I’m counting the days! 😀

Three more chapters in “He Still Moves Stones” and it has been a fantastic journey.  My women’s bible study has only 3 more chapters in 1 Corinthians before we break for the summer.  We just did 1 Cor 13 and went verse by verse on it in discussion.  We tore it apart and learned a lot about God’s Love.  Without love, our whole lives are incomplete.

I’ve been keeping a vision journal alongside my current prayer journal, which chronicles my vision journey.  The good, the bad and the ugly in black and white.  I keep so many journals for various things.  scripture, life, prompts, pain, etc.  I am also writing in one as letters to my love, all about different aspects of my life and as a way to talk to him when he won’t talk to me.  Such a difficult journey, to wait on the Lord’s perfect timing; but I am doing what I need to do to get through it.

The best part of this journey, though, is that God is answering me all the time.  It is so strange, too.  I pray to him and then He will show me through my daily devotional or even through my personal bible study.  I was reading the book and two chapters, each on the days I had questions or needs, revealed to me what I needed to hear.  It was incredible.  I talked with my son about it and he laughs at me; but he also believes me.  He laughs; but it has more to do with the way I tell him about it than the message.  My faith is strong.

God put on my heart this week to make a motivation/scripture book for my friend’s son who is graduating.  I put photos in it with things like he was wanted, he has a purpose, God has a plan, prayer works, etc. I felt with our conversation that he may have been in need.  Then, once I got the thought, I couldn’t get rid of it, so I finally did it and feel better about doing it.  Sent it out Friday and he should get it Monday or Tuesday.  He’s a really sweeet young man.  I only hope he likes it.

My son’s concert is on Tuesday.  Last of this school year.  He also has an awards banquet on the 12th.  I’m only hoping the time flies; because I so want to go on vacation. LOL!  Only 20 days of school left for him.  YEAH!  I can hardly believe he’s going to be a Senior next year.  Time flies.

 

Arguing with God

I had a fight with God.  Kind of one sided at the time; but I was upset and let Him know about it.  I told Him what my problem was, how my faith was unshakeable, however, I didn’t believe that a particular person was going to come around.  I also mentioned at this point, I didn’t want that person to come around any longer and that he could basically shove it.  I am tired of this person’s current treatment of me and I was done.  Over. Kaput!

Then, I went to sleep.   Take that God!  Do you know what He did?  He put me in my place.  All three “Daily Devotionals” I received yesterday morning had to do with said “conversation”. AND the current chapter of the Max Lucado bible study book I was on and read yesterday also addressed the situation.  Let’s just say that God put me in my place and I humbly begged forgiveness in overstepping and taking my anger out on Him, when He was not the one I was mad with at the time.

Touché’ God, Touché’.  Here I was, all up in His face with my anger, and He simply burst my bubble effectively.  POP!  Brought low by the Man!  <sigh>

On a wonderful note, I sent a graduation card to a friend’s son who will be doing so in two weeks and I received the most wonderful thank you from the young gentleman.  I was touched.  The young man told me he was keeping the card with him so that when he needs motivation he’d refer to it.  I wanted to reach through the internet and hug that child.  ❤ I let him know that he touched my heart with his thanks and that I was available at anytime if he needed motivation or words from God.  I know I told him that he would go far in life, to follow God’s plan, never give up even though people will hurt him and that he is special and God is there for him always.  I even bragged to my women’s bible study this morning about what a great young man he is and a total gentleman.

It is rare today to meet such a wonderful young man who is a gentleman at heart.  So many of the kids I’ve seen at my son’s high school are not.  It is sad.  I’m lucky that my son’s friends are the good ones.  Of course, in this fast paced, rat race of a life we all live in, sometimes kids are left to practically raise themselves.  It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to their parents; but it’s how it has to be in a two income necessary society.  My son has a friend who’s mom works three jobs as a single mom to two sons and I can only imagine how hard it is on them.  However, her sons are held accountable for all their actions.  She’s a strict task master.

I can only imagine how far my friend’s son will go in this life.  As he goes off to college next year, I will pray for him and his future.  The world is his oyster!

He Is Risen!!!

As Easter is fast approaching, it is a glorious celebration of our Savior and His resurrection from the grave.  My Savior Lives!

Tonight, our Pastor used 1 Corinthians 15:1-9 to illustrate what this means to us.

1 Corinthians 15New King James Version (NKJV)

The Risen Christ, Faith’s Reality

15 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

The Resurrection changed the earth.  It changed us.  It changed the world.

The Resurrection changed:

The Cross ~~ It is now a symbol and reminder to us of God’s Love for us.  No longer is it the horrible death of crucifixion.

The Grave ~~ We rejoice in the fact that we’ll live forever with our Father in eternity, no longer are we put in the ground and left there with no hope.

Death ~~ Before it was “The End”, now it is the “Beginning”, a great hope that we will live forever with Christ.  ETERNITY!  The promise of everlasting life.

How joyous life has become, knowing that we are saved by His grace and love.

1 Corinthians  51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1 Corinthians 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Oh Happy Day!  He is RISEN!  He LIVES! He REIGNS!

That still, small voice…

Today is the anniversary of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, my Lord & Savior.  On this day, God gave His Son to save the world.  ME!   I am awed and honored by this sacrifice, for a sinner like me.

I’m currently doing a personal bible study on Max Lucado’s book, “He Still Moves Stones” and it is wonderful.  God still uses the same book to teach us things that are applicable to us today, The Bible.  The bible is the LIVING word of God.  What was once applied to our world 2,000 plus years ago, is still applied today.  I find my strength in reading God’s word.

For me, I am deep in the word today, looking for answers to today’s situations and I have been finding them.  In Max’s book, he pointed out that even Jesus’ family disrespected Him in his own home town and He left them behind.  Much like I have left my sisters and father behind due to their dislike of me.  WOW!

Prayer was today’s chapter and I must say that I’ve been praying A LOT lately.  I’ve always prayed at the drop of a dime.  If someone is in need, I pray right then for them.  I’ve never been one to shy away from asking my Father to help those in need.  However, I also love to converse with Him.  I tell Him everything.  I have regular conversations with him everyday.

I remember being in a bible study several years ago and our teacher mentioned that she knew a woman years ago who prayed to God to find her keys.  My teacher thought that was a bit silly. She asked the woman why she did that and her response was, “If He can help me find my keys, imagine what He can do for my big needs.”  And from that day forward, I’ve told Him EVERYTHING!

I’ve asked God to help me lay hands on papers I’ve mislaid and found.  I’ve asked God to help me to calm down when I was upset or heard bad news and He has.  Over & over God has answered prayer after prayer for me.  I am so faithful to Him and I believe wholeheartedly that He will see to my needs.  That is why I am waiting on Him to fulfill His promise to me about His plan for my life.  I’m so excited to see it come to fruition and I know there is a lesson in the waiting.  Of course, for me it is to practice patience, my biggest weakness.

When I am in doubt, being beaten up by the enemy, I pray to Him for strength or clarity or whatever it is that I am in need of at that point.  He delivers.  I prayed for clarity on the “who” and he sent me four signs in one morning that it was, indeed, him.  I prayed for it “NOW” and He sent me several scriptures on His perfect timing.  He even made my next morning Daily Devotional on waiting for His perfect timing.  I’ve had doubts it truly is “him” and for Valentine’s day, I had a Hello Kitty valentine show up in my FB feed where Kitty was sending one to “his name”.  It’s been 5 months since promise and I have struggled.  Each time I battle my depression, I am feeling a lot of pain, I am missing this person, I stumble; but I always get up.

Two days ago, I asked for clarity, again, and the cartoon character with his name popped up.  When I told God I completely give up on this person, I turn on the television in the morning and the first thing they say is HIS NAME parkway is shut down.  FIRST THING!!!  All I can say is, it’s HARD to wait when your patience is near non-existent.  LOL!

Of course, it doesn’t help that this man is driving me nuts with his denial.  I think he is not afraid of the future; but afraid that the past will repeat itself and cause him pain.  I have seen what has happened to him and I grieve for his loss.  I have cried gallons of tears for him and mourn over his loss.  I pray for him.  I pray for his healing and strength and family and that if he is not for me, that God will banish him from my heart and mind.  So far, God hasn’t done so and keeps him in my focus. 😀

In the last year, I have grown so much spiritually.  I am so happy with my relationship with God.  I am glad that I can go to Him for everything and anything.  My faith is strong.  My love for Him is eternal.  My belief in His plan for me is solid.

So, on this anniversary of the greatest sacrifice the world has ever seen, I praise my Lord and Savior for who He is, what He has done for me and where I am in His world.

He is Risen! ❤

Frustrations

This past week has been full of some ups; but mostly downs.  I spent 3 days in an unease state.  I could not escape the feeling of dread, uneasy and fear.  I can’t explain it; but it had me very low.  There was a lot of crying, yelling and prayers.  It culminated with a Friday out with my son that ended abruptly when I just couldn’t stop crying and we just headed home.  The poor kid, he didn’t know what to do and I explained to him, that for the first time in 17 years, he has no buffer in his life between us that blocked out my depression from him.  Having PTSD sucks some days.

This is truly the first time that I had a major meltdown with it in a long time. Nothing I did could bring me out of it.  I went to bed early each night.  I took some sleep aids and slept it off like a bad hang over.  Yesterday, we completed the shopping I couldn’t and  ended our evening with church, sandwiches and smiles.  Came on hard and fast and left the same way, as if it never happened.  SMH.

I’ve been doing a home bible study as well as my weekly with my girlfriends.  I’ve got my nose in a few books, too.  One of which is called “Eve” by Wm. Paul Young, the man who wrote “The Shack”.  So far, it’s really good.  I’m only a few chapters in, though.  My home study is another Max Lucado called, “He Still Moves Stones” which is amazing.  I’m burying myself in God’s word, worship and singing to Him.  One of my daily devotionals comes from a site that also sells books and I got an incredible deal on some good ones.  I purchased several of Max’s books for only $5 each.  I’m looking forward to reading each one.

On Thursday, I stopped at Staples on my way to physical therapy and while crossing in the crosswalk, a stopped car proceeded to drive and hit me.  He clipped my knee.  I am not hurt, more outraged by the incident.  It was a Senior Citizen and being me, I am sure that he couldn’t have missed seeing me.  SMH He never stopped, even after he heard my knee hit the car.  Just kept on going.

My son got his learners permit.  Still doesn’t want to drive the car.  LOL!  After our vacation in June, I’m going to hire a driving school for him to take lessons.  Who knows?  Maybe my dad will take him out.  You never can tell with that man.

Today I’ve made two loaves of homemade banana bread and my wings are cooking up for dinner.  Sometimes, I wish I had more people to cook for.  I miss cooking for large quantities of people.  I remember the times I’d invite my co-workers over for dinner and how much I enjoyed cooking for them.  Since it is just the kid and me, I haven’t cooked big in a while.  😦  Heck, I haven’t made a roast in so long, I almost forget how to do it. LOL!.

I’m still waiting on God’s promise.  I am not being very patient.  I am ashamed of my impatience.  I’m trying.  I’m not good at it at all.  I guess that is why God is still making me wait.  <sigh>  I’m jealous of the time others get to spend with him.  I am looking for an acknowledgement of some kind.  A sign that I’m not a fool.  I ask so much of God and I still don’t know how He is putting up with my crazy or how He’s going to make it happen.  I pray a LOT!

PT is going as well as PT can go.  Pain in my shoulder is reduced.  THANK GOD!  I am getting more movement in my shoulder and they use the tens machine on it as well as they put a pain patch on me afterwards.  It’s a steroid with a battery operated pump that pushes the meds through the skin.  I wear it for 3 hours.  I think it’s supposed to help break down the calcium deposits in the area.  Only 4 more weeks to go.

Can hardly wait for June to get here.  Heading up to Virginia to visit a friend and am super excited.  He lives in Staunton, so I’m thinking I might also head to see friends in KY and TN as well, since I’ll be there. 😀 We shall see.

Life is certainly interesting.

God Is Good!

I began reading Max Lucado’s new book, “He Still Moves Stones” and I’m on chapter 4 last night and right there, in black and white, it shows me that even Jesus had trouble with his family.  WOW!  Max let me know that it is okay that I have walked away from my sisters and father due to the way they treat me.  That Jesus left His family and it wasn’t until His death that His family sang His praises.  (No I don’t want them to sing my praises when I’m dead)  It is just good to know that I’m in good company with the family thing.  😀

This past weekend, I took my son and his friend to Daytona to watch the FFCC Championship.  Last year, our High School won 1st Place.  This year, the lazy band director wouldn’t do Indoor Drumline, much to the kids disappointment.

Daytona was beautiful.  The weather excellent.  The hotel sucked!  They never cleaned our room on Saturday while we were gone all day.  Not happy.  No clean towels and when I went to the front desk, no one was there; but a sign that says “we’re full”.

The competition was great.  Very much so for us.  The boys hung out with friends from another school and just had a stress free weekend.  My son got sunburn on the top of his feet.  He missed school yesterday since he couldn’t wear shoes.  SMH.  Walked the beach.  Went to the fishing pier.  Saw dolphins and black tip sharks in the water.  I got a little sun; but I know better than to over expose myself due to the Lupus.  I bought a nice purple ball cap that I just love and almost bought a turtle; but worried he wouldn’t make it home alive.

I went to Bubba Gump for an early dinner/late lunch before going over to the arena and I must say it was delish!  The waiter was great, the whole staff, actually.  I had the Calamari and a shrimp po’boy along with 2 Georgia Peach tea’s that gave me a slight buzz; but wore off very quickly.  LOL!

Started PT yesterday.  Not too bad, so far.  I had to wear a pain pump patch for 3 hours afterwards which is a type of cortisone.  At least I’m not allergic to it. Ha, ha.

 

 

Prompt….

I’ve been doing some guided journaling with prompts in my personal journals and one of the prompts was to describe something that is happening with my body, without emotions, but the physical manifestation only.  Suggestions were sex, work, etc.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do until my head started twinging and I knew what was coming.

MIGRAINE!!!

I’m sitting in church, listening to the sermon, under the florescent lights and it begins.  I feel a twinge over my brow.  It is always like this under the bright, white lights. I take a deep breath and try to concentrate.  It isn’t easy, I know what is coming.  I glance at my watch and wonder how much longer I can sit here.  A small pulsing begins to take form in my head and I know it won’t be long until it spreads.

I feel the pain inching its way across my forehead.  UGH!  Not now.  I try to listen to what the Pastor is saying; but it is a lost cause.  I am trapped in the ugliness.  Time ticks by second by second.  I can almost feel the second hand on my watch moving slowly around the dial.

Breathe.

Slow, steady breaths, in and out.  Trying to hold it together until the last Amen.  My stomach begins to turn.  Great, the nausea is starting.  I pray to God that I won’t throw up.  I stand up for the benediction and quickly escape to the exit.  I leave so as not to have to talk to anyone.  So I do not have to stay another second under those lights.

The car ride home is a blur as I am lost in my body.  It takes all that I have within me to make it to the front door.  Pain lashes my head, spreading rapidly, outward and inward.  I’ve squinted my eyes from the harsh lights.  I have no music on; because the thought of a noise will make me implode.  Breathing in and out.

The car air freshener is making the nausea worse.  I want to throw it out the window; but I don’t; because the effort is way too much.

HOME!!!

I pull in the driveway and stumble to the door.  I go inside, grateful I can lay down.  I pop 3 Excedrin, go to my room, strip out of my clothes, climb in bed and pray for relief. It is pitch black in here.  Perfect.

I lay on the bed, not moving a muscle.  If I move, the pain will shift and lance through me once again.  I do what I hate to do in these times…..I concentrate on the pain.  Each beat of my heart has the pain pulsing through my head.  My hair hurts.  I am paralyzed by my thoughts as my focus is intently on the crushing, violent stabbing going on inside my body.

I’m sweating. I shiver.  My stomach is rolling.  I can hear noise in the distance, as if a thousand buzzing flies are somewhere close by.  Don’t concentrate on the pain.  It’s too much to handle.  Let me black out.  Time is my enemy as the seconds turn to minutes.  I feel each one of them as they slowly drone on.

Zap.  Stab.  Throb.  Pain so crushing I think my head will cave in, my sight will disappear and my stomach will empty its contents all over the place.

Praying, praying, praying.  “God, help me through this pain.”  I say it over and over and over again.  Nothing seems to help.  The meds take too long to kick in.  The internal struggle is torture.  It is days like this that I hate my body.

I finally drift away in oblivion. I pray rest will restore my body.  I am so weak. Migraine hang over will soon encompass me and I hate that almost as much as the Migraine itself.