If you’re going through hell, keep going! #PainWarriorPepTalk

I decided to use this quote for this week’s #PainWarriorPepTalk; “If you’re going through hell, keep going”. It is a common misconception that Winston Churchill said this, however it has never been recorded that he actually did say this.

Warriors, I pray that you will be encouraged by this short message. Sometimes a short sentence with a few words can carry a connotation of an essay. 

The only way you are going to make it out of your hell is to continue pushing your way through it. If we were to look at the semantics of this quote, the key word used here is ‘through’. When you go through something, there is an entry point, and also an exit point. Like when you go through a tunnel. You WILL come out on the other side. This is something I have heard my pastor (Pastor Mike White) say before pertaining to the word ‘through’. So warriors be reminded and encouraged; walk THROUGH your pain and keep your head up. You will make it out alive. You might still have your pain at the end of the tunnel, but the most important thing to have is your peace of mind so you will continue to live your life to the fullest. 

Hope you have a great week warriors,

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

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MRI tomorrow…this should be fun!

mri pic.jpg

So tomorrow is the day I finally have another MRI…will be posting about this. Pray for me warriors!

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

My Fight With Hemiplegic Migraines…And Anchors

I experienced a hemiplegic migraine attack for the first time. I wanted to share my experience with you and hopefully encourage you in the process.

Good Afternoon Warriors, I hope you are all having a decent weekend so far.

I wanted to share my experience with you and encourage you in the process.

Some of you may have seen that I posted a message on twitter, facebook and instagram, highlighting that I experienced a hemiplegic migraine attack for the first time on Friday.

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SO what happened?

Well I had been fighting off a migraine that had been lurking since the beginning of the week. I was quite successful in praying it away until Wednesday evening. It felt like an annoying – but normal headache. I figured it would have softened to a manageable level by the time I woke up on Thursday. However, that wasn’t the case…

I first woke up about 2 hours before my usual time. I felt EXTREMELY hot! I assumed it was because of the weather and attributed it to that. Thus, I spritzed myself with water and went back to sleep. When it was time to get up, I had woken up in a nightmare; the whole left side of my body was dead. My face, arm and torso couldn’t move. I felt an excruciating pain in my arm, as well as an intense throbbing in the left side of my head. This was extremely out of the ordinary for me because most of my migraine attacks usually take place on the RIGHT side of my head, or across the whole of my frontal lobe. My breath was also short and I was struggling to breathe.

Was I having a stroke? No I couldn’t be…I remember reading something about migraines being closely linked to strokes. About people having migraines that felt like a stroke…or people having a stroke that felt like a migraine…or was it about people having what they THOUGHT was a migraine, when really they were having a stroke? GOSH I COULDN’T REMEMBER!

So I panicked.

All rational thought had dispersed and I knew I wasn’t thinking clearly, so I dragged myself to my sister’s room next door. God is good because he used my sister. She helped me to calm down. She praised God and prayed to him for me when I couldn’t catch enough breath to do it myself. Once I calmed down, I was able to focus on putting my trust in God to sort the situation out.

By the end of the day, the feeling in my hand returned. But that was about it. In my head I wondered if I should go to the hospital, but I decided there was no point – I was already in enough pain and struggling to do anything. How on earth was I going to get dressed, go to the hospital and sit underneath blinding lights and crazy noise (remember I’m hypersensitive to BOTH) for countless hours, only to be given paracetamol? PARACETAMOL DOESN’T EVEN WORK FOR ME ANYWAY!!

The following day I was still in a lot of pain, and my arm/torso still felt like it was being tormented with pins and needles. The only description I could give at the time was “my arm felt like it wasn’t a part of my body anymore, like it was a separate body of it’s own”. It has been three days since it started and my arm still feels a bit disconnected sometimes, like it’s an add on.

After doing loads of research, I came to find out what I had experienced was a hemiplegic migraine: which are more rare than other types of migraines (according to the medical sites I’ve read). They differ greatly from the migraines I usually experience. The articles I read highlighted that they usually happen as a result of a mutated gene. They also pointed out that it sometimes takes people days for their body to fully recover and feel normal again after such attacks. So I’m keeping my head up and trusting God that it will pass. That I won’t have to experience this again. But I am reminded that if I was to experience such an attack again, God will be with me just the same. After all, he promised in the bible that he would never leave me nor forsake me. He also promised that he will be with me during the difficult times;

“…listen to the Lord who created you…I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

Isaiah 43:1-2

Warriors, what I experienced was frightening and made it very easy for me to panic. However after some time of reflection, I realised something; it’s important to have an anchor. That anchor is what pulls you down. It helps you to regain your senses and to think clearly when you are panicking. That anchor is the person you can trust to be 100% honest with you because they only ever have your best interest at heart. Now God essentially is the one who keeps you sane, upright and enables you to bounce back during situations that wreak havoc on your life. That being said, he will also place people around you to anchor you down and talk sense into you. Those people for me are essentially my sister and my mum.

Pain warriors, I encourage you to figure out who your anchors are – the people who you run to in times of need when you aren’t thinking clearly. They don’t always have to be people who are around you physically. For some of you, they might be people who you contact straight away online or via the phone. They might be friends or even colleagues who you work with. Once you have that individual in mind, take a moment to give thanks for those people. They have your back. If you feel like you don’t have one, trust that you will get one eventually, even if its through the spoonie communities online – that’s absolutely okay. Because that anchor will understand your struggle better than anybody else!

We all need someone to anchor us down when we are losing grip of everything. I urge you to hold on to your anchors, because they hold on to you.

Have a great weekend warriors. I’ll be sharing my update about my chronic life journey in the next few days!

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode

 

The Importance of Sharing Your Story

I am a FIRM believer that we as people with chronic illnesses should be sharing our story. I am going to share the reasons why I am all for it and the benefits of doing so;

Hey Warriors,

Some of you may have seen an image I posted a few weeks ago, which was tag lined; “share your story”. I thought it was quite a powerful image that needed to be seen by others. I say this because I am a FIRM believer that as people with chronic illnesses/pain, we should be sharing our story.

I can imagine that some prefer NOT to share their journey about their illness – which is fair enough and I can understand why. But I’m going to the share the reasons why I am all for it and the benefits of doing so;

  1. First and foremost – your story can be a blessing to somebody who needs to hear it. We are living in a world that is encouraged to be so self consumed, that it’s becoming a norm to take from people without giving anything back. There are people that we can help by contributing to their growth and prosperity in life. People get caught up in the notion that in order to help somebody else, you have to give money. Sometimes all we need to give is our story. Maya Angelou said something that always resonated with me –

    “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

    Sometimes when you share your story about what you have been through and where you are coming from, you are giving them hope. Your story could be encouraging them to get up and fight another day until they get to see better days. When you put yourself out there, you can draw in people who are seeking out others who are going through the same things. It can help that person who feels like they are all alone in their struggle. There is strength in numbers. Especially when it comes to the spoonie community – as we have seen for ourselves!

  2. It helps you integrate within a community of people who are enduring the same or similar struggles to you. This is important to you and your well-being. Remember what I said about your story drawing in others who are seeking you out because they feel like they’re alone? Well it works both ways here. You could end up finding the kind of people who you are seeking out! Once I started using social media myself to encourage people, I found the community of spoonies out there with the same mindset. That being said, I wouldn’t trade the spoonie community for anything, because they are some of the most inspirational and compassionate people I have ever spoken to. The support is amazing.
  3. Your story is also an educational tool than can be used to teach those around you about your illness. Most people aren’t clued up on chronic illnesses (especially invisible ones). I mean let’s be honest – did you know anything about yours before you started to have it? (If your answer is yes…then shut up you! I’m just playing). But seriously though – for most people around you, you might possibly be the ONLY exposure they will ever have to your illness. Now I know it gets frustrating to feel like you have to ‘teach’ people about your illness all the time, but who else is going to do it? You are that living, breathing Wikipedia page that educates people about your sickness. Carry that baton so that those around you will instantly understand and have compassion for another person they encounter with the same illness later on down the line. There have been a few people I have met who have given me that understanding nod as soon as I have disclosed that I have chronic migraine. These same people responded to me that they have known or worked with other people in the past who suffered with migraine. And NO I’m not talking about DOCTORS!  I’m talking about regular people that I have met at work or church.
  4. When people know your story – you get to see a level of compassion that you forgot existed. This also can encourage and inspire you in your walk as a pain warrior. It can restore your hope in people – especially non-pain warriors. The right ones will rally around you and help you however they can. I’ll write an article sharing my experience on this. Now I do acknowledge that you will see people who are also inconsiderate/ignorant in regards to your illness and how to treat you, but God has continued to show me lately that there is so much light in people who are compassionate, and that should be what we focus on to help build us up.

Now warriors, sharing your story doesn’t necessarily mean going up the next random person you see and start telling them all your business about your struggles – but sharing your story does require some form of transparency and  honesty. What your choose to share is your choice, but don’t hide your illness. I know you want to be normal, but you’re not. Accept that. What makes you outstanding is your ability to endure your pain and still push through life, and do amazing things. That is what makes you a powerful pain warrior.

So what’s your story Pain Warrior? I would love to hear it…

Tasha M

@PainWarrirCode

Don’t Stop Believin’

So what’s the update on my story? Well…I wasn’t made to be a quitter. Neither were you

Hey Pain Warriors!

It has been a while since I posted an article – a lot has happened since then. We’ve had the holidays and welcomed in a new year. I hope you all welcomed 2018 in a way that was great for you personally. I’m hoping that you all have made some plans and goals that you will achieve, or at least be en-route to achieving!

That being said, I set some goals for myself this year also – one of them being to post more frequently on the Pain Warrior Code blog. I’m excited for the things I have planned for the Pain Warrior Code so make sure you keep an eye out. I also have decided to share more about my own journey with chronic migraine, so you guys can get more of an understanding of my story.

So what’s the update on my story? Well… Continue reading “Don’t Stop Believin’”

Your Pain is Not in Vain!

Your pain has a purpose.
Your pain is NOT in vain!

Hey Warriors!

I know it has been an extremely long time since I’ve written a post- please forgive me! I will make sure to post more frequently because there are a lot of subjects & topics I want to address!

So those of you who follow Pain Warrior Code on twitter would have seen a tweet that I posted recently;

“Every day is a new opportunity to learn something new and to help somebody else. Your pain is NOT in vain!

I was inspired to tweet this because we can easily get stuck in a rut with all the pain we experience on a daily basis. We can become consumed by a dark, isolated world where all we feel is pain, but don’t take into consideration that it can be used for a purpose. Continue reading “Your Pain is Not in Vain!”

The Covert Warrior

I was suddenly struck with the thought that I have been talking to a secret pain warrior all along and never knew. She was a covert pain warrior…

Hey Warriors,

So I know it has been a while indeed…forgive me. Bear with me. You guys know the struggle better than anybody else.

I decided to write this post today because I found myself astounded by a fellow colleague. I bumped into her in the photocopying room as you do, especially when you work in a school! We started talking and she mentioned my sunglasses because I always wear them at work. The LED lights cause way too many problems for me so I prefer to keep them on. Nobody has time for extra pain and eye strain.

 So, I explained to my colleague that I have been dealing with chronic migraine – in which she expressed her sympathy and then revealed that she has recently been experiencing migraines. The further along we got into the conversation, the more she started listing all of the health issues she has been dealing with simultaneously since she was a teenager. Continue reading “The Covert Warrior”