Friday, June 1, 2012

My First, on the First

There is no definite first migraine for me. Migraines have been a part of my entire life. However, I'm going to share with you two separate times, one accounted by my nursery school teacher, and the second as the first time I truly remember being in pain in the Migraine way. 

The following account was written on my "Your Stories" wall on my children's book's website, by my first nursery school "teacher":

I was Gretchen's first teacher when she came to me as a ten month old baby. I remember that she cried a lot during her first few weeks. I didn't know then that she might have been in pain, but I was the only one who could calm her down. I took out a box, and let her crawl into it. I would get on the floor, and run my fingers through her beautiful blonde hair which would soothe her, and then I would hold her and sing to her. After two or three weeks of doing this routine, when she would enter the room, she would go into her box or under the cribs, and when she was ready, would crawl out and play with the other children but would always crawl into my lap when we would gather to sing. Music calmed this baby's soul...she is still very precious to me. I will love her always. And only wish I could hold her, run my fingers through her hair, and sing to her to ease her pain.

I know that to this day, music calms me down when the pain is bad, and I fall asleep to soft music every night, as I find that it helps me wake up a little better than I might otherwise. 


The second account I'll give you is from my own memory, although I don't remember a life without pain, so it's probably a mixed memory:

I would have been three or four years old. It was recess/outdoor time. I liked outdoor time, because I got to go look at bugs and play in the sandbox. But the time that sticks out in my memory was one day that I felt terrible. I didn't want to go outside to the playground. I didn't want to play with my friends. I didn't even want to sit on the steps and wait Outside time out. I didn't want to stay in the classroom. Instead, I hid in the little space underneath the stairs leading to the second level of the building. 

I hid in there, curled up in the fetal position, crying softly. I was good at crying quietly. My teachers couldn't get  me to come out from under the stairs. I just ignored them and curled into a tighter ball. I hurt, and I didn't want to do anything except hide from everything, including myself.

My teachers were concerned when I refused to come out. I know that they sent at least one of my friends to try and tempt me out, but I wouldn't budge. I was safe under the stairs and I was NOT moving. Finally, after who-knows how long, my teachers gave up on trying to extricate me, and just walked by every once in a while. Finally I came out on my own volition, but I didn't want to play with my friends, I just lay quietly on a mat and read books.

That day after preschool was over, I went upstairs to where my mom's office was, and crawled under her desk and drew pictures in "angry" colors, mostly red and black, with sharp angles, and boxish shapes. Some of it was just random scribbles, while pushing so hard with the crayon that I would break them into several pieces. 

All I remember is that I hurt and knew that there was nothing anybody could really do about it. Yes, Mom's presence helped me calm down and feel safer, but the pain was still there. 

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