Family, Friends, Life, Menopause


I originally wrote this earlier this week and then deleted it. I had inadvertently saved it to Word on my computer and have decided, after support from my family and friends, to publish this.
I shared on my personal Facebook yesterday that I have been suffering and mentioned I didn’t want sympathy…..which is why I posted it to …..Facebook? I guess maybe I did want some sympathy, I think we all do deep down inside when we are having a rough go of things.
I think having a cheer section helps keep you going and we can learn a lot from not keeping it all inside and being able to talk openly about life, bad AND good.
Because as amazing as life is, there are some really crappy moments and if we just put it out there, I think there would be a lot less suffering and heartbreak.
I love my family and friends so much, I think they know but it is good to say. 
This has been edited a bit to include the events that occurred yesterday to push me to write the status update call for sympathy.

I don’t like to talk or write about the bad in my life.
We all know that the bad is there and for some reason, I don’t want to dwell on it, especially in this space.
But today, as I write these words, I feel like I need to level with you.
I am in pain.

Since the beginning of January, I have had some sort of headache for most days of the week.
I typically have headaches on a monthly basis, usually migraine and usually hormonal but manageable.
Nothing my sumatriptan couldn’t take care of here and there.
Since 2005 I have dealt with migraines, some months better than others but nothing like the month I am currently having.
I have tried oils, massage therapy, I changed my diet, basically anything and everything.
I will be at my doctors’ office on Monday morning and until then I am praying that she won’t just tell me it’s in my head.
Because I just can’t do it anymore.

I consider myself to be a really strong person.
I have gone through a lot of crap over the past 15 years and I am still here.
Weary but here.
But this is bringing me to my knees, literally.
When you are in pain you can’t enjoy life.
I am not enjoying the simple things like watching the Real Housewives on DVR after the kids go to bed or getting a hot chocolate with whipped cream.
Because when I am not in pain, I am constantly worrying about when the pain will be back.
And when I am in pain, I am not in a good place. I have days where I stare out the window and wonder why I am going through this.
Is it a life lesson?
Is it my fault?
Am I causing my own pain?


pain calendar
The M’s are days with migraines. The H’s are days with headaches. This is the most depressing journal ever.


My kids are tired of seeing me in pain, my seven-year-old talks about “migrians” like it is a common cold.
“Do you have a migrian today, mommy?”
My almost 15 year old found me sobbing in the shower last weekend, I had the doors shut but apparently, I was louder than I realized.
Hugging me, wet and naked as my body heaved with emotional vomiting was a moment she won’t soon forget, I am sure.
It has been really shitty.

I try to make light of life, for the most part, try to get through each day with something to make me laugh but this is something that is bringing me down so hard, sometimes I honestly don’t think I can get up again.
I actually said to my mom on the phone last week, ” if it takes ten years off my life to make the pain go away, I don’t even care anymore”.
That isn’t me.
I don’t know who I am anymore.
My daughters and my husband don’t know what to do, as amazing as they are, and I don’t know what I would do without them.


Young troubled woman using laptop at home


Yesterday, I woke up with another headache after going to bed with one the night before.
To say I woke up depressed is an understatement.
My youngest had been sick the previous day so I had her stay home this day as well.
It was a gray late January day, I was in pain and my youngest was asking, at 7:30 am “WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO TODAY?!?!”
She should have gone back to school, in hindsight, but I wanted to make sure she was 24 hours from illness before sending her back.

When my husband was leaving for work, I clung to his jacket and sobbed.
Like, heaving sobs.
I feel so awful for sending him to work a 14-hour day like that.
It wasn’t my finest moment.
No, telling my sweet seven-year-old daughter who had a taste for a muffin from Panera that “I called them and they sold out of all the desserts today” was my least finest moment.

I have been begging God, the Universe, anyone who will listen up there, to help me help myself.
I know you up there aren’t giving me the pain I am feeling down here but please, I am begging you, help me.
I started to doubt. I started to question, I am ashamed to admit.
If there IS a God, why are you letting this happen?

Another not-so-shining moment.

An hour after my husband left, the phone rang and it was my mom, responding to a very alarming text from me, I am sure.
Something like, I can’t take it anymore or I want my mommy.
I used to hide any negative feelings, especially to my mom who is far away because honestly, I didn’t want to worry her.
She is 11 hours away, there is nothing realistically she can do, I will be better eventually, why worry her?
I am at the point in my pain where I can’t hide it anymore.

We had an hour conversation, we cried, we talked, we hoped, we wished.
We told each other, in between sobs, how much we loved each other, how we wished to GOD we lived close, and how we can’t wait, literally can’t wait to see each other.
Stuff we usually say but this conversation was different.
It was deep and emotional and really, really real.
I got off the phone, turned on some 80’s music, turned on every light in the house at noon, and made snickerdoodles for Ella and me.
Okay mostly for me, but she loved them too.
The same snickerdoodle recipe I made when I was in 4-H in 6th grade.
I felt like it was 1982 all over again.
It was healing, having my mom’s words in my heart, my 4-H cookies in my belly, my childhood music in my ears.

It was around two in the afternoon when the doorbell rang.
Ella sprang to get it and I whispered “NOOOOO”.
The other day, when I had a migraine, of course, a salesman for a window company came and had me standing in the cold with an ice pack on my head, making a decision to get new windows for our home.
I have lost the ability to reason with this month-long tour ‘o pain.
So I stood there, talking to his boss on his phone, trying to figure out a day when I would be home to have a “free estimate” while in pain.
“NOOOOOO” I whispered, “don’t answer it!”
It rang two more times.
Then a knock.

Then I worried, was it a neighbor who needed help?
Did a child lose their key off the school bus?
I finally answered it and saw a woman taping a note to my door from a flower delivery company.
And the woman looked like the mom of one of my childhood friends.
I literally bawled as she handed me the flowers.
She probably thought, this poor woman never gets flowers. There there.

As soon as I saw it was tulips, I knew it was from my husband.


flowers from my hubby

And I sobbed yet again.

It was while I was in the glow of the flowers that my 14-year-old came home.
I was so happy to see her, hugged her so tightly, then showed her the flowers and told her about the phone call.
While she was eating a snickerdoodle, she noticed the note on the flowers and said: “Aww he is a keeper”.
That made me laugh because she sounded 70 years old and as I was laughing the doorbell rang again.
It was a package.
My 14-year-old said who it was from and I knew.

I opened it to find Ohio in the box from my friend, Vikki. Vikki is so special. I wrote a post about her that pertained to Flat Kari but never got to publish it because I couldn’t upload the pictures but here is an excerpt because I really want her to read this:

My dear friend Vikki inspires me. She is special to me, I think she knows she is but I am using this public forum to announce it. She sends me care packages from my sweet little Ohio hometown here and there. She will message me on Facebook with something so amazingly random and loving that it sends me through my day with a smile. You know the goofy smile that people go, “my GOODNESS what is that woman ON? And can she give me some?”.

Inside the box were little things from home that meant a huge deal to me.


my buckeye pain kit

Flyers from places I once visited as a child, a newspaper from my hometown, reminders of a time when migraines weren’t even a thing.
A box of love is what it was.
The thing is, she had no idea I was going through the month of hell.
I normally tell my friends what is going on in my life but for some reason, the more I talked about this, the more real it became.
I didn’t want my life to be full of pain talk, quite honestly.
I wanted to preserve some relationships in my life with just talk of life and laughter. Not of pain, if that makes sense.

On this day, the conversation with my mommy, the cookies with Ella while singing along to Purple Rain,  the flowers from the love of my life, the excitement of seeing my teenager after school, the box of love, all of it was a huge sign that I am not alone. I am very much not alone and it is clear that I have angels among me.

Thank you to everyone who messaged me and texted me after reading my call for sympathy on Facebook yesterday.
With every ding of my text or message coming in via Facebook, I had tears streaming down my face.
Happy, happy, life-affirming tears.
I love all of you and I want to get better.
You made a difference yesterday, a life-changing difference and I will never forget it.

2020 note- read this post as a follow-up about Vikki and our other friend Kari who surprised me a month after this. 

28 thoughts on “Pain”

  1. I am so glad you found specks of love and joy yesterday. I cannot imagine the strength it is taking you to function with a journal that looks like that. I hope the doctor has some simple answers that let you be you again quickly…and I hope they involved peanut m&m's. Hugs to you, Kari!


  2. Sending you lots of love, and thoughts of colorful Chuck Taylor's, and spring days, and giggling, and hey you want to write a screenplay with me? We'll talk.


  3. Oh, my sweet. There are no words to describe migraine (well, there are a few, but they are all four-letter and well-worn). And to have that pain, or the aftermath of that pain, or the anticipation of that pain all the time? Well, I'm impressed that you haven't gone postal. You might be crying and telling little white lies about Panera (brilliant!), but the fact that you're still standing means that you're winning. You got this.


  4. I wish there was some kind of magic spell that I could cast to make you feel better. I wish we could pay a fee and never have another headache. i wish, I wish…You'll get through this and the world will seem brighter and happier on the other side of it. Sending all the love…


  5. I hadn't read this post yet when I messaged you earlier. You made me cry, Kari! I really hate that you are in so much pain. I wish there was something I could do to help. I'm really glad you have so much love in your life.


  6. Ugh I'm so sorry!! Ongoing headaches are so horribly debilitating. I hope your doctor can provide some relief. Glad you are getting lots of love and support. Hang in there.


  7. You are NOT alone, Kari. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I can't believe the number of friends I have who are dealing with constant headaches. I wish I could offer relief but all I have is support and love.


  8. Hi Kari, I don't think I've commented before but this post–well, I know just what you're talking about. For some reason, the past few Januarys have been horrible for my migraines. What might be hardest for me is not knowing what triggers them. I guess I think if I knew, i could control it somehow. Wrote a piece a while back on the upside of migraines. (Hah! But, yeah. There really is one for me.) Thought it might be helpful. If you can get past wanting to smack me for the title. (When I'm suffering, the idea that there can be any kind of upside to my pain and the havoc it wreaks on the rest of my life makes me want to hurt things.) Wishing you relief soon.


  9. Omg Rita, this was amazing.What a great perspective you take.I am looking at my pain very differently now.But I must say, I really miss chocolate.


  10. You are not alone. This —> "When you are in pain you can't enjoy life." When you are not in pain, you are waiting for the next time it will knock you on your ass. I'd love to say that I just enjoy the pain-free moments, but I'm not there yet. It seems you have a wonderful support system IRL, too. Love the Ohio box but the flowers…amazing. Best to you.


  11. Kari, my eyes filled with tears as I read this. I will PRAY for you to get some relief soon and until then, as hard as it friggin' is, put one foot in front of the other to get through your days knowing that nothing lasts forever. Not even the stuff we WANT to last lasts forever, so surely this won't either. There is an end to it. I'm praying for you. Hang in there.


  12. I'm sure that is very difficult to you to live with that pain and thank you of been so honest in this post! I wish i could help you but I don't know what to do but will pray for ou to feel better.Ealing Carpet cleaners


  13. Oh mama! I'm so sorry to read this! I'm hoping that your migraines subside with the help of the medication, and that you know that you always can share what you're going through without any of us thinking that you're not being awesome. Love you!


  14. I have read this so many times these past few days…and I cry. Tears for you, my wonderful friend, because I hate that you were in so much pain for so long. I truly believe all the positive vibes/wishes helped….I don't care what anyone else says. And I cry tears of happiness from all the love that has been shown. THIS is exactly what friends are for… and support. It doesn't matter where we are physically, we are always here for each other. Thank YOU for your kind words…I am so glad you liked the package! Please know that you have inspired me…beyond words. I am forever grateful for that. Which means you will probably get more boxed love from Ohio 🙂


  15. People can say all the negative things about Facebook that they want but for me it will always be the medium that brought us closer.I am so grateful for your friendship, you really have no idea. That care package saved me in so many ways that day. You need to know that you have such a beautiful heart and you make a difference. I love you, friend.


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