I woke up yesterday with a migraine. I am familiar with the feeling and knew right away what to do. I took nausea and headache medicine and sat very still, hoping it would pass on by. This was my first migraine after having gotten a stomach surgery that prevents me from actually being able to vomit. I was dreading this day because I didn’t know how things would go considering my average migraine causes me to throw up 5-15 times. I hoped I had caught it in time but I didn’t.
I began to retch and sweat profusely. My heart pounded in my ears. After what seemed like days, the retching subsided and I began the evaluation process. Do I need to go to the hospital? Should I call Jason at work and ask him to come home? If I am patient will it subside? Should I call work and tell them I won’t be in today even though my shift doesn’t start for hours?
I made a deal with myself. I decided to wait and see if I had another bout of nausea and retching and, if so, I would call Jason and ask him to come home. Minutes later I went through another round and called Jason immediately after. As soon as I hung up the phone I was met with guilt and doubt. Was this bad enough that I needed to ask him to leave his job and come home? Should I have waited longer to see if I could get by on my own? What could he do for me anyway? Was I being a baby calling him?
Jason got home minutes later, just in time for another round of retching. We couldn’t communicate at that point and I was unable to fill him in on what was going on and what medications I had taken. He sat with me and waited for it to be over. Once again, I was hot and sweaty and he got me a cold rag for my head. He rubbed my neck and kept the dogs away from my face. He called my work and told them I would not be in that day. I felt very weak and light headed so I asked him to help me to the bathroom. I was so unsteady on my feet I doubt I could have made it on my own. Perhaps because I was unable to have the relief that comes with vomiting, my body started to shake uncontrollably. Jason helped me lie down and covered me with many blankets. He then took out my dog who had been asking me to go out prior to his arrival home. When he was gone I began to think I needed to go to the hospital. I craved the IV medications that would take away my nausea and my head pain. I decided to wait it out a little longer.
When Jason came inside, I felt so safe knowing he was there to take care of me that I fell asleep. My body was exhausted. I woke up a few more times to retch and was relieved to have Jason there to hold my hand and wipe my brow. Eventually, I slept without the need to wake up and retch. The worst of it had passed and all that was left was a headache. I knew that I couldn’t move around much or the migraine might regain its strength. Jason got me some applesauce and water. I was ok and he could return to work.
Before he left, I thanked him for coming home. He said that he didn’t feel like he did anything to help me. I imagine from his perspective his actions were small. Getting a cold cloth and shooing away the dogs probably doesn’t feel like the work of a hero. But it is. His presence made me feel secure in knowing that if things got worse he could take me to the ER. Taking out my whining dog was something I could not have done and, had I tried, would have certainly caused another round of retching. Wiping my brow was incredibly soothing when I felt as through I was on fire. Holding his hand made me feel loved and reminded me that I was human, not just a ball of pain and misery. He took hours away from work and contributed so much in my moment of need. I could never explain how incorrect he was when he said that “he didn’t do anything”.
Anyone who sits with a person in a time like this one, a time of incredible discomfort, is a hero in my eyes. Whether you are a parent, a spouse or a nurse, you will never be more needed in your life. While you may not be scaling a burning building, your energies will never be more appreciated. Thank you, Jason, for being there for me yesterday. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for being there many migraines before I met Jason. Thank you to all the heroes out there that sit by and wipe the forehead of someone they love with a cold cloth.