Once Was Enough

I am dreaming of fighting with Katniss.  Whether it is over how long it took her to understand that she and the mockingjay were a symbol of rebellion or over how awesome Peeta is, I can no longer recall.

What I do recall (with what I can almost call clarity) is the nagging, needling sensation of a headache beginning behind my left eye.  I shut Panem and their problems out of my head and try to remember if perhaps I’d had too much to drink last night.  Nope.  Just 3 small glasses of wine.  White wine at that.  Nothing to give a big ol’ gal like me a hangover for chrissakes.  I turn over and try to settle back into my dream.

Holy Lord what is happening to my head!  The needles now feel like pinking shears driving into my eye socket.  I hear some rustling around downstairs and decide to venture out in search of ibuprofen.

Bestie and her hubby direct me to the probable locales for my saving grace, but, alas, none is to be found.  As a last resort, I accept the offer of one of Bestie’s prescription pain pills.  It is small and pink of all colors and I doubt it’s going to provide any relief, but I take it anyway.

I trudge back up to the room and slip back into the inflatable air bed.  As soon as I’m in a prone position, it seems the pain intensifies into a throbbing, stabbing, grinding, searing pain.  My eyes water, my throat clenches, I stifle the urge to cry.  Then a whitish light flashes across my eye lid.  I can feel panic rising in my chest.

Is this it?  Am I having a stroke?  Could this be my dying day?

I think about my kids who are asleep in the bed next to mine.  I think about them waking up to find me gone.  Well, there, but really gone.  I think about how grateful I am that Bestie will be there to comfort them.  I start to sob.

My crying must have stirred Loopsy from her slumber.  I hear her rustling and making that sweet waking up noise.  I pull myself out of bed.  I can’t let her see me this upset.  I make it to the bathroom, slam the toilet seat up, and puke up whatever water I’d managed to choke down with the meds.  I am relieved not to see any of that little pink pill come up.  Maybe there is hope for relief after all.

I wipe my face, rinse out my mouth, and make my way back to the bedroom in time to see Loopsy tiptoe out, rubbing her eyes, whining my name.

I gather her up and sit her on my lap to cuddle in bed.  I tell her I didn’t mean to wake her, but I’m not feeling well.

“Mommy has a bad, bad headache, sweet pea.”

She looks up at me with those big green eyes, and nods.  Then she pulls me tighter and gives me one of her trademark hugs.  That girl has a huge capacity for love.  My tears start anew, and I allow them to slide quietly down my face as the throbbing continues.

Soon, Bestie’s elegant black rescue kitty, Izzy, noses her way through the partially opened door.  She rubs herself on my legs, I reach down to pet her chin and she begins to purr.  She hops up next to us and Loopsy and I run our hands down her back, enjoying the peace and solitude of Izzy’s happy rumbles.  I wonder if Izzy knows I’m not well and has come here to provide me comfort.

After a few moments, Loopsy asks if she can go downstairs, and I explain that none of the kids are awake yet, and she should stay with me.  I decide to turn Disney Jr on for her, and after she is settled and satisfied, I crawl next to her and attempt to lie down.  The throbbing doesn’t increase this time, but has not abated.

I’m starting to feel resigned.  That maybe this is my day.  I’m somewhat ashamed to be glad that my final moments are with Lala snoring to my right and Loopsy watching 3rd & Bird to my left.  Another white flash crosses my left eyelid and I drift away.

If I dreamt, I don’t know.  The next thing I remember is hearing the downstairs TV on and Loopsy asking if she can go down with Little K.  I stumble to the hall and call down and ask if it’s ok if I send my kid down.

Bestie, of course, agrees.  I stumble back to bed, feeling slightly less like I’m dying and more like I need to lie down before I fall down.  I am exhausted.  As I drift back to sleep, I feel a pang of guilt.  I was supposed to be helping Bestie with the kids today.  After all, she’d thrown out her back just the night before.

Luscious tendrils of sleep pull me down, down, down, away from the deep, solid ache of my skull, and I have one final coherent thought that I hope she’ll forgive me for adding two more little monkeys to her already full barrel.

Consciousness.  My cranium feels almost bearable again.  I hear little Lala telling someone that she’s from America.  A female voice I don’t recognize laughs in answer. And so do I.

My little girl is so funny.  I am so lucky that I woke up to spend another day laughing with her, getting monster hugs from her sister, being surrounded by the family and friends I love.

I hope I never have another headache like that again in my life.  Once was enough.

Hear that, Powers That Be?  Please?  Pretty please with a cherry on top?

(And Bestie, thank you for taking such good care of me and mine.  I love you.)



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