Last week I went to the hairdresser. This outing with my husband is always a diversion for me since I am rarely able to leave the house. I enjoy interacting with people other than family members for a change, so I tolerate the trip into the city. I also like Trey and her shop in an old house.
While I was leaning back over the shampoo sink, Trey said “Relax, I’ve got your head.”
It was one of those things that immediately started up my brain. It sounded like the common saying, “I’ve got your back” that we are used to hearing, whether it’s in the workplace or at home. I think we would all agree that it means the other person is willing to protect you or stand up for you in a particular situation.
That said, the thought came to me that “I’ve got your head” could mean quite a bit more to someone with our particular seizure issues.
Think about it for a minute. It could mean that the other person understands and supports your personal struggle with seizures. The person has your head, is there to look out for you when you can’t always be alert enough to look out for yourself.
So as Trey washed my hair, I thought of who had my head.
The first thought was one of regret and resignation that I did not have someone like that in the medical field. I have not been able to find a doctor recently who did not want to write a “script” and have me move on after my seven minutes were up. This has always puzzled me since issues with the brain seem to me to be much more complex than other issues with other organs simply because our consciousness is encased within our brain. Maybe the fault lies with the fact that there seems to be little specialization within the field of Neurology, when one would assume that there would be more specialization due to the complexities encountered.
After putting that unhappy thought aside, I thought about who does have my head. The image of my husband came to mind. His thoughts are always for me first, and how events and surroundings will affect me. I feel sometimes as if I live within a snow globe, encased in glass. Something will occur to shake up my world, turning it upside down, but I am still in it. I never get out. And he is probably the only person who truly knows this since he lives with me from day to day. He can see how even the smallest things impact me. He sees what I hide from others.
Then there’s my family. This condition has brought home strongly how close a family can be. I see all the things they do to bring me into the group or help me live my life productively. Each person has contributed to my struggle with expressions of love and help. Each has given me some valuable personal talent to guide me back to a meaningful life.
Along with family, I have a few friends who have been with me over the years and have experienced the frustration of seeing me change from a seemingly normal individual into someone with special needs and an uncertain personality. They have stuck with me through the worst. They have my head, too.
There is the saying that if people see you at your very worst and still love you, then they are true friends. Well, I have true friends. Not a lot of them. There were plenty that ran off when the problems started; but, the ones who stayed are worth everything to me.
So, in thinking on this deal about who has my head, I have gone through an exercise of gratitude. But who or what is the most important point of the exercise? I realize that it is my belief in a personal God. I believe that God has my head and has helped me through the changes that this condition inflicted on me and my family. Every time I reached a point of giving up, I got a message or sign pointing the way out. These signs were things like research papers posted on the Internet, something someone said that started a productive thought process, an intuition about a situation that led to an answer, and so forth.
I went from roaring right up to the threshold of a mental breakdown to a logical understanding of what is happening, what it affects, what other conditions I have developed as a result, what to take and what not to take to work toward a more normal and peaceful life, and most days an acceptance of the situation.
I didn’t do it alone; I had to develop an inner peace and self-confidence that would allow me to accept the answers I find. Could I have done this on my own? In a word: No. Without my belief in God, I would be still locked within the breakdown.
Recently, I saw a post from Byrn Mawr, apparently by a person who doesn’t have TLE:
“It’s instructive to observe the people who have Temporal Lobe epilepsy and related brain damage. Despite their awareness that this damage causes hyper-religiosity, they persist in religious behavior. They are so controlled by their damaged brains that they rationalize that they continue their religious beliefs because they choose to, and claim that the brain damage has nothing to do with it.”
Wow. My first thought is that this person’s karma is going to be rough. But, as for me, I am OK. I have an abundance of love from people who “have my head.”
I also have my belief that God is with me and will use this situation for good. So He has my head, too.