Its September again - school has begun, the heat is backing off, the mulberry tree behind our house is shitting yellow leaves all over the deck instead of mulberries - these are all the regular signs of fall. The normal signs of Deja Vu are here, with some slight variations.
Tuesday afternoon as I was driving to pick up the 12 year old and friends at soccer practice, I hit a yellow light with too much time to spare, and so I slammed on my brakes not wanting to run the inevitable red light. As I came screeching to a stop, my right arm involuntarily flew out to protect the person sitting in the passenger seat, but she wasn't there. It has been a year since my grandmother died, and well over that since she rode in my car as I substituted for my mother on one of her many doctor appointments and yet, the instinct still kicks in. It doesn't feel good to put all of this together.
But sometimes things are better. Also this week I realized the decision to move my 4th grader to the school where I am teaching has turned out to be maybe the best decision we ever made for him, maybe even better than the decision to begin medication to help treat the ADHD. Because here we are, three full weeks into the school year and that boy has yet to see the inside of the principal's office. To say that his year so far is going well is an understatement. Yes, we still have some organizational trouble with homework, and he still loses his temper at home. But despite my warnings to his teachers about his Puss In Boots style eyes that kill you when you're trying to reprimand him, they all report they have yet to see that particular look, because - get this - he hasn't done anything wrong. He spaces out and we may need to revisit his medicine dose to keep him on track, but otherwise, he's a sweet boy who seems to be happy in class. Color me thrilled.
And still other things that are happening feel familiar, but are slightly different from the past few years of rinsing and repeating. Today, for the first time in probably 12 years, I had a headache that felt kind of like the migraines I had regularly many years ago. I'm not sure I would really qualify it that way, as I didn't have an aura and I could function quietly in my classroom with the lights half off, and a rotation of Advil and Tylenol. But nonetheless, it is a headache the like of which I haven't seen in many a moon. A headache that is probably a combination of my neck being out of whack and the cold front that brought rain today. A headache that sent me flying out of a school assembly this morning when the kids began screaming and into the bathroom to cry for a few minutes.
I had these headaches all through high school and college, weekly, sometimes daily. I generally refer to them as migraines but the doctor that couldn't do anything for me called them "Cluster headaches." I say he couldn't do anything for me because his only suggestion was to put me on a medication called a Beta Blocker, which is for high blood pressure, and when I reminded him that I have low blood pressure already, he said, "Well, you might have to get used to fainting a lot." Um, no. Goodbye.
I stopped having the headaches after I had babies. I guess they were mostly hormonal, and tied to my cycle, and once I had a child my hormonal makeup changed. I don't know. I don't even have valid prescriptions for the pain of that kind of headache anymore. I guess we will see if this become a regular occurance before I go to the doctor about it, which for me is defined as "the next time it happens, period." Because I cannot live through that on a daily basis without pharmaceuticals. This, I know is true.
Ah, September. It's always something with you.