I began this post 11 months ago and have been stuck with where to take it. In honor of my husband, on this Valentine’s week, I try to finish my thoughts…
As he limped past the sliding metal door, he heard a creek. Professor X turned around, saw nothing, and continued on his way. Suddenly, a robotic, metal claw reached out of a small opening in the sliding door. It grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him through the door.
Inside, the light was dim. He noticed metal walls on both sides of a thin, long hallway. The body-less claw began to push him backwards. Back, back, back he stumbled until he was pressed to the far side of the hall. He heard the sound of metal sharpening metal.
And then he saw it.
A long, shiny, sharp ice pick emerged in the air. It was held by the claw and descending towards his face. Before he had time to blink, it had punctured his cornea. His eyeball burst with a pop. The pick slowly cut it’s way through the tissues and nerves of his eye socket. It began to enter his brain.
At this point, the metal claw had disappeared, and the ice pick was being driven by it’s own magical force. It moved slowly and methodically into Professor X. It knew it’s goal was the back of the brain. Helpless, Professor X grabbed his eye in agony and collapsed to the ground.
And then he heard a noise.
More specifically, a whine.
“Daddy! I need your help in the bathroom! Help daddy!” Marvel Girl’s voice echoed through the house.
As Professor X staggered through the metal hall, and opened the metal doors, he heard another sound.
“Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!” His alarm clock was going off. It was time to pick up The Flash from school.
Everyday life did not care that an ice pick was sticking out of his eye. Or that his brain was punctured. No one could physically see see the sources of pain. And although he took a Vicodin, steroids, pure high-flow Oxygen, and a self-inflicted Imitrex shot, nothing truly relieved him of the agony.
Exponentially more painful than migraines, some women have reported that cluster headaches are more awful than child birth. Occasionally, chronic sufferers have committed suicide as a means of escaping the pain. Although most cluster sufferers must endure this pain for 15-20 minute stretches, Professor X’s typical cluster lasts 12+ hours. Hours . Daily . For 9 months of the year. And he sleeps only a few hours each night due to his pain and treatments
And yet life goes on, with or without a chronic condition.
Tomorrow, he knows, the claw will drag him in again. And again. And again.
In spite of being in “survival” mode, Professor X is a great husband and wonderful father. We are so grateful to God for him, and daily pray for healing.
There are no known cures for cluster headaches, but there are still more treatments for Professor X to try. Please pray for relief for him. This has been a very difficult decade and he sometimes feels truly hopeless about what the future has in store.