It started on moving day. I could feel the visual aura come on just shortly after dropping the kids at school. I was at the new house waiting to receive the furniture, and Greg was at the old house making sure it all got packed in. This was a familiar feeling; I’d suffered from migraines since I was a teenager.

I popped back to the old house to drop off some tools for the removal men to figure out how to get our daughter’s bunk beds out of their room and into the van. While I was there Greg adjusted me.

When I got back to the new house, I could feel it had progressed on to the hemiplegia stage. This is where one-half of my body goes weak and numb. In the past, these migraines would last for at least a day, sometimes up to a week, that was not something that I wanted on moving day! Fortunately, I moved through my symptoms quickly and easily with it clearing after about 2 hours – a record for me.

Fast forward to the following evening. My body was feeling tired, my brain was mush, I went to bed early to get a good night’s rest so that I could continue unpacking boxes the next day. My body, however, had other plans. I spent the night tossing and turning. My whole body ached, even
my teeth and I was fevering hard. The next day I could barely move. I then spent the next 3 days in bed, trying to get some sleep and working
through the fever.

So why am I telling you all of this?

Well, because sometimes you need to make the time to retreat from the stress of everyday life and if you don’t make the time, your body will make the time for you. Looking back now, I can see that there were signs that I was pushing too hard for a couple of weeks before the migraine. If I had listened then and given myself time and space to rest, if I had paced myself better, if I had just listened to my body, I might have avoided the forced rest my body created for me.

While some people might see a retreat as a weakness, it can allow you the opportunity to regroup, reassess and come back stronger than ever.

What are the symptoms of back pain?

The back is a complex structure of bones, joints ligaments and muscles. Back pain can range from a muscle aching to a shooting, burning, or stabbing sensation. In addition, the pain may radiate down your leg or worsen with bending, twisting, lifting, standing or walking. Pain is our body’s way of telling us that something isn’t right and is always worth investigating, especially if you are experiencing pain that radiates into the lower extremities or the buttock, and/or numbness, tingling, or weakness in extremities.

How can I make time to retreat?

Taking a retreat can be as easy as meditation, taking time to sit and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee alone, or reading a book. Maybe a day of no screen time or a walk out in nature. These breaks can be a moment of calm and space to breathe. Sometimes all you need is a moment to retreat.

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