Migraine and headache pain makes my favorite hobby harder sometimes, but I've found ways to enjoy it even when in pain.
I met Sue, my first quilting teacher and dear friend, at The Little Red School House in Massachusetts where our children attended pre-school together. Sue was one of the first people I met, making me feel quite welcome in a fairly tight knit group of people. We immediately hit it off and have been friends ever since.
Sue has been quilting and teaching quilting classes for some time and decided it was time I learned the art of quilting. I was never very "crafty" and wasn’t convinced quilting would be for me. And besides, my then mother-in-law was an expert quilter who had won blue ribbons - how could I possibly compete with that? Then it happened, she showed me the gorgeous fabrics and fabulous things you can do with it, I was hooked.
I began to enjoy this craft, this art or "hand work" as my mom calls it. I was in total awe of the colors and different combinations of colors you could piece together to complete a perfect block. Sue showed me how to hand quilt, and when my mother-in-law came to visit, she worked with me as well. As my interest grew, so did my circle of friends - we quilted together on a weekly basis - sharing our quilts and lives with one another. But as luck would have it, it was short lived.
After I fell, I was no longer able to quilt as I once did. Concentrating for long periods of time was (and still is) a huge problem. In addition to continuous daily head pain, I'm not able to sit still for a long time without my head and neck really hurting. I stopped going to quilting, but my dear friends would have none of it. If I couldn’t go to them, they would come to me. And that is just what they did, came to my house each week and brought whatever quilting projects they were working on, and if I was up to it, I would quilt with them. Their friendship helped me cope with my Migraines and chronic pain by being able to look forward to something special each week. The best part of this group was they totally understood if I wasn't feeling well enough (and that happened a lot) I wasn't able to participate or even have they come over. They got it.
Post-fall, quilting is a different story. I still love it, but cannot do it at the pace I once did. This has taken me a while to accept because when you love a hobby, you really want to immerse yourself in it. But when quilting causes pain, it can really put a damper on any project you may have. So, my way to cope with my quilting/pain "issues” is that I've found a new way to enjoy it. For example, I'm not able to actively participate in quilting as much as I'd like to. But what I do love is thinking about quilt designs, how color plays with fabric and how the fabric feels, how terrific each piece of fabric will look when I piece it together, and how exciting the end product will be. It is just a different way to quilt. But isn’t that what life is, always changing. If things stayed the same in my life for too long, I’d think something was “really” wrong.
Thanks, and feel well,
© Nancy Harris Bonk, 2010.Last updated October 8, 2010.