Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 5: Today is Your Day

Last summer, still recovering from my April 20, 2011 surgery, I start watching the Why Not with Shania Twain series on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

As a Texan and in-my-blood country music lover, I had always enjoyed Shania's music.  Seriously, who wasn't glued to their television sets when they first saw her videos "Dance with the One that Brought You" and "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?"

I admit to only knowing a little about her personal life (I blame studying in college). I knew that her parents died when she was just out of high school, and she took charge singing to earn a living to support her younger orphaned siblings.  She had it rough, worked very hard and succeeded. That always inspired me.
Plus, she wore mid drift shirts in her videos and that shocked Nashville. Apparently, that had never been done in country music. That always made me laugh.

Well, the Why Not with Shania Twain followed Shania's breakdown and recovery after finding out her husband/ producer was having an affair with her best friend.  She, understandably, was devastated.  She lost her voice and had to find the courage to be herself again.

Here is a clip about the show in her own words:

Why Not? with Shania Twain is the intimate portrait of country/pop music sensation Shania Twain on her emotional journey from heartbreak back to the top. This highly anticipated OWN original series is filled with revelation and unexpected adventure. Follow Shania as she heals, shares and rediscovers her voice.

During the show, Shania visited with others who had experienced immense loss. She listened and they talked about grief and grieving for the life you once had but lost.  Throughout the trip, Shania worked through the melodies and lyrics on her song, Today is Your Day. The song truly unfolds in front of our eyes.

Initially, a listener may only dismiss this song as one dripping in positivity.  To a viewer of the show, it means much more. It was a Song of Self-Soothing. She was singing it until it stuck, singing it until her words rang true for her life, singing it until that song's shoe fit.  I understood it instantly, and it quickly became a favorite of mine.

As I putter around in the waiting room or the patient room at a doctor's visit, I somehow manage to think of her.  I open up iTunes, and I play this song. It soothes me instantly. Humming it in my mind while dealing with yet another medical professional is just the right medicine.  It keeps me calm and focused, alert and content.  It is the perfect mix of "This-totally-applies-to-me-as-a-sick-person" and "See-everyone-struggles-with-something" that makes me feel like I can fight my way out, too... AND WIN.  After all this time struggling to do it other ways, I am happy to have found peace some where. While she wrote it to rebuild her courage to sing, Shania's song is a gift to me.

I plan to see Shania as she opens a long engagement singing at Caesars Palace, starting December 2012. I really look forward to being well enough to do that.

Thank you, Shania Twain. I wish you all the happiness.

xxoo Melissa

P.S. You can download the song Today is your Day on iTunes here.

Today is your Day
You got what it takes you can win…You got what it takes you can winToday is your day to begin.Don't give up here, don't you quit.The moment is now, this is itKnow that you can then you willGet to the top of the hillPart of the fun is the climbYou just gotta make up your mind
That today is your dayAnd nothing can stand in your wayToday is your dayEverything's goin' your wayToday (you can do it)Today (c'mon c'mon)Today (c'mon do it)Today
When somebody throws sticks and stonesAll they can break are your bonesAnd life's gonna kick you aroundThen kick you again when you're down
But today is your dayAnd nothing can stand in your wayToday is your dayEverything's goin' your wayToday (c'mon do it now)TodayTodayToday
mmmm life's gonna kick you, its gonna kick you around, its gonna kick you down
Brush yourself off no regretsThis is as good as it getsDon't expect more or lessJust go out and give it your best (give it your best)
Today is your dayAnd nothing can stand in your wayToday is your dayEverything's goin' your way.

Day 4: Not Tonight, I Have a Headache

When I was wondering if I could blog every day, I worried about days like this.  
"Mama told me there'd be days like this."
And this blog post almost didn't happen.


I woke up today with my back and neck out of whack.  I called a new chiropractor and asked if I could come right over. Points for her, she said yes.

Nice chiropractor asked, "So what brings you in today?"

I replied, "My back -- upper and lower -- are locked up. I have a headache. It feels like a sword is stabbing me, from this fleshy left side of my neck to this lower left quadrant of the back of my skull. Then, it feels like the tip is coming out of this northwest quadrant up here at the front ... and then the sword u-turns to finish the job and stabs me straight down into my left shoulder.  It bypassed my heart today out of pity." 

I looked up after stretching and distorting my body for effect. Greeted by blank stare.

Undeterred, she ventured on, detailing her treatment protocols and what might help. She was able to make spinal adjustments to unlock things to get my back moving again -- goodbye slab of concrete -- but my headache has remained. My body is aching.

I did try to find a fun headache photo, but 99% were of people holding the foreheads or temples in pain. Nope, not accurate for me. My pain shoots upwards along the neck muscles into the occipital bone, which forms the base of the skull. Mine feels like there is so much upwards pressure on this bone that I want to pull my own head off and throw it across the room. 

So this is me with Cushing's, swords and all.


The root of my headaches seem to be muscle contractions.

See where those lines come together behind his ear? That's the sword's entry point.


This is how I feel. Wish I could pull it together for a better blog post, but hey folks, this is Cushing's.  Have fun with it: Say it like James Earl Jones says "This is CNN."