Thanksgiving…

It seems I survived my trial run for the big holiday.  Thanksgiving has come and gone, so I thought I would report in and let you know how I did during the mini-break.

Out of five days, I was down with the Jabberwocky (my headaches) for two.  Fortunately the two days were at the beginning of the holiday, so I was able to relax and rest up before having to head back to work.  I’m not sure about the trigger this time, but since it came at the beginning of the holiday, before I’d thrown my normal routine out the window, I’m guessing it had something to do with the stress leading up to the break.  I was trying very hard to finish up projects at work, so I’d be able to take a complete break from my job.  That means the last two days were pretty intense.  The good news is that I was able to shake the pain before the end of the day on Thursday, and it didn’t come back! Yippee!

While my eating habits were completely forgotten during the vacation, I did try to stay relatively close to my normal sleeping patterns. I watched the clock and made sure I didn’t stay up more than an hour past my normal workday bedtime, and in the morning I got up about two hours later than normal. I know, it isn’t perfect, but it is better than what I normally do when I’m on vacation – staying up two or three hours later than normal and then sleeping four to five hours later in the morning.  There was some pouting on the part of some family members who wanted me to stay up and play a bit longer, but all in all, I found that the rest of the family supported me.

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Saying hello to the holidays…

The holidays are here and that is enough to make a normal person have a headache, so I am trying to make a plan of action to allow me to enjoy the holidays with as little pain as possible. That is going to take some discipline on my part and some understanding on the part of the people around me.

First, I’ve noticed that varying my sleeping and eating habits can bring on a headache. This can be a big problem during the holidays because the normal routine flies out the window.  I suddenly find myself staying up later, waking up later, eating at odd times, and even what I am eating changes.  Sure, I can forgo the late night game of scrabble, but will I be able to fall asleep while the rest of the family is playing in the next room? And how do I explain that I am not just being difficult when I insist on eating a small lunch at 12 when we are planning to have a huge meal at 2? Oh, and then there is the issue of what I’m eating. It is so easy to offend or hurt people’s feelings if you don’t eat what is offered to you.

So, how am I going to deal with this? I plan to spend the next few weeks trying to prepare myself. If you have any suggestions, they are welcome!

http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2011/11/managing-headache-disorders-during-the-holidays/

Trying…

Well, I’m on day two of this headache.

Last night, after laying in bed all day wishing my head would stop hurting, I pulled myself together and went out with friends.  I honestly didn’t feel like going out, making small talk over dinner, and sitting through a concert in a very uncomfortable chair, but I didn’t feel like I had a choice.  I think I made it through most of the dinner without giving myself away, but by the time we got to the theater, the only thing I wanted was my bed.  Sitting in the stiff backed chair, hardly moving for two hours only made things worse.  By the end of the concert, I could barely process my own thoughts.  As we gathered with friends in the lobby post concert, I tried my best to be pleasant.  I forced a smile here and there, but when we finally got to the car my husband asked what my problem was.  He said I had been rude to some of the people, and that I was acting like I was angry about something.  What could I do but sigh? He knew I’d been dealing with a headache all night.

I know living with me and my headaches can’t be fun for him. I know he must get frustrated.  But sometimes I really wish I could let him walk in my shoes (or occupy my body) for just one day to see what I mean when I say I’m having a bad headache.  I want him to realize that I really am trying. That I am fighting this.  That I want to be normal and healthy and pain free!

Maybe it is a matter of educating? I need to do a better job of explaining my condition? Since I look okay, it is hard for people to understand how bad I feel.  If there were some visible sign of my pain it would be easier.

Any ideas out there?

 

 

 

Today…

Drawing "THE CLUSTER HEADACHE" Subti...

Image via Wikipedia

So today is one of those days when I’m tempted to log into facebook and proclaim to the world that I have a headache.  I don’t know why people feel that they need to alert all of their facebook friends when they have a headache! You don’t see people posting about other physical ailments! But I often see people posting about headaches.  I wonder why that is?

Well, since I do have a headache today, I’ll have to wait and ponder that one another day.  For now I just thought I would say that I have decided that part of my new attempt to not let the pain define me, is my decision to stop posting about my headaches on facebook.  I will write about them here, and the people who are interested in knowing how I’m doing in my battle against them can come here to see how I’m doing, but the world at large, well, I’ll let them off the hook.

Right now, how I am doing is not so great.  I knew it was coming.  All day yesterday I was having visual auras. I took my meds and hoped that I would be able to skirt past the beast, but when I woke this morning with a drooping eye, I knew my efforts had been in vain.

What now? Well, I will retreat from the world and hope that I can find relief. Oh, and I need to remember to log my headache in so I have info to give my doctor.  I’m using an app that I found:

http://www.iheadacheapp.com/

Do you have any other apps or tools that you use to track your headaches?

The constant struggle…

This morning I woke up with a dull pain on the right side of my head.  All day it was there, at times stronger, at times weaker, but always there.  I took my meds to stave off a monster headache, and it worked.  It never got beyond a level two or three headache.

http://www.tipna.org/info/documents/ComparativePainScale.htm

What does that mean? Well, it means that the “promise” of a horrible headache was haunting me all day, but it never materialized.  I went about my normal duties for the most part ignoring my headache, all the while hoping that nothing I did would spur it on.  It also means that I was exhausted all day! Between the added effort it took to work through the pain, and the fatiguing effect of the meds, I do believe I could curl up in bed an fall asleep right now (even though it is only 7:30 and I haven’t even had my dinner).

I was in a pretty foul mood most of the day either because of the pain or because of the meds, not sure which.  And now I am sure I am back to feeling depressed and frustrated.  I just wish I could be a normal person who doesn’t have to live her whole life around pain.  But I guess, if you are here reading this, you know what I mean.

So, tonight I think I will look for some good articles on-line about depression and pain management.  I’ll let you know what I find. Till tomorrow!  Hope you are painfree!

You are not alone!

I think one of the most important things for people suffering from migraines is the knowledge that you are not alone and it isn’t “all in your head”.  I think it is helpful for us to build communities for ourselves, communities of people who share our suffering, people who understand.  If we have an outlet where we can cry, scream, shake the bars of our cage and share escape plans, maybe it will make it easier for us to interact normally with people in our daily lives who do not share our pain?

So, in the interest of building such a community, here is a blog that shares my vision:

http://www.thedailyheadache.com/

Hello world!

"The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, // C...

Image via Wikipedia

Ah… so here we sit, you and I, and you ask why am I here.  I am here because the Jabberwocky has taken over my life and this is the beginning of my journey to take my life back.

You see, it began when I was sixteen.  Now, almost thirty years later, I can look back and see how much of my life has been stolen by the beast.  Days spent fighting through the pain to try to have a normal life, nights twisting in agony, tears rolling down my cheeks.  Then, in July, it reached a new low.  The pain had been so bad, and had gone on like that for so many days, I really couldn’t stand it any more.  I was trying to drive myself home from work, and I thought: “If I drive off this bridge, right here, right now, I can end it.”

Of course, I didn’t really want to end my life.  But, I was so desperate to find some way to escape from the pain!

A few days later when the fog lifted, I realized how very serious I had been when I considered ending my life.  I mentioned it to a few people, but not being migraine suffers, I think they thought I was exaggerating. But I wasn’t.  It really is that bad.  So, I decided that I would begin this blog, not only to give myself a place to express myself and vent my frustrations and hopefully my eventual victory over the monster, but also to share my experiences with others.

Maybe you suffer from migraines and you feel alone because the people around you don’t understand your suffering.  Or perhaps someone in your life is also tormented by the jabberwocky, and you are trying to gain some insight to help you cope with them (I know it must be hard to live with us).  Whatever your reason for coming here, I hope you are able to take something away that will make your stuggle easier.