OK, I know this may not be a topic everyone wants to read about. But for those of you who share this particular facet of life with me at times, I could use your help, your thoughts, your ideas and perspectives. Anyone who would find this too depressing, stop here and read the other posts!
I have what’s know as a “recalcitrant” migraine – that means it’s always there, all the time. Much of the time I can manage it away with drugs and careful lifestyle planning, but at times it has its way. I’ve learned to cope with this through a variety of what my doctor calls “rescue drugs.” And careful planning for those situations when I have a migraine for a week, like how to get food, etc.
I know that my work contributes to it. Hours in front of the computer watching spreadsheets flash by doesn’t help. And even the games I like and other things I love to do. But the work is the hardest. I’m working hard to change this, and go into different lines of work that won’t be so hard on my eyes and my head.
All this is to say that, in spite of the migraines, I’ve got that somewhat under control. But then there are the weeks like this one… The last month I’ve been working really long hours trying to get some major projects done so I CAN change direction on my career. My body’s letting me know that the hours have been a little too long, in spite of stretch breaks, etc.
First, I got a deep pain in my calf that took about a week to resolve. No sooner had that gone away, then I ended up with a pinched nerve in my back. Some of you may know how painful that is. It’s almost unbearable, and every movement sends stabbing pain into your neck and back. I got some medicine for it – but here’s the rub. Pain medicine and anti-inflammatories, the two things I most need to solve the nerve problem, both trigger migraines. Migraines are, after all, all about inflammation of blood vessels and the muscles around them.
So, I’ve been waiting nervously to see if trying to treat the back pain would trigger migraines. Not to mention my stomach trying to handle these drugs on top of all the ones I normally have to take. And sure enough, today I am stuck with the pain in my back only a little better, and a migraine coming on. And my stomach hurts.
I swear, there are times. I just don’t know what to do. Obviously I will have to stop taking the pain pills and anti-inflammatories. I may have to deal with a migraine now too. I am wandering around the house helplessly not sure what to do. I’ve been lying down so much that any more of that will just make me stiffer and groggier – and I can’t sleep in any comfortable position. But sitting up and aimlessly walking around isn’t helping either.
Which just brings me to my question. How do you all deal with this, when your body is such a mess that it seems like it just isn’t worth it? There are times when I just get past the point of wanting to give up. If it were as easy as just lying down and going “OK that’s it, I’ve had it”, I probably would have done it half a dozen times in my life.
Obviously one thing that helps me is writing it down and hearing from other people. I don’t know why, but it helps. But I just don’t see how people manage this over the long term. If I had this kind of pain every day, I can’t help feeling like I would just give up – somehow, some way. I watched my grandmother live through months and months of horrible pain, and she was stubborn for a long time. She really wanted to stay with my grandfather. But ultimately, she did choose to go. And my great-grandmother before her. They both chose their time. But they were both well over 80. My body wouldn’t cooperate if I told it to do anything like that :)
And of course, when I’m through it and feeling better, I enjoy life. But the long periods of pain seem harder and harder to cope with. That doesn’t feel like life to me, just unnecessary suffering. I don’t know anymore how to cope with it. Repetition seems to make it harder, the more times you have to go through it, the more pointless it becomes, because you never get to make it go away or get well.
I dunno, I’m rambling. And I’ve probably sat in front of the computer longer than I should have right now. Any thoughts, ideas? How do you deal with this? Just hearing your voices will help, I know.