Working with migraine: Walking backwards

Depressed businessman sitting under a lightning rainy cloud

 

What I like about working is that I have a purpose, which makes me feel like I am at least accomplishing something.  I also like the distraction, it is easier not to focus on existing pain or think about future pain when you are forced to play all nice with others.

I am a good faker that is for sure, but when it comes to honestly discussing how disturbed I am about chronic pain it is extremely difficult not to break down.  Mostly because I figure no matter what I do it absolutely changes nothing, which is rather unpleasant.  In that case, it seems there is no alternative to consider, just figuring out how to suffer silently, while at the same time not, apparently, wanting to jump off a cliff.  Which frankly, is rather asking a lot.  I can play the ‘what if’ game all I want, but when push comes to shove I need to have an income.  Even if I speculate on ways to do that which will reduce my pain, I still have to do so while actually holding on to the career I have currently, somehow.  That, in itself, is not a bad thing, because as I said working has its using.  I don’t feel like I am wasting away, becoming mentally sluggish, by staying at home.  So good and bad.

Obviously bad because I have no idea if I can maintain it or should.  What I absolutely loathe about work is simply that it spikes up the pain by placing me in a situation for eight hours that constantly grates on my brain, which then causes the migraine to be more severe for longer.  Working the graduated return to work thing meant one day on one day off, which is finished as of tomorrow… and that worked because the increasing severity of the migraine I endured could then be kicked the next day.  When I return to full time that is no longer the case.  Then it is a compounding pain issue.  It is disturbing enough to realize how much more severe the pain is when working, but then to remember how much worse it will get?  Not a pleasant thought any way you look at it, but when I am not all that emotionally stable right now, it is a damned scary thought.

There are potential options.  One keep on working anyway and see what happens.  Or try for the long term leave again, and see if it is possible to find a way to cope.  I am not sure it matters either way, in the sense that good or bad choices, strong emotions or numbness, working or not working… nothing I do makes a bit of difference in how things work out.  Such that, sure I can apply for long-term leave, decide it is the right thing to do even with the wage cut, but that is assuming it would be approved, which is definitely no guarantee.

When it comes to demonstrating, even in the most extreme ways possible, that chronic pain is, in fact, a disability and needs to be treated with all the due care, other people simply fail to see it that way, the people who ought to be considering my welfare anyway.  Which makes me think that either the long term will be outright declined or that I will go on it for a few months and it will be cut… and I will be exactly where I am now, faced with working fulltime or not at all, when I am not ready to.  I know for a fact my mother would say to try anyway, so at least she is on my side, and certainly, people reading this blog are generally on my side as they are going through the same thing.  Enough to make me not feel so isolated.  Not enough for me to feel like I will be accomplishing anything but delaying the inevitable.  A part of me thinks if I throw myself back into work maybe this time the satisfaction of working will outweigh the continuous pain.  Another part of me thinks that is pretty delusional considering if I could not do it when I was at least coping on an emotional level then how could I possibly think I could do it now when the best emotional state I seem to be able to endure work is by numbness?

I mean the futility of my recent experiences it damned disheartening really.

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2 comments

  1. Don't know your health provider situation, but hope you have been to a “BIG” hospital/provider group that might have different options.

    If you don't want to go on disability or are just tired of the rigamarol, try approaching your boss about extended part time at work, maybe switch jobs, look for different work, take less money if you have to because you will if you go on extended leave. I have changed careers due to health issues and never regretted it. My current boss is extrememly flexible with my hours due to my health.

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  2. I totally understand your frustration. Last November I approached my pcp and specialist to let them know that I was in dangerous mental territory. I was so scared that I would go through with it. I just wanted the pain to stop, I missed my life, all joy and hope was gone and I saw no reason to go on. In January I filed for disability, I cried the entire time during the initial phone call. Everyone told me I would be turned down and be prepared for years of applying and denial. HA! I was approved immediately. It has allowed me to work part time (I'm a self employed bookkeeper)I got rid of many clients so that I could better manage my life. It was a blessing I didn't want to do, but so happy that I finally asked for help. I hope you won't give up, life isn't always what we want it to be, but it is still worth being a part of. It has been a long hard road for me, I am finally finding hope, not hope that there will be some cure or real relief, but hope that I can learn to enjoy life whenever possible and accept times that I have to take care of me. I guess I am learning how to stop struggling and accept. Best wishes to you and your family.
    Kathleen

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