It has been a long month of daily acute migraines. Obviously, this becomes more and more difficult to manage and treat. The problem was that migraine trigger from my work trip caused a flare of migraines that lasted well into the next week which then lasted into my killer migraine span of the month. It is hard enough dealing with that week-long stretch every damn month that is quite a bit more severe than the migraines the rest of the month, such that I have to call them monster migraines. Worse still when by the time I get to that killer migraine stretch I am just completely drained from the two weeks of acute migraines already.
It just seems like my brain wants to shut down after a long stretch like this. First comes the feeling of being sick and I honestly cannot tell if I have the stomach flu or that batch of migraines is just worse symptom wise combined with lack of recovery time. Either way last week I was feeling positively ill. Then comes the worsening of side effects due to maximizing my triptan use for more than one week… which leads to more heartbeat irregularities and breathing problems. Then that brainless side effect becomes way more intense. I lose my sense of balance and coordination… stagger around like a drunk really. My brain seems utterly disconnected from the rest of me… so my hands type in things that my brain was saying otherwise. And the typos. And the speech problems. And that general haze and confusion. Some memory gaps and such.
All that is stressful when combined with trying to get through the workday. Unfortunately, it is causing some issues. Yesterday I was late by about ten minutes… I woke up late, confused and disorientated, but got to work being only a few minutes late. I made sure I took my bedtime meds a little earlier since obviously, my brain was struggling in the morning due to this long stretch of pain. Unfortunately, today was way worse. I woke up really, really late. I was an hour late to work. And I have no idea what happened. I have no memory of the alarm clock ringing, but I know it was set. No memory of hitting the snooze button or turning it off. The only thing I remember is waking up and staring at the alarm clock trying to figure out what time it was and what time I needed to be at work… there is just this sort of disconnect where my brain fails to realize what the time means… I can see the numbers but just can’t understand if I should get up or what. When I realized how late I was and how out of it I felt I wanted to call in sick, but I can’t because I had a sick day this month… so I went in feeling horrible about being late. Being late is disrespectful I think and not even knowing how the hell I slept in in the first place is both disturbing and frustrating. Thankfully I work the afternoon shift tomorrow so I should not even be able to be late.
It just bugs me that there is nothing I can do in situations like this. I don’t want to call in sick because although in some cases the pain is horrific and the symptoms can be just as bad I would rather deal with that hellish state then have to deal with how my employer gets when I am unable to come to work. Since I know if I am sick more than once a month things will get progressively worse on that front and I know that added stress makes it so much harder to deal with the pain on an emotional level and I fully know what I am capable of when I get in the mindset of I’d rather die than go to work… well, obviously it is easier to not have to deal with all that crap and just get through that day of horrific pain anyway I can. Because that added stress is too much of a burden, combined with my own guilt and frustration. But when the pain is compounding and merging until every single day is an acute migraine day and every day gets progressively worse in managing it I am not sure what to do. Calling in sick, not an option. Going to the ER, therefore, is not an option and besides, it’s not like they do anything anyway. Calling my neuro is smart, and also very late for that check-up, but could potentially make things dramatically worse on the work front so I have been avoiding it. I get that my neuro would potentially take me off my triptan due to the side effects, but I know I cannot function without a triptan abortive. So in my mindset, I think to myself there is really only a slim chance those side effects could kill me and if they did then obviously I would not worry about it anymore. On the off chance they do cause a stroke, heart attack or severe asthma attack it is unlikely it would be fatal and besides I’d be at work so my co-workers would be there to deal with it. Still, it is clear I have to call my neuro, just so he has the up to date info, even if I don’t want him to touch my meds because I simply can’t rock the boat right now.
I was thinking about that a lot today. It has just been a year since I tried to kill myself because of the work stress and the pain. I just do not want to be put into that situation again anytime soon. The pain of it is just too raw still. I just don’t trust my ability to reason when the pain is this intense and add into it my employer threatening me and all that guilt on top of it. At least pushing through the pain no matter what is simpler… it is not as emotionally traumatic and I don’t end up feeling like I am worthless. It is harder on me physically but I feel that if pushing myself to maintain a full-time job worsens my health, then it does and I can’t change that fact, but at least if I have a heart attack from my abortive med I can’t be blamed for it or made to seem less worthy… it is what it is in that situation and ‘taking care of myself first’ and taking a leave of absence or having work accommodation for health reasons makes sense to everyone (my family, my co-workers, my doc, neuro and even myself) it does not make sense to some (my employer) and in that situation I am blamed for being ill, I am punished for being ill and I am made to feel like it is my fault I am ill and that I am taking sick days just for the ‘fun’ of it (because, wow, having a 9 out of 10 migraines is soooo fun). And I just don’t want to put up with all that again when it just makes things worse.
What I really, really need is for this migraine streak from hell to end. Just one migraine free day is all I ask. Just one pain-free day to give my mind and body a chance to recover. Is that too much to bloody ask for?