Here is my October Chronic migraine awareness blog about my scariest migraine for the Chronic Migraine Awareness
With chronic migraines over the span of time I have had them for there have been extremely intense ones and there have been ones with very scary symptoms. All of which I could use for examples because at that time they would have stood out to me as the scariest migraine I ever had… until the next incident that was more intense or more bizarre. So over a long span of time you begin to expect large variations in pain to the very extreme to the non-existent (silent migraine, which can be in fact scary) and some extremely varied and bizarre aura symptoms that create a funhouse effect that isn’t so fun. If you read this blog at all you get a feel for that… I’m not liking all the aura symptoms at this point. The migraine that caused permanent damage to my hand could be classified as scary, but I would say more ‘unexplained’ and ‘disturbing’.
So I would actually have to pick a migraine that in fact was no different than any other long lasting acute hormonal migraine i get every single month. In no way special or distinct from any other. What makes it profoundly scary… and gather around now and listen closely… is that I get them every month and every month they are a torment and every month I missed work from them and every month my employer caused additional stress/veiled or unveiled threats about my ‘situation’ and every month I felt so guilty about missing work but knowing I could not possibly do any better and that it was never going to get any better. Nothing unusual with that except I was thinking about it and not sleeping and thinking about it and not sleeping. And then a single thought occurred to me: ‘why should I have to suffer like this?’ And I had no answer to that question. And in that profound amount of pain knowing I could not call in sick and knowing I could not function I lost my desire to continue my existence. The thought of having to continue trying to function through the pain while working when it was blatantly apparent society was indifferent to my suffering just seemed like I was willingly enduring this torment for no logical reason. In that moment of acute pain, which granted at that point had lasted days and days, but still this was a Common occurrence, I just lost the battle. This was in no way an Unusual migraine. It is insane how pain can consume reason… it is scary. And so that would be the migraine that literally almost killed me. But my sheer luck it didn’t. Just plain luck. And that is pretty scary. But it is pretty scary to think that any migraine could take me from just thinking ‘I can’t take this pain’ to ‘I’m going to kill myself’. Any migraine. Can’t get any scarier than that really.
And maybe it is just the frequency and intensity and lack of pain management and the intolerance of my employer. Whatever. It still scares the hell out of me that there is such a fine line between thought and action… because I have suffered a very long time with chronic pain, since I was kid in fact and in that time I have certainly understood that pain can cause emotional and mental stress. I had numerous ways to deal with those stresses because I understood they were a perfectly normal response to being in that much pain chronically. It doesn’t matter because it is this constant, consistent entity… pain. So it is pain plus whatever else is happening in your life, plus mood, plus medications, plus, plus, plus. So we all develop these coping strategies but when pain intensity is high we can drown in it so very quickly if we are even remotely unprepared. So when a lot of factors are in play and that pain is high for a significant amount of time it is extremely stressful and that is what happened to me. I was vibrating with stress for months. Just trying to stoically bear the pain because ‘that’s what we do’ right?
Anyway surely those conditions will never happen again now that I am aware of the risks right? Well who knows? I don’t. And that’s scary. Just the thought of working full time now scares the hell out of me. I don’t know if I am capable of handling it anymore. Ever since then I have not been the same. When people ask me how I am doing, honestly ask me anyway… I get tearful and I never did before and its because I don’t know how to respond anymore. I have tremendous anxiety thinking about pain and the future when thinking about work. It is a very scary thing. Because no matter what people say, it is insanely hard to get disability for migraines and a very hard fiscal choice not to work. And if I do go back to work how long will I last before I end up in the same mental place? How long will I endure that existence where I am just enduring that extended moment of pain, losing time, forgetting essentially years, where everything seems to get hazy and blurs together because I am in this extended survival mode… until I get more and more desperate? I fear that state so much. How did I even do it I wonder? because I can’t comprehend it anymore. Something inside of me has just refused to do it anymore. Like, despite all the good and valuable things about working, the torment of it was what was killing me and doing it again would just lead to the same thing. Honestly just writing this is causing some anxiety and I have no idea if you guys can relate to this sensation or not… but it was like when you work full time through all that pain, the pain intensifies as the day progresses and consumes you and owns you and then that is all there is. By the end of the day it is no intense there is nothing left for you. And literally my perception of time was skewed by it. Literally I remembered little of events, or faces or experiences. A life lost in pain.
So lets recap. Scariest migraine was just a migraine… that happened to almost kill me because of the thoughts I had that day.
And it scares me there is a fine line from suicidal ideation to action
. And its scary any migraine could potentially do that
And it scares me that the conditions that cause that one, the perfect storm as it were, could arise again.
And returning to work scares the hell out of me…. a big factor in my perfect storm.
And I’m just plain scared I figure. Of insurance companies, neurologists, doctors and their lack of the ability to see I need some freaking time off.