Migraine & Headache Awareness Month #17 – Mission Impossible.
When I hear ‘mission impossible’ I can look at it two ways.
One: Seems like when migraines get to this chronic pain and definitely daily you are at a mission impossible point. After you try all the common medications… and common combinations of said medications… neuros have troubles coming up with ideas. And you begin to wonder if anything will ever really have an affect. Then you read things that say a preventative at its best reduces migraines up to 50% frequency… and, well, that would still leave me chronic wouldn’t it? In most cases people with chronic migraines, given preventatives really don’t work That well, seem to be left chronic even when the preventative Does work. So that kind of sucks with those odds. Unless it works a little on intensity. Maybe it will work on both a little for a year… then stop. If you can tolerate the side effects and your liver doesn’t implode. Then they are like but have you tried exercise… pretty sure that helps with everything and most definitely with extricating head pain. Shake it all about. Have a go at that. I get that isn’t what they mean, but they might as well because timing exercise and chronic migraines is like a skill itself… like predicting the weather and we all know how well that goes for the weatherman, unless they have migraines in which case they likely predict it rather well. Point is you can do loads of things and you will… you will… but it will never be good enough for your employer or your doctor or your neuro… there will always be something that surely you are not Quite doing well enough that might make a difference since clearly the medications are not. And by the way to make the mission quite impossible you can’t treat every migraine either, or even half in fact, so there is that funness and for me a rescue med, of a mild strength, was temporary, easy come easy go sort of thing because doctors and neuros like to make it extra impossible for you to endure the pain when you cannot take your triptan or the triptan fails. Mission. Impossible.
Two: People often eventually will ask me how ‘I do it’. How I cope with chronic migraines. When I was working it was ‘how do you work with migraines every day’. Clearly this is a very complicated question with a very complicated answer depending on my mood and pain levels. Because clearly sometimes I really really did not want to do it at all… and by ‘it’ I mean exist with the pain. And all that stems from mission impossible one. The mission that is impossible and the burden is insane and the stigma is insane. The idea though with a mission impossible is to take on a mission that survival is not guaranteed and carry out the mission in some way with unconventional means. And to that extent our mission, because we have no choice but to accept it, is to get through the pain by any means necessary and survive. If the end goal were to eliminate the migraines, then yes, impossible. If the end goal is to survive the pain, because eliminating it is the impossible part and using any means necessary then, yep, that is our mission. It doesn’t matter in the end how we achieve this or the methods we use or the medications… as long as we get through the pain and we survive. So when I was not depressed or the pain was not over that acute level and people asked me how I could cope with the migraines… well there were so many things I do every day that help, so many things I do when I have one and cannot be home, so many things I do to try and think through the pain, so many ways to distract myself from it, to get myself away from it and now to deal with the bouts of depression it causes when I cannot. I may say ‘You get used to a certain level of pain’ or ‘you just begin to cope with certain levels of pain’ or ‘because it is necessary’ or ‘because there is no alternative’ but the answer is actually insanely complex isn’t it? Okay, I am literally playing the theme song to mission impossible and imagining myself doing some of those things like it is a covert mission. lol. I now wonder how I survived working full time as long as I did given the outcome of that, but so many of us do because we must and so we must find ways to do so. And so many of us are parents, and that rather is full time, and they do so and they cope in many different ways. And so many of us do this and have a fine facade on while we do so and face the stigma of it as well because surely if we ‘function’ we can’t be having a migraine let alone migraines all the time, right? How Do we do it? So many ways. It is what it is. You will know the answer, my friend, if it ever happens to you. Chronic pain is like that… just keeps on teaching you and teaching you, but hides its lessons from all you able folk out there. We are so mysterious like that.
So there is a level of this is insane and impossible and then there is a level of but we do a billion things all the time to get through this pain this day and survive and really that is the real mission, the impossible part seems to be the getting rid of migraines forever. Okay the impossible part is also the fact that nothing seems to reduce the frequency and treating them with medications pretty much designed not to be taken often means you’re really not treating them often at all. So that is a lot of pain. Maybe that isn’t impossible just really hard to find a preventative that works slightly… mission un-bloody-likely. And doctors just like to make things impossible by not managing the pain. We on the other hand have the hardest part… the long term mission of getting through the pain and surviving. We seem to pick up a lot of coping skills along the way. Need more as we go along because factors in One make Two more brutal, but no one say this was Mission-I-got-a-twinge-in-my-toe-oh-nevermind-it-is-gone-false-alarm.
June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.