Walk the Line: How do you balance the need to avoid your Migraine/Headache Disorder triggers with the equally powerful need to enjoy the things that give your life meaning?
here a trigger there a trigger everywhere a trigger trigger
That gives my life meaning… well that is certainly something that has changed over time due to chronic migraines… given some of the things that gave my life meaning were things I gave up due to this disease and I had to create new meaning.
However, aside from that fact what remains is someone with a hermit lifestyle and that is due to the fact that I have always been an intervert and when you add a crap load of pain introverts are even Less inclined to play, we just want to retreat more so we can have that quiet time that is more rejuvenating and do the activities that are more pleasurable to us that don’t require an overload of stimulus. Until we realize, oops, we completely let that social life thing die and even if we did want to go out there is no one to go out with, but… whatever. And being a hermit means I avoid a great deal of the activities that are going to trigger a migraine. But that does not mean that I always avoid them… it just means when I choose to socialize, I choose to do it for whatever reason, and that I am as prepared as I can be… if possible I’ll be more likely to choose things at particular times and places than others… but the fact is a migraine is usually going to be present so usually my socialization time frame will be shorter than I would want, but that is the way it is because usually it will aggravate things and that eventually will get to a point where I can no longer ignore it. I do these sorts of things… go on small trips, see events, visit family because I want to spend time with people that are important to me and who want to spend time with me, and occasionally I want to do things despite the pain I am in even though I know the consequences of it. I can prepare, but some triggers are just unavoidable, so in those cases I just do it anyway. It just cannot be done often. There is value to each of those things no matter how rare they are so it is just a cost and consequence sort of deal.
Some of the things that give my life meaning… that make me thrive sort of speak, even if I barely make money off them (sadly) is writing and that involves the computer. Being on the computer is something you really have to control the entire enviroment to handle I find… maybe because it isn’t just the pain it is the insane photophobia, the vertigo and the persistent migraine auras making things wonky. So I can handle it a lot better when I: control the contrast, the brightness, add a program called Flux that changes the settings to be more friendly for day vs night, add an Irlens color filter to the screen (purple in my case) to reduce visual distortions, in a room with black out blinds and a very indirect light source in the corner with a nice cover over it to make it all soft. And then I can work on the computer pretty decently unless the vertigo or the pain or both are quite severe. Anyway I love writing. I’ve done it all my life but it was really something I used a great deal to cope with giving up my academic career… to fill a massive void I had with doing all the research I had been doing and the fulfillment and meaning I had in that. It is a pain distraction, yes. A hobby, yes. Something I do for awareness on the FM and migraine side for non-fiction, yes, and this sort of writing keeps me occupied in different ways. But fiction writing as well is very fulfilling and that trust me earns me pennies. Clearly it gives me something I need to keep doing it. But when I was not on long term leave these sorts of things helped me survive this existence… so worth it far more than many other things. So i will do as much as I can to minimize the impact of using a computer to not aggravate a migraine or trigger one for sure, but usually I already have one by then.
Other triggers… just lifestyle issues. A neuro tells me do this. I do that. He tells me cut out this. I cut out that. He tells me don’t eat whatever. I say… eating? I should be so lucky to be able to eat normally you rotten bastard. lol. Other triggers I have no control over. Some I wish I did… damn you insomnia and painsomnia. My migraines are daily. If I’m going to do something statistically there is going to be a migraine… I have to understand that, be prepared for it, and just do whatever it is anyway. Fact of life. And sometimes you just choose to do the things you Want to bloody well do rather than all the damn things you Have to do for once despite the pain. Otherwise what life is this?
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.