“Who Moved My Cheese” video and tell us how you can apply it to living with migraines
I would say that chronic illness makes it difficult to get into your comfort zone because, damn, does it have a way of kicking you out of that. I will say that when I started you know establishing a career I really wanted to hold onto that. When it was not working for me I still just kept trying to ‘push through the pain’. Yet that does not work, as I missed way too much work and that was very stressful as it caused way too much friction with my employer. I thought when I was in that position ‘What do I do to resolve this problem?’ Unfortunately the compromises I offered were turned down, so that meant it was extremely hard to see how I could continue to function at work. I tried to think of other jobs I could do, but to be honest, a desk job Is chronic pain friendly but Nothing is migraine friendly so I could think of nothing that was better and a lot of things that would be worse. Not working was not an option. At the time, I had been on about five short term leaves of absence in about seven years… do the math on that. But no doctor had said, clearly you cannot function and need to be on a Long term leave so I thought that was impossible as well. Then things got significantly worse with work stress and ultimatums. I was not able to handle that or the pain very well. And not too long after that I was put on long term leave, which really was the only viable solution to this problem.
Now, what had gone wrong here with my thinking was that I believed that if I just pushed through the pain long enough a neuro would come up with a solution and make things go back to where they had been years ago. And years passed and nothing changed. I could not cope with that level of pain and working and no pain management but I stubbornly thought if I held on it would get better the next year, the next year, the next year. Until the pain defeated me. Partly it was that I did not adapt my coping strategies to the increase in pain. I had the same coping strategies I had from having FM and episodic migraines as I did when the migraines became high episodic then chronic then daily. And they failed because the pain level was vastly increased. My adaption was to eliminate all unnecessary aspects to my life… like leisure activities and socialization… things that help us actually cope.
In that example I used I was holding onto the aspect of money, financial stability but also this perception of that if I pushed through the pain short term I could cope long term and work and have a career. That pain would never interfere with my career. That working was as important aspect of my selfhood. That it was important in my relationship that I held up my end of things financially. I did not want to lose any of those things.
‘When you change what you believe you change what you do.’
This line stood out to me as well because we need to know that change and adaptation are important to coping. When circumstances change and illness gets worse we need to adjust how we cope. And that adjustment period can be pretty brutal and, yes, we can have some denial in there again and some anger and frustration before it is all said and done. No one said coping was a linear line. It is a process. It changes all the time. As life changes all the time.
It also means we have to be Open to possibilities. So if some method of treatment is presented to us maybe we should not discount it right away when it could have some benefit. Like biofeedback or meditation. Both of which I am giving a go right now. We try a great deal of things and this is good. We don’t know what sort of small changes could factor into small benefits… and small benefits make massive amounts of difference. Any difference is a big difference when you get migraines every damn day. Seriously any change is a good change. I am taking a medication that reduces my vertigo, which was pretty serious and not just during a migraine… and having that reduced is a pretty significant change to me. Being open to things means you will try them longer, give them a go more willingly, be more open to results, be more positive about what might happen… and that can affect things.
Day #1 post “What would you do if your dream of a totally pain- and symptom-free life, came true?”
Day #2 post “Bed of Clouds poem to ponder”
Day #3 post “Recurrent dreams”
Day #4 post “Still I Rise”
Day #5 post “Monsters”
Day #6 post “Ways to raise awareness.”
Day #7 post “What I do for Awareness”
Day #8 post “Do not forget to live”
Day #9 post “What fear can teach us.”
Day #10 post “Twilight is the best light.”
Day #11 post “dream a little dream”