Functional. I wrote this about the word because I do loathe it. When I used to work if I was in a lot of pain, but I was There, and I hid the pain and I did my job… I was Functional. It didn’t matter in the least bit to anyone how much I suffered, just that I was there. Just that I did my job.
It is the expectation that I would mask the pain because you simply cannot show the pain or talk about it in front of customers … that would be inappropriate. It was expected that I would come to work, because how bad could it be? Didn’t I work with them all the time? The guilt they put on me when I called in sick, well, that was its own hell.
So what that I suffered underneath? So what that I could barely concentrate due to all that pain? Could not think straight. So remember customers names or faces. Or speak properly with all my words just getting stuck up there in my brain. And typos… all the damn typos. And the noise. And lights. And smells. Made my eyes feel like they were being stabbed. And nausea rolled in my stomach. But I could not eat all day anyway, or I’d be in the bathroom every ten minutes… another fun migraine symptom people rarely talk about. If you’re not throwing up, then it’ll come out the other end. Nothing stays in you for long. So no food. That is a migraine trigger too, but you can’t work in the bathroom all day.
My worst fear being off work has always been that I will improve slightly. Not a lot. Not dramatically. Just slightly. Just enough to go back to work and suffer 95% of the time, rather than 100% of the time. That is my worst nightmare. I know that highly episodic migraines pay the same price as chronic, and chronic at 15 a month, is the same as daily chronic…. but doctors don’t. Hell, they don’t even understand the price we pay as it Is. So if I have a couple migraine-free days that will be a Success to them. And I will love it too, but functionally it is No Different. Functionally I will suffer the same. Functionally I will be pretending to function while suffering all day long, just so I can get home to suffer in peace. Yet, I know that is the goal. The end game. You see, you get offered a lot of help when you are not working. When you are working they don’t care that you suffer. When you are not working, they care that you are not working. They want to get you working. So they want to figure out how to manage your suffering enough to get you working again. Even though it will not be much. Even though working itself will likely ruin it all because of the trigger infused environment. Evan so, they All want to help you because society thinks that is such a shame. Then when you are working again… they will not care about your suffering. Because you will be Functionally suffering.