We all have limits.
And I have posted about the dangers of exceeding our limits. If we live in that survival mode where we are constantly exceeding our limits. It is dangerous. It is pure hell. It is an existence not a life. And something needs to be done to change that. Some change. To work. To pain management. Something. No one should have to suffer like that. Ever. I lived like that too long and then tried to die, because no one wants to live like that. It simply isn’t living at all it is surviving.
Point being we have limits. With migraines however I call it simply pain limits. With chronic pain I call it limits… as in staying within my activity limits to not flare up the pain. With migraines, migraines happen, plain and simple. So we live based on our pain limits.
In a 9… I am in self-care mode. I am taking out the migraine balms and the ice pack. Making it inhumanly dark. Taking what meds I can take, if any at all. And curling up in a ball to ride it out. I will miss work with these… but now I am not to miss work, so uncertain what I can do about these ones.
But not every migraine is a ride it out sort of migraine. With chronic daily migraines I have a life to live. I have a part-time job to work. I have a wee little social life to do… such as it is. So other pain limits are mean other things to me.
8- is my this is too painful to function really well, but I still have to work. So I have to be careful to not make mistakes. It is hard to focus. Hard to think. And unpleasant as all hell to work with. I will not socialize with this migraine. But if people come to the house I will as that is more atmosphere controlled and quiet. I will avoid outside because light is too aggressive and the allodynia will hurt if I wear my sunglasses at this point as well.
6-7- I am in my ‘living’ zone. I have and do socialize in this zone in environments of my choosing. I can tolerate being outside with my specs on, but maybe not for long durations and it depends on the day. I will do housework… generally I do small amounts per day. Keep it simple. When in pain do a little every day. Not a boat-ton and aggravate the hell out of your brain. This is my tolerable to edge of tolerable area of the migraine. Unpleasant, distracting, distorting, as bad as any other migraine on the senses, often with nausea and other issues… but able to gently do small amounts of things. And very mellow socialization for moderate times. What I can and can’t do in this zone depends on the environment, aggravations, if the pain is on the rise, nausea and other symptoms that can get severe on their own… that sort of thing.
Unfortunately for me triptans, as you know, are abortives that can be taken 3 times a week. I work 3 times a week. So I save the triptan for work. It gives me a 2-4 dampening of pain sometimes. So every other day I have is not treatable… sort of have to hope for a ‘good’ migraine day. Or… the part of the day where the migraine is lower pain wise as my pain tends to get worse as the day progresses. Things aggravate it and it just gets worse. Rarely it gets better. Rarer still it dissipates.
So with daily migraines we are getting our living in our pain limits really. Which severely limits our capacity for much really. My social time is generally going for coffee, having a friend over or playing a card game at our friends house, or a fire at our house sometimes. Anyway, pretty mellow. Which is fine. I get some socialization at least. I used to be a hermit. I was in too much pain all the time and now way I was going out to do a damn thing. Hermit mode lasted a lot time. So I’ll take a little mellow socialization over none.
I used to say life was living in the pain gaps… but there are none now. Life is living in the tolerable vs intolerable pain. It is so tricky, difficult, rare and small windows. Pain doesn’t play nicely and isn’t in a low range often or for long. I occasionally tough it out at a friends house, or slather on my balm and take my rescue and other time leave early. Except for work which we have no choice about, which is why it is always so problematic.
I am not sure if other migraineurs are the same way or not. But my psychologist got me doing this because the pain is what it is… for now. And I needed to get out of hermit mode, because socializing helps with mood. So do leisure activities… but all mine are introvert things and therefore indoor things. Like a read-a-thon! He basically said you’d have that migraine anyway, at home, why not try spending a little time socializing? I said… cause it makes the pain worse? But in fact you are chatting and laughing… it is a massively good pain distraction. And if you go prepared it does help. In that pain limit zone you can tolerate of course. It did massively help out my mood a lot and now I don’t feel so guilty that my spouse was also becoming a hermit because me getting out got him out to, and even on the day I cannot go, he can still go himself.