For chronic migraine awareness day, there is a campaign to write a migraine impact statement with the Hashtage #migraineMatters. So here we go.
- I have daily migraines. I occasionally do not have a migraine, but it isn’t often. My intensity is better managed than it used to be. Used to be All the time in the range of 7-9. Now it ranges from 4-9. So Intensity wise I have some good pain management going on from using an external stimulation device (PEMF) and Botox, as well as medication. But before, well, before it was profoundly impactful to have that level of pain all the time, in every single conceivable way.
- When my intensity wasn’t managed I missed work, had a hard time working full time and reduced to part-time. So it affected my career growth, entirely. It affected my income, substantially. And I am just now able to function at a reasonable level at work and sustain that, although again, those high pain days still occur and have to be dealt with.
- Again when the intensity wasn’t managed I was a complete hermit and I developed depression. I have treated the depression, which helps manage pain. And I have started socializing the last couple of years, within moderation, of course. There are a lot of limits to that. But it is important for mood to do so. I sometimes cannot make plans or have to leave early, but I do socialize once a month.
- The pain when unmanaged completely did ruin my self of self and self-worth. Because it was so unmanaged and the pain so intense, I felt worthless, a failure and not capable of anything… just useless to my spouse, employer and society as a whole. And even though the pain is more managed this sense of self-worth doesn’t just bounce back, you have to worth at it slowly. I told myself in a thousand little ways how worthless I was, and now I have to tell myself in a thousand little more that I am not.
- It decreases my productivity, my capacity to concentrate, my memory and my focus. It messes with my communication skills. It makes it difficult to function aside from the pain, but definitely the pain. Things like the vertigo as well I was having serious problems with at one time, with like driving, but that is now being effectively treated.
It is hard to describe what it is like with chronic migraines. It is a horrific form of chronic pain. I find it worse that the fibromyalgia I have, but certainly both is a challenge because they do not play nice together. When my pain wasn’t managed it was extremely hard for me to cope. Extremely hard. I can’t even comprehend how people are expected to work like that. It is not something that is even conceivable. You are pushing through the pain. It is survival mode. It is brutal and it can’t go on for long like that before there is a breaking point. So impact? How Doesn’t that impact a person? I didn’t even Want to survive like that.
So the decrease in intensity and chronic pain management has given me some functionality, but it is still very difficult to cope with. Just… better than it was a couple years back. The pain clinic onward, so three years ago to today have been some consistent improvements in my life. But it is a life of careful moderation, limits and a lot of pain management strategies. And daily pain. But you know, some quality of life, which before wasn’t really there at all. So I have had the migraines completely and utterly control and ruin my life and that is the impact that is hard for people to understand… but it is horrific to endure. And I have recently experienced better pain management and strategies that are giving me better quality of life. The impact is still high, but I notice the difference because I remember where I was at compared to now.