Migraine: Fearing your pain past

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Fear is a part of chronic illness and chronic pain. But the fear I have lately isn’t one of the limitations. That fear that inhibits us from trying to get out of the house, do activities and socialize for fear of the pain. Rather it is a fear of returning to a previous state.

Fear and chronic illness sometimes go hand in hand.

So I have made some improvements pain wise, coping wise, and mood wise. It is making things easier to manage and pain intensity has been quite a bit better. But I have bad days in the week still. And every bad day, I fear a return to the state of horror I existed in before. That hellish non-functional pit of agony and despair. Just slight improvements in intensity, not frequency, have assisted with coping with chronic migraines. Treatment of depression helped even more with coping. It is no walk in the park, but it isn’t what it Was.

Especially this week with hormonal migraines and weather migraines. It was particularly nasty. And Deja vu really. A reminder I didn’t need because I keenly do remember what my life was like, thanks. But I do not want it to ever be like that again, so this fear was there all week. What if the migraines didn’t decrease in intensity? What if they continued like this? Again? But they have not. It was just a week of hellish pain which is the norm for hormonal migraines.

It is natural when we make any sort of progress to fear it is transitory and flimsy. That it will not hold. It is natural to fear going back to a state of pain that was unbearable and extremely difficult to cope with. Of course, one wouldn’t desire that. Of course, there would be some fear if your capacity to cope was limited then and your life drastically affected. No one would want that Again.

And here is the thing: it is a completely rational fear to have. We have had times where we have improved from medications and treatments than just never lasted in any long-term fashion. The pain all rushed back and our lives were impacted again just when we felt we could have some semblance of a life back. And that is the horror of it. You feel like you can do things again and then… you can’t.

I have to remind myself just have to move forward. I cannot predict the intensity of Any migraine Ever. And therefore I certainly shouldn’t fear suddenly every migraine being intense. I should live migraine to migraine. Like I do with Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia exists on a baseline of pain, with flares sometimes in specific locations (my shoulders a couple days ago were killing me for no logical reason) and then flare ups where everything hurts. And I certainly do not live in fear of flares. I pace and moderate activities as to not encourage them, but I do not fear them.

I should think of it as a positive Trend in the right direction. As the potential to further improve! I have not only improved intensity but had some migraine-free days. That is pretty amazeballs. If I can improve on That, well hell, that would be fan-flippin-tastic.

The main difference is that I have accepted I cannot work full-time. And that I have to compromise on that issue if I am to cope and manage the pain at all. That in addition to my treatments has enabled me to have some headway intensity wise. Of course, I understand that is a flimsy thing that could end at any moment. That in fact, I have bad weeks. But I have to keep moving forward migraine by migraine and take what I can get. And that fear will hover there like a ghost from the past until I habituate to this state of existence.

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