I had a migraine at work. It was the sort to take a triptan for. Lately many have been the sort I endure because they are low pain. But this was a triptan day. So I told my co-worker I had a migraine and needed to get take something for it. She said ‘There is no reason to suffer’ and I definitely should. Which is true. Normally. But obviously I do suffer. Normally. Because I can’t take a triptan more than twice a week. When my pain was severe, I suffered, man, I suffered. And now, I certainly am in pain, but Relatively it is lesser pain than before… but a normal person sure wouldn’t welcome that pain. And aside from the migraines, I have chronic pain.
I was a tad taken aback, because I just assumed people knew I have chronic pain and ergo this is on par with the normal course of events for me. Not something I can eliminate with a pill. And something I have to generally endure. And definitely in the case of migraines triptans are great when they work on severe days for work.
I guess it is because it is so invisible and I mask it so well. Not the point. I want to mask it well at work.
I don’t like to think of it in terms of ‘suffering’ though. Because when my pain wasn’t managed… I Suffered. That was suffering, to me. That was just endless suffering. And with pain somewhat managed it is more like Coping. And it is the contrast between the two that is frankly a very big deal to me. And a big deal to Anyone with chronic pain who has existing in one state and shifted to the other. Any progress in the right direct is a massive deal. And certainly I could benefit with more progress.
I remember a time when I was young with just Fibromyalgia where I coped quite well but it took an adjustment period. Then the migraines came along and that took an adjustment period. Then they went chronic. And I could not adjust. Not without any effective treatment for either. At all. With the expectation to function. Minor improvements in intensity is Profound on my quality of life. Immense. I am still in more pain than when I was younger, clearly, with the migraines still chronic. But the capacity to cope is there with intensity at least on some days within the level of tolerable. And that contrast is such a relief on my Suffering that it is an emotional break for me. It is a stress relief. It is Low Pain Days.
The thing about suffering is that you can only take so much of it. It compounds daily. It has an emotional context and that compounds daily. You go from enduring to pushing through to crawling by inches to failing to thrive.
There is no reason to suffer. That statement is so true. Truer than the context in which she said it. But if she only knew the complexity of pain, the difficulty in treatment and how these days treatment is becoming far more difficult for people with chronic pain. Suffering one migraine is something I do a lot of. That isn’t the problem. It is when Overall, my pain wasn’t managed such that every day my pain was in the 7-9 range. (I never use a 10 to describe pain). I would go further and say ‘No one should have to suffer from unmanaged chronic pain’. It is brutal. It is cruel. A little pain management goes miles in quality of life. Management can be complex and different for every single person which makes it so difficult to find what works for that person, but every damn person deserves it. I deserve better pain management than I have right now. We all do.
—- by the way, it isn’t a big deal she doesn’t know my pain is chronic and I am in pain every day. I am just using what she said for the post. I don’t expect co-workers to know or care. And I take care to mask it and mask it well from customers, They do know I have migraines though and need treatment for them. But I don’t go around mentioning it. I think no one knows I have FM.