For this campaign I am writing to tell you how I move against migraine. And I encourage you to write how you do as well on your blog, on Facebook or on my Page in response to my post for this campaign. Share this image, share your own image on all social media with the Hashtag #MoveAgainstMigraine. And in the process share awareness about migraine to others.
So how to I move against migraine?
For a long time my treatment was pretty stagnant and I didn’t move much at all. I was a hermit with migraine. I shared my experiences and raised awareness but, personally, I made no progress and it was an exceptionally difficult time for me.
It took a long leave of absence from work for me to move against migraine in any effective way. I made progress and part of that progress was a certain level of acceptance that I had to deal with the pain that Was in order to have any semblance of life, while waiting for any potential change. Like any form of chronic pain, you have to have a level of acceptance that there will be pain, whether you try to function, or not. And I needed to understand this, because I was avoiding a great deal. I needed to get some level of a social life, as I was entirely Too isolated. But you cannot find any level of acceptance without effective treatment, so that comes with it. Sort of have to get out of survival mode with treatment to find a level of acceptance, I find.
I move against migraine by:
- Treating my comorbid depression: Which was a serious concern for me once my migraines became chronic. One I ignored for quite some time. And once I found effective treatment via the pain clinic this made a vast improvement on my capacity to cope with pain. Overall, I make it a priority to manage my moods and emotional wellbeing now… finding it a vital part of my pain management.
- Stopping the whole ‘push through the pain’ thing I used to do: This never worked out well for me. I pace now. I manage my stress through mindful meditation. I engage in self-care when I need it. It isn’t push, push, push when the pain is severe. It is take the time I need when I need it to manage the pain.
- Finding a level of balance: I adhere to my limits but I don’t avoid things anymore. So I make plans and I do socialize. But I am very prepared when I do. I understand at times I may have to leave early due to pain, and people understand that. There are times I have to cancel, and that is fine as well. However, I do engage in more activity than I used to. I don’t exactly go to heavy metal rock concerts or run marathons… so maybe it is mellow, but it is more than I had. This is very important because I was a hermit and I felt like I was just existing and not living. Just so very isolated. Which for an introvert, isn’t too bad, but you need some time out and about.
- Treatment: Of course, treatment is important. My migraines are daily. My intensity has improved. And I have had a few days that are migraine free recently. Like many of us I treat existing migraines: Triptans (limited to 2X a week), ice, migraine balms, rest when possible, magnesium oil, aromatherapy. And I do preventative treatment: Topamax, Sibelium (for vertigo), magnesium, B supplements, Botox and my Oska Pulse (external stimulation device), meditation, FL-41 specs, and aerobic exercise. Treatment is a complicated thing. I mean, I do all that and I am still daily. What is up with that, eh? But intensity… that is a massive factor for me. I used to be 7-9 all the time. I range between 4-9 now. Some awesome days in there, which rocks. And like I said, even some migraine free days. Even better! We all have our own path here though. Different solutions to that complicated puzzle. Different responses to different things. I should say I am also only on round 2 of Botox, so I may even have a better response the further I go. Never can tell! Anyway, I would say this is, in a way, effective treatment for me, in the sense that, I can function better. And that is important to me. But daily still isn’t awesome and it is still obviously a struggle I have to cope with every single day. Relatively though, Better Than. And I like progress towards Better. I’ll take that.
- Support Awareness: I move against migraine by blogging about it. Sharing images and making images about it. I do a lot of content creation that I welcome people to share. I discuss pain, invisible illnesses, coping and research. Sharing my experiences with this disease. Telling people how very complex this disease really is. In addition to the blog, I run two Facebook pages. One exclusively for migraines: Migraineur Mutterings and Musings and my larger page Making Invisible Disabilities Visible which is broad to invisible illnesses and chronic pain.
- Seeing a psychologist: I personally find this beneficial. Not simply because of the depression, but because this psychologist at the pain clinic specializes in pain patients. He works with us about how we think about pain. Basically Cognitive behavioral therapy. How we think and the beliefs we have about pain, how we talk to ourselves… all these matter in how we cope. And learning to cope better, certainly is the sort of tip I needed.
- Finding the proper medical team: Should have put this first. It was my first step. My former medical doc was failing me. And I got nowhere fast. I had to change to a doctor who was willing to fight for me. And that required that she listen to me effectively. She sent me to a new neuro. And to the pain clinic. At the pain clinic I went to a pain 101 class for coping, saw their psychiatrist to get on the proper depression medication for me and saw their psychologist. And together we moved slowly into a positive direction with Botox, exercise, physiotherapy and therapy.
I’m not giving up. I am going to progress with my treatment. To try new treatments that may reduce frequency or intensity. To engage in things that reduce my suffering and give me a better quality of life. Some days I have a pity party. Some days I don’t cope well at all. And that high pain gets me down. But I get back up and go forth a conquer the world again. How do I move against migraine? In every way I can. In every way I can that improves my quality of life, mood and functionality. At one time this disease almost too my life. I won’t let it do that again. Fight on!