First, when people ask us how we do it… how we get through the pain every single day. Well, the answer is we have to. We have no alternative. We took the road less traveled because the other road had a blockade on it and now we are stuck on this crappy, pot holed, mired, mountain hell road.
I have had a bad couple of weeks between the hormonal migraine hell migraine bout and then after that severe vestibular migraine flare, which might be due to the flu shot I got (as in the dizziness, wooziness and light-headedness might be from side effects of the flu shot and not a vestibular migraine), but a wicked migraine has been going on for two days as well. And what do you do? When you have things to do? Well with vertigo you don’t Drive like that, so I was screwed there. But normally what do you do? Push through it? Or not. Pace and limitations?
I do not recommend pushing through the pain. I recommend staying within our pain limits. But we are always pressured to push, push, push to meet societies standards and our own expectations and often resulting in more pain as we exceed our limits and tolerance. But keep in mine when I use the phrase I mean being in High Pain and trying to Function… and doing that over and over again. Not sustainable.
So How To Push Through The Pain
Step One: Wake up. Go back to sleep. Wake up. Go back to sleep. WAKE UP. Roll over and groan. Curse all the gods. Curse the pain. Curse in creative new ways. Wish you could sleep for a thousand days or a nice temporary coma.
Step Two: Get up. Do not repeat going back to sleep. I Repeat: DO NOT GO BACK TO SLEEP.
Step Three: Assess pain. Is the intolerable pain or tolerable pain? On as scale of ‘Baseline pain’ to ‘I don’t want to exist anymore like this but will fabricate some random reason to exist because I am told not wanting to exist is a bad idea,’ where do you fall?
Step Four: If you are on the low end of that spectrum prepare for the day by taking a fistful of medications and vitamins. Fake it till you make it! Yay!
If you are on the high end of that spectrum do that but also assess a) can a medication lower my pain to Immense but Barely-functional? if not then b) You cannot function that day and had better just try to exist and self-care.
Step Five: If you have manageable pain within the spectrum of ‘Baseline’ to ‘Barely-functional but still upright’ then likely you will go to work. Remember your concentration, focus, short term memory, long term memory, memory memory, memory memory memory will be affected by the pain. And there will be substantial fatigue. But you will crawl through the day because you need something called money to do something called eat.
If you are on disability this doesn’t apply. Remember to pace. Remember to not feel guilty for not being ‘productive’ enough or not working. Or guilty for just being ill. Or guilty about being disabled. Or guilty… just stop the guilt. You are innately important as a person and as a person you have your own value in many ways that are not what you ‘do’ for a living.
Step Six: Take a fifteen minute cry.
Step Seven: If you don’t work in customer service… do your thing. If you do, Façade time! Plaster on that Façade of Wellbeing and Fake Wellness like the actor or actress you are! Yay! Be Paingry on the inside.
Step Eight: Take a mid-afternoon scream. Re-assess pain and take something for it… if you can. Maybe slightly dull the pain a wee bit for an hour, if you are lucky. If you want… work in another good scream in there.
Step Nine: Crash and burn. Melt into a big puddle of goo, if that goo is pain and you are just a pile of pain. I mean… get home and rest. Because you have nothing left in you for anything else. So just REST.
Step Ten: Meditate to relax. Realize you are in so much pain all you are really doing is saturating in being one with the pain and it isn’t relaxing at all.
Step Eleven: Because the pain is quite high now from all the powering through the pain deal you will now have Painsomnia… so no sleep. Interrupted sleep from being unable to get comfortable. And an impossible time falling asleep do to the pain.
I actually don’t like having to push through the pain. I think it is a horribly cruel thing to have to do. If the pain can be manageable with treatment then it is better but still difficult. But when it isn’t managed… well, it is torture, plan and simple. You are burned out from just dealing with the pain all the time and exceeding your limits. No way to live for sure. And why we all need proper pain management to give us some quality of life. Enabling us to pace and moderate and stay within our pain limits. And damn if that isn’t hard enough with chronic pain… we always feel like we have to push through it to function at a level everyone expects from us. And that always makes it worse.