Reading: a pain distraction

Reading for too long can be a problem with people with migraines. It can also be impossible to do once a migraine is triggered..png

Reading is my escape from pain. It is the best pain distraction I have. Along with writing. To get sucked into another world for a little bit, helps.

Some people cannot read at all with a migraine, but I cannot let that gift be taken from me. I cannot. I refuse to.

I noticed though if I read a lot… a lot, a lot, as in for hours I will make the pain significantly worse. So much so, I really do regret that. So no reading marathons for me anymore. Sadly.

And when the pain is very high, like a high 8 or 9, I cannot read. I lose my capacity to focus at that level.

So we are looking at a 6, 7 or low 8. Not non-fiction. Often fluff books that do not require much thought the higher the pain. So a good day I can read whatever I please. A bad day I have to read some fluff romance.

But I need to read. It is a fundamental part of my personality. It is fundamental to my nature. To my very me-ness.

It is one of those pain distractions that is touch and go with us. Some of us simply can’t. Some of us can under certain conditions. But it is a strain, like the computer, and it will increase the pain the more you do it. Which is unfortunate. I never read on lit screens, as that would be far worse. I read either actual books or a regular kindle with the matte screen they have.

Of all the things it has taken, it hasn’t taken this. Thank all the gods for that.

Abort Mission! Retreat!

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Yes, when impending migraine doom is about to strike you want to drop what you are doing and dive into the nearest cave to ride it out.

This seems to happen every time I leave the house. Assuming I don’t have a migraine when I do, which always gets worse when I leave the house. But assuming I don’t… migraine happens. I assume from all the triggers in that bright, smelly chaotic world my brain is overly sensitive to.

Often leading to finishing what I am doing and heading back home to treat the migraine. Before other symptoms like vomiting and digestive issues show up and make things a real challenge. Or the VERTIGO.

Because sometimes I get stuck where I am. Wherever that is. The migraine strikes. And it hits at a 9. With all assorted migraine hell. And I can’t drive. I am stuck, miserable until I can find a ride home. It is horrible.

And if it is work? And you can’t leave for whatever reason? Then I am in for hell. A hell of mistakes. Errors. Throwing up. Lack of clarity. Confusion. Dizzy spells. Trying to think straight. And low productivity, as a best case scenario.

The plummet of Doom

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I can’t believe I get to use that gif again so quickly in reference to vertigo but here we are. Here we are.

So I fell down the stairs due to a vertigo attack. A drop attack in fact. Dropped me. Down the stairs. You know, the sort where you suddenly have no ground to stand on and the world just gets all disorientating and you lurch or fall to the side? Either catching yourself, slamming into a wall or falling. Well, I was on the stairs so disorientation, lurch, and Plummet of Doom. I sort of was aware of the bumpity-bump down part but not actually falling. As in, I am not sure how I fell or landed but I sure as hell remember the painful slide down.

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I have had mild vertigo for some time now. Not bad at all since I have not been driving. It is making everything bouncy. The ground is spongy and bouncy. Chairs seem like they are moving. I seem like I am moving. When I am trying to sleep the bed seems like it is falling and not and falling and now. You know… mild. But sudden drop attacks are unpredictable. And worsening of vertigo is as well, although much more predictable with a motion trigger or some migraines.

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Bound to happen on the stairs eventually. Hell it happened while driving once. When I was commuting a distance so obviously the vertigo was worse. I was driving home and sudden spinning sensation and dropping lurch, over and over. If I didn’t control the vehicle calmly, I could have swerved off the road. As it was, during, you can’t perceive or see so no idea what was going on around me or if I was going straight. Worst experience ever. And once of the reasons I applied for disability from work and the chronic pain and all associated symptoms… but the vertigo was insane. When I returned to work, because they took me off long term, I started to have the same issues with the commute. Sporadic spinning spells at work. Drop attacks at work. I went on leave, or am trying to, because of lack of my ability to perform through pain, cope with work, concentrate, mood and so forth but, yeah, vertigo is an issue for sure. Once it begins from a motion trigger like that it would have just gotten more consistent. It was getting bad enough.

So this tumble was yesterday and I am feeling it today for sure. The left ankle is sprained, bruised rib and arm and my tailbone hurts like hell. All because my brain cannot tell up from down.

The peanutbutter sandwich

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So the nausea is horrific. Persistent for over a year now. Relentless. I take zofran all day. I take Gravol all day. And I am still nauseated. Still, have no appetite.

First meal of the day is dinner. I eat a small fraction and can’t eat more. Just can’t the nausea gets to me.

But in the evening late at night. With all my meds in me, I feel I can eat.

A peanut butter and butter sandwich. It sits well.  It has protein and fat. So that is something.

It has been the only thing I can eat well, eat the whole thing for one, sits well, don’t throw it up.

And it makes me wonder. Can you survive on only peanut butter and butter sandwiches?

Of course not. It is idiotic.

I just can’t eat. I have no appetite. I start eating and I get full right away and nauseated and more nauseated. I give up before I Upchuck.

Sometimes I mix it up. Peanut butter AND jam. I know. Crazy.

The peanut and butter sandwich is saving me from just plain starving.

This has to be figured out soon. This nausea is hellish.

If we go to a restaurant is like what do you want? How about a 1/4 of this dish here? can you do that? Because I can’t barely fricken eat.

But thanks to the peanut butter and butter sandwich I am not starving. Can’t be getting all the vitamins and minerals I need. I do have vitamins though I am taking.

The facade effect

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I wonder how this game would go with chronic migraines. A lot of screaming and clutching our heads?

Maybe it would make us more visible, though, eh?

And when I have vertigo this would work.

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I know our facade helps us cope.

I know we use it to make our family feel better.

I know we use it socially to make people feel better.

I know we use it at work because we must.

I know we use it to hide the pain or depression.

But, damn, sometimes it just makes it seem like it makes us invisible.

Like the pain is never seen. I get stoic when the pain is high like now. I lose my smile. My laugh. I get quiet. Stoic. Numb. Doctors have commented on it. Used that exact word. Stoic. I want to tell them it hurts to cry. That releasing that emotion is like a floodgate when it starts. And it makes you feel hopeless. I want to remain calm in the face of my worst pain. In control. Because I don’t feel it.

But maybe we should Shatner them. Show them. Maybe they need the pain behaviors we have suppressed through our long life of experience.

I use my words to articulate myself. But I wonder, is it enough?

We ticked off Fluffafur

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Time to focus on my mood again. I need some mood boosting days. Some self-care mood boosting. It has been a difficult time on the pain front. Very difficult time stress wise and depression wise. It has been worse this week for sure. But since January it took a dip and I have been sort of wallowing, I suppose. Sleeping too much. Fatigue. Lack of motivation. Then I got some bad news and it dropped significantly lower. Yay.

So time to do some self-management instead of wallowing. Depression sort of encourages wallowing, though. It saps motivation, you have fatigue and it makes it hard to make decisions.

But I think if I start making firm decisions and carry them out step by step it will help in the long run. That I will start Monday.

This weekend time for some self-care. I will focus on my writing and do some reading. Avoid negative interactions. Get in some meditation.

And above all focus on my humor. I need it. Fluffafur needs it. We all need it.

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The 9

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I hit the 9. Like a god damned wall of pain. Like a bubble between me and reality. I am blogging right now because I have to focus on something while the triptan and painkiller kick in. I need distraction. I am typing slowly. Thinking through molasses. All that I am is this horrific, blinding, nauseating pain.

Here is the thing. There is a line. Tolerable. Intolerable. Functional. Unfunctional. The line is somewhere in the 8 zone. 9 is an abyss. It is frantic. It is what the hell do I do with this pain. How can I stop it? What can I take? Can I sleep… if I can sleep, I won’t feel it. But no way in hell I can sleep.

Triptan. Zofran. Gravol. Migraine balm. Something. Anything. Just lower the pain a little bit. Just a little bit. I need bearable.

My head shifting slightly is agony. My eyes feel this pressure and throb like I need to gorge them out for relief. The pain is sharp, intense and throbbing.  My neck aches in sympathy.

I’m dizzy. I’m nauseated. My ears are ringing loudly. My scalp literally hurts, the skin itself hurts. I have the vertigo that causes disequilibrium… like I am moving but I am not.

I feel an edge of desperation, but no negative thought spirals because that requires thought. And really all my thoughts are just on pain and pain relief and how long do I have to weight this out. I made a post on Facebook about how much pain I am in. No idea why. I just feel frantic with it. No one can help. But sometimes I hope for conversation. Something to just take my mind off the pain. Not that conversation is my strong point when in the pain bubble.

I feel the chest constriction from the triptan but no loosening on the pain.

I need to stop now. I can’t focus. It hurts too much to be right now.