Not only is headache painful, but it is also disabling. In the Global Burden of Disease Study, updated in 2013, migraine on its own was found to be the sixth highest cause worldwide of years lost due to disability (YLD). Headache disorders collectively were third highest. WHO
I have to say this doesn’t surprise me. I don’t know where Fibromyalgia ranks, and I know it is variable between people, but my chronic migraines impair me more. For example fibromyalgia has limited what type of job I can do, certainly, but I can do a desk job with moderate pain perfectly fine with careful attention to issues of fibrofog… in other words I have to compensate in certain ways to function well, but I can do it. Chronic migraines impair me at all jobs. Period. Make it difficult to get to work. Missed a lot of work. Made it difficult to function on the days I made it to work. And the Suffering was always there, just far more consistent pain that couldn’t be relieved or compensated for.
Course having them both rather complicates the situation. Sort of feed off each other in negative ways. Nevertheless, chronic migraines have strongly impacted my life, whereas I had learned rather well to cope with the FM. I think really it was a matter of how to cope with it to be honest. With FM I learned to live within my limits. To moderate my activities and to pace myself. With migraines it literally doesn’t matter if you do those things, as it will come on anyway. You can do trigger management but once they are chronic, it seems like existence itself is a trigger. And some triggers simply cannot be avoided. While others were caused by the FM itself, like lack of sleep. So my coping strategies were well developed to FM and work out quite well, even though you have to deal with flare ups, symptoms becoming an issue, comorbid conditions and sometimes exceeding those limits. With chronic migraines it is like your brain is Always exceeding its limits and is always overly sensitive to its environment and hyped up for pain. It becomes a matter of how to cope with suffering. How to reduce suffering. How to live with suffering. And this, is quite another game altogether and this has a greater impact on life.