The 9

The pain crowded me out of my head. No room for anything else.

It was a 9

I would say a 10 but I reserve that for the worst pain I have ever experienced.

This was just a smidgen below that.

What do you even do when a migraine is beyond acute?

When a triptan fails?

When you know there is just no point in going to the ER. Besides that, what a horrible experience it is anyway. Not to even get treatment in the end of the horrible experience. No thank you.

But now two days of horrific pain and I wonder what do you do? I often wonder this when I get to that high 9. That frantic edge of pain. That I wish i could cry, but that would make it worse. That I wish I could distract myself, but my brain is too crowded with pain.

I have to work tomorrow. I can’t miss another day. I am not sure I can function with this pain. I dearly hope I manage to get rid of it tonight. I am so dizzy with it. I mean that literally, I am quite dizzy with it. So out of focus as well, maybe because of the dizzy spells. Or just the pain levels. And the damn ringing in my ears is driving me to distraction.

I often talk about function through the pain. Wearing a facade and stoically getting through the day. That is 7 and 8ers. When you breach that pain threshold of tolerable to intolerable, from bearable to unbearable, from half-functional to non-functional… that is different. Thar is what people never get. How you can be ‘functional’ one day and not the next. Fact is we fake it real well. The pain is difficult to tolerate, best case scenario, but we do it, because we must. We must, we must. That is life. Worst case scenario, and it goes beyond our capacity to pretend to function with.

It is when I fight my moods the most as well. My mood suffers when I have to fight this intolerable pain, with no capacity to distract myself, often sleep deprived. It was why I was diagnosed with depression related to chronic pain. High pain, depressed. It in fact, used to plummet like a rock into a deep, dark, dangerous depression. However, now I am on Abilify which prevents the severe crashes. But still with high pain, high suffering, and my mood drops. I am just a big ball of pain wondering why I have to exist like this. Why i will have to work like this tomorrow. And will feel guilty if I cannot.

Makes you wonder about the 10? Well, it is mindless. Right now I am frantic in pain. With a 10 I am desperate. Incoherent. Cannot move an inch without increasing the pain exponentially. Lost to it. Only a specific migraine gets me into that state and it only happens once in a while. I can’t even describe it the pain is so intense. Only that movement is agony.

Status migraines, acute migraines lasting more than three days, are also 9s. Generally high 9s. But 9s. You are supposed to go to the ER for them because they increase risk factors and can be dangerous… and they are horrifically painful because without treatment they can last weeks, months… just going and going and going. You can get dehydrated and sleep deprived. You blood pressure can spike dangerously. I still refuse to go, even if this beast goes status. The hospital here, has no idea what I mean when I say that. I often wanted to tell them to Google it. They never aborted it. (Well once by happen-chance I had a good doctor and could at the time take DHE and that aborted one) Never properly treated it. But the bad taste left in my mouth after poor care for migraines, and other things, had me refusing to go there for anything. I ended up with nerve damage from a status migraine… but really, I would have anyway, since I would have left the ER with the status migraine. So if you have a good ER, you should go. They are in fact dangerous. No one should have to suffer that pain for weeks on end. Case in pain, status migraines caused my suicide attempts. They torment you, the pain of it.

Yes, indeed, the 9… not able to be endured long at All. Two days and I am exhausted by it. I really can’t do a third.



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