I have chronic daily migraine with aura that is intractable. Pain literally can drive me nuts. It can make me suicidal. It can drive me to distraction. It can make me non-functional. But it is literally my life, so I have to deal with them one way or another all the time. Some better than others.
Distraction: This is by far the most common approach to coping with the pain. It cannot be used for high levels of pain, because the pain impedes of the distraction you are using but when I am at a 7 or low 8 I can distract. And basically anything that you can engage in that requires no In depth thinking can be a distraction. Some things I do:
- Blogging- One of my favorites.
- Coloring- Next to medication it is said to be very relaxing, and it is easy, so there is that benefit.
- Reading- Some people can read with a migraines, others cannot. I can. Especially fluff books- ones with simplistic plots.
- Writing- I write fiction but another way to express yourself that I do is journaling and gratitude journals. Both a great idea. In a journal you can just free flow thoughts. And sometimes free-flowing about your pain and feelings, makes them less Present.
Sleep/Rest– Sometimes when the pain is high or the fatigue is we simply need to sleep or rest, if and when we can. It can be necessary. No guilt allowed. It is part of pacing with pain to do so when pain is high.
Zoning– When pain is high we sometimes need activities that require no thought at all. Where information is presented to us, because we have very low concentration levels and ability to focus and are easily confused. So what I do at this stage:
- Netflix: Binge a show on Netflix.
- Pick a comedy on Netflix for a mood booster.
- Watch a movie. I have a lot of movies on DVD so I just choose one of those and relax to that. Again, if I feel down, I will choose a comedy.
- Listen to music
- You can also visit support groups online and interact with people. Makes you feel less isolated and gives that social aspect you cannot get with higher levels of pain. Goes for all social media.
Meditation: I can and do longer forms of medication, like 20 to 30 minute body scans and breathing medications with a migraine to try and calm the distress that comes with pain. Can only be done with a 7 level of pain. Higher and the pain levels seem to interfere with the whole thing, or do with me so far. But it is relaxing. And if you cannot sleep for example then this is an idea to help get you there if you need to.