I’ve been thinking a great deal about surviving chronic migraines and their impact. And there is significant Impact for chronic migraines.
Chronic migraines were difficult for me. It derailed my academic career and put me down a different career path. I had a difficult time holding down that job. It was highly stressful for me to maintain at around 20 migraines a month.
Then they became daily. And there is simply no end to the migraines. No rest. No break. The impact is my Life. It never ends. I think about this and I wonder how I survive this. And I know it is day by day. This migraine. Then this migraine. But it also is causing significant depression. And sleep deprivation. And suicidal thoughts. Because this migraine leads to that migraine which leads to that migraine. And it is endless.
A migraine is a torment by itself. No one wants to do a damn thing with it. It is an assault on the senses. You don’t want to be in the world getting those senses assaulted. The pain makes movement torture. Sometimes you nod to someone, like people are wont to do in agreement and it shoots pain through you to such a degree you wish you didn’t comprehend what nodding was. Better than a sneeze or a cough. God those are insane. You don’t want to move with that pain. It compromises your thinking, obviously. You memory. Communication. Brain power… altogether. Sometimes I get so confused I have no concept of what someone is even saying to me. It just makes no sense. I forget how to do things.
But an endless existence of migraines? It is a life of befuddlement, brainfog, pain, memory shortages and sensory overload. When is there clarity? Never. There is no such thing as mental clarity. There is such a thing as forgetting what you are saying while you are saying it. Forgetting the meaning of simple words. Using the wrong word. Forgetting what a word is. Forgetting your address. Your phone number. Having problems getting out of an airport due to confusion. Everything is too loud, too bright, too smelly. Then you lose your hearing, your vision and have phantom smells. Vomit uncontrollably or go to the bathroom… uncontrollably. Dizzy? Why not. Add in some vertigo for good measure. Pass out? That too. Completely go blind. Done that. Symptoms just mix it up and every migraine just jumbles it all together. Who knows what you are going to get this go around… except you Will get the migraine. That you know.
It is a horrible existence. Clearly I think so with my depression and my not wanting to exist at times. But we do survive. Yet what we do not do with intractable migraines is thrive. Everything is an ordeal; from just leaving the house. We cannot have much of a life because having a life requires doing things and that is very diffiuclt when you always have a migraine.
My psychologist said to me I had to distinguish between my pains. So if I had a lot of Fibro pain I could still say run an errand. But if I had a killer migraine, clearly not. And, well, I thought, yes, I do distinguish the pains. But, man, I have migraines every day. When am I going do things? In the gap? That wee gap that is there sometimes in the morning during the prodrome when the pain hasn’t yet kicked in? Then zip around doing things? Hate to say it but the prodrome is a mess of symptoms and confusion and communication malfunction. I get his point, but I don’t think he gets the whole migraine every day deal.
Anyway, intractable is frustration. It is never responding to a preventative or treatment ever. And neuros running out of ideas and passing you off to other neuros. And repeating treatments, because, hey, maybe this time? And no, not.