Thursday, June 21, 2012

#NMAM Shakin' in my Boots

Todays' blogging question is: "What's your biggest Migraine related fear? How do you cope with it?" My biggest fear, easily, is that the migraines will come back with the same force and duration that disabled me in the first place. Even while on a steady diet of 60mg Oxycontin per day, I was still averaging an ER visit about once a month. Even after they implanted the Occipital Nerve Simulator, I was the only one in the study to use it past 8. The doctors were floored that I could tolerate it at max power of 20. I wished the machine had gone to 40, but that's reaching lethal levels.

When a migraine goes past 72 hours, I start to panic. That's how the last one started. It just started and would not stop. I could throw all the medication I wanted to at it, and it just went on, and on, and on. It varied in intensity. Some days were absolutely miserable, and those were the good days! Bad days were an epic hell that took every ounce of stubbornness and tenacity just to get through. If I can't get my migraine under control in less than 72 hours, I'm in real danger of falling into another epic cycle again.

See, my 4.5 year migraine wasn't the first to last a long time. By my blogging estimates, I believe I had a migraine the previous year that lasted 5 weeks. Around the same time of year too. I worked through the pain. I was a one woman drain on Cafergot. I had run out the supply in Washington state. I had run out the supply in Oregon. I had run out the supply in Idaho and, according to my pharmacy, I was starting to clean out northern California, when my doctor finally switched me to a different medication.

I didn't think any of that was abnormal at the time. Now I know different. Now I can see the signs of the tiger hiding out in the darkness, waiting to strike. And when the signs become numerous, and continuous, I start to freak like a tiger is chasing me.

How do I cope with it? Responsible denial. I deny that which I can't fix, and just try and slog through it, unless the symptoms become urgent or chronic enough to warrant care. When that happens, I'll shut down internally and go into pure intellectual mode. I'm in shock, and I'm trying to cope anyway. The feelings are to big for me to manage, so I shut them all off. That way maybe I have a chance to think. Unfortunately, the amount of adrenaline in my system, usually causes racing thoughts. So these are the times when I write and blog. It helps me get my thoughts together, and not just spinning out of control on a hamster wheel.

And I'm starting to develop some faith. Not traditional faith, but a kind of faith nonetheless.

But most of all, I recognize that my fears of a massive migraine phase is perfectly reasonable given my experience. My fears of it happening again are part of my Medical PTSD. So I also do therapy and take head meds.

And I try to tell myself the boogeyman isn't real and living in my head...

"National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger's Challenge is initiated by"

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