H.O.P.E. Hold on, pain ends…really?
There are some sayings that, while meant to be encouraging and uplifting, are simply not true. This is one of those phrases, an acronym actually. Acronyms are designed so that each letter of a word completes a sentence or phrase. Most are witty or inspirational. Except this one is neither. I understand the sentiment. We want to believe that if we just grip fiercely enough with white knuckles, then sooner or later we’ll be able to let go in relief. We believe it even more strongly for others. This phrase has made its rounds through various migraine pages and support groups over the years. It’s meant as encouragement and as an expression of caring.
But it’s not true.
In most cases the pain of a migraine attack doesn’t just go away on its own. Even if it did, the time it would take is surely beyond our endurance much of the time. Then it comes back again and again. Without careful planning and calculated action, it can take over our lives. Sometimes despite our best efforts, migraine still takes over.
Go ahead and “hold on” if you’d like. I doubt your pain will end on its own anytime soon.
“Holding on” isn’t trying. It’s sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich hoping the pain will go away.
Pick up the phone. Make an appointment. Sure, the next 20 doctors might not be able to help, but what if you quit before you find #21?
I know it seems useless to track migraines that last for days and seem to be triggered by everything. You might be surprised by what you discover.
Take responsibility for your own health by looking up the latest treatments. If you don’t yet have abortive, preventive, and rescue treatments, now is the time to ask your doctor about starting all three.
Part of the reason this work is so difficult is because it requires creative problem-solving when we are least able to think clearly. Affording and getting access to health care is challenging, too. It will be some of the most daunting and rewarding work you will ever do. The stakes are high and failure is not an option. To get real relief from migraine, you must put forth a lot of effort. It’s hard work managing this condition.
Get up and do something about that pain. Being a victim isn’t attractive or noble. Take a deep breath, bite down, and steel yourself because this is going to hurt. I promise you’ll feel better once you take that first step toward doing something about your pain.
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