Word from the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy is that headache disorders cost the United States more than $31 billion a year.
They are also accountable for nine percent of all United States lost labor productivity and The World Health Organization reports that Migraine alone is responsible for at least one percent of the total United States medical disability burden. Those of us with severe Migraine attacks and head pain are well aware of these figures, but how does Migraine and headache disorders affect our productivity on a personal level?
A Migraine can strike when we least expect it – while working, driving, sleeping, eating, and/or during our favorite activity. If we aren’t able to abort the attack quickly, it may linger for hours or even days. This puts a damper on our lives, our work suffers, our sleep is interrupted and plans or projects are have are temporarily put on hold. As I look around my house, I can see almost 11 years with of started projects – still not complete – because of my chronic head and neck pain.
Productivity loss has been an issue for me since the day I fell – almost 16 years ago. Pre-fall productivity for me included working, caring for my family, keeping up with my home, volunteering and teaching piano lessons. Somehow these things got accomplished and I’d have spare energy to quilt almost every day. I now long to paint my kitchen, volunteer, care for my family, quilt once a week and work as a patient advocate/educator simultaneously while not suffering additional pain and injury. Coping with these differences has not been easy for me, and some days are better than others. I’m not thrilled to be “fully disabled.” For me, on days like today, it means not productive.
Not being productive in my mind bores a hole deep into the core of who I am, or used to be. I find it frustrating when I’m not able to accomplish a task or project on a timely basis, whether in my personal life or online work, or to make matters worse, not at all. I remember back to pre-fall when this wasn’t an issue. Pre-fall my kitchen would be painted, the garage door opener would be installed, the stairs would be painted, my home would be completely decorated and the light switch in the attic stairway would be fixed. And that’s just on the inside.
So I will continue to make my “to do” list and attempt to get some things checked off. And try to be as productive as I can, within my limitations.