The Downward Slope

I’ve been feeling pretty crappy lately. The summer has not been a great one for my aches and pains, and that’s mainly due to the car accident I got into in mid-June. Unfortunately, things have just gotten worse. The chest and back pain I started to get twinges of a few days after the accident have been progressing and worsening, much to my dismay and frustration—the physical therapist has called my muscles “stubborn,” as even with repeated, prescribed exercise, they end up tightening up and causing me pain again.

And August is going on the record as one of my All-Time Bad Migraine Months. If my calculations are correct, I have had more days affected by migraine than I have had days without migraine—it’s been a long, long while since this was the case. After many months on daily preventive meds (propranalol twice a day), I was seeing real improvement until this summer. Now my neck gets stiff and painful, which is a sure migraine trigger.

It’s hard to ride the hilly path of chronic illness. To feel as if you’re really getting somewhere only to experience a setback. In the past, many of my setbacks were at least somewhat self-imposed: once I’d finally started feeling better, I would drop off on my exercise or special diet and then spin into a migraine cycle again. But this time I don’t feel as if my actions are to blame, and it’s harder to cope with the increased migraines knowing that a careless driver who hit me from behind is, at least in major part, to blame.

So now I plow ahead, trying to take good care of myself and rest up when I need to. I hope that this is just a low point and that things will start getting better again, but of course by now I know I can’t take anything for granted.

How do you cope with the ups and downs? Where are you now on this hilly path?

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