What's the first thing you plan to do when your migraine goes away?
During nearly all my migraine attacks—whether they be mild ones I can half-ignore most of the day or really severe ones that have me in a cool, dark room—I daydream. I daydream about the person I think I’d be if it weren’t for this disease (more on that in another post). I daydream of what I would be doing if I felt well that day. I daydream about the first thing I’ll do the moment I feel good again.
Because I’m someone who tends not to dwell on negative things (I am [in]famous for not being able to hold a grudge—just one example of my usual sunny-side-up philosophy), I often need to rely on my migraine journal to see just how bad things have been for me, health-wise. I was about to write about how this last week was bad. But really it’s been the last few weeks. And really—if I face it—the last few months have been worse than the same time frame last year. Health-wise, things haven’t exactly been wonderful around here. But because tend I focus on the positive and live a good life when I am feeling well (and sometimes when I’m not feeling well), I don’t think about just how much I’ve been suffering until I take a moment to look at my migraine journal and think back to the darker side of life.
My Migraine Self has a lot of perceptions—false or otherwise—about my somewhat elusive Healthy Self. When I’m in the midst of a migraine, I start to envision what I will do the moment, the minute, the hour, the day I begin to feel like migraine-free Janet again.
This last week, I was sick with migraine and a bad virus, so the daydreams were out of control. Here are just a handful of things I daydreamed I’d do as soon as I felt well:
- Shower without feeling faint
- Bend down to pick up my cat without all that horrific sinus pressure building up in my head.
- Clean the kitchen!
- Write some posts for Migraine.com.
- File and pay some Avid Bookshop bills.
- Become someone who cooks healthy meals regularly and whip up a delicious lunch, then a delicious dinner, then a delicious dessert!
- Write a letter to my grandma.
- Change the sheets.
- Put away that stack of clothes that’s been sitting on my dresser for, oh, three weeks?
- Write more book reviews.
- Go for a walk with my sister.
- Call my mom and dad.
Turns out my Migraine Self has very high expectations for my Healthy Self. Please note this is just a small selection of “Would-if-I-Could” things I am now remembering having thought of when ill earlier this week.
Once I started to feel better, I did indeed accomplish many of my goals, but of course other things got in the way. On the one hand, daydreaming about all the things I will do once I feel up to it is a positive motivator to take care of myself the best I way I know how and trust that I’ll feel well enough to accomplish those things in due time. On the other hand, daydreaming about all these things I’m not feeling healthy enough to accomplish might be likened to adding more stress in the form of to-dos to my ever-growing list.
When you are ill with migraine, what do you picture yourself doing as soon as you’re well? When you do start to feel better, what of your Migraine Self list do you accomplish, and what falls by the wayside? Does it help or hurt you to imagine what you’ll do once you’re up to it?
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?