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What do you do when you are at the end of your ability to take anymore?

Although I've had migraines since age 14, and I am 73 now, I've had Chronic Daily Migraines since 2013. (not the first time they've been Daily in my lifetime, but the worst.) I consider myself very well informed, under excellent medical care with excellent docs, I've even undergone DHE in-hospital therapy for 5 days that unfortunately didn't work. I am religious about avoiding medication overuse, which means I spend 3-4 days a week in a LOT of pain. Although I haven't made the round of phone calls lately, I doubt I have any ER or other facilities near me where they treat status migraines properly. Naturally, I have other health conditions. I spend much of my life with my Theraspecs in front of a TV located a proper distance away from me, or in a dark room trying to sleep through a few hours. When I can take Rizatriptan for 3 days, it usually works, so I can have some normal time, but I'm constantly exhausted because I'm in postdrome or exhausted from fibromyalgia of simply fighting pain. I have a hobby with a group of gals who meet every Saturday that I can rarely meet with, but it's great when I can do that. However, as much as I try to be positive, because I know I must try to get through this somehow, (I do take anti-depressants - a life-long issue that runs through my family), I keep hoping that "in your 70's this should have begun to get better. I try not to let the thoughts that creep into my head when I lay down with my eye mask on: is this what the rest of my life is going to be? Are there others of you out there like me? How do you keep on going? I feel like I'm plugging along just for the other people in my life - my life is so full of pain and "lost days" that it's getting to become a question I never wanted to ask myself. And yes, I do see a psychiatrist.

  1. Ugh ..... I hope I don't continue to be like this for that long - can't even imagine. You are a warrior for getting through all those years.

    One thing that has helped me on those horribly dark days are my pets and vision board. I used post it's, stickers and a bulletin board to have many good motivational quotes that I sit and stare at for hours (it's in my bathroom .... lol where I curl up on the floor on those days)

    "It's ok to be angry at myself", "it's OK if all you did today was breathe", "I'm so awesome even my migraine can't get enough of me" are a few on there. I also have another board I use to challenge my self talk. On bad days, I write down the thoughts and place them on there and then I am free to ignore them (impossible to work through them on those pain days) .... so I put them aside for later. Then on an ok day or mild pain, I take my board and write down counters to the thoughts. Ex. "I can't handle this for the rest of my life" ..... yes you can, you have got through 2 and a half years already, just fight one moment at a time, your score is 100% against struggles so far etc. Then on the next moment I get that thought, all I have to do is read my counters. Seems to be helping.

    Of course taking to a psychologist helps too, gives you another point of view.

    I have given up on using only 10 days of pain meds. If I don't treat my severe flare pain with an imitrex or another med, I always end up with a 7-10 day migraine that lands me in the ER or urgent care and end up using meds on more days than I would if I just took it at the beginning, I don't use meds every day but once the pain is 7.5 or higher I take something - otherwise I fall into that pit of dark thoughts ..... I use meds around 13-15 days a month and the pain is no different whether I push through and only use them 10. Of course this is individual to each of us and I have the permission of my doctor to do this. It helps me keep (mostly) to keep my mood under control, although we are still working on it.

    Hope you are have a good day (if not I'm with you, finally sold my house so the let down of stress has caused a very severe tension headache on top of my migraine flare from the storm yesterday .... fun times). But we are OK and WILL make it through. Remember - tough times don't last, tough people do .... (yes I stole that from my favourite song .... "tough times" by Brett kissle

    1. Thank you for your ideas and kind words. You have " given me permission " yo use a pain killer once in a while - something I almost never do! Using post-it's around the house is similar to my looking at pics of myself as a child. As a survivor of childhood abuse, one technique is telling my child that all the crap I was accused of isn't something I did. That helps me with the guilt that haunts me about not being able to take full responsibility for my share of taking care of basic tasks of everyday living. The guilt accompanying migraine is also a huge issue for me. Today is another painful day...It's the 7th or 8th . But I took Torodol, which helps, but I can't function with it in my body. Hate this...and am just out of energy...but know I have to keep plugging along. I just had Botox 3 weeks ago - it usually isn't this bad.then. Sigh...

  2. When my migraines were at their worst, and I had multiple other health issues, I felt as you do - thatI can't take it any more. I wanted to cry and scream - but I knew that crying and screaming would just make the migraine worse - talk about a horrible catch 22.
    I guess the first priority would be to tell yourself over and over that you should NEVER ever feel guilty about not being able to do things you think you "should" do - easier said than done, because as an abuse survivor you may be filled with guilt and anxiety and a host of other negative emotions all the time, even without the migraines. But guilt is such a horrible emotion, and if you can, try to rid yourself of it as much as possible. You should do whatever it takes to make yourself feel better - true friends will understand, and if they don't understand, well they're probably not worth worrying about anyway.
    One thing that helped me, and it sounds so simple, was music. I got a tablet and made a collection of popular music mp3s from a time period when I was happy, and I would listen to them through headphones - it often helped me feel at least more positive about my life, even if it can't take away the pain.
    I do hope you can get some relief - it sounds as if you very much deserve it.

    1. The reply was for Sunny.

    2. My reply was to Sunny 😀

  3. I do think we all have those times where we reach that feeling of not being able to go anymore. I have sat in the kitchen floor and had a good cried and also done so in the shower. Not a suggestion because it's not migraine friendly. I try to do something that makes me smile. Something that will make my fur babies happy, which makes me happy. I do enjoy cuddling with them on the couch and watching a show or reading / writing something. Sometimes some good old fashioned distraction helps. Sending you lots of strength and love
    Amanda Workman (Moderator & Contributor)

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