“How do I feel today?” That’s the question that our lives often revolve around if we have chronic migraine. Sometimes even more precise: “How do I feel right now?” However it is phrased, the question follows us throughout the day. It can prove an exhausting aspect of chronic migraine, one that’s often overlooked.
Early detection is key
Our doctors tell us that early detection and corresponding treatment can be key in migraine management. A migraine attack is like a herd of cats- once let loose, it is almost impossible to recapture. So, we learn the importance of vigilance. If we can nip the migraine in the bud we have a much greater chance of recapturing the remainder of our day – and ultimately, a better quality of life.
Scanning for viruses
So we listen. We scan our bodies. And we live in fear. Of any sign. The window to catch and treat a migraine in its early stages is not a big one and with migraine there are multiple symptoms. Perhaps our eyes begin to ache slightly; or we feel a bit queasy. Should we proceed with treatment now? Wait a bit? We are constantly monitoring, questioning, and always paying attention.
Can it be unhealthy to be so self-consumed and hyper-vigilant when it comes to one’s health? The unfortunate truth is that if we are living with chronic migraine, we are frequently starting one, having one, or recovering from one. The reality is that no matter where we are in the process of migraine, analyzation of our current status is required to determine the appropriate course of action. Once a migraine fully sets in, many more questions arise as to the proper course of treatment.
When do we take which medication or, what approach to we use and how often do we use it? Some medications are to be taken every 4 hours, others every 6, or 8, etc. Migraine pain can make clear thinking a challenge, so it also becomes key to keep a record of what has been taken. From the outside it might look obsessive, but during a migraine attack it is necessary. How else will I know when to wait out the pain or turn to my bag of voodoo tricks to again try to knock it down?
Ultimately, regardless of the situation, it is truly unfortunate that our well-time (however limited) is spent in surveillance mode. Constantly monitoring, taking stock, scanning all systems for the next attack. Almost like some sort of weird security system for the body. Never in off-mode. Never relaxed. I've often described myself as a scared rabbit, sort of feeling panicked. It’s as if I’m waiting for the next shoe to drop- exhausted and still healing from the last attack, while bracing for the next.
Do you have the sense that you are frequently monitoring your body for migraines and related symptoms? If so, does it take away from your ability to relax and enjoy the times that you are pain-free?
How much has your migraine disease changed or evolved over time?