Person struggles to tell doctor scattered thoughts and mental health struggles swirling in his brain

My Mental Health Migraine

I'm on day 3 of a migraine. I’m also just three days out of a hospital for a health-related stay.

It could have been the cheap essential oils I thought might cheer up a room I didn’t want to go into, or if it’s the emotions surrounding post-hospitalization.

Mental health and much needed medical attention

It’s one thing to address the need for mental health vacations. It’s a totally different thing to actually go through with it - meaning, one that requires medical attention.

I’ve had my fair share of hospitalizations in my lifetime. I have Crohn’s disease, PTSD, and many more health conditions the have prevented me from having a normal life in the last several years.

Taking time to work on mental health

What we forget about mental health vacations and getting help is the process and exhaustion it really takes to actually do the homework and take the time to work on yourself. It’s trying, it’s isolating sometimes and it’s very physically exhausting to address some of the things you may have been avoiding in order to avoid the headache of it all. Quite literally.

Hemiplegic migraine during my hospitalization

I’ve been home for a few days now from my hospitalization and most of my time has been spent in a quiet, dark room due to my migraines. My hemiplegic migraines were very active during my stay, were extremely painful to my limbs that were paralyzed and I definitely worried more about migraines then and the capacity of how much they took over my body than I’ve ever been before. They are frequent, they are painful, they are mind-numbingly exhausting.

Complications from other conditions

The morning after I got home, my legs began to cramp up due to my lack of potassium. To make things worse, I’d had a partial bowel obstruction from dealing with Crohn’s disease, a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and gastroparesis, I was not able to eat while inpatient. Most of these things may sound small altogether, but so far, 2020 hasn't done me any favors, even when I recognize and seek the help I need, just as we do with physical illness.

A mental health crisis coupled with complications

Most people with chronic illness recognize this isn’t all too rare. But in the middle of a mental health crisis, it was a big deal. Most days, my physical pain was ignored by mental health professionals. I was there to fix my brain, but my guts were also involved in this stay. Even 3 days out, I am still dealing with a lengthy migraine that just doesn’t want to seem to leave.

Mental health deserves attention too

Most of us that deal with migraine have comorbidities. We have other issues - many, serious. If I’m being honest, hemiplegic migraines fill my life, but they are just a drop in the bucket of my life. And my mental health is screaming for the attention it needs, just like our migraines scream for abortives.

It’s (just as, if not more) important to seek the treatment you need for your mental health when you realized you’ve exhausted all other possibilities & just want to feel some bits of normalcy again. Please remember this when you're talking to your care teams. Your care team can't help you if you aren't totally honest with them, as hard as it may seem.

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