Sometimes I Just Don’t Feel Well, and I Don’t Know Why
Last updated: November 2022
This is a hard one to write because I feel like I’m describing something nebulous that I hardly ever mention to people. But I figured I’d give it a try because if any community would understand, it’s you guys! What I’m about to describe isn’t a migraine as far as science and doctors say, and so I’m curious if others who have migraine have felt this as well.
My attempt to describe how I feel
Sometimes I just don’t feel well. I feel a bit achy, especially in parts of my body that are overtired like my neck and back. I feel sleepy in the way one might feel if they’ve taken some cough medicine. The feeling of sleepiness comes like a fog obscuring but not blinding my brain. It feels like trying to fill up a leaky cup. My emotions get a little raw, and things that wouldn’t stress me out when I feel like my regular self can pick at my nerves.
It comes and goes
It can last a few days or sometimes drag on longer. It can start from simply being overtired or possibly fighting off a cold or virus. Sometimes I get a mild sore throat but no overt cold or flu symptoms. After a while, whatever it is has run its course, and it drops off, sometimes in the afternoon of a day, I woke up still feeling unwell.
The tools I've used to help
First, I have to overdose a bit on the toxic medicine of sleep. To cope, I take the day in stages, hoping for a chance at even a small respite so I can carry on with whatever is needed. A nap might help me get through. I dial down my usual energetic exercise routine and instead do some restorative yoga to help melt the aches a bit.
It remains a mystery
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few years ago, but I know that that term can mean many things. In addition, my pain is mild, unlike many I've spoken to with fibro. The events also don’t quite fit migraine. I often wonder if the nature of what I’m experiencing is autoimmune, as it feels like my body is allocating extra resources to fight something. I’ve seen many doctors and had many medical tests. I do not want to list them all here for the sake of brevity but also some privacy, but none have indicated any abnormalities to be concerned about. I know there aren't any blood tests for migraine, and migraine is certainly real. And whatever this other experience is just as real, even if it doesn't show up on any tests.
Where to go from here?
For a while, I was obsessed with finding an answer. I read medical journals, blogs, tracked my symptoms, and took the issue from doctor to doctor. But partially because that got me nowhere (and also stressed me out!), and also because I do enjoy plenty of periods of time where I feel just fine, I've mostly dropped the issue. I wonder if medical science will be able to identify the problem in my lifetime. My husband calls it "Lisa Disease," and that is probably the best diagnosis I'll ever get.
Note that I am NOT looking for you to comment or troubleshoot what the problem may be. I am simply sharing my story. I'd love to hear yours.
In the past year, has insurance made it difficult to get your migraine treatment?