Famous Last Words: Just Power Through

I can’t be pushy. The last time I tried to say good bye to a telemarketer, we chatted for 45 minutes and now we exchange holiday greeting cards. However, I do find it super easy to push myself—right into a migraine. If I had a nickel for every time I convinced myself powering through one was a good idea, I’d have a lot of nickels.

Finding strength to power through migraine

I’ve suffered from migraines for close to fifteen years. I know that taking care of my simmering brain when a migraine attacks means taking care of myself away from friends and family. I become a bump in my bed—one the dogs can’t even lick or nudge into movement. Waiting out the pain can take days, and sometimes I want to live my life as I choose and not as my migraine chooses for me. This is when a fiery resistance within decides I’m indeed strong enough to power through.

Wishful thinking?

Each time I attempt to power through, I’m hopeful I will have discovered the secret to functioning with a migraine! I'm sure this time my pain will dissolve and crumble under my determination and my migraines will never be seen or heard from again!

The consequences of powering through migraine

Then as my head pain builds, I remember the other times I’ve tried to change the path of my migraines and power through: Like the time I powered through a concert and vomited on my shoes. Or the time I powered through a theme park for my kid's birthday only to miss his party the very next day. When I seek this kind of anti-self-care there is a definite change: My migraines get much worse.

I should practice what I preach

When my little guy is under the weather, I don’t look at him and say, “Well, suck it up, man!” I immediately guide him to a place of self-care. We chat about what isn’t feeling well and then decide together what might help: rest, healthy food, or maybe just some cuddles. I want him to learn this skill so that he can implement it as an adult. So, why don’t I always practice what I preach?

Having a choice with migraine

Some days, I simply want to have a choice. I want to choose time with my family or go to that concert instead of choosing my head. My chronic migraines limit my choices, and this can feel like the freedom to live my life is limited—so I throw up on my shoes. Through the pain, I realize (again) that powering through isn’t best for me. Exercising gentleness and acceptance is the better choice and this always alleviates my pain faster and with better results.

My support system

“Mom,” my son begins, “do you need some cuddles?”

When I’m done pretending to be a bump in my bed, my family and friends are still there. The great part is my little guy is usually waiting with some healing cuddles, and after a migraine-filled day, that’s exactly what I need.

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