The Final Stages of the Demanding Cycle of Trying New Treatments
This article is the second part of our two-piece series, which outlines the multi-stage, demanding process of trying new treatments.
Part One covered the following stages:
- (1) Excitement and Hope
- (2) Doctor Buy-In
- (3) Logistics & Time Commitment
- (4) Side Effects
We pick up here on the remaining three stages of trying new treatments:
The fifth stage
The Importance of Considering Long-Term Effects. We must think about and research potential long-term side effects that may appear years down the line. Newer treatments often have no information on long-term side effects. For many of us who live with daily chronic migraine, we may be willing to risk known or unknown long-term effects in order to have some semblance of quality of life now. Still, there may be a limit to the amount of risk we are willing to consider.
The sixth stage
Demanding Our Full Attention - the Cyclical and Obsessive Nature of Trying. The most challenging part of this process can be the fact that it demands so much of our attention. Because there is no cure for migraine, we are instead looking for incremental improvement in our condition: less severe pain and less frequent attacks. We are hoping to create a world where symptoms are less pronounced – and our nausea, vomiting, and light and noise sensitivity don’t constantly ask our attention.
Evaluating the efficacy of a new treatment
In order to fully evaluate the efficacy of a new treatment, we must be tuned in to its impact on our bodies. Is the pain better or worse? And to what gradation? Am I willing to deal with this or that side effect, expense, etc.?
Placing the focus on migraine
And THAT’S the irony. This search for solutions - the goal to make migraine LESS of a focus in our lives - and all of this TRYING cause us to focus on migraine on every front. The question then arises, how to achieve a life balance when seeking new solutions to migraine.
The final and seventh stage
Taking A Break. And THIS is why we must take a break from time to time. The rollercoaster of hopes being raised and dashed, the physical exposure to side effects, the constant focus on evaluating pain and related symptoms are exhausting and depleting.
Excusing ourselves from trying
There are times when we must excuse ourselves from trying so that we may enjoy life with the simplicity of ONLY our migraine condition for a while. As we all know, that is plenty demanding on its own. After all, migraine is an exhausting condition, and it drains our energy every time we have an attack. In order to take on the process of trying, we must have some reserves in our tank.
Making the choice to rest and refill
Next time someone asks, “Have you tried this or that solution…?” recognize how much you extend yourself every time you do so. Give yourself a pat on the back when you have it in you to try and give yourself a hug when you make the choice to rest and refill your precious energy tank instead.
How do you feel about trying new treatments? Does this multi-stage cycle resonate with you? Do you ever feel like you need a break from trying? Please share your experiences in the comment section below so that we may learn from your well-earned wisdom.
Which are you most sensitive to?