Life Interrupted

I am writing you on what is is admittedly a very down day. I was supposed to be in Chicago for work and visiting my family this weekend but instead I’m lying in a dark room feeling depressed and sorry for myself.

I’ve had migraine since my mid-20s but the last few years they have gotten much worse. In looking for a trigger, they found an arachnoid cyst and I actually had brain surgery in February. The surgery went well but sadly the migraines have continued. I feel like I’ve tried most things out there and everything gives me some type of side effect. Relpax used to be my go-to magic pill but even that doesn’t work all the time anymore. I’ve looked for pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical remedies and today I swore I would make a list of all the things that sometimes help so I can go to that when things get bad.

I spent yesterday at Urgent Care which my wonderful husband left work to take me to. I’m so grateful that he’s generally understanding and a great Advocate but I’m so tired of the toll these migraines take on my life. We have stopped entertaining it’s hard to make plans and I just never know when I’m going to feel like crap. I’m wondering what others do too manage those super down days. I really just feel like sinking into the depression today knowing in a few days hopefully this will pass. Although I’m not sure that migraines will pass.

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  • Holly Baddour moderator
    4 months ago

    I’m so sorry you were having such a rough day and that migraine caused you to miss out on an opportunity to connect with family. Also sorry to hear that your migraines have worsened and that you’ve had to deal with brain surgery.

    I’m so glad you shared what you’re up against. You are not alone in cycling through feelings of depression and despair because migraine is incredibly tough to navigate. The disease asks a lot of us and can be relentless and isolating in nature.

    How wonderful that you have an understanding and supportive spouse to help you.

    It sounds like you reached a place of feeling fed up with that sense of being out of control in that way that migraine can tend to call the shots on our plans, taking the reins out of our hands. It is an extremely frustrating dynamic, indeed! Feeling down is not only normal, but depression is a comorbid condition that frequently accompanies migraine and for some can be a prodrome (appearing before the attack itself).

    You asked for input from community members as to how they handle those down days, and I hope others will chime in. I’ve heard folks mention keeping gratitude journals on the more bearable days that they can look to when things are hard to try to regain perspective. Many migraineurs have established relationships with therapists – who they don’t necessarily see regularly, but who they can call on when things get extra hard. This way you don’t have to start from scratch in meeting someone when you’re feeling low, but the counselor knows who you are and what migraine is all about and will be ready to meet and talk through issues related to chronic pain when they arise for you. Others talk about having one or two people in their lives who they can count on and who they can reach out to when things are rough. For you, that might be your husband. Just one or two people with whom you can be real and honest without fear of judgment.

    I’m not sure if you’re working with a migraine specialist, but I thought I’d at least mention or encourage you to seek one out, if not- as those are the best trained doctors to help you navigate this complex neurological disease. https://migraine.com/blog/the-mrf-directory-of-headache-and-migraine-specialists/

    Lastly, we are here anytime to provide guidance, information and support. Here and on our facebook page. Please stay in touch as to how things are going and we’re so glad you’re a part of our community. Thinking of you.

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