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50 Years & Older Living With Migraine

How do people cope??

  • By Fanghorn

    Have had a 24/7 headache now for more than 5 1/2 years. Have done the pill thing with over nine and counting different medications tried, physical and massage therapy, acupuncture, sphenocath, occipital nerve block shots and botox and have yet to experience any kind of relief whatsoever. To say I am depressed is an understatement.

    Would like to know what other folks have done to help them in their day to day business of living life. I am a nag to my wife which kills me and makes things worse, especially since she and our three cats are my only real joys in life.

    Any thoughts are welcome!

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  • By Anonymous

    I’ve been struggling with this, too. I worked for a while with daily pain because I had to, but it nearly destroyed me, and I went on disability. But I have no life because of the pain and sensory sensitivities. I’m trying to develop an online life, but screen time is discouraged. Practitioners scold me but offer no options. I’m not sure what I’d do if it wasn’t for my cat, and even she’s bored and lonely with just me. I’m at my wit’s end. But I came up with an idea I’m going to share with you. It makes my kitty and me happy, and I hope it makes you and your wife and cats happy, too.

    Have you told your wife and your cats that they’re your joys in life? What if you take a moment, really feel the gratitude for them, and just tell each of them that? Do that every day at different times of day. Make it a daily thing you enjoy like eggs at breakfast, or Ice cream after dinner. Only don’t tell them. Make the Fact of the practice your special secret. ✨

    But just really feel it and tell them you enjoy them. Not compared to migraines. Just that you enjoy them for exactly who they are.

    I bet that will greatly improve your life and their lives 💖

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  • By Fanghorn

    Ocean

    Thanks a bunch for the kind thoughts. Yep, have told them many times over so that has helped some. It’s just that knowing that every day you will wake up to and go to bed with a headache is more than just a frustrating thought. The baseline over the past 5 years has steadily risen also and that has not helped.

    BTW, what YOU might try is another cat 🙂 Then she has someone to play with and such when you aren’t up to it. I will always regret not getting another cat to keep my Chloe company while I worked. She was the only cat for 21 years and I rue not getting her a playmate 🙁

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    • By Anonymous

      Fanghorn, I apologize for not beginning with collaborative query, and instead jumping to conclusions. Please allow me to reset my position to a humbler place.

      I hear you about waking and sleeping with unrelenting chronic pain. It changes you. It affects everything, including relationships. I have a similar experience of constant head pain, and it has changed me, too. It has changed my relationships. Those close to me, including my cat, need other sources of delight for all the times when I’m just too negatively affected by the pain, and I can’t be joyful with them. There are grief and loss cycles, and we learn what I *can* do, and what surprising gifts the pain brings us. I notice things, I’m a better listener, I’m infinitely patient when I’m able to calm myself. There are different strengths that come with the challenges of chronic pain, and it’s my life work to elicit my new strengths while grieving my losses.

      Have you seen the movie, Regarding Henry? It’s from the 90s. It illustrates my thoughts in story form.
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regarding_Henry

      And yes, my kitty needs friends. I have to live in apartments, so multiple pets are not allowed, but I can hang bird feeders outside the window for kitty TV, and I enrich her life with daily training sessions and activities that entertain her and make her proud.

      Smiling,
      Ocean

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  • By Anonymous

    What do you do that brings you pleasure in life? Do you find that that tips the balance at all, helping you cope with the pain?

    Do the positives change you for the good, do they bring you back to yourself or bring out parts of you that you didn’t know you had?

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  • By Fanghorn

    Have not seen Regarding Henry, might have to see if I can stream it or something as I see very few movies at the theater as the head just cant take it.

    Good to hear about your Kitty TV…we have feeders out front and our three really enjoy it, tis fun to hear them chatter at the birds 🙂 Too bad you cant just sneak ONE more cat in…whose to know? 🙂

    As far as pleasures in life go, that would be interacting with the cats, being with my wife, and listening to music. The music thing is bittersweet though as I have so many LP’s and CD’s I have not listened to that I am listening to them and selling them so I can at least hear them all before I die. Yes, I have LOTS of them 🙂

    There are various reasons why I am extremely depressed besides the headache issue that it is difficult to get a handle on any of them but I have to try.

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    • By Anonymous

      I get it about movies in the theatre. That’s impossible for me, too. I hope you can find it streaming. It’s easy to watch, just a gentle movie. I’m glad you have kitty TV, too! 😁

      What’s your favorite kind of music?

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  • By Holly Baddour Moderator

    Hi @fanghorn – This is a great and important topic. I wanted to share with you a thought about how to cope with chronic migraine and the challenge of depression, a very common comorbid condition that accompanies migraine. One strategy can be to do some thinking about gratitude. It can seem backwards to even consider such a thing when we’re feeling faced with a condition that feels so unfair, but in truth, because migraine takes so much away from us, it can make us full of thanks for the most simple things. Also, the simple practice of pushing ourselves to think of things about which we’re thankful can be a healthy step.https://migraine.com/living-migraine/giving-thanks-seems-impossible/https://migraine.com/blog/giving-thanks/ . Also, connecting with others, like you are here on this site, is key. This is a very isolating disease by its nature, so it is a healthy pursuit to reach out to others who understand and are living with the same challenges.https://migraine.com/living-migraine/migraine-the-realities-of-isolation-support-and-hope/. Keep in touch and so glad you’re a part of our community!

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  • By Anonymous

    Fanghorn, I agree, though I’ve even found some affirming rap and some opera that isn’t maudlin (my complaints). I’m sad though because I’m so sound sensitive, I hardly ever get to listen to music anymore. Occasionally, gentle music very quietly. So I’ve replaced it with memories, my internal soundtrack, and bird song. My kitty and I watch that kitty TV together a lot 😉 The most amazing goldfinches show up to brighten our world, and IDK what kind of bird, but someone has the most musical song I’ve ever heard. I’m so grateful, I’d never have heard it if I’d been busy with my non-migraine life.

    I like what Holly wrote about gratitude. It’s really hard, though, isn’t it?! Most days, I struggle at some point with the anger phase of grief. But then my kitty makes me smile, or a goldfinch glows in the window, and I can’t help but be grateful, and be reminded that there ARE good things, and the more I focus on them, the less I feed the beast. The pain is still there, it’s always there, but I don’t have to give it extra attention, I don’t have to feed it with tension.

    I have to feed my soul. And my soul is nourished by gentleness, peace, Harmony, smiling, sweetness, connection, gratitude. Even the tiniest happy things. Especially the tiny things.

    It takes a million tiny grains of sand and drops of water to build a beautiful sand castle. The grand castle couldn’t exist without the tiny specks and droplets. I have to remind myself of this often. Specks and droplets. Tiny moments. Smiles and breaths. They’ll feed my soul and turn the tide away from … Well, never mind. Smiles and breaths. 😊

    ✨ Ocean

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  • By Fanghorn

    Wow, you are much much more composed then I am…sigh…been uptight for more then 30 years and possibly more. Was sitting at my desk at work in the early 80’s and someone leaned over me to get something off the desk and had to put her hand on my shoulder and exclaimed “Wow, you are really tense!”…I of course I no idea I was. I sit with shoulders hunched all the time and it takes a conscious effort to lower them, whether I am at home or in the car or on the treadmill the shoulders are hunched.

    Maybe I should try some mediation or something….yes, music, my wife and cats, my way of trying to relax….the music does not bother me but the bright sun sure does…

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  • By Anonymous

    Composed? Hehehe😉 The internet is fun because you can look all sorts of ways… 😎

    That was me telling myself as much as telling you. Breathe, ocean. Love yourself. Love your life. Be with what’s Now. But it works, helping other people. I get good reminders to practice what I preach. So even if I’m really grumpy, I see someone struggling, I feel compassion, I share my heart and what I actually know to be true because I really have done it or experienced it, and that way, I remind myself and get past my own struggle.

    So you just helped me, and I thank you.

    Meditation is pretty yummy. Even 30 seconds a couple-few times a day to start. It just lets your body go back to baseline.

    They make nice smartphone/tablet apps, if you’re into that technology. The apps give you pretty images and easy instructions, and you just go ahhhhhhhh…. And voila, you just meditated, hardly even realizing it. It’s actually that easy. I’m not even joking. It makes me giggle. It sounds so mystical and difficult, but it’s actually doing what you already do, just paying a little more attention. That’s all. So if you want, I’ll find an app name or two, and then you can look at them and giggle about how easy meditation is. 😉

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  • By Delilah

    I don’t know I literally was at Woodstock and was very much a part of the movement if not exactly hippie let’s just say the East Village West Village New York City attitude towards life at the time not all but of many of the younger people -but for the life of me I cannot get on track with the majority of these comments I don’t mean that in A derogatory way it’s just that it’s so cliché-ish with the cats which I don’t have and the lying down because maybe one is retired and that takes away the pain ??
    My body has-aged most definitely And certain parts of my brain as well but unfortunately not my migraines they are still very young and active!! :((((

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    • By mickyboi

      At 65 i have just found a correlation atween my migraines (sporodic) from mild to debilitating to having to shut myself from everthing around me including my family and friends.
      The link is allergic reactions again mild to debilitating and not quit sure which preceeds the other, chicken and egg scenario. I am balanced to say it is my reaction and then followed by Migraine but at times hand in hand. I have a bird guano allergy (inhalation) and some pet dander allergy to bring on the tingly fingers and auras .

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  • By mani4

    I read these posts and I can so relate. I’m 62 years old and have been dealing with chronic migraines for 10 years and episodic migraines since my teens. I have tried just about everything and been to numerous experts and specialists. I have a professional career which I love. I don’t want to be disabled. I continued to search for relief over many years. Some treatments helped, others made it worse. Sympathy is in short supply for chronic pain suffers and honestly that’s the last thing I wanted. Anyway, I want to share my good news and encourage each of you to keep looking. I finally found my relief with medical marijuana. I worked closely with a physician for over a year and I can say I haven’t had an ER visit in more then a year! My headaches have decreased significantly but if I do get one, I can effectively manage it at home. The pain is easily managed… can you believe that? Also, the nausea is controlled. I use to end up in the ER all the time because of the uncontrolled nausea and dehydration. I feel like someone gave me my life back. I hope this might help someone who has been through every option. Don’t give up!

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