The migraine hit me on Tuesday night. I knew it was coming, I just hoped it wouldn’t be too bad. By Wednesday morning, after a sleepless night, that ship had sailed. All I could do was wait it out.
What does your migraine feel like? Mine is a mixed bag. I could be wrong, but I strongly believe that these headaches trigger a CRPS flare. The migraine pain is consistently centered over my left eye, radiating through my head and across my face. But then the burn starts. It’s like having a sunburn under my scalp, along the hairline.
On top of that, my body feels weighed down by invisible sandbags, as though I’m being squashed by an imaginary car-crusher. It’s exhausting. Sometimes, I just have to close my eyes and sit as still as possible.
What does your migraine feel like?
As I muddled through Wednesday and then coped with the migraine hangover on Thursday, I was reminded of something. Although it was a bad day – a bad couple of days – and it’s tempting to proclaim it the worst possible day…. It really wasn’t.
A friend posted a poem written by Chanie Gorkin entitled, “Worst Day Ever?” And it helped me get over my feelings on the day. I’m including it below.
As hard as my bad days can truly be, as heavy as my rock backpacks become, I am surprised to find tiny flickers of light and goodness among the gray. Small snapshots of beauty and joy. Things that help me cope in ways I never expect.
Perfect example: Tuesday was laundry day. My daughter and I were between wash/dry cycles and we took our usual stroll. Most of the summer flowers that we’ve enjoyed seeing are long gone, replaced instead by lush green plants and trees preparing for fall. But as we passed one building that has an extensive garden out front, I happened to spot two perfect flowers. They were the only ones left on that plant. I wish now that I had taken a picture, but wanted to stay in the moment. Deep fuchsia and bright orangey-red. They sort of resembled Gerber daisies, though I’m fairly certain they weren’t. But, in that pained moment, they helped me tremendously. My brain stopped focusing on my tiredness, on the coming headache. Even now, days later, I’m smiling.
All of us battle these bad days. Whether it’s work related, family issues, health or lack of….. it helps to find an anchor. Something to help you breathe through the next moments, days, weeks, and beyond. Something that reminds you that there is good, even if it’s next to impossible to see it. What do you do to cope? What is your anchor?
I knew that headache was barreling through my head, I was exhausted, trying to manage the things I had to do – those flowers gave me a reprieve. Something so simple and small. But very powerful.
And, to be totally honest, admitting to myself that I simply had to stop and exist in the space I was in – headache and all – was a way to cope. Nothing was getting done, I couldn’t finish the things I’d needed to do. In the end, so what? The world didn’t stop turning. The sun rose and set that day. Planes flew overhead toward the various airports in the area. Kids walked by with their parents. Cars honked. Birds flew. And I sat, nursing my aching head. And it was okay. I was okay.
What do you do to cope? Even if the answer is nothing exciting. I sit and exist in my pain. I exist in my stress. I exist and that’s about all I’ve got at the moment.
And that’s okay.
It wasn’t my most productive day. It was a hard day. But not the worst day. There have been worse, I’m sure there will be in the future. But I got through it.
We find a way.
May this week bring you ways to cope, ways to thrive, and ways through the hard stuff.
Peace and painlessness,
#thisiswhatsicklookslike #rsd #crps #arachnoiditis #autoimmune #migraine #sacroiliacjoint #facetjoint #backpain #medicalmarijuana #carpaltunnelsyndrome #cubitaltunnelsyndrome #patientadvocacy #painintheBECK #phantosmia #dextroscoliosis #thoracickyphosis #lumbarlordosis #headache