Chronic Daily Headaches: How Ferocious Attacks Derail my Mood and Life
I live with chronic daily headaches. For the last 3 weeks I have been in a migraine cycle from hell and with that comes daily persistent headache. Hell is the only place to describe it. I live with Chronic Migraine and even this rattled me. Here’s the thing I’d like to tell you about chronic pain, it’s too much for too long and too often!
You never get used to pain. I have found ways to mentally deal with it better, to alternatively treat it more naturally, and ways to adapt to my life. But the reality is it hurts….a lot. With my migraine attacks, I get insane pain (on all sides) that resonates throughout my entire body like a lightning bolt that never goes away. I throw up constantly (well, my body tries but at this point, my stomach clenches so hard to keep any food in me that it’s basically violent painful heaves each time I sit up.) Migraine is more than headaches, but for me, head pain is the worst!
I have auras that consist of black dots, lines, zigzags, white light flashes, and tunnel vision. Because of this, I clench my teeth/jaw, fists, toes, and thrash my body to the point I bruise. Light and sounds put me at risk of passing out. The list of pains goes on and on and on while the minutes, hours, days, and nights pass by. All of this along with chronic daily headaches.
When I was in labor, my nurse was able to tell me “Your contraction is at its worse, it’s getting better and going now.” The biggest battle beside the pain is not knowing how long the migraine will last. With this last cycle, I had points that I did not see the light at the end of the tunnel. The fear of living at a level 8/9 for the rest of my life was and is my reality. After an unending migraine attack, I don’t remember ever feeling better, can’t do anything to find relief and no one can tell me it’s going to be better soon because they don’t know that.
Anxiety and Depression
Because I live with chronic daily headaches along with Chronic Migraine, anxiety and depression accompany it. I have anxiety about retriggering, making it worse, about how long it will last, about missing out on life, and about what will be missed in the future. I feel depressed about being locked in a dark room alone for hours and feeling so alone. Alone. Alone to fight my pain because no one else can help. Feeling worthless and sad that this is my life and the way it will always be. Sadness from the things I can’t do and won’t ever do. The feeling of pain being the only feeling that I feel because nothing else can enter my mind is exhausting and unfair. Living with chronic daily headaches on top of Chronic Migraine is exhausting.
Pain is Exhausting
In fact, everything is exhausting and unfair. When chronic pain is constant, it’s really unfair. Even once the pain lowered, I was exhausted. Exhausted from an unending headache and little sleep after days and days in bed. I can’t stand seeing moms complain about their kids when my children are my inspiration for everything and give me a reason to fight! Those moms are so ungrateful.
In fact, the only reason I got out of bed was to go see my daughter for one hour at her school for an end-of-the-year reception. I had spent the entire morning heaving from pain and used every bit of my energy to be there. One hour. One hour is where I spent all my energy in one day just to make my daughter smile and to make me feel human while other women are complaining that their kids are being kids….ugh, exhausting! This is where the Spoon Theory applies.
Once I emerge from a Migraine cycle, I always find it difficult to enter back into the real world. The world outside of my pain, outside of my room, outside of my head. I look in the mirror and don’t even recognize myself. My face is broken out and I look so weak and pale. My list of to-dos is a mile long and the cognitive damage and physical weakness make it difficult to multitask like I normally do. I have trouble with just one task and focus on that alone. The anxiety stays with me because I never know when my migraine attack will return. I walk on eggshells and give myself credit for doing even the smallest things. Even as my Migraine attack eases, I still have an unending headache which is daunting.
Chronic Pain is too Much for too Long and too Often
Chronic daily headaches are too much for too long and too often. Before this 3 week cycle, I had made it 4 days at a level 5 pain level. This was good, but 4 days since my last major migraine attack? It’s not like I got food poisoning and thought, “Wow, glad that’s over, I’m never eating there again.” I’m going through this dramatic traumatizing event and thinking, when will it come back? Not if, when.
Will it be tomorrow once I eat a normal meal again? Will it be when I leave the house? When my children scream and my stress raises will I be triggered? How do I get my list done and push myself knowing my fate? Will it be in a few days with my menstrual cycle? Is the weather changing AGAIN? Or will it be for no reason? I feel like I’m always just playing the odds.
Chronic Daily Headaches Don’t Go Away
I questioned if I should write this post. I like to be optimistic and show my readers hope. But the reality is, I suffer. I suffer a lot. Hopefully, I help many with writing My Migraine Life but there is no cure and I live with that every day. This is not a post to make you feel bad but to remind you that you are not alone. Show gratitude for everything you can do today. I’m here to remind you that you never know what someone is battling with and to be gentle and kind. And to remind you that someday it will get better. My better does not mean I’m ok, it just means I’m out of my darkroom today and I’m writing! That’s better! I still have a long way to go and am very aware that tomorrow it could be much worse.
All I can hope is that it gets better…..