One step forward, two steps back
Several times a year, I get trapped in a cycle that won’t break (see “when everything stops working”). I was at this point last week. It had been 3 weeks of a 6 pain level but spiking often. Finally, I saw my doctor to get shots to knock out the migraine and hopefully regain some less painful days. I was headed for a long road trip with my children and family and needed to feel as good as I could in order to survive and enjoy myself. So the shots worked and follow up meds allowed me to enjoy my getaway. On the last day, however, it all caught up to me. We had moved from location to location, bed to bed, been scheduled from minute to minute and eating was far from normal. Due to driving for long distances every day, I drank less water and had less physical activity than normal. On the last two nights of our trip we also stayed in a house with a cat in which I am allergic to. We had spend the previous day in the sun and in a highly humid climate. So as you can imagine, on the last day I woke up with my eyes swollen, red, watery, and pained. My throat was closed and my entire body ached. We then loaded ourselves into the car for a 12 hour drive home. We left at 7:30am and arrived in our driveway at 8:15pm. I literally slept, iced, and prayed myself to better heath for the first 5 hours. The migraine pain was at like a 7 and my entire body felt like an unfunctional rag doll because of the allergies and combined triggers. Once we got home, I had hoped to recover, but no luck. Back to where I was before I got the shots and in constant pain again. So I took one step forward to enjoy my vacation and two steps back to not only negate my meds that had worked but to be back in my migraine cycle.
Long gone are the days of not considering everything I do due to migraines. Now are the days of weighing my options. So why travel? The answer for me is simple, life goes on. I can’t stop my life knowing I will suffer. I won’t do it to my kids, I won’t do it to my husband and I won’t do it to myself. Why stay home? Maybe I’d still be at a lower pain level if I had not gone on the trip, but I would have missed out. I miss out on a lot and there are some events I am willing to get sicker for. If I didn’t go I wouldn’t have the memories. I sometimes look back at pictures and can often remember how I felt that day. The best thing is that I was there. I experienced life, I created memories, I wasn’t perfect, but who is? I was able to have a fabulous time due to seeing my doctor prior to the trip and that’s all that matters to me. Am I focused on my two steps back that I took? No way. It sucks and I’m mad and frustrated, but I’m focused on everything I gained from my trip, not what I lost. I would have loved to come home and resume my life, but that’s not the reality I live. I’m focused on taking that one step forward again. I know, from experience, that I’ll take those two steps back sooner rather than later, but I took that step and I’ll take another. Life is about baby steps. I have the pictures and memories of that baby step and I know looking back that will never be a regret.