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Yes, Body, I’m Listening

“C’mon, you don’t feel that bad,” I told myself upon realizing I was slumped over the coffee table with my head resting on my arm. My next thought was “Oh, wait. Maybe I do.” What an exciting moment to realize I was listening to my body.

A couple years ago I conceded that if I find myself sitting on the kitchen floor, I probably feel too bad to be cooking or cleaning. Or if I’m resting on the couch and discover I’m in the fetal position, the migraine is probably pretty bad. Instead of shrugging off my body’s cues as melodramatic, I finally see that unconsciously engaging in pain-soothing behaviors is a good indication I’m in bad shape.

I have long done so much on a good day, trying to take advantage of it, that I push myself into days of sheer exhaustion and severe migraines. That hasn’t been happening so much in the last year. Perhaps this is a sign that I’m paying attention when my body tells me to stop.

How does your body tell you it’s time to rest?

16 Responses to Yes, Body, I’m Listening

  1. infiniteknot says:

    naseau is usually the tell-tale sign that a migraine is hitting and I’m not paying attention to it. If I’ve got naseau I know I’ve got a migraine. I’m so glad you are back to blogging-I love your blog.

  2. Lisa says:

    I had problems listening to my body as well, and i suffer from psoriasis. Doctors will tell me that they dont know what causes it and that I can only treat my illness with steroid medications or harsh drugs that will destroy my liver overtime. but I have learned to listen to my body instead of doctors. I’ve changed my diet, stopped putting toxins and over processed foods into me, and this has made a difference. For my skin, I use natural remedies like Epsom salt baths, aloe vera lotions, and lots of moisturizers.. and we can’t forget about the sun, the most natural treatment for psoriasis. Since I have done these things for months now, my body is telling me that I’m on the right path.

  3. Teri Robert says:

    It’s my pleasure to pass along to you the Versatile Blogger Award. You can get the details and the image to display on your blog at http://www.puttingourheadstogether.com/2010/07/migraine-versatile-blogger-award.html.

    Congrats!
    Teri

  4. Margaret Fulton says:

    Lisa- I had severe psoriasis for 25 years. A course of narrow-band UVB phototherapy cleared it. I’ve been in remission over 4 years now. No drugs necessary, just light. I really can’t recommend it highly enough.

    Kerrie- I love your blog, too. It’s great to see you back. 🙂

  5. Laura says:

    Hi Kerrie — it’s a fine line I find sometimes as my body usually tells me it’s tired and wants to rest all the time!! if I listened every time, like i used to, I would be a resident couch potato. I think there has to be a balance of activity and rest to consistently run and train the “machine” — and to always remember that you can generate energy by action as well. On the other hand it’s important when in action to be relaxed yet attentive — not to do “too much too much” as my yoga teacher told me today but to do too much sometimes to find your boundary. Some say to never go beyond your limit and always do less once you find it. I often find it’s finding and knowing where that boundary is (being aware of it at all times) and tweeking the level of intensity or energy used proportionally to the reserve and and the level of fatigue present — knowing full well that if I use too much of the reserve without refueling, the’ll be hell to pay! Relaxed alertness, Zen, 80/20, call it what you want…it’s a delicate balance for sure and takes constant vigilance!

  6. Neely says:

    Kerri, is that you speaking or me? Learning to listen to my body is my most important self-improvement project right now. Growing up in a “just buck up” household and being a major over achiever has cause me to push, push, push for years. For me, I know it’s time when I simply want to stop and sit down. You are far more advanced than me, being able to recognize you are in a fetal position in the first place. I haven’t developed that much sensitivity to my own needs yet. For me, once I start trying to cover my left eye (particulary light sensitive) I know it’s time to stop.
    Lise, Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease and the injectable meds used for rheumatoid arthritis such as Enbrel are also used for your condition (my son has RA and a close friends son has psoriasis-they both use the drug). A good rheumatologist will prescribe this for you and it will clear your skin of most symptoms. There are drawbacks to the medicine but my observation is that they are worth it. I have seen it transform the life of my son.

  7. Barbara says:

    I’ve just found your blog and it is nice to read other experiences. A good doctor once told me that one should never underestimate the healing power of sleep. Fatigue alone can be a migraine trigger for me.

    Another thing that amazes me at times is how my husband can tell a migraine is developing before I notice a thing. Same with our daughter-in-law, who knows when my son is getting one before he does. Neither my husband or my daughter-in-law get migraines, but they seem to pick up on subtle clues that I miss. Or don’t want to see.

  8. Melvin Jones says:

    It’s great that you have learned to recognize the cues your body is giving you. I hope you find some relief from your migraines. Feel free to check out my site for tips on migraine relief.

  9. Natalia says:

    I find your blog very interesting, but I have the feeling that too much reading about migraines also provokes migraine seizures. It is my own experience, so I am out for now.

  10. Hey, I’ve just posted some natural cures to headaches on my blog, hope you find them helpful! The easiest one is just pinching the nerve within the webbing between your thumb and forefinger; it helps distract the pain in your brain.

    Hope you and your readers find it helpful!

  11. Elisabeth says:

    I would like to say to Laura, thanks for putting my thoughts into legible words. I have Fibromyalgia and many times the fibro fog stops me from being able to have my thoughts put into words in any legible way. FM sufferers have a higher incidence of headaches and migraine. I have been suffering from migraine since my teens and headaches since birth.
    whether it is my FM or headaches that are bothering me, if I push my self too much physically I will end up with a hung over feeling headache dehydration vomiting feeling night. Once I vomit I usually recover quickly. So this happens if I don’t listen,
    If I listen too much, I spend days in bed, This is actually worse. Still trying to find that balance.

  12. Kerrie,

    Brilliant website. I wish I would have known about it 4 years ago at the onset of my descent into migraine hell. I just celebrated one year of being migraine-free and I’m shouting from the rooftops to help other women get their lives back as I did. Please, read my story at http://www.themigrainelink.com and see if there is something there that can help you. I want to see the website you create when you’ve moved beyond these migraines!

    Angela

  13. Emily says:

    I just found your blog. I can’t tell you what it is like to find somebody whose experience is so close to my own (computer screens are brutal for me as well – but I’m a professor and teach a class online so I spend hours a day on computers). I have recently started a gluten free diet (two weeks, no luck) and have been through endless meds. I get migraines 3-4 days a week although some are just migraines that last for days. This past winter I had a migraine that lasted 2 months and did not respond to steroids or anything.

    I have had some luck with neurontin (I know that sounds crazy but really this is better). I also now take tramadol and toradol for the pain which makes me functional although I’m very careful not to take much.

    Maxalt did not work for me – I’m glad it works for you!

    As for pushing my body – this is a constant theme for me. I was a dancer growing up and “pushing” beyond your limits was standard. I’m still working on this. Academia is not always helpful as a profession – it gives me flexibility thank goodness but it can also be fairly high stress.

    Anyway – I’m really grateful to find this blog.

  14. Leah says:

    I so appreciate this reminder, and I hope today you feel well and happy.

  15. You can get into such a habit of pushing through the pain that you get in your own way of healing. Usually this pattern leads to your body just giving out on you. You did the right thing.

  16. Brad C. says:

    I know I will be in trouble when I see lightning in the corners of my eyes. This lets me know that I will be attacked real soon. One of my solutions is to curl up in the fetal position in the darkest room of my home; my closet. I recently have been in touch with a friend of mine Mitch Pelavin. He has introduced to me a product, it’s cheap, and it worked for my intense migraine. If you would like to know how to get it, read my blog by clicking on the link. This stuff worked for me and I usually get sick with my brain pain. If it can work for me maybe you all can get some relief as well. And I know that a product may work for me but not for you, but, it’s worth a try. I am not affiliated with Mitch, I’m just trying to help.

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