The Daily Slog of Chronic Migraine
Looking back on a treatment I now know was entirely unsuccessful and seeing how hard I hoped it would work is always so strange. I just came across this, which I wrote the day after my first magnesium IV last March and never published:
I woke up this morning with my pain at a level 2, my tummy growling and my energy off the charts. “Ha!,” I thought, “maybe magnesium is the ticket.” I ate breakfast while cleaning the kitchen, then got ready to shower. Yeah, my nausea grew as I cleaned, but I told myself it was just the magnesium, not a migraine. I was about to climb into the shower and could no longer deny that my energy was gone and my head pain had increased. I pleaded (with whom? my head? the migraine gods?), “Please don’t do this, please don’t do this,” but I had to acknowledge that showering would knock me out completely.
So now, 30 minutes after getting out of bed, I’m sitting on the couch, waiting to see what’s going to happen and trying to decide if I should take a triptan.
That morning was nothing but a typical variation in a day in the life of a chronic migraineur, and another example of wishful thinking after trying a new treatment. This blog is filled with my treatment ups and downs — the anticipation and anxiety beforehand, the tentative belief it is working, the disappointment when it doesn’t. Reading old posts was heartrending before I found helpful preventive meds.
Now I can acknowledge what other people have said they see in me — tenacity, bravery, a positive attitude — but it is like I’m reading about someone else. These characteristics are precisely the reason I survived and yet I can’t fully grasp how I persevered. This excerpt from Anna Quindlen’s Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cakeis the best explanation I can come up with:
And then sometimes we become one of those people and are amazed, not by our own strength but by that indomitable ability to slog through adversity, which looks like strength from the outside and just feels like every day when it’s happening to you.
If you’re still in the daily slog, take heart. You will make it through and will one day be amazed by your own strength.