Coping, Mental Health, Symptoms

Who’s in Control, Migraine or Me?

I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up this morning to discover that I felt pretty good. Once upon a time, I would have lazed in bed, planning for everything I would do during the day. After repeatedly getting up to start the wonderful day I’d mapped out only to get a migraine within 15 minutes of getting out of bed, I stopped that daydreaming about five years ago. Since then, I’ve instead lazed in bed, enjoying every moment until my head began to hurt again. Today I tried a new approach. I got up immediately, eager to take on whatever I could while the migraine was at bay.

As soon as I got out of bed, I knew the lack of a migraine was only an illusion. The pain wasn’t too bad, but I was so weak and dizzy. Still, I worked my way to the living room to pick up my laptop. I picked it up alright. Then I sunk down on the couch and plopped the unopened computer on my lap. I just needed to gather some strength before carrying it to my desk. That’s what I told myself over and over as the minutes dragged on.

And there I was, back in severe migraine and my nausea increasing, within half an hour of waking up thinking I had a productive day ahead of me. I can read novels again (after a four-year migraine-induced hiatus!), so the time spent in a migraine attack no longer feels completely wasted. Yet I get so tired of day after day passing without being able to write a post or call a friend or do the dishes. Even though I feel much better than I did at my worst, I spend so many days being unproductive and antisocial. I am more than migraine, but migraine pervades — and limits — all aspects of my being. Do I really believe migraine is not the boss of me?

P.S. Loss of Productivity During a Migraine Attack is an excellent post by Nancy Harris Bonk on the frustrations of being incapacitated by migraine.

4 thoughts on “Who’s in Control, Migraine or Me?”

  1. Thank-you for providing this site. I know I am not alone with my pain and anger when I spend two days in one week in an er and am still in pain. I have a diagnosis of daily chronic migraines. I have had Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue for years. Next Thursday, I am starting botox injections…cautiously hopeful. Hope is what keeps me going..

  2. One of the big lessons I’ve learned through living with chronic migraine and all the ramifications of it is that control is an illusion. The way I look at it, we try to strategize ahead of time the best we can and react to the clues our bodies give us. But we’ll never be in control and that’s okay. All we have is the present moment to enjoy or squander depending on our perspective at any given time.

    Glad you’re having better days, but still sharing virtual hugs. (((hugs)))

    1. Control is definitely an illusion… I was a little flippant in titling the post. Still, I am sometimes overwhelmed by feeling like life is migraine. You’re right though, it is all about our perspective in any particular moment.


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