Staged Recovery

As I type, I’m on the couch in my third stage of migraine recovery. I’ve moved beyond lying in bed (stage one) and lying on the couch (stage two) to sitting up on the couch. I’m actually bordering on stage four, where I get up and do small things around the house then sit down to regenerate. I’ve made oatmeal and taken some papers upstairs.

I never realized that there was a steady progression to my recovery. Hart’s mom is in town, so I’m more aware of what I’m doing when. Not that she’s an evil mother-in-law, I actually adore her. It’s just that I pay more attention to my movements, wondering if I’ll be able to walk down and rent a movie or get coffee — anything that’s more entertaining than sitting around.

It’s strange to recognize the rituals that accompany chronic illness. I wonder what else I do regularly without realizing it. There’s the nap, then caffeine, then meds process for treatment. The advancement from acknowledging that a headache is coming to trying to ignore the headache to reading on the sofa to moving to bed to nap. And that I put on a happy face every time I’m in public, whether it’s for a barista, friends or a doctor.

We’re creatures of habit, I suppose. But I have to wonder if mixing up the steps sometimes, or even skipping them, would change my pain. Now the question is if I have the guts to make a change.