Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bad Migraine Week - facial changes

It's been a really bad week for me with my migraines. I haven't been able to do much of anything. Yes, I have accomplished things at work and have been able to fend off the pain enough to get work done, but not like a usual week. I have a constant migraine, but the pain level has been so increased this week I am having a hard time standing it. I hate to be a complainer, but enough is enough and sometimes you have to just cry - even when you know it will make the migraine worse. It's weird sometimes you feel like if you cry it will ease some of the built up tension and swelling but it's a fine line between that and making it worse. When it's really bad I don't even need to cry outright, the tears just come without any crying. My head swells so much - people can see the difference in my face.
Which is another thing. I look at pictures of myself only a year and a half ago and I look different. It isn't aging, it's the constant pain. I want to look like me again. Now, I don't like my picture taken because it doesn't look like me. I'm swollen in the forehead and temples and it's like my facial structure has changed. I'd love to figure out how to look like me again. I do some research on the web but I don't find anything about this subject. I'm sure I can't be the only one. Everyone notices that I look different now then I did before and just put it to the fact I've been in pain so long it shows on my face, but I think the structure has changed - or maybe not the bones, but my facial muscles.
Are there facial exercises or creams to use to bring back the muscles to look like I used to. I never thought of myself as beautiful, but now I appreciate my looks before because they seem so far away now. I want it back.
Same for my weight - I'm not overweight but I was last summer with all the high doses of steroids I was on for so long. Gained 30 pounds in three weeks alone. Now, I don't expect to be the weight I even was when I was thirty, but I do want my shape of body back. I've lost 15 pounds of the 40 I had gained. Again, still in the normal weight range for my height and all, but I don't look like me or fit into my clothes. And I still have the steroid pooch in my stomach. I walk but not as often as I'd like to - the weather or the sun or my migraine often interfere. I can't do aerobic exercise because my head will have none of that. So, I mostly do yoga and stretching - things that are low impact.
I have to be patient and keep looking for solutions and focus on the primary one - getting to a low level of pain daily. I've given up on pain free. I just don't want to be in this much pain all the time - I'm strong enough to deal with pain everyday, I just can't do this level all the time and I have been doing it so I guess that's not true, I can. But, I hate the side effects and the way it's taking away my life.

I need to have some relief so I can keep my strength and spirit up. The migraine massage I had last Friday helped during the massage -but came right back. Of course it's been either super hot and humid or stormy weather so maybe that's to blame. But, I always try to find the reason and it seems the real reason is just my brain - it hurts - I have a faulty link somewhere up there that triggers pain for too many reasons beyond my control.

I am going to try to have faith and I am doing more writing - starting this blog - as well as a journal and that helps relieve some stress. Writing my life story - if even just for me. And there's work which keeps me busy and gives me boosts of confidence. And there's my incredible husband who cares for me and takes awesome care of me. My beautiful children who don't always appreciate me, but that's the age - their 20 and 16 and I didn't appreciate my mom till later - I can't wait for the older one to turn 25 and appreciate me again. My 16 year old still loves me a lot and isn't as hostile. The 20 year old just needs to get out on his own and start his own life without me and look back and remember and appreciate me from his own life. That's what I'm holding on to.

Anyhow - here's to hope - hope for less pain next week and hope for feeling less depressed and more hopeful. This Too Shall Pass - my grandma always said. I miss her. Wish she was here - and I know that she is here with me or up there pulling for me and doing her best to send me all the help she can. And to my aunt Becky who I dreamed about a month ago and felt her presence so close - I know they are here with me.

Ok - off topic there - Hope is the Word. God Bless


  1. Elizabeth,

    I'm so sorry for your pain and I definitely don't have any magic answers for you.

    With my chronic illnesses I have learned not to trust people claiming to have magic answers anyway because there are so many false claims.

    Until there are medical/scientific breakthroughs for the chronic illnesses doctors can't seem to figure out, I think symptom management is key.

    I'm so sorry you're struggling so. You have articulated well what it feels like to reach that level of pain and frustration where you start to feel you "can't". As you pointed out, you've been doing it. So, you are stronger than you think. You "can" do it... even if it really, really hurts.

    I'm sorry you miss your grandmother and I'm sure she is with you in spirit.

    As far as HOPE is concerned, I'll close with one of my favorite quotes. It was brought to my attention by my friend Alicia.

    The quote is from Christopher Reeve:
    "Once you choose hope, anything is possible".

    Elizabeth, I'm very sorry you are suffering and I hope it gets better very soon. Hang in there!


    P.S. I can't remember. Have you tried acupuncture? I LOVE ACUPUNCTURE!

  2. (((Hugs)))
    I feel your pain. I get wicked migraines for a week straight before my period. It's the estrogen.

    Anyways, I have to completely agree with Jeanne above. Acupuncture helps me keep my sanity. Migraines still suck, and debilitate, but acupuncture has worked wonders for me.