Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The confusion migraine

Pain is bad again today. I took a Toradol shot yesterday so need to wait and not take another today or I won't have for later in the week since I can only take 2 a week.
I think sometimes part of my problem is that I wait to take meds until the pain is so bad the meds don't work as well. I guess I think this because doctors keep telling me I do that and it takes 3X the normal amount of medication if you wait for the pain to get full blown. But, I keep thinking to myself - don't waste it you may need it later - and I don't want to be overmedicated.

Anyhow - not the purpose of today's blog. I wanted to talk about the other side of migraines, besides the pain. The confusion, inability to concentrate and feeling unable to get motivated. I think these are overlooked sometimes as a reaction to the pain. But, studies show that you can have these migraine symptoms without the pain and it's still a migraine. Yes, I'm in a lot of pain today but I was yesterday and still got a lot of work done. Today, I have the lack of concentration, lack of motivation and confustion that makes it hard to force concentration and keep working. So, then it's harder to ignore the pain.

All of these symptoms can happen like I said without the pain or without the high level of pain and I think people have a hard time with this. Non-migrainers have a hard time understanding and you are often thought to just be lazy or hungover - well let me tell you I have not been drinking! Migrainers think it's just them, they are depressed from the pain or tired from it going on all the time. But, it is a symptom in and of itself. I may be tired of the pain or depressed about it but the lack of being able to concentrate or being confused by simple things is not the normal me - that's the migraine affecting my brain.

It helps to know that it isn't just me because knowing it isn't me - that I'm feeling lazy today - means I don't have to feel badly about it - I am sick, I have a disorder and I'm having symptoms from that. I don't have to get down on myself and say "Hey, stop it and get motivated!" I can say I'm having a bad migraine confusion day or however long and be honest with those around me and my ability to be effective. I know I'll need to review any work I did today tomorrow or when I feel better for mistakes or miscommunications. It's not that I'm not strong enough, it's that I have a disorder that's acting up - having an episode which is usually how I describe it. And I can tell others that I'm in that state so they don't over expect things from me. And I can not be hard on myself and tell myself that it will be better another day and to relax and flow with it. Getting upset just makes things worse.

I didn't get much done today for work. I know why and it's a valid reason - not laziness. I will be better and do better tomorrow so I'm going to take the cue and do less today and meditate more and do things that take less concentration to take my mind off the pain.

Don't be hard on yourself if you are a migrainer, do what you can and know your limits.

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