Friday, July 9, 2010

Surviving Summer

Summer presents a number of challenges for me since the onset of my chronic pain. The heat and humidity can trigger a pounding sensation that quickly leads to a migraine. Plus, my photosensitivity makes all the sunshine painful. These summer traits simply can't be avoided because the dog still needs to go out, I still have errands to run and doctor appointments to get to. Besides, no matter how much I feel like hiding some days, I want to keep living. I want to still be able to do things with my husband, hang out with friends and attend functions.
In order to have some semblance of a life during these difficult summer months I've had to find ways to manage and balance my pain issues with the activities of summer. Of course sunglasses are a must year round, even on cloudy days. Wearing a not-too-tight hat is great for blocking some of the direct sun from hitting the eyes. I've found the trick is to pick the things you want to do most and then plan time before and after to prepare and recover from these activities.

Often my preparations include:
-Drinking plenty of water and taking enough with me to stay hydrated
-Being well rested
-Pack all the pills I could maybe need if things don't go well
-Set no expectation beyond go out, relax and have some fun as long as you can

My recovery usually includes:
-Lots and lots of rest
-Continued hydration

I've found that even if I do nothing all month I'll have just as many migraines. If I'm going to get a migraine anyway, I want to get it having fun. I've also found that fun is much easier had when I allow for all the prep and recovery. That way I can just relax and enjoy, knowing I'm ready for anything.


  1. Great philosophy!
    Watermelon is high on my list for surviving the heat too! :)

  2. I completely forgot hydration on my list. Sooooo important, especially when it's hot outside and especially following a good deep-tissue massage. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. you are sooo right!! If we're gonna get a Headache anyway, why not have some enjoyment in the process!! It makes the migraine almost worth it if fun can be had!