Friday, March 11, 2016

No Matter How it Looks, Every Day is a Struggle

I get an average of 18 migraines per month. A grim statistic that has stood firm since I started tracking my migraines about 8 years ago. This is the number I give my doctors, friends and family. It tells the story of how frequently I have to deal with the head pain of a migraine attack but it doesn't come close to telling the whole story of my pain, or even the whole story of my migraines.

For this reason, I don't think the people in my life really get just how hard every day is for me. I'm never without pain because the migraine pain is just one type of pain I feel. My head always hurts, my body is always sore - this is on top of the 18 days every month I have migraine pain AND the constant, traveling fibro pain. My scalp is always sore to the touch and I also get these terrible ice pick pains around my head. My eyes usually hurt along with frequent ear pain. My back hurts from curling up in pain, which has turned into some sciatica over the past year. Not to mention the immense psychological and emotional pain, which has resulted from my conditions robbing me of so much of my life.

Then there are all of the other symptoms besides pain that I have to deal with every. single. day. The nausea, the difficulty concentrating, the trouble sleeping, the exhaustion, the digestive upset, difficulty bringing words to my mouth, the moods...

I simply cannot spend all my time complaining about my pain and other symptoms. Nobody wants to deal with that, not even me. So instead I pull myself together and do the best I can every moment to participate in life and engage with those around me. I try to be positive and encouraging. I try to inject humor. I try so hard every single day because I feel like it's important to do so, for me and for those around me.

I don't necessarily do a good job of it every day but I always give it my all. I want those around me to feel loved and cared for. I don't want anyone to feel burdened by me. BUT. At the same time, I don't want people to mistake my smiles or my positive attitude and engagement for me feeling good. I guess it doesn't really work that way though. On some level I know I can't have it both ways, yet I can't help but want some recognition from time to time. I just want to feel seen and understood and that has to include my daily struggle. Maybe this is why blogging has been so important to me over the past 6 years. 

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