Life with chronic headaches is a constant guessing game. Like a box of chocolates, you just never know what you’re going to get.
Some days you fly through without issue, and other days, you simply don’t. The thing is though; you never know what will happen. You have to constantly be prepared for the pain to come. Sometimes it starts slowly and you have a chance to try to stop it in its tracks. Other times, it comes on full bore and doesn’t ask your permission to land you in bed for a day.
When a headache attacks during the night, getting out of bed is a struggle. Sometimes, the mere shift of lying to standing sends a stabbing sensation through your head.
Turning the lights on to get your day started can feel like being in a torture chamber because for many, the light makes the pain increase.
Though you likely shouldn’t drive with a headache, kids have to go to school, and sometimes you run out of sick days at the job. People often look at you funny when you walk into a public building with sunglasses on, but what they don’t know is it is self preservation!
If you work at a computer, it is a struggle with head pain. You have to make to drink plenty of water and look away from the screen often.
If your work or day requires constant activity, its ok to slow down. For me, I have to tell the kids I won’t be able to play hide and go seek, or lift the toddler as often.
Simple things can be hard when living with constant head pain, but many times, we have to keep on keepin’ on and push forward even with a pounding head.
Since our headaches are a chronic illness, it is vital to take good care of ourselves.
One important part of living with migraines is keeping a headache journal. It can be as simple or extensive as you want, but there are a few key items that need to be included when recording your episodes. One is the symptoms you experience along with how they affect you. I recently came across a mobile app called Health Storylines (available for download on iTunes and Google Play), created by and found on the Self Care Mvmt site that has a built in symptom tracker that allows you to do just that.
Another tool to live with headaches is constantly being prepared for one to strike. There are many things you can always have on hand such as water, Tylenol (if that helps you), and a small vial of peppermint essential oil to help stave off the full blown migraine or at least survive until you can get home.
You have to realize your head pain/migraines are a chronic illness and sometimes will get you down. When that happens, it is important to take the time to rest. Whether you have to go home from work, call a babysitter, or summon your significant other home, you have to get better.
Living with chronic head pain/migraines is tough, but we do our best to enjoy life, despite the pain!