Saturday, June 22, 2013

Migraine Awareness Month #22: Walk the Line: Migraine Triggers

Today's writing prompt is from the movie Walk the Line. It asks how we balance the need to avoid our Migraine/Headache Disorder triggers with the equally powerful need to enjoy the things that give your life meaning?

This is a particularly apt question to pose to me this weekend as I am on a weekend retreat of sorts with friends at their lake house. I adore these friends you see, and jumped at the chance to spend time with them, but knew this weekend would be filled with land mines of triggers. Bright sun, the loud boat motors, possibly not sleeping as well as I do at home, pressure I put on myself to keep up with everyone else's schedules...  The list goes on and on. But these mostly aren't just considerations for this one weekend. Many of these are things we have to consider every time we spend any night away from our house. But is it worth it to be with this group of friends for a few days? Yep. It is. They enrich my life and make me feel like a real person again. Not just someone stuck in her house or bedroom having migraines.

I have to make this analysis about many things in life. Is it worth risking the smells and noises of the hair salon to get my hair done? Yes it is. Having my hair cut and feeling better about myself ultimately makes ME feel better as a whole. Some days, if I'm not feeling my best, is it worth the drive to the next town to see my doctor? Yes it is. I need to keep in contact with my doctors, I have more confidence in my treatment when I've seen them personally, and I can't accomplish these things by canceling appointments. Is it worth the flight to Philadelphia, which ALWAYS triggers a migraine, and the expense and inconvenience, to see my headache specialist there? Yes, as long as he has fresh ideas for me.

I also have to make an analysis about when to use my meds and when to "save" them. My friends and I sometimes joke about being "medication worthy". See, as migraineurs, we have certain meds, like Triptans (think Imitrex and Zomig, though there are many others) that we can only use a limited number of days per week. Usually two or three. Since I have daily migraine right now, I have to decide which days I'm going to take those on. I usually try to wait until I have an event to attend or plans with friends. I have just found that though I suffer pretty badly on some days, this allows me to most have a semblance of a life on the other days. So if I deem you or your event "medication worthy," you know you're special.

Walk the Line?  Yes.  Migraineurs have to walk the line.  It seems like Migraines are waiting around every corner.  But that's my life, and I've learned to live it.

June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders.  The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is issued by FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

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