Migraine, Migraine, go away …

and don’t come again another day!

Since that visit to the dentist back in June I’ve had a near continuous migraine, only the level of it varies. My latest meds hide some of the pain behind a wall, which is what they’re meant to do, but, the pain and the debilitation along with the poky, painy, irritating symptoms are still there.

Things like bright light, oh my the light and how it hurts us! It seems I’ve almost turned nocturnal in an effort to escape the cruel glare of the sun and the pain it causes me. Lights on devices are dimmed, room lights dimmed where possible, and so on. Oh, and noise, when the noise sensitivity hits, the sound of a pin dropping can crescendo like cymbals being struck discordantly. Then there’s the nausea, and it’s end results.

Yes, there are many and varied strategies, medications, lotions, potions, massages, and movements touted to relieve migraine. The problem is, it depends on what the underlying causes are as to which of those proposed options might bring relief, and which might trigger a worse, or another migraine. Way back in the dark ages, not long after I became an adult, one GP’s prescription to solve my constant and debilitating headaches was to in his words, “… have a baby, it’ll give you something to focus on.” Yeah. Right. I was employed in a very worthwhile career at that time and had quite enough to focus on.

While I have a pain management regime that includes medication, there is a distinct limit to what I can take. Therefore, I have to be constantly mindful not to overload the muscles I know will trigger a migraine. I can’t forget and pick up a load of washing, or cut up carrots by hand, or lift heavy groceries, or a myriad other things that come naturally. I have to find ways of accomplishing those tasks without doing myself a damage.

Windows 10 has been put on a dark screen background with the lighting in night mode. Wall papers and themes on webpages are altered to a suitable darker tone to reduce light pollution. It’s a problem, because I need a certain amount of light for my eyesight issue, but I’m coping with it for now. My Kindle paperwhite has a front light instead of a backlight, so the light does not shine into the reader’s eyes, but shines onto the page. It’s also set really low to a goldy sort of glow. Sadly, due to the affect on sleep patterns, I can no longer read in bed before sleeping, something I had done almost every night of my life since learning to read.

I discovered a simple yet very effective alteration to the shower head that has helped to reduce neck pain and better manage shoulder muscle insults. I have an injury that needs constant monitoring. A simple lowering of the shower head so the water does not fall onto me at head height, but more at shoulder height has been a dramatic change for multiple reasons. I hate water on my face, really, really hate it, sure I can wash my face, but truly loathe having water splashing on my face. This strategy is one I read about being used for people with dementia who have a hard time coping with the shower hygiene routine. Keeping the shower head at a level where the person being cared for can see where the water comes from reduces their reluctance to take a shower. Simple things! For me, lowering the shower head means no more having to tilt my head back out of the water spray, and thus, no more neck strain.

Those reacher-grabber extendable stick things are amazingly useful to me too. Initially, they helped with reaching things in the high cupboards in the kitchen. The top shelves are entirely out of my reach, and while I can use a step ladder, and I used to, balance issues mean that’s not always the best option. So, instead of having to wait on someone else to get stuff for me all the time, I use a nice sturdy reacher for the top shelves, which are, of course, organised in such a way as to make it easy for me to do so. Recently, I acquired another one for picking up things off the floor at my most oft used work station as I’m always dropping something, an artifact of the original set of injuries. Having long left behind my svelte figure of youthfulness, along with the agility of a thousand gazelles, getting up and down off the floor is no longer the artful, dignified process it once was.

During my time at Uni, I used a luggage trolley to cart my briefcase and books about. That same luggage trolley is now used for moving laundry from bathroom to washing machine, to dryer, and for any other weighty transportations that need to occur. I’ve had to turn to appliances to help with the things I can no longer do without injuring myself. I cannot lift and peg clothes to dry, hence the dryer, and the ubeaut cutting, slicing, dicing, grating, double bladed whizzing machine (I really must write about it, it’s magic, simply magic!) Cooking is important for me, not least because so many commercially available food additives aggravate my wellbeing, creating issues that go on to cause a migraine.

After suffering too much pain for too long, I learned to ask store workers for assistance with lifting and carrying groceries, even getting help to the car when it’s needed. These days, most of my purchases are home delivered which takes care of the migraine triggering issues including the carrying, the in-store music and people noise, and odours. Security consciousness means delivery people don’t get to come inside my home (unless for installation or placement of large items), however, I have someone to help with lifting and carrying at home. If they are not available, I get the delivery person to either put the items on the floor inside the door, or I secure a basket in the laundry trolley to transport between door and benches.

To vacuum, my old wheeled office chair comes in handy, allowing me to sit down and roll around the floor wielding the vacuum stick like a wizard’s staff! If eases the back pain, reduces the strain on my shoulders thus allowing me to do tasks without the overload I’d otherwise experience. Think about how the simple things aggravate any pain issues you might have and see how you might be able to better manage them.

I do what I can when I can, and often that means when I’m feeling more okay than not, I will do lots of activities to make up for the times I am unable to do much of anything. And thus do I persevere. Although there are days when the length and depth, breadth and constancy of pain makes life close to unbearable.

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