What do you hide behind your Migraine/Headache Disorders mask? What do you let people see?
My mask was much stronger in the past then it is now, even as recently as a few years ago. I was able to “function” as long as my near-daily triptan intake worked. Most times, no one knew I was experiencing a migraine unless it was breaking through the war zone borders in my head. With mask firmly attached, I could pretend the migraine pain would not pull me down while I was at work. That was what I was hiding – the pain and the relentlessness of it. Much like riding a bicycle on a tightrope, the more I stayed in motion, the better off I was (not that I worked in the circus or rode over a thin rope, but I hope I conveyed my point). As soon as I exhaled and headed for home, the migraines would come raging through. For years, home life and vacation suffered the fuller brunt of my chronic migraines than work did.
But the mask started slipping. I began teetering off that bicycle. The triptans were not as easy to acquire either through insurance or my doctor. Without that magic pill, I could no longer paste an all day smile on my face. After taking a lot of pride in working hard, I had to pull the mask off entirely and admit I just couldn’t do it anymore. Luckily, my husband was the one who encouraged me to quit working. He saw the full impact the chronic migraines were having on my life and our lives.
I still don’t always let on when I have a migraine, but family and close friends know that if I have on one of my trendsetting “ice pack hats” then I’m probably having what they call a “headache”. I no longer try to explain the difference between headache & migraine to them. It’s not worth getting upset about. I do let people see that hey, these things are for real, and I’m hurting. It’s much better this way. An actress I am not, and hiding the pain behind a mask only served to add more to the overall flare.
Any treatments suggested in this post are merely my own opinions and should not be taken as suggestions. Always seek guidance from your physician if you have migraines or chronic headaches.
June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of http://FightingHeadacheDisorders.com