Look out below! My support beams are cracking, and I’m beginning to tumble head long into abysmal abysmalism. Is the latter a word? I doubt it, yet see no harm in forming it since our culture is chock full of made up words and phrases.
If you’re a family member, maybe it’s best to skip this post altogether. However, in advising that I suppose I risk the exact opposite. So whatever you end up deciding, please don’t think any less of me for expressing how I feel. It’s a revelation about myself, and the cloud that seems to thicken every night in my head magnifying super strength every worry, dark thought and slight imaginable.
The last thing I want to evoke is sympathy. I just want to be free to express myself in the hope of sharing with another person who feels the same way. I do believe that chronic pain runs marathons with depression. Migraineurs have the added risk of being stigmatized. That’s been a huge lament lately for me.
After five months plus of being off Vicodin for my Fourth Time, my faithfully kept log of migraines with a five or above pain level keeps averaging around twenty-two a month. This pattern hasn’t changed in twenty years. For twelve of those years I wasn’t on a regular dosage of Vicodin. From 2007 – 2011, I was allowed to take up to five and a half daily as a method of dulling the pain. That sounds like a lot but really isn’t when your head won’t leave you alone for 22 X 12 days yearly. Even when the migraines are low lying headaches, the constant pain inside the brain is extremely wearing.
Whenever I’ve seen a new neurolgist or new doctor, he or she seizes upon the Vicodin and thinks he’s automatically cured my chronic migraines. Aha – Rebound Effect! he declares as if savoring a flavorful morsel of Belgian chocolate. I am dissed when I say I’ve been on drug holidays before. Indeed this last time of practically begging to be allowed back on the pain reliever again, I felt like a drug addicted soul-trading low life. Yes, you may have Vicodin. But here’s the catch-22 – you may only have it ten days out of the month or it will cause rebounds. Hello, I want to scream. Surely you must be joking?!? Don’t you see that for whatever reason, my crazy migrainal head rebounds on it’s own? My calendar proves it. The migraines go on as if they’re on auto replay NO MATTER WHAT I DO!!!
But to them it doesn’t seem to matter. My calendar results don’t prove anything I guess. Nor does it show a sincere willingness to show that I’m trying to cope. I have cut down from close to 180 pills a month to 30! I just want a better quality of life, that is all. My husband doesn’t want to see me suffering on my bad days. Those five months without a bonafide pain reliever were horrible, but it’s not much better to have only ten days out of twenty-two a month where I’m permitted to rid this brain of pain. That adds up to 144 days of unmitigated, relentless pain a year! The doctors don’t seem to care. I think in this day and age they don’t want to be prescribing narcotics even if the patient has valid reasons to be taking them.
Why is the onus always upon the migraneur? What the hell are we doing to cause our migraine disease (scums of the earth that we are!)? Why does my friend who sees the same doctor not get questioned and grilled about her neck pain like I do my migraine pain? She takes double the strength of Vicodin that I do at 120 a month plus morphene. Yet I am made to feel like I cause my pain & tough luck on me. I did have an understanding doctor for fifteen years but he moved an hour and a half away. Since then, I haven’t found any medical professional who listens, understands and lays no blame on me.
So yes, I’m depressed. I’m not suicidal or even close, but I do get very low at night and can’t settle to sleep until four or five in the morning. I know that other migraneurs become desperate enough from uncontrolled pain that they’ve attempted or succeeded in taking their own lives. We are very much misunderstood. I’m so tired of this continual bombarding “headache” and feeling guilty and scourged because I’m seeking RELIEF.
Please don’t offer “try this” because I won’t respond or approve the comment. I continue to try things – am going to do the biofeedback and meditation therapies and anti inflammatory diet. I’m just so disheartened. Add in family stress with the rampant unguarded, unaplogetic racism and bigotry, and you’ve got my personal recipe for major despair. I can continue to fake it, but I don’t know how much longer I can take it.