With everything I have endured in my chronic pain journey, nothing is more frustrating than the migraines that continue to plague me. While I actually have multiple day stretches where the burning in my neck, shoulders, and back will be completely absent (something I never thought would happen), I will suddenly get attacks from the monster that is still alive and well… my migraine monster.
A difficult reminder
In general, I know there are a myriad of things that can effect the frequency of my migraines. Hydration/lack thereof, stress, lack of sleep, over-stressing my back and shoulder muscles, and improper posture. The last one has really come to bite me in the last few weeks.
I lost my job back in mid February, and I immediately set to networking and rebuilding my personal brand. I would go to some of my favorite coffee shops downtown and work through the morning, enjoying coffee and the occasional quiche while I worked. Unfortunately, I had been letting my success with my pain blind me to the fact that I still needed to be careful to continue that success. Working at coffee shops was not ergonomic at all, and the pain and numbness in my arms began to return, as did my neck and shoulders.
A leopard doesn’t change it’s spots
One of the biggest things that I know about myself and still sometimes am very blind to is that I will push myself through things when I should be listening to my body. If you have chronic pain, you will understand the fine balance of needing to listen to your body and needing to challenge it to keep growing stronger. Its a fine balance that I had (kind of) managed to maintain… and somehow forgot yet again how fragile that balance was. I continued working at coffee shops and even with the growing pain, continued to push myself through the last 4 weeks of Farrell’s. In the last two weeks, my body was showing me a full on flare up, and yet I wanted to finish my 10 week session strong… which I did.
Migraine moving in
My migraine monster took this blatant ignorance of what my body was telling me as an invitation to move in for awhile, and I have been struggling since. While I feel like I have just about completed its eviction… it keeps on hanging around outside. Like wearing a hoodie, i feel a hood hovering over my head. The shadow of a headache, ready to pounce at any time. I’ve had to go back to a lot of my old techniques for managing my pain that I had let fall to the wayside in recent months, such as stretching, staying hydrated, using biofreeze or salon pas patches (topical pain relief), my foam roller, and countless chiropractic appointments.
Chronic Pain Warrior
So today, while my right shoulder screams at me and the shadow of the headache lingers with an occasional throb to make sure I didn’t forget about it… I put on my warpaint in the form of biofreeze. I remember that chronic pain is a series of battles, and this is just another battle in that journey. For all of you hiding under the covers today, for those of you battling through a day of work where every smell and every sound makes you wince, for those of you at wits end because of the pain… just know you are not alone. You may fight your own battles, but we are all in the same war, and we will win!