If you have read any of this blog in the last 6 years then it should be no surprise to you that I deal with a headache every single day. Some days are better than others. Some days if I don’t give it too much thought I can not think about the nagging pain in the brain portion of my body. Some days all I can think about is the pain in the brain – I have no choice.
The question that has troubled me for the last 27 years is what kind of headache is it. That is a really difficult question to answer. There are a few question those of us with a chronic illness of any kind find almost impossible to answer, which is even more frustrating than the actual question. Some of those questions are: How are you? How are you feeling? Why are you depressed? What has happened to cause this pain/feeling? On a scale of 1-10 with a 10 being the worst pain you’ve ever experienced in your life what is your pain level?. And for those of us with chronic headaches – Where does it hurt?
I realize it is frustrating as a caregiver or a friend/family member who is sincerely concerned about how we are to try to get information from us on how we are feeling. And honestly we don’t want you to stop asking us. It’s just frustrating to us to have to come up with a different way to say “I feel like something you would scrape off the bottom of your shoe” each day. I suppose there really isn’t a “good” way to ask how we are. If/When we come up with one we will let you know. Until then we will just keep saying “fine” or “ok” or “my pain level is a 20”.
At any rate, headaches! There are so many kinds of headaches that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly which category I fall into. Which category does a 27 year headache fit into exactly? Tension? Cluster? Migraine? Hormonal? Rebound? Sinus? My answer would probably be ALL OF THE ABOVE. Trying to get relief from an “all of the above” headache is like a blind man trying to through a dart and hit a bullseye from a mile away. Eventually you just give up and admit that there probably is nothing that will take them away. Sure – there are ways to get temporary relief for a short period of time. But after this long a person just gets tired of being the guinea pig or lab rat. After one disappointing result upon disappointing result you just accept that your lot in life is to live with a headache every day till the day you meet Jesus.
It’s frustrating! It’s infuriating! You feel defeated and betrayed by your body. All you can do though is learn to live with the pain – learn to function AROUND the pain – work at trying to put a smile on your face and make it be believable – find the things in your life that you can be thankful for and attempt to focus on those – and try to exhibit some self-control when the next person asks you why you are in pain or have a headache. Honestly, most days that last one is the most difficult for me.
I have to recognize that most people just don’t get it. And for them they should be grateful that ignorance is bliss.