Tuesday, July 24, 2007

You always have a migraine!

I woke up this morning with considerable migraine pain, but seeing how I just got back from vacation at work, I thought I would take my migraine drugs and soldier onto work. A dear friend called me early to chat about my vacation and during the conservation, she asked me what was wrong, that I didn't sound like my normal self.

I told her that I had a migraine to which she replied "Don't you usually have a migraine? You always have one. That shouldn't be anything new to you. Why would that make a difference?"

That really caught me off guard, considering she is one of my closest friends. I thought about it for a moment and replied that like the Eskimos having different words for snow, I have different types of varying migraine pain. There is the "I think I'm going to die" type pain, or the "I'm not going to die, but I'm terrified to drive to work" pain. What about the "I'm going to puke in the next three seconds" pain or the "I think I can get myself to work and get through the day" type pain?

There was a huge silence after I explained, and I could sense that she still didn't understand. I'm not sure what else I could have said, but it made me feel very alone when I got off the phone with her.

10 comments:

Matt said...

I understand how you feel. I don't think I get them quite as often as you do (only once every month or so) but I'm a guy that gets migraines, which is very different. I don't know how you could better explain it, but it makes perfect sense to me. Mine always escalate to the "I'm going to puke" and "I'm going to die" thresholds if not treated with some form of drugs. If I catch it early enough I usually stay at about the "I can get myself through the day."

Angel said...

UGH. I'm sorry she wasn't more sympathetic. Perhaps buy her a copy of Paula Kamen's book "All in My Head".

I'm sorry you're having a rough migraine day (((gentle hugs))))

Migraineur said...

Oh, that's terrible. It's heartbreaking when a good friend says something insensitive, but if she's really a good friend, maybe you can talk to her about it after you've cooled off. "What's the big deal about pain?" isn't exactly the most sensitive thing to say to someone.

Blessings to you.

Emily said...

i have migraines everyday, and can completely understand what you're saying.

and if anything, being in pain every day makes it more difficult, because you so want a break from the constant suffering.

deborah said...

Insensitivity from people who see it, and you'd think would understand and don't, is hard to take. I know. It's a part of the chronic invisible disease dilemma we must live with, that they either accept or deny; because they neither feel it or see it.

Don't you just want to puke on their shoes?

Joanna said...

I can feel the pain (no pun intended)... with my NDPH, I'm on a constant rollercoaster and experience all levels of pain every day, so I know what you mean with the different types of migraine pain. I'm hoping that your friend will realize that even though headache pain isn't visible to others (we aren't in wheelchairs, we aren't wearing a cast, etc.), it's still something that we suffer with... if that makes sense! My head hurts a bit too much right now to make sense :-p

Migraine Chick said...

I agree with wanting a break from the constant suffering. It does make it more difficult, and it is a chronic invisible disease dilemma with my friends. I want to make them understand what I'm going through, but how do you do it when they can't feel it or see it?

Joanna said...

There's not going to be a "right way" or just 1 way to help friends, family, coworkers, etc. understand better... sometimes I have forwarded articles about chronic pain or chronic headaches (there's VERY few articles/info out there about NDPH) to them, with a little note attached saying something like, "just to share some of my experience with you, so you may better understand why I have to cancel our plans or why I may act like a party pooper randomly when we're out..."
You can even email/forward an article or interesting info to a bunch of people at once, so that it doesn't seem that you're "singling out" anyone...
I'm going to try to categorize my levels of pain later, we'll see! Very interesting, I like your names lol We gotta laugh or else we'd go crazy, right?

Swede said...

Migraine Chick, Your analogy of migraine pain levels to Eskimo words for different types of snow was an aha! for me. I'm interested in how migraine sufferers communicate their migraine pain to co-workers, friends, and family. I've been so tongue-tied trying to "explain" my migraines that I gave up trying many, many years ago. Recently I've found that I need to talk about it more so that others might understand why I seem to have such different affects from one day to the next. Joanna's suggestion about forwarding articles is a good one. I enjoy your blog writing (just found it today!). Thanks for sharing!!

Karyn Mills said...

the eskimos having differnt words for snow analogy was brilliant...too bad she didn't get it...but that might be because she doesn't get migraines! I don't wish migraines on anyone, but I do think everyone needs one once to know how the rest of us feel...