Adventures in Therapy

It’s been months since my last post. Not because I suddenly became well, though that may very well happen some day, but because I’ve been significantly unwell. And I haven’t wanted to focus on the headache at all. As a matter of fact, I spent the summer trying to ignore the elephant in the room and live life as though nothing was amiss. Image

I chose not to spend my evenings composing blog posts, which forced me to anyalyze myself. I watched Dr. Who with my family, becoming fully immersed in a lovely world of geekdom from which I was only forced to surface when there were no new episodes to watch. Instead of playing Dominion or Catan (table top games are one of my favorite past-times), I lay back and watched the rest of the family have fun. Rather than reading to myself, I listented to audiobooks. I may not have been doing the things I would normally do, but I was enjoying myself, right?

Chronic illness has a way of slapping off those rose tinted glasses and forcing you to face reality. As my headache worsened this summer, I was forced to re-evaluate my expectations of every day life.

And to ask for help.

In July I started counseling at a local practice. This about sums up what I took away from each session:

  1. We need to have family meetings every few weeks to talk about expectations, otherwise I won’t notice when I need help.
  2. My therapist has no idea what to talk with me about, so 30 minutes in he is looking at the clock .
  3. I benefit more than this talking with my husband.
  4. Learning skills to cope with pain, and talking with others who have similar issues might help, but this isn’t.
  5. I’m not actually depressed, if my head didn’t hurt I’d be fine. Thus I am diagnosed with “mental disorder due to a general medical condition.”
  6. Obviously we’re done here, can you recommend someone who knows what they are doing?

I have one appointment left with my therapist to close things up and see if he found any recommendations for me. I would like to find someone experienced with chronic pain and maybe a group therapy so I can hear from others. I’m pretty fortunate to not be prone to depression. I know of people who’s struggle with chronic pain is made worse by comorbid depression. Part of my reason for starting therapy was to rule this out in my case.

Feeling certain depression isn’t a serious factor for me, I am free to pursue my next course of action.

Which is…

Uncertain at best.

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The truth about today

This being my blog, you read about my experiences, my thoughts and reactions. All told, of course, from my point of view.

But, I’m not as nice as I’ve led you to believe.

I can give great report of my patience and love for my family and friends. I can offer my advice to pray, meditate, be kind.

But I’m not always able to live up to it.

Sometimes I feel downright dis-compassionate. Often I lack the patience a situation deserves. I frequently don’t pay attention to the people around me. And I get snappy when my head hurts too much.

Today someone was venting to me about her migraines. She’s missed some work and doesn’t want to be reprimanded for it.

Understandable.

But her attitude seemed like so much drama, and her problems seemed over exaggerated. I wanted to vent right back at her about my issues. Mercifully I was able to hold my tongue.  I told her work policy and that’s it. When I should have been able to be supportive or at least share some advice, I was unable to do so. I felt no compassion for her. Just frustration.

I can’t really know how migraine has affected her life. It’s not a contest of who has suffered more. But there’s this attitude in my workplace that if you want the freedom to miss work whenever you like, just say you have migraines. People don’t treat it like it’s an illness, but rather an excuse.

I feel badly about it now. I hope another opportunity will present itself and I can make up for my failings.

I just wanted you to know, I don’t really have it all together…

I just act like it.

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Post Botox, Day 3

Happy Easter everyone!

A quick update, then I’m off to bed.

The soreness from the shots has faded away, and the monstrous headache it triggered seems to be dying down.

I wouldn’t say I’m quite back to my pre-botox pain level, but I’m getting there.

The toughest part of this treatment is it’s inability to meet the expectations of those around me. I am well aware that it will be weeks before I know if there is any change, and maybe longer before I know if the treatment will help enough. I’ve been dealing with this headache long enough to know there is no quick cure.

My friends on the other hand, seem to long even more than me for that magical pill that will end the headache. Who am I to argue against their reasoning?

I long to be able to tell everyone that I am well,angel

To join in with the jogging,

To go to a concert,

To schedule things without fear of cancelling last minute.