I’ve now been out of work for over a year, while I’ve been living with chronic pain for about five years. I’m still adjusting.
This year I’ve learned a lot about my own limitations. I’ve learned to listen to my pain. It often tells me when to slow down or stop. But I can’t always listen.
I have been working on finding a balance. That means not spending too much time focusing on the headache. (Sorry blog world.) For awhile after losing my job I just had to acclimate to being a stay at home mom. How much house work could I do in a day? Could I keep up with planning the girls’ homeschool lessons. Eventually I found a routine that works for me.
At my last neurology appointment my doctor told me I had to stop living in pain and learn to live with it.
There are days when odds are my head pain and related symptoms are going to get me down. Some days I can even the odds for the day. Some things I do help me to work towards lowering the odds for the coming years, not just the coming days.
Things I do on a daily basis:
Take care in my meal choices, if I drank too much cola yesterday, I’d better watch it today.
Eat when I’m supposed to, not waiting until I finally feel hungry.
Lie down for a nap when the pain starts to creep up on me, don’t always weather the storm.
Keep the lights dim and the noise level low.
These sound like trivial details, but they add up to an altered life. How can you keep the lights dim while you expect the kids to get lessons done? How do you keep the noise level down but still spend time playing games with friends? I can’t always follow those simple rules. Life gets in the way.
While I’m busy balancing my illness and my life, there are some things I can do to help myself get healthier. While these won’t cure my disease, they may help with the severity and they may prevent symptoms from worsening or new symptoms from developing.
The things I strive to do (but may not always manage) for a healthy life:
Relaxation exercises my neurologist suggested. I’ve being doing this nightly and it has helped me to get to sleep at least.
Physical exercise, which is a big challenge. I’m not good at taking my exercise nice and easy, but my head can’t handle the pace I’d like to set. So this I am constantly struggling with.
Spiritual practice- this is one of the keys to my ability to cope. I may be doing a small amount daily, but I try to keep God always in my heart and mind.
Truly these three things are beneficial to everyone, not just a migraineur.