We spent the day celebrating my daughter’s thirteenth birthday. It was a great day, filled from beginning to end with family time.
So how does one cope with a day that starts early and ends late; a day that is non-stop?
First, eat well and stay hydrated. Meeting your body’s basic needs is step one in avoiding a massive headache.
Second, Ask for help. I’m usually the kind who sees what needs to be done and gets to work on it, at least when it comes to planning a family picnic. Even without headaches, in a family of 8 one person can’t handle everything. I’m always having to remind myself to delegate. Else wise, my excellent husband comes to the rescue and tells me to stop and let him and the girls take care of it.
When it gets to be too much, take a short break. How do you do this in a van full of people? Close your eyes, lean back on the headrest, and try not to look miserable. Two reasons: briefly taking yourself out of the action quiets you down from the inside out; trying to stay positive and smile actually helps you feel better. Stress makes headaches worse. Take a moment to de-stress.
When you get back home, but it’s too early for bed, take a 30 minute nap. Or, if getting up after 30 minutes of sleep is impossible, take 30 minutes to sit quietly in the dark. Listen to calm music, pet a cat, whatever relaxes you.
Repeat God’s name, or a memorized prayer. Or if you are non-religious a self-affirming mantra.
Keep pushing through.
You can always rest tomorrow!
That being said, I don’t suffer as badly as some others I know of. I don’t usually have nausea or dizziness. I can manage my light and sound sensitivity with sunglasses and frequent pleas for calm. There are days when this list just can’t be accomplished. On those days: Pray for sleep and to wake with less pain and more wisdom.
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,
To join in with the jogging,
To go to a concert,
To schedule things without fear of cancelling last minute.
I ran out of FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) leave time, which meant that
I was warned that if I have any more absences I’ll be written up, which caused me to
Go to part time hours to help me not miss any more time, which led to the fact that
I no longer qualify for FMLA because I don’t work enough hours, so now
If I’m absent from a single shift I’ll get in trouble and I don’t have any recourse.
I thought working part time would help me with absences, and it has. I only work four and a half hours, five days per week. I’ve only had to come home mid shift one day since dropping my hours. But there have been days when I’ve really had to push myself to make it through. I’m sure my work has suffered a little, but you can’t go too wrong in retail, so I’m the only one who notices.
I hoped working part time would help me with homeschooling and housework, and it hasn’t. Since I have to force myself to go to work, no matter how I feel, I’m feeling worse at home. It’s like I have a limited energy reserve, and it can only carry me through half-way. Not being able to miss work, home feels the neglect.
One of my coping strategies is to hide how badly I feel and carry on. But it wears me out, and it shows in my dealings with the kids. I get short with them or I just don’t really notice what’s going on. They may have to tell me something 3 or more times to get my attention. I apologize or try to refocus, but the next day it’s back. They would probably say it’s not that bad. But I notice, and I don’t like it.
My goal is to improve.
I’m not sure how, but I’ll be praying, and trying to meditate. That seems like a good start.
Oh, and Botox is scheduled for next week. Hopefully that will bring some relief.