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Missing the Signs

I've had chronic migraine for over 15 years. I've had episodic migraines since at least my teen years. I can't even begin to count how many migraines I've had in my life. So you'd think I'd know the signs. You'd think.

Today, Mom and I went out shopping. I'm still her driver since surgery was less than a week ago. Honestly, though, I didn't feel well. I had eaten a very nutritious keto lunch of chicken salad and stir-fried zucchini. OK, the Diet Pepsi wasn't so nutritious, but I didn't think it would bother me, either.

While Mom and I were at Home Depot and WalMart, though, I was feeling most unwell. It felt like my food was just sitting in my stomach like a lead weight and I was nauseous. Despite a lifetime of migraines, did I think I might be getting a migraine? No. I thought I might have eaten too much, even though it was a small lunch. Or I thought I was getting a GI bug. But, not migraine.

We got home and I took a Compazine (medicine for nausea which also helps with migraine), started drinking some water, and surfed the web. About an hour later, the head pain started. And then I thought that I might be having a migraine.

What's up with that? Why in the world would I, someone who can't work because of chronic migraine, think that nausea and GI upset would be something other than the most obvious thing?

Honestly, I think that I do some wishful thinking. I know that I need to take my Imitrex as soon as I identify a migraine, but I don't want to believe that I have a migraine. Also, I'm only supposed to treat two migraines per week, so I want to make sure that it's a "real" migraine before I use my precious medications. Mostly, though, it's wishful thinking.

I want to believe that I'm not really sick, that tonight won't be a night of headache and nausea. I'm optimistic, overly so, that the keto diet is working spectacularly well. I'm not going to have any more migraines ever again!

Then there is reality. The keto diet is helping. I'm having fewer acute migraines and my regular headaches are less intense, but I'm not in any shape to try to go back to work yet. It's not a reality I want to deal with, but that's the way it is. And it's best that I face up to it now.

This is just part of the chronic illness thing. All of us with chronic migraine have to learn to live with it. Next time, I'll try to be more sensitive to my symptoms and take my meds more quickly. For right now, I'm going to go get an ice pack to put on my head and pray that it's not too long a night.

Chronic illness sufferers, how do you deal with this?

Other thoughts?


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