Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Denial–October 29, 2013

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks. I’m about two weeks late for my Botox and my appointment isn’t till next week. The headaches have been pretty intense and haven’t let up much at all. Not only does this make me unhappy, but it tends to mess up things at home, as well. I’m not available to cook, clean, or help Wild Man with his schoolwork.

I have had a couple of decent days scattered in among all the bad ones, though, and I’ve made a discovery. When I feel OK, I pretend that I don’t actually have chronic pain issues. I clean the house, cook meals, school the kid, etc., but I don’t do the things I should to keep myself healthy. I don’t eat well and make sure that there are healthy foods around for the next bad day(s). I don’t exercise, or if I do, I’m likely to overdo it and cause more pain for the next day.  I’m not likely to journal or meditate, practices that have helped me when I can do them consistently and are easier to do when I feel well.

When I feel well, I deny that I’m really sick. I don’t know if I’m the only one who does this or not. Migraines are easy to hide when I don’t have a bad one. And, really, I still feel like there’s some kind of stigma on them. Which is kind of crazy because I’ve sat in exam rooms and told patients that there is no reason to be ashamed of their chronic pain. But that’s another story.

Tonight, Wild Man had a choir concert in the Valley. I had awakened with the same headache that I’ve had for the last two weeks (and which is driving me and PWM up the wall!). I got desperate and finally took 600mg of ibuprofen, something I can only do a couple of times a year because of my chronic renal insufficiency (which was caused by chronic NSAID use). My headache was much, much better this evening and I was able to have an enjoyable evening.

I have no idea what tomorrow will be like, but whether my headache is bad or not, I still have chronic headaches. My first priority needs to be to take care of myself and then I’ll be better able to take care of my family and home.

No more denying my illness because I’m having a good day or two. I need to put forth the effort to take care of myself on good and bad days. No one is well-served by this fiction that I’m only sick on the bad days.

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