Migraine & Headache Awareness Blog Challenge 10 - Control
Today's challenge for the 2014 Migraine and Headache Awareness Blog Challenge is:
Write about this photograph, then write on:
Dreaming of a world without Headache and Migraine: the thought of a life you control instead of your diagnosis. When you look at this of arms outstretched on a moonlit night, what do you think?
The photo makes me think of someone who feels well and is, at least at that moment, free of her burdens.
My migraines first spun out of control in 1998 or 1999. Since then, one of my primary goals in life has been to get to the point where I was controlling migraine disease rather than it controlling me. Partnering with my migraine specialist, I am now able to control my migraines more often than they control me.
One of my most significant realizations has been that getting my migraines under control is as much my job as my doctor's. For years and years, I wished for a better doctor, one who actually knew how to treat migraines. When I first started seeing such a doctor, a true migraine specialist, I quickly learned that as good as he was, he could be a better doctor if I were a better patient. That may sound like blaming the patient, but here are things we can do:
- Learn all we can about our migraines and health issues as well as the treatments recommended or prescribed for us. We can't call our doctors every time we have a migraine, so we need to know enough to be able to do what we need to do, including using our treatments correctly.
- Listen to what our doctors tell us about our treatments, and ask questions if we have any.
- If remembering everything said during an appointment is problematic, and it certainly is for me, record the appointment, take notes, and / or take someone with us to help.
- Follow our doctor's advice or, if we disagree or have a problem with it, discuss it with the doctor.
- Learn what our trigger are, and do our best to avoid any of them that are avoidable.
There are, of course, other elements involved in a life where I control migraines rather than them controlling me:
- Maintaining my overall physical and mental health.
- Seeking support from others who are in similar situations and giving support in return.
- Setting realistic goals. Setting goals unrealistically high only leads to counterproductive disappointment and frustration.
- Not falling into the trap of saying I can't do things because of my migraines out of habit instead really thinking things through.
As I'm wrapping this up and thinking of the photo again, I'm reminded of looking at the moon from the balcony of my cabin when I went on a cruise last fall. I almost didn't go because of "I can't" being a habit. It's so wonderful that a friend helped me see that I was afraid of taking a chance, but that I should do just that. By planning with my doctor before I went and pushing myself to think positively, I enjoyed that cruise so very, very much.
I have migraines, but migraines do NOT have me!
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© Teri Robert, 2014, • Last updated June 10, 2014.