SRS How do you deal with the mental aspect of having a chronic condition?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by calisteph6, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    I have chronic migraines, and while they're not life threatening, they get in the way of 'every day life' quite a bit sometimes and it can get me quite depressed and I'm going through one of those bad times. I've been out of work 2x in the past 2 weeks and I've messed up my studying schedule. Also, I was supposed to go to vegas this weekend and I'm considering not going because I've literally had some kind of headache every day for a month.

    I get treatment by a 'migraine specialist' and spend probably $2000 on prescriptions a year (and I have health insurance). But nothing seems to help...they'll be better for a few months, but then I'll have a horrible month. :hs: I'm thinking of trying a different specialist, but it's a pain because he's far away and I have no vacation time because of being out sick so much and he doesn't take insurance so I'll have to self-bill my insurance (I have a PPO) and pay out of pocket up front. A lot of times I feel like a hypochondriac and complainer...but when I have a migraine I seriously want to gouge my eyes out. I just feel like I can't like this way but what choice do I have?
     
  2. TFunkadelic

    TFunkadelic One Nation Under A Groove

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    I dislocated my shoulder a few years ago and it'll never go back to the way it was. It feels weird and loose sometimes, gets sore a lot easier, and I generally have to baby it. I can't even sleep on that side anymore.

    Sometimes it frustrates me but I just try to think of it as a reminder that things could be far worse (could have caused nerve damage that would have hampered my ability to work), and use it as motivation to take good care of myself.

    There's no reversing these kind of things. You can either accept the reality that your body has limitations/quirks and learn to work with them, or you can let it piss you off.
     
  3. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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    I had terrible headaches for a bunch of years. When I was a bit younger the headaches would come, but where rare. As I grew older they became more and more frequent.
    Until a couple years ago when I began getting them several times a week. They threatened to make me nonfunctional.

    I started going to different doctors trying to figure out the cause of these headaches.

    Now, to cut to the chase, they turned out to be high blood pressure. Eventually my family doctor put me on high blood pressure medicine and they just *poof* went away.

    But that isn't my point to you. I am not suggesting that is your problem.

    On my road to learn it was high blood pressure I learned something about doctors that I didn't understand before.

    If you go to a specialist and tell the specialist that you have a problem and you think his specialty is the problem he will stop at nothing to find the solution within his specialty. Even if it isn't the case.

    Before the blood pressure medicine I became convinced it was an allergy problem. I went to an allergist. He was convinced it was allergies. They had me on different allergy concoctions for 6 months before I got bored of having no relief whatsoever. My lack of relief wasn't a sign that maybe allergys where not the problem to the doctor, just a sign that he hadn't given me enough injections.

    Listen, the advice I am trying to give you is pretty simple. If you have been going to a doctor for some amount of time and spent a retarded amount of money chasing the migraine demon and are no better off then where you started, then try a different doctor.

    What I ended up doing - and this I think is good advice - I ended up going to my family doctor and saying to the man, 'Hey, this headache thing is killing me. I was convinced it was being caused by allergies. I have spent the last year chasing this, I have seen not one but two allergy specialists and have gotten nowhere.
    If this isn't allergy related - and all roads point to it not being, then I have zero ideas on what to do next.
    Can you please look me over and help me figure out what to do next?'.

    That's all I got.
    You have my sympathy. People don't understand headaches. They can be evil.
     
  4. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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    Your shoulder pain is in no way like the sort of pain someone with migraines gets.
    This isn't a matter of 'dealing with it' or 'living with it'.

    This is a lot closer to God knocking on your door in the morning and sayin, 'Hey, you know how you had 'Tuesday' scheduled in today? Forget about it. I am crossing 'Tuesday' off your list. You my friend are going straight to 'Wednesday'. Hope this doesn't fuck your shit up too much.'.
     
  5. TheManLouisianaFace

    TheManLouisianaFace and decide!

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    She's not worried about headaches, or injuries, but the psychological grind that comes along with a chronic condition, whether it be migraines, psoriasis, etc.
     
  6. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    exactly. The migraines are awful, don't get me wrong, but I know better than to come to OT for armchair med advice...I more need advice from people who have had chronic conditions and how not to let it rule my life and get me down. Sometimes I feel like it affects my relationship, even though my boyfriend loves me and says it's 'ok' I know it must suck to have a GF who is sick all the time or get to Disneyland only to turn around and drive home because I get a migraine. :hs: I'm just really depressed about it right now. I made an appointment for an accupunturist on Monday...so that's a step in the right direction. I do agree with Stilgar...I 've thrown a lot of $$ at my current specialist, so I'm going to try another migraine specialist...and if he doesn't work I'm going to go back to my GP and let him refer me to someone.
     
  7. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    not to be rude...but migraine pain is a different beast then not being able to sleep on one side. Imagine wanting to gouge your eyes out and throwing up 15+ times in a row in a 3 hour period. :eek3:
     
  8. TFunkadelic

    TFunkadelic One Nation Under A Groove

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    :rolleyes:

    What does that have to do with the advice I offered? As I'm sure you know, there's no cure for migraines (like there's no cure for a damaged rotator cuff). The only thing you CAN do is accept the reality that your life sucks in that respect and deal with it the best you can. That includes forming relationships with people that are tolerant and understanding of your conditions and limitations. Your reality means a trip to Disneyland could be out of the question, but maybe there's something else that you can do to fill the gap? It'd be idiotic of me to play contact football again and that bums me out a bit, but I try not to let it keep me from enjoying the sports I can play, like basketball.

    For what it's worth, I've had a few migraines and am extremely thankful not to have them on a regular basis.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2010
  9. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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    got news for you.
    You are the asshole in this thread. You got no business calling her a twat. Your poor dislocated shoulder is meaningless compared to the pain of a migraine.

    I would know.

    I have had both.
     
  10. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    it has a lot to do with it because before I ever got migraines I had a back problem (2 surgeries from scolosis) and I can tell you, from experience, that mild discomfort is just really not the same. You compared your injury to mine, I said it doesn't compare, and you got upset. I do agree that I have to deal with the situation the best I can, but do you have any advice on how to go about that? Because I've fully accepted I have migraines, I'm very aware of that...but depression is a really complicated thing and I don't think accepting 'my life sucks and I have migraines' really is going to help that, and really, saying that migraines make my 'life suck' sounds counter productive. Migraines are one hurdle in my otherwise wonderful life, they don't define me. Yes, migraines, suck, but they don't make my life suck.


    Edit: I misread your post...you did say that aspect sucks...and like I've said, I've dealt with that.
     
  11. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    I have a couple of chronic conditions but nothing as severe as frequent and reoccurring headaches. I can honestly say that dealing with these chronic conditions isn't easy sometimes and very often I get pissed off at them and/or climb up on my pity pot and throw a fit. I think some of the most difficult times to handle are the unexpected changes to my schedule and frustration that comes from, once again, having to address these issues. Over time it can wear you down.

    When I'm having a bad day, one of the things I do is give myself a break. I stop trying to get things done and just do something I enjoy. For me, video games are a huge benefit and distraction. So I'll just sit around and play games for awhile. This has a combined effect of taking my mind off of my issues and providing entertainment. I also try to watch funny movies. I know it sounds silly but sometimes this can really help....I'll just watch funny movies over and over again and sometimes it really helps.

    Anyways, sorry to hear you're suffering. I hope you find the relief you need.
     
  12. TFunkadelic

    TFunkadelic One Nation Under A Groove

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    Thus the quick edit. For a moment I was annoyed that TS and yourself would be so quick to ignore general advice offered in response to general question.

    Me too :bigthumb:
     
  13. TFunkadelic

    TFunkadelic One Nation Under A Groove

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    I don't recall ever saying your chronic migraines were comparable in discomfort to my shoulder. But, when I dislocated my shoulder there was a period of time where I was very frustrated with not being able to do the things I used to, and I read a lot on the subject (coping with illness, injury, loss). Like I said before, the advice is always the same. What would you say to someone who lost their legs and arms in a car accident? If they told you "you have to suck it up and deal with it. This is your reality now." Would you still say "but you don't know what it's like to have migraines. It's far worse than being a quadruple amputee."


    Like I said before, it's entirely about enjoying the things you're able to do now. For everyone, there are things we simply can't and will never be able to do. That makes a lot of people crazy. When I'm down on myself for any reason I just think about all of the good times I've had and all that are still to come and I usually feel a bit better. Also, I've found that when I'm feeling depressed about things (often things that are out of my control), the quickest way to turn my mood around is to focus on self improvement. For me that means practicing (music), exercising, reading, and hanging out with my close friends.
     
  14. no lol today

    no lol today Soy la bailarina de la muerta. OT Supporter

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    There comes a point in your suffering where you HAVE to compromise your commitments for the sake of your health or you will lose it all.

    I hope you have help & that there is some disability insurance or medical leave option through your employer just in case.

    I'm assuming you're probably focused on getting through it & carrying on with things as normal as possible, but just keep the back door open for yourself.

    I've had nasty migraines since I was 8 years old. Since I read some migraine info in books by Oliver Sacks I've become much more aware of the early symptoms of onset and am better at preventing them. I also have no life due to reasons stemming from a different neurological problem so I get a lot of rest & that helps ... sort of. Heh.

    As far as coping goes, that's a constantly evolving beast. The most basic steps for me have been in the area of behavior modification. You can only change your habits based on the knowledge at hand, tho, so your ability grows as your arsenal of information does. That means self education is pivotal. With those two points feeding off one another you can hopefully see a lot of progress.
     
  15. Determined

    Determined New Member

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    Have you tried to find a trigger? My friend would get migraines sometime after having a concussion. Come to find out, caffeine was the trigger.
     
  16. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    I have an appointment with a new specialist and I'm thinking of making an appointment with a therapist soon (not right now because I've been missing too much for for doctors appointments). So this is a little progress.
     
  17. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    :hs: I hate that you say this because late last year I embarked on the journey of trying to get my CPA license, which means I have to take 4 very hard tests. I've passed one...3 more to go, but I think it has already worn me down mentally, which you know, is bad for migraines because migrainers have to try to be 100% mentally and physically to ward off migraines. I want to push through to the end and I'm determined to...but now I kind of regret even going down this path.
     

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