Chronically Grateful Day 12: What Is A Fear You’ve Conquered Despite Your Chronic Condition?


Having to always cancel plans, be left out of activities, know that you can’t do some of the things most people can, and always having to explain yourself, it’s easy to become worried about what others think of you. I wonder what they think when I try to explain why I can’t go on the hiking trip with everyone (for example) because my head will start hurting just five minutes in and the rest of the time will be like a living migraine filled nightmare for me. I used to fear people would think I was just making excuses or something. I’d fear that they would judge me for what I couldn’t do, and not for what I can do: which is fight a debilitating battle against head pain. There have been multiple instances where people don’t understand the severity of it and will say something like “oh come on! Don’t be a baby!” In which case I try my best not to get upset and defensive, knowing some people wouldn’t last an hour with a migraine while hiking 7 miles up and down a mountain (and from experience I know it feels like you would rather pluck your head off than continue hiking)

I’ve gotten over that fear though, because I know I don’t need to explain myself to everyone. The people who are close to me understand and don’t need an explanation anymore. The people who are close to us won’t demand an explanation. I also know that everyone has their own battles. Why should I judge them when I don’t know what they’re possibly going through? The saying “you can’t really understand a persons experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” couldn’t be more true.

If you get over the fear of what people think of you, you will do so much more in your life and feel so much more comfortable and confident 🙌🏼✌🏼️

Chronically Grateful Day 9: What Are You Most Grateful For About Yourself?

  
Being positive about yourself is never a bad thing, so be proud of who you are! ☝🏼️Despite the past 10 yrs (or so) of dealing with these headaches, I still have a lot to be grateful for. I’m compassionate, kind and goofy 😁I’m resilient and strong💪🏼. I dance wildly in front of crowds and don’t care what people think💃🏼I smile even when it seems impossible. It may come across as boastful, but really I’m just grateful for how I’m able to stay myself throughout this crazy ride. 💖

Chronically Grateful Challenge Day 2: What Are You Most Grateful For On Your Healthcare Team?

  
I’ve seen a wide array of doctors and been to countless offices. While they all have tried to give me a diagnosis and treatment, I’ve only felt truly attended to and comfortable at a few of those offices. My neurologist and headache doctor is incredibly smart and transparent. Transparency isn’t always comforting in the healthcare world, but it’s so important and crucial to good and effective communication with your doctor. These doctors are exhausting all they can think of in order to help me. They answer my messages in a timely manner and they are able to sympathize and understand (or at least try their best to understand) my concerns, emotions, and symptoms. Patients like myself get frustrated pretty often because I have yet to find any answers, but these doctors don’t take it personally and they do what they can to help ease my frustration. I’d be nowhere without them! 

Chronically Grateful November Challenge: Day 1–What Does Gratefulness Mean To You?

I’ve been pretty active on Instagram for this blog (@theheadacheheroine) and I saw a challenge for people living with chronic pain, disorders and/or illnesses. It’s for the month of November and the first day is about what gratefulness means to you, individually.

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To me, gratefulness means having the right perspective in order to see all of the blessings I’m surrounded by. I have a roof over my head, a loving family and devoted friends. I have a job (that I’ll be starting tomorrow!! eek!) and even though my health isn’t 100%, I have access to doctors and health facilities.

I think it means that even at our worst, we are able to see the good around us and making the effort to take that positivity to build ourselves back up.

This weekend I am grateful for the fun times I was able to share with family and friends. I have been having relentlessly bad headaches all week so I was worried I wouldn’t feel good enough to celebrate Halloween with my friends. Luckily, I didn’t feel terrible so I knocked Halloween out of the park (with the help of my awesome, cooperative bf) by being Lucille Ball from I Love Lucy

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Tell me I didn’t do an awesome job, I dare you!

I’m grateful for being able to enjoy myself (and maybe just a bit too much) and be the sassy, silly and wacky person I am, just as Lucy is too.

Be grateful for the good things in your life, even when they seem to be outweighed by the bad.

Night friends ❤

Song Of The Week: “Lost Stars” by Adam Levine

This is one of those songs that gave me very real chills the first time I heard it. I stumbled upon it while listening to Spotify one day. Since then, it still gives me chills each and every time I listen to it. Those songs are rare for me. Songs that allows your mind to find something new from them every time you hear them.

Every time I listen to this song, I feel like I’ve escaped to this new and different land or place. Is anyone else able to relate to that feeling?

  
Adam’s always angelic voice is the first thing that had me hitting repeat on this song, but it’s the following line that truly captured my heart.

Are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark?

This song reminds me that no matter where our journeys may take us, we must always shine our light on this world. That’s why we’re here: to use our light to light up the dark.

That’s why I write about my journey. I never really talked about it with anyone except friends and family until I started this blog. But I wanted to be able to share my experiences and shine my light in the hopes that I may help light up the dark for someone else. Maybe my words can help light the way for someone else who is having a hard time seeing which way to go.

You all are capable of lighting up the dark in your own unique ways. It’s how we use our light that really matters.

Zero To Hero

  
At some point in life, we will be broken. It’s inevitably a part of living. The hope is that we can rebuild and become strong at those broken places. Ernest Hemingway was a powerful writer and I find myself connecting to so many of his words. 

People with chronic pain or illnesses have a higher chance of being broken more than once, I think. There’s so much physical, mental and emotional struggle that comes along with the chronic pain we face. It’s a packaged deal and we don’t have the option to pick and choose which we go up against. 

For the past two months or so, my headaches have been relentless. Forcing me to force smiles and laughter. Making me work twice as hard as I normally would to do everyday tasks and things I need to do to get by. I’ve had some sincerely joyous, carefree moments within these two strenuous months. I do manage to have fun and truly laugh beside friends and family even during the worst of it. But when I take a step to the side and have a sidebar of my own, I have felt myself breaking to the point where I know that I’ve been broken by this life. My headaches have pushed tears through my eyes and created a nonstop state of frustration. It’s as if I’ve hit a wall because I have all these different directions I can go to try to figure out a “cure” or a diagnosis. But it’s hard to try to figure out which is the best road to go down first. 

I want to be one of the “some” that Hemingway talks about in this quote though. A part of the some that walk away stronger at my broken places. I’m determined, really, to be a part of that “some.” So I truck on, keep seeing different doctors, taking different tests and trying a wide range of tricks to try to help bring my headaches down even just a tiny notch. 

So if you’re feeling broken, just know you’re not alone. Know that you’re not a victim, because it happens to everyone. But also remember that you can take that feeling and build upon it. You can either let it continue to drag you down leaving you in pieces for someone else to try to put together, or you can become strong at those broken places and know that it will only turn you into a stronger fighter and more compassionate and empathetic person. 

Facing The Storm 

  
It’s one of those days where I’m running really low on spoons. Been laying in bed all day, drinking lots of water and tea and kind of just letting my headaches dictate my day & mood. Every day though, is a learning experience on how to manage and deal with my pain. Learning how to handle your chronic pain and keep on living a normal life is a journey in itself. Some days are harder than others, but it’s in our power to learn how to sail our own ship. 

Keep On Truckin 

  
Test after test. Doctor office after doctor office. There’s really no break when you’re trying to figure out what’s causing your chronic pain. I’ve don’t a number of X-rays, ct scans, and mris over the past few years. I don’t really remember how many.. So it always makes me uncomfortable to add another one to the list. However, I’m trying every possible route I can think of in order to (hopefully) get some answers as to what’s causing and how to treat my daily headaches. 

So today I did an X-ray of my cervical spine. Gonna see if it shows anything out of the ordinary. When one part of your body is messed up, it can affect other parts of your body as well. Neck issues are often linked to headaches or worsened headaches. So I decided to see if that’s a possibility in my case.

Happily accepting any good luck and wishful thinking! 

Song Of The Week: “The Rain” by Benjy Davis Project

Some days go on forever

Sometimes the weatherman says rain

We’ve all had days staring blankly out the window

Watching all the plans we made go down the drain

This isn’t a happy song, it doesn’t make you want to dance. This is a song that makes you truly understand the lyrics, because you can relate to the sadness and frustration. However, after listening to the whole thing, it reminds you that sometimes we all just have bad days. There are better days ahead, though.

This song describes so many days that I’ve faced during my journey with chronic daily headaches. There are days where all I want to do is lay in bed, stare blankly out the window, and watch all the plans I made go down the drain. And some days, that’s exactly what I do. I let frustration win and I hide from real life. People with chronic pain, or any health issue or daily struggle know that these days are inevitable and sometimes come into our lives too often.

I love this song because it’s another song that sounds like it was written specifically for me. It helped me realize that worrying doesn’t do any good for me. I can’t turn off the rain, but I can hold out hope for better weather.