If you don’t already know, I’m a software engineer consultant. I typically am placed at a clients’ office for three or more months at a time and typically feel like a regular employee. Being a consultant, I must accept the environment and working conditions as they are given unless of course, they are hazardous to my well-being. I’m beginning to wonder about the hazard level at my current client.
My client built out some pretty nice offices in a foundry that went out of business many years back. The building has some strange space configurations given this history and not every desk has the best view or alignment with bathroom facilities, break rooms, etc. My desk happens to be located right on a main walkway between two of the buildings this office covers. A fairly wide hallway/breezeway is about 20 feet from my desk and has a number of break room tables located in that walkway. During lunch, there is a group of ladies who get together and have a jolly old time.
They cackle like hens and it’s maddening.
I’m all for a stress-relieving lunch, but do they realize they’re smack in the middle of a business? The tall ceilings lend themselves to horrendous echoes and when all five of them get wound up in their air-raid siren guffaw, I nearly lose it. Being a consultant, I have to maintain a level of acceptance of the client, even if I don’t work with them. However, I think I will print a small sign up saying “Please be mindful – voices carry!” or something neutral of the sort. They have plastic sign holders for announcements and it would look professional enough. But a part of me wants to throw my desk chair at them. It doesn’t help when I have a migraine and music hurts my ears. I should record them sometime so you can get the full effect.
Recently my lovely migraines have been affected by the weather conditions. Either that, or a huge coincidence of having more migraines during odd weather patterns exists. It’s been hard to manage the pain because it varies in intensity and location that I can’t tell if it’s a migraine, rebound headache, or a standard vanilla headache. Plus, I’m really tired of taking Ibuprofen since it doesn’t seem to do anything.
Luckily I haven’t had too many incidents at work with the migraines. It’s hard to manage work flow and a consistent software development schedule when you keep getting distracted from the pain. It’s been that irritating “I’m here to annoy you but I won’t kill you” pain. It’s almost like I’d want one big ass headache a week instead of these little headaches.
Senseless rambling is also a sign of irritation, from what I know about myself. 🙂
We’re keeping busy on the social calendar this weekend. Tomorrow night we’re meeting our friend Marie for dinner. We haven’t seen her in months and I miss talking with her almost every day on IM. Friday we’re off to my parents’ house for dinner and a bonfire out back. Saturday it’s our turn to host and Tazz’s family is coming over. Sunday is my homework day. Actually, tomorrow my current client is closed so I’m taking the day off for cleaning and homework. I had the opportunity to come into the office to work on other tasks, but I need the time off.
Storms coming in tonight and I think I’m turning into my mom. I can tell the barometer from how much my head hurts. I wonder if mercury will come shooting out my ears when the storm hits?!
I’ve noticed a trend in both family and friends. The more you are honest about how you are feeling and discussing your ailments, the less people care about them. It’s almost a paradox – the people you love are supposed to help you through things like pain, sickness, etc. However, they can be easily overburdened by your chronic syndromes.
My stomach has been pretty wonky since I was 19. I started taking Pepcid when it first came out on the market and it helped for a while. It eventually stopped working and I had to make my way up to proton pump inhibitors. Nexium seems to be “the one” that just works. Unfortunately, my new employer/insurance doesn’t cover the purple pill. Protonix just came out with a generic but it’s not the best. So, the GERD and hiatal hernia have been ruining my life. Drinking hot tea helps calm it down but ultimately my weight (which is going down) and drinking soda are the primary factors.
I’m babbling. My point is, it’s a fine line you have to walk/balance on to keep your family from being numb. I think we too easily forget we can suck it up for a while, if we’re actively trying to prevent accessing migraine triggers, bad foods for our heads and stomachs, etc. Part of me says screw off, if you don’t like it then you can kiss my ass. The other part of me says that it’s hard enough for me going through it and I should use my external help wisely.
Part of the other issue that I’ve discussed before is both the migraines and GERD are internal things. A little red light doesn’t start blinking on your forehead to confirm you’re ill. (Although, I think sometimes we see blinking lights as an aura.) You know people, even your close friends, do think you’re either overreacting or acting in general if you get symptoms frequently.
Do I show the pain, or just mask it with a smile?
I’m trying to figure out what exactly I need to do to keep myself from having pain when I vacation. This weekend we’re going camping and while I’ve been spending time getting the camping gear together, I need to make sure I bring a kit in case the ice pick shows up in my head. I’ve had relatively good luck with the migraines lately but I know I have to prepare for the worst.
Part of the problem with being on vacation and having migraines is you never know what could happen. If you’re traveling with one person or ten people, you kind of feel like you have an obligation to not “ruin it” for the other people. I plan on keeping a good stock of my abortive drugs on hand and not getting myself wrapped up in the triggers like alcohol. I don’t want to be a stick in the mud either but I will stay aware of how I’m reacting.
I know that most people that know I have migraines are understanding if there is a problem when we’re out having fun. I still feel it’s my responsibility to keep the party going, however. I probably got that from my mom who wouldn’t tell you if her arthritic joints were locking up if it meant going home.
So simply be aware of what’s going on around you and don’t be afraid to tell people you have boundaries. Most of the time they’ll understand, and you know what if they don’t, screw ’em. I’ve been out at a club/bar too often having to suck it up to keep the night going. I also didn’t know where I should have stopped. Don’t feel afraid ordering the bottled water or going with the bland salad if it’s going to keep you migraine free for the night.
Camping shouldn’t be a problem but in August we’re driving out to Niagara Falls and that could be interesting. Hopefully the temps stay down so I don’t get overexerted. Nothing like being hot, crabby, and migrainy to ruin a time that’s supposed to be fun.