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.