Sometimes I hate my job... or at least the part with migraines and my job

Who would have thought a migraine and working would not go together well? Odd. Management is in a big fuss right now and so it is not fun to be me in the workplace. Quite frankly all those management contradictions are frustrating all on there own. Sell, sell sell... but suggest what the customer needs without product pushing... but you're not selling enough, so sell more, without pushing. Er? We want 1% improvement step by step... but your audit must be perfect, you must know everything and we actually meant 150% more. Let's just say when you get this from five different angles it gives you a kink in the neck... but its all good, just do your job, and well, and hope for the best.

Except I can't take any more sick days, cause that does not reflect well on me and might affect my productivity. Duh. Chronic illness... rather chronic. The solution is, naturally, no compromise  just me going to work with more severe migraines and muddling my way through. Problem solved, from their end of things anyway.

Except when I muddle my way through I make small data entry errors (not to mention bigger errors I need to fix and spelling errors and errors correcting my errors), but just the wee little data entry audit errors. Too many. Must improve on that, while working with severe migraines.

Ergo... I must sell as many products as possible, but just what the customer needs without product pushing, making no errors with a perfect audit on every file while working with migraines.

Nope... that ain't stressful at all. I'm not sure they understand the concept of a migraine neurologically speaking. From a pain perspective, it is in pains nature to draw the attention to that area and when the pain is bad enough your focus narrows. Moderate pain means you can probably focus on one task alone and get through it, maybe not perfectly, but get the job done. Severe pain means the pain is the focal of your attention and your lucky if you can get anything done. Thats just the pain. When you add in all the quirks and the fog you get a person making mistakes they don't even know they are making, or know they are forgetting simple things but just trying to get through. So yeah, I get that does not make for ideal working brain power. I get it, cause I am the one getting them. Just saying it won't be so, does not make it so. And having an awesome facade to hide the pain, does not make it go away. I can't be perfect... I can't even be as good as I could be. I have to deal with my brain as is and know its not as it should be. They think that is frustrating for them, they ought to try it from my side. It is extremely frustrating when you know you could do your job so much better, and know how well things are on 'good' days, but can't do a damn thing about it. I really wish I did get some sort of random cheering for doing my job as well as I do when I have a whopping migraine. I am always amazed at what I can get done, using the tricks I have learned to get though the day. It is damned astonishing sometimes. Not that impressive compared to relatively healthy people. But damned amazing nonetheless. Still, don't look so good on the old annual review does it?

No pain no gain.... huh, this time there was a gain from the pain

Yeah, I'll have to say the massage therapy while a form of torture, does in fact help with migraines. All those migraines are killer on the neck, then the neck pain radiates up into the head, causing, er, migraines... then your triptan just does not seem to cut it anymore. So my neck pain has eased and with it some of that constant aggravating pain. Now my triptans seem to be holding their weight a wee bit better.

Unfortunately the migraines remain way over chronic. I have been told, with respect and politely, by my boss that the upper boss is noticing my absences from work and if it affects my rankings then that would not bode well for me... and in this economy it would not bode well at all. In other words, don't miss any more days. Sucks to be me, because that means even a killer migraine and I have to go to work, somehow, someway... and even function while I am there. Not sure how that is going to work. it is hard on a migraine manageable day, but they ain't all managable... frankly it is damn hard to go to work as it is. Damn hard. So damn hard I have no idea how I do it, except by forcing myself to just get there. Bad days though, that is way worse... that is I should not be driving worse.

However, that leaves me rock/me/hardplace. I don't want to go on leave, because when I come back I know I will be demoted yet again. I don't want to go on leave because it does not do anything (except help with pain) and I come back the same... thus the chronic part. Yet can I maintain and push through until something comes along to help? Or am I just kidding myself?

Plan B

Just to clarify things Plan B is the way I have always looked at suicide and has gotten me through some touch times. It is an 'if everything else fails... then I always have Plan B'. You may think this is a dark topic but the fact is migraine related suicide is not as uncommon as people think. I certainly engage in suicidal ideation, just thinking about it. When I have a brutal migraine I sometimes wish or strongly pray for a timely heart attack, fatal stroke of coma. This is why migraine treatment is important. Why migraine awareness is important. The common deaths that occur with migraines should not have suicide at the top.

Migraine-Suicide Link May Appear As Early As Middle School
Past research has shown that rates of depression and anxiety more than double among people who suffer chronic migraines. Even more striking are the suicide rates: almost one in four women and one in seven men who experience migraine with aura, a visual or neurological disturbance which precedes headaches in 15 percent of sufferers, attempt to take their own lives.

Research published in this month's edition of Neurology shows that this correllation is present as early as puberty, the point at which many sufferers begin experiencing symptoms.

Neurologists examined 121 Taiwanese students age 12-14 who reported chronic daily headaches. These students were further assessed for psychological disorders and suicide risk.

Results showed that almost half of these students, more than 3.5 times the normal rate, suffered from one or more psychological disorders, with 21 percent qualifying formajor depressive disorder (MDD) and 19 percent for panic disorder. Twenty percent were further to be determined at high suicide risk. This association was even stronger for adolescents with migraine with aura, whose risk of suicide was estimated as six times that of normal teens.

Perhaps more like very important association than consequence, but an epidemiological study of young adults linking migraine to psychiatric disorder and suicide attempts [3] is worth considering.

This study examined 1,007 young adults aged 21 to 30 years old who were part of an HMO in Michigan. The participated in a structured interview which used the International Headache Society definitions of migraine and the National Institute of Mental Health diagnostic interview schedule to gather information on psychiatric disorders.

The results showed a lifetime prevalence of migraine of 7% in men and 16% in women. There were higher lifetime rates of psychiatric disorders in persons with migraine. For instance, major depression occurred in 9% of people without migraine, but in 22% of people with migraine without aura and in 32% of people with migraine with aura. Panic occurred 10 times more frequently, at 17%, than in people without migraine. Anxiety occurred in 21% of people without migraine and 54% of people with migraine.

Perhaps the most startling result, though, was that suicide attempts were very much higher in migraine sufferers, especially in those with aura (Figure).

When stratified according to the type of migraine and the presence and absence of major depression, the figures confirm this remarkable trend (Table 2).

Table 2: Association between migraine, depression and suicide attempts
Migraine Depression Number Suicide attempts/100
None None 786 2.2
Migraine/no aura None 51 5.9
Migraine/aura None 33 9.1
None Major 91 16.5
Migraine/no aura Major 18 22.2
Migraine/aura Major 26 38.5

Oh the fun just does not end

I had some bad neck pain this morning but worse was the head, jaw pain combined with a killer migraine. I completely missed work... again. And the whole idea of the massage therapy is so the I don't miss work. Obviously it is doing something, so I think I will go again.

What would solve all my problems (other than Plan B) would be if I did not have to work. Lately I just can't take the pain. I just can't. Nor can I take the guilt of missing work.

Massage therapy

Alright, so you get a migraine, then you get another, then you get another and it is inevitable you're going to have some neck pain. I tried a chriopractor, which some people swear by, but it actually made things worse. Not because of the migraines, but because I also have that dang FM syndrome, which means the whole chiro thing is iffy. It could work, it could make things worse. Was worth a shot. Then when my neck and shoulder went gimpy I did the physiotherapy thing which worked awesome, but took some time. Massage therapy seems like a nice compromise... something to do consistently and prior to your neck pain throwing other things out.

I would just like to say a)it hurt and b) it gave me a migraine. Figures. I knew it would hurt, even though I did only a half hour appointment and she used significantly less pressure due to the FMS. Because of the fibro any kind of pressure on my muscles hurts. Since FMS is chronic pain, I am kinda used to some level of pain and am all for a temporary increase if there are benefits. It is just a matter of finding out if this is too much to handle, or if in a couple of weeks it will prove beneficial. Now, it also gave me a migraine, but this is not unexpected either. After all, she was massaging those specific muscles that are radiating pain upward. I mean it sucks that I don't get that benefit of 'relaxation' from a nice massage, but if it helps, that really doesn't matter. Thats why they tack on the 'therapy' after 'massage'. the pain could mean it is working or it could mean that it is just painful... time will tell.

Time to muster the troops

Like I say, chronic migraines are not a battle, its a war. I am giving ground right now, losing more battles than I would like. Time to muster the troops and get that ground back. In times like this you have to consider what sort of things you can do to get back the stalemate stage or if you are lucky get your victory on.

I came up with three points of attack:

1) sleep: As a chronic insomniac due to the joys of fibromyalgia sleep is vital on too many levels to get into. The one that matters for my ability to actually get out of bed would be that sleep deprivation leads to midnight to morning migraines. When migraines hit you when your down, its damn hard to get up. Its like a sneak attack there is no defense against. Plus leads to, in my case, some very fun alice in wonderland syndrome. I already nap and nap and nap, so adding nap time would cut into other stuff time. I am already on a sleeping pill, which you would think would be sufficient, but my insomnia is uber strong. So my doc scribed me a med to add to the affect of sleepiness to add to the sleeping pill. And it does work, but it also has too many side effects. So not a daily thing... but nonetheless helps me get sleep when I really need it, like when I have a migraine at bed time.

2) Neck pain: The reason I have been getting even less sleep than usual is that my neck has been hurting constantly. This is a consequence of having a long and terrible migraine streak and is quite common. Pain makes muscles tense which gimps muscles. Last time it happened every time I got a migraine my shoulder hurt so much I could barely move my arm. This time it seems to be staying in the neck area but is giving me a constant headache and makes it very difficult to sleep. So solution number 2 is fix the neck by going to massage therapy.

3) Medication: If something is not working I have to change it as soon as humanly possible, since if it stops working or while waiting for a new one to kick in things could get bad very fast. For the first step I changed my triptan abortive, on the off chance I was just getting used to my other one. Second step was to talk over my preventatives with my neuro, but since I do not answer my phone, like ever, I just got the message he left sometime last week. nevertheless it is progress.

Getting worried

All these migraines and then that uber intense agonizing migraine. Too many strong migraines. Freaking me out. Missing work, which makes me feel guity and is freaking me out. It is not the pain so much as the fact if I cannot get a grip on it, I may need another leave of absence. I am worried about that. I can't keep doing that. I need to get these managed somehow quick before I slide on down to that slippery slope. I just don't know how to do it. I do everything I can and it just does not work.

That migraine yesterday was so painful I would rather have a bullet in the head than to ever have to go through that again.

I would love to just redirect you to the new site...

But sadly the redirect function doesn't function. I will continue to persist hitting it and see if it will eventually do something. Or s...