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Sometimes I feel like having a full blown regressed tantrum...

I was reminded of a post I made here and on a related migraine forum regarding driving with migraines and/or driving with migraine medication. The overwhelming response was never drive with a migraines. Frankly, I would not, if I did not have to. Case and point, now I was specifically told by my neuro not to drive on these meds for this short three week span and I am off work, so i don't need to drive. However, in what world do people live in where someone who works and has chronic migraines gets to call in sick cause they should not drive? I'd be fired by now, which is the absolute truth given how work has treated me for the relatively few absenses I have had, all things consisdered. I got the argument. I got the concerns. Still, that whole needed to pay the bills and eat thing tends to make me decide otherwise. That and with chronic pain for a couple sorts I prioritize my pain; functional pain and non-functional pain. I do all sorts of things with functional pain that I wish the hell I did not have to do, work and driving simply being two examples of such.

I won't mention that topic any further, since people get all riled up about it. But it reminds me of this work situation. The sort of threats stating I can't be sick any longer (as though I had that awesome choice) but as this necessarily means coming to work with migraines I still have to perform not just normally, but awesomely and perfectly (when I can't even speak straight). But I can't not work. Thats not an option. I can get these leaves, which give me such wonderful relief where I don't have to go out in the sun, drive, work or anything when afflicted with a migraine. But they are temporary, there is no treatment that is so awesome I will be able to return to work with only the occasional migraine. As far as I know the possibility of long term disability or permanent disability are both hard to gain and hard to get forever.

So there are literally no options for people with chronic migraines when they have to work. They have to work. It is cruel and unusual punishment in my books, but I did not write the rules. So what the hell does a person do? How do they manage to keep employment for any duration, how do they manage to limit their 'sick' days, how do they endure their suffering silently? I ask those questions more and more frequently. It is cruel to expect people in chronic pain to endure such torture for a day, let alone decades. I really want to know how the hell we are expected to do this until retirement.

I have FMS, (Fibromyalgia) and over the years as that pain got worse, and the symptoms more troublesome I adapted as best I could. It was difficult, but at least an attainable goal... that I could develop ways to cope, careers to choose and methods to limit my pain while holding down a job (not really realistic to make career goals, because the job choices become limited, but a job and preferably one I liked). People do go on permanent disability from FMS, but I always thought there were ways to not go that route and still make a living. I had that hope and I realized it, but without the hope things would have been drastically different. That is not to say it is easy or even possible for some people and flare ups of FMS are horrifically painful but thankfully short in duration (a month at the max).

This differs considerably from chronic migraines. Mostly because it is the brain we are talking about. FMS has fibro fog and memory issues, but you can adapt to that... sticky notes and such, whatever... personally I developed organizational skills I certainly had not been blessed with. With migraines the pain is situated in a location that is by nature hard to push through and ignore... it does not depend on exertion, position and so forth, plus the neurological symptoms make it that much harder to see, hear, touch, focus, remember... all that jazz. In other words there is no way to adapt in a way that enables you to function even though you have a migraine... your productivity will suffer, you will make errors. You will also be forced to take sick days when the migraine is too actute or untreatable... because you are beyond the ability to function and move. It does not matter what job you have as there are no migraine friendly jobs. There is a vast array of possible treatments (way, way more than for FMS) but the sucess rate is niether gaurenteed or down to a level that eliminates the essential problems. In other words, there is no hope that you can accomadate migraines, adapt your work methods or make compramises to cope. It is what it is. Where does that leave the chronic pain sufferer?

One chronic pain can be managed to a degree and one cannot. I knew long ago I would simply have to get used to suffering, since treatment of FMS is... lacking. Doctors are almost indifferent to its many effects. So I coped as best I could. Coping requires some give and take though... how can you cope with the possibility of simply enduring that sort of pain on a daily basis with little relief?  I mean, seriously, give me a carrot to run after.  Give me that slim hope.  Convince me there is some sort of solution at the end of the retirement rainbow even if I can never get to the end of the rainbow.

I guess one way to cope is to not think about the future at all... way too depressing.

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