Migraine Art (updated July 2010)

Some migraine art work put together...

Interesting work twist...

The area manager had declined my request for accomadation, which, yeah, totally ticked me off. The fact that she could not concieve of someone being disabled by chronic pain and a way to accomadate that and of course the threat to demote me. Well, my boss had also followed procedure and set a request to our HR to cover all basis. They got back to her with a request form for more inforamtion from my doctor in order to assess an accomadation package. Now this is what I had initially expected from management. A thorough assesment and recommendation. All professional like.

Problem is do I proceed or not.

Obviously there are some issues with higher management and their inablity to understand my situation let alone help out with it. Therefore if I do push through a claim I can expect a cold reception on that end, possibly positively experience some negative effects that will affect my job with them, my position or even my employment. Yeah, the stigma of chronic pain. They may be the ones that don't get it, but I am the one that has to deal with their attitudes and coping. They simply make things harder than they need to be.

Then there on the other hand there is that health factor to consider. Inflicting myself with migraine after migraine after migraine and unable to call in sick, I am driving myself to worse health and a nervous breakdown. I don't want to ignore my health, or for that matter, my mental and emotional health. But it seems in regards to work, it is the only facet of my life where there is no flexabily and I am left to just plow through the pain, even though that results in worse health and absolutely no life outside of work. My co-workers say I should not risk my health. Common sense tells me I should not risk my health. Yet I feel if I do try to work with HR for an accomadation I will really regret it.

I think I might hold off, delay and see what my neuro recommends. Or maybe I will have a stroke at work and the head honchos will go 'oh, there are consequences for someone with chronic migraines. My bad.'

Anyway, it is a crappy situation and a crappy decision to make. I should make a stand here, if only because it is right damn it. But at the same time managements position is crytal clear and thus if I fight it, they will likely think I am a poor worker, lazy or want to work less for the fun of it.

My work situation is so annoying and fustrating

We were short staffed the last two weeks, so I've been covering for a few people. Making sure I came in even though it was a week of violent migraines, along with violent storms. I was glas to do it, my co-workers help me and I am more than willing to help them back with whatever they need. My boss says to me now you know how they feel when your gone, because I was quite busy, but I liked that, more of a pain distraction. And I thought to myself, not the same. They would cover my work for sure and that would be that. I covered for two people, while having nasty migraines. So not the same. That irked me a bit.

But then the bosslady comes in for a chat, cause she has heard form above the ladder. They have decided in their brilliance that I cannot miss any more work. And if I do then my 'role' is not 'appropriate' for me... so being the kind hearted people they are they will then demote me to the role I did before, which would actually make things worse. What can I say to that? So the idea is I suffer and you have me here everyday? Win for you, lose for me? Until I can't take it any more and quit? Until I have a nervous breakdown? I don't know if it is just that they do not comprehend my disability, don't care, or want to get rid of me by being more inflexible. It pissed me off because clearly they do not want to do a damn thing. And they will not do a damn thing unless forced to. So I will continue to go in every day, as best I can and do what needs to be done until my neuro appointment in Sept. And so far it has been torture.

Plus they chronically complain about my audit scores, my files coming back with dicrepancies. I know already. I am doing what I can do to double check my migraine ridden brain, recheck my work thrice over to ensure it does not happen. But I am very annoyed that they both expect me to present and acounted for every day, but also funtion like a normal person? Do they understand the word disability?

They make me feel like I am completely useless, but the fact is, despite my absences and even my three week neuro treatment absense, my numbers and sales are doing just as well as anyones.

Stigma of migraine is significant; worse for those with chronic migraine

Stigma of migraine is significant; worse for those with chronic migraine

This article caught my eye for obvious reasons. I have faced that stigma... usually in the form of 'if you do such and such they would not be so bad'... in other words they might understand migraines, but not the imapirment involved in chronic migraines. It is the same with FMS... someone may understand muscle pain but not chronic pain plus the other problamatic symptoms. And that stigma is fustrating and isolating. They state it can lead to depression and anxiety and they are right... because we feel judged, misunderstood and alone. It also makes me feel angry... very angry. Maybe because I've been through all this before with Fibromyalgia which carries with it a hefty stigma on its own, causing me to minimilize its effects to everyone, including doctors and not mentioning it to employers or casual friends. I would do the same with migraines if I could... but they are a great deal harder to hide. Whatever. We should not have to suffer in silence. The reality is that this stigma can drastically effect someones life, including their ability to get or maintain employemtn.

New criteria proposed for diagnosing fibromyalgia

New criteria proposed for diagnosing fibromyalgia

This is indeed good news. The tender point test did seem rather minimal since it only takes into account pain and ignores the other prodominate symptoms. Certainly it could lead to earlier diagnosis in FMS patients, because, seriously, if it takes a decade to diagnosis someone there are some issues with the methods. I recall when i finally got my diagnosis that they were too late... by then FMS had impaired a great deal of my ability to function in many aspects that I simply had to cope with on my own, often including stopping activities that became too draining or painful, when it fact early treatment would encourage a certain level of activity. Helping with the cognitive impairements and sleep issues early on sure would have been nice as well. What I most remember of my official diagnosis, which by then was rather moot, was that tender point test was damn painful. Damn painful and lasted quite a bit after as well. It is like poking a bruise... yeah it hurts and hurts quite a bit if you put that much pressure on it. Of course, there was also some relief. That finally moment where finally there is a name for what is wrong with you. And that hope that finally someone will help. Of course, they didn't then. But the more medications and treatments they look into the better the future outlook for those of us that have this dang syndrome.

Chronic Pain - What Is Central Sensitization?

Chronic Pain - What Is Central Sensitization? is an interesting read.

Its a killer

I have a nasty, nasty migraine today.  All day long.  But it did not start off as bad as it is now.  It was just a long day and nothing seemed to last long in regards to treatment.  So now I am awake and in loads of pain dreading tomorrow.  I hate not having choices and being in such pain.  Unfortunately not much I can do about it.  Just hope for some sleep tonight.  Just hope for the will power to make it through a couple more days so that I can rest on the weekend.  Hope it is not too hot tomorrow.  Hope I don't run out of hope.

Wondering how to work around work

There have been times in my life with FMS and migraines that I have had to alter the way I get things done because my brain takes a nap on the job.  Information does get in, but getting it out when I need it seems to be an issue.  Some things don't seem to stick at all, since that sort term memory really, really gets short.

I got through high school sleep deprived and skipping school to have naps and got fine grades.  When I got to University however my fibro fog and migraines became problematic.  I needed to learn how to study and how to edit my editing.  Being that I was the cramming sort of learner that remembered everything she read and had very little natural inclinations to organization, this was a tricky feat of mine.  Cramming was fine still.  I had a knack for pulling out important information, condensing it and cramming that... then downloading on a test.  However for more complex long term absorption, required for longer research papers I needed to make a lot of notes, then highlight the important parts, condense for there and study that... because sometimes while I read I was all fuzzy headed and would not remember a thing.  I learned to take frequent breaks and have frequent snacks.  These methods work awesome for me then, up until I took my masters and then my health took a nose dive and it was hard just to attend classes.

In the work force, likewise, there are ways to work around a decrease in brain function.  It is just a matter of finding the ways that work in your particular field.  What I find best is to be organized, as best you can, so you are not flustered when you need something.  To write notes to yourself about what you are working on that is urgent.  To prioritize urgent to not quite so urgent and methodically work through the list.  To take a break and walk around for a bit when you feel like you are zoning out.  To stick to a particular routine, so when your brain falters it goes on auto-pilot.  Eat a lot of snacks to keep your energy levels up.  And most important of all double or triple check your completed work.

I have been implemented some of my work methods because the boss lady complains that my audit scores are low, due to tiny, usually data related errors.  When working with chronic migraines and not taking leave for them (because apparently the chronically ill do not have the same privileges of the ill bu curable) means I am working with a brain that is hardly there and distracted by pain that is there way too much.  Since work did not take my offered comprises, once again, as it always is, it is up to me to find a way to 'handle' it.  Since I tend to be a fast worker, I have been implementing these steps to slow me down and verify, verify and then verify again so each product is as near perfect as I can reasonably get it.  Hopefully this will stop the avoidable errors.


You win some you lose some...

I got the verdict today from work.  They are not willing to allow me to partly work from home, which would have been an awesome compramise all around.    Their reasoning is that my role is a 'face-to-face' role... maybe they should tell that to all the clients I handle over the phone!  But I get their point.  I just wish there was a little flex room for my particular situation.  I can, however, work four to three day weeks if I choose, which is the option I had not wanted to take, but might have to in the short term.  It was also suggested I could change back to my formal role, but that would not be better at all... dealing with more people, shorter times and more concerns holds less appeal than dealing with max six people a day for specific concerns.  Still, can't say I did not come up with an action plan all on my own... even if it was shot down.  Gotta try.

The best solution of course would be if I could cure myself.  That would simply solve everyone's problems.  But no matter how much I focus, strain and think at my brain it just does not listen to me... has a mind of its own you know.  I suppose the silver lining in this whole venture is that my neuro managed to get my migraines to be rather eposidic after his treatment, as in I do not seem to be getting stuck in status migraines, which is good because that means less medication to manage the ones I get and a more effective result.  Which means when I see my doc in Sept it may be a new preventative might have a better result.  Might as well pretend to be optimistic for awhile.

Chronic migraine sufferers experience greater LPT in workplace

Chronic migraine sufferers experience greater LPT in workplace

"Key Findings:
  • Chronic Migraine (CM) is remarkably disabling compared to EM in terms of lost productive time among employed adults with migraine.
Chronic Migraine (CM) sufferers experience greater LPT in the workplace than those suffering from EM. This study showed that in the age interval 35-44 years, the LPT of CM sufferers was 215.3 hours higher per year than those suffering from EM.  The amount of LPT among CM increased over age groups while it remained relatively low and stable among EM.  
  • Chronic Migraine (CM) is more costly than EM in the workplace
This study also found that cost estimates increased for CM across age cohorts while remaining relatively constant for EM.  On an annual basis for those aged 35-44 years, this translated to the LPT for CM sufferers being $5,352.36 higher per year than those with EM.  The average cost of LPT per week was based on 2005 census median income estimates."

Yep, that would be me

Flash by migraining.

The worst migraines are the ones that catch me off guard at work.  Your just plunking along doing your thing, start yawning and then feel a little dopey... but your tired, so figure that is it.  Then the migraine slaps you up the side of the head demanding immediate abortive treatment.  Which killed if for a good six hours... but it is coming back now.  Brutal sharp bugger too.  Thankfully today was insane busy, and so that is a distraction that I really needed.  Although I felt my focus was way off.  Rambling and incoherent communication seemed to be the par.

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...