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Day 26: #MHAM #MHAMBC Hope and hopeless: and begin again

Choose your own hope topic: Please choose your own topic related to living with hope and write about it.

Living with hope is both feeling like you have a life to live and that there is something worthwhile in the future to live for. When we are hopeless many things fail us to put us in that state. We often say we are existing and not living. Treatment is failing us utterly in the present And we do not foresee any reason to believe that will change. 

Partially this can be blamed on medical professionals. Doctors do not have the experience to handle chronic pain patients. They are not well educated in it, so when it comes to treating it they are extremely limited in imagination. Therefore we need specialists; migraine specialists, neurologists or pain clinics. However, in complicated cases even they can simply 'run out of ideas' and nothing can destroy your hope more than being told they have nothing more they can do and basically they are going to pass the buck to someone else. In Canada this often means an additional Long wait list when you were already on a Long wait list. 

Partially it can be blamed on what is happening in our lives at the time. Some of us have to work with chronic pain. When we have no pain management that means high levels of pain, which means severe sleeping issues, which means more pain, more stress... and missing work. When we miss work employers get cranky, take that out on us and we get more stressed. it can lead to very stressful situations of ultimatums, threats of being fired, demotion or laid off. This can make us fee like we are trapped in a situation where a) we have to work but b) cannot handle the pain in order to work and c) medical professions are not able to resolve the issue so we Can in fact work. A lot of life factors can factor into this however, a lot of stresses can make us worse than usual. And when we are out of control on pain wise, more stressed, less sleep... we have a hard time holding onto hope. It feels like we have no control over the situation.

And, finally, partially it can be blamed on comorbid depression or prodrome depression. Because when you are in a status migraine that has lasted five days... around day three you are in agony. Perhaps you even tried the ER and they would not help you or just offered you toradol even though you explained this is a Status migraine. And the depression associated with migraines crashes into the brain plummeting you into the depths of despair. Where hope does not exist. 

So there will be times in our lives with this disease of chronic migraines where we will feel hopeless. The best we can do then is go day by day. Get though it day by day. Then make a plan on what would help with your treatment. For example I a)got rid of my GP as he was so disinterested in my pain and got a new family doctor who is excellent b) went to psychologist to help with mood and coping strategies for chronic pain c) went on long term leave from work. Now my leave is over and I have to decide whether I should reduce hours and go to part time, if possible in order to maintain a balance. In order to maintain my hope.

Try to affect the areas that are causing the most problems in your life. When you get better medical care and pain management it makes a vast difference. When you change how you work whether that be flexible hours, working from home, decreased hours... anything that will help you continue but be a benefit to you so you can work without the struggle.

Once you have that down you will see some improvements. From there it is taking control over the things you do have control over. What can you do, in addition to taking your medication, that would benefit you in your treatment. Slowly add those in; whether they are medication, biofeedback, massage therapy, acupuncture or others. This gives us a sense of control back and a sense that something we our doing may help us in the future. 

Gaining hope back once it is lost can be difficult. But I find you just have to find those factors that are around your hopelessness and try to change the ones that you can. 

"The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association."

Prompts to be found on: Awareness Month page.

Awareness Month page.

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