I live with chronic migraines. This means for 3-7 days of every week for the last year and a half I have been in bed in excruciating pain.
I lie in bed on my support pillow, with my light blocking eye mask, my sound blocking ear plugs, hoping that this time my pain killers will work. It feels like a lightning storm has erupted inside my skull, starting in my left eye and working its way around. It can be like this for days. I can literally sleep for 48+ hours because the pain is so exhausting.
Other times I lie awake, wishing I could fall asleep, but the pain is keeping me awake and my body isn’t tired. I want to scream, but it hurts too much. I want to cry, but that will make it worse. Sometimes I can make it out of my room for food, other times my husband has to make sure I have enough supplies next to the bed to get me through. Sometimes I can eat, sometimes I vomit. My body can get sore from lying in bed too long, even though we paid for a orthopaedic bed. Sometimes I can make it to the bathroom by myself, sometimes my husband has to hold me as I shuffle my way along.
My life isn’t always like this though. On my good days I am like every body else. I take my dog for a run. I go out with friends. I go shopping. I go swimming. I go on dates with my husband. I watch movies. I am loud and bubbly and happy. On my good days you wouldn’t even know that I have an illness that makes me an invalid.
Though I have good days (which I am eternally grateful for), I am still chained to my bed. On my bad days the chain is short. I am locked onto my bed or in my house by the chain of pain that doesn’t allow me to go very far. But even on my good days that chain exists. It may be longer and allow me to go further, but at any time it may reel me back in.
Case and point, this morning I was going out to see a friend I hadn’t seen in a very long time. I drove out my drive and onto the road and WHAM! The pain hit with such intensity that I was retching in my car. Thankfully I hadn’t gone far and was able to turn around and make it back home, where I crawled into my bed to ride it out. The chain had loosened for a moment, only to pull me back in unexpectedly.
Long journeys are now out of the question for me. I cannot be far from a bed at any time. I cannot be without my mask and earplugs and pills. Where I once loved to go on long road trips with my husband, now we have to be content with short drives around our town. The chain doesn’t stretch far enough for us to leave town.
I am tired of the chain. I am tired of having to cancel on everyone repeatedly. I am tired of feeling like my life revolves around my bed. I hate feeling like a prisoner to my own mind. I am tired of feeling like my good days are a blessing rather than the norm.
I wish I could find a way to break this chain for good. Until then, it has a hold on my life.
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