Sunday, December 11, 2016

Different Schools of Thought

I'm feeling rather torn right now, as to what is the proper way of taking care of myself. It's frustrating, because I really do try to do whatever will end up being best for me in the long term, even if it can be rather hard or difficult to work with in the current time. I don't have the luxury of only thinking about how I feel in the present. I have to always keep in mind that I'm only 29, and there's a lot of longer-term effects and, in a way, damages that I have to be more concered about. That's why I'm so conflicted at the moment. I'm dealing with two very different schools of thought on how to best deal with bad days like this one.

Back in 2014, I went to the Cleveland Clinic for three weeks of an intensive outpatient migraine treatment program. And intensive it really was. One of the biggest points of how to cope with the migraines long-term was that showing "pain behavior" was one of the worst things you could do. That meant things like wearing sunglasses inside because of photosensitivity, lying down during the day, rubbing your head a lot, etc. were all things that should be avoided. There were two reasons for this. The first was that so we wouldn't present as patients to general society. The other, and more important reason was that the body and brain follow and learn from each other. If we acted as though we were in pain, then our bodies would be thinking pain, and it might well end up making our conditions worse long term. Instead, the idea was to train our bodies to continue functioning at an almost normal level even if our pain was excruciating.


Later in 2014, I began developing really severe episodes of vertigo that were landing me flat on my back. The choice was I either lay down voluntarily, or gravity and my lack of any inner balance would do so for me. I got rather colorful arms and legs for a while while I learned it really was better to get flat on my own.
I saw my neurologist about the vertigo, and he agreed with me that one of the biggest concerns I had/have is that my brain easily rewires itself to think abnormal situations are in fact the norm. That's how I ended up with intractable migraine; my brain now thinks that it's normal and right to have migraine pain, and will go and create it if there is none being felt.
Our mutual concern was that I'd become rewired for vertigo to become the constant instead of the aberation. Since I was only 27 at the time, that was a very serious concern. It may happen eventually, we both know that, but preventing the new problem from being permenant any sooner than absolutely necessary, my neuro gave me a low-dose sedatiev to take whenever the vertigo hit. The idea is that if I sedate my brain when the vertigo does start to take over, there won't be as much awareness of what is happening. Basically I'm pausing my brain, or at least turning way down the volume the vertigo would broadcast to my brain.

But therein lies my problem. I can't continue to act completely normally with the migraine if I have to sedate or shut down my brain's ability to process reality to deal with the vertigo.

now what?

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