Friday, June 22, 2012

Migraines or They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Public Domain Photo

For my sixteenth birthday, my dad took me to the racetrack. I was shown the horse that he and a friend owned. The race was explained to me. Unfortunately I also learned that when I horse was hurt and was in a great deal of pain, instead of medication or operation and rehabilitation, the horse was shot and killed. The killing was considered a mercy killing. So the answer to the question is, "they shoot horses, don't they?', is yes.

I don't think that there is one person on earth that has endured chronic pain, a chronic debilitating illness, that hasn't wished that someone wouldn't just metaphorically, "take them out and shoot them". 

"The nationwide study of 1,007 migraine sufferers was conducted by The Gallup Organization for Cerenex Pharmaceuticals. It found that the pain of migraine is so excruciating that 35% of sufferers indicate that they have wished they were dead during an attack". 

This contemplation of death is not evidence of a lack of faith, or a lack in willingness to be "healed"; it is the state of the human condition when face with overwhelming pain. It isn't really a death wish. Be it medical or physical pain, we just wanting the pain to stop.

My therapist told my a story about his mother. Both of his parents were missionaries and had to go out on visitation on a day his mom had a migraine. The day was bright, sunny, hot, and the road dusty. As they drove over the rough and dusty road, they past a cemetery. His mother was in a lot of pain and nauseated; she indicated the cemetery and said, "I'd rather be in there". She was implying it would be better that she were dead then go on living.

I'm lucky. I have an excellent therapist. I have been going to him for sometime. He has a good understanding of what chronic illness does to you and how it impacts you life. The follow is a quote from the Facebook page for Chronic Migraine Awareness. Other the part about migraines, the quote could apply to any chronic disease:

along with migraines most of us carry around a great amount of guilt of failure.....we feel it from letting down our families, friends and coworkers......we have lost our jobs and relationships because of pain due to our migraines ....

Severe migraine attacks are classified by the World Health Organisation as among the most disabling illnesses, comparable to dementia, quadriplegia and active psychosis (Shapiro & Goadsby, Cephalalgia, September 2007)...this is not just a headache

To many people think that those with a chronic illness should be able to just suck it up and go on with life as usual.  This is the "invisible illness" trap. If they can't see it, touch it, or measure the direct result of it, many in your life think you are malingering. You need all the help in your corner you can get to face your disease and to try to keep some semblance of a positive attitude. 

If you haven't found someone in your life that understands how your disease impacts your life, I suggest you find a therapist. t is important to find someone in your life that "that really gets it". The are knowledgeable about resources in your area that are available to help you. Mine helped me through the process of applying for Social Security Disability. And he has helped me to accept my diseases. Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength. If you need help, choose to reach out. There is plenty of help out there.

Photo of hands from the Online Homeopathy and Psychological Consultation Center

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