Monday, August 1, 2011

A Restricted Life - Part 1

I've spent most of my time blogging about the technical aspects of my headaches. The point I've really wanted to convey is the impact they have on my life.  This part is difficult, because I don't want to seem ungrateful for what I do have.  I'm not in any way trying to convey a "woe is me" message, because I know things could be worse.  I just want to describe what the pain has done to my life in a way that helps me reach out to other people dealing with this pain themselves.

If I had to describe the effect the headaches have had on my life in a nutshell, I'd say that they take away my choices. For example, I can't drive anymore.  The pain and medications make driving unsafe, so I only reserve it for going to doctor's appointments.  When I ride in the car, I get a terrible headache that lasts for days after only 15-20 minutes.   So, I feel kind of trapped.  I was used to the freedom to go anywhere I wanted and the adjustment has been tough.

Other activities that I used to do that are no longer on my list of possibilities (unless I want a headache):
  • Knitting and crocheting - This one breaks my heart. It was one of the few hobbies I was able to retain after contracting CEBV.  I can no longer look down at my work without getting a headache.
  • Sitting in uncomfortable chairs - This pretty much rules out hanging out with friends at a coffee shop, bar, or restaurant.  We pretty much just eat take-out.
  • Yoga - Another heartbreaker.  Gentle hatha yoga was one of my respites from the pain of fibro.  I've tried kundalini, hatha, restorative, and yoga nidra and every time I get a headache.
  • Talking on the phone - I do ok with a hands-free, but holding the phone to my face aggravates the trigeminal and occipital nerves.
  • Sitting on the couch - After about 20 minutes on the couch, a headaches starts to form.
  • Working at a computer - I can handle short bursts.  It takes me a couple of days to write and edit a post.
  • Looking down to read a book
  • Resting my head on a pillow or back of chair
  • Anything that rattles the body - extended car rides, boat rides, etc.
  • House cleaning - Ok, I never really liked doing this, but it's a necessity and I like a clean house.  Thankfully I live with a wonderful man that takes care of this now

I'm sure I will think of other things as time goes on, but this is the best I can come up with right now. I'm excited about the possibilities that await me with ONS.  Maybe I can knit my niece something beautiful for her first birthday and actually drive to her party 90 miles away without a headache. :)

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