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Chronic Migraine Pain

2 months 5 days ago #183 by The Brain Charity
Anoushka has chronic migraines - getting around 5 attacks a week. She wrote the following after a whole night of a nasty attack, which left her exhausted. We're sharing it here as we think other people will relate totally with what she says:

PAIN IS DANGEROUS

Even the slightest reduction in pain is a relief. It is like an addiction you crave every minute and when it comes you become almost euphoric. Even if you are still feeling great levels of pain.
At those times you think ''give me just a little more' and I will take on the world.
It is a dangerous time.

One because you become curious and can't stop yourself saying, "If I scratch this pain, if I explore it will I understand it better? Will I solve it?"
And second when you realise the pain level has reduced a little you get a rush of adrenalin so you want to run around being 'normal'. But normal is often slightly manic and there is a part of you aware of this but it feels so good. But that leaves you so quickly and you then feel exhausted so you have to temper this with reason 'I will do this job but then I must rest'. You have to be strong with your emotions to keep a balance.
If you don't you often lose that relief of pain but are too exhausted to fight the pain increase well. It becomes a descending cycle that is so hard to pull out of.


PAIN KILLS

For the first time I understand why people have said pain can kill you. If you do not experience intense pain your body and brain does not know what to do to protect you but instinctively tries.

At first I thought I had to try and put that pain in a box, lock it away so the pain becomes remote from me. It didn't work as the brain is the one area you can't think pain away. Also with intense pain the brain shuts down all unnecessary actions. Even breathing. As far as it is concerned it is more important to deal with the pain than to breathe. So you need to teach the brain to keep going. To breathe, to keep blood going round the body, to keep all normal functions going. I think of the brain as a child. It reacts instinctively but does not always get it right so when in intense pain I need to teach it to stay calm and think: 'this is just pain, it will pass, I am not in danger. I will get through this'. Time is all I have to work through this. All!! Haha.
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