If people would stop asking…

Every time I have to talk and explain to people (especially the SAME people) what my headaches are like, it not only is annoying, but it hurts too. Just because they don’t know what it’s like, they easily forget what I say about it. Because they can’t “understand” me? Because they don’t care enough to listen when I tell them? Because I don’t show my pain on the outside?

I have a freaking headache that never went away since August 2013. The neurologist has diagnosed it as New Daily Persistent Headache. I don’t even want to tell people about it, in case it changes their perception of me. But then I have to make excuses when it acts up. In school, I use Access and Diversity to communicate with profs so that I don’t have to elaborate and everything. They might not even “believe” my condition. So what does it feel like? I wish I could just copy and paste this on my forehead or something. My headaches are normally at a 2-3/10 for pain every second of the day like a tension-type headache. Then, there are times when the pain gets worse and it becomes like a ┬ámigraine in nature with pain that goes up to 10/10 and I even get lightheaded from it. I don’t get nauseous or vomit, but I would be unable to think, unable to do anything, unable to sleep even. And with school and work, I try so hard to get through the pain and endure it so that people won’t look at me like a patient. I want to finish school and become a pharmacist like any normal person can. I don’t want to be looked down upon because I suffer from chronic pain. But at the same time, I wish I could be understood when the pain gets too much for me. Because I can’t help it. There have been so many times when I just want to bash my head against the wall and rip my head open. Medications don’t work, or they have side effects that are even worse than the pain itself, not letting me function. So I endure it. I just hope that one day, no matter how long in the future. One day, I can have freedom from the pain. To have no headache, I don’t even remember what that is like anymore. It’s like someone’s put a steel lock on my head that the key cannot be found for.

Talking to my mentor, she thinks that surviving the headache and migraines and being able to live like I do is because I’m strong. I’m not. Ever since I was in elementary school and got headaches after playing outside in the sun, I would call my mom to take me home. It happened often. And now, I would skip class and go home. I would cancel appointments and commitments. I wouldn’t want to go out with friends nor care about them. It’s like a jail for me. It makes me give in and sucks all the energy in me. It stops me from so many things: studying, spending time with people I care about, enjoying things, just living a normal life.

My parents always asks me about my headache. It’s like…what do you want me to say? The whole spiel over and over again? Yes. I have a headache. I will never NOT have a headache. It hurts, leave me alone. But because I don’t want them to worry, I don’t keep complaining about it. It doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Like a shadow, it’s always there. I try so so so hard to live a normal life. I went out with my family this weekend and spent more time out of my room with them. My head gave me unbearable migraines, but I held it out. Even when they took a long time at the loud restaurant when I had already finished eating and was just waiting for them. Even when they wanted to go places after places after places. Because I wanted to be able to show them that I love my family. That I don’t isolate myself from them because of them. But because the pain locks me in and I just can’t do anything else. I collapsed after the outings, but I think it was worth it. To just spend time with them is precious. So I hope that they can one day understand me. That they can understand my effort and suffering. Because I don’t think I can hold it out for too long. It’s much too draining. I’m tired. My mind, my body, is tired of this headache. But I’ll keep trying, because some little part of me holds on to the belief that it’ll get better, and that I CAN live through this, no matter what this “normal life” for me becomes.

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Coming out (not of the closet!)

So I’ve finally “come out” clean about my secret visits for acupuncture behind my parents’ back and a lot more about my depression. I wanted to share with them the good news. Acupuncture worked (sort of) for my headaches! For 10 whole minutes, I had no pain or tension pressure AT ALL. In 2 long years, it’s the longest I’ve gone without any feeling of a headache. It felt amazing. My head felt so light. So apparently, and probably one of the many causes for my headaches, my spine was all messed up. My C1 and C2 were twisted one way and my C3 and C4 were twisted the other way. Which was probably due to my bad posture and loving to work while lying down with my laptop. Also, being totally right hand dependent, my spine overall is kind of tilted to the left. So now I’ve been more aware of my posture but it’s hard to correct bad habits! Specially since everything’s been going on for so long. However, my bones, my muscles and tension have improved a lot since going. She’s pushed and cracked all my bones til they’ve sort of shifted back into place and my headache has lessened. I still have a constant headache, but it’s not as bad, although it’ll probably last as long as I’m stressed about school. So 2 more years to go?! Ahaha but at least I know that there IS hope for a life without headaches 24/7. And now that I came out to my parents about the good news and bad news, I feel more relieved and that seems to have lifted a load off my shoulders too.

Bad news? Yes. So while I was telling them the good news, an argument broke out (as always) and I ended up just desperately bawling, hugging my parents. It’s not like I wanted to hide my health and conditions from them because of me growing up and wanting to rebel. But I didn’t want to have more stress and expectations and worries to think about in the fixing of my headache. Same for my depression and anxiety. I didn’t want to burden them or make them feel like it’s their fault that I’m like this. I felt so sorry. For them having to have a daughter who turned out like this. A daughter who didn’t take care of herself and brought on so many problems. A daughter who wanted to end her life. But telling them that I’m trying so hard to fix my life now, hopefully they’ll understand and will be there to help me do that. I know I can’t do it alone. It’s hard enough as it is wallowing in the dark, but even harder staying on the path climbing up. One step at a time, that’s how I’ll approach it. Fix my headaches, my sleeping schedule. And one day, maybe I won’t need to depend on sleeping pills and antidepressants. One day, maybe I’ll be able to face my problems head on. One day.