Life lesson #54,435,234,559

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Life lesson #54,435,234,559

Post  living on Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:58 am

Just thought I'd share an experience I had today which made me realise that I might have unrealistic expectations of people in regard to my migraines...

I was talking to my mum today, who suffered for 30 years with monthly 3 or 4 day vomiting hell type migraines. She's coming to stay with us for 6 months and was talking about what she would bring to put in the guest room where she'll be staying. She has this dangly thing which is about 3 feet long and has about 50 horizontal wires and on the end of each wire is a crystal. She loves it because when it catches the sun, it refracts light all over the room.

I told her that I didn't think I wouldn't be able to have that in the house and she got really cranky (because she loves it). I said that I couldn't risk having a shard of light stab me in the eye and kick off a migraine. She argued the point a while and I tried to explain that the shards of light spread so far that I might catch one. She got quite defensive and said, "well if you get migraines that easily, you really should do something about it." And I was quiet for a while but eventually told her it was probably the most hurtful thing I could ever have imagined her saying to me. It was the feeling of a support I thought was there suddenly dissolving into thin air. Since I've done for years everything I can to minimise the migraines.

But after a while of talking it out I realised that I had assumed she somehow automatically had a full understanding of what it was like to have the migraines I have - just because she had suffered migraines herself. And I assumed I understood her migraines. Finally we talked...hard to believe eh? But I realised that hers were totally different. Nothing could set her off other than getting her period.

Of course I cried which gave me a migraine - not surprising since I'd only just kicked one with a handful of triptans earlier in the day. So further triptans later...and thanks to the background work of topamax...I think I've kicked this one now too...I'm glad I may have learned a little lesson about the fact that you have to actually communicate with people if you want them to understand. (Really...I'm not cut out to be a psychologist, huh! Bit slow on the uptake!)

bounce

EDIT: I have a migraine today and on reflection feel like that was an insensitive statement even if it had come from the local greengrocer, let alone my mother. I don't know. Head hurts so probably not the best person to judge right now.

living

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Re: Life lesson #54,435,234,559

Post  Migrainegirl on Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:44 pm

. She got quite defensive and said, "well if you get migraines that easily, you really should do something about it."

What is rather ironic about that statement is that you WERE doing something about it by trying to avoid what you knew to be a very real trigger. I am sure on reflection she would see that was a pretty silly thing to say. It sounds like she just got wrapped up in wanting to have her shiny mobile with her. Or maybe not. Families can be a strange lot to live with sometimes.
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Re: Life lesson #54,435,234,559

Post  Paradox on Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:10 am

Wow, Living......I can't imagine. I would be hurt on two fronts...1) her lack if understanding and empathy, 2) realizing that she doesn't believe you about the seriousness of your disease.

If your relationship with your Mom is anythings like mine was , then you talk frequently. So she knows how often you suffer. Did she not believe you?

As a Mom I would be all over anything that would make my child feel better. Heck, I don't even get along with my sons mother-in-law, and she has never had a migraine in her life. Yet at family gatherings she is the first person to ask others to keep camera flashes out of my range. You mother should be giving you that that kind of consideration x 100!

I'm sorry you feel bad. I guess that why so many of us are here. We get it.
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Re: Life lesson #54,435,234,559

Post  living on Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:34 am

Oh thanks guys Smile *hugs*

It did hurt me. Yes, the lack of understanding and empathy mainly cos I had thought she was the one person in the world who did understand. I think she understood by the time I left yesterday. I think she was truly sorry and we understood each other better. But today with a migraine brought on by crying I was pretty fuming about it still. It does take a special kind of insensitive (which my mother is renowned for) to make that kind of statement. In the end she agreed not to bring the sparkly thing. Then she forgot she agreed that and said she'd hang it somewhere i couldn't see it. Then remembered again...blah! I don't know if she'll bring the darn thing in the end. It will have a new home in the wheelie bin if I get a single shot of light in the eye from it's evilness. xx Twisted Evil

Hope you are all having happy days today and are paaaiiiinnnn FREE! =)


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Re: Life lesson #54,435,234,559

Post  Mini on Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:55 am

Living, I was extremely impressed how well you behaved, under the circumstances. Of course you were deeply hurt by that remark, yes, she should know better.
However, despite of being hurt and upset, you were the one who behaved with greater maturity, and instead of being ofended, or arguing, you have decided to talk, and to discuss the issue with your mother. Great.

You also pointed out to us something, that is very relevant: although we meet many people who tell us they suffer from migraine, we very seldom discuss it with them in any deatail. I know I seldom do.
One of the reason is that people often hate talking about migraine, or any health issue in this country (I live in UK), even when they are very ill.
For example when I did try to discuss her migraine with a good friend, she kept insisting that "it is nothing - I just deal with it" and she refused to have any discussion about it (or other health issues). In other ways she is always very open, and chatty - but she gets embarassed and treats migraine as if it was some weakness of charcter, or something.
I think we should talk about it! Just as you said.

I know that not two people have the same combibation of symptoms or migraine triggers, yet it is very easy to presume that other people's experince of migraine is the same like ours. It is not of course. We need to speard the word. Thanks for your reminder, Living.

I hope you head is better now.
Crying always gives me the worst migraine, too, so now I seldom allow myself to cry. I have trained myself not to.
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Re: Life lesson #54,435,234,559

Post  megdrex on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:54 am

Hi Living,
I could soooo relate to your post about your Mom and the dangling nightmare. (I can't believe some people actually use those crystals in their cars! I can see the flashes from a mile away!) My Mom didn't have migraines but she's the only woman in our family who didn't, and she was convinced for years that I probably had a brain tumor. (She died 5 years ago. I finally had a MRI and no brain tumor.) I think people that don't have migraines will never really understand, and sometimes I don't even understand (initially) if I meet someone with migraines who has different triggers. You seem like a very courageous person and I'm sending you an "atta girl" across the electronic highway!
One thing in the U.S. and probably everywhere that is a growing nightmare - CFL lights (the long-acting, extra-bright lights that contain mercury.) They "talk" to me. There are some places I can't go to anymore because the lighting is so extremely bright - so even on a good day, I am limited. I am hoarding the "old" incandescent lights. My husband doesn't notice any difference (but, he doesn't have migraines) and when I told him the CFL lights flickered (to me), he was genuinely surprised. I was laid off last year, but had I been kept, the company was moving to a new "green" building, and I did tour it once. The lighting was horrendous - I had to wear sunglasses. Yet my co-workers loved the extra light (also had windows all the way around. just made me sick thinking about it!)
Hang in and keep up with the terrific posts!!
: ) : )

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Re: Life lesson #54,435,234,559

Post  living on Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:01 am

I was trying to post this post a while back and the page kept freezing...but it seems to be working now:

Thanks guys =) Mini I hardly ever cry too - same reason. It's true hey - noone wants to sit and talk about migraine. Maybe because when we're out and about we feel well and the last thing we wanna do is sit and talk about how bad we feel usually? I don't know. For you in the UK maybe it's a cultural thing too - stiff upper lip and all that =) You guys are renowned for acting tough through difficult circumstances. Do you think there's truth to that cultural idea? Just on a basic human level too, Mum said that maybe because it's been many years since she had a menstrual migraine she has blocked it all out and forgotten what it was like. I said I don't blame her for one second. Well...I do think the bloody cow could have saved a bit of memory for me, but still LOL (she's english by the way!).

lol megdrex - it will henceforth be known as the dangling nightmare. That's exactly what it is. I don't know if I have a particular problem with the CFL lights, but maybe that's because mostly I have low watt ones in my house. I can't see them flickering - except in our bathroom we have a curly one and bad wiring and it flickers because of that. They're regulated here in Australia - the old incandenscent ones were not allowed since 2009. I didn't realise that was happening there too! I do turn different lights off in my sister's house lol (she doesn't mind) because she gets extra bright ones (why do people do that? the whole point is to use less energy!). Yeah i'm always wearing sunnies inside (am right now actually lol). So maybe I do have a problem with it? hmmm.

I got rid of the migraine after...can't remember how long...went this morning. It's still trying to come back but that might be the triptans being annoying. I totally took too many but don't care at this point. So I might actually get some work done this afternoon. Low quality work, but work nonetheless! Money! WOOHOO! santa

Hope you're all having fun and are totally without any pain =)

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