I have to admit that today's prompt is the most difficult of all the prompts for me in this blogging challenge. I am a person who loves to have fun - laugh loud and long, play joyously, plan fun escapades, and spend all my time with friends and family! I think that this is how most people who knew me before my migraines became daily would describe me.
However, those who have met me since I became chronic would probably never know those things about me. When they visit, they come to a dark and subdued home where I am trying to protect myself from increased pain. I am no longer the one who hosts all the parties and plans the get-togethers. Dreaming about white water rafting and roller coasters is no longer practical.
So, I have to admit that this prompt caused me a little bit of sadness when I reflected on the way summers use to be. However, in spite of this, it remains my belief that I can choose to focus on the "cannots" or I can focus on the possibilities, the potential, and the hope.
I wish I had some magical tips to provide for my fellow migraineurs. I think many of us know that it's important to keep hydrated, eat in a healthy manner, practice good sleep hygiene, to wear good quality sunglasses, and to avoid getting over heated. Quite honestly, although these are essential, they just aren't enough to allow me to have the fun I'd like to have during the summer. These are "comfort measures" I have to practice all year just to get by.
So the question becomes what provides me with the comfort to enjoy my summer - my life? The bottom line is that for the last couple of months, I have decided that I'd rather enjoy my life to the fullest degree possible even if this means suffering consequences for doing so. The average person doesn't even have to think twice about doing this. However, for me, it is much more complicated. The steps I undertake to do this without undue stress are
1. being sure I am rested before going
2. saving my rescue meds for these occasions
3. engaging in self-monitoring and self-regulation while having fun and knowing when it is time to take a break
4. having an exit plan and a ride for when I need to leave
5. being honest with people about my need for flexibility
6. making sure that I have plenty of "recovery" time after the activity
7. choosing not to live in fear or anxiety about migraines which causes me to be hyper-vigilant and unable to enjoy the activity
6. choosing reasonable activities which do not include too many of my worse triggers
It's not a perfect scenario. However as I said in an earlier blog, I am convinced that I will look back on my life and remember these moments of joy more clearly than I recall the resulting pain. (http://graceforthestorm.blogspot.com/2012/05/high-cost-of-normalcy.html)
Here's to a fun and happy Summer!
**After reading a lot of blogs over the last couple of days, I have decided to start doing mine in large print as I have found it very hard on my eyes to use the small print. Let me know what you think!
National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.