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Kim's Life as a Migrainer: Fear

The only thing you have to fear is fear itself. Franklin D roosevelt

The dictionary states that fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.

Fun facts:

  • we need fear, it helps us determine how to stay safe in life.

  • we can smell fear. We react to each others scents and can smell it by the type of sweat we produce.

  • irrational fears are those of something implausible but that does not mean the fear does not come from a real place in your psyche.

  • fear can be inherited.

Being a migrainer you have to deal with a lot of fears. The first is the one that is most prominent on my mind, the fear of what the migraines are doing to my brain. Is there permanent damage due to the severity of the head pain? From the research I have done I have found that they do not kill off braincells but they do produce tiny white spots on the brain or lesions. So they can change how your brain looks and acts over time. Studies have shown that your brain will produce pathways that teach the brain that pain is normal, and so it makes the migraines happen more often. The good thing is this can be reversed with the right medications, diet, exercise and most importantly mental health care. Learning to change the pathways is key.

The second fear is what are the medications doing to my body. I have developed pancreatitis, a hiatal hernia, ulcers and two herniated discs. Now even though I blame my migraines for these other conditions of course it also goes along with the very unhealthy lifestyle I have had for so many years. I seek comfort in food especially when the migraines are low on the pain scale. This has led to an unhealthy relationship with food and hence all the different ailments.

The third is the fear of how the migraines are affecting my life. That the people in my life will not understand what I am going through and why I cancel on them. The fear of disappointing them and that I cannot be counted on. There is that little voice in the back of my head saying "you are going to get fired if you take any more time off" or "you are never going to get invited to another event or asked to help with anything because you always cancel." The fear of will I ever have a normal life that I can make plans without the fear that the migraine will happen during the event or cause me to cancel?

The fourth is the fear of can I even do this? Can I get healthy? That little voice again saying "you are not worthy!" There are so many time when the pain gets to you. You are just so tired and just feel like throwing in the towel. The thinking I must not be a good person to deserve all this pain.

These fears can be all consuming and learning how to deal with them is essential. My last blog I talked about being strong. Dealing with these fears is what has made me strong. I strive every day to lead as normal a life as much as possible. To not let the fear stop me from doing the things that I love, caring for and helping the people in my life. It is also why I always strive to do better and to get healthy by trying so many different things. Striving to get that holy grail of a pain free life.

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