Friday, January 7, 2011

Expectations and Recovery

Mine or others'?
Pressure from the inside...
and the outside...
I feel lost in my own life,
and I'm scared.
My body is in so much pain,
but my mind and emotions are in just as much turmoil.

Those around me seem to think that this surgery/device is some kind of "magic bullet" that's just going to make all of the pain go away. It's a blessing, yes... but it doesn't (and most likely isn't going to) completely eliminate the pain...

The neurostimulator trial resulted in a 4 or 5 day stretch without any debilitating migraines. I was able to do more, but I still had pain and restrictions/limitations... not to mention, the trial was less than a week long, so you can only tell so much. It is my hope that the permanent device (which I've now had in for 2 weeks) will reduce the pain to a manageable level, but I don't expect it to prevent me from ever having another migraine. That just seems like wishful thinking. If it happens, I would be forever grateful... but I know that it's a long shot.

I find myself trying to balance optimistic and realistic outlooks regarding my health and recovery. I hate the pain, the racing thoughts through my head, the assumptions and expectations of those around me, and the uncertainty of what is to come.

Recovery has been more difficult than I anticipated. I've had a few migraines, even with the device in/on. It scares me to be experiencing those all-too-familiar migraine symptoms that I can definitely tell are not surgical pain. Others just try to tell me:  "the surgery wasn't that long ago" and "the migraines will go away once I heal from the surgery." I just want to scream at them sometimes! Just because I had this implanted, doesn't mean that I'm never going to have a migraine again. Going from daily migraines to never having a migraine is extremely unlikely, to say the least. Then, I get to hear that I just don't have the right attitude or enough faith. I just can't handle it right now! I don't even know...

This post has taken me several days (perhaps a week ... time has kinda gotten away from me) to write. It's been an up and down battle with pain and dealing with the expectations that I have for myself... and that others have for me. For the first time that I can remember, the expectations that others seem to have for my recovery weigh on me more than my own expectations. I've always been much harder on myself than others are on me, so this is a strange feeling. I feel, again, like people just aren't listening! They cherry-pick what they want to hear or believe and ignore all else. They seem to have decided in their heads what this treatment is going to result in, and that is the only thing they will believe... regardless of whether or not it turns out to be true or false. I hate that it doesn't matter what I say to so many people... they're going to believe whatever they feel like believing. It's so frustrating, right now!
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