I have been living with the chronic pain of headaches for so long now, that I barely remember what it is like to wake up, clear-headed, without pain. I think that because of this I have a very high threshhold for pain. I have to. Because most days I push through life, push through the pain, as if it isn't there.
But all of that is taking a toll on my emotional, mental, and physical health. And I realize that now. The headaches, depression, allergies, and fatigue are not separate symptoms that need to be treated, but related-symptoms of a deeper issue that I need to resolve in order to be healthy.
I think I'm on the right path. Besides changing my diet completely, I've also just about removed Diet Coke from my life. I'm down to 1 a day, as opposed to the six or seven I used to imbibe. I'm also slowing down, and trying not to push myself so hard. I'm listening to my body, resting when I need to, and getting lots of good sleep.
And yesterday I went to the chiropractor for my first "adjustment". I'm actually in a bit of pain from that. I wasn't aware how rigid my body had become, until the chiropractor tried to manuever it. Something about this adjustment felt so right to me. The chiropractor informed me that my body is out of balance. Anyone who reads my lists of symptoms would probably agree. And I do feel terribly off-balanced. Yet, I have lived this way for so long -- that I don't know how else to live. It's as if my body is always tense, ready to hoist me up through the aches and pains that plague me.
Life with headaches is not something I wish on anyone. I grabbed this link to an article on daily headaches from ms. musings. And I relate to much of what is being said here, except for the fact that I am no longer looking for a magical PILL to bring me relief. Drugs, even medically-prescribed drugs, come with side-effects that put further strain on the body. Plus, drugs MASK the pain, but do not DELETE the causes of the pain.
I guess, really, that drugs can be most beneficial as temporary band-aids that should be used to get you through the pain until you can start addressing the deeper causes of the pain. Because frankly, I'm fortunate and lucky that I can take Imitrex every time a migraine hits because if I didn't have Imitrex I would spend about six days a month confined to my darkened bedroom. These pills are almost magical, because without them I would not be able to function. However, it is now my long-term goal to get to a point where I don't need to take these pills. I'd like to get to a healthier place, where my body can function the way it is supposed to.
There obviously are chronic conditions that require long-term pharamaceutical treatment (like bi-polar disorder or AIDS) but those are conditions that without treatment would be fatal or create a life severely compromised. So unlike Tom Cruise, I'm not advocating that people stop taking their medication completely. I'm just saying that in my individual case, I feel as if long-term drug treatment and living with chronic sickness is no longer an option, because I can no longer deal with the unpleasant side-effects that each drug has and the overall toll they take on my body. I also feel as if my body is trying to tell me something, and for too long I have been popping pills to silence my body. I'm at a point where I am willing to listen and learn from my body.
I almost feel that by accepting these medications freely I'm accepting a life of chronic illness. I'm saying, "I can live with this, as long as I take these four medications every day". But I don't want to live that way anymore. Also, I suspect that I might just be the type of person who is extremely sensitive to drugs, and that sometimes they do more damage to my overall health than they help.
I haven't got this all figured out, I'm just on a journey. And I surely don't claim that my approach would apply across the board to everyone. But this is where I am in my life.