Tired of taking care of myself!

Last year, about this time, I simply got tired of taking care of myself.

I was seeing a Naturopath, an Acupuncturist, a Massage Therapist, a Chiropractor, and a Neurologist in an attempt to get my migraines under control. I wanted to have some level of quality of life. I also wanted to feel like I was “doing” something and not just giving into the migraines.

Those who know me well know that I fight.

So I fought.

Not only was I spending a small fortune on my healthcare providers I was also on drugs, supplements, and vitamins.

I started to wonder what was working and what was window dressing? But I had been in such bad shape and I wanted, so badly, to feel better. At the time I was keeping a migraine journal – the migraines, what I ate, the drugs/supplements/vitamins I took and when, and any exercise I was able to do.

I keep my appointments but I stopped writing in my journal. That was the first sign. I was exhausted. Taking care of myself had become a full time job.  

Then I was laid off – and anyone who has been surviving on unemployment insurance knows that there was no way I was going to continue my healthcare lifestyle on what I was receiving weekly.    

So I had to prioritize.

What was the most bang-for-the-buck and what was really required and what could go away. I don’t want to think about the money I’d been spending. Several of the things I was taking cost upwards of $90 a month. Trust me, I could do the math but it would make me cry.

Now don’t think that anyone was taking advantage of me – they weren’t. I made all the decisions with my eyes open. Granted the decision was to throw everything at the migraines, but that was my decision, and it did help.

It also helped knowing that they cared and wanted to help. I have great doctors!

But now I was facing financial disaster at the same time as I was becoming tired of working so hard just to make it through another day.

My decision was very unscientific. I kept taking everything until the supply ran out. Then if I got worse I put it back in and if I didn’t notice it was gone I left it. As the months went by the migraines ebbed and flowed with no real rhyme or reason. Except, as the months passed, the daily ones became less severe and the sever ones less frequent.

For years one of my doctor’s was of the opinion that my job was killing me.

I think she was right.

The farther I got away from the job, the more I went back to my old habits of scrimping and saving. The more control I had over my life, my time. Going back to working hard only for myself rather than being a tiny cog in the huge mechanism that is business in the US the better I felt.

I still have migraines. But I’m getting better at controlling them through diet and exercise.

I still take drugs and supplements – but I’ve pared them down to the essentials and got lucky. Two of the drugs I’ve been on in the last 12 months have gone generic.

And I wonder…

One of the things that has always bothered me is when I take a drug and it has an unacceptable side effect, so I take another drug for the side effect.

What if the root of my problem was the job, the migraine was the side effect, and the drugs I was taking to control the side effect?

We so rarely look at our lifestyle.

All of our lifestyle.

Just before the migraines hit my exercise program started to fall apart. It was a gradual thing but as my exercise decreased my migraines increased. As long as I had the migraines on a daily basis I couldn’t exercise.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this ramble.

Today I woke up without a migraine. It’s happening more and more often.

I’m grateful for everything my doctors did for me – they kept me sane and productive when my world was falling apart.

I think my doctor who said my job was killing me was right. I’m not really built to work in corporate America.

I’m even more grateful to the recession since it caused my company to have to shrink by 10% – and so glad I was one of the causalities. As brave as I usually am I was terrified to lose the paycheck.

I’m exercising more, my migraines are less, I am productive and I’m content.   

~ Tess


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