Saturday, 1 June 2013

MHAM Day 1 - Phantom of the Opera

So it's Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MHAW), or it is in the US at least, and I've decided to participate as much as I can in the MHAW Blog Challenge.
Each day I'll be given a prompt for a blog post and today's is about masks.

I've talked about this a bit before when I discussed The Brave Face in a previous post.  I do wear a mask a lot of the time.  I want to be treated normally when I'm not suffering from a migraine or a migraine hangover at the time. i.e. I want to be treated normally when I feel normal or mostly normal.

The problem is that when I don't feel normal so to speak, when I'm feeling delicate either because a migraine is coming, I've just recovered from one and am suffering the postdrome effect (migraine hangover) or I've managed to medicate one and I'm trying hard not to re-trigger it, at those times I instinctively put a mask on, I try to act as normally as possible.

This is usually to my detriment as being treated normally in these circumstances usually ends up punishing me with a lot more pain and possibly triggering or re-triggering a full blown migraine; heavy punishment indeed for just wanting to be treated like everyone else.

I know my long-suffering husband puts up with a lot from me as well, my illness effects him almost as much as it does me, so to save him heartache and strictly against his orders to me, I often find myself wearing a mask to him as well, just so I don't have to see his spirit crushed when I tell him I'm in pain yet again.

I've realised recently just how counter-productive these masks are and I'm really trying to make an effort to keep those around me informed as to my current state but it does just feel like I'm complaining all the time!  My will to wear a mask is strongest with my colleagues as I want to be able to put forward the professional me at work, but they've seen me starting with a migraine a number of times now and even saw one in full force to my dismay recently too so I'm trying to be open with them as we'll but it feels even more like I'm just complaining all the time with them than with my friends and family!

I think everyone with an invisible illness will probably wear a mask to some extent, sometimes I feel lucky that I'm able to do that but then when I end up getting punished for it then I end up wishing I didn't have that option after all.

Hopefully one day I won't feel the need for masks at all as my migraines will be so infrequent.  That's the hope that keeps me going on the bad days.

June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is issued by

Photo by Stephantom53

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