I haven’t been able to kick this headache until today, at least I hope I’ve kicked it. I had a virus last weekend with different feeling head pain, but pretty sure this three or four day long thing I just finally got rid of now was a migraine even though it felt weird, not my standard. The pain was sharper and pointier, and I was able to feel the pulsing of individual veins between skin and skull as well as see them. I also had sharp pain in and behind my ear on the same side. As I took sumatriptan tablets and injections; Percocet and Zanaflex; Benadryl and Zofran and Drammamine, the pain switched sides, was two-sided, and drifted. I was nauseous and exhausted.
However, as uncomfortable as this seems, the pain intensity didn’t go above a 6. A 6 isn’t fun by any means but it’s not excruciating, and allows me to still do some things, and doesn’t cause me to feel panicky. Looking back across my pain diary app during this pretty terrible week, all the days have been yellow, not red. So while I know I wasn’t doing great, and had to take a lot of meds and do a lot of sleeping, it wasn’t horrible. It was still improvement.
J is an excellent writer as well as a visual artist and musician. He alone created the text to go along with the images he sketched and painted for the squares shown in my last post. However, I am the editor, the fixer as well as the sufferer, and here is my version of the migraine poetry he wrote last night. Also, I will include an image of the piece as a whole to show the way the squares work together as in a graphic novel or comic book.
1. It always seems a bit different. There are similarities of course, but each is unique, like seashells of the same species. Every headache brings a crisis of varying severity, and must be dealt with on a daily basis.
2. They grow, shifting and undulating like jellyfish, before shrinking back to nothingness and shadow.
3. [No text]
4. And yet, beneath the surface trauma, beyond the emotional impact and debilitating nature of MIGRAINE, there is beauty. It is a force that modern medicine cannot tame.
I am in a terrible mood. My head has been lurking in the 3-4 range for days, not enough to even lie down with, but enough to hurt. Enough to make every job, every trip back and forth to Zo’s nature camp or the store or the dog park, every run of the dishwasher or preparation of meals utterly exhausting. Enough to make me unable to take the girls’ fighting, the dog’s whining. I go to bed early and when I wake up, I just want to stay in bed.
I had my phone interview for SNAP, Ohio’s food assistance program. The lady was very nice, and it was a painless process. We are eligible for $78 per month in assistance, which will help.
But my mood is still sour. I really miss seeing people, putting make-up on, feeling good about myself, chatting about the weather or city politics or just someone ELSE’s problems. I am permanently stuck in lonely sad land, my only friends those I talk to on Facebook or Twitter. It’s like I’m just better enough to miss a real life.
I got a letter from Job & Family Services informing me that I am to call in for my phone interview tomorrow for my SNAP application. Also, by August 14 I have to turn in all of the following:
-Birth certificates for all of us
-Social Security cards for all of us
-Our marriage license
-The deed to our house
-Mortgage payment receipts
-Proof of my disability/ medical costs
-Health insurance cards
-Titles to the cars
-Utility bills for electricity, gas, phone
-Proof of residency
-4 to 6 weeks of paystubs
This is more verification than I needed for Medicaid and Disability. This is insane. The paperwork involved to acquire government help is beyond understanding. And people think this is easy? That some families are scamming the government? NO ONE would go through this humiliation if they didn’t have to. NO ONE would put themselves through the work involved if the money were there to pay for health care and for food.
I don’t want to do this. But I want to be able to feed my daughters. This sucks.
I haven’t been secretive about the fact that I’ve been depressed this week. A lot of it stems from not working; facing extreme poverty; and not understanding how my monthly SSI benefit is calculated.
When I discovered that J’s future wages were being based on a 3 paycheck month, I was ecstatic. However after I turned in his paystubs for June, my account on the SS website said that my Aug 1 payment would be less than $150. I don’t understand that at all. I had thought it would be $741. I did apply for food stamps, and am waiting for that to be processed.
Besides the financial aspect, I am starting to feel even more isolated by not having a job. I’ve always worked customer service, which was a great way to interact with people for a relatively shy person. I loved my colleagues and customers, and even when I’d arrive at work in a sour mood, I would almost always cheer up at some point during the shift. When I left Parks & Rec I lost one of my best friends who also worked there, as well as another friend who went back to work from being a stay-at-home dad. Neither of them had time for me anymore, and as I got sicker, I had less time, too.
Right now, I don’t really know who I am. I’ve lost my reference points. I am a sad, sick girl who sleeps a lot. That’s how I feel.
I want to close this rather pathetic entry by linking J’s little travel website, Wonderbuggy. J created it last year while he was unemployed, and we do make a tiny commission for every hotel reserved through the site. So this is one of the ways we’re trying to offset my low SSI amount. I also am hoping to self-publish in the future, maybe expanding The Migraine Diaries. We’ll see. For now, I’m mainly focusing on getting out of bed.
I thought it would happen much sooner. I have not been working now for 18 months. 18 months of just being alone with myself and my own head. My pain. I am tired of this life. I want to be done.