Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rang the Bell

I went to work the other morning feeling fine. It didn't matter that I had woken up in the middle of the night and needed to take a triptan. It had worked and I was able to sleep through the remainder of the night. I didn't even have that triptan hangover feeling when I woke up in the morning as I can get sometimes.

I made it through an important early morning conference call when shortly after, I didn't even need to play that silly wrestling game I often have with myself. By the way this one was coming on and with the symptoms that were emerging, I knew I would not be able to stay at work and luckily, my calendar was unusually cooperative with my departing for the day especially at such an early hour.

This would also be the first time I was going to use my intermittent FMLA. The only reason the iFMLA really entered through my mind is because I knew theoretically what I needed to do, but now I needed to make sure everything was going to work the way it was supposed to. As always, my boss was great about things like this. When I made the call to him, he just asked if this was for FMLA which made it so much easier because I didn't really feel like talking much about it and these four little letters said everything. He knows the deal and what's going on. We did talk a little bit as he needed to make sure I didn't have anything that needed follow up.

After I got home and for various reasons, I ended up using my rescue medication. This was the third time I have taken it and the second time it did not help. I could still feel the pain past midnight. The thing that helped the most was sleep. I mostly slept from the time I got home until the next morning although I do confess that I occasionally answered some emails on my blackberry as I was expecting some things to come through. One that really scared me after I answered it was from the head honcho in our office. After I answered it, I was praying I was coherent as I don't normally email with him let alone after taking a synthetic opioid. I think I was ok in what I said.

In my company, I have up to two business days to report my absence upon my return to work for iFMLA. I called the leaves group first thing in the morning. I want to make sure everything was in order and everything is upfront. The person I got on the phone was so helpful and informative. She even gave me additional information about my leave that I tried to get from others in earlier conversations. I am confident of what I have to do if I need to call out again and gave my boss an update on everything he needed for my leave. We should both receive a new letter from our leaves department about this time off.

I have to be upfront with you. I don't like all of this fuss about taking this time off, but I don't want any problems with taking it if I really need it either. I know I am lucky my boss is really good about everything when I need time off, but then he would have little control about the new absence and tardy policy that just went into affect for my company which FMLA helps protect me against.

When my coworkers asked how I was feeling upon my return, I even surprised myself by the answer I gave in response to those close to me as long as we weren't in the middle of business stuff. My answer was that I felt better the morning before at the same time. This was earlier than the time I had decided to leave the day before and I really was feeling fine when I first arrived at work that day. This morning that I returned, I still didn't feel like myself, but there was no reason to stay home. I had more of that hangover feeling and it was good I came in as I needed to deal with escalated issues all day long.

Although I really had no choice about calling out this week, I often fight with myself about whether or not I should take time off. Because I did not wrestle with the decision this week, I tried to figure out why I typically have such a hard time with the whole process of calling out. I really don't think it has to do with not wanting to take care of myself as I know how much work, effort and cost I put into trying to control Migraines. There was only one thing that I kept coming up with that made my logical sense to me.

All of my life, I have been a very competitive person. Coming from a large, sports minded, sports involved family, there really was no other choice. In many ways, I think I feel like I am admitting defeat, giving up or losing by calling out or ringing the bell (during marine training, you can 'ring the bell' which signifies the end of your career in the marines - ring the bell; game over). I think calling out gives Migraine, an opponent I fight with all of the time, a victory.

It is time I change the way I view this although Migraine will still remain an adversary I need to conquer even if it means ringing the bell every so often. I guess that's just what I will need to do to regroup or come up with a new strategy in this battle on Migraines.



Jamie Valendy said...

I'm glad that you were able to take the time off that you needed. Also, thanks for the sports/competitive analogy. I think I have that sort of mindset, as well. Your post helped open my eyes to the fact that I need to come up with a new strategy on my own battle against Migraine. Blessings.

MigrainePuppet said...

I'm really glad I took the time off too although I should not have been looking at my blackberry. Next time... I'm glad the sports analogies helped you. It is tough to change how we have to allow ourselves to stand down and not 'win'. I hope you can come up with a new strategy that will work with you soon. Take care.