Unable to get over an event

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Unable to get over an event

Post by pīwakawaka on Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:55 am

It's not often that my migraines make me angry. In fact I am an an unusually calm individual. But there's a recent event that I have been stewing over, and I feel I have to vent some steam. So I apologies in advance if my anger gets the best of me.

My father died on the 27th of August and his funeral was on the 30th. As was my misfortune I had a migraine on the day of the funeral. I fully intended to go regardless of my condition and I thought I had made that clear to my wife. As it was being held in another town about an hours dive away, my son was going to pick my wife and me up on the way past. I was in a rather confused state and hadn't dressed for the funeral when my son arrived. I realised that I needed to change and went upstairs to do so.

After changing, I came downstairs and sat in the kitchen to wait until everyone was ready to go. After a while, I realised the house was unusually quite, so went to look for the rest of the family. I couldn't find anyone and then discovered that my son's car wasn't in the driveway. I then occurred to me that I had been left behind. I tried phoning my wife and son but their phones were switched off, so I phoned my sister at whose home everyone was gathering. A family member answered and when they finally understood who was calling (I have a problem finding words and slur terribly when I have a migraine), they told me they were sorry that I wasn't able to attend the funeral. I tried to explain that I wanted to attend and could someone come and pick me up. It seems my message didn't get though and eventually I hung up in frustration. What I hadn't realised was that my son and wife had already arrived there and an hour or more had passed since they left home.

I decided I was going to attend so set out on foot. It's fortunate that I had enough sense not to drive. I had walked for about 2 kilometres when part of my brain told me that even walking at a fast pace it was going to take over 10 hours to walk the distance. I turned around and headed home. I don't remember the journey home, but my wife found me that evening sprawled out on the bed still in my suit and tie.

I still had a migraine, but I was angry - very angry - and I told my wife so. She wasn't very understanding and she told me that they had decided to leave me behind for my own good. I got very angry and told her that she had no right to make such a decision without discussing it with me, no matter what my condition was. At this point she lost her cool and made it very clear how much stress my migraines caused her. It went downhill from there.

So a little over a month later, and this still hurts. It's one thing missing my father's funeral - I've gotten over that - It's the fact that my wife and other family members have decided that it's okay for them to make decisions about my life without discussing it with me. My wife won't apologise as she says that the funeral would have been too distressing for her if I had been there. I've also tried bringing the subject with other family members and all but one have the same view. My appearance at the funeral would have been very distressing to other attendees.

There's 2 points they don't understand:

  1. I had a right to attend my own father's funeral. If others were distressed by my condition, that is something they have to deal with themselves.
  2. They have no right to make decisions on my behalf without discussing it with me first. By doing what they did, they took away my dignity.


I am grateful that my daughter supports me on this issue. Had she realised the situation at the time, she would have driven over to pick me up even though it would have meant missing a large part of the funeral service.

I'm concerned how my feelings are affecting my relationships. I find I am avoiding other family members as I feel very uncomfortable in their presence. I also notice when I feel resentful, I become rather terse when talking to my wife. I'm not sure how I can get over this event.

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Re: Unable to get over an event

Post by Sarah on Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:13 pm

I'm so sorry that you lost your father.

What bad luck (but oh so typical) for you to be feeling so bad on the day of the funeral. I can quite understand why your family felt you weren't well enough to attend.

But I can totally understand where you are coming from in the sense of it being your choice whether you attended or not. Especially for something so important. The condition is disabling enough, without having decisions taken away for us for our own good.

Do you think some sort of counselling might help you move on from it?
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Re: Unable to get over an event

Post by pīwakawaka on Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:57 am

I've got over missing the funeral. That's no longer an issue. The problem is that when I have a migraine, they keep me as informed as they would a household pet. In other words they don't let me know what's going on. Unless they talk to me specifically, I am unable to pick up on what is happening around me. It's just a jumble of noise.

I suspect that if they had told me I was in no condition to attend the funeral and the insisted that I stay home, I would probably have agreed. But they simply left while I was dressing without so much as a "goodbye". If they thought I mightn't understand at the time, they could have left a note for me to see. We have a noticeboard just for this purpose.

I do have counselling. It's partially to help me manage the way I behave during a migraine, and partially to manage cope with my wife's reaction to the migraines. She gets quite angry with me when I am unable to take part in a normal conversation with her, or if I loose control of my voice tone and volume. Personally I think she need counselling to help her cope with my migraines. But as far as she is concerned, I'm the one at fault, so it's only me that needs it.

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Re: Unable to get over an event

Post by Sarah on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:13 am

Yes, I suppose it was couple counselling that I was thinking of. It's hard for partners to imagine just how much our conditions affect them, let alone that they might find better ways of dealing with it and us. Sad
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Re: Unable to get over an event

Post by Sarah on Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:22 pm

Hi, I was just wondering how things were with you?
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Re: Unable to get over an event

Post by pīwakawaka on Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:17 pm

Occasionally I feel that spouses are more trouble than they are worth, but then common sense prevails. It's unlikely that my wife will ever fully understand what happens to me during a migraine. I have to learn to deal with that. Having been married for over forty years, I can't imagine being without her. So although I feel she is less accommodating than I think is reasonable, I'm not prepared to sacrifice our relationship.

I'm not sure if I should be pleased or sad, but recently my wife had an accident. In NZ we have an accident compensation scheme, which can provide quite a lot of support in the case of injury. On Friday she had an interview with a representative of the Accident compensation Commission over a relatively minor injury resulting from a fall on on our stairs at home. The outcome of the interview was that the stress related to my migraines and my father's death was impacting on her recovery of the physical injuries. So she is going to receive some counseling as well as physiotherapy. Although I won't hold my breath, I am hoping that some good will come of the counseling.

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Re: Unable to get over an event

Post by Sarah on Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:21 am

Sorry to hear about the accident, but I can see why you think that the counselling might be a good idea.
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Re: Unable to get over an event

Post by pīwakawaka on Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:20 pm

As with most things where the state is involved, wheels turn ever so slowly. It'll be at least several weeks before we know what level of counselling she will get.

It's a pity we haven't been able to find evidence that my migraines are the result of an injury. If that could be found I would be in a much better situation than I am now, due to the way ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) is funded. For the health services, there's no ongoing costs of they place me in the "too hard" basket. The task of supporting me falls on my spouse. Whereas if the migraines were the result of an injury, ACC would be required to pay 80% of my salary plus all medical and associated costs until such time as I could resume work - however long that takes. That's a huge incentive that the health system doesn't have.

I think it was the ancient Chinese that had a system whereby doctors were paid when their clients were well. They didn't get paid if the client was ill. I can see merits in such a system Smile

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Re: Unable to get over an event

Post by Sarah on Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:26 pm

pīwakawaka wrote:
I think it was the ancient Chinese that had a system whereby doctors were paid when their clients were well. They didn't get paid if the client was ill. I can see merits in such a system Smile
Definitely! Smile
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