Has migraine ever changed? Maybe insurance coverage changed, a favorite doctor retired, or new symptoms appeared suddenly. We can feel disoriented, even resistant to that change, spending valuable time wishing things would just stay the same. In Who Moved My Cheese?, Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard use the metaphor of a mouse and cheese to explore the various ways of adapting to change. It was created as a business and personal development tool, but the principles apply to life with migraine, too.
1. Watch the video
Who Moved My Cheese? is brief and also available as a video. While watching it, think about the changes experienced with migraine and the the process of adapting to change.
2. Change happens
The symptoms of migraine can change over time. So can the effectiveness of our preferred treatments. We may need to change doctors for any number of reasons. Medications can be recalled. Shortages occur. New treatments are developed. Insurance coverage can change. Regardless of how much we make like the way things are now, something about migraine treatment will change sooner or later. On the other hand, if nothing seems to be working right now, have a little hope. Change is bound to happen.
3. Anticipate & Monitor
Expect migraine patterns, responsiveness to treatment, and medical interventions to change over time. Keep an eye on changes in research, treatments, and in migraine pattern & symptoms. It will become easier to recognize the signals that it’s time to begin adapting to change.
4. Adapting to Change Quickly
So often we are slow to respond because we haven’t paid attention to the changes. By paying attention to subtle signals, we’ll begin adapting to change more quickly. When our doctors announces retirement, we won’t procrastinate in finding a new one. When there are shortages of our preferred medications, we won’t hesitate to speak to our doctors about alternatives.Sometimes adapting to change is difficult.
When change happens and we are not prepared to move with it, we can experience a lot of different emotions. We can become frustrated, angry, and even depressed. It is common to blame others for the changes. We can take out our frustrations on our loved ones or our doctors. We may even feel betrayed by those we blame for the change.
So how can we break out of this vicious cycle? According to Johnson & Blanchard, the first step is to stop believing we are entitled to the situation or thing that has just changed. Accept that things have changed and stop wishing for circumstances to return to the way they were. Then start looking for alternatives or find ways to create what we want. Focus on the future. That passion will gives us the energy we need for the next new treatment, new doctor, or new lifestyle change.
When things change, get moving. Change your behavior and expectations to meet the change in circumstance. Be flexible and assertive. Adapting to change requires that we stay open to new possibilities. It might also require us to reconsider trying something that failed before. It takes courage to change.
6. Enjoy it!
Since things will change no matter what, we may as well find reasons to enjoy it. Who knows, maybe this next change will be the one that makes all the difference.
So let’s recap using our ABCs:
- ACCEPT the fact that migraine patterns will change. Medications will stop working, produce side effects or get recalled. Doctors will move, quit, and retire. Some will be unable to help. Things will not always be the same.
- BELIEVE that we are in control of our own migraine treatment. Take charge. Get educated. Be ready to make changes whenever it is warranted. Always think, “What’s next?”
- CAREFUL attention to migraine disorder is absolutely necessary. Become the expert our experience with migraine. By staying alert, we’ll recognize the early signs that change is about to happen and be ready to respond.