It's taken me a couple of months to come to grips with this, but I don't think there's any denying it any more -- my headaches are pretty bad.
I'd hoped that going off the Topamax would, as a best-case scenario, relieve the day-to-day pain I was feeling or, worst case, leave me no worse off pain-wise than I'd been while on it. And some of this has proven true -- I think the severity of the daily pain is less. And I'm way less medicated generally speaking.
But it seems I've traded a slightly higher level of chronic pain for more frequent migraine-level headaches. And, as was the case before I went on Topamax, sometimes they either recur in short order (like, a few hours) or just last longer overall.
There are corollaries, too -- I'm going to church less, doing less after work, seeing friends less frequently. I don't reach out, either via email or phone. Because of the pain, the vagaries of when it will strike next and coping with it when it does, I'm less involved, less participatory. Less present. My friendships suffer, my writing becomes nonexistent and my humor eludes me.
I don't like this much. I have every confidence that God is using this for good somehow, in my life or someone else's, perhaps in ways I will never understand. He is Lord of all my life, after all, not just the parts that feel good or immediately benefit me or are easily explained. But I would be lying if I said that I enjoyed this or didn't pray for the pain to ease, at times fervently and without concern for whatever larger purpose might be in play. And I'm tired, of the fight and the discomfort.