Autoimmune Disease and Migraine

Outside of work, I feel as if I’ve been keeping to myself a little more lately. It’s fair to say that working long, hard hours at my own business are wearing me down and causing me to have more need than usual to rest, but that’s not the only reason I have been a homebody outside of the bookshop this fall and winter.

Confession time: I have been feeling so, so crappy! It’s true that in the fall I had my to-be-expected bout of back-to-back migraine episodes and that sapped my energy, but something more is afoot.

Many of us migraineurs know that there are many, many other illnesses, syndromes, and conditions that are concomitant with migraine—in laymen’s terms, people with migraine sometimes tend to have other health conditions too, and you’ll find many migraineurs who share your second and third diagnoses with you.

For years I’ve known that my immune system doesn’t function as it should, but I ploughed on anyhow, taking great care of myself and making sure to eat and exercise well (at times, at least). During my healthy times, I thought for sure my immune system was back up to snuff and that maybe all those perceived health issues were just a matter of getting back into shape.

But now I suspect different, and, based on a lab test I had recently, my doctors have referred me to a rheumatologist for the first time, as my symptoms and the lab results indicate a possible connective tissue disease. I have been completely run down, sleeping without ever waking up refreshed, dealing with back pain, coping with muscle cramps, waking with puffy eyes, and on and on and on for months now. When I told my primary care doctor that I was nervous to get a “scary diagnosis,” she pointed out that she saw the upcoming rheumatology appointment as a step in the right direction—maybe a diagnosis will “unify all my symptoms.”

Fingers crossed I will continue to have positive people (including myself) on my side as I begin what could be a long diagnosis journey. First appointment is at the end of January. Until then: I’m tired. And: “ow.”

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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