Never, never, never give up
Often attributed to Winston Churchill, this statement is a reflection of my current mood as it relates to Migraine. As a lover of historical accuracy, I couldn’t resist the urge to search out the backstory. My UK friends will surely appreciate my desire to correctly quote one of their great leaders. As is so often the case, truth is so much more entertaining and enlightening than the legends that grow up around it.
This misquote originates from a speech Churchill gave at Harrow School on October 29, 1941. While reading the full text of his speech, I discovered a much richer trove of wisdom that can be borrowed and applied to our long and tiring fight with Migraine.
“You cannot tell from appearances how things will go.
Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are;
yet without imagination not much can be done.”
We never know how well a treatment will work until we give it a try. If we pre-judge success or failure based on the experiences of others, we may miss out on the perfect opportunity for lasting relief. Sometimes we have to get creative to find the right solutions.
“…this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never…never give in…
Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
We have no choice but to keep trying. Despite the stigma and poor treatment options, we keep trudging along, holding on to the hope that one day all our efforts and the efforts of others will result in a cure. Giving in to the torment of Migraine is not an option. We refuse to let Migraine win.
“Very different is the mood today…
There was no flinching and no thought of giving in;
and by what seemed almost a miracle to those outside…
we now find ourselves in a position where I say that
we can be sure that we have only to persevere to conquer.”
This is my mood after receiving good news today. It’s on days like this that I truly believe we will finally win the fight; that each of us will find relief, and that real answers will come in our lifetime. After 32 years of letting Migraine win, it took me eight long years to finally win a real victory. Today is the day when I finally got the upper hand. Many experts discouraged me from even trying. They said it wouldn’t work, but it did.
It has been three months, one week, and five days since my first round of Botox injections. I went from an average of 17 attacks to less than 5 per month and I haven’t had a Cluster Headache attack since before Christmas. Many experts said it wouldn’t help and refused to try. But I knew my body. I knew the research. And I knew it was worth a try. Thankfully, two brilliant, compassionate doctors agreed with me. Their collaboration made it possible.
So despite a nasty respiratory infection that my doctor suspects is a mild case of pneumonia, I forced myself keep today’s appointment for a second round of injections. Since returning home, I have been too exhausted to move from my nest on the couch. But for once I am stuck here for reasons other than Migraine. That is reason to rejoice. I will keep fighting and I will win.
You can, too. You’re victory will likely come in a very different form, but you can have one, too. Just don’t give in to all the critics who say it can’t be done. I lived for 32 years not realizing there was a better way. Once I decided to fight, it took me 8 years to find a workable solution. I’ve been fighting to try Botox for three years. Don’t let anyone else tell you what you know in your heart is right for you.
Shortly after the D-Day invasion, General Eisenhower sent a broadcast out over occupied Europe. His message from that day contains the same spirit I want to share with you,
“Although the initial assault may not have been in your own country,
the hour of your liberation is approaching.”
Please don’t ever lose hope and never, never, never give up.
p.s. Yes, I am taking my antibiotics. Yes, someone else drove me to the appointment. And yes, my family is taking good care of me. I have no plans to exert myself again until the doctor gives me the “all clear”. By the time you read this, I will be healthy again.
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