Sometimes I get tired of asking for accommodations for my migraine
A few days after Thanksgiving this past year, my sister and I drove the nine-plus hours to Cocoa Beach, Florida, where my aunt bought a timeshare several years ago. The car ride was pretty smooth, and I am really happy to report that I didn’t have a migraine the entire time we were gone. In fact, I lasted about ten days without any migraines at all!
I am lucky in that I adore my extended family (both my mom’s and dad’s sides), so the prospect of sharing a 2-bedroom condo with three adult cousins, one sister, and one baby cousin was really exciting rather than claustrophobia-inducing. I am unlucky in that migraine runs in both sides of the family (though it seems my cousins on my dad’s side have mostly escaped this particular health issue). Because of their relationship with me and because I am comfortable talking about my health with them, my relatives were really thoughtful regarding any potential triggers. They bought gluten-free chips, remembering that (at least for a long while), I wasn’t eating gluten. When we were trying to decide what games to play, I told them that the fluorescent lights above the dining table were a little too bright for me, and they switched them off without any comment or complaint (even though it got darker and harder to see the Scrabble tiles). The next day, the fluorescent light wasn’t turned on at all, as everyone had remembered I wanted to avoid it.
The last night we were there, some of us were playing cards while others halfheartedly watched TV while checking Facebook (such is the family vacation in 2014!). Things were peaceful, and I hadn’t had a migraine in days. My family had kept an eye out on potential triggers and checked in with me at least twice a day just to gently ask how I was feeling. (I was happily surprised each and every time I got to tell them I was migraine-free!) The Voice was on this last night, and my cousin turned the volume up. As you all probably well know, TV commercials are aired at a higher volume than the shows themselves. So after hearing people sing, suddenly I was greeted with the barking of a car salesman, then the once-cute but now-annoying insurance company gecko, then some other louder-than-necessary ad. If I were at home, I would’ve turned down the volume with the remote (as a rule, I mute the commercials, a lesson learned in childhood), but in this case I wasn’t in charge of the TV.
The TV noise was just on the verge of being annoying. If I had a migraine, I would’ve dipped out and asked my cousin to turn it down. But I was migraine-free (though still noise-sensitive, which is par for the course with me). I really wanted to ask them to turn down the TV because it was annoying, but I felt I had reached my self-imposed cap on how many times I wanted to ask for people to change their behavior to suit me.
For those of you who, like me, are no longer (usually) shy about asking for accommodations, do you ever feel as if you are just tired of asking? That even though you no longer are too nervous or scared to ask for adjustments or accommodations, you just don’t want to feel as if you’re bothering anyone by asking for something else?
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?