A Real Sense of Community
Sitting in a dentist’s office is like one of my few personal hells. Along with porta-potties, a dental office gives me just heaps of anxiety.
I don’t know which part unnerves me the most. Maybe it’s the foot-long Novocain needles or the teeth drills that can send electric shocks throughout my jaw. Or maybe the time where a dental hygienist told me that babies can sit through my procedure and I should be able to too.
An unexpected connection
As cliché as it sounds, I was sitting in a real classy dentist’s office. There were televisions, complimentary cookies, and the sweet smell of cinnamon. It was here, in that chair, during some small talk, that I came to find out that my dental hygienist’s son had been diagnosed with Tourette’s recently at the neurological institution that I get my migraines treated at.
I’ve had uncontrollable fidgets and ticks ever since I was a kid. I grunt, twitch my eyes, crack my knuckles, twirl my fingers, etc. and I can’t help it. I’ve always tried to hide them, or play them down, but I always knew something was off about me.
My ticks weren't all I hid
Like my ticks, pulsating headaches and viscerally painful stomach aches were a part of my childhood as much as Spider-Man and Star Wars. I lived with my auras and migraines without getting them looked at.
I think I was either embarrassed or too nervous to say anything. The truth about my situation seemed too intimidating to handle. I think I just wanted to feel normal, or maybe I didn’t realize that it wasn’t normal.
Now, I realize that…I never knew anybody, personally, who dealt with the same struggles as I did. Just like when my eyes were opened thanks to that hygienist and her son, people can get diagnosed and come together to deal with their issues. We aren’t alone despite our initial instincts to be that. To isolate ourselves and live halfway in the dark.
This community has opened my eyes
I’ve been diagnosed with migraine for around 4-5 years, and I had never met a community like this one before. You all are so inspirational and courageous that I feel so at home here. Every comment feels like a hug that can help me throughout my day, throughout my struggle.
Writing for this website has helped me realize that that little kid who dealt with auras growing up, didn’t have to do it alone. It ended up being the collective of fellow migraine warriors that became the most effective medication.
No, I’m not saying stop taking your migraine meds
However, what I guess I’ve been trying to say, is thank you. Thank you for giving me the platform to share my story and not be afraid to pursue these diagnoses in all my walks of life. Whether it’s Tourette’s, migraine, or whatever struggle I face, I know with a happy heart that I am not alone.
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?