Woman reclines on bed with her dog leaning on her body as she reflects on her life before, driving behind a wheel through palm trees

Chronic Migraine and My Life Before

Last updated: September 2022

Chronic migraine has impacted my life since 2009. While I had some experience with episodic migraines prior to 2009, chronic migraines changed my life. The person that I was prior to chronic migraine is a far cry from the woman I am today.

My life now

Currently, I am sitting in the darkness that is my house with the dogs. A thunderstorm is developing outside, as it has been for the last several hours, and my entire body feels the changes in the weather. The lightning flashes are so bright that they illuminate my living room. The thunder is so loud that it makes my large dog jump and my head throb. The little dogs bury themselves as close as they can to me. None of us are enjoying this particular storm.

I reach for my Rtic cup for another sip of hot tea, only to find it empty. Sighing, I place the cup back down and start the internal debate over getting up to brew more hot tea or staying snuggled in my blanket and dog pile. Ultimately, I decide not to move from where I am. A slight movement was enough to remind me that my knee and fibromyalgia are both excruciating, my endometriosis is aching, and my head is trying to kill me.

The weather and my migraine

The weather has not only made my migraine intensify but also a past knee surgery and my endometriosis. I miss the days of only having one pain source to push through. Today, I have multiple pain sources, and the migraine provides several types of pain and discomfort itself.

My life prior to chronic migraine

I was a very active individual prior to my chronic migraines. Despite developing endometriosis in high school, I was working full-time and handling a full-time course load to finish two different bachelor’s degrees. I also still had a private life around all this work. In general, I may have been extremely busy, but I was a happy person.

While I am an introvert, I had several extrovert friends and family members. I took younger family members to concerts without needing a ton of preparation. It was easy for me to help my grandfather with my grandmother’s whims or with the cattle. In general, as long as I managed my stress, I did not have to worry about migraines.

I miss who I used to be

There are times when I cannot help but miss the pre-chronic migraine version of myself. The version of me that found peace under a tin roof while a thunderstorm passed through the neighborhood. The woman who would drive home from work with the car windows down and loud music playing to relieve some work-related stress. Or the woman who would go for a three-mile run after work to burn off some steam.

Nowadays, the migraines I have make intense exercise like running impossible. My migraines even interfere with me holding down a regular 9-to-5 job. Doing things with my nieces has to be planned out, and I need medication on hand, just in case. At family functions, I always park in a way that I will not get trapped in the driveway, so I can leave early when needed. I may be living, but chronic migraine makes living my best life a struggle.

Has chronic migraine changed you from your pre-chronic migraine self?

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