Loss and Longing

Loss and Longing

Facebook is a catalog of food I can’t eat, places I can’t go, events I can’t attend, and friends I can’t spend time with.” That’s what I told my husband yesterday after I was unable to attend brunch with his mom and aunt. Tonight he has plans with friends. He asked if a meal we have in the freezer is vegetarian in case he and his friends want to eat dinner here. “Yes,” I said, “but you should go out to a restaurant since you can.” Then I burst into tears.

When everything is a trigger

Everything I eat or drink other than water is a migraine trigger for me. Following a ketogenic diet that’s 89% fat, there are nine different foods that only trigger mild migraine attacks. If I eat only those foods, I can be semi-functional at least several hours most days. My meal plan includes eating a stick of butter at every meal with poached chicken breast and one of six vegetables. I keep with this diet because eating anything else means being too sick to get out of bed. But after four-and-a-half years of heavily restricted diets, I’m so very tired. When I explained today’s tears to my husband, I said, “I just want to be able to eat.”

Reminders of what I’ve lost

What I have lost to migraine is looming right now. I try to avoid dwelling on the losses, but they’re in neon flashing lights. Every meal I eat reminds me of what I’ve lost. Facebook, my way of connecting with loved ones when I don’t feel well enough to leave the house, reminds me of how much I’m missing. And my heart aches for a city I love, but can’t live in because the weather is a migraine trigger.

I don’t like living like this. That sounds ridiculous—no one would like having such a restricted life due to chronic migraine. What I mean is that I don’t like living with so much longing. It’s possible to have chronic migraine and not long for what I’ve lost. I’ve learned how and I do it most days. Today isn’t one of them.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com 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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