Sick With A Side Of Sick: Migraine and Other Illnesses

It’s the end of the week, finally. I’ve just returned home from picking up a prescription for a viral infection, just days after having started a medication for a bacterial infection, just a few weeks after dealing with a respiratory infection, which was not long after my last asthma attack, and just a few weeks before that I had two back-to-back anaphylaxis episodes a day apart, all the while I have been having near daily migraine attacks and terrible nausea. I am consequently very stressed out, trying to balance my commitments and obligations while ill almost all of the time. I am running out of excuses to give for cancellations other than the truth: I am unwell.

More than anything: I am exhausted.

Every day is a sick day lately

Over the course of the past few months, I have constantly been sick. Between persistent migraine attacks, allergy and asthma attacks, respiratory infections, joint and muscle pain, depressive and anxiety episodes, a number of viral and bacterial infections, and some pain I just haven’t had the time to get checked out yet, I have not had many days where I have felt well. Recovering from one episode or sickness has led right into another draining and exhausting experience, and I feel as though my body barely gets through each sickness before another takes the foreground.

Being this sick has caused an enormous amount of stress, from having to miss work to scheduling appointments for care, and it is overwhelming a lot of the time. People seem to be getting tired of hearing that I’m sick again, and I am getting tired of telling them. I have had to miss shifts at work, cancel plans with family and friends, spend time and money going to the doctor, and miss a lot of good old fashioned rest. Every day lately has felt like a sick or recovery day.

Migraine and other illnesses

Many patients who suffer from migraine also may be at higher risk for other illnesses, or suffer from comorbidities: these are instances of illness in which patients have higher chances of having certain other illnesses. That does not mean that having one illness such as migraine causes another, such as asthma. Rather, some people have a higher chance of having one if they have the other. Some common coexisting illnesses for migraine patients are anxiety, depression, asthma, allergies, and hypertension. I personally live with anxiety, depression, asthma, allergies, hypertension, and chronic migraine among other illnesses. Whew.

I sometimes feel as though I am somewhat guaranteed to feel ill, if not with migraine symptoms, with symptoms of other pain. Sometimes I don’t know if it is the migraine, or any on the list of other pain-causing illnesses. That can make treatment really tough.

Trying to remain optimistic

It can be really, very difficult to remain optimistic when you feel as though you can’t catch a break from being unwell, and I am often flustered trying to get care for one thing just to have something else pop up. I try to navigate my world with patience and understanding, and look for silver linings in feeling unwell so frequently. Sometimes that’s very small things like treating myself to a good cup of tea, or taking a few moments when I feel up to it to dive into a new book. Sometimes it can feel as though illness steals my joy, but little gifts to myself often help get through the day or week. I try to remind myself that I am more than my illnesses, more than my migraines, and more than my pain.

Do you live with multiple chronic illnesses or feel as though you are getting sick often? How do you remain optimistic?

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.

Comments

View Comments (12)
  • Lori
    8 months ago

    KyKy – I’m so sorry that you’ve been having a run of several acute illnesses on top your normal chronic life. Sometimes I think we all need a nanny or a momma or someone to take care of us for a few days. I know that just trying to navigate regular life with chronic illnesses is so, so hard. Take care of you.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    6 months ago

    Lori,

    Thank you so much for your well and kind wishes. I so get what you mean, sometimes all I want to do is call up on my mom and crawl into bed to be taken care of! I am sure many more can relate. Take care as well, with many well wishes to you.

  • Marysu
    8 months ago

    I feel you! I’ve dealt with chronic migraine for over 50 years and it is still teaching me new tricks!! I thought menopause would end the battle but NO!! It simply transformed itself into a less severe but more constant condition. In the last month my neurologist retired so I am in limbo trying to get a new one. (No one wants chronic migraine girl!) This week I have changed my strategy from treating the headache itself and going after my stomach more directly and it does seem to be working better to short circuit the headache. We’ll see how this plays out after a longer time has gone by. I keep hoping something will finally work all the time but so far what I try will work for a while, then migraine morphs into a different creature and I start over again at square one. Not the life I wanted or dreamed of. Soldiering on!

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    6 months ago

    Marysu,

    So appreciative that you shared your experience and story with us here in the community—I am terribly sorry to hear of the ways migraine affects you as well as that your neuro has retired! Finding new care can be a huge hill to climb and I am so sorry to hear that situation has found you. I am glad to hear that going after the stomach pain has garnered some relief, that is always excellent news. I hope you find more relief soon, and thank you for contributing. Soldiering on, we must!

  • onehsancare
    8 months ago

    I feel like a piker, whining about just migraines and depression. I guess I need to be adding to my gratitude list.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    6 months ago

    onehsancare,

    Oh no, I totally understand the feeling of getting into that loop—sometimes migraines and depression can be so consuming. I much appreciate listing gratefulness as a coping mechanism but I understand how difficult it can be! Thank you so much for being a part of this community, and take good care!

  • lightweaver
    8 months ago

    I have MS and depression. Life has been much fun since my MS has taken over!

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    8 months ago

    lightweaver,

    I am terribly sorry to hear that you have to deal with MS, depression, and chronic migraine. I know how difficult it can be to try to balance different pain and treatment and am sending well wishes and encouragement your way. Take care.

  • DriverShirl
    8 months ago

    Thank you i thought you were telling my life story for a moment! Damn i feel so bad for u because I honest to god feel your pain. Why can’t someone in this day and age and with all the technology available now, why, why, can’t this be CURED.???…….Thanks again for sharing your story, meant sooo much to me.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    8 months ago

    DriverShirl,

    I am so sorry that we both have to know this awful experience of constantly feeling sick, I so relate to your sentiments expressed, and am sending encouragement your way. Thank you so much for being a part of the community, and take care.

  • BobbieK
    8 months ago

    We must be related. We win the prize all our chronic illnesses will explode at the same time. Put one foot in front of other and keep going but my feet don’t want to do it.
    O

    O

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    8 months ago

    BobbieK,

    I hear ya! Every day is a new challenge and I know how difficult it can be to put one foot in front of the other. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Sending encouragement your way, take care.

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