Working with Chronic Migraine: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
There are so many individuals who do not have a choice but to work despite having chronic migraine, even if they have daily chronic migraine. I was one of those individuals who worked until September of 2017, when my employer decided I was unfit to work. While on unemployment, I applied for disability with all of my medical issues. There are a lot of elements that go into working with chronic migraine. It is not a simple thing as many individuals who do not have migraine believe.
There are a few benefits to being employed while having chronic migraine. For some individuals, it provides them with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. A lot of individuals with chronic migraine can start to feel like a burden at home or to their family. It also provides an additional household income. This can help to pay for various prescriptions and treatments that doctors want us to try such as Botox.
There are a few bad aspects about working while being a person who has chronic migraine. It is definitely a challenge when you are at work with a migraine. You have to choose to push through and stay at work or to go home early. Another issue of working while having chronic migraine is your family and friends start to assume that it means since you could push through at work that you should be able to attend any event they plan. This can definitely become a battle on its own. It is also draining on you when you work all day and then need to go grocery shopping on the way home. The same challenge presents itself when it comes to managing household chores.
There are a few ugly aspects about working while being a person who has chronic migraine. One of the big ones is when you feel forced to stay at work even with a bad migraine and then you are stuck driving home impaired by the bad migraine. This is definitely not a safe thing but it really does happen, unfortunately. The office environment is a challenge all in its own. Things such as lights, noises, and computer screens are typically things that you cannot change at work but can have a big impact on your migraine. There is an issue with losing your personal life because you spend any time that you are not working trying to recover from the time you spent working, with the weight of housework weighing on your mind. The worst of the ugly is the risk of being let go from work when the bosses decide you are not fit for work.
Working part-time as a balance
Working with chronic migraine can be necessary or optional. If it is optional, I would definitely suggest somebody try to work part-time. This allows somebody to get the benefits of working, while hopefully minimizing the negative effects that can come with working.
Do you work? If you used to work, what were your experiences with working?
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?