I open the car door and slide into the driver side seat. I sit quietly and wait for my vision to calibrate. It requires immense focus just to see through the simmering lights my mind creates. Sometimes, I don’t mind them, they can be beautiful after all, but “not now” I think! I need to drive. I reach forward to grab my parking ticket and put the car into reverse in one fell swoop. I look briefly behind me and let off of the break….Crunch!

I hit the pole! How could I be so stupid? I clearly remember parking next to it and then fretting about remembering it was there during my infusion. I even reminded myself about it with a nod as I stepped into the car, and yet I still hit the pole. Sitting in a parking spot in the garage at the Cleveland Clinic I realize this is the perfect metaphor for my life right now. Constantly, I work to prevent my pain and improve my quality of life and as soon as I get distracted it seems it hits me out of nowhere. I assumed I would get better when I got all of my medication back after struggling with insurance, but I didn’t. I assumed I would feel wonderful this summer, without the stress of having to work since I am an educator, but I didn’t.

I am left feeling guilty. Guilty that my car is all scraped up, guilty that I can’t even drive myself to and from treatment effectively, but mostly guilty that I cannot stop my own pain and all of the inconvenience and difficulty it causes those around me. I wipe away my tears as I pull the car forward and then back out again. This time, successfully making the trip home.

About: I'm a 26 year old female, had abdominal migraine as a kid, diagnosed with basilar type migraine at 18, diagnosed with chronic migraine on July 3, 2014. I am currently receiving treatment at the Cleveland Clinic.

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