Fighting The Invisible Enemy

I remember hearing stories from my family members talking about how they didn’t know how to deal with my bouts of screaming pain. As a baby, I’ve been told I would cry for hours on end for no reason whatsoever – even after having eaten or falling asleep. They didn’t know how to deal with me, and before I could even speak I was allegedly spanked for doing so.

Growing up and dealing with school I would get blinding and crippling pains which would result in my crawling on the floor, or curling into a ball in tears. I did very well in school, and in 2nd grade was given an IQ score of 155. The problem was it was difficult to make it through a single day without any signs of pain enwrapping my head.

Specifically, I remember 2nd grade. I would get migraines and wouldn’t be able to assist with activities because I was practically immobile while I tried to stay in class without going home. I remember my teacher saying “It seems like every time you have to do something, you get a migraine.” I don’t want to sound egotistical, but it felt like a personal attack when even at that age I felt like I was on the same level of adults with intellect. This was only one attack I took personally.

I would visit the emergency room almost once a week to have a shot of Demerol which acted like a fire extinguisher rather than a preventative measure. There was one time I saw a specialist and had about 48 different needles plunged into my back to try and determine what was causing the pain. The result? Dust and mold. That was the closest I ever got to any diagnosis.

Later on I would see my doctor which put me from one pill a day, to one I took three times a day. They worked at first, but my body would get used to the medicine and after a month or even less they were useless. I had a brain scan done, in which I’ll never forget I was told I had “abnormal brain waves”. I was then put on anti-seizure medication which I had to take THREE times a day. It didn’t help, my migraines started to become random rather than daily.

At that point I ultimately gave up on any treatment that was offered, I didn’t have any faith the “doctors” could fix my problem. This was about the time I was in Freshman year of high school. Rather than push on, if I felt any sign of pain I would stay home from school. From 9th to 11th grade my GPA dropped from a 3.8 to a 2.1, and I quit fighting because I felt like nothing and no one could help me.

The second attack I took personally was from a girl I was with for three years. I would miss dates, class, or events because I could barely walk. She dealt with it for a while and I’ll never forget her text message I received saying she didn’t believe I was suffering from pain. It was a very difficult pill to swallow. About a year afterwards, she got a migraine. I only heard from her once that day when we normally would speak every hour. She apologized for criticizing me, and she understood at that moment the pain I suffered from.

Now, I am 26. I rarely get my migraines anymore. I don’t know if it was because I was growing up, or because I dropped my weight from 201 to 160, but I’m glad they’re not here anymore.

Typically I know when I am about to get a migraine. I tend to lose the vision in my left eye, and I would test myself many times a day by trying to wave my fingers on my left hand while looking straight ahead to find out if I noticed it with my peripheral vision. I learned today it is called “aura“. If I couldn’t see it, I basically saw a watering wave of blackness which prevented me from seeing it.

If I was unable to see it, I learned to stop everything I was doing. No bike riding, no working, no driving… Nothing. I knew I needed to get to either the Emergency Room or my room. The ER would fix me with a shot, my room would fix me by curling into a ball on the floor and screaming in tears. I like to think I am a strong person, but migraines were a curse that I couldn’t fight against.

I had to go on home schooling, and even once a week would be difficult because if it was a day I had a migraine I couldn’t do it. So the days I didn’t have them, I would complete a month’s worth of schooling to make up for my disposition. I entered home schooling mid-junior year, and I completed it within 3 months.

Now at 26, I don’t really get them anymore. When they do it though, they aren’t headaches… They are full blown migraines which floor me and I can’t see a doctor because I lack insurance. I have to wallow in pain and hope I can get to sleep to make it stop.

I currently am the owner of a business I started, and I thought they would come back. Ultimately, they haven’t. In the last 6 years I’ve had maybe one migraine per year. The problem is with them being gone, I have fallen into suffering from different problems my family suffers from. Depression, stress, anxiety, and potential borderline personality disorder.

I still stay strong though, I try my best to keep my head up. Sometimes I wish I still had those blinding migraines rather than feeling like I am a deep pit in which there is no way out. Migraines to me at least made sense, now I am plagued by something I can’t help.

I still show up to my shop every day, I always tell myself it could be worse. Even though they’re gone, I’m not fully fixed.

I wanted to write this becaue I saw a commercial for mychronicmigraine.com, and after reading some stories I could completely relate. So, I needed to tell my story of experience with the condition.

I fully sympathize with those who suffer from this issue, and I fully understand what you all are going through. I don’t want to say I’m any type of success story, all I can say is even though I grew out of them there is still an amount of conviction I have against this problem.

My name is Jeramy, and I send prayers and the greatest amount of empathy to all of those who are currently in this turmoil.

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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