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I’m a Velociraptor and Chronic Migraine Disease is Jurassic Park

I struggled for many years to describe the process of navigating life with a newly disabling condition. Most of the time my explanations ended up with both myself and my friends more confused and curious than when we started (in no small way thanks to aphasia, more professionally known as “word fail”). All that changed as I was lying around in a painful haze, letting my mind go random in an effort to maintain distraction.

For some reason I remembered the scene of Jurassic Park in which the problem-solving intelligence of the velociraptors was described. The velociraptors would test the electric fence of their enclosure, but never in the same place twice. They remembered where they’d been shocked but did not assume that a different portion of the fence would deliver the same painful result. I had to laugh, because you see…

I am a velociraptor and my chronic migraine disease is Jurassic Park. Every day I wake up starting in an enclosure surrounded by hotwires. My goals lie on the other side of those wires. Let’s call the hotwires migraine triggers. So like a velociraptor in Jurassic Park, I must systematically test wires I know might shock me in order to reach my goal.

To get to my goal without being incapacitated, I have some options. I can try to avoid the fence without touching it, which would be avoiding migraine triggers. That’s the ideal scenario. Most days, however, it’s nearly impossible for me to avoid all of my triggers. The fence is really high and goes all the way around. Fortunately, not all triggers cause instant migraines! There are sometimes weaker areas in the fence that will let me through with a bearable jolt, which will give me a welt but I won’t see it until the next day.

At first this process was harrowing. I feared the unpredictable fence that had such a high chance of causing me pain (not to mention other googly-eyed symptoms). But quickly my view of it changed. It became like playing the lottery from hell, which is interesting in its own right. And every time I succeed in maneuvering myself through the hotwires to my goal, I can reward myself with the words “clever girl.”

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Comments

  • peeperview
    3 years ago

    Great analogy and story, Lydia! Thank you and keep up the good writing.

  • Lydia Rivers author
    3 years ago

    Thanks so much for your encouragement, Peeper! I will definitely try. ^-^

  • Crystalrz4
    3 years ago

    Absolutely excellent analogy. I LOVED Jurassic Park, and very definitely I can easily see each one of my triggers as a different flesh eater coming after me!
    I also use visualization and distraction to get around as many of my triggers
    as I can. This will certainly help.

    GREAT article! Thanks!

  • Lydia Rivers author
    3 years ago

    Thank you for your feedback, Crystal!

    Live long and prosper.

  • Jenn Lebowitz
    3 years ago

    Wow! What a fabulous way to describe it, Lydia! Thank you so much for sharing your clever 😉 creativity with us!

    Best,
    Jenn (Community Manager, Migraine.com)

  • Lydia Rivers author
    3 years ago

    You’re welcome, and thank you for taking the time to comment! I’ve decided to write more, and migraines of course are high on my list of topics. ^-^

  • Jerick
    3 years ago

    Thank you for the good laugh, Lydia! The next time my day seems especially harrowing trying to avoid all the triggers, I’m going to remember your “clever girl” mantra. 🙂

  • Lydia Rivers author
    3 years ago

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Jerick! The conclusion was especially fun to write. Visualization is really important to my mental health. I wish you many successful ” rawrs! “

  • Luna
    3 years ago

    I’m in word scramble tonight so my only comment will be… Thanks for an interesting read. I enjoyed it. I wish you much success in your game.

  • Lydia Rivers author
    3 years ago

    Thanks Luna! I’m definitely one of those who survives chronic illness by unleashing my (rather sarcastic) inner child.

    I hope your words fall back into place soon!

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