How I Learned About Migraine

I never knew what migraine was until I met my current wife. Her migraines are the kind that lay her up for days on end, and before Imitrex, she’d be “stoned” on phenobarbital, and other meds of the day (late 1980s & early 1990s).

It turns out my first wife also suffered migraine but I never realized it because she would say it was a “headache” and her experiences were about 10% as severe as my current wife.

After seeing my wife’s migraine experience, I started thinking about my own headaches and realized I too suffered from migraine. I just thought they were “bad headaches” normally brought about by stress.

The first migraine I remember was back in 1975. I was 21 years old and going for the final part of the CPD exam. I passed the written in the middle of the 2% “Most Qualified” and the physical in the top 10% “Highly Qualified.” The last part, the interview, should have been a “snap” placing me right in the middle of the “Most Qualified.” However, I woke that morning with an ultra-severe headache (didn’t realize at the time it was a migraine) and I didn’t do nearly as well as I should have during the interview.

Because of the migraine during my CPD interview, I went from “Most Qualified” and being on the job in 2 years, to “Highly Qualified” and waiting more than 8 years. It’s amazing how adversely migraine can impact a life.

Later in life I worked for the Coke bottler in Atlanta, in its Credit Department. I already had more than 10 years’ experience in the field and my boss was previously a driver without any credit experience. He feared I would take his job and he was always “dumping” on me. I suffered daily migraines. Even during winter, I’d be in my car each afternoon, air conditioning on full blast, sunglasses on, ear plugs in and praying migraine would go away. The 18 months I suffered this pain was the worse time of my life.

Thankfully, I finally quit, finding a different and much better employer.

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