I May Be Living, But I Have No Life
Last updated: May 2023
I first began having migraines when I was 12 years old. After having a migraine nearly every day for a year they stopped. I didn't have another one until I was a freshman in college. I was lucky to find a wonderful neurologist who helped me to keep them maintained through preventative medication and triptans for my episodic migraines.
I had my first intractable migraine at age 23. After over a month of solid migraine I was hospitalized for DHE treatment. That would be the first of seven hospitalizations for migraine.
My migraines started to snowball after that. They became more intense, more frequent and they lasted longer. I missed school and I missed work. My migraines became so frequent that I lost four jobs.
Three years ago I started seeing a headache specialist. He diagnosed me with chronic migraine. He threw everything but the kitchen sink at them. Some drugs worked, but caused too severe side effects that I had to stop taking them. Other drugs had no effect whatsoever. We finally settled on nerve block injections, which don't get rid of the headaches, but do reduce the severity. I now go to the office every month to play my role of human pincushion.
My life revolves around my migraines. I miss vacations, and birthdays, and holidays. I've missed so many appointments that some doctors refuse to see me any more. I live for those moderate days when I can actually sit in the living room and watch tv, instead of lying in bed with my face mask and ice pack, praying for sleep. I still hold on to the hope that one day someone will discover something that will make the migraines go away.
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?