My 4 Most Hated Words...."I Have A Migraine"
When I was 18 years old, I fell down a flight of steps & suffered a concussion. After that is when the migraines started. I refuse to say " my migraine", because I don't want to lay claim to them. To me, it's something I just have to deal with. In reality, I probably would have started having them anyway, because my Mom & sisters get them as well. After I had my two boys, my youngest son started having them and I can't stress enough, the guilt I've felt because I know he inherited them from me.
Now, I'm 46 and lost my job due to migraines 3 1/2 years ago. I tried finding another job, but 2 things have prevented anyone from giving me a chance. #1 is that little box that asks if you have any medical problems that might inhibit your work performance. #2 is the part where they call your references. So, my last chance has been to file for disability. I was turned down right off the bat because they said I didn't fit their definition of disabled. I've hired an attorney, because I refuse to give up.
As for the title of my story,... it feels as though I'm constantly saying "I have a migraine". Everyone in my family & most of my friends know they can't really count on me because I never know when one will strike. Even if I'm VERY careful to stay away from triggers, there's always something that's out of my control. For example,... the weather, stress, strong smells, lighting, foods that have hidden MSG, red food dye,.. the list goes on & on. Most often, I miss family functions, vacations, outings, and other things I really enjoy because of these monsters called Migraines.
My regular doctor said he understood when I first went to see him. Typically, I have atleast 15-20 headaches per month. I take Zomig, but it scares me to take it too often. I'm also on Neurontin, Propranolol, Nordegran & pain meds as needed. But, as of late, my doc is giving me a fit with refilling my pain meds. I use them as a back up plan so I don't have to take Zomig too often. Without those two things ( and Phenergan), I'd be in the ER quite often. If I could afford it, I'd gladly go every time. But I can't. Financially, we're struggling. My every last hope is hanging on disability being approved. It won't take away the migraines, but it WILL take away a lot of stress & anxiety, arguments with my husband & guilt over not bringing any income to our family.
The words "I have a migraine", have a broad spectrum definition. They mean,.... Mom can't help me, my wife won't be cooking dinner, " are we still going to get to go kayaking?", can someone else do the laundry?, My daughter won't be coming to the family dinner, Mom can't go to my football game,.... that list goes on & on as well.
For people who suffer with migraines, it affects every aspect of their lives. Work, family, financial & quality of life issues plague us.
As for me, my next step medically, is Botox injections. I'm in the process of trying to get it approved through my insurance. I don't know if it's the answer, and I'll have to admit I'm a bit afraid of the side affects,... but at this point, I'm ready to try it.
To all my centre fellow migraine sufferers out there,...I get it!! And, I'm praying that one day, the words "I have a migraine", will NOT be in our vocabulary!
Sharon L. Casey
Have you ever visited the Social Health Network website (socialhealthnetwork.com) before?