My Journey through Pain, but not Alone

Since the age of 12 I have struggled with migraines. Through my adolescence and early adulthood they have morphed and changed. From the beginning I struggled with that woozy feeling and then a splitting headache. I would trudge through the pain trying to go to school, play in sports and combat my homework, often giving in the pain and nausea before the nights end. Today, a migraine is much more complex, with an debilitating aura, neurological symptoms, and pain that is so intolerable that I often resort to emergency medical care. The journey through my migraines has become one of awareness and one that has helped me build a strong relationship with my own Mother, who has struggled with migraines her entire life also.

My Mother has always been there to help with a cold compress, soothing words and advice. When my migraines started becoming much more serious here in the past two years she was the first to help me with vitamins, trigger searches, and most of all the support that I was not alone.

For many, a migraine is something that they will never experience, or only experience one or two times in their life. I often envy those who can say they don’t understand my pain. I keep an optimistic outlook that one of the many (and I mean many) medications will work, or that maybe these migraines will “suddenly” retreat never to be seen again. Those who surround me closest are my biggest fans, but those who simply do not understand are often my worst enemies. The feeling of not knowing what might happen from day to day (or how I will feel, or when a migraine will set in) is like a veil — a horrible dark veil that encases me in a little bit of trepidation.

As many migraine sufferers have expressed, we see a variety of responses to our illness. Often it is a look of disbelief that we cannot “simply work through the pain” but worse yet are those who don’t understand the neurological symptoms that take over and stop me in my tracks.

I am optimistic that I can find a solution, a cure for my migraines. I do not wish to be pitied, or to be pushed off to the side as someone who simply has a disability. I know that I am strong, able and most of all a bit feisty. As someone in the education field, I feel that it only natural that I express, educate and collaborate to make things better for myself, and others who suffer from the pain. Most of all I hope to see the day when my own Mother and I can lead a life, not having to worry about the next migraine attack.

Without the help of my Mother, I would be completely lost in a sea of information from neurologists, ear, nose and throat specialists and that information that I have read and gained through my own careful research. She has helped me through her own experiences and together we hope that one day we can find a cure for the invisible illness that we both struggle so much with.



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