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Struggle and Hope

I’ve had migraines since I was 9 years old, but 3 years ago it turned into the dreaded perma-headache of daily chronic migraine.

I had just re-enrolled in school to finish my nursing degree. I had just become engaged to the love of my life after so many disappointments in love and in life. My life was awesome.

Then it got turned on it’s ear by migraine. The doctors have yet to find a treatment that abates my symptoms. But I’m not without hope. As I have navigated the world of chronic headache I have seen are a lot of articles on the pitfalls and different obstacles that people with chronic pain and migraine have. Each list has a different “most dangerous” at the very top and different ways to deal with them.

migraine_awareness24 But I’ve been thinking about this for a while. It’s begun to bother me more and more. I think the most dangerous thing a person with any chronic illness can do is to let that illness become who and what they are. It controls or limits so many factors in our lives it’s very easy to fall into that trap. “I can’t do this, I’m sick” or “I hurt too much to be involved in that”.

The main thing is, we are NOT our illness. We are PEOPLE with an illness. Yes, it may limit some things, but so many times I find myself bracing for things that may or may not be limited by migraine. This makes it much harder to do those things that I want to do because I am expecting the backlash from my own body. This can even CAUSE that backlash because of the anxiety. And so many times I see people just give up to their pain instead of fighting for a better quality of life.

New things are happening in medicine every day! Today there is no cure. Today there are limited treatments. But tomorrow? Maybe not. I entered the medical field because I loved it. I have plans to become a nurse practitioner. I refuse to give up on a treatment, a cure, and most of all I refuse to give up on myself.

Please don’t stop fighting for yourself. Don’t give up. Don’t let the bad guy win. I don’t plan to.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    6 years ago

    I hope this doesn’t sound condescending, but I’m so proud of you for your attitude. Living with any chronic illness is really difficult, and it is a struggle at times to keep looking forward with hope, but it’s so vitally important for us. You are even taking it a step further by dedicating yourself to health care. My plea to you, is to become exceptionally educated about Migraine so that the misinformation that plagues most patients is never an issue with your patients. Go to the best sources – those that are physician reviewed or produced. And, I’m not talking run-of-the-mill doctors, I mean Migraine and headache specialists like these:


  • lee-annhauer author
    6 years ago

    Thanks Ellen. I read every article on every study that comes out of every reputable source that I can dig up. It seems that I sometimes do better research than the FBI 🙂 It keeps me going, keeps me accountable, and pushes me farther than I thought possible. I just hate to see so many people give in to the pain and depression that can come along with any form of chronic pain. To me, that is the enemy.

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