Last updated: June 2015
I am terrified.
I am terrified that tomorrow I will succumb to the final Friday migraine of the school year. Let's assume there are 40 school weeks each year. That means I got 40 Friday migraines this year. That makes 320 Friday migraines in my eight years as an educator. That's about an entire year's-worth of migraines. Factor in the migraine hangover Saturday, and that's two years.
I am terrified that tomorrow I will slip into my invisible illness again and no one will really know. If I am distant, it's because I'm self-centered. If I am cognitively disabled, it's because I'm not really that smart. If I am irritable, it's because I have a temper. If I forget my students' names, it's because I don't care about them. NONE of these things are true. They are my migraine.
I am terrified that tomorrow I will draw the conclusion that teaching isn't worth it. That these students, this school, and my lifelong passion isn't worth the guaranteed migraines. That I am destined to do something else. I AM NOT destined to do something else, but the migraine cloud is powerful.
I am terrified that tomorrow I will lose the spark of hope that keeps me going. As always, I have a plan to conquer the Friday migraine. My excel document tracks my data, my OneNote journal tracks my research, and things are looking up. And my mind has been having daydreams all week of how fuller life could be without the migraine. But I am 0 for 320.
I am terrified. Nothing prepared me for this challenge. There was no class in school for this. The paradigm for adulthood doesn't have a chronic illness stage. But nothing has prepared me more for life either. I am more diligent, strategic, open-minded, curious, and voracious because of this. And so my fear becomes something that I'll manage, something that will motivate me further. This isn't the adventure I signed up for. But it's taken me to unexpected places. And so ultimately, tomorrow, will be just fine.
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?