When will it end?

I don't know where to begin. I have had migraines for as long as I can remember. As a 5 year old, I can recall running to my mom with my head in my hands, crying from the excruciating pain. My mom checked off all the obvious potential problems. Was it just a headache? Was it my eyesight? Was something wrong with my jaw? By the time I was in 2nd grade, I had glasses to correct my nearsightedness and a retainer to correct my slight overbite, but the headaches only continued. When a migraine struck, I would come home from school, lock myself in my room, make it as dark as night, and sleep until the pain subsided. By then, it was clear that I was living with migraine.

As I grew older, my migraines only grew worse. Sometimes, it just wasn't possible to lock myself in a room and sleep for the days at a time. That's when I can remember first vomiting because of a migraine. As if the pain weren't enough, the nausea and vomiting, and sensitivities to light, sound, and smell made my migraines debilitating. Although while growing up, I didn't get migraines chronically they always seemed to show up at the worst time. Migraines have caused me to miss birthday parties to volleyball games to prom. By the time I graduated high school, migraines were just apart of who I was and something I had to overcome.

While in college, I never left the house without medication. I knew at the first sign of an attack I had to take OTC medicine or I was done for. But as I checked off my college years one by one, my migraines only grew worse and it seemed that I was popping pills like candy. Just six months after graduating from college, I had to quit the job I had worked so hard to get because my migraines had become chronic and completely disabling. That day was almost three years, and I still haven't been able to return to work. I'm 26 years old and disabled from chronic migraine disease.

Since the day I left my job, I have been fighting with everything I have to get better, but somehow, I'm losing the battle. I've tried medication after medication, chiropractic care, acupuncture, biofeedback therapy, Botox, nerve blocks, diet changes, the list goes on and on and on. I've seen specialist after specialist and traveled half-way around the country to visit one head pain clinic to the next. I've been hospitalized twice for more than 10 days at a time. Both times, I was pumped full of IV therapy after therapy in hopes of breaking the cycle, but nothing worked. I have migraines not just chronically, but constantly. Additionally, I now also suffer from major depression disorder, gastritis, and hypothyroidism.

Three years ago, I was ready to take on the world. I knew who I was and what I wanted to become. I had hopes and dreams. Now, I spend my days going to appointments, picking up medication, and hoping against all hope that my pain levels won't rise above a 6. Even though I've had migraines for my entire life, I never would have thought it were possible to experience one day in and day out. Intermittent migraine and chronic migraine are truly two different diseases. I used to complain when I migraine derailed an event in my life, but now that migraines have derailed my entire life, I would give anything to go back to how things used to be. Right now, there is no light at the end of my tunnel, but I promise you, I won't stop searching for it.

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