Working and Chronic Daily Intractable Migraine

Last updated: November 2021

Working and living with migraine is super difficult, as you all know. I have been through 3 jobs and couldn’t keep them because I just could not function in person, even for only 3 hours straight a day.

My previous position

My last job knew that I had migraine and they were pretty understanding. They even let me pass out sunglasses to people for Shades for Migraine (I was a community leader). It was great and my coworkers shared many stories with me about themselves or people they know! I didn’t feel alone at work. However, I decided to resign from my job the week of my celebration of marriage (we eloped but just had the celebration on October 2nd).

I worked with kiddos on the autism spectrum as a registered behavior technician doing ABA therapy. I really liked this job but I wasn’t reliable. I never knew when my daily migraine would be at a 7 or higher pain-wise. I also never knew when I was going to have to vomit, be nauseous, or have blurry vision due to migraine.

Feeling guilty

My husband got very upset, however, because I did this without talking with him about it. This was not the way I wanted the week of our wedding to be but I couldn’t lie anymore. I felt so guilty about him carrying all the burden that I just recently searched for a job doing what I was doing before but to go even more part-time than I was before.

Finding on a new role

I was looking for 10-13 hours a week. I interviewed and got a job I initially didn’t apply for. I had applied for an early intervention associate working with kiddos in the birth to 3-years-old program and/or kids who were on the spectrum.

This sounded like a great opportunity and I would have fewer in-person hours. The director of the branch in my state looked at my resume and realized I have my special ed teaching certification in Connecticut (where I live). I was actually qualified to do a different job that was flexible and could fit in the hours I wanted to work and did some similar things to when I was teaching.

Remote work

I am so happy to be working remotely now and have to work at least ten hours a week but no more than 19- which is perfect for me!! I’m now a developmental therapist at the company evaluating kiddos to see if they are eligible for the Birth-3 program in our state. There are also different roles within that position as well.

This job has a lot more responsibilities but I HOPE I can make it work. Because of the nature of the job I can practically make my own hours and wasn’t locked into say a 9-11 shift or something like that. I was relieved to know that the sessions were way shorter than I had been used to.

Worried about the impact of migraine

I start in two weeks, I know I can do the job but I’m worried I won’t be able to keep it due to chronic migraine but this is what I’m meant to be doing I think because along with doing this they also provide tuition reimbursement for 60% of cost!! I can go back to school and become another position that would advance me in the company and in my career.

I was so happy when I got the job and felt like I was good enough to be hired. I hope it’ll work out and migraine won’t impact my work this time around?! I’m trying to stay positive and seek out the care I need which currently involves seeing a neurologist who is a two-hour drive from my house and another headache specialist with a four-hour drive.

Staying positive

I would LOVE to work more hours because you have to work a certain amount in order for them to pay with schooling and get the supervision you need to be able to come a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst). I’m really nervous about having in-person hours again. It is worth trying again and will give me the best of both worlds, teaching & behavior analysis!

I can ramble on for days but I’ll stop there. I have had my ups and downs and right now I’m on an upswing. I hope seeking out another doctor will make a difference! Only time will tell though. I pray for migraine attacks that are not daily and lessen in intensity. It’s SO hard to stay positive when almost everything has failed!! I’m glad I have a space to rant/ramble on and have people to lean on for support who actually “get it”.

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