Chronic migraines changed this patient’s life

by Diana E. Lee

When I start to think about all the things I want to do, I end up feeling like my life is on hold, waiting for some miracle to come along and make me better. There was a time when I believed I would get better. Now I’m not so sure.

I was just getting started in my career in 2003 when my migraines exploded from periodic to chronic. I worked really hard to get my law degree and pass the bar. But shortly after I started in my dream position I became sick and instead of getting better, I seemed to become progressively worse.

I wasn’t ready to have kids when this started back in 2003. But since that time I’ve really warmed to the idea. My baby bug is at red-alert intensity. Yet, how can I even think about trying to get pregnant when I’m sick all the time? Worse, I have concerns about how I’ll get by without the medications that do provide some relief while I’m pregnant.

My current prophylactic meds are not perfect, but they make my situation more tolerable. Adoption may be an option for us, but I want to enjoy being a parent and give as much of myself to my children as possible. I don’t know how I’ll be able to do that feeling the way I do.

Since the time my migraines became chronic, my depression has become just about unmanageable. It’s a constant battle to keep my head above water, and more days than not I fail to keep up with the basic functions of day to day life. To add insult to injury, I was diagnosed with diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome in January 2008, creating another layer of complications for the decision of when to start a family.

I’ve seen many doctors and tried every medication and treatment under the sun. Some things have helped me cope, others have made me much worse. It’s frustrating to feel like you’ve done all the right things and have nothing to show for it. I’ve always believed that if I followed the rules and tried hard things would fall into place. Managing your health is just not like that.

I try to think more about the ways my life is better than worse, but it’s incredibly hard not to dwell on everything I’ve lost and not knowing if I’ll ever have the life I wanted. Interacting with other chronic babes and migraineurs helps a lot. Writing here keeps me moving forward and gives me something to focus on that challenges my mind and makes me feel good about myself. I just want so much more.

Diana E. Lee is a chronic migraine patient who blogs at Somebody Heal Me.

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