Day 29: “Six Sentence Story” (** I prefer my first sentence/paragraph because of the vivid memory it still invokes and because of the info with metaphor I used **):
I got my first “bad” headache at age 11, but the second one – developing and ripening on the airplane while on my way to visit my uncle and his new family – left me puking and reeling in the grass of his Indiana home.
My succeeding years shared the pain of the earlier ones, but I learned the art of “avoiding triggers” to keep my “headaches” at bay; now my pain, although unbearable, happened only four or five times a year.
My changing hormones signaled the new addition of more headaches occurring during my menses now at age 28; I found out that these hormones were the start, and now the addition of even more headaches that I now realized really were “migraines”, then and now.
A few years later, more migraine headaches plus new symptoms began to escalate and stealthily invaded my fairly normal existence; my life as I knew it – although still mostly intact – was about to change for the worse.
It’s now 2005, and those early, “bad” headaches have embedded themselves into every facet of my experience: I cannot hold a job or career; I cannot find reliable relief or a knowledgeable physician; I cannot be sure of my health and how I’ll feel each day; and most of all, I cannot make complete peace with a disease so shrouded in misconception, stigma and lack of funding.
Although, on the “good” days I still feel sometimes like I’m “playing hooky”; planning around everything; and rushing like a chicken to get things done, my life now – even in the face of a neurological disease that takes more than it will ever give – in 2012 has become one of acceptance, courage, strength and flexibility.