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Beyond the Pain

Who would have thought when I was officially diagnosed with chronic migraine at the beginning of high school, I would be where I am today. There is so much that doesn’t get discussed in that initial diagnosis. There are so many tangents of this disorder, that were never explained to me.

I never imagined that my day to day life would begin to be altered to a point where I didn’t recognize myself or my habits.

For every football game I attended religiously. For every late night trip to get pancakes. For every Sunday morning that I’d wake up early and rush off to get a coffee before anyone else was on the roads. For every concert. For every plan that was made… I never imagined they would be my last.

But my doctor never explained to me that the symptoms of my migraine he was asking about, would get worse and that new ones would develop.

He never told me my heightened senses, would get stronger, and eventually I wouldn’t have to be experiencing an attack for them to be so strong. You know that feeling when you walk into Hollister and all the perfume and the music and the store greeter all hit you all at once? What if that feeling never went away?

I don’t leave my house without sunglasses. Even if its pouring rain. I keep a pair of yellow tinted glasses in my car so I can drive at night and not be blinded by oncoming headlights.

I don’t own or use any scented lotions or perfumes.

People get freaked out when I hear them and they aren’t very close to me. My past roommates have most likely assumed I was just nuts for claiming I could hear the TV through the walls or random noises at the other end of the halls.

I can’t enjoy a meal out to eat. Especially if I want to eat that meal, you know, at a meal time. There’s always so much noise. So much hustle. So much. And it’s not like I want to sit and eat in my car. And half the time, I don’t even want to eat. I understand now, what people who suffer from anxiety and depression go through. Its like I’m on the outside, looking in on the life I should be having, and choosing to stand in the background. Only it isn’t me that’s making the choice. My body is making the choice for me.

No one ever prepared me for the nausea and the shakes and the cold sweats that would eventually become a part of my daily routine. These past two weeks its taken between three and four hours after I’ve gotten up and started my day, before I’m no longer shaking.

My doctor did mention the anxiety and depression that were common with migraine. But he didn’t tell me that it would be whatever medication he put me on that caused it.

I. Know. Me.

And this person who lives out my day to day life, isn’t me.

I don’t have anxiety attacks when I have to walk into a store. I don’t get nauseas from driving 20 minutes to school. I don’t question whether or not a restaurant will be a trigger for me. I certainly don’t sit and watch March Madness in the quiet of my own home. I don’t buy insurance in case I can’t attend a concert.

The spontaneous kid inside me is gone, but I’d give anything to have her back.

Maybe someday.

-A

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