Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Battle Begins

I experienced migraines on and off throughout my teenage years. However, by my current standards, those would barely rank as headaches.

I had a car accident in October 2008, which has resulted in chronic, debilitating migraines; neck and shoulder pain; insomnia; and extreme weight loss. It has been a nightmare dealing with the different insurance companies, doctors’ offices, and so forth; while trying to heal and continue on with my life.

I never imagined that so much pain could result from a single moment in time. I have tried more medication than anyone should take in an entire lifetime! I have been to neurologists, physical therapists, massage therapists, counselors, etc... but the pain persists...

Migraine has affected my entire life: flipped it upside-down. I was only 23 years old, when I had the accident. I was at the top of my game at work, my long-time boyfriend had proposed a few months before, and I had just presented part of my senior thesis at a national conference. I was looking forward to going to graduate school the following fall.

I felt that my health had improved enough to begin graduate school in the Fall 2009. Unfortunately, my migraines worsened as the semester(s) progressed. I struggled through my first semester, which resulted in me being placed on academic probation. I was able to improve my grades during the spring semester, which resulted in me being taken off of academic probation. It definitely took a toll on my health, though. I took the summer off from school, and I am taking a leave of absence for at least this semester.

How could all of this be happening?! I went to a great liberal arts university and did well during my undergraduate years (i.e., before the accident), taking 15-17 credits per semester and working 20-25 hours per week. And, now, here I am... unable to keep up with school work (even with accommodations), unable to fulfill the 20 hours of work required for my graduate assistantship... unable to live my life in any sense of the word "normal."

Thus, the past (almost) 2 years of my life have been spent searching... I have done A LOT of research about migraines, as well as generally living with chronic pain. My search is definitely not over. There are many wounds that need healed - this accident and disease have affected my life physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and so forth.
It makes my heart ache to know that there are others out there that are struggling with chronic, debilitating pain and just trying to hang on. I hope that I can help, even just one other person, by sharing my story and what I have learned, as well as by being here to listen to other people's stories. If you have a story that longs to be told, feel free to tell it, even if anonymously. I know that it can be difficult to put your experience(s) into words, but perhaps telling your story will provide a sense of release.


  1. Most colleges are ADA compliant, and have a process where disabled individuals can ask for exceptions to certain policies. Hoping your degree will allow another method to get around the 20 hour work requirement!

  2. Welcome to the world of Migraine blogging. I have enjoyed reading the posts and comments you share. Migraine disease is tough, but the more knowledge we gain, the better we learn to manage it and new things to keep trying. I've found the Migraine community to be more than willing to help each other and share our stories and experiences as you have been doing. Good luck with your journey. I'm just sorry you have to take it too.

  3. I will check into my school's policies, but I think the assistantship requirements are pretty set.

    Thanks for the welcome. I wish that none of us had to take this journey, but having a supportive community is already helping.


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