I decided it is time to try and explain what has been going on lately. I feel like I owe to my friends and co-workers to explain my absences and fatigue and not being my usual self at times.
I am currently struggling with Chronic Migraines. Chronic Migraine is a debilitating condition where patients suffer headaches for 15 days or more per month, with migraine on at least 8 of those days. In real terms, this means that a person who suffers from Chronic Migraine has a headache or migraine for more than half the days in the month. It is estimated that over 345,800 people (aged 18 years and over) in Australia suffer from Chronic Migraine. Every day I am in pain, it is just the amount that varies. I have had Migraines since I was six but the last few months they have become uncontrolled.
Pain is a constant theme in my life – everything revolves around pain. I have had to resign to the fact that I am never going to be able to live pain free. I live carefully in fear that I may trigger pain. This particularly difficult as when I have people ask what the trigger was. I shrug and list five possibilities, which it could always be. I have ended up in hospital a couple of times over the last few months. Unfortunately, I am at the point that I have run out of most treatment options from my neurologist until new ones are released and am on the waiting list for other specialists.
I don’t usually bring up my Migraines or talk about it to people due to the fear of stigma of having an invisible illness that cannot be seen or objectively demonstrated through diagnostic tests. People saying of you just get headaches. In the past I have been offered unsolicited advice based on something they read, heard or family member has experienced. It is hard to open up to someone when you get a response of “Oh, have you tried Panadol?”
I try to hide the symptoms at work as I don’t want to be a nuisance and I try to come back to from sick leave despite the pain, in order to avoid overburdening people. I really appreciate everyone’s support.
I am not writing this for sympathy nor do I want pity. I just thought I should help people understand what has been going on with me and answer a few questions.
Thank you so much for to the people who have shown concern.