I used to work with a lady with episodic migraines. She would leave work when she had one. And everyone would get this. Accommodate that. Understand it. It is a migraine, you can’t work with it.
There I was with chronic migraines, working right along with her. Unable to go home when they struck. God forbid I missed a day for a severe one even I couldn’t function with.
I get the double standard. I had chronic pain, I had to suck it up. Function. Be there. Just do it. Pretend I was cool with that. Pretend it wasn’t extremely difficult and painful. That it wasn’t giving me suicidal thoughts.
And then there is this…
High frequency migraines and chronic migraines have the same Impact. On Income, Employment, disability. Increases in anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. Higher rates of chronic pain, asthma, heart disease and stroke.
We have extreme problems functioning in the work place and it affects our capacity to work which leads to compromises in hours, jobs and whatever we can do and then as a result our incomes suffer. Eventually many of us, those that are daily for sure, find we cannot work at all. And I find a hard time understanding why this is surprising to anyway. Not when everyone knows a run of the mill person with an episodic migraine would Never be expected to work in that pain, nausea, sensory overload, neurological dysfunction. Do they imagine we have a ‘different’ migraine, because we do not. All we have is a way to mask the pain.
Those who can work often find a perfect niche that allows the perfect flexibility, environment and pay for them to be able to function enough to handle it. Others have to work and have no choice in the matter, and they suffer greatly doing so. Others can handle the frequency they are at with the medications they are on… in other words they are not intractable, so have some results from a medication that helps with intensity or frequency.
Some of us are intractable. Some of us have daily migraines. In what world does working make sense with those two facts?