I tried to take my medicine before class. My alarm for my 8 o’clock pill had rang in class one too many times. I take my medicine before class and turn off my phone for the remainder of the class.

I start digging around in my book bag looking for my trusty little pill case. My tiny pharmacy. I look in the normal pocket and it’s absent. I look in the other pockets and it’s missing.


Fuck. FUCK.

And the fear sets in.

My heart begins to race and my head throbs.

I can feel the cymbalta dissapaiting in my blood, I can feel it leave my body. Each little molecule has a wicked grin on it’s face. The migraine is looming in my future, casting a dark shadow over me as I sit in the back of the classroom, panicking.

I find my phone immediately and begin weighing my options. I dart out of the classroom before class begins. Most of my classmates have all ready set in, we’re all ready in a circle. In this small class, my absence will be noted.

I walk, calmly and collected to the back doors of the building and outside. The cool fall air hits my face. My face cold. I wipe my eyes, they’re damp.


With a shaking hand, I call home, my mom.

With my night class, I stayed over at my best friends house. Driving at 9 pm, nearly 40 minutes home gives me a headache. The oncoming headlights trigger me, my head constricts with each passing car.

If I stay over at my friends, on her couch, I skip the headache and get some quality social contact.

I stare blankly at the drive behind the academic building. I watch the cars leave campus with the phone ringing in my ear.

My sister picks up.

“I need mom,” I say in lieu of a “hello”.

The phone is passed around and then she speaks down the line.

“What’s wrong?” It’s like she knows, of course she knows.

“I forgot my medicine,” I say, the ‘I don’t know what to do’ is implied. “So, I’ll come home tonight.”

“But, you’re going to make yourself sick.”

“I’m going to be sick regardless,” my stomach turns over and over. My head throbs.

There is a beat of silence. “I’ll bring them to you,” she says.

No, no, no. I don’t want her to drive 40 minutes because of me. She hates driving at night and dusk. I don’t want to inconvenience her for me. Before she can hear any protest, she says, “It’s what mommies do.”

A sigh of relief and we exchange information for the drop off. It’s like a drug trade. It is a drug trade.

She has the spare set of keys for my car. She leaves them on the passenger seat with a note.

I can slip out during a lull in the class and take them. My classmates give me funny looks – they can see me from the classroom, rummaging around in my car in the parking lot.

I swallow the pills and the shadow of my migraine dissipates.

I’m Done Apologizing

I didn’t ask for this, so why do I get blamed for them?

I tried everything, but it’s never enough. There’s always something else I could have done.

I appreciate you trying to help in your own way – finding different ways to cure me, always keeping an open ear to find something, anything.

Just because I didn’t drink the concoction that Dr. Oz was selling on TV, or try the old wive’s tale of getting dressed in the morning doesn’t mean that I like having these migraines or headaches.

And I know, it’s something we face together but when you get angry at me, it feels like your angry at Me, not just the migraine.

It doesn’t matter how many times I apologize, how many times I whisper a heartfelt “i’m sorry”, because it’s not my fault. I didn’t ask for this, I didn’t want this.

And neither did you. It’s not me taking away your daughter, your sister, your friend, and locking her in a darkened room for hours, for days. It’s the migraine.

I am as much the victim as anyone else here.

And an apology won’t fix it. It won’t make you feel better, it won’t make me feel better.

It’s not my fault, I won’t apologize for it anymore.

I’m Alive!

Yes, I’m alive. I don’t even remember my last post.

I just checked, it was over 5 months ago. Whoops!

Quite a few things have happened since then.

I student taught – that was interesting.

I graduated from University. I graduated with a 3.7 and Magna Cum Laude. I’ll post a picture soon.

I had a job – quit and have another job at another grocery store. I’m still looking into teaching positions.

But I’m back and will start posting more regularly.

I’m alive!!

I’m embarrassed to say that the semester got the better of me. I was completely swamped with work and this blog fell to the wayside. Whoops! Sorry. I’m alive! And I’m okay! And I have so much to write about!! I’ll go back to my regular schedule (every Wednesday) immediately.

But I can report that I finished the semester strong. I struggled through a lot of my classes but I still managed to get a 3.6 which is Dean’s List (!) and I got 1 A, 3 A-‘s and a B+. Not too shabby for working part time, going to school full time and having headaches full time.

Pulling an Emily

“I’m pulling an ‘Emily’” I hear her say. When she picked up and gave an absent “hello” I figured something was wrong. I ignored her and told her my story. It’s after my story (which her response was much more lively) that she says she’s “pulling” a me.

“What do you mean?”

What is “pulling an Emily”? What about me is so infamous that an act has been named after me? I’m at a complete lost? I ask “talking on the phone while driving?” which is what I was doing at the moment.

“No,” she replies. I make a confused sound. “I’m lying in the dark with a headache. It’s like radiating out of my eye.”

In my mind, I automatically think migraine or cluster headache? She isn’t sobbing so it’s a migraine probably.  She’d be sobbing if it was a cluster headache.

So that’s it. Emily = headaches. I am irrevocably defined by headaches now. The dead stare wasn’t enough. Now when other’s have headaches, they’re “doing an Emily”. That’s who I am, migraine girl, migraine Em.

She goes on to tell me about her morning and the pain. I relate too well.

I don’t know if I’m bitter or not.

Conversations – Before and After

“You know how people say, ‘if they could take your pain, they would…” my friend says.

“Yeah,” I reply. I wish I could give him my migraine.

“Yeah, I don’t want it. I’m not one of those people,” he laughs.

“Asshole,” I give him a good shove for that one. I press my cold fingers against him and he cringes.


“Take my headache for me,” I complain.

“I would if I could,” the same friend replies.

“Thank you,” I reply softly, grateful.