Migraines and School

I always feel weird when I tell others I have migraines. It’s something I don’t really like doing. It’s something I’m going to have to tell all my professors this semester. I’ll be missing a day of class in September for a doctor’s appointment. While I would schedule around school, I’m not going to miss my chance to go to Jefferson to hopefully figure this whole thing out.

I don’t like admitting that my migraines have interfered with my education. I don’t like admitting defeat, that the migraine has beat me, turned me into a crying mess curled up on the floor with my eyes squeezed shut and my hands clapped around my hears. I still think I can beat this if I try hard enough, if I try harder.

That’s the stigma though, isn’t it? That it’s a weakness, a personal flaw. I feel like I don’t have control of my body, I can’t rein it in. My head rebels, punishing me for thinking I could contain something so wild. I feel weak for not getting over it, for having a low pain tolerance, for not being able to deal with it.

I don’t know how to react to people after I tell them I have chronic migraines and headaches. It’s like this dirty secret I have to keep because of the stigma surrounding chronic migraines and headaches. I don’t want to admit it. I don’t want to have to experience someone telling me it’s invalid, that it’s not a problem. I wouldn’t know how to react to that. I would probably get angry, maybe even try to explain to them what I experience on a daily basis but pain is so hard to explain. It’s something we all experience but we all have different levels of tolerance and different attitudes towards pain. It’s one of those human experiences that I can’t communicate. After going through what I do on a daily basis, I couldn’t handle being told that it’s ‘just a headache’.

And that’s what I’m afraid of. I’m afraid that I’m being over dramatic, that it is indeed just a headache and I’m over reacting, that I’m weak for not being able to handle this, to handle something that so many other people deal with. I know I am a migraine warrior, I go through so much. Every day is a battle with pain and the array of symptoms that migraine brings. The one thing I never wanted to happen all ready has, migraines getting in the way of education. It irks me out, knowing I’ll be missing school to go to a doctor’s appointment. I just hope that my professors are understanding and that I’ll be able to recover from my absence. That’s all I can do anymore, hope.

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4 thoughts on “Migraines and School

  1. I nearly never missed a class in college and only once did I ever ask for an extension. Here’s the thing, though: people do it ALL the time, and I assure you, for WAY less legitimate reasons than yours. You are fine and while I can’t say that your professors won’t be jackasses, chances are, they will be understanding.

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    • Yeah, I know. I still am hesitant because of the possibility. I’ve had a professor in the past who said headaches were not an excuse to miss class. I doubted he understood migraines. All of my professors are female this semester, I’m sure most of them have at least one migraine if not menstrual headaches in the past and will sympathize.If they’re not, there’s nothing they or I can do because I’m not missing my appointment at Jefferson Headache Center.

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  2. You said it best already, it’s “more than just a headache.” Migraines are a debilitating disease, yet invisible to everyone around us. Keep fighting the good fight! It’s a painful existence (I get them too), but it can be a meaningful one. Thank you for blogging about your experiences! You are not alone.
    -Kelly Alive

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    • Thank you. Migraines are highly stigmatized as well. I’m not so sure I would call it a completely invisible disease. Its recognizable to those who are familar with it and familar with migrainuers. I definitely agree with you on the painful experience and I’m trying to get the most out of my migraines on this blog. Thank YOU for blogging and thank you for following. We are definitely not alone, some of us are still lost in the quiet dark due to light and sound sensitivity but we are never alone.
      Emily

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