“If you don’t show up, that’s unprofessional. If you are late, that’s unprofessional,” my professor lectures. She doesn’t care about us being late for the lecture, or not showing up, she is talking about being late or not showing up to the school’s we’re being assigned, for observation.

I swallow, hard. She left an attendance policy out on the syllabus. I try to rationale the situation, what she just said. Migraines don’t count, I can miss if I have a migraine, I think, desperately.

For knowing this particular professor for three years I never talked to her about  my migraines. On the first day of class, two days ago, she asked us to write a little something about ourselves. I wrote ‘has migraines, blogs about it.’ I’m not sure if she looked at them, maybe she did.

What I just thought slammed into another long held rule I have for myself. I never miss class for headaches or migraines, it’s not allowed. I do not allow myself to miss class for this. If it’s up to me, I go. It’s usually my mom who has to bully me back into bed either at the door or on the phone. I am so hell bent on doing this that I completely disregard self care and mental health to do this. That’s the cost.

Does having migraines make me unprofessional? By my professors definition, without the little asterisks indicating that I’m an exception, if I have a migraine and can’t get through it I’m unprofessional. If I’m late or a no-show my disposition as a future educator is reevaluated. I can be as professional as I want, as I need to be but if the migraines and headaches get in the way, happen at the right time then what? Is it unprofessional to be trapped in bed, eyes squeezed shut, hands clapped over the ear plugs? It is if it happens on a Thursday between 6 and 11 am.

It’s slowly dawning on me that I might not be able to be an educator and a migrainuer at the same time.




8 thoughts on “Professionalism

    • I am going to have a conversation with this particular professor and let her know about my situation. I wish there was an easy answer for this but there isn’t. There is ever hardly an easy solution when it comes to migraines.
      Thanks, hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve been finding this a struggle(/dawning realisation) too as I’ve left university recently to embark on a fledgling career (also in education – get us!). I’ve had a few stumbles for sure. It is undeniably difficult and we never know what is coming round the corner for us (not just starting with the headaches). But there are also some people who are supportive and will do their best if they can so it sounds like speaking to your prof is a wise move. Does your school have a disability office you could go to for support too? I wish I had gone to mine when I started uni but it didn’t occur to me I had a chronic illness (durr) until I was seeing an occupational therapist to return to work a year or so later! All those lectures missed and extra stress!!


    • My university does have a disability services office, I’m not sure if I want to go over there. It can’t hurt to help but I’m not sure if it will be covered. I’m not even sure what accommodations I would want/need. If my prof tells me I need to go over to disability services than I will. I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one in this situation. I mean, I’m sorry, I know how much this sucks and how impossible it seems. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone but I’m glad I’m not alone. 🙂


      • I suppose it depends on your school but at my disability office Long Term Health Conditions were covered and I’d be surprised if you weren’t given some support based on what I’ve read of your posts. Based on a bit of quick googling you could get adjustments such as making sure two long exams weren’t scheduled for one day, maybe staggering other deadlines too if that would help manage stress. Would it help to think of it as popping in for a chat rather than going in with a list of requests? I’m sure they’ll have suggestions of their own too….

        Anyway, best of luck with everything. Hang on in there, you’re definitely not alone 🙂 Emma


        • After a quick google search, I found out chronic conditions are covered by my school’s disability service. Each professor has extension policy’s in their syllabus so I can get a lot of extensions if I talk to them. The only accommodation I can think of right off the bat is unexpected excused absences which are covered in the syllabus as well. I might head over there and talk to them in a hypothetical sense and decide if I really need it.
          Thank you, best of luck with all your endeavors as well.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s taken me awhile to get to the point where I was willing to do this, but I am finally going through the process of being formally classified as a disabled student. It took struggling through two semesters pretending I was just like everyone else before I finally admitted I could no longer function the way I did before.

    I can’t comment on your career choice. I had to change my career plans, but that’s because I was about to start mine and it was obvious that my choice was not compatible with my condition. Only you can decide what’s right for you. There are a lot of different things one can do with a bachelor’s in education. No need to change tracks right now. Just keep an open mind. Big hug! -TGA


    • Yeah, I feel like my stubbornness has kept me away from any disability services and instead sitting in class suffering. The stigma has a big part to do with it, I didn’t seek any help for years until I was deep in the throes of depression and at my wits end with these headaches and migraines. They started when I was 13 or 14 and I didn’t get any help until I was 16. I’m so headstrong that I won’t decide what’s best for me but instead of what I want. I want to be an educator and will strive to do this until it kills me or someone removes me from the field. That could very well happen a this stage.


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