Conversations 31

I’m pacing the length of the small hallway.

“When will you be done class?” my mom asks on the phone.

“I don’t know. I can always crash at K’s apartment,” I reply. The impending snow storm is on all our minds.

“Do you have clothes?” she asks.

I look at K. “I have a pair of leggings and a sweatshirt.”

“You can borrow a pair of my sweatpants and a shirt to sleep in,” K adds.

“She said I can borrow stuff,” I tell my mom.

“Do you have your medicine?” she asks me.

It dawns on it.


No medicine if I stay at hers, no imitrex, no cymbalta, nothing if I get a migraine.

I fight off the panic attack.

“No,” I sigh. I really don’t want my parents driving in the weather but I’ll be screwed even if I miss one dose. I have in the past.

“Let me know when class is done and I’ll come pick you up,” she says.

“Okay,” I say defeated.


Weekend Update

On Friday, I talked with one of my professors about migraines. It’s that time of the year again, where I decide whether or not to mention them and wondering how much of a problem they’ll be. Both migraines and professors. I haven’t had any “headache” specifics come up in any of my syllabi. I was lost in that lazy Sunday phase all weekend and for most of today. The depression peeking through, reminding me of her existence again. They never let me forget about them. I haven’t been driving much of this semester yet. One day was because of a headache and the rest of the days have been due to the inclement weather. I hate snow and I hate it even more when it’s windy in addition to being snowy. My road doesn’t get plowed, at all, most of the time. So far I’m liking all of my classes. I hate the times and the way they’re scheduled but I didn’t get that much choice in the matter this semester. Today was my long day. On Mondays I have class from 8 am until 6 pm, two of those classes being three hours long. The other class I have is 50 minutes long. Again, it’s a lot of reading with some down times through out the day. I have a two hour break and then a one hour break.

The professor I talked about the migraines with, was one of my education professors. So far, my advisor is in the education department and is very aware of my problem with migraines. We talked about it one afternoon. I know she has my back if anything were to happen in regards to the education department and would help me get accommodations through disability if I felt I needed them/wanted them. Anyway, I explained to my professor right away that I would have a doctor’s appointment on the day we are suppose to have lab. I said right away that the appointment is not something I can reschedule, that it’s at Jefferson and I’ve had the appointment for months. He was very understanding.

I still got extremely upset at the idea. I’m still sensitive about my migraines and it comes out in stress triggering situations. I’m still in denial about them and how much they impede me, and how much they could impede me. My life could be derailed by my migraines and that terrifies me.

Time Consuming

Being chronically ill is so time consuming. Having headaches every day takes up waaaayy too much of my time. It adds up. Taking medicine. The whole process, is such a short amount of time. Stopping in class to open my bag, to dig around in there to find the pills. Taking two out and swallowing them with a sip of water. Fighting the packet of imitrex to open it. Unscrewing the safety lid on a bottle of cymbalta. All those seconds add up. Not to mention the time spent in agony where my entire life comes to a stand still. And the moments in between, spent worrying about the next big one. And there are the days where it takes me twice as long to accomplish anything as my nerves burn like hot embers. Not a roaring fire, not a big migraine but the annoying tension headaches where my head aches just enough to make things difficult. Then there is the explaining, to friends, family, teachers. Where was I? In bed for with a migraine. What took me so long? I had to take a moment after class just to collect my thoughts, to clear the brain fog, a moment for myself to let the pain be felt before pushing it all down the best I can. Why was I late? I was up all night, sick to my stomach as the world spun and my senses attacked me.

Being ill is so time consuming.

Another Road Block

I logged onto the online course delivery system for my university after receiving an email from the professor I would be meeting in the morning. It must be a habit of chronically ill people, to flip to the attendance section first. My eyes scan the page. My heart sinks and my head throbs. Like it knows. Like the little men who wreak such havoc in my head are celebrating. A victory for them, a defeat for me. It may just be a road block, it may become a defeat. It’s understandable that lab is required, I’m not arguing with that part. The part that makes me sick, that causes the celebration in my head is the next part. “Please schedule doctor appointments…during times other than when you are to be in your school [lab]”.

My mind races.

I can’t schedule a given appointment around this.

I tried.

I freaking tried to schedule around this stupid class and I couldn’t.

Is his class more important than my health?

Who does he think he is?

And the depression and the anxiety kick in; the little I can’t‘s begin to whisper.

The education professor is saying you can’t miss class.

How can you expect to be an educator when you’re missing education classes?

No one is a teacher with migraines like this.

How are you going to do it in the future, when it’s harder when you can’t do it now?

You can’t do it.

Last semester, I was screwed over, missing one day of class for this, unexcused.

I am stressed out over this, at a loss of what to do. My stress levels are high, nearly as high as finals on the second day of the semester.




It’s far from the worst headache I’ve ever had. So much in fact, I don’t even realize it at first. It sneaks up on me, slowly. It doesn’t hit me like a freight train. No, it comes slowly, seeping into the cracks and spaces in my head. I can never pinpoint the start of the pain. When did this start? What was I doing? How long has this been going on? Have I always been in pain? It’s annoying and grating. Just the very ends of my nerves are alight, slow burning. It’s a glowing ember instead of a roaring fire, both still hot. It’s not enough to justify anything, not enough for an Imitrex. Barely enough to justify taking Tylenol. It’s like my shoes are untied and I keep stepping on the laces, but I never retie them. I just keep tripping, but I’m still  moving forward. Stumbling at my own pace. Stopping and treating this would be giving up. It doesn’t hurt enough to make me admit defeat, I think I can fight it. It’s just enough to push me down, to keep me stumbling. It’s just enough to ware me down. It’s just enough to make me hate myself, that I fought and still lost.

Weekend Update – Busy

I spent the last week at my aunt’s house. While we didn’t do much beyond simply spending time together, it is still nice to see her. While I was there, my college email inbox seemed to be flooded by emails from professors for this semester coming up. I start school again next week. The end of winter break went very fast. This is the first break I feel like I really enjoyed due to the low frequency of headaches and migraines. Previous winter breaks have been spent by days spent in bed, half heartily living life and spending time in the doctor’s offices. While I did spend time in the doctor’s office, it wasn’t for any major procedure, just check ups.

I’m excited to go back to class.  I’m mostly ready. I need to dig out some folders to reuse. I bought all my books and have all ready dug out my thicker sweatshirts for walking around campus.

It’s a matter of waiting until I’m swept back in the whirlwind of academia. I’m hoping the headaches are better than they have been in the past, that the added stress of school doesn’t bring them back. This is the closest to normal I’ll get and I want it.