Feeling Less Than Able

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my life and the impact I want to have on the world. And, as I consider the list of things I’d like to accomplish, I’ve realized a disturbing fact – there are some things that I now doubt my ability to do.

These include the ability to:

  • Commit to any high-stress job that requires long days in a typical office environment. This means many things I would love to do – such as going to law school and working as a PD,  going to grad school and finishing up my neuropsychology degree,  or opening my own financial management consulting firm for small businesses – are potentially out of the question forever. Fluorescent lighting, varied sleep schedules, and long, long hours all mean increased migraine.
  • Make promises to my daughter about future events. Some days the migraine comes on full force, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. It doesn’t matter if she’s in a play, or has an award ceremony, or wants me to attend a field trip. I can’t do it. And, knowing this can happen, that I can be completely disabled at a moment’s notice, I don’t promise it. But, I wish I could.
  • Pack my calendar. I can get a lot of stuff done in one day. I can write five articles, edit three chapters of a book, read two newspapers and two trade journals, research a big project, enter two poetry contests, help my daughter with homework, go to dance class, make dinner, balance our budget, pay bills, and spend quality time with my husband, all in one day. IF, it’s a good day. But, if it’s a bad day, if the migraine kicks in by 7 a.m. and ramps up to a level 7 or 8 by noon, I’m lucky if I get even one of those things done – let alone all of them. So, while I can crowd a lot of stuff into one day, I have to leave room for the bad days. And, this means planning for less than I feel I can accomplish, just in case some (or all) of tomorrow’s scheduled work has to be pushed off until the next day. And, I hate that.

There are, of course, more things that could be added to this list, but these are the big things. The things that make me feel less than able even when I don’t feel dis-abled. These are the things that remind me, on a near constant basis, that I am, in fact, chronically ill. And, on some days, I really, really resent that.

What about you? I know I’m not alone. What has migraine disease left you feeling less than able to do or accomplish?

6 thoughts on “Feeling Less Than Able

  1. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I, too, have chronic migraines and I SO relate to this post. I used to be one of those go-go-go people, and now, on so many days, I’m slumped in bed, unable to do much of anything. And I’m on my medications! I can’t imagine what it would be like if I weren’t. Thanks so much for sharing. Can’t wait to read the rest of your blog

    • Thank you, Christine. I’m sorry you’re having to suffer with chronic migraines. Hopefully, by connecting with others like us, it’ll be a little easier to cope. Feel free to reach out, if you need support. The Chronic Babe forums are great for that, too.

  2. I, too, am so glad that I stumbled upon your blog. I’ve never heard anyone express so many of my thoughts about what it is like to live with migraines. This blog struck a chord, as I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I have three degrees (pre-migraines) and probably am going to have to change careers, give up a career, or at least not achieve as much as I once thought. I have a job in an office building but can’t tolerate fluorescent light. Going to meetings or walking down the hall is horrendous. I want to get off migraine meds to get pregnant, so I’m feeling particularly hopeless these days (but not completely). This is such a constraining condition. Thank you for creating this space!

    • Thank you for your kind words, Julia. It’s nice to know we’re not alone. I’m sorry the lights are bothering you so much – I have that problem, too. I know it can be difficult to give up the life we thought we’d lead for the one we’re actually leading, but I hope that you find a work/living scenario that works well for you.

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