In honor of the upcoming Invisible Illness Awareness Week and as part of this month’s Headache Disorders & Migraine Blog Carnival, I’m participating in the 30 Things meme. (Additional entries can be read at http://invisibleillnessweek.com/submit-article/30-things-meme/.) Read on for my answers, and if you’ve written a similar post, please link to it in the comments. I’d love to get to know you all better!
30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know
1. The illness I live with is: chronic migraine
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2008
3. But I had symptoms since: high school
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: setting time/energy boundaries and limiting the number of things I try to do in one day, even when I feel well
5. Most people assume: that migraine is nothing more than a severe headache. In reality, the pain is often one of the easier symptoms for me to deal with. The nausea, dizziness, and Alice-in-Wonderland syndrome effects are often more disabling for me personally.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: waking up with a migraine. Mine generally get worse as the day goes on, so if I wake up with one, I know it will be a hard day.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House, followed closely by Grey’s Anatomy
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my laptop computer
9. The hardest part about nights are: getting to sleep when/if the pain is bad.
10. Each day I take 6 pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: have tried most of them, and find a lot of relief from preventative yoga and meditation.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I can’t make that choice, really. There are pros and cons to invisibility, much as I assume there are with visible illnesses. Having never had a visible illness, I can’t make a decision on which would be “better.”
13. Regarding working and career: I’ve had to accept that there are some things I simply can’t do (anything that involves working under fluorescent lights for example) because of my illness, but living with it also gave me the courage and the motivation to commit to my dream of writing full-time.
14. People would be surprised to know: I consider some aspects of this illness a gift. (For more on that, take a look at my book: Finding Happiness with Migraines.)
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: the amount of down time I require to function at my best.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: launch a successful company.
17. The commercials about my illness: are all about the drugs.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: staying up all night reading and/or talking.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: corn
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: meditation
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: go see a loud concert.
22. My illness has taught me: perspective is everything.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: have you tried … ?
24. But I love it when people: express that they care.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Everything is temporary.
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Your life will be different from here on out, but it isn’t over.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: how much our society is built upon the assumption that we are all well and able-bodied.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: take care of my family and my house while I slept it off.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: spreading awareness is one way we can support each other.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: supported and grateful.