Subtitle: Tea for Two (what living person would we invite to share tea to explain our migraine disease for better understanding?)
My “tea for two” person is definitely living, but I haven’t met him or her yet. This person isn’t hypothetical. Right now we exist in parallel worlds, sharing the same Oregon gray skies and breathing the same cool Northwest pre-summer scents of clean, forested air. We have a future date where we will come face to face, and although the date is approaching soon, it hasn’t been set.
My invitee is a Social Security Disability Judge. Just conjuring up the image of a stern, black-robed, judicial ruler fills me with serious intrepidation. My fate will be in this person’s final defining-moment gavel bang. Surely there’s so much more to who I am, and how migraines have impaired my life other than what’s been recorded in the bundles of papers I’ve submitted over the last two years.
Therefore, if it were possible in this universe to invite Your Honor to tea, I’d take that opportunity. I’d also offer Your Honor any blend of tea or coffee so desired. And then I’d get down to the explaining part.
I would tell the judge that migraines have not only interfered with my work in social services but have greatly impacted every other facet of my life. There’s no predicting when the migraines will come and go, but I can count on them being there at least twenty times a month. My work record won’t show numerous absences because I tried hard to troop out the many migraines I had. For the longest time in my career, the migraines would more frequently implode after work as soon as I relaxed. They ruled over my evenings and weekends. It was like I was a wind-up toy trying to keep going, and the moment I stopped, the simmering headache would blow up into a pounding, stabbing migraine. For years, I fought the low level migraines at the simmer level while at work, only to have to deal with the impending migraine at home. My husband and children were the ones who often went without a functioning wife and mother, not my bosses and co-workers.
Eventually however, my migraines hammered with more frewuency and intensity no matter what I was doing. During the last ten years, they have become a near constant companion. Even though I don’t work, the migraines haven’t stopped, but I can sleep-in longer, and they’re not as severe as when I did work. I would try to help the judge understand this: that migraine disease is real, that it is disabling, and that I have tried to make work “work” for many years.
I would want the judge to sip the tea, look me in the eyes and see my sincerity. I’m not looking for an easy handout. I might still be trying to work if it hadn’t been for my husband. He knew first hand how debilitating my migraines were (and still are) to the point of saying he didn’t want me to work anymore. Now because of my work stoppage since April of 2010, his retirement plans have been put on hold.
I wish this tea for two could really be. I’m more than the sum total of doctor visits and treatments tried. I am a migraneur. That is the simple truth, and until there’s a cure or a miracle, I shall remain one. Thank you Your Honor.
National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation
The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by http://www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com
Thanks Diana :))