Since it's November, many are taking the extra time to count their blessings. I see it on my friends' Facebook statuses and it makes me smile.
I just read a blog post that prompted me to realize the depth of how good the care I have received in my migraine treatment. Living with a constant headache for 22 months seems like a long time, but since I have become more involved in reading online about others' journeys, it has become very apparent to me that others are in the same boat as me, and many are worse! I have come across so many who have been through the same things as me, plus more things, and for a much longer period of time. And when I read those peoples' blogs, I close their page and do not return. It's not a matter of living in ignorance, but wanting to have positive, encouraging influences in my life. I know my reality has been that my pain has not gone away, but even though I have not known how to make it go away, I have never given up the hope that I will some day be pain free, even if that means a month from now, 10 years from now, or the day I meet Jesus face to face. And, unfortunately, I have come across some people out there who have seemed to have given up. Those people bring me down, so I choose to not be influenced by them.
Looking back on what I've been through, I truly am grateful for my migraine care. I've been through a lot and to a lot of healthcare professionals. I tried a lot. And when it didn't work, I moved on. It was frustrating, failing something, and feeling like I was losing a small piece of me and my hope. But the truth is, what was really happening was I was being pushed to where I am now. God knew what he was doing all along. I went to a primary care doc that I didn't like, so I moved on and went to a neurologist. And along the way I dabbled in alternative treatments, not lingering when they didn't bring relief. Since then I have found a primary care doc I really like as well as a chiropractor who comes across as the most understanding and non-judgemental healthcare professional I have been to. And now my neurologist has referred me to a specialty headache clinic that treats individuals with refractory headaches like me. Living in pain isn't acceptable, and I don't want to put up with it, so I will do everything I can to get better. God knows I have accepted the chronic pain and changed my attitude on life to live with chronic pain. But sometimes I wonder if all those individuals I read about online had a great doctor like mine, where they would be? If these individuals in so much pain were to visit a headache clinic with a team of experts, would they still feel like giving up and giving in to their pain? Would they still be living in such horrible pain?
I am grateful for the position I am in. And none of it is really because of anything I have done, other than not giving up. I am grateful for my friend who was concerned about my headaches and told me to call her mom who referred me to Dr. Weinstein, my neurologist. I am grateful for my neurologist laying this headache clinic in my lap as opposed to me having to search for a second opinion. I am grateful for insurance. I am grateful for Michigan Head Pain and Neurological Institute for providing care and hope to patients like me. I am grateful for my family understanding that my pain is real and doing everything they can to help me. I am grateful for my husband and the position he is in that he can go with me to my treatment in Michigan. I am grateful for God providing the financial resources to travel to this appointment. I am grateful for caring and understanding co-workers when I need to take off work and be away from my kids. Even through the pain, I have so much to be grateful for.