I saw this meme in shadesong
's journal, and ...well, I live with a couple of invisible illnesses as well. So here, have an actually relevant meme! It is Invisible Illness Awareness Week, after all.
1. The illness I live with is: Migraines.
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1999
3. But I had symptoms since: Unknown. I'd been making jokes about "morning sickness" since middle school--I would wake up, be nauseous while brushing my teeth, and go to school as the spaciest thing that ever did space. Looking back, I'd been having minor migraine problems for years, affecting my balance and concentration.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: That's a hard question. I miss writing. I'm not as independent as I once was. I hate being dependent on friends, lovers, and the government for my survival.
5. Most people assume: That a migraine is just a headache. It really isn't. There's aura, photo- and phono-sensitivity, nausea/vomiting, and pain. That's not counting the side effects, like the inability to concentrate, innate forgetfulness, and deep-seated frustration due to these issues.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Opening my eyes and getting out of bed.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House. Migraines are usually treated as a symptom of something else, but from what I understand, it's pretty true to life.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: I don't really have one. I remember my medications pretty well... I guess I live for blackout curtains. Migraines + light = badness.
9. The hardest part about nights are: It depends on the night, but when I have a really bad migraine, it's really hard sleeping next to someone who snores. It's also impossible to get comfortable, so sleeping on the couch isn't an option, and I'm strangely clingy when I'm not feeling well. I usually deal with the pain from the noise and keep part of my body touching blackpaladin
for a small bit of comfort.
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins: On average, 3.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Adore massage. A lot of my migraines are also related to tension and stress, so massage is beautiful.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Well. It depends on the illness! I wish there was some visible sign of my illness so people could understand why I'm not working, say, or why I can't do some thing. (I agree with shadesong
on this one, wholeheartedly.)
13. Regarding working and career: I've lost part time jobs due to my illnesses, both the depression and the migraines. They feed into each other, so when I get a migraine, I get depressed because I know I won't be able to work to my full potential, even if I feel well enough to get out of bed.
14. People would be surprised to know: That I have something called "daily headache". I have some degree of migraine every day. I only really bring it up if I feel particularly bad, or have to go down the basement stairs. (I am deathly afraid of basement stairs anywhere. There usually isn't a decent stair rail to the basement, and the stairs are bare, and there's more chance of injury should I lose my balance.)
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: I can't concentrate. I forget things. I don't want to be the space-case forgetful person I've become, because it's hard to explain that no, I didn't used to be this way, and yes, I realize I'm screwing up but I can't help
it. I'm not healthy. I'm doing the best I can.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Move out of my parent's spare bedroom. Small steps are good.
17. The commercials about my illness: I've never seen one. (Agreeing with 'song again.)
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Writing. Being an extrovert. Enjoying parties without hiding in a corner and people-watching.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: Caffeine and all-nighters. I'm a gamer geek, and living off of those two things are practically in the job description.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Making jewelry-grade chain mail. It's involved enough that I can feel accomplished, but easy enough that if I need to space out while doing it, I can.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Not want it. Because the following day would be far too painful. (Agreeing with 'song again.)
22. My illness has taught me: You can be young and healthy-looking, and yet still be so, so ill. It's hard to explain to anyone who's never had a migraine, let alone anything like my worst period. (At one point, I was having 3-4 migraines a week with rebound, meaning that I couldn't function.)
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: "You don't look sick." Well, usually, neither does a cancer patient who's not undergoing chemotherapy.
24. But I love it when people: Don't hassle me about having to take care of myself in ways that are less fun for all involved.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: "I have a sickness in the brain. I'm allowed to make no sense to you puny mortals with your fully operational head-meat."
--Spider Jerusalem (Again with the agreeing and the 'song and the yes, but I have another, too.) "When you're going through hell, keep going."
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: It's terrible, but it's survivable with the right treatment. You may not like who you have to become, but you won't change terribly much.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: How it insinuates itself into every aspect of your life. (Yep, 'song said it best.)
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Lent me sunglasses so I could survive my day in school. (I was almost immediately told to take them off, but the thought counted a hell of a lot.)
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: Too often invisible illnesses are ignored - but they impact lives in a big way. Be aware. ('song says, 'song says)
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Honored, and a bit blessed that people care enough to take time out of their day to read this.