I live with multiple sclerosis and migraines, two separate conditions with a great deal in common.
The migraines began in my mid-teens and were a powerful force in my life into my early forties. In 2003, the use of the NTI put a stop to the bulk of my migraines, but it is not a cure. Coincidentally, during that same time period, symptoms of MS roared onto the scene.
Since then, I experience full-blown migraines only about four or five times a year. What a difference from the old days! Because I have fewer, I also respond better to medication, provided I take it at the onset. Since symptoms of MS first appeared, I've also been introduced to what I'm told are ocular migraines. Although I have incredible visual disturbances, they are not accompanied by pain.
Multiple sclerosis has profoundly changed my life... my ability to work, my financial status, and my dependence on others. I tell you this to make a point. With all the disability involved in having MS, it hasn't made me want to give in or give up. When in the throes of a migraine, on the other hand, I am no longer me. I am not so brave. The level of pain and sickness that comes from a full-blown migraine are hard to describe. I've had surgeries, given birth, and endured MS, but nothing compares to the hell of migraine.
Migraines and MS share common ground. They are both widely misunderstood and often dismissed as psychological in nature. They are both more common to women than men. They both will change the way you live your life.
Every time I have a migraine, I am reminded of how fragile life is, how an intolerable level of pain can affect you at your very core. Every day that my head is migraine-free, I sit up and take notice that this day will be a good one.
Published On: September 21, 2008