What am I thankful for, related to migraine or in spite of migraine? Teri asked me this question and my first response back to her was whether she meant as a migraine getter or a migraine doctor. She said either or both, so here goes.
First, as a migraine getter (sufferer is too strong a word for me to use after seeing what true migraine sufferers go through), I’m thankful for meds that work and those who developed them. I’m thankful for my wife who allows me to disappear every now and then when needed. And honestly, I’m thankful that I get migraine just enough to have better empathy but not enough to truly be able to say I’ve been there.
As a migraine doc, I have pages upon pages of people and things to be thankful for. Again, I’m thankful for my wife who graciously supported my journey through school, residency, fellowship, first job, and now second job. In total, eight different homes in four different towns. I’m thankful for my family who allow me to forget about work when I come home, who still greet me with excitement, and who tolerate it when I am away.
I’m thankful for a job at an institution (West Virginia University) that appreciates what I do and understands the need for better headache and migraine care.
And I’m thankful for patients who put their trust in me to walk with them and help them on their migraine road. I’m thankful for the ones who get better, the ones understand that first and second tries aren’t always successful, and the ones who stick with me even though we haven’t figured it all out yet.
I’m thankful for migraine champions, especially Teri Robert who has dedicated herself to helping others through outreach, education, and advocacy. And because she pushes me to be a better doctor and advocate.
Lastly, I’m thankful for a God who loves me and designed a plan for me that includes getting to write about all those other things I’m thankful for. I’m a doctor, a husband, a father, and a migraineur, but most importantly I’m a creature loved by his Creator, and for that I am most thankful.
This time of year, migraine or not, most of us dive into holiday planning as deeply as we’re able to. Holidays have become so commercialized that the original reasons for them often seem to be overshadowed. So, between now and January, 2016, we’re saying, “Yes,” to our readers who asked us to repeat last year’s feature project - Thankful Despite Migraine. We’ll be sharing the people in our lives for whom we’re thankful as well as things, events, and more.
More from Our Thankful Despite Migraine Series:
David Watson, M.D., is a UCNS certified migraine and headache specialist and director of the West Virginia University Headache Center. “Dr. Dave” is also very active in the migraine community, taking part in and leading advocacy efforts to benefit the entire community. He is the founder and chairman of the board of Runnin’ for Research and a regular participant in the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy’s “Headache on the Hill” event. You can follow Dr. Watson on Twitter.