Giving thanks wouldn’t be complete if I left out the man who has stuck by me and lived with me AND migraine for nearly 30 years. My husband, John Robert, has done just that.
When we met and married, my migraines were episodic and weren’t a big problem. They hit only a few times a year, and even though triptans had yet to be invented, I had medication I could take that usually, along with a nap, had me back on my feet in a few hours.
When my migraines became chronic, and doctors in our hometown were useless, he took me to doctor after doctor - every doctor that our primary care physician suggested. When we learned that neurologists aren’t necessarily migraine specialists and decided that our best course of action was to go to a migraine specialist eight hours from home, he didn’t question or hesitate. He arranged to take two days off from work to take me to every appointment - for five years. Now that we have Dr. David Watson just two hours away, he still goes with me to every appointment.
When I wasn’t able to work, John simply told me to quit and not worry about it. During all the times I’ve been unable to take care of our home, cook meals, attend family events, he has never once complained. When a migraine makes me sick in the middle of the night, he doesn’t complain. He simply asks if I need an injection and, if I do, he prepares it and gives it to me.
My own failed health care led me to a new line of work as a patient educator and advocate in the area of migraine and other headache disorders. It’s not a high-paying field, and I do a great deal of volunteer work. John has never once suggested that I should find a better-paying job. He has never once complained about the amount of volunteer work I do OR the amount of money I spend doing it. He has only asked that I not spend more money than I make.
John has never had a migraine; he seldom has even a tension-type headache. Still, he has lived with migraine disease for nearly 30 years, and he definitely understands its impact on me and those around me. He’s a living example of why I dislike people saying that people who have never had a migraine can’t understand. He does understand.
In a world where we see people leave their spouses because of their health issues, John is my hero. He meant and is living the “in sickness and in health” part of our wedding vows. On January 1 (2016), we’ll be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I am 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.
Is there someone or something you’re especially thankful for this year? Would you like to share? If so, you can write your own post or post a comment below
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_Reviewed by David Watson, MD. _
© Teri Robert, 2015. • Last updated December 28, 2015.
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.