Living with migraine, especially chronic migraine, can be very isolating. Not everyone understands or even wants to understand. That’s one reason I’m thankful for my friend Rosa Sundquist.
In addition to being thankful for Rosa, I must say that she truly inspires me and often leaves me in awe with her truly indomitable spirit. No matter how bad her migraines get, Rosa’s spirits are almost always high, she never complains, she never gives up, and she always maintains hope. Rosa hadn’t had a pain-free day since 2008. It was suggested that she consult a specialist at a major migraine and headache clinic. As I said, Rosa never gives up. She’s willing to try whatever seems reasonable, so she went for the consultation. She took the specialist’s advice and went inpatient at that clinic for IV infusion therapy. I’m not going to lie. It was rough, BUT when her system settled down after the visit, she had her first pain-free days since 2008.
This treatment doesn’t necessarily have permanent effects, so she’s been back for more inpatient stays for the treatment. Each time, she comes home exhausted and feeling horrible for several day. BUT, each time, she gets some pain-free days, days she fully appreciates and treasures. She hopes that, someday, there will be a treatment that has longer-lasting effects, one that will result in her migraines being better controlled and more pain-free days. For now, she’s willing to take the bad with the good. She never, ever loses hope.
Rosa is a true role model for people with chronic migraine. Despite her health issues, she’s a wonderful and loving wife and mother. She’s learned how to listen to her body and do what she can, when she can. She knows her avoidable triggers and works assiduously to do just that - avoid them - never complaining about it.
All in all, “thankful” doesn’t fully describe how I feel about Rosa. This is a time when words are totally inadequate.
With Thanksgiving later this month, 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 for whom you’re especially thankful this year? Would you like to share? If so, you can write your own post or post a comment below
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+.