I’ve traveled a lot in the last few weeks. I’ve gone to 3 different cities in 3 different states in 4 weeks. I’m traveling again next week for more migraine related adventures. Why? Migraine advocacy!! And yes, migraine came along for the ride and greeted me on my arrival home for a few days.
Is it all worth it? Is flying back to back days and reliving migraine each time worth the time I spend reaching out to strangers about the impact of migraine on my personal life? What migraine does to my family, my friends, my career, and most importantly, my closest relationships with my husband and my children? I’m an open book because I can’t advocate half the truth. I am raw and it’s very emotionally draining. My husband joins me on this adventure and he’s gotten involved too. It’s nice to see him open up and pour out his heart.
We aren’t perfect, we have had marriage problems with migraine at the center, as both myself and my daughter fight migraine disease with all our hearts. Our daily life is beyond stressful, as the hubby also has anxiety disorder on top of being my caregiver. It’s never a dull day in the Carrasco house! It’s exhausting, but full of love.
Back to my question, is it all worth it? Is it worth the migraine I know I’ll have because I’ve over exerted myself through the busy terminals of the airports, the up and down, lifting heavy luggage and setting it down, walking back and forth, eating unhealthy airport food, less sleep because of strange beds, talking in front of hundreds of strangers and the accompanying nerves, and on and on? YES!! One hundred times YES!!
I am so grateful for the opportunity to let complete strangers into my life. I was so nervous at first, the information we share is extremely personal; very raw and emotional. I’m thankful that my husband has agreed to open up about his feelings of me and migraine. His own testimony is very emotional and it brings me to tears every time. His deep affection for our kids and his stories of them and migraine is…, well I don’t quite have the words. Because of our stories, I feel we are able to bring these strangers who just want to understand and can’t because migraine isn’t a part of their lives. They are willing to learn what it’s like, how difficult and straining migraine is on a relationship. We could have divorced many times. We aren’t perfect, we are both in our own therapy sessions to learn to live with migraine and anxiety, it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
We open a window for people to get a peek, through our emotional testimonies about our ups and downs. The good and the bad. The ugly and the beautiful moments with migraine. Beautiful? Yes, beautiful, because there are some moments that are just that. While seeing my children and my husband jump into action when I meet a severe migraine that mimics a stroke or looks like a severe seizure, they show their love. They put their love into movements and gentle touches. While it is heart-wrenching that they go through all that and it breaks my heart to no end, watching their love for me is beautiful. I know they will grow up to compassionate adults with big hearts.
These are the kinds of stories people should hear. Testimonies about life with migraine are real, raw, and ugly. I understand not everyone is ready to open up about their lives with migraine, I completely and totally respect that. I’m ready, I’ve lived with migraine almost all my life. I can’t make change unless I speak up, so I will continue to do so through Achy Smile, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, The Mighty, Speak Your Migraine Facebook, Speak Your Migraine and wherever else people will listen to me. I’m excited to be part of this movement!
Erica Nicole Carrasco is a blogger sharing stories of life with Hemiplegic Migraine and Non-Epileptic Seizures. She takes you on a journey through life’s ups and downs, smiles and frowns with chronic illness.
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