Working with migraine: commuting

Migraines do not wait until you are home from work. They plummet into the brain as they please

I went to see my doctor for the usual refills and obvious concerns over my commuting to my new office location which seems to be aggravating the whole migraine associated vertigo situation (Vestibular migraine). Something I had not actually anticipated.  Silly me.

I had anticipated more pain, of course, which has occurred.  My usual status migraine has become an Endless migraine.  Which has led to the neck pain situation migrating into I-can’t-bloody-well-move-my-shoulder situation.  Which is just awesome.  Everyone loves an eight-day long migraine and counting.  That I expected.  There is just a certain amount of tension when driving in pain with the whole extra concentration and I loathe light issue that creates an insane muscle tensing reaction that compounds the issue.  A person can expect that and hope that it won’t persist once you get used to it.  I have not really driven outside of town since the vertigo has gotten insane on me, so I had no idea driving at high speeds would make that go whack-a-doodle like that.  Whole new playing field really.  And a huge concern.  So off to the doc I went.

And I was explicit with my concern.  I described in detail the insanity that is MAV at its peak.  Hard to describe though.  It is a lot like Alice in Wonderland Syndrome really, but in daylight and thankfully without the body contortionist feeling.  But still a complete distortion of perceptions.  Different types of vertigo.  Spinning.  And falling.  And when you Look at Things they Move and the more you try and Focus on them the more they Warp.  Plus you just can’t focus on anything that is moving because your eyes can’t track.  And… the more it goes on the more cognitive impairment there is.  And Anxiety.  Obviously.  I’d like to see someone be calm in that situation.  Seriously.  But the dude didn’t get it.  I mean, sometimes, I am vague about pain like it is somehow better to be stoic and pretend it isn’t as bad as it is, even though it is really, really bad.  That never works out for me, but I always freakin do it.  But this time I knew it would be plain as stupid not to be straight up about this because it involves visual impairment when driving which, to me, rather seemed like a big deal.

What the hell is it about people that don’t get this?  They don’t get driving with a migraine is a big deal.  They don’t get driving with migraine neurological issues is a big deal.  And they obviously don’t even get what MAV is.  Not even doctors.  It’s insane.  I feel like I should just walk into a cop shop and hand over my drivers license and say ‘please, just take this.  For everyone’s sake.  Take away the option.’

He got it enough to write me a note to my employer to state I should be working at my previous location and that he would back me on that.

That was sweet.

Not helpful, but sweet.

There is no longer a position for me there, so, too late, but it’s the thought that counts, right?  So that note would be useless to me.  My employer would not care and it would make things very awkward.  It honestly felt like he was giving me a sick note for school.  Just useless.  With no real backing an employer won’t give a damn, they just get pissed.  I don’t know what I expected.  Maybe the same fear I feel.  The same anxiety.  Maybe for him to be decisive about the situation.  Maybe for him to resolve the issue.  Not leave it open for interpretation.  Because if you leave it open for me to choose, and I actually have no options when it comes to keeping my job, then I make stupid choices… like driving to work when I shouldn’t.

However, at least I have a temporary solution and that is the medication SERC which I now have to take prior to going to work and then prior to leaving work to help with the vertigo issue.  And an anti-nausea med, same deal.  SERC works moderately well for the vertigo actually, just for a short duration and it makes me feel cruddy so I’m not too keen on taking it twice a day.  But it is obviously a necessity now.  I’m not 100% sure if it will be a viable solution.  It does work mildly for the vertigo, but it also makes me groggy and drowsy, so I’ll have to see how I react in a workday situation.

My doc was a little surprised my employer didn’t even bother to inquire as to whether I was capable or if this change would affect me adversely.  Given they are fully aware of my chronic and acute pain problem.  Given they just got him to fill out paperwork for my insurance provider to show I had a ‘legitimate’ health reason for my sick days.  I said no they did not ask, they told.  That is how they roll.  Not exactly disability aware at that corporation… or perhaps aware that if they make me uncomfortable enough they can get me to just leave.  Which might be the case.  My doctor flat out said my job, as it was, had some serious concerns in regards to my health and this isn’t going to make it better.  He suggested looking for something better, as in less stressful, fewer hours, more flexible.  I already am, man.  It is a bit tricky.  Finding the ideal disability friendly job is damned hard.  Surviving this one has been extremely difficult as it is.  And getting more and more difficult.  Hard to job hunt with a constant status migraine. I had hoped to maintain a career.  The key word here is Hope.  Hope that my treatment would eventually be successful and I could actually succeed in this job and have some stability financially.  Well, fine.  A job then.  Just a job that pays some bills.  How about that?  Can I at least have that then?

Anyway, anxiety isn’t fun.  Plus the intense pain is getting to me.  I think I need a support group or a shrink or some sort of emotional support.  This job instability is adding a stress factor I’m really not enjoying at the moment.  And the pain level is a real concern right now.

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