work

The work life #MHAM #MHAMSMC

How has Migraine or Headache impacted your career?

Have too much ambition_ On the fast track and don't know how to get off_Try migraines.

Statistically people with chronic migraines do have income affected, if they are not disabled. I am currently working part-time after coming of a leave. I wasn’t sure I was going to work at all, do to the disabling impact of the migraines. But treatment has been effective intensity wise lately and this has improved my capacity to function substantially.

However, being daily when my intensity wasn’t being managed and having no response to preventative treatment my pain varied from 7-9 on a daily basis and I became depressed and hopeless. It was impossible to cope with and led to a long term leave simply because I could not function with the pain and symptoms. To expect someone to do so is insanity. Insurance companies rather do, and they are, in fact, insane. There is simply no way on 2 triptans a week, if they work, one can function in that sort of pain. With a 9 level of pain you cannot even drive or comprehend what people are talking about.

Due to insurance being as insane as they are I did return to work, and went on leave again. While on leave, not being paid for it, because their definition of ‘evidence’ is substantially different than my doctors, neurologists, pain clinics and psychologists… I did do botox, exercise, mood management, other changes and started the Oska Pulse. Which were while I was off beginning to manage the intensity quite well. I feared returning due to the stressor of work, and the impact it would have. But the management strategies of continued to hold strong and pain has been well managed. Quite impressively so to be honest.

But obviously this has impacted my career. I had career goals I have not achieved. I have gone down to part time in a role I had no intention of doing in order to manage the pain, which was a compromise needed at the time, but hardly a choice I would normally desire to make. We just need to make compromises like that for our health. I had to get used to making less income and less hours. Had to take that blow to the self-worth and adjust my mental understanding that this was something I had to accept. Try to Not feel guilty that it was necessary, and fail at that.

No one likes compromising their career or making financial sacrifices for their health. Even temporarily. Certainly no one likes being disabled by chronic pain. These are not choices made lightly, or even real choices at all… we are most often forced into them by circumstances and lack of functionality from the pain. Accepting it is quite hard. Facing the stigma from it even harder.

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