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How I Found Hope While Struggling With Migraines

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I was petrified. My sight had suddenly vanished. I was outside playing soccer, and in the blink of an eye, everything went black. I sat down and had someone call my mom, putting the phone on speaker for me. The next thing I knew, I was rushed to the hospital.

My mom thought that I had a brain tumor or something deadly. All my mom could think about was whether I was about to die or not. Thankfully, I didn’t die. This scary episode of vision loss turned out to be my first optical migraine. Since that day I have had 442 migraines, which is about 21 per month.

In case you didn’t know, migraines are a neurological disease that can affect almost every part of your body. It commonly includes headache, nausea, sensitivity to light, sound, and smell, but can include many more symptoms. The reason migraines are so debilitating is because it consists of several symptoms at once. The diagnosis of chronic migraines pretty much put a pause on my life. I had high hopes for my life, and suddenly the only hopes I had was to be pain free for a day. After two years of suffering, I found inspiration within my disease.

When I was diagnosed with chronic migraines a dark and gloomy cloud came over me. All I could hope for was a painless day, and a cure. Hoping for a cure led me to find a blessing in disguise as a migraine. Instead of just simply hoping, I began to research my disease. I found that there are countless possible reasons as to the root of migraines, yet not enough people searching for them. Within my cloud of darkness I found hope. I decided I would become a pediatric neurologist specializing in headaches. I could help search for a cure and treat other people who have migraines. I could help someone else! I could potentially help someone’s son or daughter, or someone’s brother or sister. I could help to limit their struggles.

Something hard to find in a neurologist is understanding. They all have a medical understanding of the disease; however a very small few have experienced a migraine themselves. With the lack of understanding of how chronic migraines can affect a person mentally, neurologists often come off as cold. Since I have first hand experience with the disease, I could understand what a patient is going through and I could help them through that. I would understand their concerns and doubts with every new medication they tried. They could tell me their concerns and I not only could understand them on a deeper level, but I would be able to ease their minds of worries, because I’ve been through them.

The cloud of pain that came into my life exposed to me my true calling. Without this disease, without this pain, without this cloud, I wouldn’t even know the difference between a migraine and a headache. Without pain, there would be no inspiration. I am inspired by my own disease to share my experiences, guide others through the same situations, and help them in a way that not many can. Even though as a pediatric neurologist I wouldn’t be completely focused on finding a cure, I would still be helping people like me. If I can only help one person, the world will still be changed.

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Thinkstock Image By: maroznc

Originally published: April 11, 2017
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