Saturday, November 23, 2013

But I Don't Look Disabled!

I have all my fingers, all my toes. I have both arms and legs as well as a torso to go along with them. If you see me out and about I don't need a wheelchair.  So how can it be that a good looking man like myself can be considered disabled? This is the conundrum of having an invisible illness!

If you you were to visit my home for a week, you would see how my migraines affect my life. Typically, you might see me (if at all) lying in bed three or more days, in a dark room with no noise and nothing to attack my sense of smell. I would be under the covers with my head covered and an icepack on my left anterior temporal lobe. Typically I am unable to function at all, but if I can... I make the effort. This is problematic too. I'm very light sensitive. My face and eye droop on the left side. I can't think straight, lose my focus and memory. I have to move very slowly because I lose strength in my right arm and leg. Forget about bending over. I can't even reach my shoes and socks.
Handicapped
Handicapped (Photo credit: a77eBnY)

There are even more symptoms, but you can get a pretty good idea of what I'm going through. How is someone in my position supposed to find a job? How do you get a job when you have to tell them that you  may not be able to work several days a week and don't which days they are until the last second?

AND, I'm not alone! There are somewhere around 3.2 million migraine sufferers, just in the United States. Many of these people may find themselves in the same situation that I am. I may not look like I have a disability, but I do. Non migraineurs do not have any means in which to really feel our pain. Just as men will never know the pain of childbirth. But, that doesn't make the pain any less real, or any less disabling.


People kind of get "this look" when they ask what I do and I tell them I am on disability. So, I usually start by saying that I am kind of retired. That usually points the conversation in a different direction and I don't feel embarrassed. Now, this is the point I've been leading this post toward. I/We should not have to feel embarrassed by our disability. There really needs to be a large push to provide more information to not just the public in general, but to our family and friends about the affect of migraine as well as the effect of the migraine to those who have this chronic disease. Our world close and far, needs to know that Chronic Migraine is disabling. It has to start at home!
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