“Isn’t the trail of our relationships the time it takes for the heart to practice its part in the movement we call Love?” asks Mark Nepo in “The Book of Awakening,” a collection of daily readings I’ve read every single day for 3 years.
This is the story of how my chronic intractable migraine has allowed me to grow, and how my condition has also helped me stop protecting my relationships, so they could grow into true connections and create a trail of love that I embrace.
I’ve had migraine for most of my life. When I had episodic migraine, my symptoms were nausea, vomiting, throbbing pain, and light sensitivity. I would lie down in the dark, losing chunks of time.
What I didn’t realize was that my body and emotions were asking me to slow down, to take a deep look within. But I wasn’t listening — until just over 2 years ago, when my body screamed.
Frequent migraine episodes led to three emergency room visits and two hospital stays. One of them lasted more than 2 weeks.
When I left the hospital, I was still in pain, and the migraine episode that landed me in the hospital persisted for more than 9 months. I remember asking if I was going to be diagnosed with chronic migraine. I was so fearful of that term. One amazing physician assistant replied, “Well, Megan, we hope not.”
By the time I left the hospital, I was diagnosed with chronic intractable migraine.
My current treatment consists of three preventive medications plus Botox for migraine, a diet that avoids my migraine food triggers, supplements, daily meditation, and therapy.
I still have two flares a week, with some lasting 2, 3, or 9 days, but I have less pain and I’m more in control, allowing me to enjoy life to its fullest.
I’m a believer, a warrior, and I’ll always strive for improvement, but I’ve learned to be thankful for the present moment, to be open to vulnerability, and to cherish my honest relationships.
Even with managed chronic migraine, I’m still a filmmaker, camera operator, educator, dancer, daughter, sister, partner, and — my greatest joy — an aunt to two young nieces.