By Kerrie Smyres | November 13, 2012
The American Headache Society’s annual symposium is in Scottsdale later this week and I’ll be attending for the first time. Or to be accurate, I’m planning to attend the symposium as long as I’m not knocked out by migraine attacks. There’s a world of difference between attending and planning to attend. A difference you’d think I’d fully grasp after all these years with debilitating chronic migraine. Nope.
I imagined myself waking up early and attending the meeting sessions all day Friday and Saturday. Never mind that sessions begin at 8 a.m., two hours before I usually wake up. Never mind that feeling well enough to be out of the house for three hours on any given day is cause for celebration; doing so two days in a row is nearly unheard of. Never mind that I rarely shower before going out because it depletes my energy (this is a little tricky considering that my almost-nightly migraine attacks include night sweats — I can cope if I’m going somewhere anonymously, but am sensitive about it when I’m around people I know or want to make a good impression).
Although the idealized schedule of events rarely comes to fruition, I don’t usually remember that until I’m over committed. This time I was clever enough to see it a week before the event takes place. I’ve gone through the symposium schedule and made a list of sessions I most want to attend and have narrowed it down to a couple hours each day plus Thursday set-up for the TheraSpecs exhibit and dinner with Migraine.com folks. Ideally, I’ll take over the booth for short stints Friday and Saturday so Hart can catch his breath.
I have no idea how much of the conference I’ll be able to attend or if I’ll be of much help to Hart. Still, I’m patting myself on the back for recognizing my limitations (though I’m by no means happy about them) and creating a realistic plan. Starting off with reasonable expectations is far more promising than my usual approach of hitting the ground running, then crashing and knocking myself out for the rest of the weekend. If I can’t make it to all that I have planned, I won’t be blaming myself for overexerting and making myself sick.
Wish me luck. I hope to gather lots of good information to share with you. And I’m super excited to finally meet Teri Robert, Ellen Schnakenberg and Diana Lee in person!