By Kerrie Smyres | May 27, 2013
A dear friend from high school has generously offered me the guest room at her apartment in a Seattle suburb so I can escape the heat and storms of Phoenix in July and August. I’m so excited to spend time with her and to be in my favorite part of the country in its most beautiful season. I’m making all sorts of plans, sending her recipes for delicious food I want to make, imagining drinking gin and tonics while devouring the amazing summer produce of Western Washington, having picnics and going to concerts, taking hikes.
I’ve entered the land of magical thinking, somehow convincing myself that I will be able to savor all the pleasures of the Pacific Northwest as if I were in perfect health. Reality check: I may be able to cook for my friend, but I can’t eat anything I plan to make. Alcohol is out of the question. If the weather is unexpectedly rainy, being laid up with migraines is practically guaranteed.
I was in a good migraine spell when I made the plans to go. Everything seemed possible. Now I’m not even sure how I’m going to get there. I’ll need a car and money is tight, so I planned to drive and crash on friends’ couches along the way. Really? I’ve managed a seven-hour road trip by myself with chronic migraine, but it is 24 hours of driving time between Phoenix and Seattle. I can’t handle that by myself, especially if I’m not guaranteed a long, restful sleep each night. I can’t eat road food. Even if I recruit another driver, I’m not sure I can handle that much time on the road.
Every single day I am faced with the fact that I am not healthy and robust. How could I take mental leave of this reality when making summer plans?
I want out of chronic migraine.