Today is one of those days when I find it hard to believe that this is my life. After a 20-minute pep talk to get off the couch and make lunch, I made it the five steps into the kitchen doorway and collapsed in a heap on the floor. Though protein probably would have helped me feel better, the 15 steps to the refrigerator posed an insurmountable obstacle. As I slumped on the floor, I kept thinking, “Is this really my life?”
It was one of those times that I could observe myself from outside my body. I did not feel sorry for myself or obsess over the unfairness. I just watched, in awe that this relatively young body could be incapable of performing such simple functions. That my neurological system could flame out so dramatically.
Most people think my life is dominated by constant head pain. Yes, the throbbing, stabbing pain often reaches indescribable heights. I also have a mind that works at half-capacity, unable to connect concepts, complete thoughts or find words; a body with so little energy it feels as if all my muscles have been wrung out; nausea that causes my stomach to cramp. Sometimes I black out and wake up drenched in sweat. I so wish migraine were “just a headache.”
After all these years, I can still be surprised by the severity of this illness, astonished by my frequent reality. This really is my life.