More to Me Than Just My Pain
Today’s post was inspired by the Facebook post of a fellow migraineur, Michelle Tracy. She is participating in a photo challenge sponsored by the US Pain Foundation and Dancing Through the Pain. Yesterday’s challenge was to post a photo collage of your many roles, including that of patient. The goal is to raise awareness about all types of chronic pain and help others see us as real people. It took a little digging, but I found several photos that represent my life. Migraine and Cluster Headache are represented, but there is so much more to me than just my pain.
I am so much more.
Having been diagnosed with Chronic Migraine, Cluster Headaache, and Fibromyalgia, I am a chronic pain patient. Managing these three diseases is a full-time job, but that is not all there is to me.
Daughter – I have the most amazing, supportive parents. They have stepped in at my request to care for my kids when I was too sick to be a good mom. Even though I have missed countless holidays, they’ve never once criticized me or questioned the truth of my pain.
Sister – I have two younger siblings, a brother and a sister. Neither have migraine (to my knowledge) yet both have always been supportive.
Aunt – My siblings made me an aunt. I am Aunt Tammy to eleven awesome kiddos (4 girls, 7 boys) and just recently became a great-aunt when my oldest niece became a mommy.
Niece – I have been blessed with 36 aunts and uncles. Yeah, my parents are both from huge families.
Wife – 27 years ago, I married my best friend. He has been my hero, always believing in me and never questioning my pain. I couldn’t ask for a better man.
Daughter-in-law – Marriage means a new family, too. I have two mother-in-laws and one father-in-law. My other father-in-law recently passed away.
Sister-in-law – I also acquired a big sister, and two younger brothers.
Mother – My kids are amazing! I don’t know how they turned out to be so great, considering I was sick in bed for most of their formative years. They’re all grown up now, but still need their mom from time to time. I have one of each – a daughter and a son.
Grandma – Two years ago, my daughter made me a grandma when she gave birth to the most beautiful, intelligent, ornery little cherub. This little girl has rocked my world. I’m writing this post early today so that I can spend the rest of the day playing with her.
Friend – What can I say? My friends are some of the most loyal and loving people in the world. Even though we are spread all over the country, we still keep in touch. Some I have known since elementary school
Colleague – I work with a group of men and women who are committed to improving the lives of headache disorder patients. We support and defend (when necessary) each other fiercely.
Writer – Ah, yes, my passion is writing. My health forced me to walk away from the career of my dreams as a therapist in order for me to rediscover my first love.
Volunteer – Most of what I do is volunteer work as a migraine and cluster headache patient advocate.
This article is part of the July 2016 Ultimate Blog Challenge