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Migraine Guilt

I've written about migraine guilt before. Most of us with chronic migraine end up with some level of guilt. I think it comes from having an "invisible illness". We feel guilty when we can't participate in work or social activities yet we look normal on the outside.

There's no reason for migraine guilt. Migraine pain and nausea (and all the other symptoms) are real and legitimate. It's 2020; we also can see migraine on fMRI scans. Migraine disease is as real as a broken arm or heart disease.

It just doesn't feel real. At least not between attacks. Even though I have headache between the bad migraine attacks, I get myself twisted up into untenable thinking patterns and try to figure out how I could be working or doing more productive things. Never mind, of course, how many sedating and mind-altering medications I'm on.

This Covid-19 epidemic is multiplying guilt for me. As a physician, I feel like I should be working. Of course, we've only had one case in our county so far, but we know that there are plenty of undiagnosed cases that are about to hit our medical system in the next couple of weeks. And our medical system is woefully unprepared. But, I can't help them.

My chronic migraine won't let me work because of pain, and my medications limit my utility on my good days. In one sense, I should be glad that I'm not working because I'm not constantly exposing myself to Covid-19, but I'm feeling guilty that my former partners are carrying the load that I would be sharing if I wasn't ill.

There's not much I can do about this except continue to try to think true thoughts and pray for those who are working on the front lines of the pandemic. And, of course, maintain my own social distancing measures so I don't end up as a patient!

Thanks for "listening".


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