(Written September 2, 2009)
1. The illness I live with is: chronic daily headache/migraine, chronic back/neck/shoulder pain
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2003
3. But I had symptoms since: 2002
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is :asking for help and admitting that I can't do everything.
5. Most people assume: It varies. That I'm not actually in as much pain as I am. That they should "protect" me, and that they have some right to treat me like a child. That I am perfectly healthy.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Waking up and remembering and am still in pain.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House MD
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My computer
9. The hardest part about nights are: On average, the nights when I remember I have difficulty relaxing in the same manner most college students do (i.e. partying, hanging out with friends, etc.). Not only does it make me lonely, it reminds me that things that are easy for them or things they don't even have to think about, are difficult for me.
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins. (No comments, please) Minimum two types, but usually it is much much more.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: have seen a nutritionist, acupuncturists, and a biofeedback person.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: it depends on the type of illness.
13. Regarding working and career: I am a full time student taking the maximum number of classes and very involved in other things.
14. People would be surprised to know: How much time my health takes. And also that I think it will/would be difficult (although fabulous!) to readjust to not having daily migraines
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: the constant pain, the monotony of it.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: function (go to class, work, etc) with bad migraines.
17. The commercials about my illness: Make me excited that they found something, then annoyed when I realize it's excedrin.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: sports.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: parts of my independence.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: I'm on the internet more and watch more tv.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: go for a trip with my friends, somewhere sunny.
22. My illness has taught me: it is helping me get better at being good to myself.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is:they joke that I use my illness or that I am a druggie.
24. But I love it when people: tell me how strong they think I am.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: My friend texted me something reminding me that migraines do really hurt (I tend to self doubt myself and be mean to myself).
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: it gets easier and its ok to have anger or pity-part days once in a while. You don't have to be perfect.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: how much it affects me.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was:so many things.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I feel alone.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: thankful.