Please try not to pass out, even though I am blogging twice in two days. I know. Maybe the Mayans were right.
I am continuing with the Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge:
I find this a tricky prompt, I confess.
First of all, how do I narrow down this list? There are the family members, of course, who dismiss the reality of this disease (though I am also lucky to have many very supportive family members--and I am grateful for every one of you!) and do not understand why I cannot be at holiday gatherings. There are colleagues, who, bless their hearts, ask me if I am feeling better today, as if migraine were like a cold--something you get over. (I would be remiss, though, not to thank those colleagues who are supportive--thank you!) There are university administrators who do not seem to understand that sometimes I just cannot be at a meeting, or that I do not just "like the dark." There are friends who make me feel guilty when I need to cancel something at the last minute, again. (But, as before, I am constantly grateful for those friends who are not surprised or bothered when this happens. Interestingly, I tend to make more plans with them. . . .)
But how to choose just one?
I am also a little at a loss about how to explain migraine, since it seems so variable. As I read other people's "First on the First" posts, I am reminded again of how my experience with migraine differs from that of most. Since this difference means that I am often not in as much pain, I am ok about it. But since this difference also means that I have some level of migraine at most times, well, that I could do without. And it gets tiring to explain that my experience of migraine is not whatever the "normal" is that people have to expect. (But fundamentally, that's OK, too, since I am not a fan of "normal" and the way it is used to put people in neat boxes.)
More than anything, I often wish I could wear a sign around my neck that reads
I AM DOING THE BEST THAT I CANand that that would be enough, that people would just trust me.
Because I am not trying to be halting in my speech, but sometimes my mind just goes blank, or everything feels wiggly, or there are distracting sensations in my brain, and it makes it hard to keep track of what I was talking about or get a full sentence out. And because sometimes it just is not going to be fun for me to join you for whatever fun thing we had planned, and I feel wretched for bailing on you, or letting you down, or leaving you in the lurch, or whatever. And because I would really like to be there for this meeting or class that I had committed to, but I am too nauseous, or vertiginous, or in pain to do it. And because even though I agree with you that it would be great to have a woman in that position, I am just not the right person to become Chair of our department, because I have a hard enough time maintaining my current responsibilities.
Whatever thing it is that I have done that seems disappointing, it is not that I wanted to do that, or that I do not understand that it leaves a gap or creates a problem for someone else. It is just that I am doing the best that I can, and I cannot quite live up to my expectations or yours today.
Besides, the problem with scheduling a date for tea is that I might have to cancel at the last minute.