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My Life With Chronic Migraine

I was required to write a Slam Poem for my Sophomore English class, and this is what I ended up writing about my Chronic Migraines. I wanted to share so that more people could understand what this kind of life is like, especially for a teenager.

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A Letter to My Chronic Migraines

Dear Chronic Migraines,

You turn on a jackhammer in my head that has no off switch.

And trust me, I’ve looked everywhere for that switch.

You force my food up out of my body as if you’re helping it to escape.

You plaster my eyes open so that I’ll never sleep again.

I become so exhausted that I can’t form a word, or even cry.

Always laying in a dark room for days, wondering, “Why me?”

You make the floor wobble and fall out beneath me.

I repeat “It could be worse” in my head, but some days, I’m not sure if it could be.

Dear Chronic Migraines,

I never chose for you to be a part of my life.

And yet, you still seem to remain, like a guest who's overstayed their welcome.

Your invitation expired eight years ago, see yourself out now.

You’ve been with me for half of my life, making me different from all of the other eight year olds.

Following me everywhere I go, lurking in the shadows.

There’s no place I can hide where you won’t find me.

Why won’t you just let me live?

Dear Chronic Migraines,

What do you want?

I’ve cut out so much food from my diet that I eat the same thing almost every day, to no end.

I quit sports, rarely stay up past eleven, only drink water, and don’t stay out in the sun for too long.

The counter in my bathroom looks more like a pharmacy than the bathroom of a teenage girl.

I can hand out prescriptions for despair, isolation.

Sorry, but I’m fresh out of hope.

Dear Chronic Migraines,

You’ve locked me in a cell that keeps all others at a distance.

I miss so much school that I’m constantly behind, never able to catch up.

I’ve canceled too many plans over the years that, sometimes, my friends seem to be disappearing into thin air.

No one understands the way you make me feel, so I paste on a smile and pretend, hoping to convince myself that I’m fine as much as I’ve tricked others into believing it.

Dear Chronic Migraines,

Because of you, I have permanent scars on the insides of my arms and tops of my hands from IVs.

I have needle marks on my forehead from the experimental treatments I receive.

Every morning the first thing in my mind is “How am I feeling today?”

Usually, the answer isn’t good.

I can’t remember the last time you weren’t knocking around in my head.

When you actually let me feel like a normal person.

A normal teenager.

Not someone who has to be taken care of every second of every day like a young child.

But normal.

Dear Chronic Migraines,

It’s not just me who you’ve ruined.

My parents spend too much money on medications, doctor’s visits and hospitals to even count.

Too often, my dad leaves work to come pick me up from school because I can’t make it through the day.

My mom gets so wrought with despair because she can’t do anything to help that she tears up when she looks at me writhing in pain.

My sister has stayed up countless nights doing everything she can to help me sleep, and still failing.

On some of my worst days, my brother has stayed home so that I could have someone to take care of me.

You’re taking too much from my family.

Dear Chronic Migraines,

I could keep going about the torture that I’ve endured.

But, since you’ve arrived, I’ve gotten to speak up and spread awareness about your effects on someone’s life.

I formed a new family, that cares deeply about me, with my Neurologist and nurses.

My mom and I have become so much closer in this struggle.

I’ve cried out all my tears and now, I’m ready to fight.

Because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

And, soon, I’ll be strong enough to defeat you.

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