In February 2007, I began experiencing migraine attacks twice a month. Since that time the frequency has increased up to thirteen to fifteen a month. Since February 2007, I have been under the care of various migraine specialists. I have tried several preventative medications, attended physical rehabilitation twice, been trained in two forms of biofeedback, have begun daily relaxation and meditation practice, changed my diet, and entered an intensive outpatient program for migraine patients for 10 days at a clinic 4 hours away from my home. I have only begun to see improvement in my symptoms since June when I attended the multidisciplinary intensive outpatient program, though I still had thirteen migraines in August.

My ability to function has decreased since I began experiencing the migraine attacks. Between February 2007 and February 2008, I left two jobs because the attacks prevented me from completing job duties and, many times, going to work at all. After each job, I assumed that by leaving the emotional and environmentally stressful situations, the migraine attacks would decrease in frequency. (By environmental stress I refer factors that can trigger migraines such as light, noise, and smells.) The frequency of attacks did not decrease when I left these jobs.

In September 2008, I enrolled in a Masters of Professional Counseling program. Although at times the lights and noise accompanying classes exacerbated attacks, I found attending classes a few times a week to be easier to manage than working. This continued until the Spring 2010 semester. At that time, I was in enrolled in one lecture class and Practicum. In Practicum I co-led a weekly group with another student. Co-leading a group proved to more than I could manage with migraine attacks twelve times a month. I took a medical leave three weeks before the end of the semester. I will have to repeat both classes.

Since that time, the frequency of migraine attacks has been as high as fifteen a month and as low as thirteen a month. Unfortunately leaving school did not not reduce the frequency of migraines. Of course, the last 3 and a half years has affected my quality of life. During this time I have fought to remain psychologically healthy and have tried to grow as a person despite the frequent migraine attacks. I have a history of depression, and I have somehow managed to keep myself from sinking into a deep depression these last years.


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