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  • Crystal Mulligan shared a letter in the Group logo of Health, Wellness and Chronic ConditionsHealth, Wellness and Chronic Conditions group 10 months, 3 weeks ago

    Growing up with migraine

    I grew up with migraine, it was like another member of the family. Always there, sometimes quiet, sometimes not but, always pretty need.

    I spent my childhood in waiting rooms; chiropractors, neurologists, nutritionists all for my 4 year old brother who was getting daily attacks. As a child there were times this was fun. I would get to miss school to come to the neurologist in Manhattan. I got to know the man at the pizzeria next to the chiropractor so well that he let me put on whatever I wanted on the TV while my little brother was next door getting adjustments on his spine. As a child there were also many times this made me mad and annoyed at my brother. When we had to leave a party or family function because of his attacks, when we didn’t have chocolate in the house because he was on an elimination diet, when I was put in charge of taking care of him when we were are friends houses and their parents didn’t know what to do.

    When I wasn’t in waiting rooms I could be found on the other side of a dark bedroom door wishing my mom could come play with me or help me with my homework. Or waiting on the outside of the bathroom or at the top of the stairs while my mother vomit from one of her episodic attacks. I was never allowed to wear perfume because it could trigger an attack for my mom.

    When headaches became part of my daily life I didn’t think anything of it. When my vision blurred, I broke out in sweat and it felt like a knife was stabbing behind my eye I didn’t panic, I knew what it was. As I began my career as an occupational therapist my anxiety and depression worsened and I began mental health therapy for this. I casually mentioned my daily pain and my therapist seemed shocked. This was the first time I realized not everyone gets headaches, it’s not part of everyone’s life.

    It had always been part of mine and I genuinely didn’t realize it wasn’t part of everyone’s. When these attacks began to worsen and increase in frequency I visited my PCP and asked if I should see a neurologist. Her response “no, you’re young, here’s this medication”. A medication I later found out can make attacks worse when I finally saw a migraine specialist. My good friend a fellow warrior pressed me and advocated to me and after months of the attacks becoming more severe I finally began my journey on living with chronic migraine and not letting it control me.

    Crystal Mulligan

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    • You are so strong. It may not have been fair for you growing up but you had to live with such a painful condition that hardly fazed you. Thank you for sharing

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    • Wow Crystal, that’s a deep story and I’m sorry you deal with this. I wish your PCP was more mindful of the medication you were taking and was willing to send you to a doctor who could help you better. I know it must be hard to manage something that you can’t control. I’m glad you don’t let it affect your daily life and I wish you happiness, health and healing through all of this!

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