Today's prompt for the Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is our very own Sophie's Choices. If you haven't seen the film Sophie's Choice then I won't spoil it for you, but it is an excellent film which you really ought to see (if only to see how well Meryl Streep managed to speak Polish!). Needless to say though, Sophie in the film, faced an impossible choice.
The Sophie's Choice which is being referred to is any treatment choices I've had to make when balancing migraine with other illnesses.
The only real challenges I've had in this respect are trying to exercise to help my migraines whilst exertion being a major threshold lowerer for me and treatment with regards to the vision in my right eye. I have unexplained spots in the vision of my right eye which periodically get better and worse. The only treatment I've had which has helped it has been prednisone which is a steroid and has some pretty bad side effects. One of these side effects also turned out to be that it exacerbated my migraines, but then, when the spots are particularly bad (covering 50-75% of my vision in my right eye) then that also exacerbates my migraines anyway!
For me though, the real Sophie's Choice is about starting a family.
I got married last year and I'm approaching my mid-thirties now. When people refer to the biological clock ticking, that's what I have now; from about the age of 35 onwards, the difficulty to become pregnant increases more and more and the potential risks and complications is increased month by month as well.
I really want to have a family and I think my husband and I would be good parents to raise happy, geeky children. Ideally I'd like to have two of them. We're even living in a house we bought with the plan of being able to raise children here.
The thing which is most standing in our way at the moment though, is my migraines. Not only the fact that it would be extremely difficult to be an effective mother with the frequency of my migraines and how much rest I have to get to avoid them, but much more immediately than that. In order to start trying for a family, I would have to come off my preventative medication. If you think my migraines are bad now (and I know I certainly do) can you imagine how bad things would be if I was on none of my preventative medications at all? With how things are at the moment, I can't see how I could manage to have a full-time job as I do now if I wasn't taking my preventative medications.
So at the moment, my Sophie's Choice really seems to be choosing to treat my migraines or choosing to start a family and so the choice I'm forced to make is to treat my migraines. Things will have to change dramatically for that choice to be changed as well and it breaks my heart. I'm trying to come to terms with the possibility that I might never be able to be a mother and it's a future I'm really struggling to contemplate.
June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is issued by FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.
Picture drawn by John Hendrix