Today I had to take a break from studying because I got a headache that was not responsive to my usual treatment tricks. I am nearing the end of the three month interval between the botox injections I get for my chronic headaches and I usually start getting occasional headaches during this time. However, this is is the second day in a row with a headache, and today’s was definitely of migraine quality.
Before I started getting Botox injections, I would have week-long migraine headaches that were debilitating enough to render me *almost* incapable of working. Actually, I am pretty sure that if I was able to take sick time off work without an immense amount of guilt, I likely would have stopped working because of my headaches (after all, who wants a woman with a migraine doing their c-section?)
After some serious “research,” I decided that I would pay a rather exorbitant amount of money to have Botulinum toxin injected into my face, scalp, and neck in order to alleviate the pain. This is crazy and insane, right? But, it works! Unfortunately, headaches are only one type of pain that ails me, as I routinely get full body aches and pains, and my previously well controlled chronic back pain is now horribly exacerbated by my crazy studying schedule requiring me to see my physiotherapist as least once a week.
After bailing on my studying to sequester myself into my dark basement bedroom in an attempt to “sleep it off,” I was able to get a last minute appointment to see my chiropractor, who also happens to be a great friend of mine. I have been seeing him for over four years now and he’s part of the reason I’ve remained so functional (he’s also the person who recommended my wonderful friend and physiotherapist, who has also been keeping me alive of late). For a while, actually, my husband used to tease me about how often I would see C, saying that I relied too heavily on another man to “Fix me up.” This was made slightly more (or less?) comical after I took A with me to an appointment and he told my husband that “Dr. C. fixed Mommy up really good, Daddy!” Maybe this isn’t such a funny joke to some people, but it was certainly icing on the cake when C and I planned a dinner date with our spouses and children and after meeting his wife on my doorstep she said, “Well it’s finally nice to meet the woman my husband is always talking so highly about!” (Don’t worry, we are still both happily married to our respective spouses and continue to host each other’s families for entertaining dinner dates)
So, where does the gratefulness come in here? Basically, in order to feel remotely functional and live a relatively normal, healthy, and fulfilling life, I seek out the (often) regular services of:
A physician to inject botox into my face
A massage therapist
And a psychologist (because what good is physical health when you have mental battles to fight, too?)
Wow. That is a lot of important people in my life. I can’t believe that I need so many services to be/feel functional!
I am grateful, though, that I have the resources, connections, and capability to access these people and therapies that allow me to live my life to its fullest, despite my chronic pain. I know that there are many people who are not as lucky as I am to be able to properly address their issues and, therefore, struggle immensely on a daily basis.
I am grateful that I have relatively robust health insurance that helps defer some of these costs, that I have a physician support program that promotes physician wellbeing , that I have the financial resources to cover the costs of these services that remain after these programs.
Finally, I am grateful for the people behind these professional titles who have, over the years, become great friends and supports in my life. Without their “services” I would not be living the life I currently lead. Without their friendship, kindness, and drive to be the best they can be, their impact would not be so immense.
And that has made all the difference