I have been diagnosed as having chronic daily intractable migraines. I’ve struggled to keep working for 11 years, but they kept getting more intense. No medications have helped, and my doctors have tried every known medication that is not contraindicated. I finally had to stop working this month, after 30 years of supporting my wife and me. It’s bad enough that the migraines kept us from having a normal life. I can’t concentrate on much of anything, my memory is impaired, I rarely can go outside in the sunlight or ride in the car (I stopped driving years ago), nor do I eat when I’m dizzy and nauseous, or I can’t be around certain food smells, or even carry on a conversation and speak at times. My wife has been very patient with me, even though she hates having to tip-toe around the house while I have a headache, or keep the house dark, or forego going out and having fun. Now I don’t even have an income, and my future is uncertain.

I’ve applied for Social Security disability benefits, but the woman at the Social Security office looked at me and said, “They’re not going to approve this.” Apparently, even disabling daily migraines aren’t a sufficient “excuse” for not working! Why do they think that a migraine is just a headache? Why would anybody even think that after 13 years of post-graduate work to train for my career, and a good income as a doctor that I would want to sit at home on a low income? Why do they think that I can care for patients when I can’t even function most days?

Even, if by some miracle, I can get disability benefits from my insurance company, they would only last for two years! Two years! I don’t know how we’ll survive after that, and if we are turned down by both the insurance company and Social Security, I don’t know what we’ll do.

The government must be educated about migraines, and insurance companies must be forced to cover migraines as the neurological disorder they are, and not just a “mild inconvenience”.