I am 21-years old and have suffered from migraine headaches since the 3rd grade. The pain has become increasingly worse, almost to the point of passing out. It feels as if there is an electric drill penetrating my right temple and eye, which will swell closed and lose the ability to see. The pain is so bad that I cannot walk because I am so light headed and throwing up is a common occurrence. Sometimes I lie in my dark, cold bathroom praying to lose consciousness.

Luckily I had a subtle break during my Junior High years, but was again plagued with unbearable pain when I began High School. The school nurses knew me by name and normally had medication waiting and the back room free. I missed a lot of school and in High School you are allowed to miss only a certain amount of days. I almost didn’t graduate. My mom, an L&D nurse, realized the severity of my pain and brought me to several specialists. Most told me I would find relief as I aged, which would be a welcomed statement now, but this was not good enough. I wanted a diagnosis and a cure, but at the time it seemed that no one understood how excruciating each headache was.

A few years ago my mom cornered a neurologist at her place of work and recapped my medical history. He diagnosed me with Paroxysmal Hemicrania migraines, which was amazing news and also devastating news. I now know the name of my personal hell, but I will never experience complete relief. Although this statement brings a sense of stability, I will not quit living life or stop searching for liberation from the pain.

I have tried multiple types of medications, but they were only able to keep me in remission for so long. I had an MRI and MRA but both came back with normal results. At the moment I am in remission, but like always, this will come to a sad end. Does my future hold any hope?