Imagine feeling pain every single day of your life. You wake up with a dull ache behind your eyes that shoots inward to your brain on steel needles when you gaze upon the sunlight. As the day wears on, your head begins to throb. Sitting close to a perfumed woman makes you gag. Loud noises create stabbing feelings on the top of your head. The pain distracts you, but you persist. You go to work even though you hurt and you love what you do, caring for animals, dogs and cats, who are so innocent and pure. You try to keep up with your schoolwork, even though the glare from the computer screen makes your eyes ache and grow tired. You must memorize the anatomy of animals, take the tests, get along with your peers and make sure you and your husband make enough money to pay the rent, feed the animals you foster, and take care of the dogs and cat you have adopted.
You cannot stop, because if you do, you might not be able to start back up. Secretly, you fear that if you stop, giving up will become too tempting. But, you miss classes and work hours. You've explained what's going on to your boss and to your teachers. You worry that those in charge won't understand. Only those close to you can see the pain in your eyes when the migraine is in full force. Otherwise, you look normal. You gave up going to the Royals games and even movie theatres because the bright lights and booming noises have become unbearable. But, your boss and teachers don't know how different your life has become from theirs.
You hope they understand. You hear other students and co-workers are complaining about your attendance. You crave compassion, but realize those without health issues cannot understand. You fear that federal and state laws for people with disabilities are little real protection. You understand how others might resent you, and it depresses you. Oh, to be pain free.
You don't know how you happened to get the short end of this stick, and it really doesn't matter. Life is what it is. You are not going to give up. Pain be damned. But, pain sure makes life hard. You need to distract yourself. There he is, that big white dog you love. One kiss from him, as he sits in your lap, makes it all seem wothwhile. Onward.