Writing with Chronic Illness
I know many writers suffer from various illnesses, both physical and mental. This week, my writing and work life were put on pause while I fought a frequent battle in the cooler seasons: chronic migraine.
I'm not exactly sure when the migraines started, though I remember them mostly after giving birth. They've gotten worse in recent years. My doctor put me on a medication that helped at first, but then eventually stopped helping and between that and the side effects, I stopped taking it. Since then, I've started taking magnesium, which does help with the severity, but not the frequency.
There are many benefits to working from home during the Public Health Emergency (PHE), but I think the one I appreciate the most is the ability to flex out and lay down when migraine strikes. It's helpful when a migraine comes on during an afternoon meeting to know that I don't have a long, trigger-filled drive home to contend with and that I can immediately take a nap when I sign off for the day. But it doesn't make having one any less debilitating.
What does this have to do with writing? Well, my migraines aren't limited to work hours for my day job, and there have been several times where my plans to write were thwarted by an attack. Even when I've tried to write through a milder incident, my brain is often too fatigued to make much sense on the page. My time is already limited by my job and my family obligations, so it can be extremely detrimental to my progress when I have an attack. I imagine others with chronic illness also struggle.
I wish I had some advice to give to my fellow sufferers, but I don't. I just try to take things day by day, listen to my body as much as I can, and pursue various relief remedies to either shorten the duration or lessen the severity. For me, it's helpful to know my triggers, but sometimes, attacks occur without warning. It can be incredibly frustrating when that happens if I specifically planned a day of writing around known triggers. But there's only so much I can do, and I have to remind myself some things are beyond my control.
Do you have a chronic illness? How do you cope? How does it impact your writing progress?
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Book reviews, random thoughts, and writing samples from an aspiring author.