March 3, 2018
I found this in my drafts folder from a few years ago. Yesterday I made (simplified and adapted-to-my-dietary-restrictions) curry, soup, and shepherd’s pie. I also walked someone to the bus stop. That is all I did. Today I can’t get … Continue reading
March 2, 2018
Pain obliterates identity, but the loss of identity in chronic illness isn’t simply a function of pain. It is also a result of constant gaslighting about the experience of your own body. Pain is a mysterious and terrifying force. It makes sense that pain destroys us. Being told by a loved one that you are faking because you’re lazy doesn’t. That does more invidious, insidious damage.
[P]eople who experience subjective symptoms that cannot be objectively confirmed by biomedicine often have their experience contested by medical professionals, employers, friends, and family. They experience a kind of “double disruption” in their lives. Not only does chronic illness disrupt their taken-for-granted world, but the skepticism that so often accompanies these illnesses can lead to a breakdown of the normal experience of self, leaving them feeling marginalized and alone. Since women are systematically less likely to be believed when they complain about pain, this experience is highly gendered. As sociologist Kristin Barker argues, when the world refuses to acknowledge and validate suffering, people can start to question their own sanity. Which is to say, persistent delegitimation—the experience of living among relentless doubt— can break down one’s voice, one’s sense of self, one’s very identity.
Joanna Kempner in Not Tonight
August 22, 2017
I started doing really well earlier this summer and had several weeks where I was able to do at least some work every single day. Then an environmental trigger I have no control over happened and I got stuck in … Continue reading
June 1, 2017
Deleting all of the data and half the analyses associated with your PhD and not realizing it for 20 minutes while RStudio keeps telling you the files you’re working on don’t exist. All praise to the glories of git and … Continue reading
October 24, 2016
Anna Eidt wrote recently about the “migraine personality,” an old and sexist idea that still influences how migraines are perceived and treated. It’s a succinct discussion and debunking of the idea. The “migraine personality” was coined in the early 20th century … Continue reading
Erenumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody specifically designed for the prevention of migraine. Erenumab targets and blocks the Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) receptor, thought to be pivotal in the genesis of migraine. Erenumab is currently being studied in several large global, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials to assess its safety and efficacy in migraine prevention. [from the press release for the ARISE study]
Kerrie has a nice breakdown of the results, which look quite encouraging, but not magical.
October 10, 2016
I get the aura, I take the pill, I lie down. The pain starts, increases, becomes everything. Two hours later it has quieted to a throb that consumes most, but not all, of my attention. The ice pack doesn’t help, … Continue reading