Facing Forward is a series that shares the lives of people living with arthritis and other invisible chronic illnesses. The goal of the series is to see how we are similar and how we are different - and to remind us to keep moving forward because we aren't alone!
Location: Austin, Texas
Diagnoses: Intractable chronic migraine with aura, migraine-associated vertigo, panic disorder, MTHFR mutation
Age at Diagnoses: 25
How are you currently treating your conditions?
I treat my conditions using a variety of methods, depending on my symptoms and their severity at any given moment. I practice yoga, own (and wear) a wearable ice hat, use tinted glasses designed for those of us with migraine, make sure to walk daily, take magnesium and B-12 supplements, and avoid enriched flour products. (The added folic acid is a big no-no for me.) I also use prescription medication when needed.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced since your diagnosis?
Figuring out a way to earn a decent living while living with symptoms that make traditional work and a traditional work environment nearly impossible.
What are your favorite tips and tricks for managing everyday tasks?
The one thing I can do that has the biggest impact on my quality of life is to respect my body's limitations, especially when it comes to time management. I understand that if I push myself too hard on one day, I will have to use the next day (or two!) to recover. I try to remember that and allow myself the time to rest when I need it.
How do you manage to keep facing forward every day?
I have a wonderful support system in my husband. He's my best friend and an absolute joy to be around. Between him and my kids, I'm incredibly grateful for each moment. Loving them helps me focus on the positive.
If you could go back to diagnosis day and tell your past self one thing, what would it be?
You're going to have to make some changes. Big changes. That isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Do you have a blog you would like to share?
I'm also active on FB, where I just launched a group for people with chronic illness who want to share practical tips and collaborate on ways to live well with whatever illnesses we're facing. Find me at https://www.facebook.com/
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