We can all agree Migraine disease is frustrating, painful and debilitating. Millions, yes, millions of Americans have Migraine disease, and it is the 12th most disabling disorder in the United States. Nine percent of all lost labor in the US every year is due to Migraines. The National Institutes of Health spent less than $10 million in 2006 for all research on headache disorders, which came to less than 0.05 percent of its total budget. Not good, not good at all.
In addition to these alarming and disappointing facts, when someone has Migraine disease, life can also throw some nefarious curve balls at you. This combination can make life extremely unpleasant, leaving little to feel thankful for. But in reality, I am thankful for my family and friends - especially their support during these last few difficult years.
My thanks must begin with my children, who despite their own difficulties, have tolerated my ups and downs, tears and sadness, anger and regret during this divorce process. Through my emotional and physical pain, you two have been, and continue to be, a constant source of light and joy in my life. You two are, without a doubt, compassionate, kind, and loving - I love you.
My mom and dad never cease to amaze me. At 78 and 73 years old respectively, living five hours away, they came to all three of my son's home football games and loved every minute of it. Their unyielding support means everything to me. And my "Uncle" Tom, who lives an hour away, even came to a few games, you rock!!
Being the eldest in a family of three has certain responsibilities - usually being in charge. But my brother seems to have switched roles with me recently, which if you knew him, is nothing short of shocking. He calls to check in on me and the kids frequently, making sure we are "ok" seeing if we need anything. This is almost earthquake material. Don't get me wrong, I love my brother and he loves me, but a great communicator, not so much. Thanks bro, for being here when I didn't even know I needed you.
My sister and I were not close growing up. As we matured, we began to respect and like each other, and have maintained a good friendship since I got married - who knew? Her partner is just as wonderful as she is; kind, intelligent and caring. Most importantly, and this is what makes me eternally thankful, is that she makes my sister happier than I have ever seen her.
Everyone has friends, but I think at times we may take them for granted, assuming they will always be there. Well, this just isn’t true. We all are going to die at some point, which hit home earlier in the year for me. It hasn’t been an easy lesson to learn. So to all my friends - thank you for putting up with my hot and cold spells - happy/sad, mad/sad, or just plain miserable – I am eternally grateful to you all for your support and willingness to stand by me.
Seeing as you can never have enough good friends, I am truly thankful for all those whom I haven't spoken to in months, and can pick up the phone and talk to them like we just spoke yesterday. I have quite a few of you stretched along the east coast, you know who you are. I think of you daily and can't help but be thankful you are part of my life. Which brings me to one of my dearest friends; Barb. I am so very, very thankful I knew Barb when she was at her very best. We lost the ‘real’ Barb to MS a long time ago, but she didn’t pass away until a few years ago. I’m thankful her husband Steven and his family took such good care of Barb; and so happy Steven has been able to get married again and be happy. I’m thankful I still talk to Barb’s mom and sister and whom I hope to see over the holidays.
My mentors –without whom I’d be lost. These few special people have accomplishments and skills I can only hope to achieve one day. Their guidance, support and friendship mean the world to me. I hope I don’t let you down.
There you have it – what I’m thankful despite or maybe in spite, of Migraine disease.
Thanks for reading, and feel well,
© Nancy Harris Bonk, 2010.Last updated November 5, 2010.