It’s often said that there is no point in looking at the what-ifs and the what-could-have-been’s, that it’s a waste of time and energy that could be better spent. Yet we all do it. It’s only human nature. There are days when I thank the cards I have been dealt for giving me my strength and others where I curse them for making me miserable. So today I am going to explore 10 things I would do if I didn’t have a migraine condition. As John Lennon sang, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”
10. Wear a Headband: I pride myself in being somewhat of a fashionista. I keep up with the trends, dare I say set a few of my own. . . but I will never willingly put pressure around my head no matter how cute it may look. I don’t care if it has an upper-east side preppy bow, a flower, a double band, if it’s hippy-chic, boho-fab, or if it’s a diamond encrusted tiara — in under 5 minutes I’m guaranteed to feel the stabbing pains of a pounding headache and no cute outfit can justify that. But a girl can dream. . .
9. Play Word with Friends: Okay, this is a silly one but wouldn’t it be great to just be normal and be able to play the games all the rest of my friends are playing? But mom…. all the cool kids are doing it!
8. Zumba: The latest fitness craze is taking the world by storm and I am eager to jump on board. You can’t survive a season of Dancing with the Stars without hearing about the amazing body transformations the casts go through, whether you watch the show or not. As an enthusiastic fan of the shimmy, it pains me to say that I can’t get through a high-intensity work out without getting a migraine. If I could, zumba would be the first class I’d take. Even the name is fun to say! Just imagine how fun the workout can be. I always wanted to be a dancer when I was younger, I was on the competition team and everything, pictured myself in Lincoln Center someday minus the whole psychotic black swan and the even scarier dance moms.
7. Turn Up the Volume: I would love to be able to listen to my music as loud as I wanted whenever I wanted or to rock out and rave at a wild concert without a care in the world. I’ve been to quite a few concerts, but never a music festival or something long-term in fear of my not being able to last without getting a migraine. I love music, to the point that now I can’t even find an iPod that can fit all of my songs. I would love to be able to take a risk and enjoy it whenever, wherever.
6. Kickboxing: I bought a groupon for 4 kickboxing classes with my sister a few months ago. I was exciting more than anything to get the boxing gloves that we were promised with the coupon. . . and of course to take out some of my stress on the punching bag. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. It was one of the most intense workouts I had ever experienced. There was some kicking and punching. . . but after an intense 20 minutes of conditioning drills. Needless to say, I left all 4 classes with enormous migraines. My sister signed up for a package and has been going back ever since. I envy her. Though it was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, and getting a migraine each time after was a downside to say the least, it was also extremely empowering. I couldn’t justify paying for and attending classes that would without a doubt induce a migraine, though.
5. Save My Pennies for a Rainy Day: Without having to pay for doctors, medications, my routine Starbucks every morning and all the other little specifics that go into preventing and getting rid of my migraines, I would have so much more money. I could possibly have a 401K. I would certainly have a larger savings account. I could travel. I could afford a puppy. Oh, the things I could do!
4.Drink Alcohol: Margarita Mondays with the girls, happy hour with the coworkers, partying into the wee hours of the night, a strawberry daiquiri on the beach. . . these are the things I am missing out on. I have accepted my lifestyle and have come to terms with my condition. I still manage to go out and have a social life most weekends. I try to stay optimistic and keep a positive outlook on whatever life has dealt me, especially since I know it could be a lot worse, but since this article is about wishing. . . boy, would I kill for a cocktail!
3. Become a Sun Goddess: I love the beach. I love laying out until the sun turns me into a beautiful crispy golden nugget. I’m a Jersey Girl, insert stereotype here. But my days in the sun usually end in with a whopping migraine. I would love to be able to lay out for hours on end, my only worry being when high tide is, not whether I’m keeping hydrated or if the nearest shaded area is within walking distance.
2. Have Kids: Migraines are genetic. I’ve heard it all my life. I have been to countless doctors over the span of my life and one of the first questions I always get asked is, “Is there a history of migraines in your family?” And no doctor has yet to believe me when I say no. Both my parents claim it must be the other’s side of the family. It’s become a running joke. I’ve heard the statistics: if you have migraines your child has a 50% chance of having them too. Even more so if it’s a girl. That scares me. I don’t want to bring a child into this world and put them through the pain I have endured and I’ve thought about this a lot. I’m still young and my feelings on the subject could change, and there’s always other options like adoption. Though I also don’t know how great of a mother I’ll be if I’m getting headaches all the time. But I know plenty of women have done it and I have a great deal of respect for those women. These are just the thoughts that keep me up some nights. Regardless, if I never had any migraines, I think my outlook on parenthood would definitely change. Either way, lots of puppies are definitely in my future.
1. Smile More: Having migraines causes your nasty, evil, angry, depressed twin to come out and play wreaking havoc on anyone in your path. It helps to have an understanding, empathetic and loving inner circle. But even then there’s so much you can expect them to put up with. I try to be conscious of how those around me are affected by my condition, though it’s not an easy task. If I never had a migraine, I would be a much better daughter, sister and friend.