The prompt for today's Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is Mama Mia: Money Money Money, How does living with Migraine affect your financial situation?
According to the American Headache and Migraine Association Headache Disorders cost the U.S. economy $31 billion every year. This sum not only includes the cost of treatment, it also includes the number of man hours that are lost due to Migraine attacks. Ninety-one percent of Americans cannot function during a Migraine attack.
Chronic Migraine has had a profound impact on my financial situation. I have lost four jobs due to Migraine. In each case my employer did not understand what it meant to suffer from Migraine. They either had no personal experience with Migraine, or they played the "I get Migraines and I can work" card. In both cases it was impossible to adequately explain how my Migraines affected my ability to work.
After losing my fourth job I applied for disability. I was extraordinarily fortunate to have been approved on the first try. While I do receive a small amount of money each month (and I do mean small), the most important thing that disability provides is Medicare, and in my situation Medicaid as well. The reason this is so important is that Migraine treatment is expensive. I went nearly a year without insurance after I became unemployed and as a result I had to pick and chose how I treated my Migraines. I had to limit the number of times I saw my specialist. I also had to stop several medications because I could not afford them. It was very stressful. And while stress is no longer considered to be a Migraine trigger, it certainly did not help.
Lost jobs, medication, doctors' bills, and hospital stays all cost a great deal of money. They are just another way my life revolves around my Migraine.
June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.
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