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Driving and migraines...

Yep, always a concern for the chronic migraine sufferer.  I admit it is extremely difficult to work with chronic migraines.  We all know migraines can make us incapable of doing anything, but we also know that treated migraines, or half treated migraines, or mild migraines or silent migraines... are an entirely different story.  We are expected to function with these.  Expected to because no one says we can't and does not offer us any better solution, so we do the best we can.  Likewise with a full blown migraine, driving is impossible, but in those other cases not impossible, but obviously effected.  For example my most predominate visual aura is visual snow, and it is always there, but sometimes more extreme... so I see billions of little sparks of light zig zagging, flashing and darting around in my field of vision and it makes everything rather like a monet painting and distorted.  To drive at all, I need to wear sunglasses, as this dims the visual snow.  Other most obscuring auras can be worse.  That is just on the purely visual side of things.  Pain of course is a distraction, but pain is something I have to deal with all the time, you can't rightly say I cannot in one situation and expect me to in other situations.  The migraine fog through is the worst... sometimes the lack of attention, something the tunnel thoughts, sometimes distraction and sometimes... like with forgetting words, I have forgotten the rules of the road temporarily, I certainly have problems with thinking left is right and right is left.  Sometimes I forget the names of objects, likewise sometimes I see a stop sign and forget that it means stop.  So should I drive with a migraine, heck no, do I, heck yes.  How else am I to get to work, which I am expected to do no matter how much I am suffering?

My response to the forum topic on this is:

I agree we should not drive when having a migraine. However, as I get migraines all the time, it would be hard not to when I have to get to work. I also consider myself impaired at work, but I still go. The fact is that if I am considered impaired by a migraine or migraine treatment, which I am, and therefore should not drive, then it only seems logical that if I have chronic migraines I am impaired most of the time. Yet, it is difficult to get leave from work, or get full disability for migraines, when it seems people do not consider it to be all that serious. If it is not considered a serious disability, with serious impairments, then I myself will try to 'get through' things when the migraine is not killer, or I am taking a treatment for it. If it becomes habit for me to try and function through the pain, the senory problems and the migraine mental fog, then it would not be any different for me to drive under such conditions. I have had doctors in the past say I could not do certain jobs, but no doctor has said I cannot work, which implies that I should be able to work. If they considering me capable of functioning at a job, any job, then they cannot rightly say I am incapable of driving. I would disagree, but since my vote does not always count, and I need some sort of income, I do work and therefore I also drive. I likely would not do so if there was alternative transportation where I live, because driving is not pleasant even with the mildest of migraines. There is some faulty reasoning if the law says you cannot drive with a migraine or a migraine treatment, but are somehow capable of working a full time job. It seems since driving could potentially effect other people that people make a point of it, not when things effect the person actually suffering from migraines. Still, I do agree that I should not drive most of the time and I know very well it affects my driving. The fact is, no one has ever made a point of it except me. Ironically, when I have taken a triptan and am driving I am way less impaired than if I am driving with even the mildest of migraines. Again, no doctor has said any of my medications would prevent me from driving. A further irony is that my mother is taking pain killers while awaiting for a surgery, and he doctor said she could not drive nor work while taking those pain killers... and I take stronger painkillers, triptans, preventatives on a regular basis but am essentially expected to carry on as normal. So that is exactly what I try to do.

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