Monday, April 28, 2014

Encountering Unexpected Understanding About Migraines

The Good, The Bad, The Scary
We've been in our new house for just over 4 months now but the neighborhood has only just begun to come alive in the past month or so. As we all emerge from the long harsh winter and start tending to our yards, exercising and playing, hubby and I are finally getting to know our neighborhood and our neighbors.

Our backyard. 
There is much to love. I love that it is a small closed off neighborhood (47 lots) not far from the highway but still removed from the hustle and bustle. It is quiet and surrounded by trees on one side and farm land on the other. We see a variety of wildlife in our yard and in the neighborhood. The residents are a diverse bunch, which is not characteristic of the area but how I prefer things. The houses are aesthetic and seem to be well cared for. The architecture of the homes are also diverse as two different developers have worked on the neighborhood. Best of all, everyone we have encountered has been friendly.

Of course, some of what I love about the neighborhood is also what bothers me about the neighborhood. For example, the quiet and beauty of building a new home on previously undeveloped land means that we get to see wildlife but we also have encroached on land previously occupied by some big wolf spiders, mice and other creepy crawlers. I have quite a phobia of such things so we've already signed up for regular visits from a pest control company.

As nice as new construction is, the fact that the neighborhood is still being developed means that we will be dealing with the noise, dirt, nails and rocks in the street and rude construction workers for however long it takes them to sell and build on the remaining lots. Some days I feel like a babysitter, having to tell them not to cut through our yard, not park in front of our mail box, getting them to pick up their trash that blows into our yard... I will be so glad when it's all finished.

The neighbors we have been most concerned with are the ones that occupy the same cul-de-sac we live in. There are only 3 other homes. One is still under construction and we suspect it will be the new model home. It will be a while before we get to learn anything about this future neighbor. One of the homeowners are super shy so we have not actually had a chance to introduce ourselves, which is fine. They are super quiet and keep to themselves, as far as we're concerned great neighbors. The couple who moved into the old model home across the way are really nice. They are more outdoorsy and social than we are but they are easy to get along with and are the type of people who are very aware of what is going on around them. Again, great qualities for neighbors.

All of this to say:
I hemmed and hawed a fair amount over if, when and how much to disclose to our neighbors about my migraines. I always do when I know I'm going to be encountering new people. At some point occupations always become a topic and since I don't have one some level of disclosure is usually necessary. To my delight this couple was already familiar with migraines and even articulated an understanding that it is much more than headaches. The pool of people who understand migraines AND are not uncomfortable around people like me who live with chronic pain is so small. I could just cry that they live right by us.

We might actually be developing a friendship with this couple.

Dare I even hope? How wonderful would it be to have neighbors we could hang out with sometimes? How wonderful would it be to have a new friend? Developing new friendships can be so tricky when you live with chronic migraines, fibromyalgia and are introverted. I feel quite lucky that we ended up so close to people with such high potential for friendship. We have things in common, their children are almost out of college so they have time, they know about migraines and it doesn't seem to make them uncomfortable, all 4 of us sort of hit it off... Hubby and I have never had a friendship with another couple. We've gone out with other couples but they are usually his friends or my friends. We've never hit it off with the spouses of each other's friends. I'm so excited!

I'm trying not to get ahead of myself. Only time will tell if we end up as friends or just friendly neighbors. Either way, is okay. But this is the first time in years that I've seen potential for a new friendship and I'm not going to pretend it is anything other than a thrill.


  1. how exciting! a potential friend who understands migraines? That could be great! good luck with that!


  2. How lovely! (I meant the budding new friendship, not the wolf spiders - they aren't lovely at all.)