100% – Behind The Scenes

Melissa DiVietri

I have been visiting with my physical medicine and rehab doctor each month in Ann Arbor. We review how to pace my body: what is testing the limits and how to stay balanced with pain management. My doctor injects medication into my shoulders, neck and head with a syringe. The injections are painful.. and I will never get use to them. The medication lasts around 5 weeks until it wears off. Our goals are to control my migraines and balance the mobility of my legs and arms.

Why is this so serious

Migraines can be dangerous because they can completely take over your body, make you feel a little crazy with all of the pain. My migraines are painful, make me sick to my stomach and bed ridden for days. Last weekend, the migraine started on Friday. I couldn’t open my eyes.. the light made it worse. I couldn’t eat anything, I wanted to smash my head into a wall to knock myself out. There is absolutely nothing that can take this pain away. I’ve tried a half dozen different medications, massage treatments, physical therapy, heat pads and patches on my neck. So.. we result to the injections because it instantly takes away the pain. However, they are side effects from it.

I took muscle relaxers to knock myself out — I could not stand the pain. The pain went straight to the top of my head and behind my eyes. I just wanted the pain to be over.. the migraines last for days and sometimes weeks.

My body just needed a break… and the medicated shots couldn’t come at a better time because I felt awful. My migraine last four days long… I missed so much because I was bed ridden. I had to force myself to wake up, take my dog out and eat something.

Is this common?

It might be.. people who have my diagnosis / disease / disability do similar and different things for their pain management. I listen and engage but everyone’s body is different so I try things until it sticks. My diagnosis is sacral agenesis, where my spine stopped developing during birth. There are a lot of side effects to this condition .. limited mobility, chronic pain, minimal ability to get around and the list goes on.

Can I change habits?

Absolutely, I can go back in the wheelchair or use my scooter all the time. I’m sure if I stopped running 100 miles per hour, these migraines wouldn’t be so frequent. I want to do it all.. don’t we all? But I do understand that bodies need rest.. and sometimes, my stubbornness doesn’t want to give in.

I’m doing what I can.. working from home a few days per week, asking for more help and making my clients come to me. I can manage but there are days when I would rather lay in bed and do nothing. Switching emotions to stay on top of my business is exhausting. I can handle this life. I’ll show you.

doctors office