In the summer of 2018, I was excitedly applying to jobs. I had just finished my Master of Public Health and was excited to start my career as a public health professional. I was passionate about health equity. I felt like I had a bright future ahead.
It was during that time when my migraines had changed from just vertigo to a more classic migraine. While vertigo is debilitating in its own way, I was, for the most part, functional as long as I didn’t have to drive myself somewhere. The change to more painful migraines was exceedingly difficult. It always hit me at about 2pm and I needed to lie down in the dark silence of my room. They became more and more frequent.
Prior to graduation I had seen a doctor at my campus health center. Because I was no longer able to see her I had to find a new family doctor. Unfortunately, there was a three month wait to get into a new doctor. In the interim I had learned that Botox could be very beneficial for migraines, so I went to a plastic surgeon. I received part of the Botox for migraine treatment and it made a world of difference. I was able to resume my life. Or so I thought…
By October, the Botox had completely worn off. That was when I had my first intractable migraine. On day 10 of the migraine, I decided to go to urgent care to see if there was anything they could do. I was a week shy of my appointment with the new family doctor. I couldn’t see how I could survive another week in pain. They fixed me up and sent me on my way. When I finally saw my new family doctor she immediately sent a referral to a neurologist.
It was another month before I saw that neurologist. She put me on a preventative medicine and asked me to start logging my migraines. Because I started logging my migraines I realized that I was having them everyday. I had no clue that my migraines were daily because I had been refusing to believe that I was that sick.
After about two weeks on this preventative medicine my migraines got much worse. They were 24/7 and the only reprieve I would get is if I went to urgent care and received a steroid shot, but that only bought me two days without pain. The neurologist wanted to keep me on the medication for a few more weeks because my health insurance would only count it as failed if I had been on it for a month. That month was the worst month of my life. I couldn’t leave my dark room without sunglasses on. Bending over made the migraine worse so I couldn’t do any housework. My phone screen was too bright. My husband’s footsteps were too loud. At the age of 26, I was bed bound.
I continued to fail two more medications. Once I failed my third medication I finally was able to get some relief. My health insurance policy would only cover Botox and other more powerful migraine prevention shots if you had failed three medications. It was June when I was finally able to get my first full dose of Botox. While it didn’t cure me it was a big step in reducing my pain.
My neurologist promised the aggressive pursuit of the goal: zero pain. With Botox she continued layering other preventative medications. The myriad of preventative medications has been incredibly helpful. I now experience days without any pain and my bad migraines are becoming less frequent. With my relatively better health, I found boredom.
I was still not well enough to get a job outside of the house or one that needed me to work a set schedule. I had seen people on Instagram who sold products out of their homes and I thought that would be the perfect fit for me. I could work when I was able and if I could not, my husband would be able to fulfill orders after he finished work. All I needed was an idea (this was the hardest part).
One evening I was perusing Amazon and Etsy trying to find a pill box that could fit my 14 pills that I needed to take over three periods in the day and looked nice. I had ordered a cute one with my name on it from Etsy but it turned out to only fit two of my pills. All of the options were either the ugly ones that my grandmothers used or too small for my needs. That’s when it hit me—I could sell nice looking but practical pill boxes. It seemed like an easy enough idea. I would need to source good-sized day boxes and then another place that could make a nice-looking box. As I looked for companies that could make decorative boxes my husband was doing his own research. He found a company that sold UV printers which could print on nearly any surface. He thought that with a UV printer I would be able to print my own designs onto acrylic boxes. I thought this was marvelous since I would not need to worry about people copying my designs. I could instantaneously change them and have the most unique and beautiful pill boxes on the market.
I finally launched my pill boxes on January 1, 2021. I could not be prouder of the products that I created. I realize that I would never have started my own business if I had never been sick in the first place. I’m so incredibly thankful that my health has improved this far in three years. I’m optimistic that as my health continues to improve that I’ll be able to grow my business even more. For right now I’m going to stick to my pill boxes. I’ll never roll over and stare dishearteningly at the mountain of pill bottles again. I’ll be admiring my beautiful box that happens to hold all of my pills.
Check out these lovely pill boxes over at Chronically Chic.