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Please Read “An Open Letter to People Without Migraine”

Migraine, chronic or not, has a profound impact on those who experience it, yet even well-meaning family, friends, coworkers and health care professionals often think of it as “just a headache.” An Open Letter to People Without Migraine was intended for my personal Facebook page — until I realized the message was too crucial to limit to a private sphere and decided it belonged on Migraine.com. It begins:

I have a migraine attack 28 days a month. I tell you this not for pity or shock value, but to beg for a smidgen of your comprehension. I want you to understand that migraine is not a bad headache, but a neurological disorder that affects every system of the body. You see, the unbearable head pain that migraine is known for is only one symptom of the illness.

For the rest of the post, which may be the most important piece I’ve ever written, please see An Open Letter to People Without Migraine and share accordingly.

7 Responses to Please Read “An Open Letter to People Without Migraine”

  1. Kelly B says:

    Hi jetties, haven’t posted you a comment in over a month. As you can see I am writing this at 5 a.m. it is strange to know your non pain symptoms are more noticeable-perhaps something’s in the air. My pain has been dull and sometimes even just a 2. But I’ve been experiencing more fatigue and weird stomach and digestion stuff-weird acidulous feeling, nausea and gas. Mostly when I become over whelmed and and stressed. I think I’m stressed cause I’m 20, not in college, in my first apartment with no financial help. My job is online so I work my own schedule but it still requires energy. Its easy for me to worry too much about the future. What did you do about surviving and worrying, when you were my age?

    • Kelly,

      I’m sorry you’re struggling so much. My migraines didn’t become disabling until I was 22 and I continued to work until I was 26. I worried a lot, but was also married and had health insurance through my husband, so my income was not as pressing. If you think stress and worrying are a big factor, I recommend trying some stress reduction or mindfulness training, like the MP3s available through http://migrainesupport.com/headache/tension_headache/consumer/home/migraine-help.jsp or guided meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn or Jack Kornfield, both of which should be available at your local library.

      I wish you all the best!

      Take care,
      Kerrie

  2. Kelly B says:

    Lol jetties ..I meant kerrie. Is that even a word, lol.

  3. Kelly B says:

    You are so kind, thanks for the reply 🙂

  4. I saw that in an e-newsletter but didn’t realize YOU wrote it!

    If I thought it would really help, trust me, I’d give it to every family member (one reason I’ve had to go private–they think I’m “crazy” and a hypochondriac).

    THANK YOU for writing this. Maybe I’ll laminate it and post it on my front door 😉
    xoxo

  5. Nikki says:

    Kerrie,
    Thank you so much for this. It actually brought tears to my eyes because of how close this hit home to me as a migraneur. Ill definitely be sharing this with some choice people. Also i just wanted to thank you, because i have finally gotten my TheraSpecs and after a few days of using them faithfully i actually have no migraine today so far. So thank you!

  6. Steve says:

    Thank you so much for writing that letter, you managed to put into words exactly what I’ve been trying to express to my family and friends for the last 18 years.

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