This is a reader-submitted story.
1. My diagnosis is: Chronic Daily Migraine
2. My headache frequency is: Daily
3. The first headache I remember was: 9 years old
4. My pain levels range from: 2-8
5. I was diagnosed in: 1996
6. My comorbid conditions include: Asthma, GERD, Menière’s Disease
7. I take __6_ pills each day for prevention and __2__ pills to treat an acute attack
8. In addition to pain, other symptoms I experience include: light, sound, & smell sensitivity; dizziness; aphasia; fatigue
9. Treatments I have tried include: Dozens of preventive & abortive meds, Botox, Therapeutic Massage, Chiropractics, Yoga, Meditation, Auditory Therapy
10. During a severe headache, I: take meds, rest, use heat
11. My headaches get worse when: bright/flashing light, loud noise, stress
12. The most frustrating part about having a headache disorder is: isolation from life
13. Having a headache disorder causes me to worry about: not being able to do all I need to do
14. When I tell someone I have a headache disorder, they usually say: [blank stare]
15. When I see articles about headache disorders, I think: I’m glad they are getting attention & study
16. My best coping tools are: faith/prayer, positive thinking/focusing on blessings, stretching/yoga, hydration, rest, time w family enjoying quiet distractions, pets
17. I find comfort in: faith, family, pets, Netflix, reading, Facebook migraine groups who “get it”
18. I get angry when people say: nothing! When they don’t acknowledge my daily struggle!
19. I like it when people say: How are you? I’m sorry you have to deal with this. How can I help?
20. Something kind a person can do for me during a severe headache is: Just say they care. I can never hear that enough.
21. The best thing a doctor has ever said to me about having a headache disorder is: You’re a strong person.
22. Having a headache disorder has affected my work/school life by: I can’t work outside the home anymore.
23. The hardest thing to accept about having a headache disorder is: The unrelenting PAIN and lack of compassion that you discover in people.
24. Having a headache disorder has taught me: God will sustain me and I’m far more bad-a$$ that I ever imagined!
25. The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through severe pain is: “Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they are supposed to help you discover who you are.” -Bernice Johnson Reagon
26. If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: You can handle this. You are stronger than you realize.
27. The people who support me most are: My husband, children, and parents.
28. The thing I most wish people understood about headache disorders is: They are neurological diseases.
29. Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: It is an opportunity to educate people about our disorders.
30. One more thing I’d like to say about my headache disorder is: My life is not defined by my migraine disorder. Though it is a daily part of my life, I refuse to give it the upper hand. I demand that, if it is going to take from me, and it does, it will also give to me – wisdom, strength, faith, and compassion to walk this life better than I was before it came along.
Reader-submitted stories solely represent the personal point of view, experience, and opinion of the author, not of The Daily Headache or Kerrie Smyres. Follow this link to learn how to share YOUR 30 Things about living with a headache disorder.