30 Things About My Life With Migraine
This is a reader-submitted story.
1. My diagnosis is: Chronic Migraine with Cluster Headaches, Nummular Headache
2. My migraine attack frequency is: More than 15 days a month lasting days, weeks or months
3. I was diagnosed in: 2009
4. My comorbid conditions include: lupus and/or Sjorgrens, Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3, Hypoglycemia, elevated pancreatic lipase and amylase enzymes, cataracts and others
5. I take __2__ medications/supplements each day for prevention and __6__ medications/supplements to treat an acute attack
6. My first migraine attack was: in my 20’s
7. My most disabling migraine symptoms are: throbbing pain, chronic nausea
8. My strangest migraine symptoms are: decline in verbal skills, word recall, memory lapses
9. My biggest migraine triggers are: Exercise, Strenuous Activity, Skipping Meals, Eratic Glucose Levels, Anxiety, some muscle relaxers like Flexeral
10. I know a migraine attack is coming on when: I become sensitive to noise and light. A spot on the right side of my head begins to hurt.
11. The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: Not participating in my own life, not being able to do anything except lay down in the dark in pain, boredom, not being able to eat due to nausea. I miss being able to enjoy food, being fit and feeling healthy.
12. During a migraine attack, I worry most about: important things like paying bills, messy house, communicating less with my daughter, leaving my husband alone to cope with everything and the stress he experiences as a result
13. When I think about migraine between attacks, I think: Maybe I can have a “normal” day today. How much can I get done before the next attack?
14. When I tell someone I have migraine, the response is usually: Advice that I’ve already researched or tried, “you can’t be sick as often as you say you are”, or “I hope you feel better soon”, “I understand”.
15. When someone tells me they have migraine, I think: I hope it doesn’t last long, and that the pain isn’t unbearable. I wonder if there’s anything I can do, and how much does he or she know about their condition.
16. When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: I’d like to try that. If it’s an over the counter treatment, I get angry because I got my first medication overuse headache from Excedrine for migraine.
17. My best coping tools are: meditation, taking abortives when migraine symptoms begin
18. I find comfort in: my husband’s unwavering support
19. I get angry when people say: migraines are some type of mental health condition.
20. I like it when people say: It must be difficult for you. I understand that it can be a debilitating illness. Is there anything I can do to help? I will say “no”, but I will feel appreciative of the offer.
21. Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: Ease my guilt by showing empathy and understanding.
22. The best thing(s) a doctor has ever said to me about migraine is: We’re going to try Botox because you meet insurance requirements.
23. The hardest thing to accept about having migraine is: Feeling generally unhealthy and losing the ability to workout enough to stay physically fit. I miss traveling as much as before chronic migraine hit. Taking so many meds when I have Chronic Kidney Disease.
24. Migraine has taught me: To appreciate my pain free days, my migraines do not define me.
25. The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through an attack is: Let go of what I can’t control.
26. If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: Enjoy the days without migraine, treat them quickly, follow OTC labels regarding number of days to use medication, and get medical advice immediately following the last dose if I’m still experiencing pain.
27. The people who support me most are: My husband, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law.
28. The thing I most wish people understood about migraine is: It is a neurological disease.
29. Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: I hope it will stimulate research and better treatments. Also, I hope that my family will be willing to learn more about migraine which could lead to understanding.
30. One more thing I’d like to say about life with migraine is: my migraines became chronic in 2009, and completely changed my life. I’ve had to give up all physical activities that I enjoyed so much. My medications, doctor appointments , Emergency Room visits alternative treatments and hospital stay have eaten up our savings. It is an expensive disability for the patient and healthcare industry. An effective treatment specifically for migraine is critical and beneficial for the country as well as the Migraineur, the families and friends touched by migraine disease.
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.