This is a reader-submitted story.
1. My diagnosis is: Migraine
2. My migraine attack frequency is: 10-15 per month (down from 24 – worst month of my life)
3. I was diagnosed in: 1994
4. My comorbid conditions include: Chronic daily headache
5. I take __2__ medications/supplements each day for prevention and __3__ medications/supplements to treat an acute attack
6. My first migraine attack was: The first one I remember was when I threw up in my lunch box in 1st grade, although my mom believes I had them before then.
7. My most disabling migraine symptoms are: Pain, brain fog
8. My strangest migraine symptoms are: all my senses are amplified. I can smell/hear things from rooms away.
9. My biggest migraine triggers are: hormones, weather changes, stress letdown (which is great for vacations), low blood sugar
10. I know a migraine attack is coming on when: I suddenly get really fatigued and then I start having trouble picking out the right words
11. The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: not feeling like a reliable person… having to cancel so many plans, calling in sick to work
12. During a migraine attack, I worry most about: “When will it end?”
13. When I think about migraine between attacks, I think: “When will the next one happen?”
14. When I tell someone I have migraine, the response is usually: “Oh, I get those. I usually take Excedrin”
15. When someone tells me they have migraine, I think: “Is it really a migraine or just a bad headache?”
16. When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: “If only that would work for me.”
17. My best coping tools are: deep breathing, sleep, yoga, and distraction (TV, video games – takes my mind off the pain),
18. I find comfort in: support from family, friends, and coworkers; sweat pants, a blanket, a cup of tea and my dog
19. I get angry when people say: “Have you tried…?” I know they are trying to help, but I always have to fight the urge to list the never-ending list of treatments I’ve tried over the years.
20. I like it when people say: “No problem. Feel better.” when I have to reschedule
21. Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: find me a room without people
22. The best thing(s) a doctor has ever said to me about migraine is: “It’s not your fault”… It’s easy for me to think “Well if I exercise more, eat right, try this treatment, … then I wouldn’t have this migraine”, but the truth of the matter is, I could be doing everything right and still get migraines. None of us are perfect.
23. The hardest thing to accept about having migraine is: I may never be completely cured
24. Migraine has taught me: to be patient with myself and to rely on others
25. The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through an attack is: Music has always been my go to for encouragement. Right now it’s “Cast My Cares” by Tim Timmons: “I will cast my cares on you the Almighty. I will cast my cares on you cause you’re good. I will cast my cares on you cause you love me…”
26. If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: never stop looking for a solution, don’t limit yourself to one practitioner, and start with alternative medicine pronto! … of course I was 7, so I probably wouldn’t have listened.
27. The people who support me most are: my wonderful husband – he’s always encouraging me to eat when I don’t feel like it, take the day off when I’m being stubborn, and does a lot of errands. Also, my mom for praying for healing from day one and helping me with my research.
28. The thing I most wish people understood about migraine is: it’s not “just” a headache, it affects how you think, your senses, your whole body.
29. Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: I want people to understand how debilitating migraines can be and just how many people suffer from them.
30. One more thing I’d like to say about life with migraine is: It took me a long time to realize that I can still live my life with migraines, not just exist, but truly live and enjoy life. I may not be able to do everything I want to do, but that’s ok, because hardly anyone can.
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.