Like Being Allergic to Life
This is a reader-submitted story.
1. My diagnosis is: migraine with aura; migraine without aura; migraine variant (abdominal migraine, syncope migraine, confusional migraine, precordial migraine)
2. My migraine attack frequency is: about three a week that are mild and 3 – 4 a month that are intense
3. I was diagnosed in: 2008 at the age of sixty and began a treatment regimen for the first time
4. My comorbid conditions include: Lupus
5. I take __5__ medications/supplements each day for prevention and __3__ medications/supplements to treat an acute attack
6. My first migraine attack was: possibly in 1955 when I was first hospitalized at the age of 7 and they could find no reasons for my symptoms
7. My most disabling migraine symptoms are: fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, nerve tingling/pain left side of face and left hand, symptoms that mimic a stroke and symptoms that mimic a heart attack
8. My strangest migraine symptoms are: yawning, can’t find the right words to talk, bubbles swarming toward me like bees
9. My biggest migraine triggers are: weather, certain foods, bright lights, being tired, smells, emotions (happy/excitement) . . . it’s like being allergic to life
10. I know a migraine attack is coming on when: the left side of my face starts burning/tingling
11. The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: feeling left out of the lives of my family and friends
12. During a migraine attack, I worry most about: how my life is affecting others
13. When I think about migraine between attacks, I think: about how I’m winning because I finally have a diagnosis, a great support team and am making progress
14. When I tell someone I have migraine, the response is usually: “I’m glad you only have migraines. I thought you were really sick.”
15. When someone tells me they have migraine, I think: what has their battle been like
16. When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: I’m glad I have a primary doctor and a neurologist that I can trust to guide me through the maze of “treatments”.
17. My best coping tools are: relaxation, massage therapy and distraction
18. I find comfort in: my husband and my faith
19. I get angry when people say: “l have migraines and they don’t stop me.”
20. I like it when people say: “I’m glad you’re able to enjoy today.”
21. Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: “Don’t correct me or finish my sentences when I’m struggling to talk. I’m just not always able (or willing) to tell you that (for me) it’s a migraine symptom.
22. The best thing(s) a doctor has ever said to me about migraine is: “You have Migraine and I can help you.”
23. The hardest thing to accept about having migraine is: That it’s a neurological storm that is capable of attacking anytime, anywhere.
24. Migraine has taught me: a) I am a strong person and a survivor b) I am able to help others because of my health challenges.
25. The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through an attack is: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Cor. 3 – 4
26. If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: “You did it! You survived. Now, you can begin to get help. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, but just be patient and trust them.”
27. The people who support me most are: my primary doctor, neurologist, husband and family
28. The thing I most wish people understood about migraine is: It’s a neurological storm that attacks individuals in different ways and not everyone responds to the same medicine or treatment in the same way. Sometimes it takes lots of trial and error to find the right mixture for a particular person. No two storms are exactly alike or respond in the same way.
29. Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: It gives us an opportunity to become more informed about migraine and what is happening in the migraine community.
30. One more thing I’d like to say about life with migraine is: that this neurological disease that has no tests to prove or disprove its existence is a constant battle that requires patience and support from the patient, doctor, family and friends, and strength for those that are gripped in this monster’s tentacles.
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.