You likely know by now that presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has migraine. Whether her migraine episodes could impede her ability to run the country is one of the major questions now posed by news media. Let me repeat: Migraine, long dismissed as “just a headache,” is being treated as a serious threat to someone’s ability to be president.
Bachmann’s announcement has opened the media to a long-needed public conversation about the severity of migraine. A wide audience is being told that a migraine episode is more debilitating than a bad headache that can be relieved with OTC painkillers. Granted, Bachmann is not helping advance public understanding of migraine by scrambling to downplay the severity of her illness.
The mere fact that having migraine has caused such an uproar is heartening. Yes, many people are scoffing at the idea that “a headache” is a big deal. Others are saying that Bachmann being president would cause anyone to have migraines. Nonetheless, some people are realizing for the first time that a migraine episode is severely debilitating. Such understanding is necessary for migraineurs to receive adequate treatment and compassion, and, ultimately, support funding for migraine research.
(Speaking of opening the conversation, CNN just posted a story highlighting the seriousness of migraine.)