This is a reader-submitted story.
1. My diagnosis is: Chronic Migraine
2. My migraine attack frequency is: 10-15 attacks per month
3. I was diagnosed in: 2012
4. My comorbid conditions include: IBS, Depression
5. I take __9_ medications/supplements each day for prevention and __2__ medications/supplements to treat an acute attack
6. My first migraine attack was: at the onset of chronic migraine! 3 years ago (ish)
7. My most disabling migraine symptoms are: Muscle burn, fatigue, and nausea
8. My strangest migraine symptoms are: Word discombobulation
9. My biggest migraine triggers are: Lack of sleep, loud noise, perfume
10. I know a migraine attack is coming on when: My neck starts to hurt and I have a sudden drop in energy.
11. The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: having to push through the pain at work knowing that by doing so, the pain is progressing more aggressively.
12. During a migraine attack, I worry most about: being a burden; losing my old ways.
13. When I think about migraine between attacks, I think: what a limiting beast.
14. When I tell someone I have migraine, the response is usually: oh, me too. But not as bad as you… I can’t imagine that.
15. When someone tells me they have migraine, I think: I’m sorry to hear that. Why do so many of us deal with this pain yet it’s overlooked in medical training and research?
16. When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: wow, nice make-up, tall white female model. I do not look at all like that when I’m in pain (or ever)!
17. My best coping tools are: food, water, rest, relaxation techniques, and writing.
18. I find comfort in: sweets and good books.
19. I get angry when people say: must be nice to have time off! (It’s sick leave actually, not “time off”)
20. I like it when people say: what can I do to help?
21. Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: bring me ice, and tea, and then let me be.
22. The best thing(s) a doctor has ever said to me about migraine is: this is a real, disabling condition, and we are going to work with you until your pain has been reduced by at least 50%.
23. The hardest thing to accept about having migraine is: not being able to teach music anymore.
24. Migraine has taught me: to value my abilities, however small, and cherish the people I love, giving to them however I can.
25. The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through an attack is:
26. If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself:
27. The people who support me most are: my family, my partner.
28. The thing I most wish people understood about migraine is: it is disabling for many. If you have had a migraine, that doesn’t mean you understand how others experience it.
29. Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: people are generally unaware, yet know someone whose life is seriously affected by a migraine and headache disorder. We need to do better in so many ways to support sufferers.
30. One more thing I’d like to say about life with migraine is: a good life with chronic migraine can be had. By re-adjusting my definition of success, and reaching out to others, I have found ways to re-create meaning in my life.
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.