This is a reader-submitted story.
1. My diagnosis is: chronic migraine
2. My headache frequency is 5 or 6 a week, with about 3 afternoons in bed each week
3. The first headache I remember was in Ireland on a yoga retreat, 7 years ago
4. My pain levels range from:3 – 9
5. I was diagnosed in: 2006
6. My comorbid conditions include:
7. I take anti seizure pills each day for prevention and triptan pills to treat an acute attack
8. In addition to pain, other symptoms I experience include: weakness, nausea, verbal aphasia, light sensitivity
9. Treatments I have tried include: dietary restriction, acupuncture, chinese medicine, biofeedback, cefaly, massage, triptans, beta blockers
10. During a severe headache, I go to bed,draw the curtains call my husband home from work to take care of the kids
11. My headaches get worse when: I’m under stress, lack of sleep, stimulation or intensity of any kind even positive or when I’ve been having a lot of headaches
12. The most frustrating part about having a headache disorder is: not the headaches, it;s the headaches being chronic, never being able to plan or look forward to anything, having to miss out on so much and grieving the things you miss.
13. Having a headache disorder causes me to worry about: the future.
14. When I tell someone I have a headache disorder, they usually say: ‘have you tried acupuncture’, or ‘I used to get migraines’ or’what causes them’?
15. When I see articles about headache disorders, I th ink:
16. My best coping tools are: hugs from my kids, breathingand medication
17. I find comfort in: my children
18. I get angry when people tell me they know what it’s like.
19. I like it when people say: I’m bringing over food.
20. Something kind a person can do for me during a severe headache is: check in with me, i can disappear for weeks and weeks, offer to take care of my kids, bring food.
21. The best thing a doctor has ever said to me about having a headache disorder is:you are a valiant survivor.
22. Having a headache disorder has affected my work/school life by: making it very difficult for me to look after my kids, and to wonder if I will be able to work again.
23. The hardest thing to accept about having a headache disorder is: losing days, and not knowing if it’s ever going to get much better, feeling powerless.
24. Having a headache disorder has taught me: to look for balance, gentleness and to lead a very healthy life
25. The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through severe pain is:abide in me as i abide in you
26. If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: you will surprise yourself at how much difference you can make, but you will also be surprised at how serious this is
27. The people who support me most are:my husband and children, (although they can ironically also be triggers!)
28. The thing I most wish people understood about headache disorders is: the difference between acute and chronic illnesses of all kinds.
29. Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: spreading awareness
30. One more thing I’d like to say about my headache disorder is: I wish it would stop.
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.