This is a reader-submitted story.
1. My diagnosis is: chronic migraine and tension headache
2. My migraine attack frequency is: Daily. I have had one day without a headache in the last 15 years.
3. I was diagnosed in: 1988, aged 9
4. My comorbid conditions include: arthritis/gout, depression
5. I take 3 medications/supplements each day for prevention and 2 medications/supplements to treat an acute attack
6. My first migraine attack was: aged 9 – I had a long journey back to a holiday home lying in the boot of the car in absolute agony thinking I was going to die. I spent the next few days in bed with a hot water bottle and ice packs and a very patient mum who immediately recognised the migraine.
7. My most disabling migraine symptoms are: gastrointestinal issues, ‘head daggers’, eyes losing ability to focus and aura which mean I split my time between the bathroom, the bedroom and that weird headspace when I’m not certain who I am let alone where I am!
8. My strangest migraine symptoms are: salt and sugar cravings – salt and vinegar crisps followed by milk chocolate!
9. My biggest migraine triggers are: completely depends on the day – often a combination of triggers. Perfume/aerosols, egg, peppers and stress are the most common
10. I know a migraine attack is coming on when: my shoulders become tense leading up the neck, and my eyes ache
11. The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: not knowing if the medication will be able to control it this time
12. During a migraine attack, I worry most about: letting down my fiancée or friends, work I am missing
13. When I think about migraine between attacks, I think: I’m lucky as it used to be a whole lot worse
14. When I tell someone I have migraine, the response is usually: oh, I had a headache the other day too
15. When someone tells me they have migraine, I think: how I could help them, if there is something I’ve tried that could work wonders for them
16. When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: I wish it was that easy!
17. My best coping tools are: having a migraine pack ready at hand at all times (pills, water, crisps, chocolate, heat pack, tiger balm)
18. I find comfort in: my fiancée and surrogate daughter knowing to bring salt/water/sugar but leave me for a day or so to sleep, and my dog who snuggles as tight as possible and watches over me as I sleep
19. I get angry when people say: is it a really bad headache?
20. I like it when people say: I can see the migraine coming in your eyes, why don’t we meet up another day
21. Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: quietly bring me crisps and chocolate
22. The best thing(s) a doctor has ever said to me about migraine is: there are several types of migraine, and you have least 5!
23. The hardest thing to accept about having migraine is: there may be phases of relief but there is no cure
24. Migraine has taught me: pain can be invisible so appreciate other people and allow them to have off days – you never know the pain they may be in
25. The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through an attack is: get through the pain and the rain will come! (The sensation of rain falling on my head is a side effect I get when my attack pills are working, meaning there is light at the end of the tunnel)
26. If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: don’t apply for every medical trial or new treatment
27. The people who support me most are: my fiancée and my surrogate daughter, and my parents during my childhood/teenage years
28. The thing I most wish people understood about migraine is: the headache is only a small element in migraine
29. Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: I want more people to be aware of migraine
30. One more thing I’d like to say about life with migraine is: it can get easier when you accept you have a long term disease that needs management rather than constant searching for a cure
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.