This is a reader-submitted story.
My diagnosis is: chronic migraine with and without aura.
My migraine attack frequency is: I have some level of head pain daily.
I was diagnosed in: 2002 with migraine, becoming chronic in 2008.
My comorbid conditions include: depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia.
I take one medications/supplements each day for prevention and four medications/supplements to treat an acute attack.
My first migraine attack was: I’m not sure. The more I learn about migraines, the more I believe that I’ve dealt with them since childhood.
My most disabling migraine symptoms are: pain, fatigue, cognitive difficulties, aphasia, sensory sensitivities (to light, sound, smell, taste, touch).
My strangest migraine symptoms are: olfactory hallucinations.
My biggest migraine triggers are: weather changes, lights (especially bright and/or flashing), odors / fragrance / smoke, foods / food additives (bananas, artificial sweeteners, nitrates / nitrites, MSG).
I know a migraine attack is coming on when: I have difficulty controlling body temperature and moods, my ears feel hot and achy, increasing visual disturbance, certain cravings, aphasia, inability to focus.
The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: being suddenly unable to function well, and not knowing when one will hit or how long it will last.
During a migraine attack, I worry most about: how well my migraine treatment will work, and how long I’m going to be out of commission.
When I think about migraine between attacks, I think: please don’t worsen today.
When I tell someone I have migraine, the response is usually: kind, but often indicative of the lack of public awareness of what migraine truly is.
When someone tells me they have migraine, I think: that migraine is so much more common than most people think. I also think about how I might be able to help them cope with migraine.
When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: how far we have to go (and how important it really is that we do so, every chance we get) to inform and raise awareness of migraine and the potentially debilitating affects this disease.
My best coping tools are: my faith, distraction (often involving Netflix).
I find comfort in: my husband, my dog, my house, my support system (family and friends, both in person and online).
I get angry when people say: “It’s just a headache,” which is sometimes followed by,”Just take a pill and keep going / move on” and/or “It can’t be that bad.”
I like it when people say: a sincere, “You’re in my thoughts and prayers.”
Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: allow me to escape to a dark, quiet place. Ask if I need anything (water, food, blanket, pillow, to be alone, etc) to help make me more comfortable. Be patient with me, as it can be difficult for me to think, speak, and move.
The best thing(s) a doctor has ever said to me about migraine is: “I won’t give up on you.”
The hardest thing to accept about having migraine is: that it is unpredictable.
Migraine has taught me: to recognize the strength that I DO have. It is teaching me to have more patience, and to trust God more.
The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through an attack is: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: to prepare for things to be beyond difficult, but to never give up hope.
The people who support me most are: my husband, my support system (family and friends, both in person and online).
The thing I most wish people understood about migraine is: it’s a genetic neurological disease for which, there is currently NO cure.
Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: I feel that we need to speak up/out to raise awareness, increase research, and help correct misinformation.
One more thing I’d like to say about life with migraine is: that it’s hard, but find yourself a support system and be your own best advocate to getting the care and treatment you need to live the best life possible.
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.