This is a reader-submitted story.
1. My diagnosis is: Chronic Daily Headache, Chronic Migraine, cervical dystonia.
2. My migraine attack frequency is: 1-2 times a week.
3. I was diagnosed in: 2002
4. My comorbid conditions include: Depression, IBS, GERD
5. I take 4 medications/supplements each day for prevention and 5 medications/supplements to treat an acute attack
6. My first migraine attack was: I was 12.
7. My most disabling migraine symptoms are: The pain, the light sensitivity, the inability to think clearly, to know how to fix it, to function, to do anything but cover my face in the dark.
8. My strangest migraine symptoms are: Olfactory hallucinations, smoke specifically, feeling like my hair hurts.
9. My biggest migraine triggers are: hormones, barometric pressure, strong smells – specifically mulch and men’s after shave.
10. I know a migraine attack is coming on when: The pain feels a certain way behind one of my eyes.
11. The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: Losing an entire day – or two, or three…
12. During a migraine attack, I worry most about: Being lazy and unlovable. Losing my job. Never being healthy again.
13. When I think about migraine between attacks, I think: HURRY UP and do all the things you want to do and live and create and laugh before the beast returns.
14. When I tell someone I have migraine, the response is usually: Quite sympathetic, fortunately. Many say they can’t imagine what it’s like, unfortunately some have also experienced migraine as well.
15. When someone tells me they have migraine, I think: I feel deflated. I really hate that other people have to go through this.
16. When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: HA! HAHAHAHAHA! Then I throw my computer out the window.
17. My best coping tools are: My partner, my sense of humor, ice packs, tv on my laptop, dark rooms, my dog.
18. I find comfort in: knowing the migraine is subsiding when I feel well enough to embroider again!
19. I get angry when people say: “So your head hurts?”
20. I like it when people say: “would you like me to turn off the light?”
21. Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: Swap out my ice pack, not get sick of me!
22. The best thing(s) a doctor has ever said to me about migraine is: “Let’s try to keep you out of the ER.”
23. The hardest thing to accept about having migraine is: I’m no longer dependable.
24. Migraine has taught me: A little bit of self-forgiveness.
25. The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through an attack is: No punishing thoughts.
26. If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: You need more patience, girl.
27. The people who support me most are: My wonderful partner.
28. The thing I most wish people understood about migraine is: It’s not just a headache, it’s not an excuse, and it’s not something you can grit your teeth and work through. I can smile and fake my way through a great deal of pain, but I am not “lucky” for having a day off from a migraine, or “flying-high” from ER drugs. I’m exhausted, nauseous, hung-over, and worried about being fired.
29. Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: The most important thing is right there in the title – Headache AND Migraine – just spreading the knowledge that headaches and migraine are two different things is so important!
30. One more thing I’d like to say about life with migraine is: I am always thankful and never forget for a moment how lucky I am to have so much care and support 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.