This is a reader-submitted story.
1. My diagnosis is: Chronic Migraine
2. My migraine attack frequency is: 3-4 per month lasting 5 days to 2 weeks
3. I was diagnosed in: 1984
4. My comorbid conditions include: Diabetes
5. I take _5___ medications/supplements each day for prevention and _2___ medications/supplements to treat an acute attack
6. My first migraine attack was: When I was 9 years old
7. My most disabling migraine symptoms are: The inability to function mentally, vomiting
8. My strangest migraine symptoms are: Smelling and hearing things that aren’t there
9. My biggest migraine triggers are: Lack of sleep, hormones, and stress let-down
10. I know a migraine attack is coming on when: I get a tingling sensation in the back of my neck, I get confused easily, or I start getting visual interference
11. The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: Not being able to be a part of my friends or families lives, having to have my Husband pick up all my slack
12. During a migraine attack, I worry most about: What it’s going to take to get rid of this one, i.e. medication, money, strength, how long is it going to last, and what am I going to miss
13. When I think about migraine between attacks, I think: What can I do to not get another one, what part of my life will it disrupt, and how bad will the next one be
14. When I tell someone I have migraine, the response is usually: I’m sorry, then either crickets or stories about another person and how they successfully treated them
15. When someone tells me they have migraine, I think: I’m so, so sorry, how can I help, how can I make them not feel alone, what’s your protocol, who’s your doctor, and how long have you had them
16. When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: I wished you’d just stop. You make it look too easy and give those who don’t have them a false understanding of them. People then think that you are not trying hard enough because if you were, this would help and you’d be fine or it can’t be that bad, look at the people on TV. If there is a new treatment out there, my doctor will inform me or I’ll find it while researching on the internet.
17. My best coping tools are: Finding good doctors, knowing it won’t last forever (I’ve got to die someday), and hugs from my Hubby.
18. I find comfort in: Knowing the suffering isn’t in vain, understanding when I’m unable to be a part of family life, and kindness from others
19. I get angry when people say: It’s just a headache, if you had a healthier lifestyle, you wouldn’t get those, I know exactly what you are going through, you bring it upon yourself by not *insert vague notion of the latest pill, food, smoothie, remedy, treatment fad here*
20. I like it when people say: What can I do to understand what you are going through better, Is there anything I can do to help, and We’re sorry you can’t be with us for this special time, but we understand, hopefully next time will be better
21. Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: Understand that the reason I’m not with them isn’t because I don’t want to be, but because I can’t be, don’t take it personally
22. The best thing(s) a doctor has ever said to me about migraine is: I believe you and will do everything I can to help alleviate the problem, call me night or day
23. The hardest thing to accept about having migraine is: Losing any modicum of control over my life, having to have others take on my burden, having things fall apart around me (i.e. my job, my home, friendships) and not be able to do anything about it
24. Migraine has taught me: to have empathy for others who suffer, humility
25. The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through an attack is: Life doesn’t last forever and it could be worse
26. If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: Don’t try to have so much control over your life, relax and enjoy things more
27. The people who support me most are: My Husband
28. The thing I most wish people understood about migraine is: It’s a debilitating disease, not just a headache and there is no one answer for everyone, the resulting actions (or lack thereof) are neither personal nor simply not wanting to do something
29. Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: It will help put the word out for those who are unaware and may trigger help in the department of research
30. One more thing I’d like to say about life with migraine is: I’m sorry migraine is my life right now and it takes everything out of me with little to nothing left for anyone else, I didn’t choose it, and please know that if I could do it (whatever it might be), I would
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.