This is a reader-submitted story.
1. My diagnosis is: Chronic Complex Migraine without aura. I was first diagnosed in my 30’s. I would get a migraine once in awhile. When I did have a migraine it would put me in bed for a day or two. In 2011, specifically January 26, 2011, I got one of the worst migraines I have ever had. Since then I’ve been fighting on a nearly daily basis.
2. My migraine attack frequency is: Right now I’m still getting almost daily migraine attacks. They let up to about 2-3 a month during 2012, but have returned with a vengeance.
3. I was diagnosed in: The first time I was diagnosed was about 20 years ago.
4. My comorbid conditions include: I have some strange ones, like, excessive yawning, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, moodiness, obsessive/ compulsive, etc.
5. I take ____ medications/supplements each day for prevention and ____ medications/supplements to treat an acute attack. Currently I don’t take any meds for prevention, although we have tried a myriad of meds. I take butorphonol and a triptan nasal spray for use when I first feel a migraine coming on. I have also had one botox treatment.
6. My first migraine attack was: When I was in my early 30’s.
7. My most disabling migraine symptoms are: Light sensitivity, pain, nausea, and the fear of not knowing when the next headache will come.
8. My strangest migraine symptoms are: Extreme fatigue and/or excessive amount of energy, brain fog, memory loss, food cravings, frequent yawning, sweating, and runny nose.
9. My biggest migraine triggers are: The only trigger I have been able to identify is the changing of the barometric pressure. I haven’t found any foods that trigger a migraine.
10. I know a migraine attack is coming on when: I start to feel a little dazed and I become clumsy. Many times my husband can tell before I can. He says I get a certain look in my eyes.
11. The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: It puts an immediate stop to anything I might be doing and it doesn’t allow me to make plans with any certainty. Many people have stopped inviting us to functions because we have had to cancel so many times. Migraine life is very lonely.
12. During a migraine attack, I worry most about: The pain and how long it will last.
13. When I think about migraine between attacks, I think: I find myself worrying about the next one, where will I be when it hits.
14. When I tell someone I have migraine, the response is usually: It depends on who I’m talking to. If it’s someone who knows about migraines they are empathic, but, if I’m talking to someone who has never had a migraine or simply doesn’t know what a migraine really is, they usually give me a look of dumbfoundedness. To many people who are not educated about migraines they think a migraine is “just a headache”.
15. When someone tells me they have migraine, I think: I feel bad for them, ask if there is anything they need, and make our visit short so they can get some rest.
16. When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: I used to wonder if the treatment would work for me. However, after years of trying so many I now don’t even pay attention to the commercials any more.
17. My best coping tools are: My rescue meds, laying down in a quiet room, ice packs, and listening to a book on my phone.
18. I find comfort in: My husband. He has been my rock throughout this whole time. I also find comfort in the idea of a cure and more education for the public.
19. I get angry when people say: Have you tried (insert one of a variety of home remedies)? It helps my headaches. Especially when someone suggests that I should try Excedrin Migraine.
20. I like it when people say: I understand, do you need anything?
21. Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: Get my meds, ice pack, water, eye mask, and just leave me in a quiet room.
22. The best thing(s) a doctor has ever said to me about migraine is: When I was given the diagnosis of chronic migraine, it felt like ok, now I have a name for this. Now, let’s get to work on how to minimize the impact of the migraines on my life.
23. The hardest thing to accept about having migraine is: There is no cure and I am not in control of my life.
24. Migraine has taught me: To make the most of the good days and to appreciate those that have remained a strong support to me.
25. The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through an attack is: This too shall pass.
26. If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: Don’t push yourself, you are not wonder woman, there will be bad days ahead but there will be good days too. Don’t give up!
27. The people who support me most are: My husband, and my niece who is really more like a sister.
28. The thing I most wish people understood about migraine is: There is so much more to migraines than the pain in your head, and that they can last for days.
29. Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: Actually I just recently found out that June is migraine awareness month. I’m glad that there is something out there trying to bring awareness to the public. I believe education is the key to understanding.
30. One more thing I’d like to say about life with migraine is: It’s very unpredictable. Life is still wonderful and full of happy moments. I’m thankful for my diagnosis because there are so many people who don’t have the privilege of having a good day every now and again.
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.