Chronic Migraine and Rewrite Your Day - November 17 Update
In September, I introduced the Rewrite Your Day Chronic Migraine awareness campaign to you in my post Rewrite Your Day for a Chance to Relive a Day Lost to Chronic Migraine.
The Rewrite Your Day campaign is intended to raise awareness about Chronic Migraine and bring attention to its heavy burden and potentially devastating impact by inviting people with Chronic Migraine to share their stories about important days and events that this devastating disease has caused them to miss. As you may know, people living with Chronic Migraine have a diagnosis of migraine and experience headaches on 15 or more days per month with headache lasting four hours a day or longer.1,2,3 To that end, celebrity event planner Mindy Weiss and a panel of five advocates (including me!) are selecting 15 eligible people who shared their stories to re-create that special moment or day in their lives.
Being on the judging panel:
My experience as a judging panel member is… well, it’s difficult to put into words because of all the emotions that have been pulled into play. It’s touching, heart-breaking, excruciating, and extremely challenging. It’s also humbling, inspiring, electrifying, and exhilarating.
The entries summon haunting memories:
It’s going to be difficult to select “winners,” but the first round of winners are to be announced soon, so the selections have to be made. As I read them, the impact of the entries is staggering. They summon haunting memories of my own experience with Chronic Migraine and times when those nearly daily Migraines robbed me of days and months of my life. To say that what people have written is touching hardly does them justice.
- … missing your six-year-old daughter’s school play and her missing it as well because she was so disappointed.
- … planning to renew your marriage vows with a special ceremony on your 10th anniversary, followed by a celebration with your family and friends, only to have to cancel it because of Chronic Migraine. Then imagine planning it again for your 15th, 20th, and 25th anniversaries and having to cancel all of those plans too.
- … being a father of two young daughters and traveling six hours each way one weekend a month to see them, only to have yet another Migraine and not be able to do things with them.
- … living the difficult life of an Army wife and caring for your children and family matters on your own while your husband is deployed, then being unable to participate in a special family trip when he arrives home from deployment.
- … missing your daughter’s wedding, best friend’s wedding, your own wedding!
If you have Chronic Migraine, you don’t have to try very hard to imagine those scenarios. You may have lived some of them yourself. If you don’t have Chronic Migraine, consider the examples above to be mini peeks into the lives of those who do.
There’s still time to enter:
If you have Chronic Migraine, there’s still plenty of time to enter the Rewrite Your Day contest. Entries will be accepted through December 30, 2011. Sharing your story not only enters you in the contest, it adds to the collection of real experiences shared by real people that will be available for the public to read. This will help other Migraineurs know they’re not alone and it will give the general public a look into the lives of people with Chronic Migraine to build awareness and reduce the stigma associated with Migraine and Chronic Migraine. If you suspect you have Chronic Migraine, please visit RewriteYourDay.com to find a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and management of the condition.
Some Migraineurs have told me they’re hesitant to enter the contest because they’re concerned that their Chronic Migraine headaches are so frequent that they’d be unable to participate if they were to win the contest. We fully understand concerns about Chronic Migraine keeping people from being able to relive moments or events. Here’s what we suggest –
Please go ahead and share your story about an important event or day that Chronic Migraine caused you to miss. Or, alternatively, share your story about something Chronic Migraine prevents you from doing. It could be cleaning your house and washing the windows, preparing a nice family holiday dinner, painting your bedroom and installing darkening shades and draperies, or any number of things. It could even extend to sharing how Chronic Migraine caused you to lose a job.
If you choose the alternative I’ve described, after you share your story, add that you’re concerned about your Chronic Migraine preventing your reliving a moment or event. Then tell us something we could arrange that you could handle. Examples: hiring a cleaning service to clean your house, hiring a chef to prepare that holiday dinner, bringing in someone to redo your bedroom for you.
The goal of asking people with Chronic Migraine to share these experiences is to demonstrate how debilitating the disease can be and how much Chronic Migraine can take from people. We’re convinced that reading about real experiences of real people can go a long way to raise awareness of Chronic Migraine, help the public understand it better, and help reduce the stigma of Chronic Migraine and the burden that accompanies it.
Visit the Rewrite Your Day website at www.RewriteYourDay.com for:
- the contest information and entry form,
- information about Chronic Migraine,
- finding a specialist who can diagnose and manage Chronic Migraine,
- and more.
Disclaimer: I am under contract to Allergan, Inc., for the Rewrite Your Day campaign as a consultant and one of the panel of advocates selecting the winners, but it should be noted that I am receiving no financial compensation for my participation.____________
1 Headache Classification Subcommittee of the International Headache Society. The International Classification of Headache Disorders: 2nd edition. Cephalalgia. 2004;24(suppl 1):9-160.
2 Olesen J, Bousser M-G, Diener H-C, et al; Headache Classification Committee. New appendix criteria open for a broader concept of chronic migraine. Cephalalgia. 2006;26(6):742-746.
3 Manack A, Turkel C, Silberstein S. The evolution of chronic migraine: classification and nomenclature. Headache. 2009;49(8):1206-1213.