On Heroes, Hype, and Migraines and Headaches

Teri Robert @trobert Health Guide
  • A portion of yesterday evening's television news started me thinking about heroes. I think heroes are important, not just for children, but for adults as well. They give us hope and inspiration, and that helps us be better human beings.

    Unless we're living in a vacuum, it's virtually impossible not to have heard of Jessica Lynch. Her story may have more impact for me than some people because her West Virginia hometown is only a few miles from mine. Jessica was catapulted into our hearts and minds when she was captured at the beginning of the Iraq war, then rescued. Ever since her rescue, Jessica has demurred the title of hero, insisting that her fellow soldiers were the real heroes. The Army reported that she fought hard, emptying her gun, before being captured. Yesterday, Jessica testified in a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, saying that she still doesn't understand why the Army lied about her. She made a statement that is still stuck in my head, "The truth is always more heroic than the hype." Wow. Just wow.
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    That's what started me thinking about heroes and their roles in our lives. I'm not about to expose myself for the "Granny" I am by revealing my childhood heroes (other than my father), but I do want to talk a bit about my heroes today. It's impossible to list them in any priority, so I'm going to just mix them up here...
    • John, my husband: Putting aside all the "regular" reasons a husband can be a hero, John is the perfect Migraineur's partner. He's here if I need him, but understands when I just want to be left alone with a Migraine. He has expended the effort to learn about Migraine disease too. Just the other day, he commented that he wondered if I were having a Migraine without the headache.
    • Our wonderful forum moderators: Not only are they unsurpassed in their dedication and compassion, providing our members with information and support, but every one of them has Migraines and other health issues of their own to cope with. They somehow manage to deal with their own issues while always being there for all of us.
    • Our readers and forum members who are active members of their healthcare teams, working toward effective Migraine and headache management: These are truly courageous people. They may come to the forums or write a SharePost to vent, but beneath it all, they have come to the realization that nobody else can manage our headaches and Migraines for us. We have to take charge and make it happen.
    • Dr. William B. Young: At my first appointment with him, Dr. Young looked me in the eye and said, "I won't give up on you if you won't give up on me."
    • Dr. John Claude Krusz: Dr. Krusz has not only helped me a great deal personally, but is so giving of himself to anyone in pain. For over four years now, he has worked with me to answer reader questions in our weekly Ask the Clinician column.
    • Some other doctors: I love the family doctors and general practice neurologists who have learned about Migraine disease so they can provide better treatment for their patients. I also love those who know and admit that it's time to refer their patients to specialists. I adore the wonderful Migraine and headache specialists who show knowledge, skill, and compassion as they partner with us to tame our pain. And, I have the utmost respect for the doctors who are conducting research to make our lives better.
    And, yes, Jessica Lynch is a hero to me. Everyone who serves our country is a hero to me. Jessica is also a hero to me for her comments yesterday. She mentioned "hype," and there's a great deal of hype about Migraine disease and headaches too. To me, the people who perpetrate such hype are the very antithesis of heroes. They come in several varieties:
    • Those who find or develop something that may be an excellent preventive for some people, but for some reason, just have to hype it as working for everyone or being a cure.
    • Those who know fully well that their product or service is worthless, but they hype it anyway; some for profit and some for self-aggrandizement.
    • Those who refuse to recognize Migraine as a disease and both Migraines and headaches as the potentially debilitating conditions they are.
    I want to leave you with Jessica's "wow" statement...
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    The truth is always more heroic than the hype.

    Thank you, Jessica.
Published On: April 25, 2007