One reason that migraine is misunderstood and stigmatized is that it’s an invisible illness. Migraines don’t leave visible scars, don’t require visible bandages, or put us in a wheelchair. So, to most people, we look “normal.”
September 28 through October 4 (2015) is Invisible Illness Awareness Week. One of the suggested activities for the week is the “30 Things” meme, in which we share 30 things about our invisible illness. Below is my “30 Things About Migraine” meme:
- The illness I live with is: migraine disease.
- I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1960.
- But I had symptoms since: before I can remember.
- The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: not being able to do what I need or want to do when I need or want to do it.
- Most people assume: that I can just “take a pill,” and the migraine will stop.
- The hardest part about mornings are: they’re mornings. What else needs to be said? :-)
- My favorite medical TV show is: Grey’s Anatomy.
- A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my computer.
- The hardest part about nights are: making myself go to bed at the same time every night.
- Each day I take 19 pills. (No comments, please)
- Regarding alternative treatments I: believe we should use whatever works for us.
- If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I really can’t choose.
- Regarding working and career: I’ve been fortunate to find a job I love and can do from home.
- People would be surprised to know: that a headache is seldom my worst migraine symptom.
- The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: sometimes, my disease wins - TEMPORARILY.
- Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: pack up and go on a Caribbean cruise.
- The commercials about my illness: generally infuriate me because they’re mostly for products such as Excedrin Migraine, and they make treating a migraine look so easy.
- Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: I was diagnosed so young that I have no idea.
- It was really hard to have to give up: part of my independence.
- A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: every hobby I have since I’ve had migraines since the age of six.
- If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: _rejoice_22. My illness has taught me: more patience that I thought I was capable of.
- Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: “It’s just a headache.”
- But I love it when people: put aside misconceptions and try to understand migraine.
- My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: “Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success; for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles,” by Samuel Smiles
- When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: learn all you can, and never, ever give up hope.
- Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: how thoughtless some people can be.
- The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: love me anyway and reassure me that I wasn’t a burden.
- I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: if we don’t stand up for ourselves, we can’t expect others to do it for us.
- The fact that you read this list makes me feel: grateful.
More interesting content:
- Making migraines visible
- 22 Things About Migraine You May Not Know
- Acts of Kindness to Perform for People with Migraines
“Our 30 Things Meme.” InvisibleAwarenessWeek.com.
AHMA is H.O.P.E.
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for Patient Empowerment_Visit the AHMA Web Site _
_Reviewed by David Watson, MD. _
© Teri Robert, 2015. • Last updated September 28, 2015.
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.