Migraine & Headache Awareness One of the most important principles behind Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MHAM) is sharing. Through that sharing, we work to increase awareness and and understanding, which can help decrease stigma.
Before MHAM is over, I want to share the MHAM meme that Kerrie Smyres started on her blog, The Daily Headache. Kerrie asked her readers, “What’s it like for you to live with migraine?” She then invited readers to participate by sharing their answers. This meme was picked up by several bloggers, so now, I’m passing it along here. If you’d like to share your own answers to these questions here, you can copy and paste the answers into a comment on this post, then fill in your answers. Here are the questions and my answers:
- My diagnosis is: chronic migraine with and without aura.
- My migraine attack frequency is: an average of six migraine attacks per month.
- I was diagnosed in: 1960.
- My comorbid conditions include: major depressive disorder.
- I take six medications/supplements each day for prevention and two medications/supplements to treat an acute attack.
- My first migraine attack was: in 1960 when I was six-years-old.
- My most disabling migraine symptoms are: nausea, aphasia, and headache.
- My strangest migraine symptoms are: olfactory and auditory hallucinations.
- My biggest migraine triggers are: weather changes, fragrance, and disrupted sleep.
- I know a migraine attack is coming on when: aphasia, extreme sleepiness, and moodiness kick in.
- The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: being suddenly unable to function well.
- During a migraine attack, I worry most about: whether the increased intraocular pressure caused by the migraine will cause the low-tension glaucoma I have to progress, which could lead to blindness…
- When I think about migraine between attacks, I think: that my doctor and I need to keep working toward improving the effectiveness of my preventive regimen.
- When I tell someone I have migraine, the response is usually: kind, but indicative of the lack of public awareness of what migraine truly is.
- When someone tells me they have migraine, I think: that migraine is so much more common than most people think.
- When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: “Yeah, right,” if it’s a commercial for an over-the-counter treatment; or how great it would be if there were more commercials that raised awareness of migraine as a potentially debilitating disease.
- My best coping tools are: meditation and my cat.
- I find comfort in: my biological family and my migraine family.
- I get angry when people say: “It’s just a headache. Have you tried Excedrin Migraine (or another product that’s equally as useless to me)”.
- I like it when people say: “How can we raise awareness?”
- Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: give me an ice pack, then leave me alone.
- The best thing(s) a doctor has ever said to me about migraine is: “I won’t give up on you if you don’t give up on me.” or “We still have more options to try.”
- The hardest thing to accept about having migraine is: the social stigma.
- Migraine has taught me: to have more patience and never, ever stop hoping.
- The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through an attack is: “I will NOT let migraine win.”
- If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: to prepare for things to be beyond difficult, but to never give up…
- The people who support me most are: my husband, my migraine specialist, and my migraine friends.
- The thing I most wish people understood about migraine is: it’s a genetic neurological disease for which, at this time, there is NO cure.
- Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: If we don’t stand up and advocate for ourselves, we can’t expect others to do it for us.
- One more thing I’d like to say about life with migraine is: All of us have to learn to be our own best advocates and to work with our doctors as treatment partners…
_a Headache and Migraine Organization _
_for Patient Empowerment _
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+.