As it is migraine awareness week in the USA, I have been inspired to share a little about my condition. Usually it’s craft and positivity around here, so I hope you wont mind if I share a serious subject today. There will also be a little humour I promise.
I believe that in the UK, migraine is the least funded of all neurological conditions, yet 10% of the population suffer. This is more than diabetes, asthma and epilepsy sufferers combined. There are a number of resources I regularly use for information and management of my condition, so I will share these at the end of this post.
Fellow migraine sufferer Gemma wrote this post which has inspired me to share my experience with migraine, so here are 30 questions to spread some awareness.
1) My diagnosis: Migraine without aura
2) Migraine attack frequency: around 2-3 a week.
3) I was diagnosed: around my teenage years, but I didn’t get specialist help until I was 28.
4) My comorbid conditions include: fatigue, IBS, anxiety.
5) I take: Triptans, daily preventative drugs, Naproxen and nausea meds (walking pharmacy!)
6) My first migraine attack: was many years ago as a young teen but I don’t remember it specifically.
7) My most disabling symptoms are: searing head pain, asphasia (loss of speech) and dizziness.
8) Strangest migraine symptoms: speech issues – it is crazy and embarassing if it happens when you are meeting people for the first time or if you’re at the checkout in the supermarket. I’ve also had hemi-plegic attacks which appear via stroke like symptoms – SUPER scary.
9) Biggest migraine triggers are: stress, neck pain, dehydration, lack of routine (holidays and travelling are the worst!).
10) I know a migraine is coming on when: I feel sick, yawn lots and my neck hurts.
11) The most frustrating part about having a migraine attack is: it halts your daily activities so much.
12) During a migraine attack, I worry most about: my to do list getting longer whilst I rest.
13) When I think about migraine between attacks, I think: It sucks so much but I have so much to be positive about.
14) When I tell someone I have migraine, the response is usually: sympathetic followed by ‘have you tried xyz’.
15) When someone tells me they have migraine, I think: you poor person I hope they find us a cure soon!
16) When I see commercials about migraine treatments, I think: anything is worth a try.
17) My best coping tools are: my migra-cap, hugs from G and fish finger sandwiches.
18) I find comfort in: cat cuddles (she lays on my head) and crochet – it’s a great distraction.
19) I get angry when people say: ‘you should do this, my friend did it and it worked’ – everyone is different.
20) I like it when people say: ‘how are you/been thinking of you’.
21) Something kind someone can do for me during a migraine attack is: leave flowers on my doorstep (a friend has done this for me and it was amazing), bring me a coca-cola and some fish fingers, give me a hug.
22) The best thing(s) a doctor has ever said to me about migraine is: ‘there is a menu of medicine to try, let’s work our way through them and you can review’ ha!
23) The hardest thing to accept about having migraine is: there is no cure and may not be one in my lifetime (although I still hope).
24) Migraine has taught me: to be productive and make the most of my well days.
25) The quotation, motto, mantra, or scripture that gets me through an attack is: It will pass, just hang in there. And if it doesn’t, G will take you to the emergency doctor and take photos of you looking like shit on the mini chairs in the waiting room.
26) If I could go back to the early days of my diagnosis, I would tell myself: migraine will be in your life forever, but you will not let it defeat you – stay happy.
27) The people who support me most are: G, my Mum (she suffers too), My Dad, My sister and my friends. Also, my migraine twitter buddies and fellow spoonies – you know who you are.
28) The thing I most wish people understood about migraine is: it is debilitating and so much more than just a headache.
29) Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is important to me because: it brings suffers together.
30) One more thing I’d like to say about life with migraine is: although it is a big part of my life, it doesn’t define me. If you know someone with migraine, talk to them about it.
I hope that was interesting for some of you! If you have read to the end, I’ve done my job of raising awareness of migraine. Here are the resources I use regularly.
National Migraine Centre – where I sought help
The Migraine Trust – Great for resources and advocacy / advice
Migraine Buddy App – How I track my attacks
Migraine Action – A supportive charity for sufferers / great events