My new blogging friend at Sharing My Life with Strangers is 15 years old and has lived with migraines for almost 10 years. I also started getting migraines at a young age, and when I was a freshman in high school, I had migraines every day. I am 28 years old now (and still getting 10-15 migraines per month). My blogging friend asked me, “How did you make it through everything?” So I came up with a list of 6 tips, although I have to admit, I am still learning more each day!
1. Be Prepared for Surprise Attacks
I always have pain meds and backup pain meds. There have been a few times where I was caught without my backup meds and ended up in the emergency room, where you end up waiting an extremely long time. Better to have more than you need than to be caught without it.
2. Migraine Disease is a Disability
It has taken me a long time to really accept that it is a disability. Resources are available to you if you use them. For example: I was taking classes in college for my Bachelor’s degree. A professor took points off my grade for missing classes, even though it was due to migraine, because he had a strict attendance policy. I learned my lesson the hard way. After that happened, I signed up for the disability program at my school, spoke to all my teachers on the first day of class, and didn’t have a problem after that.
3. Speak Up
Migraines are an invisible illness, so it really helps to speak up when you have one, because people aren’t mind readers. (I am still learning this one too!)
4. True Appreciation
I think I really appreciate the good moments even more, because I have so many bad moments. Fighting so many migraine battles actually makes us strong people… it does NOT mean we are weak. Quite the opposite!
5. Lifelong Memories
Sometimes you have to push through the pain so you don’t miss out on the Once-In-A-Lifetime moments, if you can. The best example I have: I was in Austria with my school choir when I was 17, and I had a horrible migraine… I just wanted to stay in bed. But on this particular day, we were doing the Sound of Music tour, and that is one of my favorite movies! If I had stayed in bed, I would have missed out on this AMAZING tour with all of my choir buddies. Plus a chaperon would have missed out too, because she would’ve had to stay with me at the hotel. Luckily, I was able to push through the pain, and now I have lifelong memories that I will cherish forever. It can be difficult to know when to push through the pain and when to give in. You will face these choices so many times in your life. And there will be times you miss out. But there will be times when you are stronger than you think too. And it will be worth it. 🙂
6. Staying Positive
Our existence is still meaningful and worth living, even if it’s a painful one. I am proud of what I have accomplished in life so far, and I still have dreams of so much more.