Tag Archives: Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

Making an invisible disease VISIBLE!

Today is Chronic Migraine Awareness Day.

For me, June has been a month of 20 attack days (so far).

I felt compelled to post on my personal Facebook page for literally all of my friends, family and coworkers to see.  Because the struggle is real, even if I can mask it when I am in public.

Here is what I wrote:

“*TODAY* is Chronic Migraine Awareness Day. CM is very complicated to deal with on so many levels: pain-wise and emotionally. I don’t always talk about it, or show it, but I struggle. Would you be surprised to know that in the month of June alone, I had migraine attacks on 20 days? CM is under-funded and under-researched. Hopefully in my lifetime, migraine will be taken more seriously as we spread awareness. Love you all, thank you for taking the time to read this.

No matter what response this Facebook post gets, I am proud of myself for being honest with the world.  It’s not an easy thing to do.  There is still stigma and misunderstanding.  Hopefully the little part I play helps toward the greater good.

 

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Hope for a Cure?

Do you have hope that a cure will be found for your Headache disorder?  Tell us about your hope.

First of all, I have a love/hate relationship with the word “cure.”  The optimistic half of me would love to find a cure and has hope that someday, I will be cured and find a whole new life: a “Life After Migraines.”  The realistic half of me doesn’t like the word cure because it is also entirely possible that I will always be susceptible to, and experience, migraines.  Time after time, I have a good stretch of no/low pain, and I psych myself up, thinking “THIS IS IT!  I AM CURED!”… only to go back to experiencing migraines again, and a fresh wave of crushing despair because no, I wasn’t really cured, and I may never be cured.

Second, there is ALWAYS research being done to find a cure, or at least to find a better migraine-specific preventative medication.  Have you heard?  Right now, it seems like there’s a race between 4 pharmaceutical companies, all trying to perfect their drug targeting CGRP.  There is hope!

Lastly, an important strategy I have in my chronic pain/depression/anxiety toolbox is “Acknowledge when you take steps to take care of yourself” and not just whether or not you are doing a good job controlling pain.  I wrote a blog post called “I am going to get better” which fleshes that idea out:

*I am getting better by seeing a neurologist. (which I am doing now, yay!)

*I am getting better by being nicer to myself.

*I am getting better at bringing awareness about my invisible illnesses.

*I am getting better by trying new things to help my head pain. (Medication, supplements, meditation, mindfulness, etc)

It can be too easy to slip into the counting game and only focus on those numbers: “Last month I had 17 pain days and 10 full migraine attacks.”  Ouch.  But it helps to realize that I am taking care of myself by doing all of the things I said in the list above, and more.

I may not be cured, but I am getting better!

“The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.”  You can find a list of the month’s blogging challenge prompts on our Awareness Month page.

Helping Others Hope

What do you do or say to help others have hope?

“Just breathe.”

“Everything will turn out all right.”

“Hang in there, friend!”

“I’m here for you.”

“Tomorrow will be better.”

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.  Beautiful people do not just happen.”  –Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Dalai Lama

“The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.”  You can find a list of the month’s blogging challenge prompts on our Awareness Month page.

How I Find Hope on a Dark Day

I was feeling emotionally low and mentally drained today.  Mind sabotage!!  So what do I do when I’m having a dark day, like today?

*Sending texts to friends

I think it helps to communicate with someone friendly, and let them know that I am feeling down.  It takes away that Isolation power that depression can have.

*Writing in my journal

This is where I feel safe to write down everything that I am feeling.  Sometimes the honesty of darkness helps, and I just let all the horrible feelings out.  Other times, I try to put things into a different perspective… I try to step outside of myself and see the bigger picture.  I also have my Gratitude journal, which is separate from my regular journal, so that I can *think happy thoughts* about all the good things in my life.

*Listening to music

Today (and many other days), my soundtrack was Incubus “Make Yourself.”  One of my favorite albums of all time.  It is so satisfying to sing along to the song “The Warmth” (especially that F bomb in the chorus :-P)

“So don’t let the world bring you down
Not everyone here is that f****d up and cold
Remember why you came and while you’re alive
Experience the warmth before you grow old”

*Cooking or baking

Making delicious food is like a meditation for me, and today, my meditation ended with CUPCAKES!!!!

*TV or Movie Distraction

   Hooray for Netflix!!!

“The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.”  You can find a list of the month’s blogging challenge prompts on our Awareness Month page.