Things Only a Chronic Migraine Warrior Understands - #chronicmigraine #migraine #stigma #chronicillness
chronic illness,  Hemiplegic Migraine,  Just Life,  Migraine

6 Things Only a Chronic Migraine Warrior Understands

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I live a life in which I have a migraine almost every day. A diagnosis of Chronic Migraine requires that a person have at least 15 Migraine days a month and I blow that out of the water. All of this gives me an understanding that most people do not have about Migraine.

Here are 6 things only a Chronic Migraine Warrior understands:

  1. You know it is not just a “bad” headache! In fact, you know that it is an excruciating headache that is debilitating to your entire body. Actually, you know that a Migraine isn’t a headache at all…the headache is only a symptom of the Migraine.
  2. All activities on your calendar are tentative…unless it is a Doctor’s appointment! Until someone figures out how to schedule having a Migraine, everything that is on my calendar is subject to cancellation. Everything except Doctor’s appointments because I have to go to those no matter what! And if someone ever does figure out how to schedule Migraine, I will block that event from being planned…ever!
  3. Smells are physically painful! Unfortunately, it isn’t the same smells each time. The smells that bother me today may be fine tomorrow. If I am having a Migraine, any odor (good or bad) is fair game for making me severely nauseous.
  4. Anything that produces light is evil and must be destroyed! My bedroom is my cave. I have dark colored, blackout curtains and blinds in my windows. Sometimes that isn’t even dark enough so I lay on the floor in the bathroom that has no windows and shut the door…then I put a towel down to block the light at the bottom of the door. When I have a Migraine…light is enemy #1.
  5. I have a deep understanding of super-sonic hearing! When I am having a Migraine, I can hear things that most people can’t. A fan sounds like a jet engine, the neighbors talking outside sounds like a coliseum of people, birds chirping sounds like a choir singing out of tune…this list can go on forever! Please don’t talk loud around me when I am having a Migraine. Actually, you can whisper from across the room and I will most likely be able to hear you!
  6. I have probably heard the Migraine remedy you are thinking about telling me! In fact, I have probably tried it at some point! I know you are trying to help and I really do appreciate that you care. Your heart is in the right place. Just think of it this way…do you walk up to someone with Diabetes (or any other illness) and tell them how to cure themselves? If the answer is no… I think you get my point.

Things Only a Chronic Migraine Warrior Understands - #chronicmigraine #migraine #stigma #chronicillnessThings Only a Chronic Migraine Warrior Understands - #chronicmigraine #migraine #stigma #chronicillnessHopefully this list with give you at least some idea about the things Migraine Warriors go through. Our brains experience things in a different way than your does. Our brains are more sensitive to stimuli than your is and this make our life experience different than yours,

11 Comments

  • Anna

    This list is so incredibly accurate! Especially the 1st one. I’m sick of people saying “It’s probably just a bad headache, take some tylenol and you’ll be fine.”

  • Nancy

    These are really helpful information about migraines. I can understand the tentative schedule. A lot of things can change right before the planned appointment. I didn’t know smell is affected too. Thanks for sharing these facts!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  • Linda

    So on point. My migraines started at age 10 and in the 1950s the frequently heard diagnosis was “it is all in your head.” No sh*t, Sherlock! Light, smells, menustration, breathing anything could trigger one. Vomiting and diarrhea, simultaneously while my head was on fire made me pray death was imminent. Laying on the cool tile in the bathroom was a common thing. To this day I am obsessive about keeping an immaculately clean bathroom. Add 2 toddlers to that and well you know. Somewhere in my early 30s a sinus infection sent me into hospital for surgery. Lost hearing, permanently in one ear. One dr. suggested food allergies, so I monitored diet till I couldn’t anymore b/c migraines increased, I think b/c I was hungry. Soon followed by a hysterectomy, since one dr. decided it was hormonal. Not. 20 more years menopausal, migraines began to decrease in strength and frequency. Excedrin PMs helped a bit, sometimes, if I caught onset early and if I didn’t upchuck them. In my mid 60s I got Bell’s Palsey. A severe case and I’ve never completely recovered. After much physical therapy and cortisone injections face still droopy. Then with no rhyme or reason, the migraines stopped. I haven’t had a migraine in about 4 years. I don’t know why and actually petrified to write this for fear they might come back, irrational I know, but I wanted to tell the story of what a migraine does to a life and say it certainly isn’t a fashion statement, or a strike a pose moment. The struggle is real, debilitating and pain in the extreme.

    • Jen Cannon

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with me!
      Our stories sound similar in that my Doctor thinks it could be hormonal. But I had a hysterectomy 18 years ago! So, I went through menopause already (no ovaries).

      I had to fight to be taken seriously by a Doctor!

      I am happy to hear that your went away. That actually happens a lot as women gets older. So, I am just hoping that will work for me!

      • Linda

        I know, and understand. The horror is that no one really suffers the same and no one has same triggers, all of the time. The good news is that now, finally, it is at least recognized by some drs. and not just pushed off by saying it is some type of female thing. If I get a headache, and it is rare and mild. I can take two aspirin and in a reasonable time it is gone. I tell you this to give you hope and I pray that for you, too, that there is light at the end of your tunnel and you will be able to embrace it without pain.

  • Lynette Plude

    I completely understand and have every symptom you mentioned, including my frustration with the cures that our loved ones often have they assume we haven’t tried and/or have no value for migraine sufferers.

    I have suffered chronic migraine every single day of my life since I can remember and I’m now 62. I’m so sorry you too have suffered so much in life with migraines. I told my hubby tonight I think I’m you writing your blog and it’s only the second time I’ve seen it, but hope to follow you often now.

    Thank you for writing this and for helping us all feel less alone.

    • Jen Cannon

      Thank you for you sweet comments! It is so nice to know that I am achieving one of the goals for my blog, to help people know they are not alone in the struggle.

      I am also sorry that you have had to experience this for so long. Your struggle gives me the knowledge that I can keep fighting!

      I

  • Dorothy Brooks

    Thank you for describing real migraine. I suffered horrendously right up until I was through the menopause. There’s not just the pain , vomiting, slurred speech, weakness, etc etc. There’s the guilt at what the family goes through. My migraine dominated every family occasion, every holiday – you name it and I would have at least three days of hell. My poor husband and daughters went through hell too. Migraine attacks the whole body and the mind. I am so grateful that it is more or less in my past.

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