“Not all wounds gush blood” …. The first time I saw this quote, it went right to my heart. I deal with pain from chronic migraine on a daily basis. My life with migraine started when I was around 18 years old. Progressively, over the years, they have gotten much worse. I can have anywhere from 2 migraine attacks a week, to daily attacks...sometimes more than one in a day.
One of the most difficult things to deal with, for me, is the stigmatism that comes with having a disease that is invisible. I have had strangers, friends and even family members question, criticize and belittle me. I have been told it's just in my head, I am a hypochondriac, I am exaggerating for attention, I am a liar, it can't be THAT bad, just suck it up! Can you imagine saying any of those things to a person that has a broken bone, a tumor, a visible wound? Let me be very clear, migraine is a disease that has NO cure. We have options to try to help prevent attacks, but there is no cure. My goal through this blog is to spread awareness and possibly awaken compassion not only to people with migraine, but any illness deemed invisible as well.
Migraine steals your health in so many ways. It's not just your head, it's your whole body. When it's over, sometimes it takes days to recover... and sometimes before you have recovered you are hit with another, and another. The thing I want people to understand the most is that migraine is not “just a headache” - and there is no miracle cure. A shake, a piercing, some Excedrin and any other quick fix floating around cannot fix me. These things might be helpful to others, which is great, but they don't work for me. I think that if you research different options, and speak to your doctor, and want to try it- go for it. But don't push “cures” onto other people. 1) You do not know their full medical history 2) you probably are not a doctor/trained medical professional 3) the person does not want your opinion unless they ask for it. It is so demeaning to have people that are practically strangers tell you they have “the thing” that can help you. All people really want, I think, is a little compassion.
When I was younger, I hoped and prayed that I would just grow out of migraines, which does happen to many people. Your body chemistry can change and your attacks can become less frequent or subside. But now, I understand that is unlikely. This will probably be something that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. I am not faking it or making it up. My pain is real. I don't use it as “an excuse to get out of things.” No, it is not cancer or a million other more awful things, but it is a terrible disease that I have to live with daily. Please don't minimize it or think I am being dramatic when I share things about it – I assure you I'm not. I wish more than anything that I didn't have them... that NOBODY had them. Migraines have taken aways precious time that I can't get back, but I fight. I fight every single day for my health and my body in ways that nobody sees and I don't usually talk about openly. But how can anybody have more understanding or compassion if nobody talks about it?