You may know that I've endured chronic migraines since I was five. Up until I was 34, I had an average of 3-5 migraines/week, which then turned daily. Since then (and I am now 40), it's been a challenge I never expected to be so difficult-- I eventually became unable to work, haven't been healthy enough to start a family, and am coming out of a couple of years of being virtually homebound. To say it's impacted every aspect of my life would be an understatement-- it's taken a toll on my mental wellness, my marriage, my self-worth, my confidence in my (seemingly long-gone) professional abilities, and my friendships. It's been the biggest challenge I've ever faced.
The good news is that I have made huge progress in the past year, thanks to finally having found a Neurologist who was willing to team up with me to find what might work FOR ME. He asks (lots of) the right questions, gives great consideration my answers and my past history, and is willing to "think outside the box" to develop a plan for effective treatment. For me, that plan included 5 1/2 month with a PICC line in my arm, giving myself IV meds every eight hours. Since the removal of the PICC line in December, I've self-administered the meds via syringe, as needed. It hasn't been perfect, especially considering my aversion to needles, but it's been progress that I have desperately needed. While I still experience debilitating attacks a couple of times a week, as well as "manageable" mid-level pain on other days, I am also enjoying pain-free time, which is something I hadn't had for many years.
I know that I am not the "typical" migraine sufferer, but I write this to share with you the seriousness that can come with this complex biological disease that is often dismissed as commonplace and insignificant. "Devastation" is probably a better word, actually. My extreme case doesn't affect my empathy for anyone else in the world who suffers from headaches of any kind, any severity, at any frequency. IT IS A PROBLEM, and it is my hope that awareness can help solve it.
So here is a link to information about National Headache Awareness Week. I hope you will check it out. Let others you know who suffer from headaches know that the cause is important to you however you see fit. And if you endure headaches on a regular basis, GET HELP. There are simple solutions out there for many, so, as a personal favor to me, don't suffer if you don't have to.
To that end, here are three books that I've found to be among the most informative and helpful. If your head ever hurts without relief, read them. More importantly, if someone close to you suffers from headaches, one of the greatest gifts you can give them is your understanding. It's common to feel helpless when someone around you is in pain you can't fix. Believe me when I tell you that YOU being informed profoundly helps the one who suffers.
Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain
The Migraine Brain: Your Breakthrough Guide to Fewer Headaches, Better Health
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Celebrating being pain-free as I end this note (YAY!),