Skip to main content

Migraine Awareness Week

Take a look at these stats for migraine from the Migraine Trust.

What I would like to do when someone asks me about my migraines is point out the disability factor involved so the one stat on that site that caught my eye is this "Over half (54%) of migraineurs experience one or more attacks per month, and 13% claim one or more attacks per week (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)"  At one time, eons ago it seems, I used to get about three to five migraines a month and when treated with a triptan I had no problems managing them, although occassionally one blew me out of the water.  Still, I would not have said migraines disabled me in any way, because they were managed.  Now of that 13% some of us get more than fifteen migraines a month, entering that chronic migraine area... and when you conisder how many people get migraines that percentage seems a great deal larger... consider discrimination, loss of work hours, disability, lack of treatment.  Because once you hit that chronic stage your treatment becomes threefold: a) abortive, which can, but may not abort a migraine and can only be used three times a week, b) preventative(s) of which the aim is to decrease frequency or intensity of migraines but there are literally hundreds to try so find which one, or ones, that works is extremely difficult... and it seems when you hit that magical combo it never lasts for more than a few years, because migraines are tricky that way, and c) a rescue medication, which can be pain killers or anti-inflammatories which are to be used when the abortive fails or when you have already used the abortive for three times that week, but unfortunately doctors are reluctant to provide this option until the patient becomes desperate and they can, of course, take that away at any time leaving the patient flailing for options.

So one thing that fustrates me is that some people think I am unique in my misfortune.  They wonder why my migraines are so frequent, what makes them so frequent and so forth... to which I have no answer, although I suspect it was when my migraines were beginning to get worse, but I was on abosolutely no medication because at the time I was trying to get pregnant (Obviously I had no idea my other health issues made that impossible) and that brief time seemed to make the migraines last longer and compound... until I was at the ten a month point, at which it became obvious I needed a preventative.  A contributing factor of course was the fact I have Fibromyalgia, which is comorbid with migraines and seem to share similar triggers.  Then I chose to not continue my academic career and chose a job with shift work which made my migraines severely worse.  Never got better after that.  Slightly better sometimes.  But never below ten a month.  No matter what speculation I have for why they became chronic the fact is I simply do not know, but I do know I am not unique.  By viewing it as something so rare people do not see it as a disability when it gets really bad, they do not see the additional complications that arise with treating that many migraines.  They seem to think that once my apparently incompetant doctors 'discover' that reason that the chronic aspect can be eliminated.  Now most people sympathize with me if they know what a migraine feels like but that is definately not the case and most people still wonder as to why they ended up chronic and why I have had such troubles with treatment.  Some people assume my situation is unique and carry that thought forward to assume I am doing 'something', or not doing something ( like I have no tried every single thing anyone has ever mentioned to me just in case it might have some minor effect), that is directly causing my migraines to be chronic... like they cannot believe that sometimes that is just the case and that millions of other people are in the same boat.  If people saw it for the disability it is, and one that does not just vanish, there would not be so many issues with work places and treatments from doctors.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Signs the pain is getting the best of you

100 Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

There was a site that had this and I had linked to it on Tumblr but it is gone. So I had to hunt down someone who found my post and posted the whole thing in a forum. Anyway it is around but I'm posting it here so I will not have to hunt it down to reference it. Now we all know the major symptoms are the wide-spread pain, but our pain isn't just muscle pain... it can be nerve types of pain as well, and the fatigue and the insomnia. And even among symptoms there are some far more frequent than others, but it should be said we have categories... like the cognitive dysfunction, which is a broad one that has more than one symptom and we often just say fibrofog. The insomnia... more than one sleeping disorder. So the list is interesting.

__ Fatigue, made worse by physical exertion or stress
__ Activity level decreased to less than 50% of pre-illness activity level
__ Recurrent flu-like illness
__ Sore throat
__ Hoarseness
__ Tender or swollen lymph nodes (glands), especiall…

When I say I am good

When people ask me how I am feeling 99% of the time I am lying. I often say 'not bad', because I feel it is slightly more honest than 'good' or 'fine'. Got sick of fine. Anyway, I lie for many reasons. 

I'm having a good pain day: They happen and I'll say that I'm good, fine, not bad. I even feel like I can accomplish great things... in moderation. In which case, relatively speaking, for Me I am not actually lying. This is a Good pain day, it is Not Bad for me and I am Fine with it. I just don't want to explain: I just don't want to explain how crappy I feel and in which way I mean. Because I am tired of it. I just want to deal with it, without having to discuss it, mention it or have any sympathy expressed about it. Because it can be complicated. It may be a migraine with specific symptoms. Maybe it is a FM flare though. Or both. And then I have to explain what it is because most people think my migraines are the main issue but I could be FM…