Get Inspired by Stories of Migraine Patients and How You can Also Cope with Migraine
Piercing and throbbing headaches, vomiting, seeing double and blurry visions are just few of what migraine patients have to go through every time. However these difficulties do not stop a number of patients from rising up from their conditions and sharing their stories to inspire others. Every person has a share of daily difficulties, and for migraine advocates and storytellers, their condition forms part of their daily difficulties.
If you also have challenges in dealing with your migraine, know you’re not alone. Read up on others stories to get a sense of support and even gain tips to ease the stresses of the condition. This enhances your healthy disposition, as it complements the treatments you’re taking from the specialists of your wellness center.
It’s indeed inspiring how there are individuals who used their condition as a spring board for helping others and raise awareness on the challenges which come with migraine.
Katie has turned living with chronic migraine into a chance to help others and raise awareness about the disease. In addition to starting a support group for people with migraine called Migraine IDAHO, she is hosting the second annual Haturday for Heads fundraiser. Haturday for Heads has already raised $740 for the Migraine Research Foundation through online hat sales (sorry, they’re sold out!) and will be hosting an in-person event in Boise this Saturday, April 23. The Boise event will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at BBQ4Life, which will donate a portion of food sales to migraine research. You can also enter to win some great raffle prizes at the event. If you can’t attend in person, Katie encourages you to share your story on social media (tagged #haturdayforheads2016) or donate to Haturday for Heads on CrowdRise.
Get to know Katie and learn more about Migraine IDAHO and Haturday for Heads in this interview she kindly did with me:
Katie’s migraine story
I remember my head hurting as a young kid, especially in the summer time and having to lay on the couch. But I don’t think I had true migraines until my teen years. Around 15 then got to a point that I decided I need to see someone. We (my parents and I) started with the eye doctor to rule out any vision issues, when my vision ended up at 20/20 we moved on to a neurologist. When I had my fist visit he asked me a question I will never forget, “When was the last time I did not have a headache?” I could not answer, I thought about it and could not remember the last day that I did not have some form of head pain.
He strapped the diagnosis of chronic daily headache with migraines on me and decided that we were going to shock the daily headaches into stopping. I spent a day at a outpatient facility having some drugs pumped into me with an IV. I do not remember what it was all I know is it made me nauseous and I vomited multiple times. It was such a terrible experience that when he asked me if it worked and my headache had stopped, I lied and said yes so that I would not have to do it again. From there over the years I tried different things, other neurologist with preventives, chiropractors, digestive health. Nothing has yet to work well.
I have had a few years here and there where my migraines and daily headache have been better and I managed without any medication. Now I have my baseline headache everyday, around a 2-4, with migraines anywhere from 3-7 days a week. I don’t get an aura, I do have sensitivity to light and noise. Most of the time my migraine is on both sides, but can be more intense on the right. I rarely get nausea, which is good because the few times I have, I ended up in the ER because the nausea was uncontrollable. Fatigue is also a big symptom for me.
What Katie wishes people understood about migraine
I wish that people understood that I did not choose this. That I am not lazy, that my house is messy sometimes because I am exhausted and it hurts to bad to move. I want people to realize that this is a disease and there is not a cure, I may find something that provides relief but I still have this disease/illness, it will not magically go away.
Aside from forming organizations and events, other forms of migraine advocacies are done through various forms of media. This includes film. Seeing how the condition affects the daily lives of individuals can be further understood by further sitting through and getting informed by documentary films.
The makers of the documentary OUT OF MY HEAD, Jacki Ochs and Susanna Styron, have some exciting news! They have completed a rough cut. Animation, graphics, music, archival footage rights, sound mixing, color grading, and more need our support. The Association of Migraine Disorders has agreed to match donations* to OUT OF MY HEAD dollar for dollar! People who choose to support the film will double their impact with the matching funds. Help these filmmakers finish this much needed and superb documentary. A little over a year ago, I wrote about this documentary and what it is all about. Take a look at this clip and read about the film below:
Migraine is a very big part of my life. From before anyone knew for what reason or why I would get terribly sick as a toddler to the excruciating attacks as an adolescent through adulthood, migraine has been a prevalent and persistent occurrence. I’ve traveled through the ups and downs associated with this neurological disease, as have millions of other Americans. Unfortunately, our stories and struggles are not widely known or spoken of. Mostly due to the stigma attached to migraine as being “just a bad headache”. We do not see walks being organized, fundraisers or public figures advocating for more research and awareness for migraine and headache disorders. Our fight is often a silent and isolated one where shame and blame is often put upon the sufferer.
That is why I am so excited about this new feature documentary film, OUT OF MY HEAD, a production of The Migraine Project. This film is the first of its kind, showcasing many aspects of the neurological disease. Personal stories, medical research, spiritual experiences, and artistic expression are illuminated throughout the film. The director, Susanna Styron and the producer, Jacki Ochs both have a personal connection to the film. Susanna’s daughter began getting migraines at the age of 14 and many women in Jacki’s family, including her grandmother and nieces, have migraine disease. Having loved ones stricken with this disease has compelled them to document the realities of living with brutal and debilitating pain, the lack of treatment and physicians who specialize in headache disorders, and scandalously low funding for migraine research.
Why is this film important and why bring attention to it? For two important reason… so that the millions of people living with the disease can be better understood and not stigmatized and to increase funding for research and finding a cure. Being diagnosed with migraine is life-altering and it affects more than the sufferer. Families, loved ones, friends and relationships of all kinds are affected by migraine. Bringing a broader understanding about this very debilitating disease is a catalyst for change. Supporting the making of this project will help bring this issue to the forefront, which will in turn shed a long awaited light on a disease that has been buried under stigma for decades.
After having read through the stories of individuals who took the high road in dealing with migraine, it’s a comfort to know how you’re not alone. With their stories, you can grasp of various types of media and even become part of a group to get all the support you’ll need in dealing with the condition. This should be a great complementary step upon getting treatments via your chosen pain management doctors.
Integrated Pain Management is a team of specialists which take on a personal and customized approach to ensure the treatment needs of their patients are met. They constantly research for the latest and most effective ways on addressing the condition along with their expertise in diagnoses and treatments.