Monday, June 15, 2015

Migraine awareness

Perhaps this isn't a goth related post but I want to shed some light on this topic because I am a migraineur myself. I have been recently diagnosed with this condition but looking back, I have been suffering with migraines since I was a teen. Like the majority of people, I just thought I had sinus problems!

It seems that since I gave birth to my son, my migraines have increased and I just want to raise awareness on the subject. Hopefully, those who suffer may find some comfort and any loved ones who know someone who does suffer get a general idea of what we experience.I am frustrated over the fact that while it certainly isn't anyones fault, many people often don't realize the severity of this condition. In fact, even myself was not fully aware on how bad it can be. I joined a Facebook group called Migraine Support Group and I was surprised to read that many people suffer on a daily basis from migraines. I don't suffer that much but I can tell you that it is no picnic.

So here are some facts about migraines I thought I would like to share:

They are not just headaches.
Telling us to take some Advil and sit in a dark room does not help. Advil does not work for these "headaches". It is a very debilitating condition. Often times, people are sensitive to light and/or sound. Some people vomit and the pain is very serious. Imagine your worst headache and multiply that by 100.

Everyone has different triggers
Some people get migraines after they eat a certain food, some get them after too much sun exposure. There are many different triggers for migraines. Change in barometric pressure can also cause migraines. Extreme hot and cold does it for me!

Migraines usually last from 4 to 72 hours
They do affect everyday life and can be a leading cause for depression.

Migraine meds can actually make your migraines worse
Certain kinds of medication to treat migraine pain (such a Ibuprofen or Triptans) can actually make them worse.  if taken more than twice a week. Overuse of these medications can make your migraines come back. It is wise to check with your doctor.

Migraineurs are at increased risk of stroke. 
I have read studies that people who suffer from auras (visual disturbances) are at greater risk of strokes. I have also read studies that women using contraceptives and are over 35 years old are also of greater risk to having a stroke.

Stress is not only a trigger -
There is such thing as a "let-down" migraine. These usually happen once the stress has passed. I was getting a lot of migraines on the weekends and I had spent many of my days off feeling sick. I correlated the two and made some serious changes. At my job, I get up every 30 minutes. Sometimes it is simple,  if someone delivers something for a coworker, I go give it to them. It makes people happy and I get a chance to leave my desk. I get water (keeping hydrated is extremely important when you suffer from migraines) and I started exercising at night. At home, I learn to "let go" of constantly cleaning the house and let my husband help me.

Sexual intercourse or arousal can bring on a migraine or can ease one
Luckily for me, this isn't the case and the last thing I would want to do is have sex while I am having a migraine! Normally, people who get migraines from sex or arousal are usually young to mid-life men  and it goes away later in life.

There's a lot of misconceptions about migraines. Just like depression or mental illness, a lot of people don't always realize the severity. Just because someone doesn't look sick doesn't mean that they are not. A lot of us are very good at hiding the fact that we are unwell.

If you are a fellow migraineur like myself - don't give up or get discouraged, you got this covered! Most importantly, please try not to suffer alone. Ask for support! Put a Facebook status if you can asking for kind words or join the Facebook Migraine Support Group. I got so much help, information, advice and support by total strangers that belong to that very group! It is such a wonderful place. If anyone from Migraine Support is reading this, please know that I may not always be able to comment, I do appreciate all your help and support. For those suffering, you are in my thoughts.

If you have a loved one who suffers from this illness, give them a hand! Do the dishes, offer to babysit if they have offspring and show some support. Most importantly, if you know that someone is at home nursing a migraine or claims that they are feeling better but are still at home taking it easy, please don't call them! You don't know how many people who have texted me or even called me with their personal problems.

Thank you all for reading


  1. That sounds terrible! Maybe some misunderstanding of this would be due to people misusing the term, like how people say they have flu when it is just a cold, people can actually die of flu.

    I hope people gain better awareness of this and other "invisible" illnesses.

    1. I hope people get better awareness of all invisible illnesses. Some people do mistaken bad headaches for migraines just like some people mislabel themselves for having all kinds of illnesses.

  2. Glad to see a little spotlight on the subject.Sympathies to you and all other migraine sufferers. I used to get them when I was at school about twice a week, a combination of hormones and my contraceptive pill, stress, depression and early mornings/latenights. I'm a night owl naturally. After leaving school at 16 I made some serious lifestyle changes and learned how to take care of my body properly (keeping hydrated etc) and don't have many problems at all now. I was lucky.

  3. Glad to hear that you are taking better care of your body. I noticed too that drinking more water is helping me

  4. Thank you so much for sharing about this important awareness month. I woke up a bad one this morning to the point that it made me so nauseous, I got sick (not the most fun way to start the day!). It's now waffling between headache and migraine and I know I'd be better served by putting the computer down, but there's work I absolutely must do today, so I'll just keep squinting and then rest after.

    Gentle hugs & total understanding, my fellow migraine fighter!
    ♥ Jessica

  5. Good post. And timely as I have a terrible headache at the moment. :( I don't know if the headaches I get are technically migraines, but I usually have nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Sometimes I have to call in sick, and I worry that it sounds like a lame excuse - "I have a headache." But they're not a simple headache that Tylenol can fix. They really impact my ability to function and usually last about 48 hours.

    Hard to believe people would call you with their personal problems while you're suffering from a migraine. :P I guess people just don't understand how bad they are.



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