Speak Your Migraine
Disclosure: I was a paid Amgen and Novartis Spokesperson for the #SpeakYourMigraine campaign. The content of this post reflects my own personal opinions and experiences. It was not created, reviewed, or approved by Amgen or Novartis.
I started having migraines when I was a kid. I wasn’t, however, officially diagnosed with migraine until my teenage years. The time in between was a long and complicated process of trying to find a doctor who would listen to me, insurance that would cover it, and finding the right treatments for me.
I’m now in my mid-30s and have found a way to make things work for me. I’ve got a medicine I keep with me at all times. I take it at the first sign of a migraine coming on. This usually prevents or at least minimizes the sometimes debilitating pain migraine can cause. Nothing is 100% effective at helping me avoid migraine. It, unfortunately, is a condition rules my life.
That’s where the Speak Your Migraine campaign comes into play. It wasn’t until I got involved with it that I spoke about my migraine experience outside of a very small circle of trusted family and close-friends. Why? The video below, one done as part of the campaign, explains.
The World Health Organization named migraine as one of the 10 most disabling diseases in the world. Yet many people, in my experience, don’t talk about it. Men in particular tend to not speak about it. Why? That’s a complicated question, but a simple answer could be that migraine is often discussed as a primarily female disease. Women, after all, are 3x more likely to be affected by migraine than men. That’s why when I was given the opportunity to speak about my own experiences with migraine I jumped at the chance.
I’m a freelancer. That’s how I make money. I don’t have a day job with an office anymore. Migraine prevents me from doing that. I can go weeks, sometimes months, without suffering from an attack. Then, out of the blue, I’ll get a migraine that my meds don’t seem to touch and I’m put out of commission for hours or even days at a time. Then it happens again.
Its hard to live like that. Being a parent make it even more difficult. I’m the primary caregiver to two small children. My wife travels for work and can be gone for up to several days at a time. Fear of when the next migraine will hit and how I will make sure my kids are taken care of when I can’t even take care of myself is always on my mind.
My five-year-old son knows when I have one. He lets me rest and keeps relatively quiet. He’s also gotten me water and tried patting me on the back as a way to show love and empathy towards my not feeling well. I hope that he will never understand first hand the pain of migraine like I do.
I’m lucky to have a support base around me that I can call on when I need help. Not everyone has that though. It can be tough to make plans with friends or family in advance. I’ve had to cancel last minute on birthday parties, or concerts because of migraine. It used to be impossible to express when I was going through until I started to speak up and find those friends that would listen and have compassion for me and my condition.
Do you have anyone in your life that suffers from migraine? Have you ever talked about migraine with your friends and family? Have you or they had their professional lives affect by migraine? Let’s get a conversation going.