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10 Things I Wish People Knew About My Migraines

1. It’s more than a bad headache. This is said in a lot of places but it’s worth repeating. When I get a migraine, it feels like my eye is going to explode. I sometimes get dizzy and feel like I just got off a roller coaster. Neck pain is common for me too. And the over 24-hour migraine — I can wake up and go to sleep, and wake up and still have the migraine. Not fun.

2. Light is my enemy. I am extremely photosensitive, particularly when I feel a migraine coming on. My migraines haven’t impacted my ability to work but you can often find me at my desk without overhead lighting. Indoor lighting can be the worst. (Pro-tip: A good pair of comfortable sunglasses is key.)

3. Men can get migraines, too. While women predominantly have migraines men can get them, too.

4. I’m thankful for treatment options. I currently have an abortive medicine that works for me. I’m thankful for science and feel positive about future options that may become available if my medication stops working or if I get migraines more frequently.

5. No, you can’t relate if you have never had one. I
appreciate the empathy but the reality is that this is a complex neurological condition. It’s hard to relate to the light, sound, smell sensitivity and pain that accompanies a migraine.

6. I’ve stuck my head in the freezer. I’m not kidding. I have literally placed my head in the freezer. Cold works for me. Heat works for others. (PS: I’ve found better options than putting my head in the fridge)

7. I wish insurance companies covered massage therapy. I find that when I feel a migraine coming on a massage can help alleviate some of the symptoms and potentially stop it before it starts.

8. I do extra prep to travel. Changes in my routine can trigger a migraine. Before flying I make sure to stay hydrated. During travel, I make sure to stay hydrated. I always carry my migraine medications on my carry-on. And I make sure that I get enough sleep. Many people find that changes in sleep can be a trigger.

9. For me, caffeine is a blessing and curse. I walk a fine with caffeine. Too much, migraine. Too little, migraine.

10. Having migraines increased my empathy for people that battle invisible diseases. They taught me to not a judge a book its cover because we may not know the health battles people who don’t “look sick” are battling.

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