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Migraine Awareness Month Day 11-Say What? She did what?
Prompt: Say What?!” What’s the most ridiculous thing ever said to you about Migraines, who said it, and under what circumstances? Well… There are so many ways I could have gone on this. Told a light story, talked about people asking me if I had tried x, y or z. But, I’m not going to. I’m going to tell the true nightmare that happened due to lack of education on a doctor’s part. This is hard for me emotionally, and I hope I can post this not out of anger, but out of sheer sadness. I wrote this in 2007, in response to an incident that occurred in 2006. Names have been changed due to the outcome of this series of events, and the agreement between the Health Center and myself. A lengthier version of this post was discussed with the head of the Health Center >>>>>>>>>


As per HIPAA, I have the right to have my record corrected, or at least amended to reflect the correct information regarding the events of the 11/20 appointment with Dr. Migraineingnorant.


There are many factual errors in the medical record.


On the day in question, I arrived early for a follow up appointment with Dr. Migraineingnorant. While sitting in the waiting room, I began to develop a migraine with aura. The screams of the happily playing children, and the less happy children hurt my head. I took my prescribed Triptan (Frova). I always carry frova on me, as I don’t want to get to the point where I am incapacitated by the pain. I sat back and waited for it to kick in.


That appointment was only the third time that I had met with this doctor. I had been rear ended in a car accident on xx/xx/06, and upon release from the emergency room, I was told to follow up with both the Spine Center and the Family Medicine Clinic. Since I did not have a primary care provider already there, Dr. Migraineingnorant was randomly assigned to serve in that role. I had seen her previously before that day for a total of, at the maximum of 35 minutes.

RESPONSE AND ADDENDUM TO MEDICAL RECORDS:

  1. Patient presented with a migraine, which was communicated to the triage nurse several times. It is possible that said nurse did not understand the various components of migraine. It is a neurological DISEASE, not “just a headache.”

  2. My speech difficulty was attributed to the migraine aura. Auras are not just about flashing lights, but can also have additional components, including difficulty finding words, slurred speech, (and/or speech difficulties) vertigo, perceptual disturbances such as space or size distortion and confusion.
  3. Upon greeting me, Dr. Migraineignorant. asked how I was feeling. I said that I had a migraine. She told me that she was worried about what the nurse had told her regarding my behavior. Again, I repeated that I had a migraine, and these were classic symptoms of an aura- which was lingering with the intense throbbing pain. She told me that my behavior was concerning. I agreed that it would be disturbing if there was no explanation for said behavior. Either she was not listening, or she lacked the knowledge to understand why the behavior was not erratic.

  4. I would NEVER take a TCA to abort a migraine. A TCA is a tricyclic antidepressant. I took a TRIPTAN. In fact, I told her what I had taken- Frova. She hadn’t heard of it. I tried again- “frovatriptan?” Still, that blank stare. “It’s a cousin of Imitrex.” That should have been a clue that this was not a TCA, but a migraine abortive, prescribed to me by another clinic at that hospital complex.
  5. I was to get the results of the MRI taken earlier that month at the spine clinic the next day. When Dr. Migraineignorant mentioned that she’d give me the results that day, I knew that either if positive or negative, I was in for additional pain. Hoped that it would show something that would be easily fixable. When I was informed that the MRI had come back negative, I did start to cry. No easy fix- more pain to come, more of the same was in my future. However, I did not become hysterical. In addition to this fact, migraine itself may lead to increased eye tearing and additional nasal drainage, causing the physical appearance of the patient to not accurately paint a complete picture of the patient at the time of observation.

  6. Dr. Migraineignorant said that she feared that left to my own devices, I was going to hurt myself. I laughed. I explained that there have been times in my life when the antidepressants weren’t working correctly- and I hadn’t done anything then…If I hadn’t hurt myself when acutely depressed, there would be no reason to believe that I would do anything harmful to myself at this point. In addition to this fact, another reason for crying could be attributed to coming down from the active part of the migraine- a stage called “postdrome,” which, for some people has the added effect of causing lowered mood levels, causing a transient depressive state. In addition to this, I added that I have regular contact with my psychiatrist, and she was aware of how I was doing, and did not feel that there was any reason for concern.
  7. My psychiatrist was called with Dr. Migraineignorant in the room. If she was concerned about psychosis, this would have been an appropriate way of addressing the issue without sending the patient to the ER.

  8. Dr. Migraineignorant left the room, saying that she was going to go find her supervisor. She returned with another doctor, whom I naturally assumed was the supervisor. and we had a good conversation. No crying or abnormal behavior.We discussed my car accident, my job, and insurance. I figured that the whole episode would be over, as it had de-escalated from an antagonizing patient-doctor relationship to a pleasant one. I was wrong. Migraineignorant had actually sat someone in there to keep an eye on me so that I did not just walk out, as there was nothing more that needed to be said at that point.
  9. She returned with two uniformed officers. They were to escort me to the ER either “voluntarily,” or by other measures. These were University police, not the Orange County Police Department.

  10. Patient was not “asked” to be evaluated. Patient was threatened with 48hr psych hold if she did not go up to the emergency room to be evaluated.
  11. Patient was later released from the ER and drove herself home.
Dr. Migraineignorant’s lack of knowledge of Migraine disease had turned this session into a mentally abusive session for me, as she would not believe that Migraines could trigger all of these strange side effects.

She was convinced that I was either on drugs, or psychotic, and there was nothing that I could have done or said, short of bringing in a doctor from the headache clinic to attest to my story.


Family medicine is patient-centric, and pigeonholing based on atypical behavior is a dangerous practice for a physician to learn. Many serious diseases (including migraines) have symptoms that may resemble other illnesses, and if the patient has been diagnosed with one of these conditions, it is the responsibility of the doctor to at least learn a little bit about what makes this “abnormal behavior” not a psychiatric problem per se. It is not the patient’s job to educate their health care provider.


National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com


What would you have done in this situation?

NMAMBC #23: "I Drank the Kool-Aid!"

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #23: “I Drank the Kool-Aid!”

We all try things out of desperation, even when our common sense is telling us they’re not going to do anything. Share your experience with this.

For some reason, I’m a bit skeptical of various “alternative” cures, so I’ll rather overdose myself on painkillers than try anything new or crazy sounding.

However, once I did read somewhere that there are some acupuncture points in your fingers that can help with migraines. I’m a complete noob about this, however, desperate people and all that… The article said that you’re supposed to use your fingernail to press the pad of your middle finger as hard as you can. Left or right hand depends on the side of your head that’s hurting. So I thought to myself “whatever” and tried it. And lo and behold, it actually worked! My joy was short-lived though, because the pain stopped only while I was squeezing my finger, which lasted anywhere from 5 to 20 seconds, depending on how much it hurt lol So, no miraculous cure, however, during a migraine any pain free second is a small blessing ;)

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

#Migraine Awareness Month 29- "More Often Than Not."

Prompt: “More Often that Not.” Today is Chronic Migraine Awareness Day. People with chronic Migraine have a Migraine more often than not. Think of and share a random act of kindness that you could do for someone with chronic Migraine.

Things People have done for me/I’ve done for others/Heard about and stored for use for other people


—Moved my mom’s car from one side of the street to the other in NYC where there’s alternate side parking- i.e.- no parking on certain days so the sanitation dept. can clean the streets (HAH). If your car is still on the old side, you get slammed with $$$$ tickets. I did this after she had surgery, but it’s just as appropriate for a Migraineur.

—a couple of people decorated a trash can for a fellow puker… sorta like signing a cast- drew on it, wrote happy notes, made it look friendly in the house- and not like some intrusion that reminded them that they threw up often and for long periods of time.

—Was given a restaurant.com gift card in an envelope, after canceling on a friend oh, a billion times… with a note that said “Anytime you’re up to it- we’re going out for dinner!” Made me feel good that they were willing to drop everything, and also since money’s tight, I wouldn’t have to pay.

– My mother stayed with us when I came home from weeks of treatment, as I couldn’t take care of myself, and DH had just broken his leg in 3 places, requiring surgery, and couldn’t get out of the desk chair. She cooked, cleaned, drove DH to the doctor, etc. I think that possibly staying with someone for a night if they’re alone would be a huge gift- just to know that there was someone there, even if all the person who was staying with the Migraineur did was watch tv, and not interact at all. It’s comforting to know you’re not alone

-A friend asked me for a specific list of things I liked to drink during the day when I was getting dehydrated, and showed up at my door with all of them.

Think outside the box, there’s so much more than bringing a casserole…

-change the cat litter
-play with the dog/take it to the vet
-do a load of laundry/ take it to the laundromat
-surprise them… instead of flowers… perhaps get them new pajamas- same cost- much more useful.
-ice packs or heating pads are ideal gifts.

Remind them that you’re not going anywhere- you’re in it with them for the long haul. (that one’s a free gift, and priceless.)

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month #5: Kitty Cat Therapy!

Today’s Prompt: What comfort measure do you find helps you enough during a Migraine that you go back to it again and again, and how do you use it?


Kitty Cat Therapy is my main comfort measure. When I have a Migraine, one of my cats just knows about it… and comes to where I’m lying down and flops next to my head and purrs. I’m not a “heat person” and normally don’t like warmth near my head, but he’s just so sweet, and comforting, that it’s all okay. I suppose that it’s mutual: He probably doesn’t doesn’t like icepacks near his belly, but he wants to comfort me so badly that it’s all okay with him.

The other thing I really like is sound. Not music, but something I can concentrate on. I’m a political junkie, so C-SPAN is frequently streamed- either live, or an archived hearing- so I can concentrate on it, and not on the pain. Also, I have lots of books on CD, and podcasts from online lectures.

But Kitty cat therapy is the biggest and most wonderful tool in my comfort toolbox. (No, i’m not calling my cat a tool!) He’s just a big bundle of love, and I’m so grateful for his purrs, kisses, and sweetness.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month Day 30- My favorites and final thoughts.

Prompt: Choose your favortie blog post from any of this month’s prompts from someone else’s blog to share with us, and tell us why it’s your favorite.

My favorite post was the one from Nancy Bonk’s daughter, Sarah. (Through My Daughter’s eyes, Day 25.) Her letter explaining life with a mother dealing with Migraine disease, and the pride that her words showed for her mom were just so inspiring. It also let us in a window to their lives, with humor, grace, and love. Nancy’s blog post for that day made me cry- good tears, and I was so happy to have read it.

Thank you, Migraine Blogger family- this has been wonderful, reading each other’s posts and having a reason to write each day.

I hope we’re all aware of the strength, wit, pride and tenacity shared by all. We can do it, and we will change the world.

Taking from the history of the AIDS movement, “Silence= Death.” But once the families, friends and others who knew people with the disease started to shout for change, they began to create change. Ronald Reagan was forced to say the word aloud. “AIDS.” Money started to be allocated. We can learn from their experience, and ACT UP! Let our allies join in our crusade. Speaking out creates a community of advocates.

The next time a petition is sent, sign it. Send it to people you normally wouldn’t. It’s okay. They need to see it, and there’s no reason to feel ashamed, or like you’re complaining. You’re not. You need them. Make it clear that they’re your ticket to change.

In the words of President Obama, “Yes we can!”

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month #27- in my head

:Prompt:Talk about who inspires you to keep trying and not give up, despite your Migraines.

This one’s really simple. Me.

If I’ve been through all of this pain and suffering, there’s no way I’m giving up now. I may want to sometimes, but there’s just too much I have left to see, too many dreams of a cure, too many songs left to be heard and too many musicals I’ve yet to play my way through at the piano.

Too many tears, too much laughter, too many hopes, and people I’ve yet to meet, to make imprints on my life.

And I don’t think it’s in the cards that I’m supposed to die from Migraine Disease, or anything related.

But, If it is, then donate my brain to science, and let me help you find your heart and music.

Until then, I’ll keep plugging along, playing my guitar like a rockstar in my head on days that paper is too bright for my eyes, and struggling with the chords on days that I can learn to play.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month #25: Through My Kitty's eyes:

Dear Mom,

I know you’ve had a rough couple of days. I’ve been snuggling with you as much as I can. Keeping my face pressed against your face, sleeping on you, wrestling with the cold from your ice packs, ‘cause I don’t really like cold.

I’ve only known you with Migraine- you adopted me while you were on FMLA when I was a teeny tiny kitten. I’m your big boy now, and I see how you hurt, and I love you. While Dad takes care of you while he’s home, you know I’ll always be there to take care of you when he’s not here.

I can’t take the pain away, but i see how you smile when I kiss you, or scoot against you for hours on the couch. You listen to stuff, but I don’t know what it means. I just know it means that you’re not doing well.

I love you, and I always will,

Your big furry Cat,

Preston

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month #6: Sing me a song

Today’s prompt:

Choose a theme song for Migraine disease or your headache disorder. See if you can find a YouTube video of it for your blog post.

Ok, so finding a copy of this that was squeaky clean (IE= removing the curse words from a Green Day song… Not easy. But I did it!

The song is “boulevard of broken dreams.” Speaks to me in so many ways. So many broken dreams in the past few years- but that’s the obvious one.

I walk alone, I walk alone, I walk alone. As much as my friends and family try to understand, it’s my head that pounds and throbs and the nausea is mine alone.

“My shadow’s the only one who walks beside me.” Traveling for treatment sometimes isn’t the easiest, and I feel like I’m running on adrenaline to get to my Specialist. Sometimes, I wrap my shadow around me like a cocoon to avoid the staring eyes, should I look awful, or fall on my suitcase at the gate.

Since I couldn’t get anything to embed in a text post, here’s my song…
Boulevard of Broken Dreams


National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

#Migraine Awareness Month 26- They look in at me:

Prompt: Write about what you think your family, friends, and others think a day in life, a day with Migraine disease is like.


This was written by my dad:

Jamie,

I have been fortunate to have been free of pain for most of my life. I guess I inherited it from my father who at 100 can still get around with the aid of a walker virtually pain free.

My mother was not as fortunate. While she lived a long life (89 years) she had many physical ailments. I guess that she is the source of your problems.

How you manage to cope with your migraines is truly amazing. If I have a headache (very rarely) I can take a couple of aspirin or Advil and within a short period of time the pain is gone. Unfortunately you are not as lucky, being forced to take various medications some of which are necessary to combat the side effects of those whose function is to alleviate the migraine. There are times when your migraine lasts for days which is a very dangerous situation. Yet through it all you rarely complain. I don’t know how you do it! While the severity and frequency of the migraines for the most part has lessened since you first started having them, they can occur at any time. One is too many. If I could take the pain from you to myself, I surely would. You do an amazing job of coping. Keep fighting.

Hopefully with the inroads that medicine ahs accomplished in the last few years in so many fields, this too will be able to be controlled and eliminated.

———–


This was written by my husband.

Jamie wakes up briefly to acknowledge that I’m leaving work, and goes back to sleep because her head hurts. After I leave our cat, Preston, jumps up to comfort her. She wakes up an hour or two later, and staggers to the couch because her head is still painful and foggy. A post or two on Facebook to let the world know she’s not particularly responsive, and that’s all she can manage because looking at the computer screen causes pain somewhere back behind one eye. A little while later she finds the energy to open the ‘fridge or cabinet to find something that can be eaten immediately - trying to prepare something would be futile. Daytime TV is on in the background - probably the court TV shows - to help pass the time. If she’s lucky the migraine will break during the afternoon and then she’ll have to keep awake because you can’t count sleeping hours toward the 4-hour-migraine-free time. I’ll get home around the time of the 4 hour mark and not realize she’s been in pain a lot of the day.


National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month #19- the perfect doctor

The “perfect doctor”

=Must care about me as a person, and not just patient #943932.

-Would be located relatively close geographically to me, yet provide all of the therapies that have been proven by trial and error to work to manage my Migraines, Cervical Dystonia, and Occipital neuralgia.

-Would take insurance.

-Would respect me, and my thoughts regarding treatment, as well as my hopes and dreams for the future.

Would spend as much time with me as I needed at an appointment.

Would keep pushing the envelope as far as treatment options, and try and reduce things even more over time without messing with any of my other preexistings.


I think between my local and “far away” Migraine specialists, I have all of these points covered, and sometimes duplicated. I’m pretty darn lucky.


National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month #17- Dear Dad:

Prompt: Some understand Migraines, some don’t. It’s Father’s Day. Write a letter to your father or the man closest to you, and talk to him about your Migraines.


Dad,
you were there for me the day i had my MRI, way back when this all started. We kept it a secret from Mom, ‘cause we didn’t want her to worry. You flew down here, and DH and I picked you up. I remember it like it was yesterday. You have business contacts in Greensboro, so you weren’t lying when you said that you had a ticket to North Carolina when she dropped you off at the airport.

When you got here, you wanted to call her and let her know that you were okay. DH and I stopped you… luckily, JUST as the voice from the terminal parking lot rang out, “Welcome to Raleigh- Durham International Airport, please remember where you are parked.”

But moving on. On the day of the MRI, I misplaced my keys, and DH offered to drive us. I was obstinate, and you got angry, and annoyed at me for not taking him up on the offer. I knew, however, after the MRI, I would be in no shape to take the bus back.

We don’t butt heads often, but when we do, it’s because (shhh, I won’t tell anyone-) we’re both incredibly strong willed individuals. It’s happened only a few other times, once last year while I was away getting treatment. But you were right, and I wrong, and with tears streaming down my face, got my act together and cleaned up my mess.

You came with me the first time we went to Texas, and we met up in Charlotte (like Mom and I do now, when we go). You had never seen me sick enough that a mere shot of phenergan and toradol (way back on the day of the MRI) couldn’t quell the Migraine. You stared daggers at the people who were helping me, and asked why they couldn’t get me to stop throwing up.

I (in between heaves) apologized to the man who would be my specialist, and his nurse. They smiled at me, stroked my hair, and tried to calm you down, as you tensed up. I know what you were thinking “These people are supposed to be the best, and they can’t stop this?”

When we got back in the car to have blood taken, you expressed something like that to me. I explained that they had done a great job- and that you hadn’t seen me sick since years before. You calmed down, and your attitude changed. By the end of the day, the Migraine had been broken with IM droperidol and other meds.

These are the memories I have of you being WITH me during major events. The others- well- priceless.

I can’t thank you enough for all you do for me. I could never afford to see my Texas Specialist. He’s changed my life dramatically, and kept me out of the ER. The quality of my life has been so changed by the access you’ve provided me to this wonderful clinic and trials of meds. You’ve given up so much so that I could have what I do- financially, emotionally, and in every way.

One awful pain spike, my mom and I had to change our airline tickets, and stay in texas for another week. That made 3 weeks that you went to work insanely early, and came home to an empty house. And that wasn’t to be the end. I was in no shape to take care of myself when returning home- especially since DH had just broken his leg, and needed help himself.

YOU, yes you, said that Mom shouldn’t go home to NY– That you’d done things for yourself and been alone for that long- but that she should change her ticket and come back with me to North Carolina to take care of me and be there for DH’s surgery. I remember crying in the hotel room, because I was so split- While I needed my mom on one hand, on the other, I realized that you were giving up so much, and I couldn’t stand hearing that you were giving up even more.

When you and Mom come to visit, you (mostly) accept my limits, and it’s not like having to have company, or worry about acting better than I really felt. (Fights over going out to dinner, exempted, lol)

Thank you for listening to me when I need to talk, when you hear my voice all messed up from meds or pain, or try to cheer me up, or let me cry when I need to.

I can always almost hear your voice in my head saying “It’s okay, we’ll get through it somehow.

Yes, We.

Thanks for being such an integral part of my Migraine support team. Always know how much I appreciate everything you do/ and have done.

Much Love Always,

Jamie

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month Day 9- Oh the fun I'd have.

Prompt: “Day Dream Believer. Describe your dream day - without a Migraine to hold you back.”

Unfortunately, I’d still have neck problems, so I’d still have to be careful… No roller coasters for me… but…

I’d wake up early at the house we rented the night before with our cats at the beach. Take a jog, go swimming, before my husband woke up. He’d have a fresh loaf of banana bread (homemade, heavenly, and a trigger) waiting for me, and give me a big hug.

We’d take a walk on the beach together, and when we got tired of that, go play putt- putt. No worries about dehydration, getting overheated, or staying out of the sun due to medication directions.

He’d hit a couple of rounds at the batting cage- and hit every pitch, as I cheered him on.

It would be lunchtime, and I’d have a sausage and peppers and onions (onions=MAJOR TRIGGER) sandwich.

We’d pack up the cats and head for home- only a 3 hr drive, and along the way, we’d probably have to stop for gas- I’d pick up a giant pack of sugarless gum- and not worry about Sucralose. (trigger.)

When we got home, we’d drop off the cats, and go to the beer festival that was in town that weekend, of course, since it was my day,we’d call a cab both ways so that we didn’t have to drive. I’d try one after another, and so would DH. We’d meander over to the greek restaurant next door to where the festival was, and have something off the menu, not caring about picking out dishes with onions

After our cab ride back home, we’d relax together, and watch the thunderstorms outside (trigger) as the lightening lit up the sky in beautiful form.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #3: "Just shoot me now!"

These are my food enemies (triggers)

Splenda- otherwise known in our household as “rat poison”…

Onions. The Evil- in- everything food that will trigger me almost immediately. Strangely enough, I can have onion powder, but if there’s an onion there… I’m in trouble. Also, if it touches anything else- say in a salad- they leave behind just enough juiciness to ruin my salad. So, when I send something back to the kitchen in a restaurant because of the onion that they messed up and put on my sandwich, I tell them that if there’s anything that the onion touched still on my meal, I’m going to send them the bill for the ER visit. Works every time.

Extreme heat

Cervical Dystonia/Occipital Neuralgia.

Imagine having your muscles spasm right over the nerves that shoot pain to your head. But, this is controllable by botox and other trigger point injections. The botox paralyzes the muscles for months, and I’m good to go. When the botox wears off, this is the biggest and most problematic thing for me, and I wind up in intractable pain cycles.

So… thank you dear toxin, from an extreme fan.

Those are the things I can control, or at least cut off at the pass. Now for my “Just shoot me trigger.

Weather.

  1. barometric changes.

  2. Nasty thunderstorms!!! I can deal with minor thunderstorms, but the more severe ones are gonna get me every time. So, I tend to pre-treat when I see a huge line of Big T-storms coming with Amerge or Frova. Unless the storms stick around for a long time just hovering over my house, I have a chance of escaping the pain from the storms.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com
Migraine Tea and Sympathy (Day 2)

Today’s prompt is: “Tea for Two. If you could invite someone (any living person) to your home for tea for the purpose of explaining Migraine disease to them so they would truly understand it, who would it be and why?”

Ok, this is going to sound weird…especially since it’s Migraine Awareness month, but I’m sick of explaining what Migraine is and isn’t. Perhaps it’s because of the looks/stares I got yesterday. But that’s another story, and (Teehee) another possible blog post for this month!

But… if I had to have a tea party… I’d go for people who could be influential, and use their resources to help many of us.

  1. Bill Gates. Why? Because he’s filthy rich, and he likes to give to charities that he feels are important, or could make a difference in large numbers of people’s lives. (Can we say Research money, my fellow Migraineurs?!?)

  2. The TSA director. When we travel with medications that we need, or look like absolutely awful going through airport security, a little compassion could go a long way. I travel with injectable medications and 3" syringes. My arms may be bruised from IV’s That doesn’t mean that anyone’s hurting me, and I need to be separated from my travel partner (actually happened). My TENS unit is not a bomb. It’s actually on their site that it’s a permissible device to be taken on board. So, why did I have trouble and have to call a supervisor, holding a printout of their OWN guidelines? Consistency and compliance with their own guidelines across the board at each and every airport would be delightful. The TSA director could make this happen.

What do you think?

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

#Migraine Awareness Month #28- Lights, Camera, Action.

Prompt: Pick a movie character you can identify with, talk a bit about them and why you identify with them. I chose Simon from the British version of Death at a Funeral. With help from IMDB:

The story is set in England and takes place mainly at a family home where Daniel and his wife Jane live with his parents. When the story opens, it is the day of Daniel’s father’s funeral …

Daniel’s cousin Martha and her fiancé Simon are desperate to make a good impression on Martha’s uptight father Victor. Their hopes for doing so are dashed when Martha, hoping to calm Simon’s nerves, gives him what she believes is Valium but actually is a designer hallucinogenic drug manufactured by her brother Troy, a pharmacy student. While on the way to the funeral, Simon begins to feel its effect.


I can identify with Simon. During an aura, everything feels wrong, and I feel like I’m tripping over my words, I’m clumsy, and I’m absolutely stupid. If something happens, I’m likely to have swinging emotions, and you’d wonder what I was on, if you didn’t know it was an aura. Add the meds to it, and I can start doing more of Simon’s antics. Pain meds can make me fall asleep at the drop of a hat. They can also make me clumsy and brain fried. Unfortunately, for poor Simon, his experience with the hallucinogenic drug trips him up too. Literally. Simon believes he hears scratching noises in the coffin, and tips it over. The body spills on the floor.


I can see myself doing that with a pounding head, or with scotoma, or just the meds. Simon’s antics aren’t over for the rest of the day. The actor playing Simon is just wonderful, and ever since seeing the film, I’ve thought that these are all things that I’d be capable of doing during Migraine.


Maybe this?



National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month #24- I wish

I wish I had written this yesterday, instead of writhing in pain.

I wish I didn’t have to make a list of Migraine related things that were wishes.

I wish I could have my life back pre- age 26. While the things I’ve learned since then are priceless, I miss not having to know my insurance plan backwards and forwards. To stand up for Migraine-related medications that I need. To stand up for Migraine-related treatments that I need.

I wish that more money went from the NIH to funding this insidious disease, and that more of us could be helped.

I wish that my parents didn’t have to see their only daughter go through all of this.

I wish I could have back all of the days I lost to Migraine. I wish that they could be dropped into a piggy bank for me to use to go do events that could help others- to spend time creating something positive.

I wish we didn’t have to worry about politicians messing with our insurance.


National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month #22: The Game Changer:

Prompt:Tell us about a time your plans changed due either an unexpected Migraine or an unexpected Migraine-free experience.

Gah, I’ve had so many plans changed due to Migraine. But, I do have an experience that I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t been in Texas in a horrible Pain Cycle.

I got to go to the Texas State Fair. The Migraine that I had gone in for IV therapy that morning had mostly died down, and I was feeling much better. My mom and I were in Dallas, and we were going to go to a museum, or walk around a mall for a bit. Instead, I was able to borrow a wheelchair and go to the fair.

North Carolina has a great fair- but due to the size constraints of the fairgrounds, it’s smaller. Maybe just more compact.

Here are some pictures.

Anyhow- because of my Migraines, I was in texas at the right time to go have fun. Also, thanks to the wheelchair, I didn’t have to walk. I had fun, and people were really nice to me.

The vendors actually wanted to help me win a prize… never had that experience before. Never will again… they let me get the bigger prize even though there were just me and my mom playing- where normally they needed four to start the game for the little prize. I came “home” to the hotel that night with gobs of stuffed animals and a big smile on my face.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month #20- Run, Forrest, Run

Prompt: “Run, Forest, Run! Describe the approach you think is best when it’s time to move on to a new doctor.”

Commit to the fact that this doctor is no longer the person you want to see. Easier said than done. Familiarity is a beast.

Get your records before you leave the practice. It’s amazing what can sneak in there once you’re gone, and they don’t think you’re going to challenge the statements in there

Audition new doctors. That’s right- audition. If they don’t have their lines right, or don’t say them correctly, or don’t have the script correctly- toss their resumes.

Hopefully, find doctor right. If you’re wrong about that, try try again.


It’s okay if they see you when you don’t see you at your best. It’s another telling sign if they’re what you’re looking for. My specialists have seen me at all ranges of health- from throwing up mid-sentence, to smiling in their office. That comfort is priceless- I feel like I can totally let down my guard, and be me with them.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month #18- the price is right

If I had unlimited money- I could do something totally altruistic, like donate to the Migraine Research Foundation….

Or get free meds to all Migraineurs.

But I’m typing with a Migraine, and I want ice packs that never get warm. So, I’m going to say that’s what I’d be bankrolling. We’d never have to get off the couch or out of bed when the ice pack started getting warm, or have to worry about melting ice.

I think this would be a gift to the Migraine community.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

Migraine Awareness Month #15- free write- My best friend

My best friend is about to come home from work at the end of the day. I’ve been sleeping, and nauseous all day… the Migraine Monster did attack and wiped out one.

He’s going to have done the errand that I needed to do today… but yet again, he’s going to have to pick up my slack… and I feel badly. But I don’t think that the supermarket is the best place to puke…

He holds me gently when he knows I hurt, and if I cry, wipes tears from my eyes. He doesn’t mind me being clingy when I’m in pain, despite the fact that he’s not into the “clingyness” thing.

My husband is my best friend. He’s spent hours in the ER with me, hunched in a chair. Learned how to inject me with my IM zofran, even though he desperately was adverse to, or afraid of, hurting me. The first time he said he would try, I almost cried from joy. And the minor pain was the best thing that I had ever experienced… and the relief- doubly spectacular.

He’s changed icepacks in the middle of the night, despite being in a dead sleep. Wiped me off when I was “icky.” and couldn’t do for myself.

I’m really lucky. As I squint through my Migrainey eyes and write this post, I feel nothing but warm and fuzzy thoughts, and I can’t wait to see him.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com