Today, I’m putting migraine on the map (you can see my face where Colorado is located on the map above).
You may not know that I struggle with chronic migraine but people like me fight silent battles each day. In fact, this debilitating neurological disease affects more than 39 million Americans–almost 12% of the population or 1 in 8 Americans.
I have suffered from migraine attacks and cervical headaches my entire life. Though starting 12 years ago, I began to have more frequent attacks. After a car accident 7 years ago, the disease became debilitating–with 15-30 attacks a month.
During a migraine attack, I’m unable to think or form complete sentences. Normal levels of noise and light are so intensified that I feel I’m in the midst of an air raid. I am often unable to see out of one eye or everything goes blurry or dark. I feel nauseous, flushed, and dizzy. The only thing I can do during an attack is find a dark, quiet room where I can lay down and block out everything. I typically wrap a heating pad tightly around my head to calm the stabbing pain and throbbing pulses that accompany migraine.
I frequently have to cancel plans and it has affected my ability to work outside the home. Especially during an attack, I feel weak and like a failure. It leads to disappointment among my family and friends, coworkers and other volunteers; it isolates me from the ones I love. Migraine is a difficult disease to understand because I don’t look sick and others can’t see my pain.
I have been on an intense 3 1/2 year journey to reduce the number and intensity of migraine attacks, in hopes of improving my health and quality of life. I am now down to 5-10 attacks per month, thanks to:
• God’s grace and the prayers and support of my family and friends
• the amazing physical therapists at Specialized Physical Therapy in Littleton (especially Jess, Taylor, and Alex)–who have given me hope and are helping to heal me and make me stronger
• my neurologist, primary care physician, and behavioral health counselor–who help me with ways to cope with the pain
• as well as, information provided by groups like the American Migraine Foundation (AMF) and the National Headache Foundation (headaches.org)
If it weren’t for the advocacy and research of AMF, new preventative and rescue medications that specifically target the treatment and prevention of migraine might not have been developed. I take one such medication and for me it’s a game-changer. I no longer live in fear of a migraine attack because I now have a rescue medication that I can trust to stop the attack.
Research for migraine is so important as it can lead to improved treatments and diagnoses, as it has for me. Some day, I hope these discoveries will lead to the total elimination of migraine. Please donate to the American Migraine Foundation to make a difference for migraine sufferers like me and for our community. https://bit.ly/AMFGive
#migraine #AMF #GivingTuesday #hopeinsuffering
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