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Friday, June 1, 2012

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #1: Your First for the First


The prompt for today is to share the story of my first Migraine. Honestly, I'm not really sure when my *first* Migraine was. I was a colicky baby, and had bad motion sickness whenever I rode in the car on family trips or cruises. These might have been precursors of Migraine disease.

I've dealt with headaches for as long as I can remember, but they became more prevalent during my teenage years. I've always had trouble with perfumes, potpourri, bright lights, loud noises, etc. (though all of these things have significantly worsened - to a point that these are triggers to disabling migraines, since my chronic migraines began a few years ago). I also had headaches that occurred sometimes when I worked out (I was extremely athletic in middle and high school - absolutely loved running and playing softball, so I guess I did my best to just get through the headaches and keep running / playing).

All that being said, I believe I was first diagnosed with Migraine, while I was in high school (~10-12 years ago). But, I was able to keep them under control by using Excedrin Migraine and Imitrex. I was episodic for years - having headaches more frequently than migraines (migraines were only a few times a year), and I was still able to function (even if only at a low level) with those migraines.

I started experiencing chronic migraines, following an auto accident 3.5 years ago. I remember when I came to the realization that my migraines were both chronic and debilitating... with no end in sight. It hit me hard, especially since I'd spent plenty of time in denial. I was left not knowing what to do, but I continued seeking help from doctors because I know I simply can't give up. And, it's been a journey of ups and downs, since that time.

This post was written as part of the Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge (MAMBC), which is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com and the National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation (NHF).

Migraine Awareness Month

June is designated as National Migraine Awareness Month (NMAM), initiated by the National Headache Foundation (NHF). This year's theme is "help make migraines visible!" Many of the obstacles facing Migraineurs have to do with myths, misconceptions, and stigma surrounding Migraine and other headache disorders. So, this month provides many different opportunities to jump-start this important awareness effort to make these invisible illnesses visible.

Ellen and Teri have put together a Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge, where they provide a daily prompt. 30 posts in 30 days - to help make migraines more visible!

There is a National Migraine Awareness Month Facebook page, where we can share what we're doing to bring awareness to Migraine and other headache disorders.

The NHF shares some different resources to increase awareness - including a series of NHF hosted chat webinars (you can find out more information and register at this link), which will be each Tuesday in June, from 6:30-7:30pm (CDT). The topics are:

  • June 5 - Migraine: How to Communicate with your Physician
  • June 12 - Sinus & Allergy Headaches
  • June 19 - Tension Headache
  • June 26 - Hormones & Headache
Please take a few moments to take the Migraine in America Survey. It will be open through June 15. The contributors at Migraine.com will share the results with the community.

Also, please take a moment to sign the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy petition to urge Congress to hold hearings on the impact of Migraine and other headache disorders - you don't have to personally experience headaches or migraines to help support those of us that do, so please take a moment and sign this important petition.

Diana Lee of Somebody Heal Me will be hosting two Migraine Awareness Month chats:

  • June 6 (3pm, CDT) - What do you wish people better understood about living with Migraine disease?
  • June 20 (6pm, CDT) - What do you need in order to live well with Migraine disease that you currently don't have in your life - tangible or intangible, it's all fair game?!
Chronic Migraine Awareness Day is June 29, 2012. There is also a Facebook page for this event. Please show your support by wearing purple and red clothing (purple is the official color for Migraine disease, and red + purple represents Chronic Migraine).

Other ways that you can show your support: post a video about how you live with Migraine and headache disorders at Project Migraine Hope, and/or send a photo of you wearing purple to show support to Faces of Migraine and Headache.

There are plenty of ways to be involved this month, and I truly hope to be able to be able to participate in many of these initiatives. Things are busy for me this month (my sister is getting married in two weeks, so that's what I'll be busy with for the first half of the month... and probably recovering during the second half - lol), but I'm going to participate as much as I can!

This post was written as part of the Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge (MAMBC), which is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com and the National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation (NHF).