Saturday, June 5, 2010

More Migraine Education

Do you ever feel like you can't get away from Migraine even when you're not experiencing one? What I'm talking about is I was watching a movie where there was a girl who was in foster care. She lived in a house with many other girls and all of the foster girls stayed in the same room.

In the foster home, they were having a party with very loud music. This is when the thought came to my mind about what if one of these girls had Migraines? Would anyone there know what they were? Would anyone there understand? How would they deal with the loud party? It makes you wonder and worry about all of the Migraineurs out there who don't know what is going on even with themselves.

My own story is that I did not know I had Migraines for about thirty-six years until I was finally correctly diagnosed a little over four years ago because I was originally misdiagnosed with 'just headaches'. I survived because if the music was too loud, I left, but I didn't really understand anything either. I wasn't raised in a foster home, but I did grow up in a house with many children where I was in the middle of the bunch.

I had so many Migraine symptoms over those years and still had no clue what they were. The diagnosis of Migraine never crossed my mind because that is not what my doctor said I had. I remember thinking that I could not imagine what Migraines must feel like if this is what 'just headaches' were like.

In all of those years, I never put a connection together with seeing, smelling or hearing things that weren't really there, being sensitive to loud music or light, periodic stuttering, nausea and so much more to my 'just headaches' that medication wouldn't even touch so I never took anything for them.

It took a big incident for me to be pushed into looking deeper at my 'just headaches'. This is one reason it is important to get the education out around Migraines. People need to understand what Migraine is; everything around Migraine and that it is not 'just a headache'.

Once I learned about my own Migraines, that was the start of my getting my life back in control. So much was going on before with me which I just did not understand. If you want a better understanding of a typical Migraine attack, here is an article on the Anatomy of a Migraine which goes through the four possible phases of a Migraine.

Once I learned about my son's Migraines, we got together and did a lot of talking and educating around Migraines. His Migraines have since gone down to about one per month. By educating him and being able to identify things that would trigger him, he is able to help himself. We still hope to get them to become less frequent, but he's definitely headed in the right direction and he's doing great. With a little bit of education, we were able to help his Migraines tremendously.

We need more Migraine education out there. It's not right to go around not understanding what is going on with you or thinking that you are abnormal. Contrary to most of the education I see out there, OTC medications don't work for everyone or alleviate their Migraine symptoms. Getting control and maintaining control of your Migraines takes a lot more education than popping an OTC pill as could be demonstrated with my son.

Of course we also need a lot more research on Migraines, but that's a whole different story for another time.



WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

I thought the first few years I was getting food poisoning (pain and nausea) because it always seemed to happen when I went shopping (under bright lights) and ate at a restaurant (possibley MSG). I was diagnosed at 22 although there really wasn't any effective treatment so the diagnosis didn't help except that I quit thinking all the restaurants had terrible cooking habits! I agree education is the key to helping yourself!

MigrainePuppet said...

That would be awful thinking that all of the cooks were out to poison you! Before knowing anything about Migraines, I remember an aura starting and figured I would just sit back and enjoy the show. I knew it would go away as it always did. I also had no idea a 'headache' was soon to follow as I had too many of those anyway.

We definitely need more education around as to what Migraines are to get out there.