Sunday, June 2, 2013

Migraine and Headache Awareness Month #2 – Temple Grandin

For my own reasons, I’ve decided to use an alternate prompt for today’s blog challenge. I am writing about:
Migraine and Headache Awareness Month #2 - Temple Grandin: “A school bell sounded like a dentist drill going through my ears”: Many of us have wondered to ourselves, must you live so loudly? How do you cope with phonophobia (noise sensitivity)?

I know I’m not alone with my Migraine story as I have had Migraines since I was about six years old which was long before being officially diagnosed and really understanding that everyone didn’t have a headache every day like I did. Unfortunately, it took me over 35 years before I finally got that diagnosis.  There were a lot of experiences during that time which didn’t make much sense to me then, but I’ve been able to retrofit them and understand better as to what was going on with me.

One story that still surprises me around phonophobia had to do with the TV volume. I know my hearing is better than my husband’s and the kids liked things a little louder than normal, but I had to institute a volume control for the TV even when we were all watching a movie together in the living room.

The rule was that the TV could not be any louder than the 20 volume setting on it. Occasionally, they would sneak it up to 22 or 24, but I could usually tell. What I really didn’t understand was that some days I could tolerate a higher volume than on other days. The sound would go right through me like a dentist’s drill, but it wasn’t just a head thing so I figured I was just more sensitive to the TV level. It honestly made no sense to me and I never linked it to my every day headaches – after all, didn’t everyone have an achy head all of the time?

I don’t remember when this story finally clicked that it was related to my Migraines and that was why I was a little intolerant to something so menial, but we get a kick out of the story now. The good thing is that we all have been educated more around Migraines and they understand my intolerance to louder sound now as I do too.

Nowadays, it is very common for me to walk into a room and not only dim the lights a little, but also turn the volume down a smidgen. I do miss our family movie nights. They would be much easier to handle now with low lighting and sound.

June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of



Ellen Schnakenberg said...

I got the chance to meet Temple Grandin several years ago, and listen to her speak, and that's why I really thought this would be a fun prompt for an alternate this year. I'm so glad you used it!

I'm with you too... light and sound and smell- definite biggies in our lives here :)

MigrainePuppet said...

Temple sounds like an incredible person. I love to hear stories about people who forge their way through life despite being told they had limitations. She must have been an remarkable and inspirational speaker listen to.

The problem with light, sound and smell triggers is that they are so hard to avoid even though they may appear to be simple.