This post is for those lucky humans out there that have never had the experience of a migraine headache.
The reason I am writing this post is because of something that was said to me recently by someone who has never had the experience of having a migraine headache. She said, “You need to go to the doctor. Wouldn’t it be better if you could find some medicine, or change your diet, or an exercise or something to make these ‘headaches’ go away.”
Having recently read a post about choosing to be offended, I thought long and hard about whether I was offended and whether I should be writing this post. I am not offended by the speaker’s words. I realize that they didn’t understand because they haven’t experienced a migraine. It is easy to be critical of others when you don’t understand what they are experiencing. I felt the need to write this post to help this person and others understand.
Migraines are NOT the same as headaches, a friend, who also gets migraines, reminded me recently. Migraines can cause someone to vomit. Smells and light can make them feel nauseous. Some people when experiencing a migraine cannot stand any noises. Others experience an aura. Migraines can cause someone to be sensitive to hot or cold. Cluster migraines are a series of migraines that can continue for several days in a row. A migraine may have certain symptoms, but they are different for everyone who experiences them.
My typical migraine often starts with my eyes feeling weird and the onset of an aura. Once the aura has finished, the pain and nausea begins. I am often overly warm and need to keep cool during a migraine. Sometimes I throw up. I often cannot stand light, sounds or even smells. I have to lay down in a cold dark room. This is a typical migraine for me. However, a migraine can be different each time a person has one.
I have been to the doctor. My migraines are triggered by excessive stress. I have tried a couple different medications. Ibuprofen taken at the onset of the aura often lets me manage my migraine. But not always. Certain types of coffee cause me to have what I call an insta-migraine. I don’t drink them and avoid them. Too much processed foods with dyes can cause a migraine. I try to avoid those as well. Linen scented candles and room sprays cause me to have a migraine. I don’t purchase those products and try to avoid them if I smell them.
A bad migraine year for me is five to fifteen migraines. I have been migraine free for years at a time. I have friends who have three to five migraines a week. For one of them, Botox injections work. The other friend gave up dairy and grain. That was three years ago and she has a lot fewer migraines.
Be kind to someone who is suffering from a migraine. Depending on their symptoms, even speaking to them could be causing them pain. Understand that having a migraine is not something they can control and their isn’t a quick fix. They probably have been to see a doctor or doctors. The person who is having the migraine knows what they need to help get their migraine under control.
If you do not experience migraines, I hope that you found this article helpful. If you do and would like to add to this post, please leave a comment.