WEGO Health Awards Nominee for Advocating and Influencing the Migraine Community. Endorse Now

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I am excited to announce that I have been nominated for the 2018 WEGO Health Awards!!!!!!! I have been nominated for “best kept secret” “best in show Instagram” “best in show community” and “best in show facebook” WOW!!!!!!!!

WEGO Health is a mission-driven company connecting healthcare with the experience, skills, and insights of patient leaders. They are the world’s largest network of patient leaders, working across virtually all health conditions and topics.
The WEGO Health Awards were created to celebrate those who tirelessly support the mission of WEGO Health: to empower the patient voice. With 16 award categories, the WEGO Health Awards are the only awards across all conditions and platforms, that recognize the over 100 thousand inspiring Patient Leaders who raise awareness, share information, and support their communities – but often without recognition.
It is a huge honor to be part of such a great group of nominees!  Thank you SO much for your nominations!  Now, I need your help…..
I’m looking to my incredibly supportive network to help endorse me for these  awards. It is easy to endorse and only take seconds of your time!

Click here to be taken to my WEGO Health Awards profile where you can click “Endorse” under my nominee photo (thumbs up!)

ENDORSE HERE!!!!!!!!

If I have ever supported you, made you laugh, or inspired you to keep fighting – please consider endorsing me for this award.

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Elle Magazine’s Gross Portrayal of Migraine

This morning I woke up with a migraine.  I wake up with a migraine EVERY morning.  I went to bed last night with a migraine because I go to bed EVERY night with migraine.  I stumbled downstairs to get my coffee on this rainy morning hoping that my pain would lessen and shakes would dissipate so I could drive my kids to swim lessons.  After swim lessons, I face over 30 shots at my neurologists office just so I can wake up tomorrow to be able to go to the grocery store.   It’s not a glamorous life.

When I opened my social media, I saw this…….”All the pretty people on Instagram are doing the migraine pose.”  They have since changed it to “headache pose” in their title but the content still exists.

https://www.elle.com/beauty/a21947206/what-is-migraine-pose-instagram/

During Migraine Awareness Month, THIS is the reason we all need to advocate.  I scrolled through the article and was shocked to see the popular models Gigi and Bella Hadid and Kylie and Kendall Jenner.  Why am I surprised?

  1.  Over my last vacation I read Believe Me by Yolanda Hadid.  Yolanda is the mother of Gigi and Bella and wrote a book about her arduous journey with Lyme disease.  Bella and her brother also discovered that they also have Lyme.  The book was honestly written about the life of an invisible illness sufferer and the long, winding, painful, expensive, loss filled road.  I plan on writing a review of the book and all of the impactful things that I related to as a migraine sufferer.
    1. Now, here stands her 2 daughters who fight by her side for Lyme Disease totally degrading and glamouring MY invisible illness.  All the pretty people are doing it…..””Migraine Pose,” coined by makeup artist Nam Vo, involves posing with one or two hands pulling your face up by your temples as if you had a, well, migraine.”  Where’s the “Lyme pose”?  Migraine is not beautiful, it’s a neurological disease!
  2. Kendall and Kylie Jenner are not known for their responsible modeling choices.  They seems to be ok with offending people to make a dollar but their own sister Kloe has often been heard to speak of her migraine.  Once again, even family is insensitive to the extreme nature of this debilitating disease.

During Migraine Awareness Month (#MHAM) so many of us are striving to make the face of migraine seen.  Elle magazine is NOT showing the face of migraine.  When I get a migraine above level 7, I throw up violently, loose speech and cognition, loose ability to walk and often crawl to the bathroom.  I can’t read, drive, be in light, have sound in my presence, experience muscle spasms, have sensitivity to touch and pass out from the head pain.  THAT is what migraine looks like.  Not a pretty model “showing off her manicure.”

I saw that migraine is trending in ALL the wrong reasons!

Here are a few examples of my migraine pose….(In reality my level 10s will never be photographed because they put me in grave danger.)

Did you ever notice how pets sense pain?  Humans blatantly disregard each other while no explanations need to be made to a dog.  I’m not showing off my manicure or pulling my face taught towards the light to look beautiful.  I’m surviving.  I’m using my best friend and therapy as a way to fight the pain.

But for some reason THIS isn’t trending.  I wonder why?  Pain isn’t pretty and shouldn’t be portrayed as a glamorous way to live.

Comment below with your migraine pose and share this.  THIS is what should be tending! SHARE that migraine is not beautiful.

Shades for Migraine World Solidarity Day, June 21st

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Tomorrow is Migraine Solidarity Day, June 21st.

“Shades For Migraine is a campaign to promote migraine awareness and create a viral buzz for a disease that affects over 1 billion people worldwide….

To participate, people will wear their sunglasses where they normally wouldn’t on Migraine Solidarity Day, June 21, even indoors when possible!  They prove it by posting photos on social media with the hashtag  #ShadesForMigraine. “

My Migraine Life is a proud participating blog and I hope you participate this year!

Watch for advocates outside the Today Show!

Here are some examples:

On left: I am wearing my Axon Optics indoor glasses.  I was working in the office with a skylight and needed protection from the computer glare and sunlight.  Check out my affiliate link to learn more

On right: I am wearing my Theraspecs indoor glasses and headed to a wedding.

For me, anytime is a good time to wear my #shadesformigraine

Any one can participate.  Last year, my best and favorite support jumped in on the fun.  She is missed every second of My Migraine Life.  Her support was priceless!

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To the Dog Who Helped Raise My Kids and Watched My Illness Grow

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I have this picture in my room.  One day, my daughter asked me, “Mom, is that the day you married Lucia?”  My answer was, “No baby, Lucia and I were already together forever.”  You see, my dog and I began it all….

I bought my dog to celebrate my first job out of college.  I had been lonely from leaving my college town and thrust into real life and big responsibilities.  It was love at first sight.  After I brought her to the vet, I was told she would most likely die from Parvo.  That fluffy little ball of fur proved them all wrong.

My Golden Retriever was my life.  She was part of my engagement, watched me get ready for my wedding and moved to an apartment and 2 different homes over time.  She was our first child.

When our first human child arrived, she didn’t feel pushed out.  My sweet dog thought our baby was hers.  She had paced the floors with me and pregnancy insomnia.  She sat with me during round-the-clock feedings.  She was there for me as I had meltdowns about being over tired, over worked, underfed and overwhelmed.  It was years of blurry joy and hustle and she was there through it all.

 

As a stay at home mom with a husband who traveled, Lucia was my constant companion during some lonely times.  I had days where I spoke to no adults.  I spoke to my babies and my dog.  Conversations can be had without words and my dog was always my biggest cheerleader and best friend.  Her tail, ears and eyes spoke volumes to me.

 

There was no better big sister for my humans than Lucia.  She was patient while they played vet and poked her in the eyes.  She was smart when she learned how to stand under the high chair to avoid flying sippy cups while reaping the benefits of fall out food.  She was even ok with squeezing hugs and the occasional ear tasting.  She was sensitive to yelling and was always a reminder for us to use our talking voices.

She was the emotional equalizer.  As I walked into the house with 5 bags on my arms, screaming children chasing behind me from the car and everyday chaos we entered a home of love.  Our Golden Retriever always came running with a stuffed animal in her mouth, a wagging tail, and an attitude that said ”Leave it at the door.”  We all changed when we saw her sweet face.

 

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Do you know those moments before Tick or Treating and everyone is melting down?  I  always had someone to laugh with

 

She put my children to bed every night without fail.  She’d lay on the carpet as I read to one and get up and move to the next room as I did the same.  There was never a night she missed tucking them in.

 

As my oldest became school aged, my dog started picking her up from school.  Everyday when my alarm went off, she went running for the door.  She knew it was time to pick up her girl and go for a car ride.

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Over the years, my dog had 2 knee surgeries, many teeth pulled, growths cut off and more.  Even as she was recovering, she still took care of me.  (link)

As she grew, so did my struggle with migraine.  She became a therapy and emotional dog to me that no one will ever fully understand.  She got to a point that she sensed my pain spikes.  She learned how to comfort me and held my hand very early on and never let go.  Her eyes were always on me.  No matter how many humans we added to our family, I was her number one.

 

Feeling like number one when I give my full self to my family was priceless.  I don’t even put myself first, yet she always did.  She followed me from room to room.  My shadow and my protector.

Over the years we spent countless hours in a cold dark room with my chronic migraine.  There were many nights where I collapsed to the bathroom floor and she slept pressed up against me.  She spent hours unmoving from my bed while I thrashed in pain.  I’d be covered in ice and wiggle my fingers to feel her little kisses on my tips.  She’d do anything to make me feel better and she did.

 

In her last days, our only concern was making sure she wasn’t suffering and that we showed her all the love that she provided for us over the years.  I had a vet once tell me, “Goldens will wag their tails and eat until 3 days after they die just to please their owners.”  On her last day, she did just that.  We bought her lots of treats and threw her an early 13th birthday.  She wagged her tail and cuddled us while we knew it was time for her to go.  She knew and her eyes told us so.

Saying goodbye was, without a doubt, the most gut-wrenching moments of my life.  I feel so blessed that it was in her best interest, we didn’t allow her to suffer, she went without panic and pain.  As I laid with her, I felt God take my best friend, my four-legged soul mate, my first child and migraine warrior.

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The days after, I saw her everywhere.  I heard her everywhere.  I felt her everywhere.  My son was sick and I was trapped in my house and grieved over every hair, nose smeared window and inch of my house.  My house was no longer the home I was at ease in.

She went to God on May 8th.  On May 11th my turtle of 20 years passed away.  He has lived in my family room of every home I’ve had since I was a teenager.  My pets passing away in 3 days was extreme! The numbers 8 and 11 are hugely relevant.  I was born on 8/11.  My favorite numbers have always been 8 and 11 along with being my numbers in sports and more.  It was not a coincidence that these were the dates they went to the rainbow bridge.

A week exactly from the day we said goodbye to Lucia my baby boy graduated preschool.  I thought it would feel totally different, but it just felt like a tremendous loss.  I’ve dedicated my life to my children and animals  and it just felt like everyone was leaving me.   It was as if my pets were saying, “We started this family and raised your babies and now it’s time”.  It felt like an end of an era and one I was not ready to say goodbye to.

I’ve heard the phrases:

  • Our pets don’t live long enough
  • When it rains it pours
  • You’ll never get over her but someday it will hurt less

I’ve been told to get another dog not to replace my four-legged soul mate, but to find another love.

I’ve been told that another dog can learn to be a therapy or emotional support dog too.

Here’s my answer to all of this:

This next dog will have a distinct difference from Lucia.

  • My family belonged to Lucia. We started it all!  I was her number one.  Our children were hers.
    • The next dog will belong to them. They will see her as their childhood dog when I will forever know Lucia as the dog who gave my babies joy and me sanity.
  • Lucia watched my migraine become chronic and she evolved as my therapy and emotional dog.
    • The next dog will hopefully see me get better. Her focus won’t solely be on me.  She is coming into an already made family and connections will be totally different.
  • There will never be another being on this earth that can complete me.  Right now I feel this painful hole in my body that physically hurts with every breathe.
    •  With Lucia went a piece of me that I will miss forever.  Yes, I will love another dog, but I know I won’t get that piece back.  She will be missed each day! I know it will get easier but everyone has been honest with me in saying, it will never go away.

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Answers and Information About the New Migraine Treatment Tonight Live on American Migraine Foundation Facebook Page

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Are you curious about the new Aimovig CGRP treatment for migraine?

Tonight at 8 p.m. EDT, the American Migraine Foundation will be hosting a Facebook Live with neurologist and headache specialist Dr. Stewart Tepper about the Aimovig FDA approval and the future of CGRP treatment for migraine.

Join the facebook event here

Do you have questions?

If you have any questions about CGRP and migraine, post your question and encourage your followers to do the same. Your questions will help guide the discussion.

 Tune in tonight (5/23) at 8 p.m. EDT Live on the American Migraine Foundation Facebook page to join the conversation and learn more about this new preventative treatment for adults living with migraine

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Miles for Migraine race/walk Cincinnati 2018 with My Migraine Life

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Please join us on June 10, 2018 for the inaugural Cincinnati Walk/Run

Date/Time: Sunday June 10, 2018 8:30 AM
Location: Otto Armleder Memorial Park
Distance: 2 Mile Walk / 5K Run / 10k Run

 

“Miles for Migraine is a registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit with the mission of improving the lives of migraine patients and their families, raising public awareness about headache disorders, and helping find a cure for migraine. Miles for Migraine produces fun walk/run events, typically 2 mile walk and 5k and 10k race to raise money for migraine research. We also host youth camps for kids and teens impacted by migraine or other headache disorders.”

This years Cleveland’s race was such a success and I hope to make Cincinnati’s inaugural walk/run the same.  Here’s some highlights:

To sign up to the Cincinnati walk/run please follow these directions:

Follow this link

If you are donating:  click on  “donate to participant” on left side bar

  • Look up name: Sarah Rathsack and donate to my page 🙂

If you are registering: “view teams” on left side bar

  • Join team My Migraine Life

If you donate or register, in general, I will not get credit for my referral.  Miles for Migraine tracks their top fundraisers and referrals.  Please donate to my page or join team My Migraine Life to give our great community a voice and show how  united My Migraine Lifers can be.  Whether it’s for you, a family member, a friend or co workers.  You are fighting and walking to make a difference.  Your support is so appreciated!!!!!!

 

*Please notify me if you have donated or joined our team!  I would like to thank you personally and know that your donation has gone to my page and team.  I really am grateful for your consideration!!!

A9A554EE-1C69-463A-9846-ACD72F425E9DThank You

 

Saying goodbye to my dog

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This week I said goodbye to my best friend, my migraine fighter, my heart and my soul.

Words can’t express the painful, excruciating grief I feel wandering around my home without my shadow. I see her, I hear her, I feel her everywhere.

On her last day, we celebrated her 13th birthday a few weeks early. She left with a smile on her face, a belly full of treats and her tail wagging.

I will be pouring my love out for her when I’m ready.  I have so many things to say about this magical creature that blessed my life.

As for now, I could  use support.

There is a hole in my heart and everyday life. She made me a mom and has walked with me through the best and hardest years of my life.  If you’ve followed me or known me at all, you know Lucia was my smile, my healer, and soul.

If you have any advice on how to take steps forward or support, I sure could use it.