I was asked to tell my patient perspective on having migraine at the Miles for Migraine inaugural walk/run in Cleveland. In the speech, I named my support system “My Migraine Lifers.” I feel honored to be a voice for all of us who live our Migraine Lives and all of those who fight by our sides.
Thank you Katie. And thank you Miles for Migraine for putting on this event. It feels so good to be among such migraine fighters. Migraines are typically fought in the dark and in the quiet. Today we are stepping out and putting a face on what we often fight behind closed doors and I’m so excited to be here.
I think it’s amazing how all of our stories are so different, yet we have some things in common:
I’ve thrown up 3 times on my way to work with a migraine and had my boss tell me he “had a headache too.”
I know I’m not the only one who fights this stigma.
I’ve lost friendships and missed events both big and small.
I know I’m not the only one who hopes for better understanding.
I’ve spent endless money on medications, products, therapies and anything that promised the smallest amount of relief.
I know I’m not the only one looking for lifestyle changes and better treatment options.
I’ve been judged and by no one more than myself. The guilt, sadness, anxiety, “what ifs” add up for us all.
But This is why we are here today. To break down the stigma, to help others and to say thank you to all those who support us.
I’ve had Migraines since I was 5. I don’t have many stages of my life that I don’t recall how they affected me. Both of my grandmothers and my mom suffered from Migraine. We had an idea of what it may be but had no idea of the difficult journey that lay ahead.
After years of searching for why I felt so awful, Dr. Reed was the first doctor to make me feel like I wasn’t crazy. She didn’t promise a cure, because there isn’t one. But she promised to help and join my fight and her whole office did.
After all of these years, I have learned to be thankful every day. I have gained gratitude and there is nothing I am more grateful for than “My Migraine Lifers.”
I write a blog named “My Migraine Life.” I tell my stories, share information and bring together a community of My Migraine Lifers. With more than 36 Million people suffering from Migraine, everyone knows someone in their life who suffers.
My life feels like it is dictated by my migraines but I live a happy, blessed life because of all of these people.
It’s the group I have gathered over all of these years and the ones who suffer and fight right beside me. It’s my babies, my husband, my parents, my sister and nieces, my friends, my coworkers, my doctors and the migraine community. They are here with me today and if you look around they are here with you.
My advocacy hasn’t decreased my migraines or made them better. I would love to tell you something different. But what it has done, is brought a clearer picture of how if effects my life, how it affects others and how we can work together to be happier and healthier.
We all struggle, we all need understanding, and we all need support.
Thank you all for being here today on this really cold morning.
It’s not just about me or my fellow migraine warriors.
It’s about ALL of us.
I appreciate you all for taking steps in YOUR Migraine Life and supporting Miles for Migraine.
With Dr. Reed, a neurologist who fought by my side for many years. She was instrumental in getting Miles for Migraine to Cleveland and was asked to speak as a doctor’s perspective.