Conversation with Cindy McCain continues: Veterans’ migraine diagnosis, migraine support & more

I hope that by now you’ve read yesterday’s interview with Cindy McCain. In the true nature of genuine conversation, she and I didn’t stick precisely to my interview plan. Below are a handful of things we discussed after I’d gotten all my prepared questions answered.

1) The devastating number of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who have severe migraine: read more here, here, and here to start.

Mrs. McCain notes that the veterans’ migraine diagnosis, while awful, is indeed bringing a little more attention to an issue that has long been ignored.

2) Mrs. McCain talked about what length she goes to to prevent migraine attacks from surfacing in her daily life.

She “had the windows in [her] home tinted.” She mentioned that she and Senator McCain moved out of their family home a few years ago into a condo tower. After the move, her migraines seemed to get worse. “I had to explore the environmental aspect of this building,” she explained, and went on to say that they initiated a “study with an environmental agency to see what’s happening—they’re searching for anything” that could explain why her migraine attacks have gotten worse since the move. (By the way, there’s been no conclusive evidence thus far.)

3) Prominent public figures who have or had migraine disease, and books that help her cope.

“Mary Todd Lincoln had migraines,” Mrs. McCain told me. A favorite read of Mrs. McCain’s is a book about Mary Todd Lincoln’s struggle. I think this is the book Mrs. McCain was referring to: The Addiction of Mary Todd Lincoln.

In addition to her interest in biographies of famous migraineurs, Mrs. McCain also reads a lot about health. “I read all the naturopathic books,” she says.

4) How migraine is not a black-or-white, left-or-right issue.

I mentioned to Mrs. McCain that talking to lawmakers and aides during Headache on the Hill (insert link) showed me that migraine doesn’t see political or racial lines, that it’s something that affects people of all backgrounds, nationalities, and schools of thought. She agreed wholeheartedly and thinks we need to educate everyone about this illness.

5) Finding encouragement in others, and reaching out to each other.

Mrs. McCain wants you (yes, YOU) to know that she always answers emails and Tweets, mainly just to “give encouragement” to those of us who are dealing with migraine. She’d love to hear from you—her Twitter handle is @cindyhm1 if you’d like to reach out and thank her for all she does on behalf of migraineurs.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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