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Migraine Awareness Month #11: Say What?!

The Migraine Awareness Month blog challenge prompt for today is:

What’s the most ridiculous thing ever said to you about Migraines, who said it, and under what circumstances?

Wow. This one is tough because there have been so many utterly ridiculous things said over the years. The question is, “Which one takes the prize?” Hmmmm. Let’s see…

Was it, “It’s a woman thing?” No.

Was it, “Have a baby. They might get better.” No, probably not. Although given the fact that I was unmarried and working a low-paying job, that was pretty ridiculous.

Was it, “They’re headaches.” Take some aspirin or Tylenol?” No. We’ve probably all heard that one.

It has to be this one,

Congratulations. You’re an intellectual. You have Migraines.”

What?! Had he really just said that? Yes, he had. This was over 30 years ago, before I knew much of anything about Migraines. My family doctor had sent me to an ears, nose, and throat specialist thinking he might be better able to help me with my Migraines. At the time, they weren’t very frequent, but they were very severe. This was before triptans, and all my doctor ever prescribed for me was acetaminophen with codeine.

What did this genius ENT do for me? Absolutely nothing other than keep me waiting almost two hours past my appointment time then charge me a huge fee for the office call. As you can imagine, I wasn’t in a good mood by the time I finally saw him to begin with. His brilliant pronouncement didn’t make me any happier. He had no treatment suggestions other than continuing as I was.

As I was leaving his office, I decided to spread the unhappiness around a bit. I’d had to take time off work and had no health insurance at the time. So, when his receptionist handed me the bill, I deducted what the two hours spent sitting in the waiting room had cost me before I wrote the check. When she objected, I looked at her and said, “Ah, but I’m an intellectual. I must know what I’m doing,” and walked out the door. Strangely enough, I never received a bill for the balance.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by

To help raise awareness about Migraine, please Tweet this post with the hash tags #NMAM and #NMAMBC and share it on your Facebook page. Thank you!

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.


  • Julie
    7 years ago

    I was told that I’d just have to learn to live with it. But I just loved what you did, deducting the time you had to wair and your response! LMBO, what I would have loved to have seen the look on her face! Good one.

  • Teri-Robert author
    7 years ago

    Thanks, Julie. Sometimes, I’m at a loss. That particular day, the right comment and action came to mind, and I was so glad. 🙂

  • Lizzybeth
    7 years ago

    Said by different doctors: “You’re just going to have to toughen up and learn to live with it.” (What did he think I had been doing?) But probably the worst was, “It’s just all part of being a mom!”

  • AttorneyWife
    7 years ago

    I have “migraineur’s personality” which is the reason. I need to learn how to relax and not be so “type A”.
    And if I had enough faith, I could be healed. No one would ever say that to a terminally ill person. It was so demeaning.

  • Brittany Bailey
    7 years ago

    I went to the er for one and came out in a neck brace?/.

  • tucker
    7 years ago

    I love it, a neck brace. Well, my neck (actually, the top of my neck/back of my head) hurts really bad during my migraines. So maybe having something to hold my head up at work would be a good thing – now if my boss’s office wasn’t just diagonal to my desk, I could sleep with my head up too if I could train my fingers to type some jibberish and get away with it….

  • Sarah Scott Blankenship
    7 years ago

    Suck it up, they can’t be that bad. Um, yes, yes they can.

  • Erin Wilson
    7 years ago

    Yes, they are THAT bad… I agree. 🙁

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