Migraine Awareness Month #12: Let's Do the Monster Mash!

Today's blog prompt for Migraine Awareness Month is "Let's Do the Monster Mash - choose a movie monster that reminds you of your Migraines and tell us why."

With their penchant for brains, zombies are the monster I most closely identify with migraine. Though zombies amble up to you slowly, escaping their grasp is somehow difficult. Similarly, you often know a migraine is coming on before the full attack, but attempts to evade it aren’t always successful. For many migraineurs, taking an abortive is like running fast enough to avoid the zombie’s wrath, but others don’t find complete — or any — relief with medication and cannot avoid the attack. Zombies eat the brains of their victims while migraines just leave you feeling brain dead, unable to think and barely able to function until the postdrome passes.

Encountering a zombie for the first time is traumatic for humans, who usually respond by panicking. One’s first migraine attack is also cause for concern, with many people reporting that they thought they were having a stroke. With time, humans develop strategies for dealing with zombies, just like the migraineur figures out how to best manage migraine attacks. No matter how well one copes with either monster, they strike fear in the hearts of their victims.

Movie characters succumb to zombie attacks when they let their guards down, become disorganized or overreact out of fear. It can feel like migraine works in a similar way. Migraineurs often attempt to control all possible triggers — not sleeping too little or too much, eating regular meals, not eating certain foods, minimizing stress…. After they work so hard to avoid a migraine and it still comes, migraineurs tend to blame themselves, wondering what they could have done differently to avoid the attack, even though they are not at fault.

Migraine is a manageable illness, but it is not curable, nor is it avoidable. It is a neurological disorder that exists in our nervous systems. Sometimes the brain will simply succumb to an attack, no matter what you do. Although the guilt is misplaced, migraineurs are lucky in one respect — at least they, unlike victims of zombie attacks, survive long enough to think about what preceded the attack.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger's Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

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