Migraine Perspective: No Two Migraineurs are Alike
Recently I met a man named Joe who told me about his "letdown" migraine attacks. During the workweek, he's migraine free, but on both days of every weekend, he gets a migraine. He hasn't had any success with the preventive meds he's tried, but a two-hour nap stops the migraine. All his weekend days are interrupted by a migraine coming on followed by a nap. He acknowledged that it could be worse, then said "But this is no way to live." As someone with daily migraines, I thought, "Wow, only two migraine days a week would be wonderful!"
Joe was not being insensitive with his comment, he was speaking honestly from his own experience. These migraine attacks are causing severe disruption in his life. I respect that and have empathy for him. Compared to a migraine-free life, two days of migraine that require being home in bed in the middle of your non-work days is a huge pain (pun intended). However, to someone with daily migraine attacks that are only slightly ameliorated by abortives and not helped by three dozen different preventives, it sounds like a marvelous way to live.
Although I met Joe in person, our exchange illustrates an important point on sites like Migraine.com. Even though we all have migraine, everyone experiences it differently. Some people can take two over-the-counter pain meds and the migraine is gone. Others get absolutely no relief from any prescription drugs, supplements or alternative therapies. Some people have a couple attacks a year; others have them every single day.
Human nature is to assume everyone else experiences something the same way we do. Like snowflakes, no two migraineurs are alike. Our migraine attacks differ, as do our responsiveness to meds, our support systems, and our ways of coping emotionally differ. Joe's two migraines a week that are aborted by a nap may cause him more suffering than my almost daily migraine attacks. I cannot judge that, but I can have compassion for both of us (and all migraineurs) as we try to live happy, productive lives with the debilitating illness. One thing we can all agree on is that migraine attacks are miserable.
Have you shared your migraine story with us yet?