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.

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

Comments

View Comments (7)
  • parkerjon
    4 years ago

    I woke on Christmas Day with a migraine from hell. My eyes were sensitive to the light, noise from the little one screeching over her presents. Feeling sick and very very tired. Took my first tablet straight away , but by another 3 hours I had to take another. I was in Migraine hell ! What a time to get one ? I tried to last as long as I could , but eventually fell asleep after only managing to eat half my Christmas Lunch. Woke at 9pm ish ? Still suffering. Went back to sleep and today I am migraine free but have a stiff neck for my troubles…bloomin marvelous…will try to smile through it….happy holidays to all and whoever reads this.

  • msruff
    4 years ago

    This is an excellent topic. I agree, too, that it must be nice to have only two migraine days a week cured by a nap, but that does not negate the fact that Joe 1) has migraines, and 2) has to experience an interference in his life because of them. I cannot judge how much pain and suffering another person has compared to me or to anyone else, for that matter, just because the symptoms and the treatments are different.

  • Julie
    6 years ago

    That is a good point to bring up. Something we should be reminded of because in our own suffering we tend to forget this important fact-we all suffer migraines, but we all suffer differently. That is true with medications-abortive and preventive. No one medication works the same for each person-what works for one person will not work the same for another individual. I guess that is why it takes years of trial and error to try to come up with the right combination of preventive and abortive medications that work right for YOU and as frustrating as it all is and as Kerrie pointed out, each and every one of us are unique individuals and we all respond differently. We are on a long and rocky road and we need a lot of support along the way, because there will be a lot of trial and errors. So if we get down and out when something fails we can encourage eachother to get back up and try again. I too would be envious of having a short nap to stop my migraines, but for some unknown reason this is the cross I’ve been given to bear and I need to make the best of it that I can and there is no room for envy. So chin up and carry on with my trials and get advice fom the Migraine Community when I need it. Good article Kerri. Keep them coming.

  • Julie
    6 years ago

    Oops, Meant to say Kerrie in the end. Typo-Migraine brain fog. Literally. Sorry Kerrie.

  • Cindi
    6 years ago

    Me too. I tend to sleep alot on Saturday, with migraines often on Sunday and Monday. Those are the days I can count on, anyway…

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    6 years ago

    Thanks Kerrie, I couldn’t have said it better!

  • Sandy
    4 years ago

    Thank you. Great point. I feel so frustrated when my two friends with migrianes make suggestions that have worked for them and it either hasn’t worked or doesn’t work for me. I tell them works for u but not for me. I don’t know why. They know know why. I never try to to downplay their pain or what works for them. Thank for this article. I feel so validated why things work for them and not me.

  • Poll