Why yes, I do wish everyone would have a migraine

I recently asked if you would wish a migraine on people who have never suffered from the disease or who doubt its seriousness. Many of you said that no, you wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy.

I’ve been thinking about it more (and apparently thought about it long ago—I’d forgotten about this post) and realize I am firmly on the side of YES. Yes, I do wish for every non-migraineur to have one episode. Let’s go over the facts: except in extremely rare cases, we don’t believe that migraine disease has fatal implications. When the attack is over, you can resume normal life with no symptoms of the illness. It doesn’t kill you, but it can hurt like hell and knock you on your butt and put you out of commission.

So why not give everyone just one? It might lead to more support and better governmental funding. We might have more effective and more affordable preventive and acute medications on the market if all decision- and lawmakers knew what we migraineurs go through on a regular basis. I honestly don’t feel I’m writing this from an angry or bitter place. I do just honestly believe that we would all understand one another better if we knew each other’s struggles more intimately.

My elementary school served as the county’s OH (orthopedically handicapped) center for school-aged children. As you can imagine, not all the students were kind to the OH kids, and impressions of the OH kids were certainly not uncommon. But one day we able-bodied students went through a multi-hour experience designed to help us see what the disabled kids went through every day. In particular I remember sitting in a wheelchair at a too-tall desk, trying to complete a maze not by looking at the paper directly but by looking in a mirror and having to attempt the maze that way. I will never, ever forget this experience. I won’t forget what it was like to wear uncomfortable crutches or ride in a wheelchair (I had not the arm strength!) to go through a maze.

After that day, most of the non-OH kids were a little kinder to the OH kids. So when I think of my wish to have every non-migraineur go through just one episode, it’s with the hope that they would understand better where we sufferers are coming from.

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