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Do you work with migraines? Share your experience here!

Some people living with migraine are able to work full-time, some part-time, and others are not able to sustain stable employment due to the impact migraine has on their life. If you would like to, please feel free to share your experiences working with migraine in this thread here.

Some topics you might consider writing about could be:

* How do you cope with a migraine at work?
* Accommodations at work. Have you asked for them in the past? What was that like?
* Facing stigma of migraines at work.
* Experiences with Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or taking sick time.
* Coping with unemployment, searching for a job after losing your job due to migraine
* Anything else you feel relates to work and migraine!

I look forward to reading your responses, and hearing what you have to contribute to the conversation. Thank you for your time and attention. Please know that you are valued here in our community.

- Cody (Team Member)

  1. Hello! I am a 45 year old female that has suffered migraines my whole life. I remember being a child, crumpled on the floor, in so much pain, and I didn't know what it was. Decades later, I still find myself crumpled on the floor, way more informed, but unable to stop that freight train. I've worked since I was 10 years old. Full-time since I was 18. I've been a mom, also, since the age of 18. I have three children now and am a single mom. A lot of responsibility. Not a lot of time for migraines. This week alone I've had two migraines. I've ran across people that are very understanding, and I've worked with people that roll their eyes because they've never even had a headaches. I envy them. I want that!!! Mostly because on the days that I do not have a migraine, I have a headache. I've been to many dr.'s, neurologists, chiropractors, and even acupuncturists over the years and have tried a myriad of medications and naturals remedies including supplements and even essential oils...but alas I suffer. So, I have accepted my fate I suppose. I have been on the receiving end of write ups, faced near being fired, been laughed at, dragged into the managers offices, talked to, threatened, and faced so much ridicule by people that do not know what it is to have a migraine. Once, I even had a co-worker, a "friend", yell at me saying "go home and get a "migraine", no one wants you here, just go and get "another migraine"". She repeated this, loudly, embarrassing me, in front of my co-workers. A few weeks later she ended up in the ER with her very first migraine of her life (in her 50's) and came to me apologizing over and over. Wanting my forgiveness. Saying she couldn't believe I live like that. Wondering how I go on day in and day out. I did not forgive her. How could I? I have a medical condition but because I don't bleed or I am not cut or because it does not show in some gruesome way, people cannot understand it. So, I suffer alone and I think that is the 3rd hardest part of migraines. The 1st is the migraine, the 2nd hardest part is to keep going............................

    1. Thank you for sharing your kind words and support with our community. It's good to know we're not alone in our migraine journey. How are you doing today? Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Leader/Moderator Team

    2. I just wanted to add how sorry I am that you are going through this. I don't know where you are in your migraine journey now, but I hope you are doing better. You are so right - most people just really don't understand how debilitating migraine is. As for your co-worker, I'm sure she really hurt you, and it's hard to forgive her. I have had people like this in my life. The way I usually think about it is that it is one thing to forgive and an entirely different thing to forget. You still have to protect yourself from these kinds

      Peggy ( team)

  2. Hi Cody! I'm 47 and am new to the migraine scene. They're not exactly migraines per se. I have chronic cluster headaches with overlay migraines now and again. Before about 3 years ago I never had a headache a day in my life. So like most people that don't understand, I didn't get it. They started creeping up on me about the same time I started noticing some change of life symptoms. Well I've had the same job for 12 years and you would think it would be easy to talk to them about this kind of stuff. I mean I know everyone. My office is right across the hall from HR. Turns out you don't know what kind of company you're working for until you start talking to them about medical issues.
    I'm not asking for anything large or anything that would be unreasonable or even cost anything. Just please let me keep those bright florescent lights off in my office. They are one of my main triggers for the headaches and migraines. This company has been putting me through the ringer for the last year over these stupid lights. I'm now heading down the medical accomodation paperwork (which I just filled out and turned in), FMLA, EEOC, and legal representation road.
    We'll see how all this turns out. Definitely a lot of misunderstanding and just plain brush offs on migraines in the workplace!

    1. After my last diploma, I entered the School of Hard Knocks. There are many lumps where that flat hat used to sit. I try to cheat the school by reading books but I only earn the lumps less often.

    2. Great analogy. Sounds like you may have earned a Master's. I know many of us can relate. Warmly- Holly team.

  3. TheraSpecs? I'll have to look those up. Thank you so much, everyone, for the support! This is the first positive I've received in years. I really appreciate the suggestions and we'll wishes. Hoping everyone had a headache free day!

    1. Yes, TheraSpecs have been life changing for many of us! I use a pair for outdoor wear and find them very helpful. Here is some more information on them and other glasses that help with light sensitivity;
      Keep us posted on how you make out! Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Leader/Moderator Team

  4. I'm on disability, my last job was as an alarm specialist for a security comp. It would be excruciating to hear the alarms in the background. At that time, my then neurologist was using different meds to see what would work. I kept my supervisors up to date on my status. One night, my took my rescue med and fell asleep talking with a client who recorded my snores, end of job🌹

    1. Thanks for posting and sharing your experience with us, . Working as an alarm specialist who lives with migraine must have been such a difficult experience, and it sounds like you were trying everything you could with your neurologist. I am also sorry to hear that you lost your job. It sounds like you were really struggling the day that you fell asleep talking with a client and that you desperately needed some rest. Warmly, - Cody (Team Member)

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