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Teaching with chronic migraine

What are some of the best things you have found to help with teaching during a migraine attacks? I have to keep working because I don't have any other income. I have to push through because I only get 6 sick days and 1 personal day. Any help and suggestions are appreciated.

  1. @Kguthrie87 I've always tried to be open and honest about what I am experiencing during an attack. I try my best to explain what I am going through even though it is tough during an attack. I also try to express what I need to help me through the attack. It can be a lot to put on your coworkers but it may help them to understand what you are dealing with. I'm sorry to hear that you have to push through attacks and work. Are you able to take any abortive medications at work? Warmly, Cheryl migraine team member

    1. - Naturally for any educator, meticulous prep is essential. Having your routine is going to help you get through the tough time because you will be able to run through on habit. When you can't control other factors, this you can control. Additionally, having materials on hand to give to your learners to help subsidize the course can help too, so you are relying less on you and the materials are able to be there to support you. Be upfront with your coworkers and learners if you feel comfortable sharing that you suffer from migraines. They can offer support. IDK if you are teaching in a school system or upper level education. If you can get an aide, then it might be good to lean on them as much as they are capable of, or perhaps an intern. Explore lighting changes in the classroom. One of the great things about being the teacher is that you get to manage the lighting in the classroom. Add standing lamps with incandescent or warm LED bulbs instead of harsh fluorescent or harsh white LED. Have a visit with your physician/neurologist and you can ask them to write for accommodations. Get overhead bulbs changed to warm color and away from harsh colors and non-fluorescent (most places are happy to upgrade to LED anyways, but have them put in dimmable, warm LED). Add window coverings to reduce harsh sunlight. Migraines falls under ADA accommodations under the neurological category so they can help you adjust things like lighting. Mine are so bad I also got FMLA for them, so if you need more than that 6 days and one personal, you too can get them and be protected. They might be able to add or ensure you can bring in your own freestanding HEPA filtration unit(s) for the classroom with charcoal filter to help reduce particulate and odor that might trigger migraines. Maybe there might be a no perfumes/colognes rule in the class if this is a trigger?

      1. This is such a substantial and thoughtfully resourceful response. Thank you for taking the time to share these many and helpful ideas on the topic of navigating teaching with migraine. Very kind and compassionate for you to take the time to pass along your earned wisdom to the rest of us. So glad you're a part of our community. Warmly- Holly team.

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