My Migrainiversary: Cause for Celebration?
Last updated: January 2022
The other day I realized that my migraine and advocacy journey started ten years ago to the day this Christmas!
10 years of migraine
When thinking about Christmas 2011, it's hard to believe how little I knew in terms of how migraine disease would impact the next ten years of my life. In December 2011, I was 27 years old and had just recently been diagnosed with migraine, but I was no stranger to the symptoms. To tell the full story, let me back up a little bit.
My earlier experiences
In my childhood, I experienced "neckaches," which led to an x-ray of my neck and probably some other tests and evaluations, but no migraine diagnosis. Then in my pre-teen and teen years, I experienced "headaches," which were much more than a simple pain in my head. Still, no diagnosis. Then, in my early 20's, a visit to a college medical center got me the advice of "try two ibuprofen instead of just one." No diagnosis.
Finally, a diagnosis
My mid-20's were more of the same until BAM! I saw a new doctor who asked me to describe my symptoms, and in about 3 minutes, I had a diagnosis.
That diagnosis explains a lot! I thought.
So in December of 2011, with a prescription of Imitrex in my hands, I thought I'd solved the problem. Little did I know, it was just the beginning.
My worst attack
On Christmas morning that year, I woke up with the worst migraine attack of my life. I was sick with that attack for a full week. That attack kickstarted the aforementioned journey of chronic attacks, doctors, pills, treatments, insurance battles, etc. You know the drill. I have spoken about this before. I don't like writing or thinking about it.
What's there to celebrate?
But guys - this is my 100th article for Migraine.com, so I HAD to declare it my MIGRAINIVERSARY!
But anniversaries are for celebration, right? What is there to celebrate about a migraine?
100 articles and 10 years of advocacy
I'm not celebrating having migraine disease, but I do want to celebrate this as my 100th article and ten years of advocacy. It means I've had 100 opportunities to connect with you! And ten years to see the migraine community grow from a small and stigmatized community to a more unified and focused community.
From advocacy events like Headache on the Hill, community support events like RetreatMigraine, or the library of resources offered by Miles for Migraine and other organizations, there's been a lot of progress. Recently, I joined a free zoom yoga session hosted by Miles for Migraine (you can find the schedule here and the replays here). It felt great! I don't even know if Zoom existed in 2011 (Fact check: it was founded in 2011 and launched in 2013), but I ached for this sort of community resource back in the day.
So, there is cause to celebrate!
P.S. Do you have a migrainiversary or a date that is important to your migraine story? I'd love to hear in the comments below!
Have others downplayed your migraine pain?