Taking charge of your migraine care
Many of you have written in to share that migraine has become a constant presence in your life. Despite your best efforts and that of your doctors, the daily pain is unrelenting and nothing you try is making a bit of difference. You have become completely disabled by migraine, unable to work or care for your home and family. This is dark and desperate place to be. It’s also a very lonely place. It can feel as if the whole world has written you off as a lost cause.
The theme for this year’s Migraine and Headache Awareness Month is: Rule your headache disorder: be actively engaged in your treatment.
By now you must be thinking that is an insane idea. Rule your migraine? How could you possibly do that? It’s not like you can just issue a decree to make it stop. The damn thing is ruling your life, not the other way around! How are you supposed to be actively engaged in anything when you can’t even get out of bed except to puke?
I know it sounds impossible. I would have thought the same thing a few years ago, too. Migraine was running things and I was ready to give up. Then somewhere deep inside, I discovered a tiny spark of light. It was the last burning ember of self-determination that refused to die out. Even when I wanted to die, that fighting spirit would not quit. My life was in shambles and it was clear that no one was coming to rescue me. If life was going to get better, I would have to do it myself. Through the blinding pain and emotional darkness, I fought my way back. Just breathing through each day felt as if I were running a marathon.
I was determined to find better treatments to control migraine. I would have gone to every doctor in town and traveled halfway around the world if that’s what it took to see improvement. That is when I began to rule my migraine by taking charge of my own care. Success didn’t happen overnight. It actually took several years to finally make progress. Yet all the stress, pain, and heartbreak was worth it. Now I manage my migraine disease. It does not control me.
Interested in taking charge of your own migraine care? Here are some ideas to help you get started.
- Do not accept “There’s nothing more I can do,” or “You’ll just have to learn to live with it.”
- Keep an open mind.
- Do your own research.
- Track your attacks and potential triggers.
- Be willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
- Be determined to find the right doctor, no matter how long it takes.
- Accept that you will try a lot of different treatments before finding the one that’s right for you.
- Give each treatment at least 90 days before moving on.
- Surround yourself with supportive people who understand what it’s like to live with migraine.
- Refuse to tolerate stigma, discrimination, or mistreatment from anyone as a result of migraine.
Now go RULE your migraine!
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?