Imagine a Migraine World That Is Transformed

Imagine a world where the norms of life with migraine are completely transformed from the life we currently journey! A life that was previously fragmented, unpredictable, and full of debilitating symptoms would now be wholly transformed. The view from the top of THAT mountain would be one worth seeing for sure!

What would a different migraine world look like?

I’ve often wondered what my life could possibly be like without uncontrollable migraine. What if the consequences of migraine were not just challenged by new technology, medication and research, but genuinely revolutionized? What would your life be like?! I invite you, for a moment, to join me on this journey. A journey where I dream about a different type of migraine world than the one we live in right now.

What do we wish we had?

  1. Awareness instead of stigma. No longer would we hear, “It’s just a headache!” Or, “You should learn to manage stress better!” Or even, “This is just an excuse to get out of things you don’t want to do!” Friends, family, employers, schools, and the healthcare system would all understand: migraine is a complex neurological disease, and the people who live with it are strong, resilient, and valuable.
  2. Effective, tolerable treatments. Researchers, pharma, and doctors partner together with patient advocates as the norm. As a result, there is a growing understanding of what is really needed to move the needle. Clinical trials include a truly representative group of people with migraine. Medications and medical devices are able to stop an attack in its tracks. Not in 1, 2 or more hours, but within minutes. Even better, most if not all attacks are prevented ahead of time, all without debilitating side effects!
  3. Access barriers are a thing of the past. Access to doctors who are educated on headache medicine is part of every health insurance plan. Access to the treatments necessary is as mandated in health insurance as treating asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. And the big dream… a world where the decisions about which treatment each patient should have is made entirely between that patient and their doctor. No more medical decisions being made by insurance companies and arbitrary formularies.
  4. The ability to be present for family and friends. In this world we are able to make plans without the caveat of “unless I have a migraine.” In this world we can actually BE THERE for our friends and families. We can attend school events, play with our children, deepen relationships with our partners, and socialize with friends. There is no more misplaced guilt at being absent because we are able to be present!
  5. Dreams and hopes that are pursuable. Finally, the ability to dream that most people take for granted, would be restored! We can complete our education, be productive at work, travel the world, and be in stable relationships. We can even decide to have children without fear of them inheriting a disabling and uncontrollable disease. We no longer feel as though we are on the wrong side of a window looking out at a world that is passing by.

Is it really possible?

There are many times when I find myself struggling to dream. This happens most often when faced with a new diagnosis, the failure of a treatment to help, or a particularly discouraging doctor appointment. However, the truth is that a different kind of migraine world is possible. It is true that migraine research remains grossly underfunded compared to other diseases. Yet, it is equally true that the growth of understanding and passion to bring about change are palpable.

In addition to new medications at ALL stages of clinical trials, we are also seeing technology driving studies of innovative medical devices. There is also a growing understanding of the role of genetics, and research into the numerous genes that play a role in this disease. Are we close to curing migraine? Unfortunately, not by a long shot. However, there is a growing hope of a new type of migraine journey in our lifetime, and the lifetime of our children and grandchildren.

How can we hold on now?

In the meantime, as we live in this current reality while hoping for and dreaming of a migraine-free future, we remind ourselves that:

  • No chronic disease can silence our inner strength
  • We may have endless challenges but we also have relentless determination
  • Our bodies may feel broken but in fact, we are extraordinary
  • In the midst of exhaustion and discouragement there is resiliency to rise again and again, and to hope

So I invite you once again to join me on this journey. To dream big, to hold fast, and to never forget that you are amazing!

What would a world where migraine is completely controlled look like for you? What would you be able to do that you can’t now? What dreams or hopes would you be able to explore?! Imagine!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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