What I Wish Professors Knew About Migraine Disease

What I Wish Professors Knew About Migraine Disease

I used to lay down with my face pressed against really gross, cold, hard linoleum floors, with my eyes closed, attempting to listen to lectures by my professors from just outside classroom doors when I was in college. Often.

Looking like a hungover college student

Any unsuspecting passerby might without further investigation think that I was just another hungover college student, tired and dehydrated from the previous night out, but perhaps disappointingly to the party-inclined, it was usually just another migraine. I would also usually end up in a professor’s office hours some short time after, discussing that I’d missed something, some important fact, or a part of an assignment’s directions, again. Having migraine disease often made me feel as though I came off as a terrible student, and there are things I wish I’d shared with my professors about what it was like to struggle academically while dealing with migraine disease. A few of them are shared below and can be downloaded and printed or emailed to share with your professors.

Please don’t assume I’m lazy or not interested in school

It can be difficult to ask for help when dealing with chronic pain, I wish my professors didn’t assume that because I sought accommodation or had to leave class often that I was lazy or academically disinterested:

My experience with learning was quite the opposite of lazy and academically disinterested, especially towards the latter part of pursuing my undergraduate degree. I loved learning new information, writing challenging papers, and engaging in discussions on interesting concepts in a lot of my classes. I often felt like I needed to prove to my professors that I could be a really great student despite my migraines, and that usually meant for me that I was asking for clarification or for something to be repeated. But some of the time, I did things to accommodate my pain that professors scoffed at, commented on, or outright disallowed. While on the surface, having my head down, having my eyes closed, or worst of all, leaving class altogether may seem like disrespect towards an instructor, for me, these were steps I had to take to remain engaged while being attentive to my health. A one size fits all glove when it comes to expectations for attentiveness and respect in the classroom can leave those dealing with an invisible disease such as migraine feeling singled out and mischaracterized. I wish my professors knew that I was trying, even when it didn’t seem like it.

Additionally, telling every professor about your chronic pain can be exhausting and embarrassing, I wish my professors knew that when I shared sensitive information with them about chronic pain, it was with discretion and intentionality, not to make an excuse.

Migraine is not just a headache

Migraines are more than ‘just headaches’, and can last for longer than you think.

For those suffering from a migraine, being told to take a tylenol and get over it is probably one of the most eye-roll inducing comments one could hear. Migraine symptoms can be debilitating, can cause dizziness and weakness, and may even require additional support from others just to move– expecting a student to just suck it up and move on is unrealistic, I wish my professors knew that when I had multiple day migraines, that those days usually involved multiple recovery tasks,  and that sometimes it took a long time to recover from more than just a ‘measly headache’. Over the course of those days, concentrating and performing all the tasks it takes to be a ‘good’ student can feel like a very steep battle.

Please understand the need to leave the classroom

Migraines can make you vomit. Rules about when a student is allowed to be excused are ableist.

Rules that determine how much freedom a student has over their own body, such as ‘students can only leave once per class’, ‘no bathroom breaks’, or any sort of rule in which a student is trapped in a classroom always made me feel very anxious. Rules such as these are ableist and they single out students who have to take care of their minds and bodies round the clock. I wish professors did not assume ownership over student’s bodies and time and instead allowed for students to take care of the business they need to without the associated stigma that comes with leaving the classroom.

Migraine is disabling

Migraines often are not treated as validly as other disabilities on campuses.

In college, I was a notetaker for other students living with disabilities for a few of my classes and I used to constantly think that my migraines weren’t serious enough to warrant me having a notetaker, when ironically there were many days when I couldn’t see, let alone write down notes, because of my migraine disease. I wish campuses, professors, and students alike knew more about migraines, so that people on campuses dealing with them could feel comfortable getting the support they needed such as notetaking assistance.

Are there things you wish your professors knew about your migraine disease? Do you have experiences unique to dealing with chronic migraines in college? Let me know in the comments!

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.

Comments

View Comments (38)
  • kitkat2255
    3 weeks ago

    I went through a very similar situation myself, with no understanding from professors, and I was in the medical profession.

  • TheGoldenRaven
    10 months ago

    Go to disability services at your university.

    I got diagnosed with chronic daily migraines right before high school. I was able to get a 504 plan to help me out. Part way through community college they became more frequent went to their ADA people and was able to get accomodations. Now at university I have the same.

    I make it a point to go talk to professors about it to help them understand a bit, especially when it seems like I’m not fully present mentally. I also make sure to let them know if my migraine is especiallh bad that day just in case I have to leave early for a respite.

    My accomodations are things like being able to take tests in a distraction free enviroment, extra time on assignments and notetaking (which is new for this semester).

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    10 months ago

    TheGoldenRaven,

    Thank you for your feedback! So glad to hear that you were able to receive appropriate accommodations in University, it can make all the difference and I certainly wish I had sought out more formal accomodation before I graduated undergrad. Wishing you well!

  • Vicki
    11 months ago

    My migraine was episodic the first 2.5 years of undergrad and became nonstop a year before I graduated with my B.A. So in undergrad, I didn’t have much trouble with professors because they saw the progression, since I went to a small school.

    I managed to do my first 3 semesters of grad school full time, but I got much worse as I continued. As one professor emphatically stated, “English majors shouldn’t have to have migraines because of how much reading we do.” So as I became less able to function as well, I wrote a letter to each prof on behalf of my doctor, who signed it. In it, I addressed the specific issues that my migraines caused to affect my schooling and exactly how the professor could accommodate me. This proved to be highly effective, and they were all very supportive, especially as they saw me fight to succeed despite the migraine.

    But sadly, it got worse after finishing my M.A., halting all hopes of a Ph.D. and even a job in the future. So I have a piece of paper on the wall that doesn’t do me much good other than remind me that I once was a scholar. But I highly recommend writing a letter for your doctor to sign because you know the specifics of what the professor needs to know.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    11 months ago

    Vicki,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with migraine while pursuing multiple high level degrees, it is so encouraging to hear that with communication you were able to effectively establish a relationship with your professors that accommodated your migraines for some of the program of study you were in! I am saddened to hear that the severity was such that you were not able to continue but am sending encouragement your way. I know how much strength it takes to go through university, even more so with migraine. Take care.

  • Judy H
    11 months ago

    I had migraines when I was a graduate student and I had to really pace myself which was not easy in a graduate program. Fortunately once of my professors was a fellow migraine sufferer so I think that he was kind enough to permit me to turn in one paper 1 day late. fortunately I did not require any additional accommodations.

    On the flip side, I did spend about 10 years as a college instructor (not PhD, but master’s level education). I had some students who had migraines and I would keep a set of “loaner books” on migraines that I had found helpful, that I would loan to my students who were migraineurs. I also happened to be one of the instructors who cooperated with the university’s disability services department and ensure that my students were furnished with copies of each exam in the event that extra time was granted for their particular disability. Not every instructor/professor was cooperative. I don’t recall what the official university policy was, but there was a wide range of cooperation to noncooperation based on the whim of the instructor.

    On the subject of bosses, I have even had 2 bosses over the years who have suffered from migraines themselves and they seem to have been even more cruel than the uninitiated boss about being understanding of the need to be home while in the throes of a migraine. One for example was harassing me about my absences and how they affected my performance score. I was a member of a 2 person team that had to do quick turn around work. I loved the challenging work. It fit my skill set perfectly. My team leader challenged me mentally and I loved the work. My team lead didn’t pick on me for being out for migraines; he told me that I was the first person who pulled my weight. In fact I did 54% of the work on our 2 person team out of a 6 month period. He showed me stats that displayed that my predecessor only did 29% of the work. He was very pleased to have my help. My boss however was not so impressed. He told me that my performance rating was not going to be so great because I had so many absences due to illness. What a cad! When you are a migraine sufferer you get used to finding joy in other things in life because performance ratings from your workplace are just not created with the migraine sufferer in mind. (The serenity prayer is a help.)

  • tjayinoz
    11 months ago

    Wow, what a broad range of responses (and I’m mid-migraine so I didn’t even manage to get to the last of them)

    I’ve had the crappy boss who gave the eye-rolling response and the sarcastic “so you’ll need the next two days off then” reply.

    I’ve been part of a team that I’ve felt really guilty of letting down, despite their empathy and understanding.

    Most recently I’ve been in a position where it’s not safe for me to continue to operate my heavy machinery lest I kill someone with my mistake which could come from pain or fatigue.

    Every situation is different and you have to evaluate the safety of yourself and others when you are assessing your course of action for this particular episode. That MUST be the first priority whether it be choosing to listen to the lecture from the gross but cooling floor, or phoning a friend before the piercing babies’ cry causes you to react in a manner you may find very difficult to forgive yourself for later on.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    11 months ago

    T Jay,

    Thank you for being here and sharing your experience! I know how it feels to be in situations like the ones you’ve described, and can empathize with feeling guilty of letting those I care about down, and with seeking accomodation only to be met with lack of understanding. It can be really frustrating! But I am always encouraged because for every one scoff about my migraine I get from an individual, there is usually someone extending compassion and asking how they can help soon enough to make me feel encouraged, and I hope to see more of that for people who live with many kinds of disability and chronic pain. I agree that every situation requires a different approach in order to navigate and get through it, and that varies from person to person!

  • Sheri
    11 months ago

    3 of us in the family suffer from migraines. My son is currently a sophomore in college and missed the last 2 weeks of his fall semester including finals because his migraines were so bad. Yes, he had provisions through the disability department on campus for this situation but he still needed to get approval from each professor before he could miss their final exam. This took a full 2 weeks during which he should have been taking care of himself not worrying that he would fail out of college. Once each professor gave their approval, we brought my son home and straight to the hospital to break the pain cycle. If migraines were a visable illness, we would not need to make others believe our pain.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    11 months ago

    Sheri,

    That sounds so scary! I am sorry you and your family had to experience that level of stress on top of treating your son for chronic pain. I am also sorry to hear that 3 of you suffer from migraine. I am sending encouragement to your family, thank you so much for adding your perspective. I totally agree with that characterization, it can be difficult for people to understand the disabling nature of migraine but if others could see it, I think that they might have an easier time understanding. Finishing up college took a lot of strength I am sure from your son and your entire family, I am so encouraged to hear that you all were there in it together.

  • Linds91
    11 months ago

    I had the exact same issue when I was in college. It is frustrating that just because there isn’t anything physically wrong people don’t think it is as serious as it is. I had to be be home schooled for half of my Junior year of high school, take 3 separate Medical Leaves from College, had my job searches revolve around not what I want to be or where I see myself but by the benefits that were offered so that I would always have insurance and wouldn’t have to worry about not being able to pay to go see doctors.
    I’ve suffered from Chronic Migraines for as long as I can remember and I hit road blocks every chance I get. It is the most frustrating feeling. People, including family and former friends, just don’t understand how debilitating it is.
    My Migraines control my life (or lack there of) and I’m told that I should just take an Excedrin and will be fine, or go in a dark room for a little bit and everything and it’ll go away. Medication has never worked on me once I had a Migraine attack. I have to wait out my migraines that last for months.

  • 98x34i
    11 months ago

    I’ve had migraines since age 5, so please don’t think I’m unsympathetic… but you’re an adult now. You need to learn to work within the rules and requirements, rather than expecting the rules to change for you. Yes, the ADA protects people with disabilities from hiring discrimination, but it doesn’t say, “your boss has to accept late work and reschedule meetings that you miss because of your disease.” It certainly doesn’t say, “Your boss must allow you to lie on the floor in the hall during meetings.” Life just doesn’t work that way. If you can’t perform, disabled or not, you’re going to lose that job.

    A lot of debate could be had around the idea of what “reasonable accommodation” means, but half of the United States are “right to work” states, which means an employer doesn’t have to have a reason to fire you. And proving that someone fired you because of your migraines would be an uphill battle. You might have additional protections under FMLA (up to 12 weeks unpaid leave per year), but only if your future employer has X employees and meets other criteria.

    College is supposed to prepare you for adulthood and the world of work. The adult world, is not going to be understanding. So the onus is on you to figure out how to arrange your life so that you can make a living in spite of your migraines. Right now, that may look like taking classes online, taking fewer classes at a time, or going to a less rigorous university. In the future, you may have to be self-employed, or in a career where there are no deadlines (I don’t know of any jobs without deadlines), in order to work. And if you can’t find a career like that, then you’re going to have to suck it up and go to work in spite of your migraines. Even when I was a full time stay at home mom, my kids certainly wouldn’t accommodate my migraines – they still needed their diapers changed and they needed to be fed and kept safe. Yes, sometimes I did a lot of that from the couch, but it had to be done. So it was done. You’ve never fully enjoyed a migraine until you’ve had one that’s an 8 or 9 out of 10 on the pain scale while taking care of a screaming baby.

    You’ll have to take your work environment into consideration, too. If your migraines are made worse by lack of sleep, for example, going into nursing is probably a bad idea. The profession of nursing isn’t going to change because of your migraines. If you have visual aura, I would strongly prefer that you not be the pilot on my airplane. I could go on…

    I waited all day before deciding if I ought to post this. I’m probably going to get a lot of heat for my opinions. But I’m 42 years old, I have 37 years of migraines behind me (personal record – 17 migraines including two trips to the ER August of 2015), I have 3 kids and 2 businesses, and I know what I am talking about.

  • MidrinMan
    11 months ago

    I once heard a comic address depression in his monologue. He harkened back to the days when very tough men built the Hoover Dam.

    Gee Fred, I just don’t feel like coming to work today. I’m depressed.
    (Audience laughs)

    Long hours. Little to no safety equipment. Low pay. Grateful to have a job.
    Despite people’s very real problems, the work must go on.

    When my now adult kid attended college in North Carollina, it was the first time I heard someone address her migraines as a “disability.” She had a representative/counselor to help her during her undergraduate experience for her “disability.” I am a fourth generation migraine sufferer, my kid, fifth generation. Whenever I missed anything for any reason I got docked. Things are changing.

    There is a sign above our dining room table that says “Thou Shalt Not Whine”.
    Why? Because the world is tough. And the world doesn’t love you like mom and dad do. Of course no one will torture you every christmas like they will either.

    Take me away Jackie

    What the world needs now
    is love sweet love…………………….

    It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    11 months ago

    MidrinMan,

    Thank you for engaging! And for reminding us of a good song and a good quote!

    It is so encouraging to know that over time, migraines are increasingly being recognized as disabling, so that people are able to better navigate their commitments while attending to their health in more places. I agree, the world can be so tough sometimes, so the more understanding and compassion to go around, the better for everyone to get through each day. Thank you for your perspective!

  • Ruth
    11 months ago

    You are right, of course. But your story lacks credibility. I don’t get how you can advise someone else about making life choices when you chose to have 3 kids knowing you have “chronic” migraines and having known since you were 5 years old. Did you think taking care of a screaming baby would be a good choice for you? Or maybe you thought your babies would be the quiet kind. (?)

  • 98x34i
    11 months ago

    I didn’t have migraines at all when I was pregnant. I should have had a whole bus load. I also had the foresight to marry someone who helps. And I moved my dad closer so he could be with them when I couldn’t.

    Advising someone not to have children because they have migraines is somewhat insane. There’s a big difference between asking your friends and family to help, and demanding that your university or your employer accommodate you (or accept poor performance).

    My children thank you for your concern.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    11 months ago

    98x34i,

    Thanks for your reply!

    It is important to remember that many people navigate different obstacles in different ways, and that’s okay! Thank you for adding a different perspective to the conversation. It looks like you have found throughout dealing with migraine for many years what works for you, and that is good news. Since we all are in different environments, and have different ways of coping and navigating our pain, I think it is important to be compassionate and understanding to those who have different experiences than we do, particularly when things are difficult. Take care.

  • 98x34i
    11 months ago

    I am not un-compassionate, but I AM a realist. I’ve worked in HR, employed people, and had to fire more than one person. You can walk through life expecting the rules to change for you, or you can find a way to work within the parameters of society. Society is not going to stop to accommodate someone who can’t perform to the standards set for her by her boss (professor) or her co-workers (other students).

    Instead of getting practice at getting accommodations from institutions, I think it would be wise to get practice at setting your life up in a way that allows you to cope with your migraines.

    I’m self-employed – so I can turn the lights off when I need to. I have my own office, so I don’t have to deal with a lot of noise. I don’t have co-workers who wear perfumes or burn scented candles that make me sick. I wish I could find a way to prevent people from cooking lunches that smell like cat food in the shared microwave that’s for the use of the whole building. But since I can’t, I hold my nose and I get to work.

  • Julie
    11 months ago

    I made it through college, even though I had to spend 1 (or eventually 2) weeks a month in bed with disabling migraine. Went through the disability office, which I highly recommend. They were able to give me a letter for each professor requesting leniency with absences and test dates. I usually told my professors it was chronic migraines and emailed them when I got one. For the most part, they were very kind, understanding, and accomodating, with only maybe 3 moderately difficult professors in 4 years. One tried taking issue with giving me “privileges unfair to the other students” but the disability office set him straight, haha.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    11 months ago

    Julie,

    Thank you for your comment. I am sorry to hear that migraine affected your studies each month, but many congratulations on completing! I am glad that you had understanding professors who were willing to work with you. It can make all the difference!

  • MKUHP
    11 months ago

    Although I didn’t suffer chronic migraine in college (cyclic, however), they began to get worse in grad school. Until sumatriptan came along, I really had no help. Fast forward to peri menopause, when migraine became my daily life. At the time, I was unaware of migraine being classified as a disability, so I didn’t know that I could ask for accommodations. As a high school teacher, I had difficulty keeping up with grade-posting due to migraine, and I was constantly berated by a supervisor for falling behind, especially at the end of a term. My students knew when I was particularly affected, as my room lights would be off, while certain spotlights would be on to help them see. I left teaching in 2008, about 7-10 years before I likely would have, due to this disease.
    As a side note, since leaving I have recurring dreams about expecting failing grades in college classes due to my absences from migraine.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    11 months ago

    MKUHP,

    I am saddened to hear that you too experienced severely intrusive migraines that affected your career. It can be so frustrating to be scolded on top of dealing with migraine, and can make getting through each day suffocating. Thank you for sharing your experience, I am sending encouragement your way. To your side note: I and a few friends of mine have seriously had the re-occurring dreams that we’ve missed entire courses/semesters in some way or another. I thought it was a side effect of higher education!

  • texotexere
    11 months ago

    I made it through college with chronic migraine and my experience was different than yours. I went to a small school, which meant that my professors knew me. Most knew me to the point that if I came to class and was in pain or had vertigo, they knew the signs and would tell me to go home. I did eventually get formal accommodations senior year, so I could reduce my class load and take finals/tests later. Even before then, most professors were accommodating since I would rarely ask for extra time.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    11 months ago

    texotexere,

    I am glad to hear that your experience in college was much more accomodating and that you got to have professors who knew you well enough to not only recognize when you needed to be elsewhere, but also advocated they you remained attentive to your health! That is wonderful to hear. Thank you for your engagement.

  • Talenyn01
    11 months ago

    I am a graduate student with chronic migraine. I was forced to take a year of medical leave to get my situation under control and when I came back I registered with student disabilities. I often need extensions on due dates because I’m regularly working at a glacial pace due to the nearly daily migraines. However, now all my teachers treat me like a “snowflake” who is just conning the system and not bothering to work as hard as the other students. My advisor especially says to keep my mouth shut about the migraines because I sound defeatist and unprofessional when I ask questions at the beginning of the semester about how much time I have for assignments and how early I would need to request an extension if it becomes necessary. Why do I have to suffer in silence until I’m already drowning and then be considered lazy and irresponsible when I ask for accommodations at the last minute? If asking for help from student disabilities or asking questions of professors so that I have a contingency plan will get me labeled a “snowflake,” what am I supposed to do instead? I don’t want to fail out of the program but I also don’t want to end up in the hospital again. Does anyone have advice?

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    11 months ago

    Talenyn01,

    I can relate to your situation and I am so sorry to hear that migraine is taking such an intrusive role in your studies. In my last year of undergraduate studies, I had an increase in migraine attacks as well as an increase in anxiety attacks that severely affected my studies in almost every course I was enrolled in. I reached out to each professor individually and while some were compassionate and understanding, a few did make me feel as though I was ‘making an excuse’ and turned a cold shoulder. It was very hard to navigate on top of dealing with the symptoms of my illnesses. I want to encourage you to continue to advocate yourself, and be affirmed in the fact that you are by no means defined by the way you are being treated. Is there any professor who you trust who can advocate to the other professor’s on your behalf? Perhaps they will listen to another instructor who sees that you are an engaged learner. I also encourage, as others have suggested, if it is possible for you, having the disability resource center advocate on your behalf. This was not an option for me while I was enrolled, but I know it has helped many others. Sending a lot of hope and encouragement your way. Best of luck, and take care.

  • Mike H
    11 months ago

    Seeing as I am a professor who suffers from migraine, you’d have no argument from me.

    I actually had a really good student last year who was suddenly out for something like 2 weeks. I was worried about him and he never contacted me. Turns out he was suffering from abdominal migraine. He was surprised I knew what they were.

    I understand why we have the disability rules that hide the medical issues, but to me personally it’s much easier to be sympathetic if the student offers the issue rather than receiving a mysterious letter that tells me to be sympathetic.

    I guess I can understand not wanting most professors to know because they may not react appropriately and I’m pretty unique on this front.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    11 months ago

    Mike H,

    It is so good to hear that, as a professor, you have and exercise understanding for your students, though unfortunately through having to experience migraine yourself. I am so sorry to hear about your student who suffered from such sever migraine attacks, and hope that he is doing well now. It can really help students to know someone understands, especially when they may feel like they are having to advocate for themselves in each class. Thank you for being a compassionate professor!

  • 11 months ago

    If one goes to the disabled students’ office with documentation, one will be granted appropriate accommodations.

    Professors will be informed, in writing, that the student will at times need to leave the classroom suddenly to deal with medical issues; said medical issues will not be revealed to the professors, and so the student need not worry about being revealed as ‘merely’ a migraine sufferer.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    11 months ago

    Hi BuckarooBanzai,

    Thank you for providing this helpful information! I hope it reaches some students and helps them to navigate the classroom a little easier.

    One thing that I found difficult in university that stopped me from registering with the disability resource center was the fear of not being taken seriously, and at the same time not feeling as though I ‘fit’ the criteria for accomodation. I also was not able to get a diagnoses for Migraine for many years, because it is an ‘invisible’ disease, some students may not have documentation or paperwork to give, and that can make the classroom an all the more anxious environment. I hope that through your provided information, some students are able to seek out accomodation and navigate this a little easier.

  • 11 months ago

    One must have documentation in order to receive services from disabled student services offices. The working assumption is that anyone experiencing serious pain would go to a physician and receive services; hence, one would have access to a physician for documentation.

    I strongly suggest every student suffering from migraines seek formal diagnosis. Once the problem is diagnosed and documented, then the issue becomes legit.

    The only question, then, would be whether the migraine sufferer’s condition rises to the level of a disabling condition, one needing an accomodation.

    Disabled student services will provide the student a form to take to his or her physician for completion. The physician will complete the form and then the student will return it to the disabled student services office. Once the form is on-file, the student will receive appropriate accommodations.

    The disabled students services counselors are professionals trained to work with disabled students. Every condition is taken seriously. The only discussion will be over which accommodations can and will be provided.

  • Luna
    11 months ago

    Do or will schools if prompted attempt any type of education for at least the teachers on the types of disabilities or medical problems that their students may be having? That would be a great way for education about migraine to be spread.

  • 11 months ago

    No, generally teachers are not educated regarding disabilities. There are a few with graduate degrees in education, and they are certainly educated, but they are few and far between.

    The Disabled Student’s Services Office (or the school nurse, at the k-12 level) is responsible for gathering documentation, vetting disabilities, and advising teachers. That’s their job. Teachers don’t have the time to do all of this and teach, too.

    In fact, teachers do not even know what their students’ disabilities are unless so informed by the students. Teachers just get a form every year that tells them which accommodations to provide. Other than that, they are basically out of the loop.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    11 months ago

    Hi Luna!

    Great question! In my experience, while some workplaces and learning institutions do have disability resource centers, knowledge about students’ disabilities usually comes from the students themselves to the teachers, and it can be difficult for students dealing with chronic pain to disclose that information for a myriad of reasons: one of the reasons I had a difficult time communicating with professors is because I feared I would constantly be reminded of the way people ‘view’ migraines, as an excuse or ‘not that bad’. I think more widespread training and education on disabilities in general for educators would be a fantastic idea, because there is certainly a lot of misunderstanding of Migraine.

  • 11 months ago

    I am a retired high school teacher. Now, I am a disabled student working towards a graduate degree in mathematics.

    We teachers expect parents, students, and medical professionals to tell us which accommodations to provide for our students. We don’t even ask why these accommodations are to be provided. In fact, we have no right to an answer.

    Now, as a disabled graduate student myself, I see the same problem from the other end. I do not ply my professors with information about my disability unless absolutely necessary.

  • Ronan
    11 months ago

    Thank you! I had to quit school because of this. Between stress at home and the workload, the migraines came more frequently and more severely. I became depressed. The migraines frazzled my thinking ability. Executive functioning went out the window, so to speak.

    Thank you again for writing this. Someone understands.

  • Kyky Knight moderator author
    11 months ago

    Hi Ronan,

    Thank you for your comment. I am so sorry you had to quit school because of the severity of your migraines. I know how disabling they can be, and it took me a very long time to finish an undergraduate degree while dealing with chronic pain, I can empathize with the feeling of becoming ‘frazzled’. Know you are not alone, and that many of us in the community share experiences with navigating migraine disease and ‘professional’ or ‘academic’ journeys. Sending a lot of encouragement to you this morning.

  • Ronan
    11 months ago

    Thanks for the reply back. 🙂

    On a brighter note, I’m taking a couple of EdX online courses.

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