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I’m a HM sufferer Get Me Out Of Here!

Have you ever watched one of those TV shows where contestants have to be starved in the jungle and in order to win their daily food they are forced to eat a worm or the anus of a kangaroo?

I have given up watching these shows, they only serve to make me angry.

I sit fuming at the television muttering expletives and shouting things like “yeah alright buddy, try going blind and losing your capacity for speech and being paralyzed down one side for goodness knows how long. Try having your brain split open with an axe and throwing up bile for 24 hours straight, then we can talk about the true meaning of surviving”.

I sometimes think they should make a show about me if they want to see what it is like to survive in the wild. My hemiplegic migraine causes me to forget words; which I am unable to speak anyway due to paralysis during an attack.

Brocca’s aphasia means that I also cannot recognize everyday objects and their usage, so I have often managed with the help of angels to get home and found myself unable to recognize how to use my front door key and just slumped outside the front door in the snow until someone walked past and let me in.

The kindness of strangers is not to be underestimated and has saved my life more than once.

The fact is when you are stripped of your ability to communicate and recognize the world around you, you are in the wilderness, alone and using what is left of your addled wits to survive.

But lets face it, a TV show of a HM attack in full swing would be dull viewing indeed. The suffering and after effects are internal and without the power to verbally communicate it would be impossible for anyone outside of this condition to understand.

I do believe with every ounce of my being that whilst we migraine sufferers of every type and variant are physically able to speak, that we tell people what we go through and survive. To spread awareness and to remind ourselves that despite the trials and tribulations we have made it through another day and celebrate our success.

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


  • Jennie author
    5 years ago

    What an incredible amount you have to deal with on a daily basis, I am so sorry to hear about your struggles.
    I wish there was something I could do or say to help.
    All I can do is be here to listen if you want to talk/vent.

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    Jamie- you are indeed extremely thorough!! It sounds like you have more conditions than just the Migraines that could complicate care for you. Your clipboard may save your life one day! Thanks so much for sharing that.

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    Jennie- you’re story was very well written! I often watch those shows and think there’s no way I would ever survive in the wild. Being hungry would give me a Migraine!

    You’ve got a great attitude on life, which can be hard when you suffer- so thanks for the reminder to celebrate our successes.

    I’m just curious…do you wear a medic alert bracelet? Considering with your HM you can become unconscious, lost or unable to speak I thought it might be a good idea to have one in case you are ever taken to the hospital through the kindness of strangers.


  • Jennie author
    5 years ago

    Hi Katie,

    Thanks for your lovely comments x

    I now have a medical alert key chain which contains a very small amount of info and also a USB stick which is a little lego doctor and this contains a word doc with personal info and an action plan & much more info and links to HM websites.

  • Jennie author
    5 years ago

    Bless you Jamie.
    We are like cats with 9 lives aren’t we?
    I spent a weeks in hospital in a coma when I was 17 and due to an oversight in my care I died for a couple of minutes. I also try not to focus on that and make life the goal. PTSD must be a nightmare in relation to the HM, each condition exacerbating the other, I really feel for you. Thanks for sharing and thank God for all of those strangers eh?

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